City’s ‘shovel the sidewalks’ pilot program is a waste of taxpayer money

Really, is that the best use of our limited tax resources?

SHARE City’s ‘shovel the sidewalks’ pilot program is a waste of taxpayer money
Plow, shovel the sidewalks pilot program

The city will have a working group develop guidelines for its “plow the sidewalks” pilot program.

Mike Isaacs/Sun-Times file

The City Council recently passed an ordinance to create a working group for a pilot program to clear snow and ice from public sidewalks. Really, is that the best use we can make of our limited tax resources?

At present, homeowners and landlords are responsible for clearing snow in front of their buildings. They also clear the sidewalks and stairs leading to the building (an item which might not be covered by the program. If an irresponsible owner or landlord fails to act, the neighbors and local alderperson can exert public and financial pressure to require them to act.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. We want to hear from our readers. To be considered for publication, letters must include your full name, your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be a maximum of approximately 375 words.

The city presently clears public streets and alleys, although there are often delays, particularly with some residential streets and alleys. Sidewalks in front of public buildings and city parks are cleared by the governments involved. Even there, though, delays and failures to act leave parks unplowed for weeks after major snowfalls. (For example, Ella Jenkins Park on the North Side rarely gets cleared.)

The institution of a public snow-clearing operation would entail enormous scheduling and logistical problems. People who could easily clear their sidewalks or hire others to do so would instead wait days or even weeks for some dedicated public servant to come around and do the job. They would be unable to leave their homes for far longer than if they or someone on their behalf cleared the sidewalk.

Removal of snow has been handled, not well but at least adequately, up to now by present means. Let’s spend millions on other worthier needs. We don’t need the extra taxes for that.

Frank L. Schneider, Lakeview

Non-citizens serve in the military. Why shouldn’t they be cops?

I read all of Illinois Senate Republican leader John Curran’s op-ed, and when I got to the end I still wasn’t sure if it was amusing parody or not.

Currently, many non-U.S. citizens can join the military and serve this country and are also issued weapons to do so. So, of course, one has to wonder why they aren’t good enough to honorably serve and protect their communities. It doesn’t take a gigantic leap of logic to discern why he doesn’t want non-citizens, who are most likely not going to be white, to have guns and badges.

His op-ed is nothing more than fear-mongering and I would think he would be embarrassed to write it, but that’s today’s GOP. Sell fear and hope there are plenty of witless buyers. I’m still waiting for all the people who would supposedly be living in my yard after Illinois’ SAFE-T Act went into effect. Numerous Republicans claimed homeless people would be living in everyone’s yard and property taxes would skyrocket.

For some strange reason, this hasn’t happened. I wonder why.

Brian Collins, Orland Park

The Latest
A 32-year-old man suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, Chicago police said.
What most refuse to see is the beauty of the skin she chooses to live in. A skin at this point millions-on-millions thought she’d shed like most other Black athletes when their fame introduces itself to fortune.
Milazzo learned to be resilient after a major college injury, and that trait has served her well in professional soccer.
Prairie State Conservation Coalition is stepping up to assume a major role in funding conservation projects for land acquisition, land stewardship and organization capacity building (organizational infrastructure).
Though her parenting tips conflict with what the experts say, she insists she’s right because she was a nurse (but she really wasn’t).