O'Fallon Progress

Letters to the Editor: March 16, 2017

Don’t believe campaign mailer

Everyone get the political mailer stating Herb Roach’s campaign for mayor is being funded by Belleville machine chairman Mark Kern? It cites the source as the O’Fallon Weekly, Feb. 15, 2017. Sounds official; it must be true.

Fact check No. 1: The Illinois State Board of Elections’ website shows no contributions or transfers to Mr. Roach’s campaign from Mr. Kern, his campaign committee, nor his party.

Fact check No. 2: As for the source cited on the brochure, the only mention of this “bankrolling” in the Weekly’s Feb. 15 publication is in a letter to the editor from Barb Viviano, first vice chairperson of the St. Clair County Republican Party.

If this slick, color flier looks familiar, it should. The strategist behind the Phil Goodwin campaign is the same consultant behind the “vote yes please” campaign two years ago when Mayor Gary Graham wanted to privatize the water/sewer system.

It’s like throwing Jell-O on the wall. If you toss enough unsubstantiated figures out to the public, something might stick. The voters of O’Fallon didn’t buy it then, and you shouldn’t buy it now.

I recommend voting for Herb Roach, the only candidate who is trying to win your vote by walking this city and knocking on doors in order to hear from the people he wants to serve. He is also the only candidate running his own campaign; unlike Phil Goodwin, who hired a marketing consultant to run his.

Ron Zelms, O’Fallon

Using students to promote tax hike is unethical

The two 1-cent sales tax increases have been the topic of late. It’s a broken record to the ears of citizens.

Schools want more money — a lot more money. They present it differently each year, and this year it seems they wanted to piggyback onto the backs of our public safety departments and hop through with their win of $22 million yearly for 12 years.

But this year took an unethical twist. Students became involved. They see it as a withholding of funds to our schools. They talked of being “saved” by a teacher. They ask why we would want to hurt those that help them. All students are entitled to, by law, a 12-year education. They are entitled to respect in the delivery of this education. Caring or saving a life, so to speak, is extra. It is fortunate for some that their teachers go above the minimum and make them feel special. These teachers are exceptional in their field.

This tax vote is emotional for the people that pay the bill. Citizens are living in one of the highest property taxed area in the U.S. And now the schools want us to pay more sales tax to make us one of the highest sales taxed area, ever. As the taxpayers, we have a say. And our say is that we are weary from constantly giving up our income for an already prepared school that can continue to love the student body.

Vote no on the tax increases.

Nikki Edwards, O’Fallon

Roach double talks on TIF districts

Once again Herb Roach is caught talking out of both sides of his mouth when it comes to tax increment financing (TIF) districts. This is a very effective business incentive tool that is used to encourage development of underutilized property.

He states in a video on the BND, and then again last week in a news release, that he is against the use of TIFs because they are overused and hurt schools. He opposes the RASP Farm TIF, the TIF at Central Park Drive, which brought Menard’s, and even the TIF at Southview Plaza.

But then he states that he voted to yes to create a new TIF district for the Four Points development, which is where the new McKendree Metro Rec Plex is located. Did that have anything to do with the fact that this new TIF is in Ward 4, which is where he is alderman?

Herb Roach has a history of talking out of both sides to the point you never know what side he is on. As mayor, you need clear ideas and have to be willing to stand up for what you believe in and then act on it. You can’t be against business incentives and then use them when they are politically convenient for you.

Bob Wells, O’Fallon

With Goodwin, what you see is what you get

I’m writing to voice my support for the O’Fallon candidate for mayor, Phil Goodwin.

As I read articles and get information regarding this race, I am struck by the trustworthiness I see in Phil.

His approach is straightforward —what you see if what you get. Phil is a veteran, and I am comforted that someone with his background would be running our city.

I’m confident he will always keep the best interest of O’Fallon citizens in mind when making decisions. His message is simple and honest.

Phil has a clear vision for moving the community forward, and he’s the only candidate with a real plan to help reduce property taxes for O’Fallon homeowners.

That’s why I’m voting for Phil.

Linda Cowden, O’Fallon

Roach is no friend of O’Fallon parks

It is no secret that Herb Roach does not support the park system in O’Fallon. He has voted against improving our parks as alderman and has indicated no change if elected mayor.

If you are one of the thousands of parents who has enrolled your child in the city’s parks and recreation, baseball or soccer leagues, you should be very concerned about electing Roach.

In November, he had the opportunity to complete O’Fallon’s Family Sports Park as part of Destination O’Fallon. But he voted against it, even after hundreds of parents and their student athletes showed up in support of it.

This plan will upgrade fields, provide children with a training advantage and make O’Fallon the No. 1 destination for premier soccer and baseball tournaments in the Midwest. Tournaments bring thousands of out-of-town teams and spectators to O’Fallon. With more all-weather fields, O’Fallon will be able to attract larger soccer tournaments.

Roach voted against the increase in hotel/motel tax, which is paying for these improvements from out-of-town guests in our city hotels, not city taxpayers.

Now, he is stating that he would use the hotel/motel tax increase to pay for other pet projects of his and not fund the park improvements.

First he states that we shouldn’t raise the hotel/motel tax and votes against it, now he wants to use it for projects that it was not intended for. That sounds like a typical politician, which we do not need running our city.

Mary Thurman, O’Fallon