Letters to the Editor

BND readers sound-off on sales tax, a party bus, and crime in Belleville

Don’t trust politicians

My thoughts on the “penny tax:” I know that both of the issues that they want to fund are important, schools and safety. I was a firefighter for over 10 years back in the ’80s. I understand that money is needed. But, there has been so much misspending of money in St. Clair County. I don’t trust that the politicians are going to do what’s right with the money. I think there are better cost-saving methods that we should try first.

Too much on penny tax

I’ve always viewed the BND as a guardian from the corrupt machine that runs the state. But, you didn’t write just a blurb supporting the potential new taxes, you wrote full page spreads. You know the people who run this county and the waste, the TIFs, MidAmerica airport, all of it. I’m really disappointed in the BND pushing this so hard. You’ve lost credibility with me.

Wasting millions on airport

St. Clair County wastes millions of dollars annually funding an airport that will never make a dime. The millions could be used to fund police, education, and other resources. Illinois wants six more casinos for tax revenue. Kern and schools want sales tax increases. Belleville wants TIF property tax increases to spend on their friends. Time to demand audits to make sure your tax money is being spent effectively and efficiently. Time to elect competent politicians, who can work with the resources they have. Don’t give them another dime to waste.

$800K for parking, not deputies

Kern would rather waste $800K on an unneeded airport parking lot than take care of the county jail and sheriff’s department. We know Kern’s priorities are paying off political buddies, not the welfare of the county. Vote no for one percent sales tax increase and tell Kern to stop wasting millions on a failed airport.

Party bus stealing our votes

The Democratic party in St. Clair County is at work again with teenagers riding a bus, getting drunk and handing out votes. These are people who are stealing your elections. St. Clair county is rife with corruption and we’re paying for it.

Term limits cures insanity

Insanity: doing the same thing over and expecting different results. I moved here a few years ago and my Missouri friends thought I had lost it. The Democrats are so entrenched the only way to get rid of them is term limits. Is that possible? Thank goodness for Glenn McCoy.

Where’s he been for 39 years?

Bruce Canty has been in office for nearly 40 years. Now he says that he can lower sewer bills. Why didn’t he do that 39 years ago?

Perks atop perks for trustees

These “so called trustees” in Caseyville Township not only get a handsome monthly salary but also a very nice health insurance benefit. If they have private insurance, the township includes in their salary a stipend of several hundred dollars per month to help them pay it. Many of them, trustees and employees, have a retirement health plan and some are even on the County Board which also has a health plan, and they also get paid. Not too bad for 10-15 hours work per month. Wake up, people. They are there for themselves, not the township.

Too many school districts

There are 580 school districts in Illinois with an average of five in every county except St. Clair, which has 30. We need to consolidate. Don’t give them any more money until they do.

Pensions over pupils

We need school vouchers. The kids need to go into private schools. The teachers are bleeding the state dry. They’re in it for the pension and don’t care about the kids.

Crime defines Belleville

Perhaps a victory for Dallas Cook in the mayoral race will result in Belleville getting a new police chief. Mark Eckert and Chief Clay continuously downplay the serious and continuous crime going on in the city. Citizens need a police chief who is pro-active, aggressive and creative in fighting crime. Crime should not define a city.

Thift store complaints?

Tell me Alderman Roger Wigginton: What complaints did you receive about re-sale shops?

Pay those sewer bills

Belleville taxpayers, is it right that aldermen can be sworn in with unpaid sewer and trash bills? Belleville residents can’t get a yard sale permit with outstanding bills. Why the unfair treatment?

Give up the car, mayor

Mark Eckert should cut city costs by example. If he turns in that city-owned vehicle he drives around everywhere, he’d show us that he actually wants to save money.

Better ingredients. Better pizza.

I tried to call Mike Bost but he didn’t answer because I’m not important. He sent an email that said he moved his office away from Belleville, the county seat, because O’Fallon had a better pizza shop. I can’t believe this.

Why stealth for fire vehicles?

Why do members of the Belleville fire department command staff have to have unmarked, red SUVs with lights on the inside instead of the outside? Are they trying to sneak up on the fires or use these SUVs for their own personal use?

Absent ethics in county

A couple years ago, Paul and Dixie Seibert passed out absentee ballots by going door to door in an effort to try to re-elect Dixie to the County Board. It was totally illegal but they both said they were unaware that it was wrong. The Democratic machine swept it under the rug when the state’s attorney’s office refused to issue complaints. Now Mark Kern has appointed Paul Seibert to the vacancy on the County Board that his wife held. So glad that honesty and ethics are alive and well in St. Clair County.

Unhealthy work habits

It was interesting to read a caller’s remarks about his/her experience dealing with the St. Clair County Health Department. I had a similar experience. I was at the health department to take care of some business in the environmental area. There were two people ahead of me and one woman working diligently to help us. Sitting next to her was a man with his feet propped up on the desk talking on his cell phone on a personal phone call. Why is this allowed? If a tax-paid employee has that kind of time, it is time for that employee to go. And perhaps his boss with him.

Preparing for disaster in Cahokia

On National Emergency Preparedness Day, the mayor of Cahokia, Curtis McCall Jr., didn’t see the need to have the emergency sirens tested. When asked about this issue at a village meeting, he just sat there looking like he had no clue what we were speaking about. When we read a response from Herb Simmons who is head of St. Clair County Emergency Management that “...the village had taken responsibility for their own testing,” Mr. McCall just looked at the residents with no response. He could care less about this entire community.

Fatal DUI convict remains free

The lengthy legal process to reach a guilty plead by Steven Willis, in the DUI death of Samantha Miller from October 2015 is an outrage. Why wasn’t he immediately taken into custody for what will be a 3-14 year sentence, not free on bail until a sentencing date? Is he on an ankle monitor and restricted to home? Plus, something is wrong with the legal system that permits more than 40 traffic citations since 1994 to be dismissed with court supervision, so they don’t impact his “official” driving record.

Stookey Township roads need work

Stookey Township Highway Commissioner, Donald Lillis, throughout his four-year term, has spent thousands of unnecessary dollars. First, his employees unionized and he fought their contract, spending $14,000 plus to do so. He oiled and chipped two asphalt roads in the rain in very nice neighborhoods, which he then had to spend $60,000 plus to redo with asphalt. The road conditions are absolutely horrible. With as much as we pay in taxes, why doesn’t he have his guys do productive road work. I know the three employees, who are wonderful guys, but the snow-ice removal the past four years has been horrible as well. I don’t care who the taxpayers elect, but let’s get this man out of office. I want my roads back and I want Stookey Township to be wonderful again.

Caseyville Township’s competing bums

The lesser of two evils is still evil. That’s how I feel about the Caseyville Township collection. Both sides want to protect their own little fiefdom. They spend all their time fighting about who is in charge rather than the people they are going to represent. If they weren’t complaining about each other, we wouldn’t hear from them at all until election time.

Public sidewalks, private business

How much does the city get from Tavern on Main and the Wine Tap for the tables and chairs on the public street sidewalks? They have little buildings and use our public property to sell their food and liquor.

Normal family with 50 calls?

The Campbells were portrayed in the paper as a “normal” family but then the story said that the police visited their home 50 times in the last several years. I’ve never had the police called to my house once in the 25 years I’ve been here. How normal could they be?

Not my definition of motherhood

As I read more about what happened in Glen Carbon, I’m becoming so puzzled. She shoots her husband, sets the house on fire, drives her car into Silver Lake and leaves her infant in the vehicle. All of her neighbors are saying what a “super mom” she was. I don’t think so.