Letters to the Editor

Sound-off 3/16/15

Consolidate now

In response to letter writer Timothy L. Buchanan, I suggest residents go one step further and lobby their state legislators to eliminate about 6,000 of the 7,000 units of government in Illinois starting with St. Clair Township, Belleville Township, Stookey Township and Swansea. The petty, competitive egos of unqualified small-town public servants got us into the sewer contract mess between St. Clair Township and Swansea that Buchanan writes about.

Eliminate township

Not only do Swansea and St. Clair Township need to be eliminated but also Centreville Township. That township supervisor does nothing for the residents of Centreville, Alorton, Sauget or Cahokia. He hires relatives of political cronies. When funds were available to cut grass for senior citizens, they were used up quickly because the supervisor hired more people than needed. And most of the time those individuals were sitting in township trucks.

Small isn’t all bad

Just because a school district is small doesn't mean it's a zombie district. Consolidation isn't always the answer. If bigger was better, Chicago public schools would be the best schools in the state and East St. Louis would have the best schools in St. Clair County.

Reappearing act

I received a political flier from Bellleville aldermanic candidate Dorothy Meyer. This is the same person who lost the election two years ago and then disappeared off the city grid, Never heard or saw her at any city meetings or functions until Mayor Mark Eckert summoned her back to the trough to fill a vacant seat on the City Council.

A better police plan

Belleville aldermanic candidate Dorothy Meyer sent out political propaganda stating she has introduced a “plan to create a Citizens Police Academy.” I have searched every available set of meeting minutes and cannot find a record of this plan being introduced. Here’s a plan: Stop wasting time and money on these sound-good, feel-good, look-good proposals and put more cops on the street.

Which side is it?

When Swansea Trustee Brian Wells ran in 2013, his campaign flier said St. Clair Township residents were not paying their fair share to Swansea for sewer treatment. The new contract shows that Wells believes that fair means charging township residents 30 percent more than Swansea residents for the same service. In the flier he also said he supported his wife Jaynie Wells for township board because “she will work to ensure the township pays its fair share for sewer services.” She voted for the contract. Was she working for Swansea or the township?

Durbin defended

Glenn McCoy’s cartoon about U.S. Dick Durbin makes me sick. Durbin has a right to back another candidate for East St. Louis mayor. I’m sick of McCoy.

Parks is no puppet

BND cartoonist Glenn McCoy got it right on Tuesday. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is looking for a puppet. East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks is not his puppet. Durbin is looking for a complete takeover of East St. Louis and he will not have it as long as Parks is the lead guardian of this city. His hate of Parks far exceeds his admiration of the person he endorsed for mayor. Where has Durbin been for 16 years? He has done absolutely nothing for the city.

Why get involved?

What is a U.S. senator doing in the business of a small city election? We see right through Sen. Dick Durbin.

Watching our money

With Belleville seeking some $347,000 it was scammed out of, is it time we remove investment management from Treasurer Dean Hardt’s responsibilities and just pay for that as we pay for legal advice? Mayor Mark Eckert seems so shocked that the city lost money, but has no problem spending it himself or giving businesses like Kroger political welfare payments that they do not need.

Make a lasting hire

To Mayor Mark Eckert: Belleville doesn't need another fresh out of college kid who is only using our city as an item on his resume. We need a well-educated person with extensive background in business development and who will stay in Belleville.

A wild goose chase

I recently went looking for income tax forms at the O’Fallon Library. Finding its cupboard somewhat bare, I searched online for the local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center. I found it listed in Fairview Heights at 380 Fountain Office Court but was unable to locate that address on my car GPS. I called the number listed but found it to be a “transmit only” number. I then used my phone to find a map with directions to the center. As the office came into sight, I noted that the street was Office Court. I never did get a complete set of forms and instructions as the center was out of stock. I got a hard lesson in big government in inaction instead.

Blighted? Really?

The area around the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows has been declared blighted. That will be a big shock to the residents who are paying thousands of dollars a month just so they can live in the apartments there. I can’t believe they are going to get away with this, but apparently they will.

A lost generation

I worked, paid my taxes, paid bills on time. Now that I’m retired, I stand in line and watch these young people buying groceries who have hair extensions, cell phones, painted fingernails and are dressed a lot better than me. This younger group is going to be the ruination of this country.

Glad Romanik won

Kudos for Bob Romanik for standing up to the St. Clair County Democrats and winning the trespassing case against him. They sure need it. They have the game fixed with their Democratic operatives on school boards, cities, villages, townships and everywhere else. Sure is good to see someone stand up and beat them.

Don’t waste a vote

A question for Curtis McCall Jr.: What have you done for Cahokia since you moved here? Nothing. To Curtis McCall Sr.: What have you done for Cahokia while you were Centreville Township supervisor and on the Commonfields of Cahokia board? The Cahokia School District is one of the worst in Illinois. Nothing. Why would voters waste their votes on a McCall? They care nothing about residents, the village or the school district.

Cancel this party

Riding on Lucinda Avenue in Belleville, I noticed a political sign for first-time Ward 1 aldermanic candidate Joe Hazel on the front lawn on Ward 1 Alderman Ken Kinsella‘s house. If Kinsella is endorsing Hazel’s candidacy, then logically Hazel must be associated with the now defunct Good Government Party. Do we really want another Mayor Mark Eckert bobblehead “yes” man on the City Council? I, for one, do not.

Examples of excess

An article pointed out the excessive cost associated with our union teachers club here in Illinois. In our state, where the average person makes $55,000 a year, the average teacher makes $66,000 for nine months of work. We are learning that the chief investment officer for the Teachers Retirement System is paid $450,000 annually – twice the governor’ salary and almost 10 times what the average financial manager in Illinois is paid. The spokesperson for the TRS said the agency’s salaries are justified because of the highly specialized skill of its employees. If these people are really as talented as TRS would like us to believe, why haven’t they made enough money to alleviate the crisis in the teachers retirement fund? And if they are really that good, they could tackle the Illinois budget crisis as well.

Take off rose glasses

Fairview Heights Alderman Scott Greenwald is a blight on the city. Of course his campaign manager, Lydia Cruez, thinks he’s great. However, her letter to the BND on Thursday contains several misrepresentations. He set up roadblocks for the “Miracle League” for special needs children and disabled veterans several times over the last four years. It definitely was not the support Cruez claims. The huge wood pile in his front yard should be prohibited by the city; if it were me it would be. It’s not a small stack of wood; it’s a huge stack, from his house to the street. How would you like it in your neighborhood? But the city turns a blind eye.

In the right direction

In a world full of negative events and happenings, I just drove by Miracle League field at Moody Park in Fairview Heights. I’d like to thank all those involved in creating that. I’d like to see more of this kind of good thing going on in our community. I know Brenda Wagner, the league’s president, and I’m thrilled she is running for alderwoman and is taking Fairview Heights in a new direction for all positive things.

Reasonable incentive

In response to a letter to the BND from Brent Rains: Yes, university employees’ children do get half of their tuition paid. They still pay room and board, buy books and their parents live and work in Illinois and pay taxes here. What’s wrong with them getting a break on their tuition? I noticed a billoard when driving across the Poplar Street Bridge that says, “Come to SIUE, don’t pay out-of-state rates.” Why give somebody out of state a tuition break, somebody who is not paying taxes in Illinois? How about the foreigners who get breaks on their tuition? I don’t have any children in college. It’s an incentive to get good employees at the universities at all levels of employment. Might be the only way they get their kids in college.

Investigate high fees

The U.S. Department of Justice needs to investigate Belleville for the excessive fees it charges for releasing a vehicle from impound and for the lame reasons vehicles are towed in the first place. It’s very hard to have any respect for the police when they do the bidding of Mayor Mark Eckert and his bobbleheads to increase his revenue stream.

Too much nastiness

Glenn McCoy’s editorial cartoons are the nastiest that I have ever seen. I don’t think they need to be that negatively sarcastic. He is the only thing about the BND I don’t like.

Tone down toons

As a subscriber to the BND I believe your cartoonist Glenn McCoy is overstepping his boundaries with his political hatred for anyone not sharing his views. I do not believe he can find any actions or comments to justify his portrayal of President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. A little less hatred would be appreciated.

Enough of McCoy

On Friday BND cartoonist Glenn McCoy had another sexist, hateful, racist cartoon. He has got to be stopped. He is terrible.

Allow slots

Who is doing all the complaining about allowing slots at Fairmount Racetrack? The casinos? Too bad, that’s competition.

Bright side to cuts

I support Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed cuts for the universities. Maybe it would require some of the professors who never teach a class to get back into the classroom. In most universities students never see a professor for the first two years. What are they doing?