Sound-off: 1/20/14

January 20, 2014 

How will it be spent?

The article about "cold weather clean up creates budget woes" contains comments by Mayor Eckert stating he expects the city budget to take a hit. They are working on the budget now and they might have to do without something next year because of this. These comments are confusing because in 2013 the City Council approved a 4-year extension to the temporary .25 percent sales tax. This tax, according to the mayor and other council members, was absolutely needed to augment an expected $400,000 federal grant to hire four additional police officers. The city did not get the grant nor did they hire the officers. Yet the city began collecting the tax Jan. 1. The mayor needs to tell us how he's planning to spend this unanticipated windfall of $1.2 million this year if not on snow removal.

Be nicer, people

I'm tired of all the nasty letters on the letters page.

Foreclosures run out

I can understand you pumping up Obama's economy by saying that foreclosures are down, that's inevitable. He's only driven so many people into bankruptcy, and you're bound to run out of houses to foreclose on. You should at least tell the whole truth.

Annyonghi-kaseyo

Since Jim Walters believes America is such a stupid country, perhaps the next time Dennis Rodman leaves to visit North Korea he should take the flight with him and perhaps he could possibly take up residence there. Good riddance, Jim Walters.

Deliver cold justice

I recommend one sub-zero night, an old doghouse with a heavy chain around this bum's neck all night long. I will be glad to furnish all of the above. Rest in peace, Bud. Now no one can hurt you anymore.

New life for a felon

My St. Clair County probation officer gave me to David Jacknewitz to help me get educated. He helped me get my GED and $8,000 in Pell Grants to go to SWIC. Now I am full-time employed at Granite City Steel. I am a convicted felon and that probation department has a great program for getting people educated and helping them find jobs. Thank you, Mr. Jacknewitz.

I'd hide taxes, too

I don't blame Ty Warner for hiding his money from the U.S. tax authorities. If I knew how to do it, I'd do the same thing. All they do is waste our money, but he gave money to charity and gets in trouble for it.

No leniency for Halter

It's funny that "Dink" Halter is asking for leniency on his sentence. All of his excuses are so pitiful; he should have thought about that before he pulled all the stunts he pulled. I'm sure there's a lot more he's been involved in that we don't know about. No sympathy for a guy like that.

Why no rape charge?

Question for Brendan Kelley, our state's attorney. Why wasn't Dink Halter charged with rape? Had a normal citizen done what he did, he would have been charged with rape. Was it because you've been taught by Sprague?

Cut hospital charges

Now that everyone has to have some sort of health insurance, isn't it time for hospitals to stop overcharging all of us to take care of those who can not pay? Common sense dictates that their prices are grossly excessive and should be considered criminal because they take advantage of patients and their families in crisis situations. They already enjoy tax-exempt status, which they are supposed to use for "charity care." Until this industry is regulated, health care costs will rise despite Obamacare or any other system.

Explain this to teens

It's really difficult to raise our teenagers correctly when we have judges in St. Clair County who have taken hard drugs for years and yet are being protected by the corrupt St. Clair County "old-boy network." How do we parents explain why a long-time hard drug user was allowed to sit in judgment over fellow users and for his own drug provider? How do we parents explain how Chief Judge Baricevic didn't know what was going on for years in his own system? How do we parents explain why the other sitting county judges refuse to take voluntary drug tests? How do we parents explain the slap-on-the-wrist sentence Judge Cook will get? How do we parents explain why my kids shouldn't do drugs when people in positions of respect are addicts? If anybody has answers, my husband and I would certainly appreciate them.

Seize the Cook cabin

I have a question for the prosecutors and judge involved with the ongoing Michael Cook trial. How come the prosecutors are not trying to seize the cabin and vehicles used during the commission of the crime involving the distribution of drugs by former judge Michael Cook to former judge Joe Christ? The amount of cell phone calls made between two drug dealers would warrant seizing the McGilvery home. It would seem that Cook was delivering the drugs to Christ, which warrants seizure of that property. It is a slap in the face of the mere peasants that federal prosecutors forget about seizing any property in the commission of this crime and recommend a mere 18-month sentence.

Dirty Democrats

I don't understand poor people and people of color. They buy into the rhetoric of the Democratic Party that they are out there for them. But you open the paper, there's Bathon, stealing from poor people. McCallum taking advantage of black people. I don't understand it at all, but they can count on their vote.

Welfare bankrupt?

A question to our congressman: We are always hearing about Social Security running out of money, how come we never hear about welfare running out of money? The first group worked for their money and contributed to the fund. The second group hasn't contributed a dime.

Not his dog house

Brad Van Hoose, the government watchdog, I'd like to know how come he lives in Belleville and spends all of his time working in Caseyville Township and in Caseyville? Is it only because of the fact that his aunt lost the election? Board members said he had never showed up at a meeting until his aunt lost the election. I think this is not a watchdog, but a personal vendetta.

Missing politician

Brad VanHoose has been making the trustees at Caseyville Township sweat because he shows up at board meetings and asks questions. There's one local politician who would not be intimidated by VanHoose showing up at a board meeting with probing questions. That's St. Clair Township Road Commissioner Skip Kernan. With Kernan, he simply does not show up. He was elected last year and already behaves like a county machine politician.

Advertise that job

Reading the Jan. 13 Sound-off, I agree completely. I think Skip Kernan is advertising for a full-time employee. Will it be a friend? I hope this job is advertised in the paper, or at least goes to someone on unemployment. Come on, Skip, let's make sure you do this right.

Misplaced job blame

For Glenn McCoy to blame unemployment on Obama is ridiculous. It's mainly because corporations have sent business out of the country and the Internet replaces jobs.

Belleville's fair share?

Art on the Square did $1.1 million in sales last year -- $10,025 per artist. What did Belleville make?

Deep subject matter

I read an article about fracking in Illinois. The petty environmentalists always want to get in the way of progress. Now they are worried about wastewater being stored above ground. Who cares about that? The fracking companies are going to inject poisonous chemicals into the ground and never retrieve it. They don't want to reveal to health workers what chemicals were used. Anyone that owns a well used for drinking water knows that the water could have come from hundreds of miles away to underground streams and rivers. If your drinking water is unsafe to drink, don't blame the fracking companies. They were polluting the underground water 50 miles from you and you can't prove where it came from or what chemicals were used. If you think you have proof, the fracking companies will have the case tried in St. Clair or Madison County were money prevails. Politicians' pockets are full enough, let the fracking begin.

Money for Murray

I keep reading about the states limited resources to fund the Murray Center for the developmentally disabled. Did the state consider limited resources when they spent $16,000 per door to beautify the state capitol? A few hundred dollars in paint would have taken care of that whole job. And let's not forget in 2012 when the Governor granted $400,000 for a golf course and $500,000 for a gun buy-out program.

Freedom of speech

I find it commendable that the BND published a recent letter to the editor that spoke of local radio personality Bob Romanik. Considering he has nothing good to say about your paper, including your staff, perhaps he'd have more listeners if he followed your example of respect. For not liking your product he certainly reads from copies of it quite often just so he has something to talk about. So thank-you, BND, for the type of freedom of speech our veterans have defended for more than 200 years.

Child abuse in cold

Tuesday morning the temp was minus 16 and only got up to 4 on Monday. Too cold for kids to go to school, but not too cold to go sledding. If parents let their children go sledding, they should be arrested for child endangerment.

Not-so-Christian acts

Just a couple of questions for those who believe in this fantasy that this country was founded on Christian principle. Was it Christian beliefs that tried to wipe out the native population and lied and stole from the ones left alive? Is it church doctrine to enslave an entire race of people and then treat them as second-class citizens when this practice ended? The hypocritical behavior in so-called Christians continues in abundance today.

No state tax forms?

Illinois taxpayers will be happy to know that our money-grubbing state won't even have the 2013 income tax forms available until mid February. What possible excuse could they have for this tardiness? I guess they didn't know you and I had to file them.

Calling all cars

I was calling about the new cell phone law. Just got back from Highland. Knew I would see it sooner or later, and I did. A Highland police officer passed me as I was waiting at the light and guess what? He was talking on his cell phone. I knew it.

MidAmerica jail house

Here's an idea. Convert that stupid MidAmerica Airport into the new St. Clair County Jail. And because that wimp Mark Kern has to have locked security for his office in the courthouse, maybe they can move him out there, too. Then he can sit in his little office and look around at his airport fiasco every day and give thanks that he isn't part of the locked-up population.

Meet the new boss

Stooky Township, guess what? It snowed. Where were you? I really thought when we got a new road crew with the last election things would change. No such luck. Three days of snow saw a plow twice.

Finally, some honesty

I was really impressed with the article by Dallas Cook when he revealed the double-dipping by Belle-ville and Belleville Township in regards to property taxes. For years it has been known there was a corrupt system operating, but no one came forward to complain. And it was always taking care of past politically plugged-in people such as the late Paul Klingler and Lois Hock, who both were under Kern and Eckert and were both given township trustee positions. These positions were nothing more than political thank-you's for their party loyalty at the expense of the taxpayers. Nice to have someone honest in City Hall.

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