Saturday, October 07, 2006


The View From The Cheap Seats

By Jerry Haferkamp

In my last column I noted that a particular park board member hasn’t stepped down at the expiration of his term. I later received information that members are generally allowed to remain in the position until a successor is approved.

However, therein lies the rub. The mayor is apparently not going to bring forth a candidate until she has the proper “stacking” of the city council. That brings politics into a board that has been better left outside the political infighting. We have benefited in St. Charles from the way our parks are administered, and politicizing the board would be a big mistake. It makes you wonder if the mayor is still stinging from the incident when the park board voted to not place the Veterans’ Memorial where the mayor wanted it, in the middle of the cross-country running course where it would be an obstruction to runners.

I occasionally receive comments on this column, but that is not the reaction I am looking for. This column does nothing but voice the view that a great number of our residents have. It is based on common sense, something that is sorely lacking in our power structure. My comments won’t change anything. The power you have can only be realized if you call or write your councilman and the administration. Writing letters to the editor will get people to rally to your side, but unless they act, it is a futile activity. Waiting until an election is a slow way to make change.

I find myself agreeing with members of the council that believe that the utility tax rebates should have limits based on income. If the council makes the program income based, there will be more money available to those who really could use a lift. I know of people who would qualify under the present program whose net worth would be well over a million dollars. Let’s keep the rebates for those who need it
Let’s keep the park board non-political. There’s only one way to do it. YOU! Get involved. YOU! Call your council member. YOU! Voice your opinion. YOU! Be informed and vote when the time comes.
You nearly regained control of your city at the last council election. You put enough of the right people on the council to at least slow a runaway city, but there is still a long way to go. You still have an administration and a few council seats to return to the citizens. Now is not the time to get lazy.

As always, that’s just the view from the cheap seats.