Letters to the Editor 2/20/14
In response to Graham and Ednita Murdock’s question in the Feb. 13 Illinois Times (“For the birds,” Letters to the Editor), the bird heard at the end on the movie Shawshank Redemption was a Cactus Wren.
Where is Neil Williamson? I’ve noticed we never hear from Neil anymore and I am not entirely clear whether he is still sheriff. If he is, why are taxpayers paying his salary? I’ve seen and read news reports lately about another gentleman by the name of Jack Campbell who is using the title of sheriff and claiming to have run the office for the last six years.
Did I miss an election? I checked the internet to see who is the Sangamon County sheriff and found Neil’s name. I then checked the State Journal-Register database of public employee salaries and found that Neil is making $109,000 a year, while Mr. Campbell is making more than $100,000 annually.
With all the talk about governments going broke, seems to me Sangamon County could do with just one sheriff instead of two. If we went with just one sheriff, taxpayers would save a $100,000 in the process.
Voices against sawing down Griffin Woods argue Schnucks already has a store nearby and County Market is across the street. Grocery store chess is well underway and Griffin Woods is neither the first or last move.
For years, the game was played on the edges of the city. Grocers chased the suburbs and expected everybody else to follow. Hy-Vee’s opening move on MacArthur challenges the Montvale Schnucks and captures an extremely sizable underserved central city market. Recognizing an opportunity ignored for years, County Market raced to Second and Carpenter streets. Rather than concede the central city bonanza, Schnucks wants to build at Griffin Woods.
People pointing at Fairhills County Market and Montvale Schnucks as if they are factors aren’t seeing the game. Neither of these stores will be able to compete favorably against newer, bigger, better competition. County Market has long eyed Jefferson at Koke Mill and will relocate there from Fairhills. Schnucks will close Montvale once it is completely surrounded and probably leap somewhere west of the Veterans Parkway County Market.
This is simply moving grocery castles around a board now that the board, which is Springfield, has grown to a size where they can no longer leave the center unguarded. It remains to be seen where or if Hy-Vee will make a second incursion.
Those who wish to save Griffin Woods could negotiate terms between Schnucks and County Market, whereby Schnucks takes over Fairhills while County Market stakes out Jefferson at Koke Mill. Also, Fairhills Mall would have to come up with extra space Schnucks would need.
That would save Griffin Woods but for one contingency. If it remains the Catholic Diocese’s intention to sell the woods, saving them from Schnucks will only leave them available for the next woods customer with a saw. Home Depot maybe. But, there’s already Noonan’s True Value.