Local Editorials

Our view: Shutdown leaves employees with no paychecks

The Capitol is seen Friday morning in Washington during a partial government shutdown. President Donald Trump is threatening to close the U.S. border with Mexico if Democrats in Congress don't agree to fund the construction of a border wall.
The Capitol is seen Friday morning in Washington during a partial government shutdown. President Donald Trump is threatening to close the U.S. border with Mexico if Democrats in Congress don't agree to fund the construction of a border wall.

Thumbs-down: To the shutdown of the federal government. We’re certain that there eventually will be a compromise between President Donald Trump and Democrats in Congress, although at the moment, it appears it could be days or more before it materializes. Opinions can differ on who’s to blame, or whether a wall along the southern border between the U.S. and Mexico makes sense at all, but there’s no disputing that about 800,000 federal employees will not receive paychecks until it is resolved.

Many have been using social media to share their stories about how the financial uncertainty has affected them. It’s unfortunate to see ordinary people caught in the crossfire of this dispute, and although they eventually will be paid, if Congress and the president would have done their jobs more effectively, hundreds of thousands of people wouldn’t be in the spot they are in now.

Thumbs-up: To the start of a new year. A new year is the traditional time to set out to better yourself, and although resolutions often are hard to keep, that’s no reason to give up trying. Whether you’re the type to make resolutions or not, we all should celebrate making it through 2018. After all, the holidays will be over soon enough, and it will be time to get back to business. Here’s wishing you and yours a happy and prosperous year to come.

Thumbs-down: To more legal expenses expected for the Algonquin Township Highway Department, according to the $400-an-hour Woodstock attorney representing Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser. Responding to the township board’s rejection of $35,000 in legal bills that Robert Hanlon submitted to the road district, Hanlon wrote a letter to Gasser on Dec. 13 accusing Trustee Melissa Victor of “petty vindictiveness” and township attorney James Kelly of a “lack of knowledge.” Hanlon said he is preparing “legal paperwork” to compel the board to pay Gasser’s bills. “So, more legal expense is foreseeable,” Hanlon wrote.

As we’ve said all along, these legal fees hurt the taxpayers, who deserve to have their money spent better.

Thumbs-up: to the students and staff at Harvard School District 50 who provided clothing to more than 100 people in need after a months-long clothing drive. Megan Sanchez, a Washington Elementary School parent, and Lindsey Doetch, a social worker at Washington Elementary, helped lead the effort, with help from Harvard High School life skills teacher Jenna Merkling and other community partners. Many winter coats, sweaters and warm pants went quickly when the clothes were distributed at a recent resource fair, Doetch said. As the weather gets colder, it’s good to see how much the community cares.

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