The following is what our readers sounded off about this week:
Am I the only sane person in the Fox Valley? When anyone purchases property in the city limits, you agree to abide by that city's code and ordinances. These are guidelines set forth by your elected officials, put into place not only to protect us from each other, but ourselves. Cliff McIlvaine voluntarily chose to be a member of a civilized society. He chose to build his Frankenstein monstrosity within the city limits. If he wanted to live like a barbarian, he should have bought property outside of the St. Charles city limits. As someone who drinks the St. Charles water each and every day, I applaud the city for enforcing the rules and protecting our welfare.
Please don't be my neighbor
I'm calling in regard to Clifford McIlvaine. I am very glad I do not have him for a neighbor. It's taken him almost 40 years, and none of the tarp has come down. I'd be very, very unhappy to have him as a neighbor.
Health in jeopardy
Cliff McIlvaine's plans to mix rainwater from a cistern with a domestic supply, while laudable and green as it sounds, will jeopardize his neighbors' health and have them pay for his sewage treatment and excrement.
Teachers are lucky
I'm tired of hearing about the teachers wanting more money for the kids. I have teachers in the family, and they are wonderful and go above and beyond, but come on, there are people like myself who haven't worked in four years, and yet they have a salary of $70,000-plus and they're complaining? What happened to job wage freezing? That's enough. You're lucky you've got a job.
Republicans won't cooperate
I'm calling to criticize. When I read the section where you have opinions and people don't have to sign their names, they are always criticizing the Democrats and talk about how great their Republicans are. They're not that great. They're doing a lot of things wrong. I wish you would put something in there about the Democrats and what the president is trying to do. But the Republicans won't cooperate.
Don't neuter my dog
I can't see raising the rates to have your dog neutered or spayed. It's up to the individual who owns the dog to be responsible for it. I can see if the dog is in the shelter, but when you adopt the dog, it is up to you about whether you want it neutered or spayed. If it passes, I will be paying more because my dog will not be neutered. I don't want him to go through unnecessary surgery. I can't see that. Don't they have something else to charge on, like cigarettes or alcohol or the bars being open until 2 o'clock in the morning?
First lady, role model
I was never more proud of this country than I was listening to our first lady speak. She's beautiful, articulate and classy, a wonderful mother and wife. But most of all, she personifies the American dream. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, to blue-collar parents, the product of public schools, and look what she's accomplished. I believe this was only possible because she was lucky enough to be born into a country as great as ours, one that allows people who work hard to succeed. Thanks, Michelle, for being such a great role model.
Question for the mayor
I have a question for Batavia Mayor Schielke and the City Council – what will be finished first, the new McDonald's or the reconstruction of River Street?
This guy in the White House just doesn't get it. Instant gratification is the American way. Push a button, nuke your dinner. Flip a switch, light the lamp. Push a lever, stand up, pull up your pants and walk away. How come he can't fix, in four years, what it took the Republicans eight years to mess up? Instant gratification is the American way.
Why do we pay for that?
Batavia debates the Walgreens parking plan. I don't have a big problem with Walgreens building a new building or having parking in front of the building. My problem with this whole thing is that the city owns a good portion of that lot where Walgreens is going to be built, and also, Walgreens is asking for $450,000 in tax increment financing, which means that we, the taxpayers, will be fronting $450,000 for Walgreens. Our taxes are already ridiculously high, and just a week ago, the city of Batavia announced another $50,000 for grants for other businesses for downtown Batavia. Since when is this country designed so that the citizens are paying for businesses to locate and be in the area? Why are our tax dollars paying to finance all of these things? Why shouldn't these people pay for it themselves and make their businesses go or not. Why are the citizens always on the hook to pay for these things while the taxes are causing us to lose our homes?
Be nice to Walgreens
The city government of Batavia is unbelievable. Walgreens, a good downtown business, wants to stay downtown and build a new building in the downtown area. So, what does the city of Batavia do? It takes months and months and months and spends Walgreens money on the continued redesign of the Walgreens money, and after months of discussion, the city of Batavia still doesn't approve the plan. No wonder businesses don't want to come to downtown Batavia, unless the city of Batavia gives them our tax dollars.
Leave babies at home
I attended Festival of the Vine Saturday night in Geneva, a very crowded but wonderful affair as it has been for many years. What I do fail to understand is why many young couples bring along their 3- to 6-month-old babies to this event. With a large, bustling crowd, it makes no sense to me to have young babies present in such a situation. Next time, young moms, hire a baby sitter and leave your infants safely at home.
The open market
There is a simple solution to the teachers union conversation. Decertify the union and offer all of the teaching positions to the open market. The pool of qualified and talented teachers will expand exponentially, and the conversation about what is a fair wage would disappear. The open market would determine the fair wage. By doing this, you would serve your constituents more effectively by staffing the schools with the best qualified teachers for the best price, as determined by the open market. I'm sure this level of accountability would strike fear in some teachers who do not want to compete in the open market like the rest of us. But I believe this approach is fair to the taxpayers who, in recent years, have experienced significant job loss, wage deterioration and removal of retiree benefits. It remains a mystery to me why our public servants should have better job security, better wages, better benefits and better pensions than the people who pay the taxes that support them. And if they teachers strike, I encourage the school boards to replace them.
We should fire all government employees. We do not get a say when our boss lays us off or fires us from our job, and we lose all of our benefits. Make some of these teachers or government employees go to a food pantry for their food or go into foreclosure. Then they would be glad to get a job. There are a lot of people who would take their jobs for $50,000. We will not pass referendums for more money, and that goes for the library, also.
Cut them off
I was listening to the news and I saw how the United States gives aid to some of the countries where they are burning the American flag. And I think aid should be cut off to these countries, if they cannot respect the Americans. Yet they can take every penny that the United States sends. I happen to be a senior living on a fixed income, and I struggle to pay my bills, and yet we can send money owed to the countries where they don't show respect. And yet there are people here in the U.S. without a job. So, come on government, get on the ball and help the people of the United States.
Vote him out
What kind of a president is a president who thinks leading from behind is leading? What kind of a president is a president who caters to the whims of Iran and Libya but is too busy to meet with our strong ally Israel? What kind of a president is a president who tries to destroy capitalism but promotes socialism? What kind of a president is a president who thinks America is a second-rate nation and feels the need to apologize to the other countries of the world. In my opinion, it's a failed president. Fellow citizens of this great country, let's return him to his job as community organizer. Come November, stand up and vote him out.
Why is it that when a lot of people who are driving are rolling through stop signs, tailgating, and the speed limit is listed at 45 and they are going 55? They are passing, cutting off, no turn signals, etc. Why do people think they need to be there in that instant? It is getting really tiresome and also dangerous because of how people's actions are behind the wheel – texting, cellphone talking, etc. People are so disrespectful of not only the speed limit, but stop signs, etc.
• You can sound off, as well, by calling our Sound Off line at 630-845-5240 or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Calls must be limited to 1 minute or less.