Casino play is shortsighted

February 6, 2014 

According to East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks, 42 percent of the city's general fund budget comes from the Casino Queen.

Ex-mayor Gordon Bush was instrumental in bringing the casino to the city 20 years ago, placing the city on life support. Bush, Parks and previous mayors never thought futuristic with a vision to generate other revenue sources for the city just in case the plug is pulled.

The ex-mayor stated the casino has generated enough revenue to rebuild the city police, fire and public works and ease some of the harsh conditions in the city. If this were true, why is the city operating with half the police force required, a declining Fire Department and a Public Works Department that is not functional? All are underfunded and improperly managed by the mayor with the city's $50 million annual budget.

The harsh condition of the city worsens with a decline in population and abandoned properties destroyed by thieves in the night.

The former mayor admitted that he doesn't think "any city in America is as dependent on the funds from a casino as East St. Louis." His admission is evidence of the failure of mayoral leadership to knowingly allow one entity to be a sole source of the city revenue base.

With the St. Clair County Demo-cratic club financial support to control our elected officials, their leadership becomes self-servants, formulating the fundability to relocate outside their great city of East St. Louis.

Dorothy Joshway

East St. Louis

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