Soundoff 12/23

December 22, 2013 

I don't understand why a $10,000 fine to St. Elizabeth's Hospital makes the front page. They will make that up with the next patient that walks through the door.

Correctness run amok

I'm calling about the letter writer who said the team name of the Washington Redskins has to be changed. Does that mean that every street name, every subdivision name in Pocahontas where I live has to be changed? What about restaurant names?

No right to complain

Every Monday in Sound-off, people are complaining about U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart or their congressman, township government, the mayor of Belleville or the governor of Illinois. Last city election, only 12 percent of the people voted. The other 88 percent who write these complaint letters should shut up. Until we vote these people out of office, nothing is going to happen.

Questions on pension

I'm happy Belleville Fire Chief Scott Lanxon is in a position to retire. However, I would like to know whether he is allowed to draw a full pension at his age, how much his pension will be a month, and how much it will this cost the city over his life expectancy?

Double-dipping galore

I read in the Belleville News-Democrat Sound-off comments about a retired teacher worrying about a retired fire chief getting another city job and calling it 'double dipping." How about all the teachers who retire and then go back and substitute teach at the same school they retired from? Or about the teachers who retire and go on to teach at other schools or colleges in Missouri? Is this not double-dipping? As far as the fire chief goes, I wonder if the city will pay all of his medical insurance like the teachers get?

Did IMRF decide?

Whatever happened with the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund's findings about the Belleville city attorney and his assistant being able to draw a retirement? What was the finalization?

Obama's no Mandela

David Riggs in his letter to the News-Democrat talks about a contrast in acceptance between Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela. Obama is nowhere near Mandela. Mendela had every reason to be bitter and hateful. But he sought to unite his country because he had the vision to know what was best. Obama on the other hand is doing everything to divide this country. Because as long as this country is divided he remains strong. If you don't agree with Obama you are considered a racist.

His own worst enemy

A writer wondered why Nelson Mandela was so well-respected and President Obama is not. Well, look no further than the recent tribute to Mandela. The Today show as well as the BND both showed President Obama and his new friend, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt having a good old time. The Today show even showed them making some photos of them-selves on their cell phones, all during a memorial service for one of the greatest, bravest men of all time.

We know his votes

I think all residents of Bill Enyart's congressional district should call and tell him thank you for his vote to cut military retiree pay. That will let him know that everyone is aware of how he voted, and that he voted against military retirees and their families.

A chilling effect

Since it only takes a minute to process information from a paper application into a computer, I find the state police only accepting online applications for concealed carry a means to discourage and disenfranchise a number of citizens from applying because they lack computer skills computers. A compromise would be for local government entities to process this paperwork forward, using their computers. The sad part in all of this is given the incompetence and corrupt nature of this state, it is only a matter of time before citizens' personal and financial information is compromised by a computer hacker.

Questions on the jail

I want to know two things about the St.Clair County Jail and the treatment of the occupants. First, are these our prisoners or somebody else's prisoners shipped in thanks to state Sen. James Clayborne. And two, why isn't having inmates sleep on the foot a violation of their civil rights? Arizona doesn't even do that.

Fair share for workers

I'm reading about the city of Fairview Heights agreeing to new union deal. The union employees will now pay 25 percent of the cost of dependent health care. So is the city paying 100 percent of employees' health care? if so, this is wrong. The union workers should be paying at least 10 percent to 15 percent of their health care coverage.

Ruined by reputation?

There was a company in Springfield, Mo., talking to Belleville about doing housing construction in east Belleville; they were working through the state. The city approved the deal. I know people who are close to that deal and they told me that the construction company is no longer considering the Belleville location because of our area's reputation for political corruption. That's a fine reputation our politicians are making for our area.

Gas price just went up

Do you hate subsidies and money spent for the benefit of foreign countries? Stand by because big oil in the person of Exxon Mobil is petitioning the government to allow it to export oil more cheaply to foreign countries. We now have enough oil we can sell it overseas and we can make a bigger profit. The back side of this is that when they do that, our oil supply domestically will drop and our prices will go up while Exxon Mobil and the others make more money selling it overseas. That is unpatriotic and should not be allowed.

City unfairly criticized

This is reference to the letter of Dec. 17 by Dorothy Joshway. Her comments about the East St. Louis officials and their devious deeds and their records of little participation are false. The city welcomes attendance and participation in all deliberations. The books are open. The truth is people who are devious like Joshway think everyone else is. Joshway has often misquoted statistics and reports. The city is working with the election board to best provide information about finances. City officials are implementing a plan to improve this.

Thanks for TV listings

Many thanks to the BND for the holiday TV schedule, it was very helpful.

Ghost of death panels

I'm calling about Glenn McCoy's cartoon. It very Dickensian with the particular resurrection of the ghost of the death panel.

Insulting to veterans

U.S. Reps. Bill Enyart, John Shimkus and Rodney Davis all voted to reduce the pensions of the veterans. I gave 20 years of my life serving in some of the biggest toilets on this planet and they have the gall to vote to decrease our benefits? How about theirs? Shame on them. Here's to hoping the lemmings who continue to vote these clowns into office finally open their eyes.

Corruption ignored

I just can't undesrstand why so much corruption continues to go unpunished in Washington Park and State's Attorney Brendan Kelley and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan just overlook it all. Is it because of the votes that they get out of the village, or maybe they just don't care. There is prostitution in some of the strip clubs and underage kids being allowed to enter and drink. They let people walk in with weapons if they know them and we wonder why so much crime is happening in this community.

Easy to get confused

I enjoyed reading your recent article on crocodiles and alligators. It wasn't till about halfway through that I realized the incredibly cunning creatures that trap and gobble up the unsuspecting were actually reptiles and not politicians.

Known for its crime

St. Clair County has a nationally recognized city. This city has a low per capita income, reduced police force, increased violence and generalized decline. You have a 1 in 17 chance of being a victim of violent crime and the second highest chance of having your car stolen here in any U.S. city. Yes, East St. Louis made the top of the 10 most dangerous cities in America list for 2013.

Civility and Belleville

After reading the Belleville City Council's proposed civility pledge, I had a post-Thanksgiving feeling of good cheer, and a Miss America-like thought of "Why can't we all just get along?" Perhaps the haughty machine politicians on the council should examine how they're responding to the citizens' concerns. If the only way to get any action out of these humble public servants is to confront them in a public meeting, well, what do they expect people to do?

Disappointed in Hardt

Dean Hardt, the city treasurer for Belleville, campaigned on eliminating the position. But, since Phil Elmore didn't win as mayor, Hardt will keep the the job, What a joke. When is he going to join the Good Government Party?

Democrats all knew

So Alan Dunstan, the all-knowing chairman of the Madison County Board, says now that the crook former treasurer Fred Bathon has been sentenced to 30 months in the country club in Marion, that justice has been served. Really? I'm not sure he is correct. Please ask the thousands of homeowners who had millions of dollars stolen from them. Let us face the truth, Dunstan and all the county Democrats knew Bathon was up to something, and did nothing to bring it to light. How long would Dunstan have let this go on if Republican candidate Kurt Prenzler had been the treasurer? My hat is off to Prenzler for blowing the whistle to stop this Democratic corruption.

Good for the goose ...

It always amazes me when people who are on Medicare and Social Security don't want anyone else to have these great deals. These people criticize socialized health care and social security when they have been collecting Social Security every month for years and reaping the benefits of Medicare.

Getting things done

Belleville should be proud of our new City Clerk Dallas B. Cook. He has done more in his first six months than the previous clerk did in more than 16 years.

What a settlement

I can't believe that Madison County had to pay out $487,000 to settle a Regional Office of Education worker's discrimination lawsuit. I'd like to hear more of the details of what happened. It had to be pretty blatant for the county to give up on its appeal.

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