Letters to the Editor

Sound-off 4/20/2015

No need for hate

Lots of St. Elizabeth's hate. A new hospital will provide modern care to all people, regardless of their ability to pay. I am for a new facility with state-of-the-art technology and a coherent floor layout instead of a 140-year-old hospital that doesn't even have cell phone service.

Poor will be hurt

You may recall a few years back when Kenneth Hall Regional, the only hospital in East St. Louis with an ER, closed. It had a devastating impact on residents of East St. Louis. Allowing St. Elizabeth's to move from downtown Belleville will be yet another blow, once again leaving East St. Louis residents behind.

Keep St. E’s

Why can't Belleville and St. Elizabeth’s sit down and work out a plan to keep the hospital in Belleville? It’s time we stop bickering and put the people of this community and beyond first.

Precinct problems

Shiloh has five precincts and 5,108 voters. Millstadt has five precincts and 4,838 voters. Mascoutah has four precincts and 5,271 voters. All three lean GOP. But Canteen Township has 5,070 voters and 14 precincts. Why is it that Canteen has the same number of precincts as Shiloh, Millstadt and Mascoutah combined? Canteen votes heavily Democrat. Systemic corruption and vote suppression are the only possible reasons (other than ineptitude of the County Board) for this disparate allocation of county resources. Voters “up the hill” need to get organized and quit letting their lives be ruled by career bureaucrats who do not have their best interest anywhere on the agenda.

Right vote after all

The Granite City public schools tried everything to shove the tax hike down our throat. The superintendent had an assembly for the seniors 18 and older and begged them to vote for the referendum. Also on Election Day, I was told they were allowed to take the last two hours off school to vote. They get off at 3 p.m.; they can’t make it to the polls before they close at 7 p.m.? We won despite all this. The district doesn’t need more money; it needs to restructure its spending habits and the wages of the teachers and administrators.

The wrong priorities

The Belleville mayor is all about conciliation after the recent city election. But don’t look the other way when dealing with him. He’ll hold out the olive branch in his left hand but he’s still got the club in his right hand. He wants the Shrine project badly. But where was he for the last 10 years when the streets, sidewalks and curbs were crumbling? He was giving money away for his pet projects.

Refocus on downtown

Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert commented about a month ago that he was too busy to look at the RFP results the city got regarding propoasls to redevelop the former Meredith Home. Now that the development on property owned by the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows has been taken care of, isn’t it time the mayor let the public know what the potential uses are for the Meredith Home other than tearing it down?

Stop the noise ...

As I drive through Belleville I see police officers pulling people over for traffic violations. I would like to know when they are going to stop these motorcycles with no mufflers. I believe there is a noise ordinance in Belleville.

... And panhandlers

Belleville supposedly has a panhandling ordinance. But there is a panhandler continuously out in the east end and another on the Illinois 15 exit at Illinois 159. When are the police going to do something about the panhandlers?

Why people leave

I left St. Clair County after living there all my life. I couldn’t get out of there quick enough. The day I could retire, I did. I had my house sold within two weeks. I live in Missouri now. My real estate taxes are so much lower I can’t believe it. Same way with everything else. Insurance is cheaper, home prices are cheaper. If the politicians would cut loose the liberal tripe they believe in and quit wasting money and playing their political games, people would quit leaving the county and maybe some people would even decide to come there.

Back to bad days

Thank you, voters of Cahokia. The city clerk and one of the trustees elected were the same two men who OK’d the Parks College fiasco and allowed former mayor Frank Bergman to buy the $50,000 truck that Mayor Gary Cornwell gave code enforcement. And they also allowed Bergman to go to Arizona in the taxpayers’ vehicle that he later wrecked twice. Good luck to Cahokia now, it will turn into the same cesspool as during the reign of Bergman.

Corruption’s here

Richard Felice, president of the Illinois State Bar Association, said in a recent letter that the court system in Illinois is not corrupt. Maybe he should spend some time in our area. We have seen a judge die of a cocaine overdose and a judge who was there at the time get off with a light sentence. Judges And there is no corruption in Illinois courts?

Reason for distrust

The saddest part of these police misconduct cases is that before cell phone cameras, these incidents were covered up by the brotherhood of blue. While it may be true the majority of police do a very professional job, the majority of police would cover up for a rogue cop. Until this changes, the public will be skeptical and disrespectful to those who wear the badge.

Dangerous road

I see that someone almost got killed on that stupid roundabout on llinois 162 in Maryville. I wondered how long it would take before someone got hurt. That is the stupidest roundabout I have ever seen.

Clean up after dogs

To the dog owners in O’Fallon: There is a city ordinance that states you must clean up after your dog. It amazes me, driving in front of the city park, you see dog walkers and they do not carry pooper scoopers. And the park has a sign stating, “no dogs allowed.” Ever see dog owners getting a ticket? No. Come on, O’Fallon police, do your job.

Start saving now

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he wants to save millions of dollars. He can start by eliminating all truancy programs. Why should we pay more when we are already offering a free public education? And eliminate all state testing, that’s why we have report cards. And then in high school students take the SAT or ACT to see just how much they have learned.

Work of friends

Someone commented that the mayor of Highland, who recently broke his back, put his name on a GoFundMe Internet site to fund a van for himself. He did not put his name there; his friends did. Mayor Joe Michaelis has a lot of friends. His insurance may cover his injuries and a van, but it may not. Why not do something nice for the guy? After all, he does nice things for Highland.

Show some respect

I’d like to express my disappointment in the BND for referring to a medical marijuana issue or site as a pot site. This is not some kind of a drug cartel running this and there are people suffering who depend on medical marijuana, It is an insult to them and all the medical research that has been done that this is being treated as a street drug or an illicit recreational drug. So please stop referring to medical marijuana as pot.

The perfect place?

Anywhere in East Louis would be good for the medical marijuana farm because in a city as well run as East St. Louis, there is no cause for concern of anything going wrong.

Do repairs right

Quite a few residents are trying to get a street repaired. We keep asking for repairs at Greenhaven and Illinois 159 because of the unevenness and potholes. A couple of street guys threw a few shovels of loose asphalt down and thought that would take care of a problem that has been going on for a very long time. By the end of the day it was worse than ever. We pay a lot of taxes and they can’t take a little bit of time to repair it decently?

Not Kern’s to give

I read in a recent BND that St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern offered to donate almost 200 acres of county-owned land to entice the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to move here. I guess he’s forgotten that we live in a democracy and not a dictatorship. It might be a good idea, but is the property his or ours?

No need to overpay

There is absolutely no way any employee at McDonald's should be paid $15 per hour. My guess is that 95 percent of the people working at McDonald's are either young people in college or elderly people who have already had a career. If McDonald's was their choice of a lifetime career, that pretty much says it all.

Just keep cutting

The BND editorial from April 12 suggests that schools just cut teachers aides and other employees to give Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner his dream come true of cutting taxes for the rich. Heck, we could save even more money if we just stopped educating our children. Close the schools, save the rich.

Catch-22 in town

Apparently there is a new ordinance in Belleville forbidding the operation of more than two lawn mowers at the same time. This is considered a violation of the excessive noise ordinance. After they issue you a ticket for mowing your yard, they will issue you another for allowing your yard to grow more than 6 inches high.

Eliminate townships

I read your article about Belleville Township. Its own board has to vote itself out. The township is a political plum, a useless thing, just like in Dupo. People went to get financial help and they said they didn’t have any money. Yet all the workers and elected officials get paid. It’s a political boondoggle. There should be no townships, period.

Sports suggestions

The sports page takes everything around the country and prints it so small you can hardly read it. How about articles on Fairmount Park, to support one of the few things in this county that is supplying jobs for people?

Just following along

Good news, Missouri passed a new law that is going to starve children on welfare. This gives Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner another chance to borrow bad ideas from surrounding states. He already has taken bad ideas from Indiana and Wisconsin, now he can get bad ideas form Missouri as well.

Keep cars going

Why does Belleville need a parking garage for police cars? Officers should be patrolling in these cars, protecting our streets. And why don’t city leaders move City Hall to 720 W. Main St. too instead of renovating the present building?

Raise the stakes

The mayor of Belleville says he’s not going to negotiate with the union until the city determines how much money the state is going to cut from the city’s budget. In effect, that means that the employees of Belleville can anticipate no pay raise for the coming year. I was wondering, are the elected officials still going to get their automatic pay raise for the coming year? Or will they decline to take it until they can determine what type of budget they are going to have to deal with?