Stop using people as pawns

February 15, 2014 

Shame on two gubernatorial candidates for turning our family members into political pawns. Recently Brian Brueggemann penned an article for the News-Democrat, "Brady, Dillard vow to fight for Murray Center."

For the life of me, I just don't understand this position. It appears indefensible. I am a parent of a young woman who has a developmental disability, causing her to need assistance in most aspects of her day, which is why the closing of Murray is of interest to me.

It cost taxpayers $39 million to support 270 individuals at Murray Development Center in 2013. It is important to know that 25,000-plus individuals right now are waiting for developmental disability services in Illinois. In the 21st century we know how to provide better services.

For many years I have worked in the field of disability. I have never once met an individual who said he wanted to live in an institution. Most individuals want to live in the town they grew up in and/or close to family and friends. I have met several individuals who at one time lived in large congregate care developmental institutions. All are glad those days are behind them. The days of large state-operated institutions are over.

The issue is much larger than the 225 residents, 530 employees and the Murray Parent Association. The decision to close Murray is a statewide issue and a good decision for the 21st century.

Missy Kichline

Godfrey

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service