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Thursday, April 3, 2014 12:01 am

Letters to the Editor 4/3/14

 TOWER POWER

In response to the Illinois Times article “A beacon for ex-cons” (Patrick Yeagle, March 13), I think this is a wonderful program. I want to thank the creators and staff of the Tower of Refuge for realizing this need and creating a system that works. And I want to thank all of the people who use this organization to better themselves, which in turn betters us all. Thank you.

Katie Dobron
Springfield



MANDATORY READING

The article in Illinois Times by Bruce Rushton (“Let the sunshine in,” March 20) on the absence of transparency in city government should be mandatory reading by every voting citizen in Springfield, a city with a long history of corruption in public office.

The actions by the mayor should make it acutely clear that corruption is still endemic in the culture of city government. If Springfield is ever going to move ahead with dignity and integrity, such actions should be immediately confronted and when the law is broken, procedures should be in place to prevent future incidents and indiscretions, which includes an avenue for filing a complaint, adjudication and appropriate and timely punishment of offenders. In days long since past when the average citizen became involved, a good tar and feathering worked well to discourage public officials for their misuse of office, but times have changed. Ah, the good old days!

The burden now falls upon the members of the city council. It should be the responsibility of the city’s top lawyer, Mr. Greenburg, but from a look at his past, he was sought out and holds that office, mea culpa to the mayor, not because he is a lawyer but because he is a noser with a license to practice law. There is none, and don’t expect any, integrity there.

Kudos to Alderman Simpson and Cahnman for immediately speaking up when the infringements took place, but that’s not enough. Mr. Houston needs to be reminded that he was elected to serve and represent the best interests of the people of Springfield, not anointed to pursue his own agenda. That’s true for all public office holders including that of alderman. Let me remind everyone that the reason there were two recent ex-governors convicted of malfeasance is because one man came in and performed the duties of his office with honesty and integrity. The same needs to be done here. The cycle needs to be broken.

Robert J. Mathes
Springfield



INCAP REQUIREMENTS CONTROLLED

I am writing in response to the Letter to the Editor, March 27, entitled “Wounded Veteran Care.”

As the Adjunct General of the Illinois National Guard, and one of tens of thousands of soldiers who put himself in harm’s way for this nation, I am more than a little disappointed in Illinois Times for printing an anonymous letter without checking facts.

First, incapacitation (INCAP) pay is controlled by Army Regulation (135-381), which outlines specific requirements for INCAP pay eligibility. Every application for INCAP pay in fiscal year 2013 was approved. In fiscal year 2014, two soldiers were denied INCAP pay because they did not meet eligibility requirements in accordance with regulations. Decisions about INCAP pay eligibility are never arbitrary.

Secondly, the host (usually the retiree) and/or guests pay all expenses related to retirement ceremonies and events. Federal or state appropriations are never used for this purpose. We do, however, occasionally use email to notify our soldiers and airmen of the event, so if they chose they may attend in order to honor and celebrate a career of service and sacrifice.

Thirdly, the term “wounded veteran” implies the injuries to the veteran were the result of combat. Without exception, our wounded combat veterans receive the pay and allowances to maintain their quality of life throughout the recovery process.

Daniel M. Krumrei
Illinois National Guard Adjutant General, Brig. Gen.
Springfield

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