Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

January 3, 2013

Sidewalks insane project to start with

MT. VERNON — Editor:

I read that the “Safe Routes” to school are almost completed.

It’s time for all jokes to be put aside. This is NOT a safe route or even a sensible project.

These sidewalks are more like launching ramps in some places, they dip, they bank and they simply end in several places.

I see absolutely no way these so called sidewalks can be used by anyone on foot, bicycles and especially any person that is handicapped. The entire project was insane to start with and to build them the way they are shows a lack of engineering, design and construction. Our City Manager should be immediately terminated and David Wood of the City Council voted out for pushing this project.

I attended the City Council meeting to discuss this project and it was immediately made known to the people that this was cut and dried and nothing anyone could say would change anything. In fact, David Wood and the then City Engineer filibustered most of the meeting. And they wonder why people don’t attend these meetings.

I made this statement once before, but for the benefit of our City Council and other boards in this county, grant money IS TAX MONEY, regardless of what it’s called. No form of government has its own money, it all comes from us, the taxpayers.

It looks like since the City Council called it grant money, they didn’t care about the project, only spending the money. These sidewalks could have been done by the high school shop students and they would have done the job a lot better. The company that did this job should have either refused it or done it right if they knew how, either way there should be a huge refund to the taxpayers.

This is just another example of how this city is throwing our tax money around and then keep asking for more. I challenge everyone in Mt. Vernon to drive into the Fruit Bowl and look at these “Safe Routes” and then tell me, would you feel your kid was safe on these slabs of uneven concrete?

One questions I’d really like answered, if the State of Illinois is broke, how can they keep giving grant money for such idiotic projects?

Jerry Merritt

Mt. Vernon

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