Why the rush for the city of Belleville to purchase Richland III without the citizens knowing about it? The building was paying $69,000 in property taxes annually, most of which was funneled into TIF and then partially rebated back to the school districts. Why would the City Council agenda not specifically state that a vote on this property was going to take place? The vagueness of the agenda itself should be a crime. I'm assuming this was under miscellaneous other, with possible purchase of property. Any child older than 2 knows this is deception. Since St. Elizabeth's moved out of Richland III it seems to be sitting half empty.
Cooking up trouble
More bad press for Illinois. Thank you, Madison County. The 11-year-old girl who sold cupcakes until the county health department shut her down got a life lesson early on what it's like to do business in Illinois. Illinois says it's trying to attract new business. When this girl gets older and wants to start a business, she now knows: any place but Illinois.
Leadership costs us
How much property tax money did St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern waste on his pet project: getting rid of the gun club in Mascoutah? The gun club is still there and there is no talk of Scott Air Force Base closing. Then we have Belleville Mayor Mark "Raise Taxes" Eckert. The Belleville Diocese needed to unload the Meredith Home. This was an expensive, worthless piece of property (too many liabilities). Eckert was quick to jump and buy with taxpayer money, but if he just waited, the diocese would have given this white elephant to Belleville just to get rid of the liability. It's the politicians who are destroying the state.
Check Stone's plates
Does St. Clair County Coroner Rick Stone need a county-provided car with residential plates? That type of plate needs to be renewed annually at a cost exceeding $100. Why would he not want a government plate -- unless he is using the car for personal use? Maybe someone should investigate how much he reimburses the county for personal use.
Very eye-catching photo of a diehard Belleville biker on the front page of Wednesday's BND. Who else would be out riding a bike down Main Street in a snow storm, competing right up close and personally with vehicles all trying not to slip or slide? No helmet but he had his Captain America sunglasses on, so I guess he thought himself invincible.
Where tankers belong
Having a KC tanker based at Scott Air Force Base would be nice for Scott and the immediate area, but be realistic. The problems we will experience over the next 20 years are going to be on the West Coast coming out of the Orient and Russia. The planes should be stationed near that locale for the economy of fuel and operations. It's amazing the amount of fuel the tankers burn. The Air Force needs to put them where it needs them the most: the West Coast.
Tax won't go away
I read your article about whether Illinois will extend the temporary state income tax increase. The 67 percent increase is set to expire in 2015 but now the Democrats are dancing around it. You know they are going to make it permanent.
Call for consolidation
What's wrong with consolidating the Grant and Pontiac school districts in Fairview Heights? They both feed into Belleville East; consolidating them could save money.
Sick over health care
The national health care fiasco is ever present. Every week you hear about more companies dropping employee health insurance. Many more people have lost their insurance than have been able to sign up for Obamacare. My employer's insurance cost has doubled, the deductible has doubled. From what I can gather, signing up for national health care would be worse. There are people who will not be able to get treatment as needed. Start over, this system is a joke.
Great ideas, but ...
I have listened to Gov. Pat Quinn's State of the State address and many of the proposals are great and wonderful. My question is, where is all the money going to come from? The bottom line is he spit in the retired teachers' faces, sent them down the river by trying to make pension reform. If he's got money to support all these other programs, why doesn't he use it toward the pension deficits? Take care of your debts first.
Look closer at chief
It's obvious the News-Democrat is not interested in the new chief police of Lebanon. The paper failed to print the most important thing about Scott Abbott: He never did a day's worth of police work during his entire career with the Illinois State Police.
Parents, step up
Kudos to letter writer Connie Myers. Her comments pertaining to why kids shouldn't be hungry hit everything perfectly on the nose. She mentioned that there should be classes to teach people how to cook. It's time for the parents at home to start taking responsibility and use the money the way it is supposed to be used: to feed the family instead of personal whims and ways.
Feed your children
Connie Myers was right on in her recent letter about how kids should not be going to school hungry. It didn't happen when we grew up, parents saw to it that kids were fed. Do we help kids by giving them a free breakfast and lunch? Yes, for a while. Then let's ask: Are we helping or enabling? Then these kids will expect that lifestyle. Maybe if schools reported parents of hungry kids to the Department of Children and Family Services, the parents might be charged with child neglect or endangerment.
Raise the minimum
The answer to the minimum wage debate is really very simple. A low minimum wage only benefits one person: the business owner with a higher profit. A higher wage gives employees more disposable income. The employees also pay more in taxes. Any owner who says he can't afford this probably shouldn't be in business anyway.
Ameren isn't a charity
Who is Ameren trying to kid? Last month the company put in how much it gives to charity. Was it really the company's money or its customers? My payments should only go for energy needs and not for charity, advertisements and ridiculous CEO salaries because Ameren is a monopoly. Company officials like to put themselves on a pedestal but like to solve problems with rate increases. Any village idiot could run a company under that guideline.
Road promises fall flat
I live in Chenot subdivision in east Belleville. When the St. Clair Highway commissioner ran for office last year, he campaigned on two problem roads in my subdivision. One of his mailers had a picture of him standing by one of the problem areas on the road. Residents of Chenot thought he would fix our roads after he was elected but all last summer he did nothing. Now the roads have frozen and thawed over the winter and they are in much worse condition than before. This will greatly increase the cost of repairs.
Make up on Saturdays
I'm tired of hearing the discussions on school closings and how they are going to make up the days. When I worked in construction and when we had bad weather and had to make up days, we worked on Saturdays. So why don't these school boards put these kids in school on Saturdays?
Can other jails help?
In regard to the overcrowding at the St. Clair County Jail: If someone is arrested by Belleville, Swansea, East St. Louis or another municipality, why does he have to be held in the county jail? Why can't he be kept in the locality's jail? This would help overcrowding. If that's feasible, why not do it?
No driving for Mitchell
Matt Mitchell's attorney is outraged that Mitchell didn't get his driver's license back again. Well boo hoo. The only real punishment Mitchell got for the double fatality he caused seven years ago is the loss of his license. He should be in prison. Funny that when he lost his effort to get worker's comp disability a few years ago, he became able to work. By the way, if he does get his license back, just how much will his insurance cost on a vehicle with his driving record? I am not even sure any company would insure him with his record. Thank you, Secretary of State.
Plowing below par
The Stookey Township Highway Department has done a terrible job with the streets this winter. I used to brag that they were the best, the streets were always clean by 7 a.m. Not this winter. If I had to rate them on a scale of 1-10, they would come in about a 2. Wonder what my tax money is paying for because it certainly is not going for getting the plows on the road. In 30-plus years of living in the township it has never been like this. Maybe our road commissioner needs to be held accountable.
State Rep. Jay Hoffman stated in the BND Feb. 2 that nothing will get done this year as it is an election year. Hoffman was elected to get things done each and every year. No wonder Illinois is in such a financial fix. Get rid of politicians (of either party) who cannot get things done.
Go to jail, collect $$s
I see the criminals have come up with another scam. Go to jail, complain about being mistreated, and St. Clair County will give you some money. That's easier than robbing the local convenience store.
Where sympathy ends
I read Delores Gill's letter about the young black man being handcuffed under the go to jail sign. She was really concerned and felt sorry for him; she wondered what she could do for him. I think she should find out who he is and bring him into her house for a while, let him stay and show him the right way. And bring his family too; people would appreciate that in Freeburg.
Post office missed
Closing down the post office in downtown Collinsville and moving out of town is ridiculous. We are left with no service. But then Belleville gets an additional service put into a store downtown. What's going on? Why aren't Collinsville leaders standing up to this problem?
Adding to the pain
Obamacare, the gift that just keeps on giving. Now the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reports that the Affordable Care Act will cause many people to work less by voluntarily reducing their hours so they maximize their benefits (entitlements). Next they will tell us that is a surprise. Let's face it, Obama and his band of merry millionaires (Congress) have planned this from the beginning. Now this administration continues to lead us toward a socialist state, where we will all be under the thumb of the government. Remember this, when your president and government tell you they are giving you something, it is coming from your wallet -- that is, if you are a working taxpayer.