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Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017 12:15 am

Letters to the Editor 1/5/17

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder wants the city to buy this vacant downtown building for $425,000 in TIF funds. Aldermen voted down the mayor’s original plan, but said they would be open to reconsideration. Langfelder now says he wants to move the
PHOTO BY DAVID HINE

 

ABUSE OF TIF FUNDING
I, along with others, am becoming concerned about Springfield TIF spending policies. Tax increment financing, as often espoused, has taxes (generally property tax) removed from the public rolls in distressed areas to create economic development that would give a greater return than taxes encumbered. I didn’t know downtown Springfield was a distressed area.

The Wall Street Journal, in an op-ed several years ago, bemoaned the fact TIF and other creative schemes to redistribute local taxes were creating massive piles of cash that city and county politicians were looking at enviously as a way to fund their pork barrel and other cockamamie projects. I think Springfield is entering this phase of abuse/misuse/maldistribution of TIF funding to the detriment of our educational and charitable programs.

Dick Armey had it right when he said, “Three groups spend other people’s money: Children, thieves and politicians. All three need close supervision.”

Bill Klein
Springfield



RESPONSE TO RAUNER
A response to the Dec. 22 “Editor’s note” on Bruce Rauner:

Mainly
A
Demagogue
In
Governmental
Affairs
Now

Gray Pierson
Springfield



KIND AND GOOD-HEARTED
I was deeply saddened by the inclusion of the expose entitled “She changed bureaucracy” by Bruce Rushton in “Remembering the lives they lived” on Dec. 29. I worked with Carol Merrill for a few years and knew her much longer. She was a kind, soft-spoken, honest, good-hearted woman who obviously had a mental health issue that went undiagnosed.

Carol Merrill’s life was much more that the mistake she made. She would never have committed a criminal act. She never so much as raised her voice or spoke an unkind word. She suffered the consequences of her “errors” and the devastation of a painful and debilitating disease that took her life. It is inappropriate and unconscionable that you would find it necessary to publish this sad story for the pleasure of your readers. I have lost all respect for your publication. Shame on you. You could have at least gone after the incompetent supervisor who should have uncovered the situation years before.

Nancy LaTourelle-Harlow
Springfield

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