Saturday, May 05, 2007

THE PEOPLE SPEAK - Letters To The Editor

Dear Editor

As Congress sets terms of Iraq exit, the Taliban takeover again in yet another district in Afghanistan is one more reminder to us that we are not only embroiled in a disastrous civil war in Iraq created by our current administration because this administration was so hell bent on taking out Sadam Hussein that it would go to any lengths to do it including lying to the American people to sell it to us, but that in doing so we have lost much momentum and control over the real war where we actually had a chance of winning and helping the Afghan people. We could have even captured Osama bin Laden perhaps. But then that was never what this war was about, was it? As we near the half trillion dollar mark on war spending in Iraq, our men and women are dying, their men, women and children are dying, the administration keeps telling us month after month and year after year how much things are improving and that we are winning this bloodbath and how we need to continue it on and on until God knows when while the country that really needed our help is also being lost. Two entire countries being destroyed by war, no affordable healthcare in our own country, tax cuts for the rich continue and war profiteering at an all time high. Why aren’t all Americans calling, writing and demanding that this administration stop this madness. Diplomacy! Where have all the diplomats gone?

Sandra Vago

Dear First Capitol News,


I have always found it distasteful that when reporting the closures of Saint Charles’s elementary schools, the Journal feels it must include the fact “it was because the taxpayers did not pass the 50-cent tax increase.” Although I cannot argue with this sound bite, I believe it does an injustice to the taxpayers of our district and only serves to obscure those responsible.

To begin, the Saint Charles School Board did not demand just a 50-cent tax increase ($4 million/year), but also required the passage of the Tax levy transfer as well ($2.5 million/year). The School Board claimed they needed 6.5 million dollars/year to keep our schools open, even though their own “Option Plan #4” showed that closing down Benton and Blackhurst and reconfiguring the middle school only saved the district $1.59 million/year. When taxpayers tried to clarify this discrepancy the Board suddenly began claiming that it cost $2 million/year to keep each elementary school open (their first cost vs. savings misrepresentation).

Although the taxpayers provided the 2.5 million dollar/year tax levy transfer concession, the Saint Charles School Board has refused to provide anything in return. Instead they implemented every “Option” to cut expenses and even came up with more “Options” like kicking out the non-resident teacher’s children. The Saint Charles School Board demonstrated that even though the taxpayers’ survey told them we didn’t want them to shut down our schools and even though the taxpayers voted to provide extra funding for our children, this board took our money and is completely unwilling to provide anything in return. They claim they are doing this for the taxpayers when the taxpayers clearly told them otherwise.

It is, therefore, not the taxpayers that caused this tragedy, but instead a school board that has shown a complete unwillingness to listen. So, every time the Journal reports, “… because the taxpayers...” I want this community to realize we did do the right thing, and the real responsibility of this ill-conceived reorganization falls on the heads of those board members, and of course the Journal.

Jim DuMontelle

Dear Editor,

I think someone needs to look more closely into the Saint Charles school board and administration. At first it was said it would cost about $600,000 to move the administration office to Benton. Now it is my understanding that it is closer to 2 million and growing. For the fiber optics alone is about a million. Also, they have to put an elevator into Benton to make it handicap accessible. All of which they already have at their currant location. I thought the reorganization is to save money, not to spend it all so wastefully. Not only are they wasting money there, but they wish to put a road in by Monroe/ Jefferson schools on property that is owned by the city. I believe that to be $200,000 more? What disturbs me even more was to learn that Ms. Perrone on the school board works as business manager at the academy of Sacred Heart. Closing Benton and Blackhurst would help their enrollment I’m sure. I think a closer look is in order. Thanks!

Vicki DuMontelle