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Jacksons show: You can’t betray public trust

Updated: September 17, 2013 7:51AM

On the Jacksons: I never want to pass judgment, however when you are given the honor of serving the public, you should NEVER betray the public trust. It is easy to forget because our egos can get the best of us, but we should never dishonor that trust. I always say, “I would never do anything to dishonor my ancestry or heritage.”

There is always a time when you will be challenged, and you must have a level line you will never cross. To whom much is given much is required is true in every sense. How selfish to dishonor your wife, your children and more importantly, yourself. It matters not after the fact you find honor or religion to save your butt, it matters at the time of trial, that you stood for ethics, fairness and the common good. These are not high ideals but the need as Gandhi said, “You must be prepared to serve people with a servant’s heart.”

Lorenzo Clemons, Beverly

Hispanic neighborhoods get new schools, black neighborhoods don’t

I live in a Hispanic neighborhood. In the past few years that I have lived here, seven beautiful, brand new, state-of-the-art schools have been built. Yet, just a few blocks away in black neighborhoods, schools are closing and students will now have to travel further to schools that will most likely become overcrowded because of the additional students. None of these schools are new. In fact, some of the school buildings are very old and in need of repair.Why is there such a difference between the way Hispanic students and black students are being treated?

Peggy Zabicki, West Lawn

Put cameras on Safe Passage routes

If the mayor is really concerned for the welfare of children, he should have those cameras installed on the safe passage routes to schools. Children are more frequently shot rather than hit by cars.

John Culloton, Norwood Park

Where is politicians’ remorse over bungling pension funding?

So let me attempt to understand this one more time. For years the politicians of Illinois did not pay their agreed-upon share of funding public pensions. Instead, they paid for other programs (which, certainly, were in great measure worthy, but were not what the funds were to be spent on). Then they cut sweetheart deals for their buddies to become eligible for those public pensions without meeting the same criteria as the people actually paying to earn those pensions.

Now, when the chickens have come home to roost, the politicians have whipped all too many citizens and media outlets into a frenzy: “Look at those public employees! Look at how their pensions are HUGE and will allow them to live on Easy Street with your increased taxes! How dare they take your money?”

What I have not seen is any actual remorse from those politicians. I have seen them attempt to hide from the results of their fraud and gamesmanship. I have seen them cast blame upon everyone but themselves. I have seen them cave to a powerful organization, that of the judges’ pension board, and I have seen them thumb their noses at the vast majority of public pension holders who will receive, in the vast majority of cases, no more than people who are entitled to Social Security will receive. And, for many public pension holders, they have all their quarters in to receive Social Security but will not be permitted to do so because they are eligible for a public pension. So to those who gleefully shout, “Yes! Cut those scamming public pensions but leave my Social Security alone!” I say, you already have my years of FICA contributions as I worked in the private sector before beginning a public career. Stop abetting politicians in stealing my public pension as well.

Further, let’s talk about real reform. Has anybody else noticed that there is absolutely no talk about reduction in political pensions? Do a search. Don’t take my word on it. Yes, you’ll have to wade through a lot of talking about reduction in current state worker and current state retiree pensions, but the information on elected officials is enlightening. So how about we consider real reform? Not just for those public sector employees who are willing to step up to the plate and help the state yet again, but for those public officials who have caused the problem in so many ways and so many times over the years. What part of their frequently enhanced pensions are they willing to forgo, particularly since many of them consider their elected office a part-time job and actively earn pensions in outside positions? I’d really like to hear that part of the equation before I consider the rest of their ideas.

Rebecca D. Welter, Lake Zurich

Thanks for participating in Night Out in West Lawn Park

This year the 8th District celebrated National Night Out in a huge way. More than 800 people came to West Lawn Park to celebrate the success in crime-fighting in our neighborhood and to send a message that we will not take this in our district. It really hit at the heart of it all when I walked around the park and saw people of all ages and races sitting with one another.

Some were reminiscing, some expressing the problems they are facing, others were giving advice on how they have handled similar problems. So let’s give a round of thank-yous to all those involved.

Dawn Ferrarini, West Lawn

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