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Editorials

  • City is making progress toward balanced budget

    One thing can be said for the city of Vandalia – it has always had as a priority maintaining its infrastructure and providing residents with an array of services.
    The same cannot be said about a number of other communities. For example, while the city of Vandalia can annually account for close to 100 percent of the water going through its water distribution system, another town in the region recently reported that it could not – due to aging infrastructure – account for about 40 percent of the water going through its system.

  • State trying to grab local funds

    Budget cutting is the norm at nearly every level of government these days. Every entity is looking for ways to trim expenses, balance its budget and operate in the black.
    In Vandalia, for instance, the city has trimmed more than $200,000 of its deficit by eliminating services and delaying some types of work. And some $50,000 remains to be cut before a balanced budget can be submitted for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

  • Get rid of junk during annual cleanup week

    Are you wondering what it’d be like to be able to park your car in the garage again?
    Are you sick of looking at that old green refrigerator sitting in the back yard?
    Are you tired of trying to make a discarded air conditioner look like modern art in your flower bed?
    Well, hope is on the way.
    Next week, Vandalia residents will be able to dispose of old appliances and other large items through the city’s annual Cleanup Week.

  • Jobs are always welcome here

    The announcement this week that a Denny’s restaurant will be coming to the Fast Stop Travel Center at Vandalia’s western I-70 intersection is the kind of good news that we need to hear. And we’d like to hear it more often.
    The news ended a four-year search by South Central FS general manager Byron Sikma to find a suitable restaurant to fill that facility. As noted in a story on page 5A of today’s paper, he was committed to landing a well-known national brand restaurant.

  • Those who have served deserve our thanks

    You can either stand on the sidelines all of your life, questioning and complaining about the decisions made by those who represent us on local governmental entities. Or, you can choose to get involved, either though an election or by appointment, by serving on one of those entities.
    On Monday night, Vandalia Mayor Rick Gottman honored several individuals who fall into the second category – Lisa McNutt, Larry Bennett, Bret Brosman and Larry Cable.

  • Be cautious on rural roadways

    The signs of spring are beginning appear – the grass is growing, flowers are blooming and kids are outside playing. Add to that list the movement of farm equipment.
    Generally, the arrival of spring means more traffic on our roads. Motorcyclists are out on their bikes, and people are beginning to take more weekend jaunts. Rising gas prices – with some experts predicting that a gallon of gas will increase to $5 per gallon this summer ­­– could change that somewhat.

  • Vital issues in Tuesday vote

    Though next Tuesday’s election is what could be termed an “off-year election,” there are many reasons why voters must take it seriously.
    First and foremost, we all have a responsibility – a privilege, really – to vote whenever we have the opportunity. It’s part of being a good citizen.
    Beyond that, there are many issues in this election that merit our involvement.

  • Campaign sign thefts criminal

    In at least one way, unfortunately, it’s a typical election season. Campaign signs are popping up … and then, they’re disappearing.
    At least that’s the case in St. Elmo, where more than 30 campaign signs have reportedly been stolen.
    It’s unfortunate that we again have to remind people that removing campaign signs, as long as they are placed legally, is not only morally wrong, but also a criminal offense.

  • Sunshine Week promotes more open government

    Nearly a century ago, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis stated that “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.”
    Though he was referring to the need for scrutiny into the corruption that was prevalent in the large business monopolies of that time, his sunlight reference has been adopted in recent years by the media and others concerned about the need for the sun to shine into the workings of our government.

  • Across-the-board cuts are best way

    As Gov. Pat Quinn marches out one potential budget-cutting proposal after another, it’s becoming increasingly clear that he has no comprehensive plan to tackle the state’s dire fiscal situation.
     Instead, what we’re seeing is a series of trial balloons being sent aloft to gauge the level of public resistance. If the outcry is sufficient, he moves on to another target.