I am ashamed of Swansea's elected officials. To take such time and effort over a Facebook posting. To go as far as having it published in the newspaper more than once. There are more important issues to be discussed than petty Facebook postings. It's called freedom of speech! How about fixing the lovely Smelting Works Road, which has been falling apart for years? My daughter's best friend lost her life on that road almost two years ago. You drive down the road and your car almost goes into the ditch. Do the officials bother to discuss these improvements that need to made at their meetings? Is this where our tax dollars go -- to pay your salaries to discuss this petty stuff? I'm so disappointed. Grow up and take care of things that matter.
Get back to basics
I believe it's time for all units of government to evaluate what they are required by law to do and to perform only those functions in a fiscally prudent manner. Eliminate all non-required procedures as a cost cutting measure. Case in point: The St. Clair County Sheriff is required by law to provide security for the courts and operate the jail. There is no mention of providing patrol functions in the Illinois statutes. Sheriff Mearl Justus claims he has an insufficient number of corrections officers in the jail, yet he has 50-plus patrol personnel costing taxpayers in excess of $2 million in salaries alone. I observe more county deputies in municipal areas than in the unincorporated areas of the county that they are supposed to cover.
Breath of fresh air
Breathing easier in Belleville: It has been a lovely fall in Belleville. What do I love most of all? The no leaf-burning law. Thank you to resident Alex Enyart for pushing that.
There but out of sight
In Sound-off, a caller said it would have been better if Glenn McCoy would have included state Rep. Eddie Jackson, state Sen. James Clayborne and St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern dipping their toes into the (Illinois political) swamp, too. Well, those three individuals actually are in the cartoon but you just can't see them because they're below the surface.
McCoy goes too far
Belleville News-Democrat cartoonist Glenn McCoy has no shame. He's a very hateful person. I agree with letter writer Karen Busch about the cartoon on Election Day; the Nov. 17 cartoon is equally hateful. He's going overboard.
Cartoon based on fact
Letter writer Karen Busch should try harder to keep up on the issues and topics. She lambastes Glenn McCoy for a new low for the cartoon that shows President Obama as hope before the campaign and revenge in 2012. The fact is Valerie Jarrett, an advisor to Obama, said that the people who do not stand with the administration before the election will be punished after the election.
Tell us the why, also
When Belleville aldermen vote no on city issues, each alderman's reason for voting should be printed and not just that they voted no. The public is not being informed and it's not fair to the aldermen. The reporter only reports one side.
Criticism is off base
I appreciate letter writer Richard Yesley's opinion as we have freedom of speech in America. However, his lambasting of Sen. John McCain in coming out about the Benghazi debacle is just wrong. The fact is the difference between Sept. 11 and this debacle is that both of the presidents are to blame. Yet President Bush never came out with an excuse; he dealt with the situation, called it for what it was and went forward. President Obama still has not called it terrorism openly until he was called out to do so. Obama is more of a narrator in chief instead of a leader.
Not a money-maker
I get so tired of hearing that the U.S. Postal Service is in debt. It was never set up to make money. It is a service to the people. Instead of getting rid of carriers and clerks, get rid of more of the bosses and do away with the yearly bonus checks that the postmasters get but don't deserve. The clerks and carriers do all the work anyway.
Needed: New slogan
I glanced at my license plates recently and they said "Land of Lincoln." That is way outdated. I bet most people who voted in 2012 don't even know who Lincoln was or what he did. Times have changed and we need a new state slogan. Rather than focus on $80 billion of unfunded pension liabilities, I think most Illinois voters will agree that updating our state slogan should be the top priority of the reelected Democrats. We could always pay higher taxes and borrow more cash for pensions.
Not St. Jacob's issue
Why should the taxpayers of St Jacob pay for the city attorney to represent one of the parties in a neighbor dispute over a fence? This is a private matter between neighbors and the village should have no involvement unless it provides attorneys for each side. Could it be because the represented side lives across the alley from the mayor?
Got time to work?
I guess the people sitting outside of Best Buy for days waiting for a black Friday deal must be well off enough that they don't have to work. How can they afford the deal if they are sitting out there and not going to their jobs? Is sitting there wasting their life away really going to save that much money?
With the Democrats firmly in charge in the state legislature, I can guarantee that the pension funding crisis will be kicked over to the local school districts. They will have the choice of making cuts in their budgets to manage this new expense or they will pass it on to the taxpayers in the form of higher property taxes. School administrators and board members should take note that the taxpayers will come together to buy the tar and feathers and lend a hand to hoist the rail to run them out of town if they make the wrong choice.
Two bills too many
The city of East St. Louis and the American Bottoms are going together to charge the people of East St. Louis twice for water and sewer when it's supposed to be one bill. We haven't voted on any of this and this is infringing on the people of East St. Louis and the senior citizens and we don't like this at all.
Happy gas gouging
It's another holiday and an opportunity for the gas companies to gouge us again. On a recent morning, fuel in Missouri was $3.04 and by afternoon it was $3.29. In Collinsville that morning fuel was $3.30 and by afternoon it was $3.49. Something needs to be done about this. The gas companies are purposely raising prices because they know people are traveling during the holiday. That is nothing but gouging the public.
Better way to borrow
I wonder if the people who are borrowing money from these car title loan companies realize that if they have the title to a car, they have collateral, an asset that can be put up for a loan anywhere. A bank, credit union or a small loan company would charge much lower interest than a car title loan companies. So if you'd like to borrow some money and pay only 12 to 15 percent interest instead of 3,000 percent, I suggest you first check with a bank, credit union or loan company. Car title companies are vultures.
Check your headlights
I was driving through the dense fog on Wednesday and about one-third of drivers didn't have their headlights on. I assume they feel they can see the other drivers even in the fog so they must also assume the other drivers can see them. In addition, when it rains, many drivers have their windshield wipers on but don't turn on their lights. I presume these drivers don't know the Rules of the Road. The police in the Belleville/O'Fallon area could certainly get a lot of extra revenue for their communities if they charged a $50 fine for each arrest.
Would someone in Cahokia with authority please explain why a person from the Police Department came to my home asking if I had voted and did I find any discrepancies? It was weird, totally strange and out of line. If I felt any discrepancy took place, I would have reported it. I just felt it was wrong on so many levels. What's the deal?
Look for the U.S. label
A recent Sound-off caller insinuates that all union men in this country wear a certain brand of insulated clothes made in another country. Well, most of us wear Carhartt's and they are still made in America. Look for the label when you buy. The caller also claims that unions should be the ones boycotting companies that make goods overseas. It's the duty of every citizen to make sure he buys American goods and boycotts these companies that send jobs overseas.
Unions still strong
In a recent letter a writer, who seems to have a vendetta against unions, wrote that unions have lost their power and ability to hold companies hostage for better benefits. He should have included an exception in that teachers unions, as well as building trades and construction workers unions, are very much alive and extremely powerful.
Use a one-way ticket
WOW, President Obama did not wait long for his first new vacation as president. He went to Myanmar working to improve our diplomatic relationship with this powerhouse of a country. Sure he did, and where the heck is Myanmar? I would vote to allow him to transfer his presidency from Washington to Myanmar in a heartbeat,no questions asked, all expenses paid, one way only. What a joke. America re-elects the worst president in U.S. history -- no record, no budget proposed, no plan, no progress. For the people who voted for Obama: What were you thinking?
Stop the whining
I know the recent presidential election had a huge negative impact on individuals as well as families. I, too, was negatively impacted by the outcome of the election n that I now have to read the letters in the BND, week after week for the next four years, written by Republicans who continue to whine about the outcome. The election is over so the Republicans need to get over it. The Republican Party is out of touch with reality and that is why its candidates lost the election.
Lucky to be working
Concerning the woman who was in the medical field and whining about having to take care of 15 to 18 patients: She offered some suggestions to make her job easier. I have a few suggestions: Quit whining, find another job, or retire. She should be grateful she is employed.
Help for the homeless
Why doesn't the Rev. Larry Rice humble himself before the Lord, sell his self-glorifying TV station and do God's work here, too? Turner Hall in Belle-ville has the potential for four shops on the first level and housing upstairs for homeless people who could work in the shops. It could be a self-supporting situation, eliminating the need for government assistance.
How much was grant?
A recent BND article stated, "O'Fallon steps up patrols during the holidays." It is paid for by a grant from a state that is flat broke and very much in debt. The paper always says the state is paying for these roadblocks. Could the BND please tell us taxpayers the amount of money these grants are? It is only fair that we know how much we are paying for us to be policed.