What better time than the celebration of Abraham Lincolns 200th birthday for Vandalia and all other state historic sites to present the communitys ties to the most popular man in history. Unfortunately, it looks like we are going to be greatly hampered in our efforts to do that.
In what is just the latest of bizarre twists of the Blagojevich administration, Governor Rod has cut $1.4 billion with a B out of the budget for state historic sites.
The full impact of that including staff layoffs and/or cuts, and reduced operating hours at state historic sites is not yet known. Illinois Historic Preservation Agency officials are still trying to find out just how much the sites will be affected.
All that we know is that this will be a devastating blow to Illinois attempts to put its best foot forward when millions flock to our state within the next year to learn about Lincoln and celebrate his role in history by visiting state historic sites.
The IHPA cuts are the governors response to what he says are irresponsible acts by state legislators in operating state government. Whats that old line "Hello, pot; Im kettle."
If were going to make some cuts in state government, why not start with axing the thousands of dollars that we pay EACH DAY that the governor flies back and forth between Chicago and Springfield?
This blow comes just when Vandalia is in the midst of significant efforts both by the city and the state to get tourists and their wallets to our community.
In the high-quality brochure that the state recently began distributing to promote Looking for Lincoln communities including Vandalia the cover photo that jumps out at tourists is of our very own Vandalia Statehouse.
And this fall, our Looking for Lincoln Committee will celebrate its biggest success to date, when storyboards will be installed at 10 locations in town. They will tell about some key events in Lincolns early years.
Fortunately, those wayside exhibits can educate tourists yearning to learn about Lincoln when the front door of the Statehouse is locked due to state funding cutbacks.