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I have been watching in awe of the decisions or lack of that are being made by the Christian County Board and wonder what exactly is their motive in continuing to bring items to the Board, send back to a committee, then back to the Board, on and on and on? Even some of the members of the Board appear dissatisfied with this new procedure.
As an example, how many times does the Board and/or committees, (I think the subject has been reviewed by at least three!) does the requested Cat Room for Animal Control need to be discussed? Month after month the subject is discussed, sent back to some “committee” with no decision made! Someone needs to inform the Chairman that his position is to assist in directing the business of the County to achieve a final result. But wait, let’s take this one step further! Why can’t Animal Control have a cat house? The staff and its volunteers have raised over one- third of the amount needed to construct this building and there is money that has been contributed to Animal Control that should be used to complete the project. I, as a Christian County taxpayer is very proud of this effort, why isn’t the Board? Is the Board discriminating against the very animals that the County is charged to care for or the employees that are forced to find room and food for animals brought in for protection?
Another subject the Board openly discriminated against is “affordable housing”! The Chairman states “We have to have an idea in our minds about how much low-income housing we want in this county.” My first question is “does the Board know what low-housing” is, how it serves the community, or better yet have any of the members visited the low-income housing communities, such as The Berkshires or Hathaway Homes located in the City of Taylorville or Pana Towers located in the City of Pana? These units house seniors, healthcare workers, teachers, etc. They are not Section 8 communities, lets make sure we understand the difference.
Then the Chairman goes on to say there is a concern as to whether the residents “were and were not making their payments accurately and on time.” I wasn’t aware that it was the Christian County Board’s responsibility to monitor rental payments. That is the responsibility of the owner/management company who are held to a very high standard of compliance by the Illinois Housing Development Authority! Lastly, the Chairman made the statement “they bought all kinds of low-income housing to Danville, and they also brought all kinds of problems to Danville, Illinois.” Mr. Chairman, nice discriminatory statement that you threw out there with no further information! Have you ever heard of the Fair Housing Act?
Lastly, but very important, this Board continues to make statements such as “Our goal is and should always be the protect the residents of Christian County”. If that is the case, I would request a definition of “protect” because all I read is how the Board continues to find reasons not to progress in bringing new business to our County and by using their own personal reasons to say “no” to just about everything, when they can make a decision. The Board should be willing to gather important and beneficial information on all subjects of growth before finding a way to stop to conversation.
Christian County and the City of Taylorville were fortunate to have raised the money necessary to apply for a new Enterprise Zone. And, while there were several applications and only seven EZ’s available, together we won that competition giving us an edge that many counties do not have in economic development. While I watch the City of Taylorville and the City of Pana progress in developing their cities, Christian County has succeeded in being labeled “too difficult to work with” because the Board is closed minded and makes decisions based on their own personal opinions rather than taking into consideration that new development would indeed protect our taxpayers from experiencing a county that cannot sustain itself.
Oh, by the way, I am not for or against the Carbon Capture project, so please do not feel the need to attack me on that subject.
My statements come from experience with most of the members on this board who continue to bicker at each other, show no regard for the decisions they are making for their constituents and obviously does not understand the effect those decisions will have for the future of the taxpayers of this County.
Becky T. Edwards Former Chairwoman Christian County Board