NONPROFITS STAND TO LOSE
Every nonprofit in our area that uses the bulk mail service in Springfield will suffer if the post office closes the mail sorting operations in Springfield. The great service provided by our local postal workers means that mail presented today is delivered the next day or the day after. Our organization also has some mail that is sent to the St. Louis facility and it takes two weeks to get that newsletter to Hillsboro. If you represent a nonprofit, a church or any other group that uses the local service, we suggest you ask your mail delivery person what you can do to keep the service and 300 jobs here in Springfield.
Jim Dixon, chapter leader
Bereaved Parents of Springfield
When a vanquished candidate for public office opines on the victor’s track record, particularly at this early stage, I roll my eyes and move on to the next article. However, not this time with the Guestwork column of Sheila Stocks-Smith (Sept. 15-21, “Mayor Houston’s politics and promises”).
Having served two governors as a senior staff member, held several cabinet-level positions and worked in a bipartisan way with the Illinois legislature, I know a thing or two about campaigns and governing. I know Mayor Houston only by his sterling reputation as a public servant, banker and person of his word. I am not shocked or appalled by what candidate Houston said before the April election and what Mayor Houston says today, as Ms. Stocks-Smith inspires us to be.
Candidate Houston’s campaign rhetoric was hardly over-the-top or dishonest, as Ms. Stocks-Smith implies, but, perhaps, at worst, it was too optimistic and naive at the time. What he said then and what he says now reflects the harsh and bitter reality between campaigning for and governing in office in today’s body politic.
That Ms. Stocks-Smith has assumed the self-appointed role of keeping Mayor Houston true to his word on behalf of the rest of us is her right in this democracy of ours. I am quite confident, however, that the good and enlightened people of Springfield are quite capable of assessing Mayor Houston’s legacy – and his promises made and promises kept – without being tutored by this defeated mayoral candidate and limousine liberal.
PLUMBER TEST UNFAIR
This is just one of our wonderful state’s scams. If a person has served a four-year apprenticeship that it takes to become a plumber in Illinois the next step is to pass the state exam. If you are a non-union plumber that is a very hard thing to do in this state. The test is given at a union hall and everyone there as an instructor is a member of one of the many plumbers’ unions. The cost to sign up for the test is $100. There are 50 people per test day. Not bad cash for the state. There are two test days, usually on a Tuesday and a Wednesday. The cost of the materials is about $275. Most of us travel at least 115 miles, so naturally we get a hotel room, so there is another $77. Oh, the cost of gas, $65. So, the final cost for the plumbing test is about $517. Nice scam created by our state. The failure rate is 96 percent. Ninety percent of those who fail the test are non-union plumbers. And we thought we lived in a right-to-work state.
I took my first test in June 2011 and then September 2011 and failed two times. So this test cost me $1,034, without any state aid. Now if every plumber in this wonderful state was a union plumber the average struggling homeowner would not be able to afford to have a plumber come to their home.
David Wenglarz Sr.
CORREX: Thanks to sharp IT puzzle reader Kelly (she didn’t tell us her last name) who caught a mistake in the #185 JoshJosh puzzle that ran in our issue of 9/15. Josh Reynolds creates the puzzle for IT and other papers around the country and confirms that he did make an error – a 1 appeared where there should have been a 2. He and we regret the error but congratulate Kelly on catching it. No other reader around the country has yet to report the mistake. Puzzle maestro Josh Reynolds creates the crossword, Sudoku and JoshJosh puzzles that appear each week in the classified section of Illinois Times.