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Editorials

  • School options require study, input by voters

    With several months of study already under its belt, the committee of 10 representatives studying the potential reorganization of the St. Elmo and Brownstown school districts is continuing on a path toward presenting the issue to voters in those communities.

    So far, the committee has progressed at a reasoned pace, and with a consistent goal of determining what the reorganization could do to enhance the quality of education available to the students of those districts.

  • How we respond to Orgill loss can determine our future

    A week after receiving the news, its still hard to swallow the fact that our community was a runner-up in the race for a new Orgill distribution center. Making the news doubly hard to accept was that it means the loss of the current Orgill facility in Vandalia.

    Obviously, that news hits no one harder than the 140 or so employees of the Vandalia facility who know that they will have to find a new job and one that pays as well within a year.

  • Sales tax option may help schools

    Though we have to start from the premise that the last thing most people want is another tax, there may be some merit in studying the benefits of a countywide sales tax to benefit our schools.

    The concept of a sales tax to provide funding for education is new in Illinois, but has been used successfully in several other states.

    The difference between this proposal and other current school taxes is that under this plan, funds are generated by retail sales rather than the more traditional property taxes.

  • County needs Enhanced 911

    The Fayette County Board is expected to vote this week on putting an Enhanced 911 referendum on Novembers general election. Were advocating for that board action, and also for the support of E911 at the general election.

    On the agenda for the boards regular meeting this Thursday night is a proposed ordinance that would put the measure before the voters, with the recommended monthly E911 surcharge set at $2.75.

  • Proposal would help stop game playing with prisons

    Its time to stop the prison-closure madness. A proposal by state legislators will hopefully do just that.

    Four years after he proposed the closure of Vandalia Correctional Center and the states youth facility in St. Charles, Gov. Rod Blagojevich is once again threatening the closure of a state prison. How are his actions in 2004 similar to those this summer each has been about politics.

  • Pull out all the stops to attract, keep industries

    Vandalia's latest attempt to both keep the jobs it has and create more jobs is a clear reminder of the current status of economic development.

    Fortunately, city officials have garnered the help of state legislators in their attempt to present an incentive package that is attractive enough to maintain Orgill's presence in our community.

  • Railroad must fix unsafe crossings

    Were told time and time again that railroad crossings can be hazardous. Thats particularly true in Vandalia.

    However, while oncoming trains certainly pose dangers at the local crossings, they are not the only hazard.

    As signs posted by residents of that area point out, the crossing at Remann Street near Main Street is in itself a hazard.

  • Take in this year's Grande Leve

    During the period that Vandalia served as Illinois capital, Abraham Lincoln and others who walked these streets couldnt just buy a quilt or a basket. They had to make them.

    The people of Vandalia, back in the 1830s, didnt have a radio or television for entertainment. They had only bands that performed the popular music of that period.

    Illinois earliest residents didnt have restaurants that served fast food or family meals. They had to cook their meals over a fire.

  • Merchants must save parking for customers

    Sometimes, you wonder why a municipality keeps a law on the books that it doesnt enforce. Vandalia Alderman Jerry Swarm does, too.

    At Mondays meeting of the Vandalia City Council, Swarm said it bothers him that some downtown merchants use parking spaces that would be better used by their customers. It upsets him so much that he asked to get rid of the ordinance that limits parking along Gallatin Street downtown to two hours.

  • Support Relay for Life

    Each year, the people of Fayette County display an unbelieveable degree of generosity as they support the local Relay for Life.

    The annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society features teams of walkers from throughout the county, raising money to support the fight against cancer.

    Starting at 4:30 p.m. this Saturday and continuing throughout the night, those walkers will be circling the track at Vandalia Community High School.