Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, where did the $3 million come from? Maybe some of it came from the executive order that you signed, designating 4,500 individuals who offer in-home care to disabled people as “public employees,” thus rendering them eligible for unwanted union organizing. How much of their union dues will you and Mr. Brad Long split with the Northwestern Illinois Building & Construction Trades?
Union workers are not the only people “you” have put out of work; there are literally millions out of work because of “Illinois” politics (or should I say, Chicago). Anyone in Illinois knows (if this thing “Station” ever happens), not one person that is not a dues-paying union employee will ever have a job there.
It does sound strange that Illinois and Rockford will spend $12 million for the design and build of a train station when the noted cost of the Amtrak train is $60 million. The governor said, “don’t worry about the money”; after all, there is always his ability to raise taxes another 66 2/3 percent. The one thing I don’t think the public understands is the railway (tracks) are owned by CNR; they have the right of way to haul freight, and freight comes first. If you don’t believe that, ride the Amtrak between Detroit and Chicago sometimes. It is just about 283 miles, and it has taken me more than nine hours. Granted, most of that time was spent on a side rail because the freight train had the right of way.
As the movie says, “Build it and they will come.” How many grand schemes have Illinois and Rockford come up with in the last 50 years that have produced or saved jobs? They only tax the people until they have to leave this once-great state and migrate to a “Right to Work State” like Texas.
How much more taxpayers’ money will be spent on the “West Side” before it becomes apparent that the “West Side” of Rockford cannot transform 25 acres into a mixed-use development of homes, offices, stores and restaurants? How many people do you think will build homes there, and I’m sure people will not visit restaurants (after dark).
You say the multimodal station will be a center for various forms of transportation — trains, buses, taxis, bicycles and pedestrians. Wonder why cars were not mentioned, maybe because there isn’t parking taken into consideration. How many people will feel safe parking for any length of time (while taking the train)?
As an over-taxpaying senior citizen of Illinois, I think that if Illinois and Rockford had extra money, it would be more wisely spent fixing the roads in Rockford. (Has the governor ridden on East State Street?) The most tax-earning section of Rockford, more people will use the roads than will ride your fast train, and more people will have jobs.
James C. Davis
From the Jan. 25-31, 2012, issue