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August 17, 2014

Cronyism running wild in St. Clair County

Corruption and abuse of power is rampant in St. Clair County. Taxpayer dollars are being routinely doled out to "friends" of government officials. This results in great wealth for the County power brokers and their crony allies, all on the backs of St. Clair County taxpayers.

Thirty years of one-party rule has produced absolutely zero accountability among government officials in our county. This one-party stronghold on our county rewards those well-connected with the party in power. Meanwhile, the rest of us watch as our tax dollars are wasted every day.

In fact, St. Clair County has spent more than $3 million to settle lawsuits and to keep the results of those lawsuits under wraps.

Accountability of government officials, especially those who control the allocation of taxpayer dollars, must be brought back to St. Clair County. We simply cannot afford more government payouts for settlements and more "friends" of the government receiving taxpayer dollars simply because of who they know in local government.

Small business owners, corporate officials, and entrepreneurs look at the overwhelming corruption in our county and compare it to other counties nearby. So often they then decide to set up shop or expand operations in a neighboring county instead of ours.

How many thousands of jobs have we lost in St. Clair County across three decades because of the corruptive one-party rule in our county?

This has to end and end now.

However, we cannot expect corruption to end in St. Clair County until the power brokers deep in county government are kicked out of office by the voters and no longer have access to taxpayer dollars.

That's just common sense.

The power brokers in St. Clair County have managed to control every countywide office and hold a majority on the County Board for some thirty years.

Look at where we are at because of this -- $3 million -- that's taxpayer dollars let me remind you, settling lawsuits all with the details of those unknown to the citizens.

We desperately need accountability brought back to this county!

Will we, the people of St. Clair County, continue to whistle by the graveyard of corruption or will we rise up?

The English philosopher Edmund Burke famously said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

Will we do nothing this year as citizens of this county or will we be heard? Will our tax dollars continue to be wasted or will we demand accountability of our hard-earned tax dollars?

Rodger Cook is the former Belleville mayor and currently a Republican candidate for St. Clair County Treasurer.

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