Friday, March 30, 2007

Kane County: "Exasperated" And "Exacerbated"!

Bill Wyatt is a state representative from Aurora. He is a Republican. Over the past few years Wyatt and his Republican colleagues have blocked the Governor's efforts to pass capital spending bills that would have increased funding for highway (and transit) projects. The results, predictably, have been a deterioration in the condition of our highway and transit systems and a steeply rising price for getting those systems back into a state of good repair.

Nevertheless, according to a recent article in the Kane County Chronicle, Wyatt, in his capacity as head of Kane County's Legislative Committee, drafted a letter to the Governor complaining about the poor condition of the area's roads and the low level of highway funding in the Governor's proposed FY 2008 Capital Budget. According to the article, the letter states "the level of state road funding could make Illinois 'a national laughingstock.'”

Another article, this one in the Daily Herald, quotes Wyatt as saying “for too many years we have suffered from the state’s failure to invest in its own road system.” The Daily Herald failed to note the key role Wyatt and his political party have played in that failure to invest in our transit system.

Wyatt's bottom line was reported as follows: “Their own state system here in Kane County is really being neglected and the budget is going to further exasperate that problem.”

We voters might be "exasperated" that Wyatt and his party "exacerbated" the road system problems by blocking State capital investments in that system over the past several years yet now have the gall to complain publicly about the poor condition of the roads.

It is also troubling that Wyatt would use the terminology "their own state system" as if he -- a member of the General Assembly -- had no responsibility for the State's road system. Last I checked, with the possible exception of the Prairie Parkway there are no Democratic, Republican or Green Party roads, only roads. Wyatt and his party have a responsibility to all of us to protect and improve the State's transportation system. That is not "their" problem. It is Representative Wyatt's problem and it is ours.

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