I urge the citizens of Belleville to vote and become informed about the upcoming municipal election — not in that order. We are a headline society that doesn’t look beyond the surface for the truth concerning sensitive issues. We should always stand in the metaphorical center of an issue and carefully observe and research both sides.
Mark Eckert’s leadership over the past 12 years has transformed our city in aspects of economic growth, beauty and infrastructure. Unfinished projects don’t equal failure — they mean that there’s still much left to be done, and that we are heading in the right direction.
Each voter needs to seriously research the candidates’ views on the hot issues of raising sales tax, TIF districts and crime. No one likes tax increases, but we are at the mercy of our fiscally insecure state government. This small increase will keep our community stable amid the state’s crisis.
Dallas Cook continues to criticize loyal privately-owned businesses like The EDGE and 4204 Brewing Company for benefiting from TIF funds. These are businesses that have invested, expanded, increased revenue and created more jobs. The small incentives they received were investments by the city, and the abundant returns are clearly visible. Strong businesses make our community stable and attractive.
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As far as crime goes, the BND has already published the state statistics that reveal a decrease in crime since 2010. The number of police officers has increased under Eckert and Clay. It’s a mystery why Cook wants to fire Police Chief Clay.
Get the facts and vote on April 4.
Stephen Eros, Belleville