Cahokia Village President Curtis McCall Jr. may be a great guy who has big plans to improve services to the least fortunate in his community, but he sure made a poor effort to communicate any good intentions behind forcing the village food pantry to close.
He had a village worker who wouldn’t even give her full name say he wouldn’t be commenting and that the pantry was closed for “reconstruction.” He gave the same treatment to the television stations. The charity was given four days to vacate and the images of pallets of food being taken away gave the village an instant reputation as petty, political and callous to the needs of its needy.
McCall finally explained Tuesday night that he wasn’t happy with the pantry’s leadership based on resident complaints about quality and service.
We suspect pantry director Christina Walker is correct when she says McCall is delivering political payback for her failed bid to challenge his slate for a spot on the Cahokia school board. McCall put her on paid administrative leave from her part-time director’s job paying $360 a week.
But regardless of whether McCall is vanquishing his opponents or responding to resident complaints, what was the rush to close the place down? Why punish those in need? Replace Walker if you must, but leave the pantry open during the transition.
Playing politics with hungry children is not the way to begin an administration.