Letters to the Editor

BND readers sound off on race, MetroLink, marijuana taxes

Respect police

I’m white and I was pulled over several times in my youth for no reason. One time, the cop said my car looked like one they were looking for. I was taught to be respectful to the police no matter what I personally thought. Maybe Bishop Braxton should educate the black youth he mentioned along those same lines.

Bishop’s weapon

Bishop Braxton talks about being stopped by the police and questioned about the crozier in his briefcase. They asked if it was a weapon and he says it was quite the opposite. I disagree. It is a weapon and it is part of what he uses to divide this city. This man should never have been placed here.

MetroLink risky

As a rider of MetroLink to my place of employment, the following exist constantly: loud music; loud offensive language; smoking on the platform and on the train; eating and drinking. The following language needs to be added to the recitation of the rules by the driver of the train: “with exceptions.” Fear is now included in almost every ride I take in the evening. Action needs to be taken now. Where are security personnel or deputies other than standing around? Why don’t these individuals ride the train? How many more “meetings” and “consultants” are necessary until good common sense prevails — no one is allowed on the platform or train without valid proof of paying their fare. Taking the subway in New York is safer than riding MetroLink.

Safely stoned

I used to partake in marijuana back in the ’70s and ’80s. Then, my company started drug testing and I thought it wiser to keep my job. As an experienced connoisseur of weed, I know individuals don’t function well stoned. I’m voting with Gov. Rauner to oppose the legalization of recreational marijuana. Colorado has compiled statistics showing recreational pot smoking increases traffic accidents and trips to the hospital emergency room. Not to mention the number of children who manage to find mom and dad’s stash. Democrats don’t care about you or your kids. For Democrats, it’s simply a new taxing revenue source. Democrats will tell employers they have to allow stoned employees at work, even though their performance and safety will suffer. And you thought Democrats were working in your best interests.

Pot property tax

I am very conservative and do not like this talk about legalization of marijuana. But, I would agree to it if all the money went in exchange for property taxes. Marijuana legal? Then, abolish property taxes. All of that money raised can go in place of property taxes.

Marijuana move

Marijuana is a victimless crime. It mellows people out. It might even improve the economy as people buy more food to satiate “the munchies.” Reefer madness is something the government made up to explain why marijuana is illegal. There’s a reason why everyone wants to move to Colorado. Bring money and people back into Illinois. Legalize marijuana.

City Hall bill

Belleville still owes the City Hall architect $90,000 on the already over budget City Hall project. Is there anything Mayor Eckert and his aldermen can’t screw up? Eckert is an embarrassment for Belleville. No doubt Eckert will raise your property taxes in 2019 for more TIF money so he can pay for his stupidity.

Blame Bost

Amazon recently released the list of finalists for its new headquarters. I couldn’t help but notice that St. Louis and the metro-east were not on it. This is disappointing. I find myself looking for someone to blame. Whose job is it to represent the best interests of the metro-east at the national level by attracting industry and large scale development projects? The answer: Congressman Mike Bost. He botched the NGA when we had a chance to have it built here. That was a competition between two locations. Why would I have expected anything different from him this time, with so many competing cities. The bottom line is, he didn’t get it done, and it is going to be built in some other congressional district. Aren’t they lucky to have effective leadership?

Station stop short

The executive summary of the recently rejected St. Louis Amazon proposal reads, “Additionally, our MetroLink connects directly from St. Louis to MidAmerica Airport on the Illinois side of the river.” In hindsight, maybe Amazon would rather partner with a “straight shooter” who values truth.

Kern’s TIF zone

Did anyone really think Amazon would select St. Clair County for its new headquarters? I can’t think of one business advantage St. Clair County has over most of the other cities submitting bids. I can think of 20 negatives why Amazon wouldn’t ever consider St. Clair County. The proposal was laughable and I’m sure Amazon put it into the round basket when they received it. Kern proposed to make East St. Louis a giant TIF zone. Given the hundreds of thousands St. Clair County already dumps into East St. Louis, I thought it was a TIF zone.

Late night votes

Mark Kern, all you could come up with to offer Amazon was crime-ridden property in East St. Louis and a tax break that would put a derelict county even further in debt. How about you get rid of the East St. Louis election committee and start actually caring about the city instead of the late night votes you and your party might need. Belleville is double, almost triple the size of East St. Louis however they don’t have their own election board. Why is that?

4-H? For shame

St. Clair Country can’t afford to spend $20,000 for the 4-H program. Obviously, Mark Kern would rather waste $10 million a year on an airport that will never make a dime. Why pour millions into a profitless airport? You would think a pittance of $20,000 for youth development would be more important than wasting $10 million on your political buddies? Not for Kern.

Cantwell’s bonus

St. Clair County cut the St. Clair County 4-H Club’s $20,000 budget this year. However, they did find $23,607.90 to pay MidAmerica Airport Direct Tim Cantwell’s annual bonus. Cantwell lost another $9 million that year on a worthless airport. Kern and his clowns have their priorities wrong. Kern should ensure worthy youth organizations survive. But political screw-ups believe in self-preservation and feeding their corrupt patronage cronies.

Local parking

Instead of selecting a Tennessee-based company to run MidAmerica Airport’s parking system, maybe the county’s Public Building Commission should be looking for someone to run the airport at-large like St. Louis is doing. MidAmerica Airport seems intent on expanding their relationship with Allegiant by picking a company with close ties to them. The Public Building Commission couldn’t find a metro-east company that could run a parking lot?

Past due

I wonder if Illinois voters really understand the consequences of Illinois owing more than $1 billion in late payment fees from unpaid bills? There is absolutely no excuse for this level of total incompetence. The Democratic politicians and their appointed state patronage workers are incapable of adequately performing their jobs. Actually, this is beyond incompetence, it’s bordering on criminal.

Illinois’ bills

Gov. Bruce Rauner proposes rolling back the state income tax increase, put more money into education, cutting government waste and shrinking the deficit. These are common sense reforms. Besides the $1 billion in penalties for the $9 billion in unpaid state bills, Comptroller Susana Mendoza stated she had $2.3 billion in unpaid bills that were not appropriated by the General Assembly. I’m sure the millionaire Illinois lawmakers don’t run their personal finances as poorly as they run the state. They would all be bankrupt if they did.

Food, not booze

I’m frustrated that the administrators of Smithton didn’t work on getting some type of grocery store in our town instead of another liquor store. Did we need another liquor store?

For the middle class

President Trump gives everyone a tax cut, which means more money in your pocket to spend or save. Mike Madigan and his Democratics give you a 36 percent state tax increase. Mayor Eckert raises your property taxes in Belleville again. Aren’t the Democrats always saying they are for the middle class? Perhaps Democrats mean they are for raising taxes on the middle class. Trump giveth more money to the middle-class and the Democrats taketh away.

MSNBC moments

Politicians of both stripes are so predictable. Reelection is their top priority, make no mistake about it — even when they crow “I’ll stand up and fight for you.” They’re fighting for their own egos, power and MSNBC moments. Look at three fine Democrats and how they voted on the government “shutdown.” Duckworth and Durbin, knowing that they have a corrupt lock on the Illinois sheep, take the easy route for themselves and vote against. Claire McCaskill, next door in Missouri, is facing reelection in a mixed state, more red than blue. So, she takes the easy route voting for the measure to keep the government open, safely knowing that it won’t pass. This, in her mind, makes her look good with the Republican voters in Missouri, thus ensuring more limelight, power and MSNBC moments. If these actions don’t make voters wake up and call for term limits for these career politicians, I don’t know what will.

Straw poll

Do we want more of Rep. Charlie Meier? What other representative will accept calls on his personal phone day or night? Who cares about the disabled living at Murray Center and is willing to fight for the rights of these most vulnerable individuals? Who cares about shelter dogs who need straw? Who works to make sure the roads in his district are resurfaced? Who does what he thinks is right for his constituents? Rep. Meier did not vote for the tax system we are now under. He voted on the first one with the understanding the Democrats would put in reforms that would save all of us money. When the Democrats changed the bill he voted “no.” When you vote in the primaries, remember all the good things Rep. Meier has done.

Photo op

I see the East St. Louis mayor’s office is looking for unsung heroes to recognize. These people must be delusional. They need to find out who is committing all of these crimes in the city — the robberies, carjackings, and shootings every night. What a joke these people at city hall are. All they want to do is take pictures of each other and say, “Look at me.”