East St. Louis Township Supervisor Alvin Parks apologized six times for using the N-word during a meeting a week ago. He excused it as a byproduct of his passion for the people.
First, Parks hasn’t been in politics for five minutes. It’s hard to buy that he didn’t know what he was doing during his performance. The disrespect it showed to the audience, other elected leaders and the office is beyond excuse.
Second, strip it down and what Parks was passionate about was his people, not the people.
The whole argument was as trustees were voting to hire five full-time workers and a part-time worker. The hires doubled the township staff’s size.
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Parks earlier tried to hire his sister, Lauren, as a $40,000 aide and city political boss Lonzo Greenwood as $25,000 consultant. This time around he again had his own list of hires, including school board member Victoria Clay.
The other side also had a school board member on their hiring list, and she got the $25,000 job. It was LaKeisha N. Adams.
Remember her? She was at the Caseyville Hardee’s for lunch with former township supervisor Oliver W. Hamilton, convicted of robbing township coffers for years, and convicted felon and former city councilman Kelvin Ellis. Ellis was just out of prison for corruption and hiring a hit man and may be headed back for consorting with Hamilton, a known felon, over burgers and fries.
But back to the township: Parks may be guilty of showing serious disrespect to the township and its residents, but the whole gang of them are guilty of egregious disregard for the hard-working folks who pay taxes to keep them in patronage hires.
The township sucks income from a community where nearly half the folks live in poverty. Its boundaries mirror the City of East St. Louis and it renders no real government function that couldn’t be handled by another government unit for much less and much more effectively. It is a hotbed of political corruption unable to stop itself, with bank accounts that have $4 million, or is it $2 million, or is it $400,000?
No financial control. No self control. No legitimate reason to exist.