(...as in "Quit your Blagojebitching")
I got word, yesterday, that Weldon Springs is being closed on Nov. 1. More accurately, I got word that big meanie, Rod Blagojevich, is closing our park. *sigh*
The loss of our State Park is a particularly devastating blow to Clinton and DeWitt County in lost tourism dollars, loss of a heavily used & enjoyed park, loss of jobs, loss of a business (Boondocks 2,) loss of a valuable feature to attract new businesses and residents to the area, etc.
This closure is a small part of the Governor's greater effort to get a balanced budget written and passed.
It may not be a popular view and I don't expect anyone to agree with me, but I fully support Rod's efforts to get a balanced budget written and passed. That doesn't mean I want my park to close -- quite the contrary! I NEED for it to stay open.
But I also know that we cannot continue the pattern of
spending in excess of revenues. That's a recipe for financial ruin whether at the household, local, state or the federal level.
Everybody wants the things our taxes pay for, but how many are willing to invest in this great state or this great nation to pay for those things? As a taxpaying resident of the state of Illinois, I am part owner in the park -- as is every resident of the state. It's a wise investment of my tax dollars.
Today, at 11 am, there will be a rally and press conference at the entrance to the park. Representative Mitchell (R) will be there, many area residents and community leaders will be there and I will be there. But, my being FOR keeping the park open is coming from a very different place than most of the people who will attend the rally to protest its closure.
It should not have come to this. The rift in the party has gone too far. Petty jealousies and bickering have gone too far. The legislators who submitted a budget that called for spending far in excess of next year's revenues KNEW Blagojevich would not sign it, KNEW Rod would make deep interim cuts while the state is without a balanced budget, KNEW that Rod would be vilified in the press and the court of public opinion, while they got a free pass on culpability. It was a strategic move made without the slightest care or thought given to those who might be felled in the crossfire.
I want a balanced budget passed, with real pork barrel spending cut, so that my park doesn't have to close. ...And I didn't wake up to the world going on around me, just yesterday. If taxes have to go up to balance the budget even after wise cuts are made, as so many are worried will be the case, I won't blame Rod for that necessity. I will blame years of rampant, frivolous spend and borrow Republican administrations in the Capitol that left us with a staggering state debt to pay off -- the interest alone on which eats up a significant portion of state revenues before a single pothole is filled or paycheck cut or park grounds mowed...
It's time for the people, economy and issues of this state to come before dynastic ambitions, petty bickering, etc.
Editing to update:
1. A friend and fellow Dem put it very nicely: "When the revenues won't cover everything something has to go and it's going to be parks before public safety."
2. I'm receiving useless Blago-bashing crap in e-mail, thinly disguised as an effort to keep the parks open. If you don't like Rod, fine, but that's a separate issue and bashing him isn't going to get you what you want from him. Revenue will get you those things.