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Opinion

Sound Off

What a disgrace our country is in. Should the four Olympian swimmers give back their medals? However, maybe they shouldn’t – if [Hillary Rodham Clinton] can tell lies and not be held accountable, perhaps our Olympian swimmers [won’t be either].

Addressing IRS scam

I read your article today about the IRS scam that somebody fell for. And some of these comments really don’t make any sense. I mean, what good is it really to report these things to local police? That is really not going to do any good because these scammers are on a much bigger scale than that.

And to say that the local police can alert the community. Well, obviously the people being targeted are the elderly and immigrants who don’t understand and are afraid. I mean, of course the things in the article, who would think the IRS would ask you to buy $1,500 in iTunes gift cards, except people who are afraid? It really makes no sense.

These people tried to call me, target me, and I, of course, being a person born here, educated, whatever, knew enough to know that this was a scam. But I turned around, I tried to contact our senator, Mr. Kirk’s office, because this is something that really needs to be handled at a high government level to get this under control. Of course, they couldn’t be bothered to even hardly take the number that they asked me to call back on, so I have no confidence that anything is going to be done about that.

The fact is this is something that maybe our senators and representatives should stop wasting time having 10,000 hearings about Benghazi that we’ve already come to a conclusion on and do something that would actually help the constituents. But I don’t have a lot of confidence that will ever happen.

Waiting on more details

Now that Donald Trump has said that he regrets some of the things that he’s said, I would like him to be more specific. Exactly which of the many offensive things he’s said does he regret? Does he regret saying vile, hateful things about women? Does he regret saying that a woman who is sexually harassed at work should find another job? Does he know any single moms or women whose husbands are ill and they’re the main breadwinner? Does he even know that sexual harassment is illegal? Does he regret calling Mexicans criminals and rapists or saying that a Mexican-American judge can’t do his job because of his heritage? Does he regret demeaning Gold Star parents or saying that John McCain wasn’t a hero? Does he regret making fun of a disabled person? I’d just like him to be a little more specific.

Who do TIF districts really help?

Batavia keeps establishing TIF districts, saying our downtown is blighted. Now they just put in the one on the West Side. The church was already in a TIF district, as I understand it, and now they are either extending it or adding properties to the TIF district.

And my question is: The apartments downtown, the stone manor or whatever they were, they were put in a TIF district. They were built out, and the TIF district is supposed to run 23 years. So we the people don’t get any money for 23 years, it all goes to the developers or back to the city to invest in town, keep things moving and to improve downtown. And yet they had to extend the TIF district downtown.

Now, how do you extend a TIF district when it is supposed to improve a blighted area, and does it take 23 years to improve a blighted area, plus 23 more years?

I’m beginning to think these TIF districts are racketeering and just a way to put money into the hands of a developer and cheat the taxpayers.

8/23 10:30am.

I want to applaud Laura Newman, our new city of Batavia administrator. She put on the website information about Tax Increment Financing districts or TIFs. The only problem is that when you look up where she got that information the organization that provided that information the Illinois Tax Increment Board of Directors. They are all employed by cities. They are mayors or they’re law firms. There is no real balance of reporting on that. So they paint a very rosy scenario of TIFs, which if you look up TIFs in Batavia, you will find out that there are no TIFs that have produced great results or the results that were actually intended. They’d had to be renewed. And still our city is putting more and more funds into TIFs and providing cushions for developers, so that we the taxpayers are paying for developers to develop property. Now that is not just in Batavia, that’s all over Kane County and Shodeen is one of the biggest beneficiaries of TIF districts. As I understand it, he is doing something in DeKalb, he’s got stuff in Aurora, he’s got stuff in Geneva, in St. Charles and now in Batavia. This has to stop.

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