Letters to the Editor

Firefighters can hold office

After receiving a barrage of calls within the last week, I feel compelled to address this situation.

I am running for alderman in Ward 3 in Belleville. I have been a city firefighter for more than 19 years.

One of my aldermen and my opponent have been telling residents, constituents and other aldermen that I have dropped out of the race because it is illegal for me to hold both jobs. I have spoken to each of them and explained to them the state statute was changed a decade ago.

There are 33 firefighters in Illinois who hold public office; 25 of them are active duty firefighters like myself.

The offices they hold range from alderman, Board of Commissioners president, 37th District state senator and everything in between.

If I lose a person’s vote because I’m not on anyone’s political team, that’s fine. But please don’t let the fact that I am a city firefighter be the deciding factor.

Scott Tyler

Belleville

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