Forum: Political games at PSC
January 23, 2013 9:58PM
Updated: February 25, 2013 1:04PM
When citizens and the press do not monitor the workings of government, democracy withers. Such is the case with Prairie State College, where the board of trustees is using the college to hire friends and relatives — even changing requirements for specific positions to suit the qualifications of their relatives. Trustees also have been renewing various service contracts without public bidding.
When Linda Uzureau and Peg Donohue, who undoubtedly would oppose such practices, announced their cadidacies for the college board, their nominating petitions were challenged on a technicality.
At a recent hearing by the college’s electoral board, the challenger did not appear, but an attorney representing him did and suggested a hearing schedule that would have the next hearing nearly a month later.
The college’s lawyer strongly supported that suggestion, and the electoral board agreed, with Kathleen Doyle the only member objecting.
I encourage citizens to attend the next hearing at 4 p.m. Feb. 8 at the President’s Conference Room on the second floor of the college. My bet is that there will be another delay, but we citizens should be there to see it.
Lake water project unnerving to many
Many citizens of Alsip, Blue Island, Calumet Park, Harvey, Markham, Midlothian and Robbins are frightened and opposed to building a water pipeline and filtration plant to bring Lake Michigan water from Whiting, Ind. The reasons for this fear and opposition are many and well-justified.
The plan for financing the project involves the sale of variable-rate revenue bonds that would be paid off by increasing water and sewer bills for homeowners and local businesses. Revenue bond financing for municipal projects can sour when the anticipated revenue does not arrive. With this project expected to cost several hundred million dollars, the anxiety and uncertainty of water users is understandable.
The behavior of the South Suburban Joint Action Water Agency toward concerned citizens has been less than forthcoming. Citizens who have asked questions at its meetings or sought information through freedom-of-information requests have been rudely dismissed.
The water agency failed to respond to requests to have financial representatives appear at the Blue Island community meeting in November. Such arrogance and lack of openness only heightens the mistrust toward those planning this project.
In April, Blue Island residents will vote in a referendum on whether our community should remain in the South Suburban Joint Action Water Agency. At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at city hall, the city council will hold the third of five public hearings on this proposed project. All who can should attend this hearing to become informed on this important issue before the election.
Ronald C. Young