Sound-off 6/17

June 16, 2013 

I read in the BND that the Belleville city attorneys who work for private law firms are trying to get IMRF retirement. These people don't work for the local government, they work for private law firms. Maybe this is why Illinois is broke. Shame on Mayor Mark Eckert for supporting this. My buddy works for a company that cleans the courthouse at night, 40 hours a week.

Why doesn't he get a pension?

Test for drugs ...

I see that St. Clair County Chief Judge Baricevic doesn't think it is necessary that the judges here be drug tested. One might think that given the recent drug problems with judges under his supervision that he would be leading the effort to make sure there are no other offenders. Baricevic should be pulling out all the stops to demonstrate to his constituents that this is a county ruled by laws and the lawbreakers have no place in the judicial system except behind bars.

... Start at the top

A lot people think we should make drug tests mandatory for people on welfare. Looks like we need to start a lot higher up the food chain.

Priority: Education

As a taxpayer it really upsets me that the Cahokia School District is putting sports over education. Classes will be overcrowded due to the elimination of teaching positions and the closing of schools. The academic center, which is attached to the board building, will not be used for classes but to expand offices for administrative employees.

Deprived of news

Some of us don't have a computer at home so when your newspaper directs us to go to the BND website to read things like the salaries of the teachers and police department, we miss out on this news. This should be printed in the newspaper for all to read.

Homicide charges?

Why haven't former St. Clair County Judge Michael Cook or former probation officer James Fogarty been charged with homicide as others in our area have been when they participated in a death caused by a drug overdose?

Glad for Wigginton

I'm surprised by a statement in your June 10 Sound-off column entitled "Why so surprised". The caller doesn't know that U.S. Attorney Steve Wiggington was not appointed by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin. U.S. attorneys are appointed by President Barack Obama. So for all of the disdain that many BND readers have for our president, give him credit for having the judicial discernment to appoint someone so intent on exposing corruption in Belleville.

Expungement for all

I read that St. Clair County Judge Baricevic dismissed a charge against retired Judge Michael O'Malley's daughter. The article said her case has been expunged. I had a speeding ticket in 1995 and if I go to the county website, that speeding ticket is still on there. I wonder how I can get that 1995 speeding ticket expunged? Shouldn't I have the same right as the O'Malley family?

Help close to home

I think it is just fine that members of the United Church of Christ are going to help the people in North Dakota. But why do they go so far? Why can't they help the people in Illinois or Missouri or the flood victims around here? I have seen this go on before and this is a vacation trip and party time for these people. Why don't they help the local people who are struggling? Let the people in North Dakota help their people.

No money to pay

How can the new mayor of Washington Park, Ann Rogers, hire Ray Coleman as a consultant and appoint a new chief of police with a two-year contract at $56,000 a year when the village can't even pay its bills and payroll? That's approximately $15,000 more than the salary of the last chief.

Jobs for citizens first

The CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce stated that we need immigration reform because America's population has declined. If we really need it, why don't we wait until we get unemployment down to 4.5 percent? We have millions of people who are not working today or or working at low-paying jobs. If we have more immigration to fill those jobs, it just means that Americans are going to be looking for work even longer than they are now. So, we need to put some stipulations into a bill that those policies go into effect only in periods of low unemployment.

Flat tax, anyone?

I totally disagree with the article stating that we should give the IRS more money. We need to disband the IRS and start over from the beginning. If we did a flat tax, we would only need a few people using a personal laptop to look at what your income is and how much tax you pay. Giving them more money is the liberal answer to everything.

Get back to eyesores

A few years ago the BND ran a series of articles and photos on homes and businesses in the area that were in disrepair or neglect. I think you need to bring back this series. Just take a drive through Belleville and look at the homes and businesses that need to be cleaned up. Something should be done about homeowners and landlords who do not take care of their property. If something doesn't address these issues, more people than ever will be moving out of Belleville.

Corruption defined

When we moved here from Chicago, our son soon became involved in the drug culture. Although it was his fault, it sure doesn't help to have judges and other public officials who are guilty of the same thing and worse. Oh, and all you native Southern Illinois folks, please cease with the references to "Chicago style" political corruption. St. Clair County may soon eclipse Chicago's reputation.

Drive smart to be fast

I got a kick out of the man-on-the-street interviews of the people who think they drive fast and the innocence and ignorance of youths to think that the trick is not to get a ticket. There is a truism that you learn over the years that it takes more than driving fast to be a fast driver. A fast driver times the lights and doesn't have to brake at every stoplight. He knows all the alternate ways to get someplace without getting caught in traffic. A fast driver knows how to get the most out of his car instead of wearing out the brakes and using up the gas unnecessarily. So on any trip of more than 100 miles, I can guarantee that I would be there 30 minutes before the best fast driver you can find on the street.

So long to insurance

I worked for 27 years as a Peabody Coal underground employee at River King and Marissa mines. We always had wonderful health care and prescription coverage including when I retired. I have lung cancer and on July 1, I will have no health care with Peabody. The company passed all of us retirees on to a failing Patriot Coal Co., which has filed for bankruptcy. The judge has allowed all of us to be tossed aside like trash. Is this fair?

Check this pension

Stookey Township Supervisor David Bone is in the state pension system but he doesn't hold any township office hours and he works full time as an attorney. There is no way he is working 1,000 hours per year to qualify for being in the pension system. The Stookey Board of Trustees needs to ask the Illinois Municipal Retirement System to revoke the supervisor's participation in the pension system.

Meaningless signs

I know a good way for Illinois to save a little money. Stop installing the signs under the handicapped parking signs that read, "$250 fine." I have yet to see an officer write a ticket to anyone who parks in those spaces without plates or placards. I pointed out violations to officers at two different stores and was told that they didn't have time then to look into it. That proves the sign is a waste of money.

Too busy to signal

I have noticed that only about 20 percent of drivers use directional signals. This is not only rude but it is dangerous. I think I know the reason why these signals aren't being used. It's very awkward to turn them on with one hand on the steering wheel and the other holding a cell phone.

Corruption costs us

I am sick to death of the politicians running Illinois and St. Clair County. It is corruption at its worst. Also, the state of Illinois employees and retirees will be lucky if any doctor will treat you. I work for a doctor and was told a couple of weeks ago that the state will not pay for these patients until after 40 weeks instead of 23 weeks. How can anyone's business thrive with the state paying doctors almost a year late?

Cut deeper in Cahokia

I read that Cahokia School District 187 is closing some of its schools. They have about 4,200 students, 600 employees and a $60 million annual budget. I wonder how many of these 600 employees are relatives of village trustees or school board members? This is terrible. There should surely be a lot more cuts than just closing a few schools.

Isn't TIF grand?

Ben's owner John Conkright has wanted the buildings at 116-120 E. Main St. for more than 25 years. Isn't he the lucky one to have such a generous city to indirectly buy them for him?

Easy to keep track

I can solve the situation with the hundreds of missing computers from the SIUE. Check them in and out to people and departments. If they are missing, the individual, teacher or aide is responsible for them. If it is missing from a department, the department head is responsible and it comes out of his budget. Heaven forbid if a student doesn't return his textbook.

Where's that oil?

Remember when the Bush administration kept telling us that one of the benefits of rescuing Iraq from Saddam Hussein would be that we would get more oil from them? It turns out that we saved their butts and now China is getting 50 percent of the oil they produce and the price of oil is raised worldwide because it cuts the supply. On the other hand, we haven't built a new refinery since 1973 and big oil doesn't intend to spend any more money as long as they can keep charging us way too much money. We're so gullible that we stand for this kind of thing and look for the next war to get into.

Skewing the news

Regardless of who is guilty in the Trayvon Martin shooting, if the shooter had been black it wouldn't have made the fifth page of the local paper. It happens every day in North St. Louis, East St. Louis and Centreville. Talk about playing the race card.

Win-win situation

I really like the article about St. Clair County prisoners cleaning up East St. Louis. What a great win-win idea. The city gets cleaned up, the men get exercise and it creates self-esteem from s helping their city look better.

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