Sound-off 5/13

May 12, 2013 

Is county included?

So St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern is pushing to have the owners of buildings with graffiti fined if they don't remove it in a certain amount of time. Does that mean that he is going throughout the county and removing all the graffiti that is on county-owned property? If that's the case, he needs to go to Cahokia and start cleaning under the overpasses. Remember, if that isn't removed in a certain amount of time, the county will be fined. Why doesn't he start taking care of real issues like roads and the removal of burned-out houses.

Set up victims fund

Only in St. Clair County could victims be responsible for the criminal behavior of others such as the new law on graffiti removal by the property owner. Maybe a better approach would be to take money seized through drug crimes to compensate the owners for this expense. Also to prevent this in the first place, police should be in continuous patrol in the affected areas instead of jawboning with their brothers in blue in parking lots and doughnut shops.

Let vandals pay

Property owners are victims of gang tagging graffiti. The gang that committed the crime should be forced to remove the graffiti, not the victims.

Taxes still booming

Your story, "Economy's rebound slow as molasses", reported that home sales have been inching upward, not soaring upward. Then, how does St. Clair County authorize the over four percent tax increase for the residents of four cities including O'Fallon? This is terrible.

Go out gracefully

Caseyville wants and needs change. Why can't Mayor George Chance be content to step down and be remembered for some of the good things that were accomplished the past 20 plus years? Instead, he will be remembered as a sore loser. Now he expects his friend St. Clair County Clerk Bob Delaney to "find" him enough votes to win in a full election recount. Why not say it's been a good ride and bow out gracefully?

Not worth $15 wage

Fast food workers want $15 an hour? Now I've heard everything. These are minimum wage jobs that require little or no experience. They knew what the pay was when they were hired and if they didn't like the pay, they should have gotten a different job. They can't expect these companies to pay them a ridiculous wage because they are too lazy to pound the pavement and find something else.

Fuel for the economy

By not supporting a higher minimum wage, business is shooting itself in the foot. The economy grows when customers have disposable income that allows them to buy their wants instead of just their needs. Low wages force individuals to become survivors instead of consumers. In other words, they buy very little, which leads to few customers in stores. Instead of blaming wages for the down economy, blame those entities that represent the needs of society -- oil and utility companies with ridiculous profit margins, outrageous property taxes and a health care system that has absolutely no limit to its greed.

Government at work

So Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn told reporters, "We cannot allow big utilities to take over and run roughshod over families and business in our state." Of course he can't allow that. It is the job of the state to run roughshod over families and businesses.

Values are our basis

In response to the Sound-off, "Won't be terrorized", the Tea Party is not a domestic terror organization as Occupy Wall Street demonstrators are, and if it weren't for Christian values and the founding of this country on those values, this country would not have made it as far as it has. If you don't like the Christian values that this country was adopted on, move to a Muslim country and try to spread your hate about religion there. See how far it gets you.

Don't like? Don't read

To the people who call in to complain about Glenn McCoy's cartoons, no one is forcing people to read them. Don't look at them, it's just that simple.

Betrayal of America

I'd like to hear from other Americans about how they feel about our president going to other countries blaming Americans for the drug and gun issues that those countries have. That is betraying American citizens.

Odd judge of morality

So a prestigious law firm runs a big advertisement in your Sunday newspaper proclaiming that there is nothing wrong with unmarried people living together and making babies out of wedlock. Really? Since when did lawyers become the arbiters of morals and decency in our society? Right and wrong are transcendent values not determined by human opinions but by almighty God.

Insulting to Obama

The cartoon last Monday depicts our president as a monkey. I am terribly frustrated at how disrespectful these cartoons are to our commander in chief.

Township eye-openers

For a fun time, get on YouTube and watch the Caseyville Township board meetings. Talk about the gang that couldn't shoot straight. The man doing the filming had to explain the Open Meetings Act to the board and its lawyer when he asked if they taped meetings as required by law. They did not know. The sewer boss gets very defensive and angry if he is asked a question and the board sits there and seem to do nothing. Maybe they don't want the public to know how they operate -- or maybe they just don't know what they're doing.

Test on emissions

I wish someone would look into Illinois emissions testing. How much is the state spending on that? They don't have money to keep the Murray Center open but they can keep the emissions centers. And why do just certain people have to do it? When I complained, they said I shouldn't care because it is free. No it isn't. We, the taxpayers, are paying for this stupid, inconvenient thing. And when your car is so old that it would be more likely to pollute the air, you don't have to get them examined anymore.

Scandal averted

Georgia Hillyer's article covering the May 6 O'Fallon City Council meeting stated that the council gave final approval for the sale of an 8.2-acre tract on Kyle Road to a local company that intends to build homes on the parcel. The devil is in the details. The city originally planned a no-bid sale to the same company for $60,000 less than later paid. It wasn't until a nearby property owner raised a red flag that the city backtracked on the no-bid sale and elected to go with public bidding. I don't fault the buyer for trying to get the most bang for his buck, but I have to wonder why the same logic didn't prevail with the city representing us taxpayers.

Parking abused

You have to wonder if people have a conscience these days. One of my neighbors has a handicapped sticker for his vehicles. He golfs, mows the lawn and plays ball but he parks in the places reserved for the handicapped. The doctors hand these out like they are candy. They should put a stop to it because the people who actually need it have to park far away because there are no handicapped places left for them.

This is art?

After seeing the photos in the newspaper about the sculptures being put in the Bicentennial Park in Belleville, I have a good idea for another item to be included there. Please move that hideous high heel that sits on West Main Street and get it out of the sight of everyone who drives by there. Some nice shrubs and flowers would be an improvement of that site.

Lying or incompetent?

As more information comes out in the Benghazi hearings, it's becoming very apparent that in the aftermath and the statements the White House puts out, either one of two scenarios is possible: A, they lied to the American people when they initially said this was not terrorism but rather a demonstration or B, they are incompetent and they didn't understand what was going on. Either way, it's not good news for President Obama and his administration.

Change Constitution

The controversy surrounding Illinois' pension crisis is complicated by the fact that nothing can be done because the state Constitution is not completely understandable. All they are trying to do is apply a Band-aid. Why not take the time necessary and just amend the Constitution to straighten out this pension mess? All we will need then is someone with the conviction to do it.

Lights, lights, lights

Years ago the Illinois legislature recognized that driving a vehicle in rain without lights constituted a danger and required drivers to have their lights on when the windshield wipers are operating. Many people have not gotten that message. This makes them invisible to other drivers. I recommend that the local municipalities start enforcing this law immediately. It's a great way to increase safety and also put money into local coffers. They should also start with their own police officers since many of them do not appear to be aware of the state law.

Lawyers cash in

I see that there is now a class action lawsuit against Schnucks for their customers' credit and debit card information theft. This is what's wrong with America. Schnucks made a mistake and will pay for that through lost business. This law firm is talking greedy people into suing Schnuck's. The lawyer is going to make millions of dollars and the class will get a pittance. What we will all get, though, are increased costs at Schnucks to pay for this lawsuit.

Repay the pensions

Free money, interest- free money and you never have to pay it back. Absurd. Obviously, though, this was the mind-set of Illinois regarding the state employees pension fund. If I borrow money at the bank, I have to sign on the dotted line stating that I will repay all of the money with interest. What if I spent all of the money and then told the bank that I would not repay the loan and I would take money from their employees to help pay back my loan? Every resident of Illinois benefited from the use of the money that the state took out of the pension fund, whether is was used for roads, services or just paying bills.Therefore, everyone in the state is responsible for replenishing the fund -- even if it takes tax increases. The state employees should not be punished for the loss in which every citizen benefited.

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