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Sound Off: The golden goose is dead

The following is what our readers sounded off about this week:

Golden goose is dead
This is addressed to the Geneva School Board and teachers union in reference to contract talks. To the school board, it's the tax bill. Taxes have gone up, and real estate values and the dollar values have gone down. Taxpayers cannot afford the taxes now. No raises. Look at the home sales, look at the foreclosures, and look at the unemployment. Again, no raises. To the teachers union, strike if you must. The golden goose has died.

Welcome, Pal Joey's
I would like to thank Pal Joey's for coming to Batavia. I was there Saturday night, and the place was crowded, and everyone was having fun. The weather was great. The food was great. The entertainment was great. The service was great. All around, is was just very positive for the community.

Respect for President Obama
Reading "Sound Off" last week made me ill. Let's put politics aside? Yeah, right. You would think that President Obama single-handedly brought this country to its knees. Let's remember where this office was when he took office. By the way, the last time we had a balanced budget was under a Democratic president. Bush changed all that. Unnecessary wars didn't help. Both parties run ridiculous, negative ads. Get used to it. Also, every incumbent presidential, as a presidential candidate, has gone all over the country raising funds. It's nothing new. First ladies always have budgets. And by the way, it isn't Mr. Obama. It's President Obama.

Dodging the hardball questions
Why does President Obama prefer to be a guest on the Hollywood talk show circuit and interviewed by magazines such as People, with softball questions, instead of meeting regularly with the White House press corps? Can he not take the hardball questions?

Election-year shenanigans
Hooray for Nebraska and Arizona. Giving illegals status is nothing but election-year shenanigans. At least they have the wisdom that they will not be granted benefits in those states. And they should not.

Happy retirement
I'd like to comment on the retirement of Batavia Superintendent Jack Barshinger. I'd like to congratulate him on his retirement, and I'm glad that we taxpayers got to fund his salary and also his retirement, while we are still going to be working while he is enjoying his family.

What does he make?
Now that the Batavia school superintendent is retiring, it is time that the school board makes public his entire benefit package, from salary, health insurance, pension benefits and all of the other perks that he has received, and will receive, until he dies of old age.

Tavern town
I've been wondering. In your paper, there was a lot about all the late-night taverns in St. Charles. It makes our city sound terrible. Who is responsible for that, the mayor or the City Council? Why would they let all those taverns come to town and stay open late like that? And these people are not only from St. Charles, but all over the place. That's really ridiculous.

So sick of teachers
Dare I surmise that the unhappiness Geneva teachers appear to be exhibiting in their matching shirts and their big show of unity is caused by the board finally – finally – standing up for the taxpayers and saying enough is enough? I sincerely hope so, because we cannot afford another three-year giveaway contract with the teachers. Other districts' teachers took pay freezes in the last three years, but not Geneva. Oh, no! They've indicated that the only way they could keep up the quality work that they do is if they get more money, and, of course, it's all for the kids. But we don't get any more money, and we're expected to do as good a job as ever. Why are they different? I'd like a teacher to call in and tell us exactly where they think the school board is supposed to get the money to pay them more and keep their nice benefits. Of course, we all know that they want all of us taxpayers to pay them. I guess we're not all in this together, because we have experienced wage and benefit cuts, as most of our friends did, too. But, apparently, our teachers are too good to do their share. Maybe one can call in to tell us why we should give them even more of our money when we are struggling. They expect to maintain their financial well-being at the expense of everybody else. I suggest that if it's so bad here that they can't do a decent job, then they should go somewhere else. There are a million unemployed teachers who would be delighted to work here, in our great facilities and with such good support from parents and community. I am so sick of teachers.

Listen to the public
I was reading about the plans for the landfill off of Fabyan. First of all, for us in the area, we smell that landfill and we've been here a long time, and we're the ones who are going to be the inheritors of the high-traffic volume, however, it doesn't appear [County Board member Mike] Donahue or the planning board folks take any of that into consideration. And he talks about this planning he's done, all this work and planning. And now he's making a big deal, and he's put the timeline out. The timeline is on this big project two months before the election, and he wants a lame-duck board to approve it. That's ridiculous. We've packed that county board room with citizens that said no, we don't want all this development, and we had to make it clear we didn't want any trees down. Donahue is not listening to the public, and I'm hearing people scrambling about revenue and profits. Developers and politicians don't think at all about what the public wants, and that land is a forest preserve for the enjoyment of the people, not for the revenue of the rich and famous in Kane County.

Irrelevant questions
Recently, TV interviewers asked some ridiculous and irrelevant questions to Obama. Personally, I don't care about Obama's favorite color or who his favorite BFF is in Hollywood. The only thing I care about is, are we better off than we were before he went to Washington.

Here we go again, three injured in a four-car crash on Kirk. When are we going to get our turn lanes on Chillem Drive, Giese Road and Douglas Road? This is not a speed issue. The cars have no place to go. No signs, no pork chops. Yes, we want our turn lanes.

St. Charles isn't a college town
We've lived in St. Charles for 39 years, and the picture on the front page on Wednesday, Aug. 22, was disturbing. A sleepy town has become a mecca for bars. Why can't our town have nice neighborhood restaurants, so the people who pay the high real estate taxes to live here can dine in their own backyard, instead of having to go elsewhere? What are the city planners thinking? St. Charles isn't a college town, so why try to create one? I, for one, am ashamed of what our city has become. They need the focus on being changing the bars into worthwhile establishments, do something to enhance the facades of our downtown businesses, tidy things up a bit on the east side of town and turn Charlestowne Mall into something worthwhile to shop at. Let's recreate St. Charles back into a town where decent people want to visit, not a place to avoid.

• You can sound off, as well, by calling our Sound Off line at 630-845-5240 or by sending an e-mail to Calls must be limited to 1 minute or less.


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