Serving up more taxes for tennis courts hits foul line

Tennis courts are finished inside Lincoln Park in East St. Louis.
Tennis courts are finished inside Lincoln Park in East St. Louis. dholtmann@bnd.com

Maybe we’ll see the next Jimmy Connors or Serena Williams come out of the tennis program at the East St. Louis Park District. We know we won’t see the next Suze Orman or Warren Buffett emerge from the park district’s administration.

That’s because the district failed to manage the $252,074 it had to refurbish three tennis courts. They overspent by $20,000.

So now to add insult to taxpayers’ injury, park director Irma Golliday has the nerve to ask St. Clair County taxpayers to make up the difference.

“There were some things we did to make the tennis court more appealing, and I tell you what, that tennis court is beautiful,” she said.

Sorry. Beautiful is sticking to the budget, especially when the district got grant money for 90 percent of the project. They received another grant from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to fund a youth summer camp, but they essentially used that money to pay the overages on the tennis courts.

So the next session of youth camp is in peril. Also, they decided that tennis courts were more important that getting the swimming pool reopened.

The pool project is in the future. Watch for that financial boondoggle.

It sure is easy to overspend money when it’s other people’s taxes and donations.

Maybe Golliday should try to make her case through an online charity appeal. Asking taxpayers to fund the park district’s fiscal incompetence is unacceptable.