Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

October 30, 2013

Do what it takes

Dear Editor:Kicking the can down the road … hummm.This can become a huge disgusting and humiliating $7.6 million barrel that is now too big to kick.Let's be honest here. The failure of past and present County Board's custodial responsibility, to plan and maintain the house we entrust to them, has created a huge $7.6 million financial burden. Our County Board additionally failed to provide a plan or an accumulating fund to pay for major courthouse repairs, repairs the County Boards have ignored, postponed or half-heartedly patched for a long time. And now, addressing “their failures,” they choose to take the easy road, to pay for their failures by increasing our high property tax rates or increase the current restaurant and hotel tax (above the current 9 percent rate).In effect, since this board cannot kick ourselves or kick our guests because the County failed to plan for normal maintenance of our building. Then the deniability starts by “sanitizing” themselves by saying this was “inherited” pointing their fingers to previous boards. Actual facts are, they signed on for the job and took no action to reserve or plan financially. This board failed just as their predecessors failed.Both of these “taxomatic,” “easy road” options are completely absurd proposals. Everyone on this board considering this should hang your head in shame and apologize. To even suggest placing the financial burden of the board's failures on our guests or the electorate is an outrageous slap in the face and we do not appreciate it.The Board's real choice, their only choice, is the hard road. This is the road that some will claim cannot be taken. The truth is, those “doubting Thomas’s” are too lazy to honor their commitment to the people of this county. They do not see the political gain in getting off their duff, applying elbow grease and sweat and honestly do their job. It is not easy, but it is the obligation of every member of this board. This is what the voters expected when you were elected and exactly what they expect of you today.What to do?Go back to your board room and do whatever it takes — point fingers, bully, call each other names, swear, pout, yell — whatever it takes, but you prioritize the jobs and take the money out of your existing budget. That's the hard road. That is the road the politically elite will say is impossible, but we all know, every successful business in America has done exactly the same thing and will do the same thing in order to meet their challenges. Business leaders cannot do a dance every election … they either beat their challenges or they are replaced by someone who can (that is a thought you all should seriously consider).It is nearly impossible to pick up a newspaper and not read the latest drama of “He said, she said.” Stoking the fires, boiling this political cauldron into a vile stew that is clearly designed by the “players” to broaden the political gap and diminish common sense. This childish character assassination has exceeded all tolerable limits and looks foolish. Stop it! Stop it today! Rest assured, “We the People,” with our jaws dropped are asking, “Are these the leaders we elected?”As Board members, each and every one of you have taken a petition through your district and solicited signatures from those who believe in your. They trust your intentions and your actions to meet your responsibilities and preserve this wonderful community we all call Jefferson County. Now is your call to action. The time to roll up your sleeves and show us your salt. It is time to plant both feet squarely on the ground and passionately commit to do the right thing. Reject the degenerative claims of the “nay sayers” and “doubting Thomas’s” Take the hard but progressive road by making the necessary budget adjustments to restore the house we entrust to you. Go back to your board room and become a team dedicated to serving those who elected you.Succeeding this you will not only restore our house, you will demonstrate to all of Illinois our Jefferson County Board can work as a team, take the hard road and set a new standard meeting the needs of those they represent.Prioritize these repairs. Make the necessary adjustments to the budget. And do not increase taxes.Michael R. BullardBluford

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