Editorials

Softball buddies outrank residents with flooding homes

Pontoon Beach flooding could have been avoided

If MESD had lowered Horseshoe Lake level, Pontoon Beach and Mitchell flooding would not have been as severe
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If MESD had lowered Horseshoe Lake level, Pontoon Beach and Mitchell flooding would not have been as severe

Ask the mobile home residents in Pontoon Beach what they think of patronage hiring. They have a unique perspective because in May they were flooded out of their homes in a disaster that could have been prevented.

The Metro East Sanitary District had two broken pumps out of four at a critical pump house. The repair funds were wasted on hiring former director Robert Shipley’s buddies, the Granite City mayor’s son-in-law and people to mow the lawn even through the winter.

The new director, Steve Adler, estimates $6.8 million was wasted in the past seven years.

“We have plenty of money if they would have just spent it properly. ... But they hired people just because they were on Bob’s softball team,” Adler said.

Had those four pumps worked, they could have drained an Olympic-sized swimming pool every minute and stopped the floodwaters that inundated parts of Pontoon Beach.

You get kind of used to waste of public dollars. It is harder to get used to cronyism costing people their homes.

All of this is coming to light now because Republicans won control in Madison County and are exposing the sins of their Democratic forebears. Government checks and balances include viable, competing parties.

Shipley remains on the public’s dime as Granite City Township supervisor. The township’s boundaries mirror the Granite City municipal boundaries, making it one of the worthless, excess layers of government like East St. Louis Township is and Belleville Township was. After a multi-year fight, Belleville Township was finally recognized as a high-price, low-service government unit and dissolved.

What are the chances Shipley is also stacking Granite City Township’s staffing levels? What are the chances that another township is worth dissolving?

Your tax dollars at work, and play.

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