In April 2017, the voters in Wood River will make an important decision as they elect their next mayor.
It is important they elect someone with the experience and determination to get the job done. It is my humble privilege to be a candidate for this office.
As the election season builds up over the coming months, voters will hear from candidates for this office and for City Council, and I urge them to listen to all candidates and their varying positions on the important issues facing Wood River. To this end, my campaign will be hosting a meet and greet from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Wood River Roundhouse.
I invite those that I know personally and those that I have yet to meet to come to the event and discuss my campaign, my platform and my vision for Wood River.
Councilman Scott Miner
Candidate for mayor of Wood River
Madison County voters are no strangers to backdoor referendums. However, to refresh readers’ memories, backdoor referendums require a district superintendent or legislative body requesting a referendum to sell bonds to post their intention in the newspaper. Upon this advertisement, 10 percent of the district voters have 30 days to bring a petition opposing the referendum. If no opposition, the taxing entity can sell the bonds.
Some grow concerned backdoor referendums make it too easy for government to raise taxes. Examples of recent backdoor referendums include the Madison County jail bond issue, 1 percent sales tax and 2016 Edwardsville School District levy.
Citizens scrambled to collect huge amounts of signatures in the 30 days to place the jail bond issue and 1 percent sales tax on the ballot. Voters rejected both referendums by huge margins. In Edwardsville, school officials wisely chose not to challenge the citizens’ response to their 2016 backdoor referendum and placed it on the ballot themselves. Clearly backdoor referendums place a huge burden on ordinary citizens to collect signatures in a short period of time rather than placing the burden on government to explain new taxes to the ones footing the bill.
In Missouri, backdoor referendums are illegal. Taxing entities have to explain why bonds are necessary and ask your permission to raise your property tax.
What do you think? Are local and state taxes out of control? Is it time to end backdoor referendums?
Philip W. Chapman
Our farm economy is facing strong economic challenges, and that does not bode well for Illinois as a whole, considering agriculture’s importance to job growth and our GDP. Unfortunately, continued low commodity prices and bizarre turns from free and fair trade are only exacerbating the problem.
Far too many politicians are speaking out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would grant farmers in Illinois greater access to 40 percent of the world’s consumers. Even though TPP would tear down 18,000 taxes and barriers to U.S. exports, they oppose the deal outright because it is not perfect.
Similarly, they are criticizing an ongoing negotiation with our oldest trading partners in Europe, even though the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership has the potential to boost U.S. trade by more than $120 billion within five years.
The main complaint with the deals is that they are not one-sided enough.
News flash: one-sided perfection is impossible in a trade negotiation. Anyone who “guarantees” one-sided perfection in the world of trade is being misleading. And of course we want our trading partners to succeed — the more their economies grow, the more demand they have for our agricultural products.
If we retreat from the rest of the world’s economy, we walk away from 1 million jobs created by agricultural exports — not to mention $133 billion in agricultural trade, a food and farm trade surplus of $43 billion, and 30 percent of U.S. farm income.
And Illinois suffers. That’s guaranteed.
I thought I had better write now because I am one of those deplorable people who are for Trump.
Hillary has also said that I am unredeemable, so that also takes care of the after-life. The corrupt news media always manages to leave out the unredeemable part. She also had a litany of hateful descriptive words for Trump supporters that are out of the realm of human discourse.
Mrs. Clinton has something wrong with her besides not being able to tell the truth. A few weeks ago she started coughing and said it was allergies, then said it was heat. CNN jumped to her defense by saying that it was horribly hot in New York at the 9/11 memorial. In fact, the temperature that day was 78 degrees, partly cloudy with an 8-mph breeze blowing. She has stumbled getting onto airplanes and she did it again that day trying to get into her SUV. She then went to her daughter’s apartment. Why not the hospital? An hour and a half later, she emerged and said she had pneumonia, which had been diagnosed a week earlier. When does this woman tell the truth?
How many times has she told us she has turned over all her emails? Then thousands more turn up (not counting the ones she had deleted and her staff destroyed on her iPhones with a hammer). Hillary can best be described this way: “Why can you people not understand that the medical problems that I do not have are the reason I cannot remember the criminal acts I did not commit!”
Garland J. Horn
Given recent exposés in local newspapers, do you think Madison County politics are corrupt? John Acton stated: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
With tenure comes power and influence. It’s worse when one party dominates. Currently, the Democrats have a 19-to-10 supermajority advantage on the Madison County Board. Board Chairman Alan Dunstan has been in county office for 36 years. He’s been county board chairman for 14 years.
Perhaps it’s time to limit county officeholders to no more than 8 years in a particular office.
The Founding Fathers didn’t envision professional politicians running local, state or federal government. Term limits curtail power and influence. Perhaps we need fresh personalities and ideas in Madison County. Did you notice how the “longtime incumbents” fought the general fund 20 percent tax cut referendum that more than 8,800 of your fellow citizens signed? Entrenched incumbent officeholders used every trick in the book to keep it off the ballot and to keep your taxes higher. New voices, John Q. Public and so-called outsiders championed tax cuts! Are you tired of where the “political in crowd” leads?
What do you think? Is it time for term limits?
Philip W. Chapman
Is the United States a Christian nation? What’s the relationship between the Bible and the Constitution? What is the origin and impact of separation of church and state? These are some of the questions to be explored in a new series of programs.
Nationally known speaker and author Bill Federer is among the presenters in a series that begins Sept. 28 at two churches in the Riverbend. The God and Country Speakers Series will be Wednesday nights at First Baptist Church of Hartford and Thursday nights at Rosewood Heights Community Church. Programs are free of charge to the public.
Only 18 percent of U.S. colleges offer courses in American history or government. In a recent survey, 10 percent of respondents identified Judge Judy as a Supreme Court justice. This series is not intended to be political, but informational. It is for people who would like to ‘fill in the blank’ with important facts.
Local attorney Neal Wallace, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, will do a presentation on the history of important court decisions, including the concept of the separation of church and state. A few landmark court decisions have had a dramatic impact on the very foundation of our legal system.
Other speakers include Cordell Schulten, an attorney who is an adjunct professor at Missouri Baptist University, and Matt Hasquin, who teaches history at Southwestern High School.
The first of the series will be The Constitution and the Bible: an examination of our founding documents. It will be offered Wednesday, Sept. 28, at First Baptist Church of Hartford, 301 N. Delmar in Hartford, and Thursday, Sept. 29, at Rosewood Heights Community Church, 50 E. Rosewood Drive. Both will start at 7 p.m.
For a complete schedule of speakers and topics, you can go to needsomeanswers.com, the Facebook pages for First Baptist Church of Hartford and Rosewood Heights Community Church, or contact Ron Wenzel at (618) 789-0739 or firstname.lastname@example.org.