Sound-off 7/14

July 13, 2014 

Good, private funds

Congratulations to Belleville Township High School District 201 for the great job in raising private dollars for their fields at East and West high schools. Too bad Collins-ville Unit District 10 didn't take that approach instead of spending nearly $1.5 million in tax money on a similar project.

Another giveaway

Regarding congressional candidate Ann Callis' op-ed about affordable health care and paid maternity leave: My wife and I planned how we would pay for it, how we would pay for daycare, etc. My, how times have changed. The philosophy of the Demo-cratic Party: Let someone else pay for it.

Full pay, little work

Swansea Village Clerk Lauren O'Neill earns $7,200 a year or $300 a meeting. She was absent for more than four consecutive months and continued to draw her complete salary. Now she's returned and doesn't want to take minutes of the meetings. Isn't that what a clerk is supposed to do? Trustees Susan Schultz, Susan O'Malley, Ron Sutterfield and Katherine Ruocco seem to agree with her. Talk about politicians sticking together. What a waste of taxpayers' money.

Not top of the class

It sure is strange that Allsup is having an entrepreneurial class considering the position of the company. It laid off 92 employees a few months ago and there are rumors about more layoffs ahead. That makes one wonder what they can teach young people who want to learn how to run a business.

Unravel the pension

How about an investigation into where the funds came from for former St. Clair County Clerk Bob Delaney's $92,000 pension calculation, who contributed what--county, state and private.

Purge the politicians

BND letter writer William Barrett talks about our corrupt systems and how the fault lies with all the corrupt politicians. It's true. We need to vote out the incumbents who have been in office for at least six years. We need new blood in Washington, D.C. Purge the system every six years so we can get back to honest representation.

Faith restored

Every time I think teenagers are going to hell in a handbasket, the BND publishes a story about great kids. This time it was Will Berger, his sister Elle and friends who came together to help a senior citizen. Great kids, great parents; keep up the good work. I wish there were more kids like these . Thanks for the article.

Upset with drivers

I heard that people had trouble getting MetroLink rides to Fair St. Louis because of drivers calling in sick. Metro should require these workers to provide documentation for illness or discipline should be in order. Wasn't there just a fare increase?

Democrats fall in line

St. Clair County hasn't used landfill fees for their intended purpose. The County Board chairman said has never had a board member question the money's use. I guess he hasn't, the Democrats on the board go go along with anything he wants.

Rights are intact

BND letter writer Justin Gibson missed the point and needs to reread what the Supreme Court decided in the Hobby Lobby case. Women's rights have not been dashed; their reproductive rights are intact. The women who work for Hobby Lobby have excellent insurance but it will not cover the types of contraceptives that keeps an embryo from implanting. They can still get these contraceptives; they just have to pay for them. It's finally a defense of religious freedom.

Extend the benefits

Now that the Hobby Lobby case has been decided by the Supreme Court, I see the Senate has introduced a bill that would require all employers to provide health care and according to Sen. Harry Reid, this is a woman's health issue. What about us men, don't we deserve equal rights? I have diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. When are the taxpayers going to start paying for my prescriptions? Or how about paying for my food so I can eat better and pay for my health club membership so I can exercise and reduce my cholesterol, blood pressure and sugar intake thereby getting off these meds? Why don't I have the same rights as any woman if it's a health care issue? What's fair is fair.

No honor or decency

President Obama calls our Congress no good but he does nothing. What is he doing with the alleged deserter? He should have been cleared by now or put against a wall and shot. And Obama should be beating up on his people for not telling the truth. We are the lowest country as far as honesty and decency in the world.

Clear the sidewalks

Why are advocates for the disabled allowing restaurants downtown to monopolize public sidewalks? On July 4 you couldn't use sidewalks because of all the tables set up on them.

Poor representation

The person who wrote the editorial July 5 did not do her homework. Fairview Heights Alderwoman Linda Arnold said she was doing her due diligence because of a resident's phone call on the TGI Friday's project in Fairview Heights. Had she attended any committee meetings at which the project was discussed or talked to staff, she could have answered questions. Instead she tried to sabotage it like she has tried on so many projects good for Fairview Heights. Due diligence is done before a vote, not afterward. She shouldn't be complimented because she on backed down when her crony, Alderman Scott Greenwald finally called her on it. Ward 4 voters need to wake up before the next election. They deserve better than Arnold.

Isolation never works

Some Belleville merchants' idea of success is to eliminate all competition so they can have all the customers for themselves. That's why they don't want a German Christmas market. The reality is protectionism and isolation never works. If they really believe they need more parking downtown, the city should build one large garage. They don't want to stay open nights and weekends and to compete for customers you must do this.

Impressed by event

I recently attended the Wine, Dine & Jazz event in Belleville. I heard so many wonderful comments from the upscale crowd; the music, food and wine were great. We came back a second night with our friends from West St. Louis County and they thought this was the nicest event of this time in the St. Louis area.

Raise skill levels

The fight over the minimum wage is confounding to me. The idea that everyone has to have a certain level of income is contrary to the capitalist idea. If you are in minimum wage job, you skimped on your education. Go back to school and get a skill that will land a job that pays more money than minimum wage. Why should we pay for everyone else to better their income when they have no skills or motivation to better themselves?

Unnecessary delay

I'm an elderly widow with modest income. Six weeks after filing my 2013 return, I got a letter from the IRS asking for the same information on my refund. There was no reason to hold up my income tax return. After 60 years of filing returns, I'm finally noticed. What a waste of taxpayers' money.

Opportunity knocks

We can continue to complain about illegal immigration. Deal with it. How about an entrepreneur or two coming up with an idea of how to make a lot of money because the immigrants are here? Once that is figured out, and it will be, the problem will be resolved.

Not our problem

Illegal immigrants are ridiculous; if you want them here, you pay for them. They do not look poor to me and they are paying $12,000 to get themselves here. I hate our president who steals our hard-earned money from us. Asking $3.7 billion to deal with the crisis, where does he think this money is coming from?

Patrols needed

I live 12 miles south of Belleville and very rarely do I see a St. Clair County Sheriff's patrol car. Why don't we see cars in rural areas? Why do they wait around in Belleville to issue traffic violations when they should be patrolling the rural areas for our safety?

Too light a sentence

Regarding your front-page article on Friday, "Felony plea costs mayor her office": JoAnn Reed pleaded guilty to a felony, but what does St. Clair County Chief Judge John Baricevic give her? Probation. It's just another example of corrupt politics. The judge should be ashamed of himself; she should have gone to jail.

Lights are a waste

The overhead lights on Main Street in Belleville are a waste of money. The money that went toward those lights could have gone toward resurfacing Main Street.

Double standards

Wasn't it last year when the city fathers of Belleville were raising a stink over the Keller corn stand competing with no one and the fireworks stands coming into town? What's the difference in letting these Christmas vendors come in downtown and ruin the business of merchants who have been paying taxes all these years? Sometimes politicians are just ignorant.

What about veterans?

With regard to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and his questionable hiring practices with the Department of Transportation: I thought the state had to hire veterans first. Did Quinn ignore that law?

Keep grass off streets

I like Metro cutting the grass by the St. Louis Airport in Cahokia, but I wonder whether the maintenance people realize we have an ordinance against throwing grass into the streets? They need to have some respect for the city and neighborhood.

Avoiding the obvious

It has been a month since President Obama embarrassed our country by trading five Taliban leaders for an alleged U.S. Army deserter. After hearing Bowe Bergdahl's comrades state he deserted his post, most Americans expected the military to move quickly to try to convict this modern-day Benedict Arnold. Instead, the Army will form a committee to investigate. There is nothing to investigate. But wait, if Bergdahl would be indicted for treason, he would further embarrass our president. Do you think Obama might be the one who directed the military to start this investigation just to save himself from further embarrassment? I would bet on that.

Enforce texting ban

It has been six months since texting was made illegal in Illinois. The law is just not being enforced by the police; why not?

Not highway material

Last week traveling east of Carlyle on U.S. 50, to my amazement I came across a construction crew oiling and chipping the highway, a process usually reserved for township roads and some city streets. I've never seen this done to a major highway. It was a huge mess, creating a hazard rather than fixing anything. Another waste of Illinois taxpayers' money.

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