Our readers let us know what they're thinking in this week's Sound-Off, where callers or e-mailers leave us messages.
Chance of a reward
I may have missed it in the paper but I'm curious about what kind of plum county or state job the Democratic Party of St. Clair County will bestow the ousted Caseyville Mayor George Chance. If it hasn't been in the paper, keep watching for it because I guarantee they are going to take care of their buddy.
Good sports at BND
Kudos to the Belleville News-Democrat for the amount of sports coverage it gives to the young girls and women in the metro-east area. It's so unusual to see so much coverage being given to female athletics. Congratulations again News-Democrat. Keep up the good work.
This shoe fits just fine
The Sound-off person who was complaining about the shoe sculpture in downtown Belleville is someone who probably never gets past Sixth Street, never shops, dines or goes to a movie downtown. I love the red shoe. It is unique in design; I've never seen anything like it anywhere. For all those who don't remember, it is a tribute to Delilah and her campaign to paint the town. She came here and participated in all the festivities that weekend, she loves red shoes, and, hello, it's a fitting tribute to her. I'd like to see more folks who like the shoe call or write in. Sometimes to say nothing is interpreted that you agree with the naysayers. Maybe when the empty corner is cleared and they can't figure out what to put there, the shoe could be moved there next to a sitting area. Hey, I loved Buddy Epsen and "The Beverly Hillbillies," but who remembers him now? How about the News-Democrat take a poll?
Congrats to doctor
Congratulations to Dr. Savoy Brummer, Memorial Hospital's Emergency Department director, who received the ED Medical Director of the Year award. I was in town last year and had a broken bone. I went to Memorial where the service was incredibly fast and Brummer came in to see me. Because I was an out-of-towner and didn't have an orthopedist, he arranged for a local orthopedist to see me. Now that's what I call service. In my mind Dr. Brummer's award is extremely well deserved.
Welcome to reality
I have just a few comments to all high school graduates. While your mommy and daddy may think you are very special, the rest of the world does not. Realize that the thousands of dollars you borrow for a college degree will not guarantee you a job. Consider instead a blue-collar trade that will at least allow you to pay your own bills and quit leeching off your parents. If you join the military, please recognize that in exchange for a steady paycheck, training and benefits, you may be killed and be required to do the same. And, one final point: Playing with your cell phone 24-7 is no way to go through life.
Don't ignore smoke
Regarding the article about Debra Moore, the St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department director: if one person says something negative, it's a personality conflict. If many, many people say the same thing, it must be true or have some fact. She needs to go. Revamping of the whole system needs to happen. Stop using the racial card.
There are laws that patrons of a tavern can't smoke in front of the property but they can walk next door and smoke in front of someone else's. Another stupid law.
Pay, but no benefits
The May 21 front-page story announced that the Belleville City Council approved the appointment of Garrett Hoerner as city attorney. He is already a partner in a Belleville law firm that I'm sure provides excellent health benefits and pensions. He will get $109,000 a year as city attorney but he hasn't decided whether he will participate in the city's healthcare and pension plans. This is outrageous. Pay the guy $109,000 and tell him his healthcare and pension are on his own. Something's wrong with the way this city is run.
The lunch bill is paid
Speaker Mike Madigan's comments about the state's pension contribution to the education sector as being a free lunch only proves he is delusional and should be removed from office immediately. Not only have the taxpayers paid money for this express purpose over the past years, it was he and his fellow lawmakers who stole this money for their own corrupt, self-serving interests. Any lawmaker who shifts this debt from the state to the local districts should be recalled from office, tarred and feathered and run out of the state.
Good for a smile
Rich Sauget has done it again. Should his Gateway Grizzlies lose a game, mascot Izzy the Grizzly no longer will be a forlorn figure of frustration. The introduction of Lizzy the Grizzly with pink nails and all at the recent Gateway home opener should guarantee smiles forever.
Not in touch with us
I have no opinion one way or the other on gay marriage, but I find it somewhat humorous that Rep. Eddie Lee Jackson represents the voters in his district with his opinion. Living in Freeburg all my life, I cannot recall any attempts by him to meet with the residents on this or any other issue. To be completely fair, this behavior is also true for Sen. James Clayborne. So, I have to ask all the residents in the depressed sections of St. Clair County who keep these individuals in office, how's that working out for you?
The electric and gas bills compare usage with last year at this time. It's great because as a consumer, you can see if you are making an effort to save and also see if there might be a problem. I would like to see the O'Fallon Water Department do this kind of comparison.
It's all about the vote
Here we are near a deadline and instead of coming to a solution on how to control this enormous debt and pay the bills that are due, our Democratic-controlled legislature is two things that don't even need to be debated: the people's right to carry a gun and gay marriage. Get down to brass tacks. Why do the people in this state and especially in this county keep voting these people into office? Do they like their free stuff so much that they are willing to sacrifice everything?
Don't blame victims
From this male's perspective, the letter from Ira L. Davis on May 18 implies that if a woman is raped, she is responsible in part for the attack. A woman can wear, do or say anything or go anyplace she wants and if attacked, it is 100 percent the fault of the attacker.
City's doing a good job
A lot of old-timers continue to call in to complain about ridiculous things when Belleville city leaders are doing the best they can to provide a safe and happy environment for the good residents of Belleville. Lindenwood University is a good example of a success that was made from a failure. They should be complimented for everything they do to help it grow. It's one of the great things about Belleville and should be acknowledged as such. We could have another Lindenwood here and we'd still be better off than we are with the slumlords who keep so many of the citizens in the poorer areas trapped in improperly managed housing.
Look who's talking
A week or so ago letter writer Kevin Gagen called Republicans "right-wing radical nutcases."If he looks at every state that's run by Democrats, they are all upside down in financial trouble. In the states run by Republican governors, it's a totally opposite story. They are all thriving. Take a look at Illinois, which has been run by Chicago and St. Clair County Democrats all these years. It is a fiscal mess. Liberals are the people who want and have gotten approval for illegal aliens to get Social Security, health care and other types of payments so they can come here and live for nothing. The liberals are against concealed carry in Illinois and everything else that normal, decent, good citizens of this country are for.
Let the city pay
Hank's Excavating tore down two privately-owned buildings in Belleville without a written contract, so let the company collect its fees from Mayor Mark Eckert, who hired him. Why isn't the mayor sentenced to five months in jail or $3,000 fine and a special $100 assessment like the man from Lebanon. By the way where was Belleville's then attorney Robert Sprague? Why wasn't he consulted? Where is the investigation into who burned the buildings?
Enough of Chicago
I'm thinking about what a great state this would be if we didn't have Chicago. We would have decent governors who would live in the capital of Springfield, a House and Senate that wasn't dominated by socialists from Chicago, lower taxes, less debt, a viable state pension system, schools without financial problems, a right to carry gun law, etc. We've always had the worst governors come from Chicago and now we have the worst president ever. Living in Southern Illinois and being dominated by the corruption of that place is more than a person can stand.
Your editorial on Thursday, "Standing on principle," got it partially right, as usual. Yes, state Rep. Eddie Jackson's constituents are calling him and wanting him to reverse his stand on gay marriage. However, Jackson's constituents are being robot-called from a coalition of black ministers from Chicago who are urging them to call Jackson to change his vote. So, rather than just being a grass roots thing, if he does change his position, it will be because of yet more pressure from idiots in Chicago trying to force their way on people in Southern Illinois.
There in a disaster
I'd like to thank all of these foreign countries that we have aided in the past through natural disasters or wars for coming to our rescue after the devastating tornado hit Oklahoma with money, supplies, workers, and machinery. I would especially like to thank Kuwait, one of the richest countries in the world, which we saved from Saddam Hussein. Thanks for paying us back for what we've done for you.
Punish, don't enable
If the male students at Althoff High School who allegedly took locker room photos of female students are proven guilty, they need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, including serving jail time. Slap-on-the-wrist sentences encourage and enable others to commit similar crimes.
Have law apply to all
Most cops in Edwardsville probably are responsible and law-abiding. It's amazing, though, how often you see some of them drive maybe 10 miles above the posted limit (without lights or sirens), how often you see them engage in improper lane usage, how often you see some of them roll through stop signs. These are bad examples for teenage drivers as well as everyone else and it's unsafe behavior. There's no reason police shouldn't be expected to obey simple traffic laws when they are not responding to an emergency.
Keep school bands
Responding to the Sound-off, "Drum out the bands," all I can say is: Boo hoo hoo to you. Buddy, get a life; welcome to the real world.