The people who oppose the North Ruby Lane interchange in Fairview Heights are awake and watching our aldermen very closely. The aldermen will state that this location is not their choice. They are settling. This will do little for the city. Fairview Heights needs a full interchange to enhance the city and the region. People worried about a city property tax need to have their aldermen explain how they are going to catch up with the police retirement fund within the city.
City gets passed by
O'Fallon is getting a new interchange next year and planning for lots of new commerce to be built around it. Fairview Heights continues to lose its commerce to O'Fallon and Shiloh. Fairview was once the shopping mecca for Southern Illinois. Fairview took it from Belleville decades ago and now O'Fallon-Shiloh is progressively taking it from us. Fairview's growth and ability to pay its bills is built on sales tax. Without it, the city will decay and become the new East St. Louis. Thank the opponents of the proposed North Ruby interchange for what will happen to our city and our home values in the next few years.
Get ready for new tax
A Fairview Heights school district is going bankrupt and wants a higher property tax. Add to that the city seems to have capitulated to a dozen homeowners who don't want a North Ruby interchange. Also the Fairview Heights Chamber of Commerce is disbanding. I guess we don't need a chamber when the city's retail leaves for other areas. So the next thing we'll hear is that the city needs a a property tax because it as lost too much retail.
Streets in bad shape
I can understand why St. Elizabeth's Hospital wants to leave Belleville. The streets around the hospital are atrocious, especially Centreville Avenue. When is the mayor going to fix these streets? I bet the Belleville mayoral candidate who addresses this issue will probably win a lot of votes in the election.
Look who's talking
I read that U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis disagreed with President Obama's State of the Union speech and said talk is cheap. If talk is so cheap, why didn't Davis help with the ethics investigation of fellow Republican Rep. Aaron Shock? Davis was listed in the investigation as a non- cooperating witness. Davis needs to start talking.
More trash than ever
In O'Fallon apparently twice as many trash and recycling bins at the curb means twice as much trash in the street. The problem of smaller items blowing around has only increased since recycling service was added. This seems the opposite of what trash collection and recycling was designed to accomplish.
Make some noise
The Sound-off caller on the proposed Fairview "no-knock" ordinance is wise not to open her door to strangers. However, burglars prefer to target unoccupied residences and if no one responds, it is further evidence that no one may be at home. If you are home, let the person know that you are home by turning on the TV or a light. Do not talk through the door if you are an elderly lady, although you can shout out a man's name to go see who's at the door. It is almost guaranteed that the burglar will leave. They want your property, not a fight during which they might even be shot.
A choice to be poor
Will Buss's story on Feb. 11 highlighted the phenomena of poverty by choice rather than by unforeseen circumstances. I was angered rather than moved by Quanyshia Wooten's story. A single mother of two struggling financially simply has no business becoming a single mother of three. Sadly, all three of her children will unnecessarily face the challenges of growing up poor. We've allowed a safety net of last resort to become a method of subsidizing those who can't afford the cost of their own actions.
Space for a shelter
Instead of Belleville turning the property at West Main Street and Illinois 157 into green space, turn it into a homeless shelter. Why are we decorating the entrance to East St. Louis?
Too expensive to stay
Wow. The Rams football team wants $700 million in upgrades to the stadium paid by the taxpayers. I think the Rams need to head back to California. Maybe the high-class taxpayers in California would pay that to have them back. This is ridiculous. Bye, bye Rams.
Paid to stay home
The St. Clair County Sheriff's Department suspended JoAnn Reed with pay for sneaking the phone into her niece who was in the Alorton Jail. Where's the punishment in that? I realize she's innocent until proven guilty, but wouldn't it make more sense to withhold pay until the case is decided? If she's found guilty, will she have to pay back that money or does she just get a paid vacation?
To the point on TIFs
Thank you, Belleville News-Democrat, for the point-counterpoint on tax increment financing in Belleville. It truly is appreciated. I hope everyone reads them. Alderman and mayoral candidate Joe Hayden says it like it is.
Keep it legal
I have been reading that people complain about the references to illegal aliens. The fact is, if they do not go through the process that is prescribed under U.S. laws to enter the country, they are here illegally. So let's call it what it is. The Democrats want to give them citizenship and the right to vote but is that fair to those people who go through the legal process?
I cannot quite understand the concern that the video gambling machines at bars will hurt the area's casinos. First, who cares? This is called competition in the free market, a concept in which consumers will ultimately pick the survivors. Second, at least no TIF, grant or other tax scheme is being forced upon the taxpayers to pay for these enterprises. That cannot be said for other retail businesses, which results in their competitors having to shut their doors. Finally, the concern should be that this extra revenue is used to lower property taxes instead of wasted once more by the state.
Made in the USA
People say you can't find "made in the USA" items. We were in a furniture store recently and nine out of 10 items had a proud "made in the USA" tag. It's just that people aren't willing to pay the price for decent furniture. They would rather buy that overseas junk that falls apart.
Impressed with Kelly
I'm pleased that St. Clair County has a state's attorney who is acting on behalf of the citizens with regard to corruption in local politics, no matter what party. I don't think I have seen this in my lifetime in St. Clair County. State's Attorney Brendan Kelly is a great representative of his party and his generation.
Disgusted by article
Did you ever wonder why so many retired law enforcement officers or fireman end up on the board, because there all in the "good ole boys club" so they get full pensions from the city or county they retire from, then an increase of about $7800 per year added to it by getting on the board. Chairman Dunstan even gets some of his buddies to run as republicans, then once on the board they vote democratic.
Saturday for starters
The U.S. Postal Service is could eliminate Saturday mail delivery as early as August. I say take it a step further; we only need mail delivered three days a week if that. The USPS could reduce the work force considerably and eliminate all benefits because everyone would be a part-time employee.
Keep cleanup going
i cannot thank U.S. Attorney Steve Wigginton enough, Please stay inside and clean up all of Madison County as there is corruption throughout, including in the "good ol' boys club" run by County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan.
Watch the rats scurry
U.S. Attorney Steve Wigginton could spend his life in Madison County cleaning. I would love to be a fly on the wall now, watching all those rats scurrying about, looking for a place to hide.
Songs of justice?
In Madison County the Birds are singing. That rat, former Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon, is ready to sing like a canary now that he got caught. I am sure all the homeowners who were in distress and forced to pay the 18 percent on the delinquent property taxes will feel better at least knowing that Bathon is going to jail and surely will lose his lofty pension. He retired so early to lock into that pension. I hope he sings and sings and all his crooked buddies in Madison County go to jail with him.
History will help GOP
The recent letter from Sandy Boshkoff concerning President Obama versus "the last Republican president" was totally backward and off track. However, it does vividly point out how the worst president in the history of this great nation was elected then re-elected. Pretty sad for us all, to be truthful. Anyone wishing to research the true facts can access the historical data on the Web, but people like Obama, the clueless Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are counting on people not to do that. History will show progress took place when Republicans controlled Congress and regression took place when Demo-crats did. Case in point Bill Clinton's second term versus his first term. Go ahead, do the research.
Fill in the taxpayers
So Wagner Buick in Belleville is saying goodbye.They were great owners. Now to the business. Are they planning on paying their loans back to the taxpayers? Or are the taxpayers duped again? I don't think I read that in the article. As a condition of the sale, the city, county and state should require all money owed to the taxpayer be repaid immediately. Maybe owner Rusty Wagner is already going to do this. BND, let's ask.
A lesson in sharing
The financial hemorrhaging in Illinois has caused delayed payments to public schools. As a result, school administrators are talking about eliminating programs like band, sports and physical eduction classes, closing and consolidating schools, and enlarging class sizes, which does not set well with teachers. They mention everything but frozen wages for teachers and administrators. I would really like someone to explain why teachers think they are so special. They are paid to provide a service just like many millions of Americans. Their pension fund is part of the reason Illinois is failing financially. Teachers are a legend in their own minds. They have a pretty good deal for working only nine months each year.
Enforce firearms laws
News articles regarding the criminals arrested for the armed holdup at an East St. Louis church list numerous charges against them including armed robbery, possession of a controlled substance, stolen vehicle possession and obstruction of justice. What's missing are the firearms laws that were violated. Among those would be FOID violations, possession of a firearm by a felon, underage possession and use of a firearm in the commission of a crime. Why create more firearms laws if the laws already in place are not being used?