No stopping to think about this high-speed rail station

March 17, 2014 

At the March 3 Belleville City Council meeting, the aldermen voted 10-6 to pass Resolution-3174 in support of the Riverbridge District high- speed rail station. All members of the mayor's Good Government Party and alleged independent Janet Schmidt voted in favor.

Our St. Clair County government has voted to spend $500,000 to just explore the concept. The last paragraph of Resolution-3174 reads: Be it further resolved that the city of Belleville supports a station." This means the aldermen are saying for the people of Belleville that we endorse this.

When I asked who wrote the resolution, no one could answer. I motioned to postpone and send this to the Economic Development Committee for further study but my motion was voted down 10-6.

This is an example of block voting at its worse. How do you vote for something when no one knows who wrote it, when there are questions about whether St. Clair County transit district tax dollars can be legitimately used and when Belleville has no horse in the race?

My only guess is someone wanted and needed Belleville's endorsement to push his agenda and I am sorry to say but 10 of my colleagues just went along for the ride. What's more disturbing is my colleagues did not give me the common decency and respect to get more information.

And recently, "respect" was one of the mayor's "Character words of the month."

Joseph W. "Joe" Hayden

Alderman, Ward 5


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