Letter to the Editor

Early this year, a city official made the comment: Macomb is moving forward. So you brought in three or four minimum wage paying food joints. All this has done is create more stress and hardship on eating places already here. Just stop thinking how many businesses have closed in the last six months.

Macomb has three major problems:

1. Taxes – outlandishly high taxes, especially on real estate. It seems like every time you turn around somebody is wanting to add more tax to something. I heard (and I repeat, heard) that McDonough County is one of the five highest taxed counties in the state. Why? Maybe our city officials need to take a closer look at how the money from local, state, and federal funds are manipulated.

2. Real Estate – the real estate is totally over-priced. Why do you think there are so many homes for sale? Better yet, start at the old Farm King building, drive down East Jackson, around the square, out West Jackson, and take a long hard look at all the businesses there. High empty buildings and empty store fronts that at one time held businesses there. High taxes and high priced real estate do not attract new businesses.

3. Jobs – minimum paying jobs do not help keep the young people in Macomb. What Macomb needs are decent paying jobs like Pella, McDonough District Hospital, NTN Bower Roller Bearing, and Western Illinois University. These places can only provide so many jobs. Speaking of WIU, what is going on? The president gets a contract extension, professors get laid off, but more administrative people are hired. Administrative staff and the president do not make the university. It is the outstanding professors giving the students a better and stronger education. Do you think the professors who were laid off are going to sit around and wait to see what WIU is going to do? No. They will go teach somewhere else. Now when you need to fill these teaching jobs, think of all the time and expense for interviews. Are you sure you will get the same quality professors you had before? No. Also, why is WIU so advertised in the Chicago and East St. Louis area?

It’s about time Macomb takes a good look at themselves. Keep on and Macomb will be a retirement community with golf carts running up and down the streets. Time waits on no one.

Norm Thomas, Macomb