Letters to the Editor

Sound off: Belleville’s Christmas present from Santa Claus Kern a tax increase

Our readers sound off on the week’s news:

Santa Claus Kern’s present is a proposed tax increase

To all the folks who decided to re-elect Mark Kern, his Christmas present to you and those of us who didn’t vote for him, is a proposed 1 cent tax increase. Thank you so much Santa Claus Kern and thank you for those who voted for him. You knew what we were dealing with yet you voted for him again.

Where is public works when you need them?

Where is the Fairview Heights public works department? There is a sheet of ice on Lincoln Trail and all the roads up to and including the road to city hall. This are the types of things that stop people from being re-elected.

They only care about themselves

Taxpayers would be more receptive of the sales tax proposals for the county and public schools if they could see their public employees making a sacrifice in regards to their overly generous salaries and outrageous pensions. These people only care about themselves and could care less that they will eventually bankrupt this state.

Belleville can’t afford a street crew because of TIFs

Three hours after the freezing rain started on Friday, the street where I live is still a sheet of ice. Where was Mark Eckert’s street department? Why didn’t they pretreat the streets? Why aren’t they putting down ice melt to change the streets from an ice rink to a road way again. Maybe the city of Belleville can’t afford a street crew because they have given so much money away in TIFs.

A whipping boy as president

Well, well, well. Thanks to our out of date system of electing presidents and through some sabotage work out of the Kremlin, Vladimir is going to get what he wants, and that is a whipping boy as president.

Rauner inherited the mess

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union reeks with greed and shows no effort to be reasonable in helping our state become solvent. Unions are supposed to seek fair wages and benefits for their employees and members, not bankrupt the company or agencies that employ them. AFSCME workers are highly paid with more benefits by far than their counterparts in private industry. Maybe if the state laid off about half of their members, they would get the message that Illinois is broke. Rauner isn’t to blame. He inherited the mess.

What about conflict of interest?

I found it interested that a pension receiving retired police officer, Roger Barfield, was hired to run the housing department even though he didn’t have the proper qualifications, and now he wants to become alderman and possibly receive another pension. Is that not a conflict of interest? I suggest the party find someone else besides Mr. Barfield for the job. He’s already dipping too much in the pot anyway.

Which is it Mayor Switzer?

Friday night’s ice storm, there hundreds of people stuck on Highway 15 just north of Freeburg and yet there were two Freeburg police officers eating at McDonald’s while everyone was out stranded on the highway. When someone would call in, the police would say that was state police jurisdiction. I find it odd that they can’t help people stuck on the roads, but they can write tickets up and down Highway 15 all day. Which is it Mayor Switzer? Is it your job to help these people out when they need it, or is it your job to write tickets?

They always blame it on pensions

Every time the city of Belleville wants to raise the real estate taxes for the property owners, they always blame it on the police and firefighter’s pensions. Of course it has nothing to do with the millions of dollars given away in TIFs. The million dollars given away for Centennial park, walking trails, dogs parks or any of the other important things needed in Belleville. I hope the people of Belleville remember this in Belleville.

If you think Obama faced gridlock, you ain’t seen nothing yet

It’s really fun to read letters from conservatives telling everyone else to shut up and move on because Donald Trump won the election. They’re missing something: the Republican majority in the Senate has been reduced to only two. There are already more than two Republican senators who won’t support Trump and when it comes to crucial issues, they’ll resist even more. Try to remember that he was elected president and not emperor. This goes for the Supreme Court as well. The biggest group against Barack Obama. They had never seen a black man smarter than them on all of the issues and they hated it. Try to remember how Clarence Thomas was appointed and confirmed despite slander and he is still there. You think Obama faced gridlock, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Belleville is raising taxes — again

Again Belleville is raising taxes and they let you know at Christmas when you’re trying to enjoy the holidays. If they would get rid of TIF, they wouldn’t need to increase taxes. If they still collect the money for TIF, it should be used for government, police, fire, streets, etc.

The secret to driving in a roundabout

It’s absolutely amazing to me the Belleville is one of the few cities with a roundabout, that has been there for probably 100 years, people cannot get the clue of how to get around a roundabout anywhere else. Eventually, what’s going to happen is someone is going to be severely rear ended if they start to go around then see a car in the distance and put on their breaks and waiting for them. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. Everyone is supposed to be moving at all times. All you have to do is give the right of way to the person who is already in the circle. That’s the secret. Now try to get used to it!

Why are police driving away?

Can someone tell the public why the East St. Louis police would be driving away from the city at 7:30 in the morning on Dec. 21.

It’s not too late to get involved

Without a doubt, there’s a lot of interest these days in developing the Route 15 corridor. Development along that area not only helps Belleville, it enhances travel to Swansea, Freeburg, Millstadt, New Athens and beyond. The Route 15 corridor would be greatly enhanced if the highway had a direct connection to the Poplar Street complex in downtown St. Louis. The ramps for that connection were constructed more than 50 years ago, but the connection has never been made. Making that connection, known as the Tudor/Piggot connection, a reality was recently investigated by the St. Clair County Highway Department. They concluded there was no interest in the project, but apparently most local officials weren’t even aware that such a study was being made. The final decision isn’t being made until next month, so it’s not too late for local governments to get involved. It’s imperative that anyone with an interest in seeing this highway connection being made, contact their local officials and express their interest in seeing this progress.