Dear Editor:

We're glad that Carroll County has money to fill the cracks on Loran Road. We're hoping that they'll have the money to redo the shoulders, which are slowly crumbling into the weeds. We've given up on the hope that Woodland Township will ever fix the potholes on Meyers Road. We joke that soon it will revert to being a gravel road.

Yes. I know there is no money.

When we drive into Mount Carroll, we're always amazed that after two years the city has never finished the fire hydrant project near the trailer park. The number of streets which need major work is astronomical.

Yes, I know there is no money.

We've already been to the Palisades State Park three times this spring. Right now, the wild flowers are incredible and the views are spectacular. The park is a wonderful treasure. But because of budget cuts, the upkeep and deferred maintenance just get worse and worse.

Trails are nearly impassable. The park seems capable of mowing the lawn, cleaning the washrooms and keeping giant trees and their huge branches off the trails, but that's it. Sentinel Trail needs to be rebuilt. And it is not the fault of the park superintendent and his crew. It's budget cuts.

Yes, I know there is no money.

Every news story about Carroll County schools says that the schools simply can't afford to do their job properly. "It's a shame, but that's life."

Yes, I know there is no money.

Why does the richest country in the world have no money? Because too many working class and middle class Americans have decided that the rich need more money and the rest of us can do without streets, sewers, parks and schools.

It's our own fault that our county is crumbling around us. We had a chance to change all that. We had a chance to vote for a progressive state income tax which would have raised taxes, not on the average person in Carroll County, just the rich. But too many of us voted no and the referendum was defeated.

We have nobody to blame but ourselves. Go to the Palisades and enjoy the wildflowers and the views. Drive through Mount Carroll on the way to shop or eat out. Then promise yourself that the next time Governor Pritzker asks for a tax increase on the rich, you'll say yes.

Chuck Wemstrom

Mount Carroll