By now my fellow Belleville residents have received their real estate tax bill from St. Clair County. People who live in a TIF district should check their tax bill and see how much of their money the city has siphoned off, then the mayor has the audacity to complain that the state not funding Belleville fully is causing problems. Not any more than the mayor and his TIF policies. Look closely at how much of your tax money is going to the mayor’s private projects. And yes, the schools are being hurt, too.
I’m amused at the articles accusing Gov. Bruce Rauner of not being transparent like he promised in his campaign. It must be a Chicago thing; anybody happen to remember President Obama and all the transparency he promised? How is that working for everyone?
Too easy on crime
It seems that in St. Clair County if you are a friend of one of the good old boys, you don’t have to hardly spend any time in jail. Regarding voter fraud, we all know there is more of it in St. Clair County than anyone wants to admit. Yet the authorities do virtually nothing. Then we have police officers arrested for felonies and they get a slap on the hands and are in and out of jail in a few months. I wonder when the feds will send those who are handing out the punishment to jail for not doing their job correctly?
Focus on vote fraud
Regarding St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly’s sugarcoating of voter fraud that went on in the last election: He got enough information from Washington Park, Centreville, Cahokia and Fairmont City that he should be able to get people all the way up into the courthouse. He needs to quit sugarcoating it; he knows what the voters want.
I appreciate and understand the Rotary Clubs of Fairview Heights and Swansea putting up flags for Armed Forces Day. What I don’t understand is why Law Enforcement Memorial Day was ignored. The sacrifices of our local first responders need to be recognized. Just recently Fairview Heights had officers shot at and one wounded, to the point he had to retire. Are these people not worthy of recognition? The News-Democrat did not have any coverage of the county’s Law Enforcement Memorial this year. Do these people not count unless you are saying something bad about them? It’s a slap in the face to law enforcement to not be recognized.
Upset with owners
Shame on the disgusting people who allow their dogs to roam through Mount Carmel Cemetery and allow their pets to defecate on and around the graves.
Rest of the story
Your article on Bishop Edward Braxton was misleading and a disservice to the people of the Belleville Catholic Diocese. The people quoted are either indebted to Braxton for their job and must please him or the are the last few remaining people willing to say anything to please the bishop. Did you interview any of the priests who asked Braxton to not come to our diocese? Did you interview any of the priests who asked him to leave after two years. Did you interview any of those who spent more than a year creating a tome of evidence of Braxton's mismanagement of the diocese that was sent to Rome twice and the cardinal of Chicago and the Apostolic Nuncio? Sadly you missed an opportunity to provide real information.
The May 17 BND was ridiculous for devoting the first three pages to Edward Braxton, the Belleville Catholic Diocese bishop. The other religions will want equal time. Here is a person who is vain and disliked. Doing this and doing away with the Sunday Magazine shows you are headed to nonexistence.
Get the grass cut
I’m wondering if the new mayor of Cahokia, Curtis McCall, is going to follow village ordinances. One ordinance states the grass can’t be more than 18 inches tall. The old mayor didn’t enforce that; I hope the new mayor can. Make the fines stick and make them expensive.
Hopeless in Cahokia
“Invest in Cahokia” sounds good but it doesn’t fly. Our home has been in our family for 50 years. We pay the insurance and taxes and where has it gotten us? Higher taxes, lower property value and the heartache of watching Cahokia be destroyed by renters. A solution is not forthcoming. Hold owners of rental property to stricter standards. When an occupancy permit is for four people and eight people are living in a house, something is wrong. It’s a total lack of concern on the owners’ part. I also blame code enforcement officers. They need to stop driving around with blinders on. Big companies may invest, but no one in his right mind would buy a home and raise his children in this decay. Cahokia and East St. Louis, once great communities, died many years ago.
Waiting on McCall
So what is new Cahokia Mayor Curtis McCall going to do about the tall grass in Cahokia and all the trash being dumped like the trash left on the viaduct on Doris Avenue? Trash has been there for weeks. We are waiting to see what McCall will do. I don’t think anything will be any different with him than it was with previous mayor Gary Cornwell.
America is free-falling into a death spiral of immorality, political corruption and lack of respect. We, the people, are being sold out. We have a dysfunctional, arrogant Congress; we have a Supreme Court destroying traditional values by the justices’ incompetence, ignorance and stupidity. There is too much money and power in Washington.
The gas prices are going up with Memorial Day weekend. So up and down, up and down. The price will go back down on Tuesday after the holiday. This is ridiculous. What can we do or say? Quit the monkey business with the gas prices. The oil prices aren’t fluctuating like that.
Behavior isn’t fine
I’m calling in regard to Art on the Square. It’s a fine art show but some adults let their children swim and frolic in the fountain. Nobody cares about the kids goofing off when we have high-class people in town? I thought it was a fine arts show? Not too smart.
I see the Belleville mayor and City Council have voted to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars fixing up streets in the downtown area. I live behind the old Walmart store; our streets are crumbling and falling apart. I guess they only take care of the rich in this town and let everyone else suffer.
Not a priority
I support Gov. Bruce Rauner’s plan to bring Illinois back to financial security. If the governor will walk his talk, the first thing he needs to do is to not pay $8.8 million to renovate the governor‘s mansion. Renovation is a “nice to do,” not a “got to do.” If Illinois is ever going to get its financial health back, we have to start prioritizing and only doing the things that have to be done.
Belleville is concerned about the homeless. I can’t believe it. The answer has presented itself and been abolished. All we have to do is authorize the Salvation Army to reopen its homeless center at 4500 W. Main St., which was closed because the city required that the homeless had to have proper identification such as a driver’s license. How ridiculous is that? They don’t have a car, they don’t have a home, and they won’t have a driver’s license. We need to clamp down on city leaders and stop this hypocrisy of claiming they care about the homeless when they eliminated the place where the homeless could be cared for by private funds.
No place for kids
There has been a lot in the local news lately concerning a woman whose son was being bullied by the parents of another 12-year-old over Facebook. They were arguing over a girl who they both had an interest in. The young man was getting racial slurs and threats. Parents stupid enough to let a 12-year-old get on Facebook gets what they deserve. Don’t let 12-year-olds on Facebook. That is “go away and don’t bother me” type parenting.
Deflate the problem
In professional football, I think both teams should use the same ball. The way it is now they both use their own balls, inviting deceit. End the problem and hullabaloo with both teams using the same ball.
The book tells all
President Ronald Reagan once said, “Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book.” Hillary Clinton’s fifth book “Hard Choices” came out in 2014. Enough said?
Your action photos of the recent O’Fallon-Collinsville girls’ soccer regional finals convinced me of one thing. It was written all over the players’ faces. When you hit soccer balls with your head, it’s gonna hurt. That begs the question: Is there any lasting damage? I’ve never been more thankful and relieved that my teen-age daughter prefers tennis.
I see House Speaker Michael Madigan is planning a vote to amend the state Constitution to allow a tax surcharge on people making more than $1 million a year. If it is this easy to amend the constitution, why can't he amend it to get the pension reform under control?
There is no Interstate 64 exit that is directly near the Shiloh East Memorial Hospital. This is one reason why Memorial Hospital displayed the bully style in its fight against St. Elizabeth’s planned full-service hospital, which will have an exit just down the street. An ambulance traveling on I-64 and carrying a patient with a life-threatening condition will be required to go to the nearest health care facility. Memorial Hospital is worried that it will have to share revenue with St. Elizabeth's.
Turn off spotlight
Please, quit praising the actions of the political criminals in St. Clair and Madison counties. They have damaged the lives of hard-working, honest citizens who lost their homes, their marriages, everthing, while trying to do the right thing. Yet former Madison County treasurer Fred Bathon’s gang are pictured like movie stars. Honor out veterans instead.
Check on TIFs
In view of the recent editorial about cutting costs at Belleville High School District 201, I would like to ask when the News-Democrat is going to take the initiative and report just how much money TIF are siphoning off from our schools. You are supposed to be interested in the community, New-Democrat, so do your job.
Get the facts
Why do the News-Democrat’s sports writers never check for facts? A recent article quotes the Cahokia track coach as saying the team is going for a fifth straight title, “something that has never been done, boys or girls.” Of course the sports writer didn’t know or bother to check that East St. Louis LIncoln won nine straight titles from 1982-1990. And it a story about the girls Triad sectional last week, the reporter failed to even mention a girl who won the 800-, 1600- and 3200-meter run. What waste of time and money it is to send this person to cover track meets and never publish the names of the top three finishers.