Letters to the editor 10/19/17
TAKING A TOLL ON ME
On July 27, I didn’t have the necessary change for tolls, but knew I could pay for them online. Law requires payment of tolls within seven days. After checking online for several days, I was finally able to pay my toll charges that were posted on Aug. 2. This past weekend, I received a letter from the tollway system stating that I did not pay three tolls and owe a $20 fine per toll. I contacted the tollway system via telephone. I was told by a supervisor that I have to pay them within seven days, but they do not have to tell me what all I owe in that same seven-day period. He said that it was a “courtesy” when I checked online to see what I owed and that I could be charged the missed tolls after the seven-day period and a mandatory fine will be added to each missed toll. I have no trouble paying the $7 charge for the missed tolls, but I greatly resent paying the $20 fine per toll when I wasn’t told what I owed. Was I set up to have to pay fines? I have an email hearing set. I asked the supervisor if this is how Illinois is now generating revenue. He stated that Illinois does take in a lot of money via fine violations. If I did not pay my tolls, I would understand being fined. I tried to do the right thing and was penalized for it.
THE SAPUTO’S SEVEN
I thought panhandling was illegal in downtown Springfield. Certainly it’s discouraged. But I guess not for aldermen. Or, specifically, the seven aldermen who greedily stepped up to the money trough and accepted huge checks from Brad Schaive, business manager for Laborers Local 477, a couple of weeks ago at Saputo’s restaurant (“Check, please,” by Bruce Rushton, Oct. 5).
What they did was actually worse than panhandling. When you give a homeless person a few bucks, neither of you expect anything in return. You feel good for helping someone, and they are grateful that you did. But not so when labor or any other special interest gives money to a politician. Special interest has an “interest” and expectation of how that politician will vote on future issues. Anyone who thinks otherwise is even more naive than I am. And these seven aldermen who gobbled up those checks along with the free hors d’oeuvres know it. They might act offended at the very notion that their vote is for sale, but that’s exactly how it looks. And in politics, perception equals reality.
If those aldermen don’t want to give that perception to the average citizen, then simply don’t accept such large checks from labor, especially 18 long months before the next election. Those 18 months give these aldermen time to rethink their values and gives the rest of us time to rethink who we want representing us.
BEYOND TAKING A KNEE
The NFL players who are protesting could make a huge difference if they used some of their millions to improve the education opportunities for the ones most at need. Money used to bring the equipment and curriculum into the 21st century in schools in low-income areas could greatly improve the education of the students most at need. Funding outings for students to expand their horizons and introduce them to occupations and opportunities could have an impact.
Scholarships to college or helping fund internships or technical schools in fields with a large need for workers would also help.
Helping fund retraining for workers in fields with better paying jobs would meet a need. I feel these efforts would have a huge impact and would not be divisive like the taking a knee when the anthem is played or raising a fist in defiance.
Tyre W. Rees