Fairview Heights has always paid its bills from sales tax proceeds so we do not pay a city property tax, but expect that to change in a few years. The people who oppose a new interchange at North Ruby Lane need to wake up. Once Sports Authority moves to the other side of the interstate, there will be nothing left but empty buildings and that area will continue to blight. Even the restaurants on that side will likely close as there will not be enough traffic. The city needs a new interchange or it will be left behind as more development moves eastward and away from Fairview. Things cannot remain static. In this nation, you adapt and accept change or you stagnate, blight and become last century's news.
Life on the taxpayers
Letter writer Frankie Seaberry says she is against raiding other people's resources but she is in favor of taxing people who work to take care of the people who don't work and her hometown of Centreville is full of them. Seaberry has been living off the public trough for years as a political hack. She says one thing but she surely doesn't practice it.
Buy cars locally
The St. Clair County Sheriff's Department is buying six new patrol cars from an out-of-town dealer in Jacksonville, just like the city of Belleville did. When people complain about the lack of business in St. Clair County, the unemployment rate and everything else, just remember that Belleville and St. Clair County taxes are going to out-of-town, out-of-county businesses instead of to our local dealerships to pay for these cars. Our local businesses pay huge amounts of taxes to support our entire system. So, don't wonder why businesses close up and move away.
Must allow dogs
Criminals love dog-free zones. St. Clair County is proposing to ban pets from St. Ellen Park in O'Fallon. Dogs are beneficial on walking paths as protection for people walking alone. If dogs continue to be welcome in the park, it deters the opportunity for crime. To keep these paths tidy, pet owners in some parks are provided with both bags and the containers to dispose of waste. How smart is that?
A worthy politician
I was raised a Democrat and have voted Democratic all my life, but after reading Republican state Rep. Charles Meier's new bill, if that man decides to run for governor I will campaign door to door for him. The bill would withhold lawmakers' pay until the state catches up its overdue bills. I'm happy there's a politician who is interested in something other than his own self-interests.
Don't pay lawmakers
Do you know any employee who can go to work day after day, year after year, not do his job, provide no results and collect $132 per day for per diem plus about $77,500 per year? Well, folks, state lawmakers are your employees. When are we going to stop paying them until they provide results?
Greed fuels Ameren
Another year and another song and dance by Ameren on why it needs a rate increase. The reality is that this has nothing to do with infrastructure investments but is more about keeping up its profit margin. Most businesses take a portion of their profit to reinvest in their operation. But Ameren believes its customers, otherwise known as suckers, should contribute to this unending appetite of greed. It's time to nationalize this utility.
I received a postcard in the mail last week from the incumbents running for election in Caseyville referring to themselves as "Caseyville First." I agree with this. They were first to get rid of the police dispatchers, first to see the drug store leave town, first to see the grocery store leave town after burning, first to hire a part-time attorney for $76,000 a year, first to have a deficit in the water department but still buy two new trucks. It seems they were first in all the wrong things.
Lights on, please
Do the people who drive their cars in the early morning or into the evening without their lights on understand that it doesn't make any difference if they can see where they are going? They need the lights on so other people can see them and not pull out in front of them or drive into them. I don't even know how they can see the dashboard so they know how fast they're going. Get a clue. It's Driving 101 and it's state law.
In regard to Scott Air Force Base cutting expenses, one thing they could do is to ban any retired Air Force officer, major or above, and enlisted, master sergeant and above, from being able to apply for civilian jobs. When I worked there, more than 50 employees who had retired from these ranks had civilian jobs created just for them. This should stop. They have too many military retired people who are double-dipping.
New leaders needed
The East St. Louis Police Department leadership has failed to provide basic services to the citizens. Recently a Charter worker was robbed and beaten, gunmen entered a church and robbed and terrified all the people in the service, and a UPS worker was robbed and hijacked at gunpoint. Prior to that, two officers were fired for a civil rights violation for forcing a motorist to have sex. To that charge, Chief Michael Floore commented that they were good officers and thought they should only be suspended because the city had paid a lot of money to have them trained. It is time for a change in the leadership of the Police Department.
Free to terrorize
East St. Louis Police Chief Michael Floore told the ministers that if they had been prepared with better security for their churches, the gunmen who robbed the people in the church wouldn't have gotten past the front door. If that statement wasn't so sad it would be laughable. If the city had police patrolling the city, criminals wouldn't think they could just rob a church or business in the first place. It's fair game for criminals to do what they want.
Wait to judge
Caseyville Mayor George Chance does not choose his words to be politically correct. He speaks honestly and from the heart. He has said openly that Police Chief J.D. Roth is his friend and that if the allegations made against him are found to be true, the chief would be fired. Chance and the Village Board acted responsibly by asking an outside agency to investigate the matter. Let's wait until we learn more from the investigation before we pass judgment.
Lunch tab comes due
For letter writer Kevin Gagen and the liberals, everything is a free lunch and everyone has a right to everything and no one needs to pay for it. The problem is that someone does have to pay for it. Liberals want to just tax the rich and everything will be paid for. Health care is a personal responsibility. Free health care is over-used. People on public aid who have a $2 co-pay show up in my office all the time for anything from a runny nose to a cold. But people who have private insurance and a $20 co-pay don't come in for every little thing. And, their $250 co-pay keeps them out of the ER. Go any Saturday night to an ER and you'll see plenty of people on public aid. If you give it away for free, people will abuse it.
A place to call home?
Now that Belleville is saddled with yet another empty building, namely the furniture store at Edgemont, let's donate it and the money set aside to demolish it to the Rev. Larry Rice to use as a homeless shelter.
No to shelter in city
If Belleville decides to put a homeless shelter downtown or anywhere else near homes or families, it will be the last straw. I have watched this town make some bad decisions but this would be the worst for me, my family and about 30,000 other people who live here. I may be an elderly citizen but I'm still a citizen and there are a lot of us who feel the same way. It seems as though the people who have worked hard their whole lives to finally retire in a city they love are being pushed out by a minority of people.
What about the TIF?
Does the sale of Wagner Buick to Oliver C. Joseph violate the tax increment financing agreement in which Belleville gave Rusty Wagner so much money for the dealership to operate for 25 years?
Finances in focus
Kudos to the BND for a month's worth of news stories, opinions and cartoons trying every way possible to inform readers of the financial mess enjoyed by Illinois and the federal government. It won't make any difference, but a few of us still pay attention and it's appreciated. It's clear that no elected politician of either party cares about the $16 trillion U.S. debt or the $96 billion state pension debt. Why is that? I'd like to ask Jerry Costello that question now that he's retired from Congress. Maybe he can let us in on the secret that only politicians know.
A recent letter writer said that the Second Amendment was to form regulated militias to protect state's rights. But that wasn't the Founding Fathers' only concern. We were threatened from within then and we still are now. If you look at the tyrannical leaders of all times, they took away guns from the people. People who are unarmed can be oppressed. The gun debate will go on and probably nothing will come of it. People will still die because of anger, idiocy, mental illness and many other reasons. More people will die of alcohol-related deaths but we don't have a major outcry about that. We need to abide by the Constitution.
Be logical about guns
As a scientist by nature, I gather facts and come to a conclusion. The current gun debate shows how politicians are incapable of this. The second there is gun violence, they claim the problem is the gun. They don't look at what can be done to prevent the violence. The fact is that nothing that the Obama administration is proposing would have changed the outcome of Sandy Hook, Columbine or any of these gun tragedies. Background checks or restrictions on access to guns would not have caught any of these people. The young man who used 20-round magazines at Sandy Hook would have used 10-round magazines and reloaded more often and killed just as many people. We need to stop thinking we know the solutions before we know the problems.
Cost of inaction
Well our legislators have done it again. Now our state's credit rating has dropped again, all because they don't have enough guts to take care of the pension problem. If they would make all employees work to the age of 65 like most of us have to do and when they retire pay for part of their insurance like the majority of people do, we might be able to start paying down our debt.
I want to thank all the people in Illinois who decided to keep the status quo and vote for the Democratic machine. Be prepared to pay a lot more in taxes now that our credit rating has been downgraded to the lowest of any state in the nation. This means we will have to borrow money at a much higher rate than anybody else and guess who will be paying for it? The taxpayers. Keep electing these people and see how long this great state lasts.