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

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

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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.

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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

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