Letters to the Editor

Sound-off: Reader opinions on property taxes, college spending, and MetroLink safety

Belleville spending

Belleville’s 2018 budget continues to overspend, saves the taxpayers nothing and raises your property taxes again. Thanks, Eckert. To make sure Belleville employees stay Democratic voters in the fall election, Eckert is giving them a 3 percent raise. The Belleville property taxpayer can expect an increase of $58 or more this year. Your property values will continue to decline and your property taxes will continue to increase. Belleville’s revenue also will continue to decline. Any wonder Illinois and Belleville lead the nation with the largest exodus of taxpayers.

Stop spending

Dear Aldermen, you passed and bonded $5 million for city hall upgrades. Now you want to rehab another bad real estate purchase by Eckert. The problem is you want to do it with general assistance monies. Those monies are designated for people in need. Move the two part-time employees to city hall. Why in the world would general assistance be located at the Parks Department? Stop spending money.

Duckworth's loyalty

I appreciate Sen. Duckworth’s service to our country and sacrifices. However, after reading her Democratic response to the firing of Veterans Affairs Secretary Shulkin, I have to wonder where Duckworth’s loyalty is. Shulkin was an Obama hold-over, who just couldn’t get with the program for helping our veterans. Shulkin accepted gift Wimbledon tickets and took his wife on a nice European vacation at taxpayer expense. Duckworth seems OK with that. Last week, a veteran took his life at a VA facility while waiting for care. Shulkin didn’t like giving veterans the option to visit doctors outside the VA as Trump wanted. Democrat Duckworth didn’t either. President Trump’s replacement, Ronny Jackson, is a physician and a veteran. I’m disappointed veteran Duckworth shows more loyalty to Democrats than she does for her fellow service members.

Economics 101

Instead of time for SIU to shift resources to SIUE, the BND headline should read "SIU is cutting overpaid lazy professors and unneeded staff trying to make higher education costs more affordable." The BND article about SWIC dumping 60 administrators and staff over the past three years illustrates just how out of control hiring has become — same with SIU. People complain about the rise in medical costs, but you never hear anyone complaining about the out of control costs for higher education, even though the costs have risen faster over the past 30 years than medical costs or inflation. Anytime you have government-funded organizations, you will have abuses of taxpayer money. University administrators do not possess business or management skills. SIUC has failed and SIUE will soon follow, which will cost taxpayers big time.

Answer man, out

Congratulations, farewell and best wishes to Roger Schlueter on his retirement. Happy travels and thanks for all you've done for us. You will be sorely missed.

Liberal us

The BND Editorial Board shows they are no different than other liberal writers. When averaging incomes between women and men, women as a group will earn less than men in any country. The fact is, JFK signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963. A number of other equal pay acts have been signed since then. Pay discrimination is illegal. There are many reasons women as a group have a lower average wage. There are many more women working in lower pay retail and secretarial jobs. More men work in higher paid construction jobs. What group would have a higher overall average wage? If women want a higher wage, get a better education and job. It’s illegal for a man to get paid more than a women for the same job.

MetroLink cops

It’s election time and the Democratic political clowns are awarding numerous consulting contracts to companies who are not in the Bi-State region. When a contract is awarded to a good Democratic buddy, it is understood at least 10 percent of the contract value comes back as Democratic contributions. Last year, Kern and other St Louis agencies allocated an estimated $20 million to increase MetroLink security. So far, their efforts have been a waste of money. Local governments approved another $400K to hire a New York consulting firm to study how to improve MetroLink security. I can tell the politicians how to make the MetroLink safer for free. Hire some cops to ride the trains and work the platforms.

Boeing-thud

How disingenuous is it to see Sen. Dick Durbin parade through Boeing for photo ops, when Dick has repeatedly voted against providing more funds to our military. The truth is, Dick has been responsible for our nation’s decreasing military funding and the current decline in military readiness. Wonder when the media will start calling these Democratic political wonks for what they really are?

Nursing home CPR

About the nursing home employee in Collinsville who did nothing to help the patient, I'm surprised we don't hear more reports like that. As a former paramedic with MedStar, I can attest I went to many calls at nursing homes where patients were in distress and the employees there did nothing to assist them.

Hospital death

Sad to see one of the long-time landmarks of Belleville being demolished. I would bet half of Belleville was born in the old St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. But you have to make way for progress.

Facebook hate

Just a few years ago, we all hated Exxon and its record billions in profits. They're long forgotten now as we all have very short spans of attention. Now, the TV tells us to hate Facebook and its billions in profits. Why? Because they sell your name, email address, where you went to high school and, worst of all, whether you're a lovely liberal or a hated conservative based on your likes and posts. Is Facebook a credit reporting agency like Equifax? Is Facebook a tax preparation site like H&R Block? Seems that selling that kind of information is way more damaging to you personally than your political leanings. How about this — let's all love Facebook and hate Exxon again. Think about it. Exxon still makes billions. Didn't it make you mad the last time you bought gas and had to pay $2.65 a gallon? Bet you posted that on Facebook.

Embassy babies

There seems to be an uproar about whether pregnant illegal aliens should be released or held. I believe the solution would be to take them to their country's embassy and have soldiers there to ensure they aren't freed from the embassy until they are returned home. Since the embassy is considered the property of the country residing there, any children born there will not be a citizen of the U.S. and will not be eligible for welfare benefits.

Native American month

Why can't we have a Native American month? We have Black History Month and so on. Native Americans are stuck out in the west on land that is marginal — no water, no food, no help from the government. It's a shame.

Survivor?

Since David Hogg was in a building the shooter didn't enter and he's called a survivor, does that mean people in a different building other than one in which a terrorist bomb was detonated on a military base can be called survivors as well?

Billionaire fix

If J.B. Pritzker gave all of the money he's pumping into his campaign to the state of Illinois, maybe we could pay off some of our debt.

Eyesore gone

I would like to thank Mayor Mark Eckert and the Belleville City Council for ridding our neighborhood of the unsafe, dilapidated home at 600 Wabash Ave. The house was so deteriorated it was declared a public nuisance beyond repair. The city was more than patient with property owner Melinda Harris. They tried to work with her for two years, but there was no improvement to the property. It just continued to deteriorate.

Scary west end

I don't understand why Eckert only wants to improve Sixth through 28th streets. Has he looked at the rest of West Main? Kids are scared to go outside of Signal Hill because they're afraid they may get mugged. Consider fixing up the real areas of West Main that really need help instead of near the downtown.

Empty houses

Took a drive around the old neighborhood just south of the sparkling Lindenwood campus on Main and 23rd streets. What was once blocks of well-kept homes occupied by everyday families is now something else altogether — empty, derelict, unoccupied structures with white stickers in the windows. I can imagine parents telling their kids when they visit the campus that the surroundings are why you get an education and move on.

Bullying at school

My son knows three kids whose parents have taken them out of school due to bullying. I didn't believe him until his friends confirmed it. This is happening at Carriel Junior High and is under the radar. My son tells me that he never even sees any teachers out in the halls between periods. I hope he is mistaken.

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