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Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 12:18 am

Letters to the editor 10/12/17

 

PORT-A-POTTIES DOWNTOWN

The current introduction of port-a-potties to the City of Springfield and the downtown area originated out of SearchLight: A Beacon for Serving the Homeless Community.

Vice President of SearchLight, William Mercer, gave the SearchLight executive board a report regarding an oversize homeless man in a wheelchair. Because of his size and his wheelchair, the homeless man couldn’t utilize available washrooms and showers available to the homeless, nor was he able to use the restrooms. Because of his poor hygiene, he was refused a ride on public transportation.

The idea of port-a-potties, introduced to the city by Julie Becker, Reginald Witherspoon and myself, is just one of the ideas SearchLight has to make Springfield greater than it is through the generosities of its community for helping those in need.

I might add that I’m still concerned that the city is in need of additional port-a-potties in the downtown area.

First, the public transportation bus stop, which services thousands of transient people on a daily basis, does not offer riders a means of relieving themselves at the bus stops downtown, considering business tend to not allow usage of their facility unless you buy something.

Second, the open space located at Fifth and Capitol streets (once occupied by the former YWCA building) is an ideal location to place additional port-a-potties until the ground is broken for whatever will be placed there.

Finally, some of the parks in the area, including across from the Presidential Museum, should have access to these types of facilities for the public.

Douglas Yul Holt, CEO/Executive Director/Founder/Owner
SearchLight: A Beacon Serving the Homeless Community



KICKBACK PARTIES

Bruce Rushton’s Oct. 5 article, “Check please,” which describes how aldermen lined up at Saputo’s to collect their checks from Labors Local 477 boss Brad Schaive, is a primer on how politics works in Springfield today. Absent were aldermen Fulgenzi, McMenamin and DiCenso.

I was going to let this pass, until the next morning, when, while listening to the radio, I heard Brad Schaive referred to alderman McMenamin as “Crazy Joe.” If Mr. Schaive is going to gutter down to Alinsky-ite tactics, then I do hope Alderman McMenamin feels free to respond to “Comrade Brad and his merry band of ethically challenged aldermen” at labor sponsored kickback parties. The optics of this sort of thing just stinks, but then again, this is Springfield.

In the old days, if you were going to bribe a politician, you met him out on a secluded rural road or stopped by his office after work with an envelope stuffed with cash. But now you just throw a party and hand out the money to political poltroons lining up to get their envelope. Obviously, scraping, bowing and bootlicking are optional.

I admire Joe McMenamin for being overly concerned with the fiscal solvency of the city now that retail sales taxes are being impacted by factors such as online shopping. If questioning scratch-my-back and pork barrel expenditures of political leadership in collusion with labor makes you crazy, then there are many taxpayers and voters in the same boat with Joe. Alderman DiCenso seems to be doing a great job of constituency representation, which should get her in trouble with the good old boys.

Labor parties better enjoy their kickback parties, because if the Supreme Court rules against forced union membership and coerced agency fees in several cases before the court, future bribe parties will be able to be held in a phone booth.

Bill Klein
Springfield

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