The Carbondale Observer

News and commentary about Carbondale, Illinois and SIUC

Pigs Fly, and Other News

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I never thought it would happen, but Mayor Bob Butler of Marion is now opposing state infrastructure investments in Marion. From a Southern Illinoisan article:

“I really feel it is ill-advised to spend so much money on an overpass for the small number of trains that run on the tracks,” he said. “I know it is an irritation to wait three or four minutes for a train to pass, but it really isn’t that big of an inconvenience.”

I was really shocked to see this. Butler has a long history of support for public spending. He raised taxes and welcomed a state subsidy to get a minor league baseball team in Marion. He has defended Marion’s aggressive use of TIF districts. He is presently taking steps to use sales tax revenue to subsidize a massive retail development.

But now Butler has drawn the line. He says the state can’t afford the railroad overpass, but the state’s finances didn’t stop him from supporting the STAR Bond district. His stated reason for opposing the overpass doesn’t make sense, but I can’t think of another reason he might oppose state spending in Marion.

Maybe he’s concerned about his upcoming reelection campaign. Butler has already served as mayor for almost 48 years – 28% of Marion’s history. If he wins and completes a 13th term, he will serve 52 years as mayor. He doesn’t seem to have much to worry about.

Comments are welcome.

***Illustration Credit: (Used with permission through a Creative Commons license.)***


Written by The Carbondale Observer

December 15, 2010 at 7:45 am

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