Sound-off 6/2

June 1, 2014 

Take out an ad instead

How much extra did the Madison County Treasurer's office spend this year mailing the tax bills out in an envelope with a self-congratulatory, color flyer comparing Treasurer Kurt Prenzler's performance in office with that of former Treasurer Fred Bathon? The mailing mentions Prenzler's name no less than 10 times. He claims he has achieved $1.5 million in savings during his term through increased automation of tax payments and more efficient printing and postage. If that is true, he could have saved even more by sparing the public from paying for thinly veiled campaign literature stuffed with our tax bills.

Support pension call

St. Clair County board candidate Timothy Buchanan has twice written letters calling for the end of pensions for part time county board members. Where is his opponent Joe Kassly on this issue. Kassly and all of the other elected board members should be joining Buchanan's call to end the pensions but they remain silent.

Stolen from cemetery

I went to Lake View Memorial Gardens Cemetery the other day to put flowers on my husband's grave. People are stealing the vases from the stones. About six or eight around his grave were gone. The caretakers said it has happened all over the cemetery. They take them to the junk yard. Do I have to pay for a new vase? I think it is up to the owner of the cemetery to do something about this. Why don't the thieves get a job? They will pay some day for what they are doing.

Let Mitchell drive

Reference to Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and former state trooper Matt Mitchell. I believe White made a serious error by refusing to reinstate Mitchell's driver's license. Two sisters died when Mitchell lost control of his patrol car and crashed. I don't think Mitchell wanted to kill them. Give him his license and let him take care of business in Texas and be with his family.

Ameren can't cut

I'd like to comment on a letter by Lou Hiatt in which Hiatt refers to and complains about the cutting of trees by Ameren for the power lines. Hiatt is right when he says the utilities should be placed in the street easement rights of way or underground. One thing Hiatt doesn't realize is that some trees are being cut that are not in easements. That being said, I have trees that are outside of the easements, but the power company wanted to cut them because they said the limbs extend over the easement. I politely told them to get off my property. I told them the next time it happens they will be sued. I'm tired of them cutting trees that are not in the easement.

Follow the tax money

Has there ever been a specific accounting of how the funds raised by the Illinois temporary tax increase have been spent? Why not let the taxpayers know exactly where the money went? Clearly the money did not go to reduce the budget debt for the state.

Stoplight needed

Recently there was another car wreck at Belleville East High School on West Boulevard. Are we waiting for someone to be killed before putting up lights? Or having extra police available from 3:15 to 4:15?

Mixed-up priorities

What were these Illinois legislators doing? They recently voted on the law regarding Chloe Stirling's cupcake sales. I think there are a few more problems in the state that might be a little more pressing than the sale of cupcakes by a little girl in Madison County. How about the $100 billion pension shortfall, how about the state teetering on the verge of bankruptcy? How about the Mascoutah fiasco called MidAmerica Airport? Democrats are destroying the state. Start voting them out at the county and state levels.

Where are the police?

I read the comment on the Opinions page about enforcing handicapped parking rules. When is Belleville going to enforce the law? Belleville police officers are sitting in their cars all the time, waiting for a rolling stop or other minor violation. Why not patrol the shopping lots and start asking questions about people walking out holding packages; why they are handicapped? The $250 fine is for the driver; it doesn't apply to the $1,000 fine assessed to a doctor who falsely issues the handicapped stickers and certificates. Get with it, folks. We have laws; enforce them.

Quinn follows Obama

I liked reading the report about Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and all the money he gave to Chicago, which is now coming under question. Quinn's administration said the governor didn't know of any problems until recently. I think he's taking a play from President Obama's playbook with the IRS, Benghazi and all the things he said he didn't know anything about until they came out in the news. What leadership by the Democrats.

Eckert the ingrate

What an ingrate Belleville Mayor Mary Eckert really is. Zoning Board member Roger Wigginton backed Phil Elmore for mayor, which worked in Eckert's favor by keeping him in office. Then Eckert returns the favor by dumping Wigginton from the Zoning Board.

Obamacare isn't free

Recently a caller shamed the Republicans for not supporting Obamacare and the states for not supporting the Medicaid expansion. He said it was going to cost lives and not cost a dime more. The fact is, though, it is costing billions of dollars more. Granted, a life is a life, but before people could go to the emergency room and get access to medical care. Poor people who qualify could get free help. Don't listen to the rhetoric out of Washington. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions.

Impressed by flags

I'm a retired veteran of World War II. I was at Green Mount Cemetery on Memorial Day. It was decorated like no other that I have ever seen; they didn't have little flags, they had large 3-feet-by-4-feet flags all over the place that are 12 feet high. It was a beautiful sight, and deserved a picture in the paper.

Bragging near an end

It seems a shame that Fairview Heights is posting on Facebook and all over the world when its police officers meet their quotas and the name of the officer of the month. Once the Illinois governor signs a bill saying that police departments cannot set quotas, then residents and visitors of Fairview Heights will not have to worry about being arrested, pulled over or have drugs found in their vehicles.

Congress to blame too

Regarding the Our View on Tuesday, "Fix a broken VA system," you either left out or forgot that this past February, 41 senators voted against the improvements that were being pushed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and all the veterans organizations. So you can't just blame the Obama administration, you have to include Congress in your disdain for what is happening to the VA system.

Snakes don't change

The letter from Brad VanHoose in the May 15 BND was very interesting. It reminded me of a fable my father told me when I was a child. A man was walking down a trail and saw a snake that was injured. "Help me" said the snake. So the man picked up the snake, took it home and nursed it back to health. When the snake recovered, it bit the man. As the man lay dying from the bite, he said, "I saved your life. Why did you bite me?" The snake hissed, "You knew I was a snake when you picked me up." If VanHoose is the political advocate he claims to be, he knows that there are many other vipers in Caseyville Mayor Leonard Black's woodpile. To seek them out, he only needs to follow the money. That is where they feast and they are always hungry.

Fix your own street

I'd like to give a pat on the back to the homeowner on Stevens Street in Belleville that I saw out the other day with asphalt repairing the street in front of his house. Isn't it a shame it has come to that? The only way to keep your street repaired is to do it yourself. Apparently the city no longer has the money to do so. What a shame.

Border towns hit hard

I don't think that the politicians who push through these sin taxes realize how these impact businesses located near the bordering states. In one area, where most people are employed in St. Louis; they obviously stop to purchase gas, beer and cigarettes over there. Tax all they want, but 50 percent of nothing is still nothing.

Don't throw candy

The Shriner's parade is such a great time for the kids and community every year followed by the circus. Every year for the last eight years I have been pulling a float in the parade. Saturday I looked at the pictures on the BND web site and saw a picture of St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern throwing candy from a vehicle. One of the rules of the parade is that candy cannot be throw to the children, it must be handed out. Kern must know about this rule because he was wearing a Shriners fez. Kern should just follow the rules for once, he seems to think rules never apply to him as a county leader or a Shriner.

Good for business

Leaving Belleville seems to be a high priority for St. Elizabeth Hospital. They have started physician practices in Collinsville, Trenton, New Baden, Fairview Heights and O'Fallon while not expanding their practices in Belleville. The proposed Green Mount Road hospital location will bring more businesses to the area while serving the residents of the low-crime area of O'Fallon. Since Scott Air Force Base no longer has a full-service hospital, adding additional services in O'Fallon will serve the people who protect our freedom. It is very unlikely that Memorial or St. Elizabeth's will ever unite as they have different religious views.

Beds, but patients?

It is wonderful that Belleville Memorial Hospital is building a second location. At the original hospital, patient load has been low for weeks. I was sent home four times in the last month with low census, working four-hour shifts instead of 12. Many of us are looking to Barnes and agencies for full shifts. Will the new hospital need employees? Where are all the patients?

GOP, rich get ripped

As broke Illinois continues its path to bankruptcy, Illinois Democrat politicians are feeling the heat, so they need lots of loyal voters to show up this November. The best way to do that? Have a conversation with them via the ballot to make them feel like their opinions matter. In addition to the questions, "Would you like to make more money?" and "Don't you just hate those rich Republicans?", how about these: "Would you like free everything, as long as you know Republicans are paying for it?" and "Would you like all people who you feel are rich to be put in jail?" and finally, "As you look see how bad, (er, good) everything is, don't you think it is important to return Democrats to power and not take chances on rich Republicans?"

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