King Kern takes knight

August 8, 2013 

Who knew that St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern was a proud member of his high school chess club?!? It must be, because he just executed a masterful move to vanquish the offensive against Castle MidAmerica.

When his fellow Democrat, County Board member Frank Heiligenstein, stepped out of line and had the bravado to seek his elected responsibility for the decisions and spending related to MidAmerica Airport, Kern's response was swift. He removed Heiligenstein as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, where he has served since 1976 and offered for free his professional expertise on writing county codes.

Guess taxpayers will be paying for those services now that we tossed the guy doing it for free.

But the much bigger loss for taxpayers, and gain for Kern, is to stop the revolt by making sure there is no internal scrutiny of the millions annually in deficit spending to prop up the airport. He also removed the sole Republican from the committee hearing the Heiligenstein & Co. proposal to take airport control from the Public Building Commission and place it under the elected County Board. Kern gets to keep his appointees in place and throwing money at anyone -- anyone -- willing to conjure up some scheme to use that airport.

Too bad that we taxpayers seem to be finding ourselves as the opponent in Kern's game of chess. We just lost our knights and bishops.

Are we being too subtle? Want to know what we really think? Sorry, we don't think we're available for comment.

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