Editorials

Cahokia’s lord of the horseshoe flies

Since Curtis McCall Jr. was elected Cahokia mayor in 2015, he has handled a string of incidents with boxing gloves rather than kid gloves.
Since Curtis McCall Jr. was elected Cahokia mayor in 2015, he has handled a string of incidents with boxing gloves rather than kid gloves. News-Democrat

When one group replaces another, there is bound to be some unrest and trouble. Still, you expect the newbies at some point to learn to lead graciously and end the heavy-handed tactics.

Cahokia apparently is not yet there.

Dave Shreve on Saturday just wanted to hold his Memorial Day horseshoe tournament as he has for 20 years. The 73-year-old went to Village Hall last week to ensure the park electrical outlets and lights would be unlocked so he could run the tournament.

He was told they would be unlocked at 4 p.m. By 6 p.m. when the tournament was starting and he needed to start recording results in his laptop, no one from the village had appeared as promised.

Shreve took it upon himself to cut the lock. He intended to buy the village a new lock.

He shouldn’t have done that. He destroyed village property, even though it was a relatively inexpensive item.

The response, however, was over the top. He deserved a ticket. Handcuffing a 73-year-old, putting him in the back of a police car and hauling him away to the village jail was the equivalent of swatting a mosquito with a sledge hammer.

Shreve said the police officer told him the arrest was at Mayor Curtis McCall Jr.’s direction. McCall didn’t respond to our reporter’s multiple queries.

McCall also engineered the arrest of Trustee Jerry Nichols in October. McCall deemed Nichols’ questions about recent hires and salaries to be unruly during a village board meeting. Most mayors would simply have used their gavel to restore order.

McCall also violated the Illinois Open Meetings Act by trying to make residents fill out a form in advance before they spoke at village meetings.

You can almost understand trying to control the political opposition and voices of dissent, although an enlightened leader would welcome the opposition’s views and still move his agenda forward. Bullying an older gentleman after your people failed to keep their promise is just abuse of power.

Shreve is owed an apology and a $10 bill for a lock.

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