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Station Editorial on May 7th Jobs Report


Posted May 13, 2021


This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.  The May 7th U-S employment report showing only 266-thousand jobs were filled in April in the country, is a great example of "cause and effect."


The Wall Street Journal in its May 7th story, said and I'm quoting:  "These numbers are consistent with the story many business leaders are telling, of severe labor shortages — that demand has surged back but employers cannot find enough workers to fulfill it, at least not at the wages they are accustomed to paying." end of quote.


The article continues, and I quote:  "Many employers and conservatives argue that the expanded federal unemployment benefits have been too generous as they were extended as part of the recent pandemic rescue aid package and are scheduled to expire in September." end of quote.


Several states have announced they will end the 300-dollar per week unemployment benefit supplement being added to state unemployment benefits.   Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Montana, South Carolina, Iowa, and Missouri will end the weekly $300 federal unemployment benefits for their residents. 


And, the U-S Chamber of Commerce asked the Biden Administration to immediately end the 300-dollar weekly unemployment benefit supplement.


The May 7th jobs report is not what the Biden Administration or the ecoonomy needed.  The Wall Street Journal says the economy is still short some 8-point-2 million jobs from its pre-pandemic level.


Many local employers I've visited with, especially in the food and hospitality industry, have shared with me that their employees have told them they won't come back until the $300 per week supplemental benefits end, because they're making more money staying at home than if they would work.


This does not have a happy ending for anyone....local businesses struggling to get back to normal following a devestating 2020, factories trying to fill an avalanche of orders as consumers are spending again, and most importantly, the economy of our local communities trying to get to normal.


That's our opinion, we welcome yours.  Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.

Letter to the Editor on Recent DeWitt County Board Meeting

Posted May 5, 2021


Dear Editor:

Since I was silenced while trying to express my opinion at this months County Board meeting by Mrs. Tilley I have decided to use a different venue to state my concerns.  

The tone of some of the members in statements and the use of the review process to establish moratoriums on development in the County is sending a bad message to future developers who may be looking here as a location. 

Mr. Carter stating "let me remind you that the vision of DeWitt County is to preserve the agricultural heritage and to provide high quality residential growth" and "I just want you to know what you'll be dealing with when you come in." during a Land Use committee meeting cannot be taken as anything but anti-development. (Clinton Journal 4-16)

His motions for "review" are intended to stop, obstruct, and hinder development. Most of these motions and ridiculous statements are for notoriety. The hey, look at me moment. They have no true substance except to obstruct and hinder. I know of no developer who would go forward with an application and not know for up to six months what ordinances are required to be observed in order to complete the project! Instead, I would look for a friendlier more welcoming environment in which to spend my money and my time. By any other name it is still a moratorium!

It's not a secret that developers don't walk into any situation they haven't researched. They also communicate among themselves at meetings, conventions, and trade shows as examples. Word of mouth can be a death warrant. 


If it was just one member going rogue it would be a small controllable problem, but these motions went to a vote, and passed by a vast majority of the Board! That creates a much larger and more serious issue. 

The argument that development would take farmland out of production is true. It happened when Thorp/Syngenta in Wapella and Dekalb Seed in Farmer City were built, but look at how well they turned out. Any development on land the County is accountable for will do this, barns, tool sheds, grain elevators, even residential development. Progress is change and we must reconcile ourselves to that. Unless your land is being taken through an eminent domain action, it shouldn't be your issue. Let's not tell someone else how to use their land was a cry often used by the anti-wind group and I agree.

With Rivian expanding there should be some opportunities for our County. We have one of the lowest, if not the lowest, overall tax rates of the 102 Counties in Illinois. The travel time from DeWitt County to the Rivian plant is approximately the same time it takes to get across town in Bloomington-Normal. The roads to Rivian from here are all 4 lane and mostly interstate highway. There are even buildings setting empty which could be utilized. I believe Miller Container is an example and a possibility. The Board members who represent the County on the DCDC, Mrs. Meyers and Mr. Kammeyer, should be pushing to investigate such opportunities. Unfortunately, they are too concerned about micro-managing a wind farm.

The County Board's vision should be focused on opportunity. It should assist, encourage, and embrace development, not throw up roadblocks, obstruct, and trash it. The Residents don't want higher taxes or diminished basic services. This will, unfortunately, be the case if there is no foresight when it comes to development and increasing the tax base. It's not an if, but a when situation!

The difference in tax rates for agricultural property and commercial property is significant and development could help alleviate some of the losses we are surely going to experience.

Finally, the conversation about the Zoning Administrators qualifications was appalling! That discussion should have been done in his office and not during a public meeting. Another "hey look at me" moment. If this was an example of the regard for our County's staff, it's a situation that is not acceptable or good management policy!


Lance M. Reece 
Clinton, Illinois

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