Ramblings from Reggie: Thanks for anniversary, and governments behaving badly

Thanks to Miles Nielsen, Rick Nielsen, Bun E. Carlos, HMS and The Wandering Sons for helping us celebrate our one year of ownership of Swilligan’s. It was a great night for those who attended, despite the Cubs’ and Yankees’ losses! To all my staff, also a big thanks. We had celebrities, local legends, and even my buddy Paul stopped in, which made it all great.

Governments behaving badly, taxation without representation, what’s going on? The library district and the water reclamation district are issuing bonds to expand their empires. They passed referendums years ago giving them the ability to borrow money. When they pay off the bonds, they want to buy more for their pet projects. I believe the voters should have a say in this. The water reclamation district wants a $6 million Taj Mahal for an administrative building with a museum in it. With pun intended, that’s a crappy idea. We don’t need to spend taxpayers’ dollars on a museum or a Taj Mahal.

As you drive around the region, look at the new government buildings, new libraries, fire departments, police facilities, jails, etc. That’s our money, folks. Tax assessments are going up while property values went down. Does the assessor’s office read about the housing bust? Taxation without representation!

Governments behaving badly two! In California, there is legislation pending that will not allow you to smoke in your homes. What we have been trying to tell you is that once this encroachment on our rights starts, there is no end. The government has no right to tell us what we can or cannot do in our homes. We had better watch our governments, or we will have no rights left. We all need to wake up quickly.

Governments behaving badly three! This Rockford Police mess is embarrassing. The mayor, the chief and the union president and vice president should get a room and don’t come out until the issues are resolved. Get out of the streets and out of the media. I’m not taking sides because I have no idea what the real issues are. I do know it’s unsettling to the community. By the way, why are we setting up roadblocks and speed traps when there is a person breaking into elderly people’s homes and assaulting/robbing them? There are armed robberies and shootings almost on a daily basis and home invasions going on, which we seldom hear about. I support the police department, but the leadership needs to get their priorities in line fast. We’re left to business owners defending their turf. Fortunately, none has been killed yet.

Letter to Machesney Park—you don’t need a police department. Sit down with the county and work out what your needs are. The county has unlimited resources because of the jail tax—utilize that. No more bureaucracy.

The feds reported August job losses at negative 4,000 when it was actually positive 70,000. The Fed lowered interest rates because they got spooked. People talk of recession—I don’t see it. My fear is inflation because we keep printing money. It makes my buddy Jeff crazy to see the dollar continue to plummet. There are always two sides to that story, but people are getting nervous.

Come downtown! At Swilligan’s, we offer great food, big TVs and a friendly staff. There’s too many cool things going on to talk about in just one column.

Reggie Roberson is owner of Swilligan’s “The Pub,” 200 N. Church St.

from the Oct. 10, 2007, issue

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