I am a retired Chicago police officer. I live on Overhill Avenue, between Howard and Touhy. There are many stop signs in between that the vehicles don’t stop at. It’s a serious problem.

I have a handicap and limited mobility. My father is 76 years and also a retired police officer. There have been numerous occasions where myself and my father and mother have been almost hit by cars! The sorry point is most vehicles have FOP medallions on their cars.

The alderman’s office told me I have to solicit signatures from my neighbors. The issue is I have a very difficult time walking. Please help me!

Gerry Callahan Edison Park

Fiscal isue

Regarding Michael J. Zink’s May 6 letter [“Lake View community will pay steep price for courtroom closures”] on the proposed closure of the branch court at Belmont and Western: With all due respect, this is a fiscal issue.

Last year, we cautioned that removing almost $200 million in revenue would have an impact on the programs and services Cook County could offer. Due to the hard work of our Budget Office, we created a balanced FY 18 budget without this revenue. We could only do so by spreading shared fiscal sacrifice through all County offices and operations. We were very clear that the loss of revenue would have such impacts.

The branch courts that currently are in several police stations across the city, including the one at 2452 West Belmont, were identified as a potential source of savings. Not only do they handle small caseloads, but they need of tens of millions of dollars in capital renovation and repairs. Meanwhile, we are embarking on a study that will assess the utilization of courtrooms throughout the County. We are committed to operating efficiently and responsibly and, in the current fiscal climate, we have no choice but to do so.
We recognize that any cut in programs or services will inconvenience someone. We are committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible and that the administration of justice will not be impacted. But we must live within our financial means.

Toni Preckwinkle, president,
Cook County Board of Commissioners

Spiritual death

Martin Luther King stated that a nation that spends more on defense than social uplift is approaching spiritual death. The aggregate cuts proposed by the Republicans will total $15 billion from our ” social uplift.”

These are cuts to programs that encompass such things as the Child Health Insurance Program, the SNAP Program — which helps the poor get food — and programs that attempt to uplift people in desperate need.

Homelessness, hunger and abject suffering will result for thousands of people. It is beyond imagination in a nation that constantly trumpets itself as “Christian” that this is allowed to happen. For a party that cares so little for the working class and the poor, they sure know how to manipulate the under-educated to accept Republican austerity legislation as their patriotic duty rather than rise up and resist their continued abuse.

Edward David Juillard, Morgan Park

Telling lies

We have gone from our founding father who could not tell a lie — “I chopped down the apple tree” — to Honest Abe Lincoln — ” A house divided against itself cannot stand” — to President Donald Trump, who seems to have a problem understanding the truth and being able to speak it, about anything.

Scott R. Zuhr, Grayslake

Agency needs an IG

I was very happy to see the column by Madeleine Doubek (“The Water Reclamation District needs an effective watchdog”) in Tuesday’s Sun-Times, in which it was reported that the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District is in the process of establishing an inspector general office. As a Green Party candidate for the MWRD in 2014 and 2016, one item in my platform was to have exactly that; a fully funded, fully independent inspector general office.

The MWRD is the second-largest land owner in Cook County, and I am especially concerned about the long-term leasing of its property to private interests and the low rents that have been collected. State law requires government bodies to divest themselves of unneeded property, but I believe the MWRD has not followed the law. Maybe a truly independent inspector general office will change that.

I believe that every government entity should have an inspector general office to protect the interests of the citizen taxpayers. I will be happy to see that coming to the MWRD. Better late than never!

George Milkowski, West Ridge