To the Editor:

Illinois is on the brink of financial ruin with current and future debts of up to $200 billion. One easy step in reducing unnecessary spending is to eliminate the regional superintendent of education offices.

The budget for larger county offices like Madison, St. Clair and Sangamon is more than $3 million per year. The few necessary functions of the regional offices could be performed by the state or local school districts as they are in other states. The highly paid officials in these offices are unnecessary.

Abuses that have occurred in Madison County include the political campaign to increase the sales tax of 1 percent for school construction conducted earlier this year and promoted by regional superintendent Bob Daiber (rejected by the voters 81 percent to 9 percent), and the running of political fund-raisers out of this office by his predecessors.

Democratic legislators who run the state of Illinois should stop this type of unnecessary spending. They have already increased the state income tax by 67 percent this year.

Reforms in Indiana eliminated the deficit and produced a surplus. The same could be accomplished here. We need to stop pension abuses and more importantly, we need broad-based pension reform. The present system will ruin pensions of all Illinois employees if not reformed.

Edward F. Ragsdale, M.D.

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