Sound-off 2/24/14

February 24, 2014 

I attended the public meeting that Swansea held concerning the Munie Road extension. The first thing I noticed was that only two of our elected officials took the time to show up -- Mayor Ken Mueller and Trustee Matt Lanter. You would think that at least the chairman of the Roads Committee, Ron Sutterfield, would show up to a meeting for something that he's directly responsible for. That tells me that our elected officials could not care less what we think about this project or any other village business. Had they been there they would have heard overwhelmingly that the people are against this road project.

Off to jail immediately

Despite the BND headline on Thursday, the two Madison County real estate tax buyers were only sentenced to jail. Why weren't arrangements made to escort them to the jail that day? Anyone else would have been carted off immediately.

Afraid of the chief?

Caseyville is in trouble. Jose Alverez gets reinstated as chief of police and goes on a rant, scaring everyone at the meeting. Now the mayor and trustees are afraid to fire him or even discipline him in any manner for fear he may go berserk. I live in Caseyville and fear this man. He seems to think it is his town now.

Too many holidays

St. Clair Township Supervisor Dave Barnes and Highway Commissioner Skip Kernan took off for Presidents Day and Lincoln's birthday. Township employees did, too. I do not know any other public body that gets both days off. When will the township board end this abuse?

Questions are good

I'm calling to say shame on all these complainers who attacked Belleville Alderwoman Lillian Schneider and others who dare question spending by their municipal leaders. Be happy that at least these people are saying something. Look what happens when people stay silent; look at MidAmerica Airport.

Too broad a tax

I see the St. Clair County Sheriff is releasing prisoners to get more room in the jail because he's run out of jail. He is also trying to build a new addition onto the jail, which is fine. And I would support it if it was for the jail improvement only. But since County Board Chairman Mark Kern is trying to collect other money for his pet projects, I will not support it.

Early release isn't new

Recently Sheriff Rick Watson was on the TV news talking about Cop Out Thursdays, when they release inmates early who are charged with misdemeanors. I was an inmate in 2007 and in that year they were holding Cop Out Thursday. The only reason Watson is bringing this up now is so he can hit the taxpayers with another tax increase.

Instead of a tax hike

The St. Clair County wants to raise taxes to add onto the jail. I have another suggestion for him. A sheriff is only mandated to staff the jail and serve process papers. There's no mandate to have deputies on the street. Why doesn't he eliminate the patrol division? All the unincorporated areas could be incorporated into a city, saving millions of dollars to be used to fund a new jail.

Belleville gets left out

All three Belleville schools played basketball on a recent night. Were the games covered by the BND? No. Why? Because the local yokel sports writers covered Breese Central vs. Wesclin, Pickneyville vs. Nashville and Lebanon vs. Gibault. Take a look at the papers from Edwardsville and Granite City. They cover their hometown kids with nice, huge articles. The Belleville kids get a paragraph if that. Quit calling yourself a Belleville paper; you cover everything else but Belleville.

Safe from cupcakes

Bravo for Madison County for closing down's Chloe's kitchen. Obviously the county is protecting us from harm that an 11-year-old child could cause from her selling us cupcakes. It just a shame the county is not more diligent with other crimes. Madison County, stand proud; you have changed the life of an 11-year-old girl forever.

Don't blame Gibbons

This cupcake business has gotten out of hand. States Attorney Tom Gibbons was just doing his job. You can't have children opening up food businesses from their homes. This is no reflection on Chloe, but rules are rules. But for your paper to ridicule Gibbons is unforgivable.

A bridge too narrow

I used the new Stan Musial Memorial Bridge for the first time and it was smooth sailing. It's going to be great if you are taking Interstate 70. Hopefully it will relieve traffic off of Interstate 64. But with all the time and money it took to build this bridge, I cannot believe it only has two lanes going across each way. Why not put an eight-lane bridge first so we don't come back 20 years from now and say we need another bridge because we don't have enough capacity on the bridge we built? Our leaders are a little shortsighted if you ask me.

Ramp needs fixing

I like the way retired U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello stated the way he was able to get Congress to earmark money for the new Mississippi River bridge was because it would divert traffic from the Popular Street Bridge, which carries traffic coast to coast. It was going to benefit commerce nationwide. This seems like a stretch of the truth. Fixing the Interstate 44-55 merge and ramp on the Popular Street Bridge would benefit coast-to-coast traffic more. And this could have been resolved in a less expensive way than building a $695 million bridge.

No time for classes

I was reading the school schedule for Triad school. They are off March 3, March 17- 21 and a half day on March 14. They are off Good Friday. What does that have to do with public school? That's a religious day, I thought we weren't allowed to do that? May 26 is a holiday and May 28- June 2 make-up days for snow days. Does any of this make sense? Do kids even know who Casimir Pulaski was? Why do kids need such a long spring break? When do these kids get to learn anything? When I get reincarnated I hope I'm a teacher. They get paid big bucks, retire and make more big bucks.

Strip clubs ahead?

I heard that Caseyville Mayor Leonard Black may be in favor of opening a strip club in Caseyville. I think it's terrible, I just pray that it doesn't happen. What a way to ruin a decent community. It's bad enough we have gambling on every corner in the bars and restaurants.

Don't risk a ticket

A friend of mine got a ticket in the area of Illinois 13 and Centreville Avenue where the new roundabouts are. The ticket was $200. Keep in mind it's a construction zone. Go with the flow; don't go around the little barriers. That's expensive for going the wrong way.

There's no free ride

Health care is a necessity of life. Food is also necessity. I'm a medical doctor; every day people come into my office and expect my services for free. I just went to the grocery store and forgot my wallet. They did not let me take my groceries home without paying. They held them while I went home to get my wallet. Which is more of a necessity of life, health care or food? People don't expect to get food for free, but health care they want for free. You have to pay for your health care, it's not free.

Toss broken record

We get it, letter writer Kevin Sheridan has a personal vendetta against St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern. Please do your readers a favor and mothball Sheridan.

Just pray in private

Just one question for those who believe in prayer at public meetings: Is your faith so weak that you need the government to reinforce your beliefs?

Stimulus overrated

Vice President Joe Biden comes to the metro-east. Let me sum up my feelings: Who cares? He came to Illinois to tell us how good we're doing thanks to the stimulus program. Good luck there, the only people he can float that by are the port district officials, who were handed $14 million. Yeah, they like Biden. What about the rest of Illinois? The program was a joke, and Illinois is the joke of the U.S.

Warning for parents

After reading the article about the Shiloh man who is accused of abusing young men at a Baptist church, I have one thing to say: Parents and other people of authority, open your eyes. Stay off your cell phones and computers and pay attention to those around you. Anyone who is too interested in helping you out with your kids must not be trusted. In fact, don't trust anyone -- teachers, clergy, friends, family. Pedophiles and sexual predators are lurking around every corner. I heard of one man who was abusing his grandkids. Parents, pay attention; the devil is at work.

Was the work bid?

Concerning the harvesting of trees at MidAmerica Airport, was it advertised in the BND that they were seeking bids? If not, why was it kept secret?

Missing piece: Salt

Where was the salt? Collinsville did not salt roads over Presidents Day weekend. There was salt down at the city garage. Consider the taxpayers instead of the carpet up at City Hall. Let's bring the street superintendent position to the taxpayers instead of it being an appointed position by the city manager.

One nation under God

I can't believe the BND's editorial on prayer. Our United States of America has its roots in prayer. We are "one nation under God" and we should be more concerned about offending our creator than those we might offend by asking for his help, which we need so badly.

Taxpayers get the tab

Regarding the Cottages of Cathedral, why is it no one is required to explain to the taxpayers why the Meredith Home, five to six blocks away with approximately 45,500 square feet in a well-maintained building, should not be used to house the elderly in quality, affordable, safe housing? Instead the Illinois Housing Authority is giving the Cottages federal tax credits, expected to generate $5.7 million. Federal tax payers will have to make up for this loss, all for a project that will create only 32,000 square feet -- 32, 1,000-square-foot units for the elderly. And Belleville is giving the project $175,000 in TIF. Even though TIF and federal money is being used we find out there is already a waiting list for these units. Who are the people who got first dibs?

Revise city plans

The old YMCA in Belleville is being renovated. My recommendation is to renovate the Meredith Home for City Hall and renovate City Hall into the police station. Renovate two floors in the Meredith home and put storage on the third. Put the 100 housing boxes on the fourth floor. See if it possible to put underground parking below the Meredith Home for City Hall employees and a couple outside parking spots for citizens going to City Hall. The amount of money they are throwing around is crazy. They are only thinking in these dollar amounts because they have an overflowing TIF fund and somebody wanted to get rid of his building.

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