letter to editor

What a nice story printed in a local media source on October 17, 2021, regarding Mayor Goins' accomplishments in his first six months in office. The Splash Park at Riverfront Park, the new hotel and restaurant near the train station, Starbucks’s coming to town. The article also highlighted the new artificial turf field at Hopkins Field, the Williams Street brick repaving, the First Time Home Buyer incentive program, and the Riverview Drive project to be largely paid with FEMA reimbursement, and more.

Wow, what a list of accomplishments in six months! One important fact missing from this article’s list is that these improvements were ALL committed for completion during former Mayor Brant Walker’s term, and current Mayor Goins had nothing to do with any of them.

Accomplishments he can legitimately take credit for include:

1.The issuance of a building permit to allow Mr. Hightower’s Sunnybrook housing project to begin construction without compliance with city code requiring public hearings before the plan commission, modifications of zoning regulations to fit project, and without consultation, approval, or even notice to the City Council. Under Mayor Walker, the appellate court ruled in favor of the city, finding that the trial court order granting a building permit was improperly entered by the local judge.

2.The elimination of the crime-free housing program initiated by Mayor Walker to address problem rental properties in the city.

3. Hiring new employees and giving raises at a time when the city budget is obviously overstrained, and layoffs are likely to be coming.

4. The dismissal of the experienced Public Works Director Bob Barnhart after his substantial accomplishments for the city, including an excellent record of securing grants.

5. The dismissal of the experienced Corporation Counselor, Jim Schrempf despite his many years of faithful service under multiple Alton mayors over many years, replacing him with a much less experienced attorney who does not reside in the city as required by city code.

Carolyn Macafee