Letters to the Editor

BND readers sound off on TIFs, politicians and the eclipse

Any reason

Area schools are closing for the solar eclipse? I guess educators will come up with any reason possible to give their students the day off.

Nickel and dimed

I would love to see the BND do a monthly report on how Illinois spends the increase in our taxes. Not every nickel. But how about, anything over $50K could appear in a BND monthly report. Illinois’ history is that they raise taxes and then spend it, not to pay on the budget, but to buy new things that aren’t a priority. How about that for an assignment?

Voter outrage

The responses from Congressman Bost’s Belleville office have not been what he would like us to believe they are. Several weeks ago, I called about town halls. I was informed by the person who answered the phone, that the congressman has no town halls. I asked how you get on the list to be invited to the smaller group meetings and the young man knew nothing about. He said he would call me with the answer, but he never did. Guess where my vote is going.

Taking the credit

Senate Republicans continue to debate repairs to the Affordable Care Act with no help from Chuck Schumer’s mess-makers. While Democrats fell in line on Christmas Eve a few years ago to give Americans their present, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and their handler, Jonathan Gruber, counted on the stupidity of the American voter. At least Republicans have some backbone and independence when it comes to big issues. They’re debating rather than falling in lock-step with the likes of stupidity-peddling Mr. Gruber as Chuck, Nancy, Dick and all the others did. Wring your hands while the Republicans save you and your Dem heroes take the credit.

Shame, shame, shame

So, our elite members of the Belleville city council (many of whom are members of the Good Government Party in disguise as independents) vote to give Mr. Moneybags Auffenberg more than a million dollars in TIF money. Unbelievable. Some even cited Mr. Auffenberg as “loyal to Belleville.” He sure was loyal to Belleville when he moved his car dealership to O’Fallon leaving behind only a small used car lot. Once again, he shows his loyalty to Belleville by relocating the auto mall to Shiloh. Mr. Auffenberg is loyal only to Mr. Auffenberg. As for our city council who voted for this: shame, shame, shame. Maybe someday, you will actually do what is best for the residents of Belleville and not what is best for your little circle of friends.

Pie on our face

Does the 24 million in annual sales from Auffenberg Ford count new car sales only? Or does this bunch together all of their used car sales as well? Belleville has plenty of used car dealerships. Belleville residents can get their used Ford purchase over in Missouri and the taxes will go to Belleville. The only piece of the pie that Belleville misses are buying new Fords here in Belleville of which there are other various Ford dealerships in cities around.

Take the money and run

I am tired of Belleville providing funding, TIF and otherwise, when the business expands into other communities, such as Lindenwood opening a branch in Collinsville. Auffenberg opened another dealership in Shiloh. All this will do is be a set up for more TIF handouts to Oliver C. Joseph. AEG, which was give many opportunities in Belleville, has expanded into other cities throughout other states as well.

Any oversight?

Mayor Eckert said that only city officials are allowed to see sales tax results or sales results from TIF agreements from businesses. Does this mean that they are required to actually look at them? And who are these city officials that oversee these? Is it all of the city council? Just the mayor? Just the finance guy?

No more TIFs

Get rid of TIFs. Illinois is broke. Illinois allows cities to have tax increment funding. Get rid of Eckert. One million plus to Auffenberg Ford? I don’t think so. My tax money should go to police, streets, fire departments — not to private businesses to encourage them to succeed.

Crime free for everybody

Crime free housing should apply to all, not just a few select. If callers to the hotline are not someone that the receivers like or if they know the person you’re calling in, they dismiss your concern. That behavior was from housing police. Perhaps there should be a class-action lawsuit to stop this kind of thing.

Millstadt job

The public works position that opened in Millstadt was advertised in the BND. What a waste of time. I’ve been trying to get into Millstadt public works for the last 20 years. Every time a job is posted, the board and mayor hire a relative or a friend. Last time, the mayor hired his best friend. Watch, when they hire next month, the new public works director will be a relative or friend of the mayor of Millstadt. This is unfair to the rest of the public.

Animal abusers

I’m calling about the lowlives that hurt the dog so badly. That is the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I hope that they catch these people and put them in jail. That is horrific to do that to a helpless animal. I think that both their legs and arms should be broken and we should leave them out in a field to die.

Come on, Cards

Luke Voit carried the Cardinals for two weeks so they put him on the bench and put Wong in the lineup, who has never carried the team at any time. The intellectuals who run the team play people because of the contracts not their performance. The Cardinals have players who are clearly better than either Wong or Piscotty.

Pritzker of Chicago

I listened to J.B. Pritzker’s glowing self-epitaph and read the campaign article in the BND. The only thing Pritzker said about saving Illinois from bankruptcy is raising taxes even more. No wonder the jolly little politician said he would work well with Madigan. Birds of a feather work well together. Let’s not forget Pritzker was cultivating southern Illinois teachers. Can’t win an election without the teachers union money in your back pocket. Also, Pritzker is a Chicago billionaire. His wealth and loyalties remain in Chicago. So while he says all the right things to the uninformed southern Illinois democratic voters, he’s playing you like a harp. I want Pritzker to tell me what he will do to fix the systemic problems the Democrats have created in Illinois over the past 20 years.

Dark Knight

People are complaining about Brendan Kelly mentioning his past military service to our country? Seriously? Are they similarly upset by Mike Bost mentioning his? How about some consistency? Brendan Kelly is our Batman. He’s been fighting corruption in St. Clair County for years. The only downside to Mr. Kelly being our future congressman is that we couldn’t possibly find a better state’s attorney.

Bumpy road

O’Fallon is going to improve Highway 50 from Old Collinsville Road to Hartman Lane. Nice job, O’Fallon. How about Fairview Heights? There has been a rough road in front of the Huck’s station since forever. I’ve told the Fairview Heights highway department about this, but nothing is ever done.

Electric cars

Which government agency is looking at the impact that electric cars will have on our crumbling electrical grid? These cars need to be plugged in to an electrical outlet. As we ween ourselves off of petroleum and use more electric powered cars, we’re going to hook more into the grid.

Puzzling assessments

The properties on Mascoutah Ave. seem to have a funny value. Prior to 2016, their assessment said that they were worth $360,000. This past year in Nov. 2016, they were re-assessed at $860,000. Now we’re paying $2.2 million for the property which basically looks like paved land with a building on it. I’m not sure what we’re getting.

Angry in Cahokia

The bills for Cahokia are sent out on the 10th of the month and they want payment by the 18th. Just eight days to pay. They know very well that most of the people in Cahokia are either on assistance, disability or social security. They don’t get their checks until the 3rd. Cahokia wants late fees. Thank you, Mayor McCall. It’s clear that you want to screw people over by having the bill system set up like this.

Just another firing

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital announced another 25 layoffs. These are not layoffs. They’ve been doing this for years. They just fire people. They take their non-essential employees in security and housekeeping, who are making decent money and have been there for awhile, and then fire them for one reason or another. Then, they bring in people for less money.

Quacking at crime

Crime in Belleville is getting worse, yet our alderman and mayor are afraid to call out our lame duck chief of police. Or are they afraid? It’s time for a change.

Too many employees

Driving through Swansea, I saw a trash truck with one person on board. Driving through Belleville, I saw three people on the truck. I guess that’s why my trash sticker price had to go up. It seems like an excessive number of employees to be manning the trucks.

Oil up and down

As you watch the gas prices go up and down in Belleville and surrounding areas, it’s good to keep in mind that the actual cost of production of gasoline does not go up and down like that. It is actually energy independent and we export a lot of our oil. If the government or big oil people were looking out for us, there would be no fluctuation.

Check your bill

AT&T has the perfect scam. They charge you $9 a month late fee even though your payment is posted days before the due date. It’s a glitch in their system that they have acknowledged. But I still have to call every month, since last Oct., to get the charge reversed. Check your bill very carefully.

Pitts is the pits

It’s a shame the BND prints Leonard Pitts’ weekly articles. The incoherent rambling thoughts of a left wing loon are not important to BND readers. Pitts wanted to know in his article, “What’s wrong with us?” The answer is obvious to everyone but Pitts. Pitts is what’s wrong with society.