To the Editor:

I read with interest the Q&A with St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern in a recent St. Business Journal.

In response to a question on the regional China hub Chairman Kern states that there are "thousands of acres of available land." Just whose land is he giving away?

Kern also said, in response to a question about the new Mississippi River Bridge, "Our 600,000-plus residents work, play, shop and attend classes in Missouri daily..."

Since when does St. Clair County have 600,000 residents? According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2009 statistics, the population of the county was 263,617. The whole Metro-East (Madison, Monroe and St. Clair counties) does not have a population of 600,000. Furthermore, St. Clair County has not experienced any more than 3 percent growth in the last 10 years.

Lastly, I find it amazing that Kern is still holding Mid America Airport up as a success. This airport has never generated any meaningful economic activity and it distracts St. Clair County leaders from focusing on projects that would be helpful to the county residents. The county should have closed the facility years ago and that would have saved the taxpayers millions of dollars.

That would be positive economic activity for the poeple of St. Clair County. Chairman Kern is living in his own little world making it up as he goes.

Marty Ganz

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St. Clair County
10 Public Square
Belleville, IL 62220

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