Sound-off 8/26

August 25, 2013 

Just grandstanding

Just a couple of questions regarding the recent drug arrests in the metro-east. Where is the state going to put the defendants? The jails and prisons are busting at the seams. How is the state going to pay for their incarceration? Illinois is $100 billion in debt. Criminals know they will serve only a fraction of their sentence because of these factors. So, there is really no deterrent to re- offend. In effect, this drug sweep is nothing more than a headline-grabbing, grandstand action by law enforcement.

Big issues skipped

I am tired of hearing about Gov. Pat Quinn signing into law every useless piece of legislation that's supposed to make Illinois safer. If he really wants to make the state safer for residents, why not stop the use of cell phones while driving? Stop the sale of beer in gas stations? Illinois consumers pay one of the highest gas taxes in the nation yet we have some of the lousiest roads. Why? Because the taxes are being used for things other than roads.

Divided duties

Since St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly is being appointed to a prestigious position in the National District Attorneys Association, does that mean he will have less time to fight local corruption?

It's not their bill

Probably those who are for the sales tax extension in Belleville go to Fair- view Heights anyway to shop.

Follow the money

As guilt-laden Catholics, we can be taken advantage of. Even if we limit how much we send to the diocese. we continue to contribute to our parish thinking that the money is well-spent. But few of us realize that a set percentage of our parish contributions are sent to the diocese, and Bishop Edward Braxton can then take part of that to remodel his kitchen and take unnecessary trips to Africa. The joke is on us. Is it any wonder that our membership is declining?

Who caught whom?

Former Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon (currently just a crook) not long ago lived in a very modest home in Pontoon Beach. But he recently sold his $400,000 home in Edwardsville, quite a step up from Pontoon Beach. Really remarkable that he could do this on a treasurer's salary. So now the big fish that prosecutors caught is carefully steering their attention to others, will most likely do little time. Bathon will feed them a few smaller fish while he sits back counting the money he stole from the taxpayers. Then once paroled he will run off to his Florida home, laughing all the way. I think you get the picture. In this case, it's the fish (Bathon) who caught the fisherman (prosecutors).

High cost of personnel

A recent caller was outraged that the clerks in the Village of Caseyville make $21 per hour. That seems like a lot of money until you learn that most of the St. Clair Township clerks make over $25 per hour. The taxpayers are also paying up to $27,000 per clerk for health insurance. To top things off, the union-endorsed township supervisor, highway commissioner and a majority of board members are likely to maintain these rich benefits.

Worth the paycheck

I am calling in reference to East St. Louis adding five more police officers. Why would a mother and daughter want to be on the same team? It's lucrative business because they get all that overtime. None of those police officers live in East St. Louis or the jailers either. This needs to be investigated.

A tip for the police

I wish the police officers in Cahokia would do a better job of policing speeders and people who run stop signs. They can sit at any intersection and give a multitude of tickets. Good example is right there by Schnucks and Wal-Mart. People are constantly running the stop signs there. Where are the police when we need them?

Let down by board

Well, St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern and MidAmerica Airport Director Tim Cantwell have pulled an Obama on everybody and thrown the County Board members a bone so that they will get back in line and accept a little monthly update on what the non-elected Public Building Commission does with regard to that airport. The board members really disappoint me. I thought they would stand up to Kern and Cantwell and take control away from them. Instead they do what the people who run St. Clair County want them to do. I have no use for any of them.

Poor use of taxes

Madison County politicians decided we needed bike racks everywhere. People don't even let their kids ride bikes outside, they are scared. Why do we need $75,000 worth of bike racks? Couldn't they take that money and put it somewhere else? Maybe put it in the children's museum in Edwardsville? Something like that would make sense. It's just pitiful and a waste.

The price of sewers

How much did all the subdivisions in Belleville and Swansea pay to have sewers? I live in the county. When sewers were put into our subdivision, we had to pay extra to get them.

Agents exposed

I'm calling about the article Aug. 18 about the shooting of agents in East St. Louis. I feel it is in very poor taste and foolish to print the agents' names. Now they are fair game.

Unions show up late

The unions are attacking McDonalds for higher wages. Where were they when car, clothing and shoe manufacturing jobs went to China and Mexico for cheaper labor? Besides that the U.S. took tariffs off of imports. Do you really want to pay $10 for a hamburger? I paid $6 for a 6 oz. bottle of Coke when I was in Europe years ago.

Road fails the test

This is in regard to Magnolia Street and Shady Lane in Chenot Place in Belleville. The road was replaced last year, but the base in the middle is not good. The ground pushed through the rock and it has numerous bad spots. It's a shame for tax dollars to be spent like that. Hole in the streets, sinking places. This was done by St. Clair Township. It was done very poorly. This is an example of tax dollars being wasted.

The final straw?

Your paper is treading on thin ice. Raising rates and shrinking the size of the paper is part of it. Now all the information we can get is picture after picture and story after story of gay people. Their lifestyle is not morally correct and I should not have to see them every day in the paper. There has to be other news. Just keep it up, BND. I've taken your paper for 22 years, are you going to make sure it's not 23?

Save the horses

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has granted permits allowing thousands of American horses to be slaughtered. This is a very gruesome slaughter of defenseless, healthy horses. The American Horse Slaughter Protection Act is now in Congress and could be passed and will stop this massacre. Eighty percent of Americans oppose this needless slaughter of healthy horses. I am outraged and will contact my congressman. I urge other readers to do the same and help save these beautiful animals, the icon of the West, from needless slaughter.

Ask Costello now

It's very obvious that Obamacare is going to end up costing the taxpayers a lot of money. I would like to know, since former congressman Jerry Costello was one of the voters who made this thing possible, what he thinks about it now. I would like to hear what our current Rep. Bill Enyart has to say about it.

Hotline runs cold

Very disappointed in the drug hotline. I witnessed a drug deal, was following the dealer, called the hotline and the voice message said, "Sorry, there's nobody here to take your call now. Don't leave a message because it won't be listened to." Very, very, very disappointed in that system.

Why Belleville cares

The issue with the flooding in the Orchards subdivision in Belleville is another example of who's who in Belleville. I believe that's where former congressman Jerry Costello lives. There's a homeowners association that is responsible; subdivision residents pay fees into that association to take care of problems. Why are city taxpayers being asked to foot the bill for something that should have been looked at before the city even annexed that property. Where is the engineer who designed it? Somebody screwed up the design and who in the Belleville Engineering Department overlooked it?

Job for developer

Who were the developers of the Orchards? Why aren't they being sued instead of Belleville paying for their mistakes as far as the flooding goes?

Our gullible mayor

To give the residents of Belleville a prime example of how their mayor spends their money like water, unnecessarily, and how he gets duped so easily: He gave Wal-Mart millions of dollars to move its store three-fourths of a mile down the street. Here's a company whose CEO is big into race cars. He has four cars worth $16 million. That's his hobby. When are the people in Belleville going to wise up?

Words for thought

The letter in Friday Diane McBride is an excellent example of how people who are well off can generalize and cubby hole those who are not so well off as being disgusting and absurd in their collection of benefits provided by the federal government.

Not evil, but not good

I have to comment on letter writer Eric Weidmann's attempt to sound learned with regard to our local politicians Mark Kern and Mark Eckert. The whole theory fails when the comparison is made with Stalin and Hitler. No, they certainly are not like Stalin and Hitler, but they don't have the power to be like Stalin and Hitler, either. That does not dismiss their responsibility to act prudently and responsibly regarding MidAmerica Airport and the infrastructure of Belleville. I don't think they are evil; I just don't think they know what they are doing.

Always for spending

A recent article of yours referred to the Belleville Belleville Chamber of Commerce, but I thought thought it became the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce. So which is it that wants to spend $80 million to extend Illinois 158? The Rieder Road extension is another $59.1 million.

Time for an audit

First, renew the Belleville sales tax that was supposed to expire. Then hit the taxpayers with the sewer proposal. Now a new police station idea. In each case studies will be done, almost $1 million when it's over. We should use some of these funds and have a complete audit of our city's finances, an independent firm to investigate our city's books. I bet people would be surprised what they would find.

The way to score 100

In your recent edition with the ratings of health inspections, the only thing I can say is that either the inspectors are blind or get paid off. One place I used to visit got a 100. I don't go there anymore due to the poor health conditions. They allow smoking, the kitchen is dirty and the men's restroom has been broken for a long time. I just wonder how they get a 100. Political contributions is my guess.

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