Editorials

Editorials

A glimmer rises from the cold, dark waters of Silver Lake

The seven Campbell children survived their parents’ violent deaths, fire at their home and the cold waters of a rural lake. In the aftermath they found a family to surround them and a community that cares about their futures in southern Illinois near St. Louis, MO. Most importantly, they found a hero who saved the youngest of them by diving into an icy lake in the dark.

Editorials

Hoping we get someone in Springfield to turn around

Illinois state employee pension reform was split off from the issue of passing a budget, yet Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says the retirement system changes are still important to making progress. Efforts to either force or stall a final deal should remember that taxpayers must pay for it all.

Editorials

Airlines will need 50,000 pilots, may find them at a base near you

The Air Mobility Command headquartered at Scott Air Force Base in southern Illinois near St. Louis, MO, could lose 1,600 pilots within four years if commercial airlines successfully recruit them. A current shortage is increasing the workload, making civilian jobs and salaries appealing unless solutions are found by military commanders and airlines.

Editorials

Save a dollar here, let schools hide the dollars there

A local state representative in southern Illinois near St. Louis, MO, signed on to sponsor a bill that would allow local school districts to avoid publishing their annual financial statements. Public bodies are notoriously bad at posting information online, even when state law mandates it. Uneven internet access and the inability to remove, change or hide something once it’s been published argue for putting these records in black and white.

Editorials

Dear O’Fallon voters: Don’t vote for me

The four-way race for alderman in O’Fallon in southern Illinois near St. Louis, MO, became a two-man race. The guy who quit after participating in a public forum offered some thoughts on public service, evaluating candidates and campaigning ahead of the April 4, 2017, municipal election.

Editorials

Three St. Clair County Board members fail to file pension reports

Elected county officials must now prove they work a minimum number of hours a year to be eligible for an Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund pension. Madison County quit the system. St. Clair County in southern Illinois near St. Louis, MO, still has 10 board members enrolled, and three are not filing the monthly timesheets as required. Here is a closer look to kick off Sunshine Week, a celebration of opening up government.

Editorials

Community pride, service? Youthful energy? Why we never!

While the St. Clair County Board added another aging male to its lineup, his replacement on the Belleville City Council is a young man with a proven record of energy, leadership and ideas. Governments in southern Illinois near St. Louis, MO, should emphasize diversity when appointing new members to vacancies.

Editorials

A little grease gets wheels moving on Frank Scott Parkway

St. Clair County in southern Illinois near St. Louis, MO, was unable to pay property owners more than appraised value for an extention of Frank Scott Parkway out to Scott Air Force Base. Shiloh village leaders stepped in and use tax increment financing funds to pay the difference, opening an economic corridor that will generate taxes.

Editorials

City leaders add insult to injury of illegal secret meeting

City council members and the mayor in O’Fallon, in southern Illinois near St. Louis, MO, were just told they violated the Illinois Open Meetings Act. The resident who asked for an Illinois Attorney General opinion was yelled at during a meeting for also seeking records under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

Editorials

How much change can we expect with 2 more cents in sales tax?

Schools and law enforcement in St. Clair County in southern Illinois near St. Louis, MO, on April 4, 2017, will each ask for a 1 percent sales tax to support them. Driving the sales tax rate into the double digits and making it the region’s highest is one way to fix problems, but doesn’t address the archaic design and financing of these institutions.