Alcentra – that’s the proposed name for a new town in St. Clair County. Actually, it’s two existing towns whose mayors are touting a merger.
If a majority of voters in both towns approve the proposal in an election next month, Alorton and Centreville will become Alcentra: that being the combination of the two names suggested by someone not gifted at nomenclature, or possibly a committee of such persons. If nothing else, it does sound better and is easier to pronounce than Centrorton.
The proposed merger raises the obvious question of why residents of Alorton and Centreville would want to give up the independent status of their communities, a question the two mayors promise to address at a town hall meeting at the Charlie Coleman Center in Alorton next Tuesday evening.
In a letter to their residents, Alorton Mayor Jo Ann Reed and Centreville Mayor Marius Jackson endorsed the proposal, saying the merger would lead to better roads and sewers, better housing, better jobs, better government, and lower taxes.
No intelligent resident of either town would believe such obvious lies, and it’s despicable that leaders who ask for your trust betray it with such utter nonsense. Both Alorton and Centreville have been hemorrhaging citizens for years, Alorton’s population declining 20 percent over the last decade (currently less than 2,000) and Centreville’s by 12 percent (now roughly 5,000).
Merging the two towns might mean one less mayor to pay for and the consolidation of duplicate city services, but it’s highly unlikely that the annual budget for Alcentra is going to be less than the current budgets of Alorton and Centreville combined. Nor is it likely that the improvements promised are going to be delivered by a hybrid of two towns that don’t currently keep their promises.
The problem for Alorton and Centreville is not their size. It’s their maladministration. Incompetent and corrupt leadership and an entrenched Democrat Party machine are what are destroying both communities, and many others throughout Illinois.
We the voters have to reclaim our hometowns, and our state.