Letters to the Editor

Sound-off 3/9/15

Change on both sides

The federal Department Of Justice is coming down on the Ferguson, Mo., Police Department with instructions on how to properly handle the African-American community. Who’s coming down with the instructions for the African-American community? If the media had reported the Michael Brown problem correctly, none of what is going on would be going on today. Let’s stop making him the martyr that he wasn’t. Why is the African-American community not grieving for the other 158 families whose loved ones were shot down by black-on-black homicides? We show sympathy for Michael Brown’s parents; why not for the parents of the other 158 homicide victims? Until the African-American community helps clean up their society and earn the respect they are looking for, nothing will change, just get worse.

Didn’t find much

The federal Department of Justice lawyers spent months going through 35,000 emails in Ferguson, Mo., and found two jokes that reference blacks.

Not my responsibility

Recently I’ve read reports that the day care subsidy program is running out of money. The women who were interviewed complained they were helpless without the taxpayers helping pay for their children’s care. There was no mention of fathers or husbands. Why do people have kids that they cannot support on their own? Why do taxpayers have to pay and care for other people’s children?

Can’t stand the hate

I’ve also most given up on the letters to the editor; they seem to be getting more hateful. Occasionally there is a nice thought. I used to enjoy them, not anymore.

Open jobs to all

I’d like to know why a recently filled Belleville city job was not posted in the paper. I applied for it several times and never heard anything. I did hear that the mayor’s friend got his son or daughter a job working at Walnut Hill Cemetery. I think the job posting should go in the paper. This cronyism needs to stop. I’m trying to find a job and can’t find one.

Mayor, be realistic

East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks has a way with words that are simply not true. In a recent article he refers to East St. Louis as magnificent and booming and coming forward. Our city is literally falling apart. We have derelict houses, dumped trash, burned houses and bushes and weeds growing all over. He’s been in office since 2007 and he should know better than to describe our city other than what it is. Just say, “I’m trying to improve it,” instead of saying things that are not true.

Just a stepping stone

I’m very proud of the BND for starting to see that St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly is starting to use his position to hunt for another position. That’s what all the state’s attorneys do. The only thing Kelly wants to do as state’s attorney is run for Congress. All he’s doing is using this as a stepping stone and he’s just a typical politician, just like previous state’s attorneys Clyde Kuehn, John Baricevic and Bob Haida, who all ended up as judges.

Upset with sewer fee

Can someone tell me why Swansea and St. Clair Township leaders could not reach a fair agreement on sewer rates for 3,100 township residents? Township Supervisor Dave Barnes is holding $740,000 in a side account as he tacks on another $14.68 to each township sewer bill. He failed to schedule the last meeting in a large enough facility and then locked the doors so no other residents could get in. At the meeting, our trustees complained they are not getting all the information they need in a timely manner. Barnes makes the decisions and then asks them to sign off. Why would township residents pay 1.3 times more for the same sewer services as the residents of Swansea? Senators and representatives, please help us.

Get rid of townships

Swansea and St. Clair Township are a perfect example of why township government needs to be eliminated and all activities should be transferred to the village. The township level of government is a waste of taxpayer money. Don’t keep kicking the can down the road. Do something that makes total sense and eliminate township government.

Check the record

I’m calling about the campaign slogan I keep hearing: “Vote the person, not the party.” There is a contentious aldermanic election coming up in Belleville. The phrase was adopted by Phil Elmore when he ran for mayor in 2013 and adopted by a local radio host ever since. Aldermanic candidates Elmore, Dorothy Meyer and Paul Seibert all voted for the wheel tax, which the people didn’t want. I’m finding it hard to believe that friends of Meyer and Seibert are not connected to the St. Clair County Democratic Committee.

Steer clear of county

A little over four years ago, Cahokia threw out the Bob Sprague-sponsored mayor and police chief, who were rapid with their political intimidation and misuse of funds. Now the ex-police chief is rewarded by county Democrats, sitting at top of corrupt St. Clair County as sheriff, and the ex-mayor is rewarded with a $70,000-a-year job as county human resources director. Where do we go from here? Cahokia residents are now faced with a mayoral candidate, Curtis McCall Jr., who will not even run under his full name. Support the progress in Cahokia, keep it going. We have been able to dig ourselves out of the grave that we were put in by the corrupt politicians on top of the hill, both black and white. Now black and white citizens must work together again to re-elect our mayor.

What’s Durbin doing?

I can’t believe U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin just endorsed Emeka Jackson-Hicks in the East St. Louis mayoral race. Why would a high-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate get involved in politics at the local level? What will it say about Durbin’s clout if his candidate loses and Mayor Alvin Parks gets re-elected?

Not so great a site

The property across from the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snow is blighted by underground mines and constant flooding? Sounds like some place I’d like to build a business. Also crumbling structures, where are those?

Candidate moves

Which Fairview Heights mayoral candidate suddenly in 2014-2015 joined a large number of local organizations? And why? Was he hoping for votes? Where does he work full time, how long, and what is his job?

Redo the math

I am calling about BND letter writer Joe English’s comment about St. Clair County, just to help him to get his facts correct. The county pays East St. Louis more than $100,000 a year to maintain the city Board of Elections. The county clerk’s office could do all the work for $65,000 a year. That means St. Clair County could be saving more than $25,000 a year by taking over the East St. Louis election board.

Consider this conduct

You printed a story on Wednesday about the Freeburg trustee who was censured for helping a police officer in his lawsuit against the village. What concerns me is St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly said that while the officer’s behavior was grossly unprofessional, it did not rise to criminal misconduct. How can a police chief allegedly take a gun from the evidence room and a box from an abandoned storage unit and not be accused of misconduct? Is this another way the county watches out for itself?

Check the salaries

I’m commenting about the online article, “What do teachers make?” It’s not just teachers in that database. In the Cahokia School District everyone is on there including custodial, secretarial and administration. I’m not so concerned with teachers salaries because I know they work very hard. I noticed three administrative secretaries make more than $80,000 and the finance manager makes more than $150,000. Those people aren’t in the trenches every day working with children. I don’t think the teachers are the problem, I think the administrative salaries are.

Set off sarcasm

I read the letter from Brent Rains, “Just being sarcastic.” There should be a designated sarcasm font. If you write a letter to the editor, put it in italics, it would be recognized as sarcasm. Otherwise we don’t know. You can tell when someone talks and is sarcastic; we need to have something that tells us that in print.

Look for union label

As a proud union member, I cannot endorse any candidate who has ignored our union solidarity by buying nonunion signs and fliers.

Talking for the Dems

Joe English wrote a letter to the BND in defense of the St. Clair County Democratic elite concerning the East St. Louis Election Board. I guess he’s not been living in this area during the last 20 years during all the indictments, prison sentences, voter fraud reports in East St. Louis, vacant houses in East St. Louis with a dozen registered voters living there. He is just writing down whatever St. Clair County Chief Judge John Baricevic tells him to write. We all know there is vote fraud in East St. Louis.

Education starts here

President and Mrs. Obama are pushing to help educate girls around the world. Wouldn’t they do better making sure that the young women in the United States are getting a decent education? Encourage people to look at absenteeism rates, tardiness, the rates at which young women are graduating from high school with the ability to read, write and do math. What a farce. Take a look at problems at home before we go telling the rest of the world what they should be doing.

Stop the yelling

I went to a fifth grade basketball game at Wolf Branch, I feel sorry for the girls on the team. The parents were rude, yelling at the children while they were playing. They must have learned it from the coach because he was screaming and hollering at the players. And the principal was just standing there. Why don’t they do something about this?

Background, please

I am still waiting to read about Belleville aldermanic candidate Mike Buettner and his failed tenure as head of the drug-riddled St. Clair County Probation Department. The only positive here is that he is the former head of the department.

To regulate or not

I found the BND’s response to the FCC net neutrality decision perplexing. I also thought Verizon’s reaction sent in Morse code was classic – for pointing out the asinine, classic government solution aimed at controlling one more thing. Apparently the BND thinks otherwise. I guess this opens the door for local governments to contract with future start-up companies and then switch your service without your knowledge, just like they did with your energy supplier. Regulation or deregulation. Make up your mind, people.

Stay in Belleville

Why is St. Elizabeth’s Hospital leaving a community that wants it to stay? Hospital leaders haven’t given Belleville residents one good reason why it's absolutely crucial for the hospital to move. They need to use their time and energy to develop on the site they already own and keep quality health care where it's needed most:in downtown Belleville.