Letters to the Editor 4/4/13
Snow, taxes and retirement
IN THE KNOW ON SNOW
Dave and Jerry do residential snow removal in Springfield. We have one snow blower, and although we started at 4 a.m. on Monday, we had to limit our clients to those we could get to and get done in about an hour, so we had to turn down many calls. Here are some things we learned from the record snowstorm.
Eighteen inches of snow was never predicted. The weatherman dropped the ball in my opinion. The city did a great job getting the main streets open, a great job. But, when the plows came through Monday night and filled many clean drives with two feet of snow it caused more problems for many clients. When plows in Sherman did residential areas and buried mailboxes, this was also not good.
Some callers could not tell us how big their drive was. Few residential snow removers can handle long, wide drives, and tight areas with no place to put the snow. That was a big problem with 18 inches of snow and we had to be creative.
If we give you an ‘estimate’ over the phone, do not make the check out before we get there and expect us to cut our price.
If there is no place to put the snow neighbors may experience some inconvenience, patience is appreciated. Do not come to me after I am done and ask me to move the snow again.
If somehow you get plowed before we get there, call us back and let us know. Once we get there and find nothing to do you should still expect to pay us something because we showed up and refused other calls to work you in.
Thanks to all the great customers who had patience, who did not try to get a reduced price and understood 18 inches of snow was a lot of snow.
Lawnscape Brothers, LLC
UNHEALTHY CHOICES TAX
Mike Houston did a wonderful job on downtown Springfield during his first stint. This time around, with less money available and more urban sprawl to maintain, his task is daunting. The population has less income and our county is now known for its high mortality rate. When you sit in a convenience store parking lot you see why. Many customers who are struggling with health issues are walking out with items that are literally eating away at their quality of life. Tax it. Sangamon County could be known as a community setting its sights on healthier lifestyles. Soda, snack foods, tobacco, ammunition, alcohol and eating out are things no one needs in large quantities.
In addition to health issues, water consumption has now become a long-term issue. Last year residents basically ignored the council’s water conservation guidelines. The Mississippi River had a serious drought last year so it is time to get serious on cutting back. Businesses and residents pay attention when money is involved. So use it. If a residence or business exceeds a reasonable monthly amount on water consumption, tack on a high consumption charge.
And please, what is the council waiting for on the disposable bag tax? Disposable bags are one of the most mass-produced yet most unnecessary items that are non-biodegradable, oil-based products that other cities have made millions of dollars on taxing their use. The council is moving in the right direction. Now it is time to step it up a notch and target practices that are making us a source of ridicule rather than praise.
BROKEN RETIREMENT PROMISES
I cannot for the life of me understand Judge Nardulli’s ruling on pension benefits. The constitution states pension benefits shall not be diminished or impaired. When many of us took early retirements in 1991 and 2002, it was put in writing what we would receive so as to induce us to retire early. Anyone with half a mind knows that this would be a contractual agreement that should not be broken. Apparently, the deadbeat state cannot be trusted to keep its agreements.
If the state officials are honestly interested in doing some real pension reform, they would put any employee of the state under the same system as the rest with all the same requirements.
Tyre W. Rees