CARING FOR VETS
Our politicians and state officials never give up any opportunity to show off their affections and appreciation for our veterans for publicity or photo opp. They do it on Veterans’ Day – once a year – and then they must think that their responsibility toward our veterans is over because the way they behave the rest of the year is quite different.
These are the same politicians, including Gov. Pat Quinn, who are expert at giving lip service. They ask people to “support our troops” but when it comes to them putting it into practice, they have shown that they don’t care about our veterans.
Gov. Pat Quinn always shows off when he does something to support our veterans. But on the other hand, one of the state agencies under his control – The Illinois Department of Employment Security – has recently laid off about 200 of its employees and a significant part of these employees are veterans who have fought and sacrificed for our country or have served in our armed forces. These veterans took care of us when it was their duty to do so and now it is our duty and obligation to take care of them when they are working for the State of Illinois. We must make sure that no veteran loses his or her job with the state even if it means that it will cost the state more money.
Harish G. Bhatt
ROOM AND BOARD
After reading “School closure questioned” in last week’s Illinois Times by Patrick Yeagle (Feb. 14), which questioned District 186’s decision to close the Capital College Preparatory Academy, I have to wonder why anyone would run for the school board? The story indicates that “about 200 scholars” (1.3 percent of the district total) will now transition back to other high-quality facilities because the program was costing “much more than originally proposed,” estimated savings $1.7 million. CCPA was proclaimed Dr. Walter Milton’s greatest accomplishment during his seven years as superintendent which now are coming to an end, and he helped 1.3 percent of the students? Keep in mind this happened while other schools in the district actually fell further behind and today are rated much lower than they were seven years ago. Not much of a legacy for a superintendent or a board.
Many have called this decision racially motivated, including two board members who voted against closure, but in the seven years these two board members and Dr. Milton have been here, the district has never balanced its budget. Some $11 million in cuts were needed to balance this year’s budget, but only $8 million in cuts were made, preserving Milton’s track record of never balancing his budget. Do any students benefit when the district cannot control spending and teachers have to be laid off, preserving the jobs of highly paid administrators?
So who would actually want to be on the District 186 School Board? If you vote to close a school which benefits 1.3 percent of the district students at the expense of the other 98.7 percent you are called racist. I would say that a board which has not balanced their budget in seven years, builds a new school smaller than the original school while closing two schools, lays off 100 teachers to save $4 million while paying 90 administrators more than $9 million, has many problems. Playing the race card is only a smoke screen for incompetence. The election is April 9. Thank God we still have people willing to run.
This is in response to Erik Welch’s letter “New blood” (Feb. 14). While we all agree some fresh faces in the Statehouse would be a good thing, to put Mike Madigan and Raymond Poe in the same sentence is ludicrous! Raymond Poe is one of the hardest working men I have ever met. He is always available to his constituents and is out in his district every day. I cannot begin to mention all the other kind things he has done for people, which started long before he was in office, most of which is not common knowledge. You will not find a more compassionate, giving and trustworthy officeholder at the statehouse. Do a little research before you compare two people who don’t reside on the same planet.
Jeff and Michelle Feurer