Letter: Steps RICO board must take to address buildings


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Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2013, 2:51 pm
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Nowhere is the crisis of confidence in the Rock Island County Board more evident than in the problems related to the county buildings. Over the past six months, it has been communicated that the county building and the courthouse are in such a dilapidated condition that they must be replaced.

For decades, maintenance and updates have been ignored and funding sent elsewhere. The lack of credibility on the part of the board is evident.

Attempts to relocate have been met with suspicion. Now, out of the blue, they want to buy acreage downtown. People see potential for under-the-table deals in their every move. The board has failed to communicate anything that resembles a clear honest process for evaluating and identifying the best solution.

The best way forward would be to organize a committee to look at the alternatives and make a recommendation. To insure a recommendation based on integrity, I would propose they start with board representation from Don Johnson (D), and Drue Milke (R). Both have shown themselves to be willing to ask the hard questions.

I would also urge chairman Phil Banazsek and member Steve Meersman to stay out.

Mark Schwiebert and Bobby Schilling would be other men of integrity who might be considered for leadership roles. Options of multi-year upgrade/repair, renovating along the lines of the Scott Christiansen proposal, or building new near the current location should be in the project scope. Findings of the committee should be publicized.

One thing is certain: Due to neglect and mismanagement by current board leadership, any solution will likely cost taxpayers in the form of yet another increase in property taxes.

William S. Bloom,
Moline

















 




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  Today is Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2014. There are 258 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers of Rock Island struck for higher wages yesterday morning, asking 25 percent increases. Employers have acceded to their demand.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Lighting struck wires of the Merchants Electric Light Co. during a furious storm, and many Rock Island business houses were compelled to resort to gas as a means of illumination.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, decided to erect a new edifice at a cost of about $60,000.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Willard Anderson, junior forward for the Augustana College basketball team, which won 17 out of 22 contests, was elected captain of the quintet.
1964 -- 50 years ago: John Hoffman, Moline, president of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts, will be honored for his 50 years in scouting by members of the council at a dinner Thursday evening.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Quad-Cities has what is believed to be the area's first elite-class gymnast. It's the stuff upon which Olympic competitors are made. Tiffany Chapman, of Rock Island, not only has earned the highest possible gymnast ranking, she won the honor at age 11.






(More History)