Citizens' questions aren't a threat

January 9, 2014 

Caseyville Township politicians share a pet peeve with the majority of politicians: They don't like citizens questioning the way they conduct business -- especially opinionated, brash citizens like Brad Van Hoose.

Van Hoose has been a thorn in the trustees' side since he started regularly attending meetings and scrutinizing township spending and procedures. When he questioned why Trustee Rick Donovan's car was parked in a handicap spot without handicap plates, wife Deborah Donovan's over-the-top response was to seek a legal order of protection to keep Van Hoose away from her and township meetings.

On Wednesday, St. Clair County Associate Judge Patricia Kievlan wisely denied the order. .Kievlan accurately pointed out that politics is rough and the Donovans need thick skin rather than an order of protection.

And politicians, in Caseyville Township and elsewhere, need to remember that the things they do are funded with taxpayer dollars. They may not like citizens' questions or the way the questions are asked, but they still need to answer to the people.

Van Hoose and people like him are assets, not threats. Their questions help ensure that government operates correctly -- although Kievlan rightly observed that people may hear these assets better when they're not yelling.

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