Letters to the Editor

City residents gouged again

The East St. Louis regulatory affairs director identified and mailed non-traffic complaint tickets to residents with a date to appear in court (November/December) for not purchasing their 2014 wheel tax stickers. It specified that defendants did knowingly without legal or lawful justification violate city ordinance and if they failed to appear, the court would issue a warrant for their arrest.

This threatening, revenue-generating publicity tactic actually worked as most people rushed to City Hall on their court date. They were given the option to purchase the wheel tax sticker at a reduce price of $7 as prorated at year end.

In a FOIA request, a letter from the regulatory affairs director stated approximately 242 citations were mailed to residents. Approximately $11,827 was collected with approximately $2,775 collected as late fees totaling approximately $14,602 collected. Approximately 1,700 citations had to be issued to add up to what was collected. Using the word “approximate” proves the lack of accountability and transparency citizens have received during the last eight years of this administration.

Although the city has a residency requirement, most city employees still do not live in the city. Yet they creatively find ways for citizens to pay. The election April 7 will provide citizens an opportunity to vote for accountability and transparency. Yes, the residents of East St. Louis deserve more.

Dorothy Joshway

East St. Louis