Cheers & Jeers

Cheers & Jeers


Cheers to the Quad-Citians who have combined to donate more than $1 million to flood relief.

Donors include leaders of large corporations, local businesses owners, members of the Downtown Davenport Partnership, the Quad Cities Chamber, the Salvation Army, the United Way of the Quad-Cities Emergency Food and Shelter Program, the American Red Cross, and generous area residents.

That is, of course, not the full tally or a complete list of donors. Still, it shows the depth and breadth of Q-C support for flood relief. Every one of the generous souls who are helping our neighbors in need has our deepest thanks.

Like Trish Burnett, executive director of the Red Cross of the Quad-Cities area, we are "proud of the way our community pulls together to help each other in times like this. It makes us appreciate the Quad-Cities."

It does, in a million ways, so thanks a million times.

Jeers to the potential problems that would be created if gambling supporters succeed in making the Illinois Gaming Board too friendly toward gambling interests.

State Sen. Terry Link, D-Vernon Hills, who sponsored the bill creating the largest gambling expansion in Illinois history, made it clear to the Chicago Sun-Times he wants to see a "pro-gaming" board. “You’re going to see changes rapidly," he promised.

There is a great deal riding on how Gov. J.B. Pritzker responds to such pleas.

We understand the frustration expressed by critics who argue, with some merit, that Gov. Bruce Rauner's gaming board was far too hostile to gambling interests. Going too far the other way, however, could have disastrous consequences when you consider the breathtaking scope of new regulatory responsibilities the board will face.

That includes, for example, six new casinos, including one in Chicago; expanded gambling at racetracks; more video gaming machines with higher maximum bet limits; and the legalization of sports gambling.

Making it work, we trust Pritzker knows, requires effective and reasonable regulators, not cheerleading enablers.

Cheers, welcome and good luck to two women who took on vital new roles in our community this week: Rock Island County State's Attorney Dora Villarreal and Moline Coal Valley Schools Superintendent Rachel Savage.

On Monday, Villarreal was sworn in to complete the unexpired term of former State's Attorney John McGehee. who stepped down to become a judge.

Comments made afterward by Villarreal, an experienced Q-C attorney, suggest she doesn't plan to simply bide her time until 2020, when she is expected to face voters for the first time. "For me, this opportunity to be a public servant is the highest honor," she said. "I promise to uphold the highest levels of effective public service and commitment to justice in this county."

We laud Villarreal's open-door-policy promise and her pledge to work with the community to tackle issues including gun violence, addiction, mental-health issues and juvenile programs. It's an aggressive and ambitious agenda that focuses on the right priorities.

Savage told Moline Coal Valley School District board members on Tuesday, “It’s been a great first two days. Everyone has been helpful in getting me set up and getting acclimated. We got right down to business. I’m really impressed with everything so far, and I’m excited.”

So are we, as we await the results of her meetings with the school board to set goals and priorities for the district in areas including communications, safety, equity, and the high school’s finals policy.

Naturally, there is a great deal to absorb for this new leader. Still, she hopes to start the school year with a “tight package of manageable and measurable goals” that center around the user-friendly acronym PACE -- People, Achievement, Community, Environment.

We look forward to seeing where the results of those goal-setting efforts by Savage, the board and stakeholders will take this re-energized district next.


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