We have heard that many Nameoki Township residents are upset with Supervisor (Randall) Viessman over the last flooding and evacuation.
We would like for you to know a little something that was also taking place with Supervisor Viessman at that same time.
His sister, who lives in Arkansas, was taking care of their ill mother. His sister needed two knee replacement surgeries. They had decided that their mother needed to come to Illinois and live with Mr. Viessman until after both surgeries and her rehab was completed.
His mother came from Arkansas to live with him in October 2015. She was on hospice care at the time. She required 24-hour care. A hospice nurse came to his house three times a week for about an hour at a time. He did not ask for outside help from anyone. He preferred to take care of his mother himself. It was a lot to take care of her and tend to his daily responsibilities as the supervisor. Between both, it left very little time for anything else.
We hope all residents have recovered from their losses and are back in their normal living conditions. Please understand that Mr. Viessman lost his mother and will never be able to get her back.
The time he got to spend with her was priceless.
The Davis family
Improving health care quality and reducing costs are among the most complex and talked-about issues of our time.
With the constantly changing health care landscape at the federal and state levels, and unique local challenges that affect our Riverbend community, OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center is progressing its model of care to provide more access and convenience to area residents.
Riverbend area residents need and deserve high-quality, affordable health care built around what patients need and want. While that desired state can be simply stated, it is difficult to achieve. Giving our community high-quality care close to home requires innovations that shift the paradigm away from “we’ve always done it that way” to “let’s offer patients the health care they need, where and when they want it.”
OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center has been rooted in the Riverbend community for 90 years. While we are proud of our tradition and nearly a century of compassionate care, we know that we must change and adapt to continue to fulfill our vision “to improve the lives of those we serve.” This requires far more than a few tweaks. It demands — and our community deserves — that OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center transform itself so that it can transform health care delivery.
It’s a huge challenge that we see as an opportunity that we must boldly pursue for the Riverbend.
The next phase in OSF Saint Anthony’s journey is to progress to a new model where patients are at the center of care. We will adapt facilities, processes and schedules to give Riverbend residents convenient and high-quality care close to home. How? Through significant investments: building a new comprehensive cancer center, opening multiple primary care centers at convenient locations, renovating Saint Anthony’s, including the Emergency Department, and recruiting more primary care physicians and specialists.
To answer patients’ requests for more convenient services, we’ll move services now at the Saint Clare’s campus to locations throughout the Riverbend. Among those to move are outpatient therapies, psychological services, home care and hospice offices.
As in any transformational growth process, some changes and actions may not appear positive in the short term, although they’ll undeniably help promote success for the long-term. OSF Saint Anthony’s will discontinue several programs now at Saint Clare’s, including inpatient rehabilitation services, skilled nursing services, adult day services and outpatient wound care. We will continue to operate Saint Clare’s Villa and maintain our obligation to residents and regulatory bodies until an opportunity to transition the Villa arises.
As OSF Saint Anthony’s progresses toward a coordinated, holistic approach to the health care experience, we’ll look to collaborate and innovate with all facets of the Riverbend community. We’ll coordinate with other local providers to ensure that patients’ needs for discontinued services are met. We’ll engage with the business community to determine the best future use of the Saint Clare’s campus to drive continued revitalization of our local economy. And we’ll keep listening and responding to patients’ needs in the most caring and respectful ways, always keeping our mission and values in mind.
We invite the Riverbend community to join us in this transformation.
Ajay Pathak, president and CEO of OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center
Sister M. Anselma Belongea, COO of OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center
Since her election in 2013 to serve as our Second Ward alderwoman, Carolyn MacAfee has demonstrated a dedication to her constituents not seen in enough elected officials. She has been accessible and available to the residents of the Second Ward to listen to their concerns and to solve problems within our neighborhoods.
As our alderwoman, Carolyn MacAfee has shown a willingness to work with residents, community stakeholders and other elected officials to find common-sense solutions to the issues facing her ward and our city. In today’s acrimonious political environment, Alderwoman MacAfee stands as an example of the kind of common-sense leadership we need in local government.
Not only has Alderwoman Carolyn MacAfee been an effective voice for the Second Ward, she has dedicated herself to the beautification and improvement of Alton as a whole. She volunteers her own time to maintain flowers along the Broadway corridor as well as spending time picking up litter and trash.
I strongly urge my friends and neighbors in Alton’s Second Ward to join me in voting to re-elect Alderwoman Carolyn MacAfee in the April 4 consolidated election.
111th District state representative, Alton
I am honored to submit this letter for support of Ron Simpson, candidate for alderman, Fifth Ward, Granite City.
I have worked with him as the chairman of the Risk and Insurance Committee for four years. When Ron is assigned as chairman of a committee, he seeks to understand all aspects of the inner workings that are involved within that committee. He is a stickler for details. He reads and researches all aspects of the decisions that are placed before him as a council member. He takes seriously attendance and being prepared. Ron has also been the chairman of the Legal and Legislative Committee and the Finance Committee. He works well with the city’s staff and enjoys problem-solving. He is also my alderman and has proven that he cares about the issues that affect the Fifth Ward. Please consider a write-in vote for this proven, honest public servant.
Resident, Fifth Ward, Granite City
I am writing as a show of support and endorsement for Linda Knogl.
Linda is a candidate for Granite City School Board member. She is a retired teacher with many years of firsthand experience concerning what the needs of our students and school community are. I admire Linda for her honesty, intelligence and common-sense approach to issues. She would truly be an asset to the Granite City School Board. Linda Knogl is a woman of integrity and I am proud to call her my friend. Please consider her when voting in the April 4 election. Linda and I agree, there is nothing more important than our children. They are our future!
Helen M. Hawkins
County Board Member, District 16
Nameoki Township Clerk
On April 4, 2017, our communities will have an opportunity to vote on a ballot question asking residents to consider the County Schools Facility Sales Tax. All voters across Madison County will be posed with this same question.
Under our current system, property owners carry the sole burden of funding school improvements. However, the CSFT would propose a 1-cent sales tax (on eligible items only) whereby a portion of the proceeds would go to lower property taxes and the other portion would go to improve and provide needed maintenance/repairs at our schools.
Currently, local school boards primarily use health/life safety funds to make these necessary repairs and improvements. Property taxes are increased as a result in many cases. If the CSFT is approved by voters, the Alton Board of Education has pledged that 50 percent of the tax proceeds will be used for school facilities and the other 50 percent will be used to offer residents property tax relief. Other Madison County school boards can determine how they will use tax proceeds. Here are some other important items of note on CSFT:
• The sales tax question only allows qualified purchases to be impacted. Services are not taxed. In fact, anything that is not taxed currently will not be taxed by CSFT. Other items not taxed include cars, trucks, all-terrain vehicles, boats and recreational vehicles, mobile homes, groceries/unprepared food, medications (includes over-the-counter and vitamins), farm equipment and parts, and farm inputs.
• The sales tax equates to one penny for every dollar spent on eligible items. For example, if you bought a $1 soda, you would pay 1 cent more. That extra penny then goes to improving school facilities and providing property tax relief.
• Commuters and visitors to Madison County (estimated at 30 to 40 percent of our county sales tax revenue) would also assist with their purchases in improving our schools. Currently, 47 other counties in Illinois already passed CSFT, so when you make purchases in their counties, you are assisting their schools/property owners.
• In the November 2016 election, eight counties had the CSFT on their ballot and it passed in all eight.
• The Alton Board of Education passed a resolution in February pledging that 50 percent of the revenue gained from CSFT would be used to offset property taxes while the other 50 percent would be used to make improvements to our schools. This would mean a reduction of $130 in property taxes on a $150,000 home.
• The three biggest needs for Alton schools at the current time are roof repairs/replacements, parking lot maintenance and HVAC improvements/repairs.
• The CSFT is considered by many as a “shared tax” because all consumers pay equally on the purchase of eligible items rather than school facility improvement being the sole responsibility of property owners.
• The law limits the use of the CSFT sales revenue. Some examples of what schools can use the monies for include security, entrances, safety, disabled access, ongoing maintenance, architectural planning, durable equipment (non-movable equipment), fire prevention and life safety, energy efficiency, roof repairs, technology infrastructure, parking lots, additions, renovations and new facilities, to name a few. The district cannot use the funds for direct instructional costs, textbooks, buses, detached furniture and fixtures, computers, electronic tablets, movable equipment operating costs (water, gas and electric), salaries and benefits.
Thank you for taking the time to inform yourself and others prior to the April 4 election. Should you have additional questions and seek more information, please visit altonschools.org or call (618) 474-2600.
Alton School District superintendent
You may have seen advertisements that make bold claims followed by an asterisk and fine print that states “some restrictions apply.”
Some supporters of the 1 percent sales tax stated; “it will lower your property taxes.” Truth in advertising might demand supporters add “some restrictions apply.”
Question: Are there some restrictions? Answer: Yes.
Restriction No. 1 — A school board controls taxing. Has your school board promised to lower taxes? If not, what guarantee do you have? In addition, a school board may promise it won’t raise taxes but then change its mind.
Restriction No. 2 — Another school board may be elected in the future then vote to raise your school property tax for “unforeseen needs.” Remember the 1 percent sales tax can only go to build schools.
Restriction No. 3 — The 1 percent sales tax is a “double-barreled bond issue.” By state law, if the new sales tax fails to raise the necessary funds to pay for $300 million of new bonds (which will cost $500 million over the life of the loan), then the county must by law raise your property tax to make up the difference.
Why didn’t 1 percent tax supporters tell you? Some restrictions apply.
Let voters beware. Sound like a gamble? If so, vote no April 4!
Philip W. Chapman
I would like to talk about the Madison County 1-cent sales tax. My concern is that when we go to vote, all we will notice is “tax.” There is a great website, onecentmakessense.org, that is full of great information. I still had many questions, so I have personally spoken to superintendents from other school districts in counties that have had this tax since 2009. A school in Champaign County with a student body of 800 has given a portion of the money received back to the property owners each year through tax abatements and will continue until at least 2025. The remainder of the money has been used to replace windows and the entire HVAC system for the building. A school district in Williamson County has been able to build two new school buildings, with these funds paying for a substantial part. I know one negative comment out there is that schools will still buy bonds and people think that will basically be a double taxing. I asked that question of the superintendents I spoke with. They both responded by saying that their schools have purchased bonds since this tax passed, but those bonds are being paid back by the 1-cent funds and there has been no additional property taxes needed.
Our state is not fully funding our schools as it is supposed to be doing. Please take the time to find out how important this can be to our children, schools, communities and property owners. I personally feel very strongly about this and encourage everyone to vote “yes.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is Report to the People No. 12 by County Board District 3 representative Philip W. Chapman.
The purpose of this report is to assist with transparency in government and to provide information on my efforts as a County Board member to improve the life of citizens in Madison County District 3.
Hamel Flooding Issues: March 7 — I met with Mayor (Larry) Bloemker, Village Engineer Don Grimm, IDOT representatives Tom Moore and Craig Poetteker to discuss three projects to improve floodwater problems. Project 1, Cassens Project — IDOT stated it would determine the old gradient for the state drainage ditch and dig it out in the next few months. This will prevent a neighborhood from “becoming a lake” during heavy rains. Project 2, North Route Old 66 (North Frontage Road) — IDOT will replace some culverts to ensure a necessary volume of drainage to improve safety and egress of emergency vehicles. Project 3, Trotter Road Project — IDOT will study a current culvert constructed after closing of railroad tracks that does not provide adequate flow during heavy rains. Water flow during heavy rains periodically makes travel unsafe on Illinois 157. Many thanks to Mr. Moore and Mr. Poetteker for their professionalism and expertise.
Tax Cycle Real Estate Meeting, March 7 — Recorder Amy Meyer reported deeds of conveyances show a positive trend in home sales. Both prices paid for homes and the number of homes sold is greater. Treasurer Chris Slusser noted automated sales generated a 2.89 percent rate. The next tax sale will be 10 a.m. March 15. IT Rob Dorman and Meyer reported cooperation in bringing Recorder’s Office documents into the 21st century through computer automation. County Clerk Debbie Ming-Mendoza reported the property tax exemption for disabled veterans will total approximately $38 million.
Finance Committee Meeting, March 8 — Child Advocacy I moved the Finance Committee earmark $59,200 for the Child Advocacy Program. These earmarked funds will ensure a matching fund grant to build an interview room for use by families at risk. The motion passed unanimously with bipartisan support.
Transportation Committee Meeting, March 8 — I proposed moving ahead with a curb-and-gutter project south of Worden. The current road proves inadequate during heavy rains or during snow removal. Many thanks to Mayor Preston Hall for drawing this issue to my attention. I voted “yes” for the following funding resolutions: Spring Valley Road traffic signal, Clifton Terrace Road resurfacing, Pear Street road resurfacing, village of Godfrey, agreement for preliminary engineering services Heeren Bridge, Buchta Road, Fort Russell Township.
Parliamentary procedure: On March 7, I met with Chairman Kurt Prenzler and discussed way to improve the use of parliamentary procedure in local government.
Community development: During the last two weeks I’ve met with the Assistant Director of Community Development Kristen Poshard to discuss ways to bring jobs to District 3 and to Madison County.
Cost containment: During the last week I met briefly with a number of department heads, elected officials, and County Board members to discuss possible means for cost containment for the upcoming Child Advocacy Project while still ensuring full services for the new interview room.
Philip W. Chapman
County Board District 3