Thumbs-up: To bell ringers. It’s not Christmas without these tireless Salvation Army volunteers. We applaud their effort and dedication. The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign supports from 50 percent to 60 percent of the corps’ yearly budgets to provide emergency assistance, after-school programs, music lessons, disaster services and other social and youth programs. It also helps support food and toy distribution to local families in need.
Thumbs-down: To state Rep. Steve Reick, R-Woodstock. Reick has filed a bill in Springfield that would make it harder for residents to decide the size and scope of their local government. Reick’s proposal, House Bill 4190, would require township trustees to pay an independent contractor for a cost study before they could ask voters about whether to eliminate township road districts. Reick apparently thinks that an independent contractor needs to give the OK before residents can have a voice in shaping their government. That’s nonsense. This proposal is a transparent attempt to make it more difficult to pare down township government, likely at the behest of officials who work in township government and their political allies. Here’s the truth: Those Illinoisans who haven’t already fled this state are tired of paying high property taxes to support the most units of local government of any state in the nation. We need officials to remove the roadblocks and allow us to decide how many people govern us, and what they are paid to do it. Voters will not approve a ballot initiative that they do not believe will benefit them.
Thumbs-up: To local school districts and police departments working to combat social media threats. Social media threats are endless and increasing in recent years, local police said. From Huntley to Crystal Lake to McHenry, several McHenry County school districts recently have had to investigate threats. Huntley School District 158 officials and Huntley and Lake in the Hills police made it clear in a recent interview that they take any threat seriously, and all threats are investigated. Two cases, one in October and one in November involving social media threats, ended with hate crime charges filed against a former Marlowe Middle School student and a Huntley resident. While we wish these incidents would never happen, when they do, cooperation between the school districts and police is key. We’re thankful to have officials work well together to keep students and the community safe.
Thumbs-up: To the Fox Valley Conference for extending an invitation to Burlington Central. The Rockets were left without an athletic conference beginning in the 2019-20 school year after the Kishwaukee River Conference voted Burlington Central out just one year after the conference began play. The FVC’s invitation works on multiple levels. Not only is it a perfect geographic fit for Burlington Central, it also meshes well with the school’s swelling enrollment projections. The Rockets coming aboard also gives the FVC 10 members, which fits perfectly scheduling-wise for football’s nine-game regular season.