I recently read the proposed Belleville budget in the Belleville News-Democrat. I noticed the allocation of $150,000 for general assistance which used to be handled by the now-dissolved Belleville Township. What happened to the surplus funds that were held in the township account?
Kern in hiding
How would you like to wake up one morning and read in the newspaper that you would not be getting a raise this year? That is exactly what happened to a few hundred county employees. The elected officials, appointed department heads and supervisors did not have the guts to let employees know this was happening, even though it had been under discussion for several months. This is not CIA top-secret information. It is public information. Makes you wonder what else Kern and his team are hiding.
Never miss a local story.
When are you going to publish the names of the Illinois House, Senate and staffers that settled sexual harassment suits using taxpayers money? Has there ever been a sexual harassment suit against St. Clair County personnel settled using taxpayers money?
Kudos to Beth Hundsdorfer and George Pawlaczyk for the outstanding New Douglas story. Is it too early to conclude that intervention from government agencies and caring individuals have failed? No one is hopeless. The father was a typical alcoholic. The mother was a typical alcoholic’s wife reacting to her husband making her feel worthless while she’s overwhelmed with responsibility. I believe the family could have been helped by Alcoholics Anonymous.
In the story about the Elkins family, I’m glad you printed it, but it is so terrible.
Secure at mall
Thank you to the Fairview Heights Police Chief Nick Gailius and all of the Fairview Heights police for their proactive and smart policing at the St. Clair Square mall and surrounding area. I was filled with a sense of security knowing that the police are literally, in some cases, just feet away. Thanks again. This is great community policing.
Christmas in Fairview?
The city of Fairview Heights has a lack of leadership. Fairview Heights has no property tax due to the fact that the city has such big shopping and enterprise going on. But, they don’t decorate for Christmas. It looks like they aren’t even having Christmas here and it’s ridiculous. They should put a little money into it that they’ve been collecting from all of these businesses.
After years of wasting billions of taxpayer dollars, the Illinois high-speed rail or the Obama “make work” project from St. Louis to Chicago will be completed. It’s not a real high-speed train because top speed at times will only reach 100 mph. You might save an hour. Real high-speed trains run well over 250 miles per hour, run on tracks and rail beds specifically designed for high-speed rail only. The Illinois less-than-high-speed trains will run on tracks heavily used by freight trains. After a few years of heavy freight, the tracks will be degraded and not safe to run at high speeds. Track beds and tracks will need to be replaced again, at taxpayer expense. Illinois’ less-than-high-speed rail will become a true Obama “make work” job forever.
Reason to brag
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year from Belleville Mayor Eckert. He’s going to raise your property taxes again. Underfunded pensions and the need for more TIF money takes priority among Belleville’s Democratic politicians. Belleville home owners will continue to suffer as they see the real estate values of their homes decline and the estimated property tax value increase again. Any fool can spend money, but it takes intelligent, competent people to save money. Ever hear Eckert brag about how much he has saved the taxpayers in Belleville?
The Democratic fiscal mismanagement of the state, county, and Belleville can’t be more obvious, except to those voters who continually vote for incompetent Democrats. The BND warns Belleville residents of another property tax increase for 2018 in the works for Belleville. Looks like Eckert and his TIF minions haven’t been funding pensions. Get ready Belleville home owners, Eckert is asking for another 12 percent increase in your property taxes. Bet Kern will need more money, too, since he has a budget that’s millions in unfunded debt. Walmart probably took a good look at these idiots and decided they couldn’t do business with incompetent people.
Why is Belleville’s only method of solving financial issues to raise taxes? Any village idiot could run the city like this.
Sick of taxes
Why should we have to pay more in taxes to support the fire department of Belleville? They don’t even hardly work now and I’m sick of it. They’re taxing everyone out of St. Clair County. We need to vote this mayor out and lower all of the salaries. They don’t work enough to justify those salaries.
Now it’s confirmed that there is radiation at the NGA West site. Cannot anyone in charge see the lunacy of putting the building there? Isn’t it time to back the whole thing up and re-think it? Isn’t it time to consider the huge cost of a clean up of that site and put the entire project in St. Clair County where it should have been from the beginning? All the crime, all the traffic congestion, it’s sheer stupidity, and a risk to security to put it in North St. Louis.
Is it a surprise East St. Louis School District 189 has the largest payroll and highest salaries compared to 29 other school districts? Of course not. The only thing District 189’s large staff and high compensation proves is there is absolutely no correlation between student achievement and the excessively large, high-paid staff in District 189. It’s been that way for years. School District 189 is a Democratic slush fund, which hires relatives and well-connected Democrats in East St. Louis School. One of District 189’s highly paid flunkies is Latoya Greenwood, District 189 human resources director. Even though elected to be an Illinois House representative, Latoya isn’t giving up her big salary and gravy job at District 189. She has hired most of the overpaid staff, and her daddy is a Democratic bigwig in East St. Louis. School District 189 isn’t about education, it’s about power in East St. Louis. Hoffman’s friends were hired by IDOT. Clayborne’s girlfriends got nice state jobs. Greenwood’s friends will get high-paid jobs at District 189.
Betting the farm
Farmer Mark Kern and his barnyard gang are guilty of counting their chickens before they’re hatched. They’re betting taxpayer dollars against gaining new revenue from fuel sales with increased passengers and new parking fees at MidAmerica Airport. Betting on the single air carrier that serves the airport to remain viable and robust is a gamble in itself. With that in mind, do we really need an expanded passenger terminal and blast pads to accommodate B-747 aircraft?
Lights off, county
Why is the interior of the St. Clair County courthouse lit up like a Christmas tree at night? The lights are left on nightly in more than half of the offices facing First Street, Washington Street, and the Square. Few appear to be working in those offices after the cleaning staff leaves. I can see why keeping the fountain lights on, or having a festive tree lit up out front might be of some benefit to the community. I can even appreciate that some diligent government employees toil into the night in their offices. But why run up our electric bill like that? Power down, folks. It’s better for the taxpayers, the environment, and the budget.
Cheaper in Missouri
I moved to Missouri and the taxes on my home, worth around $250,000, are $2,100 per year.
Not one of our churches opens its doors to a human being who is homeless. Our city government gives lots of money to rich car dealers and new enterprises but not a homeless human being. The police department no longer has vouchers for the homeless to sleep in a warm motel. Isn’t the message of Christmas about giving shelter in a manger? Belleville churches and city government, you can do better.
A free safety app is being offered to anyone riding MetroLink. Download the app to your phone, and as long as you don’t have your phone taken in a robbery, you can notify the police of the robbery. The app doesn’t work too well for people who are shot and unable to get their phone out. The company who owns the MetroLink Crime app normally charges $29 and $2.95 per month. Instead of downloading an app to make you feel safe on MetroLink, find another mode of transportation until MetroLink solves their crime problem and can guarantee the safety of their riders.
Food stamp eligibility
Does Illinois ever re-evaluate people’s eligibility for food stamps? As a taxpayer, I was disturbed to learn this year that the cash assets of an acquaintance greatly exceeded eligibility limits. But, at the time of death, this person was receiving benefits.
Evening with Alvin
Regarding Phil Haines’ letter to the editor, he might enjoy spending an evening with Alvin Parks, who has a great personality and is comfortable with people of many demographics. This isn’t a character flaw. What East St. Louis needs isn’t fewer Alvin Parks, but more auditors willing to do their jobs.
Some people are blaming the director of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for misleading Belleville. The city did what it could to keep the hospital there. The bigwigs at St. Elizabeth’s had plans to pull out of Belleville and build a shiny new building because that’s what they wanted. They wanted to build it in an upper-class area as opposed to Belleville. The hospital wanted to do this and they did.