Aldermanic appointments should be open

Looking at the latest round of mayoral aldermanic appointments, it is clear that we must move expeditiously to change the manner in which aldermen with unexpired terms are replaced. Community leaders and organizations should share in an open process, so that the citizens’ interests are protected. Although we find Deborah Graham likable and share an amicable relationship with her, her emergence from the organization of convicted former Ald. Isaac Carothers means Daley’s pick was predictable, as well as consistent with his personal political interests. Former NFL Coach Dennis Green would probably say “Daley is who we thought he was.” All of this begs the question: why have a charade of an open process when one person is able to make a politically expedient choice? After this “process,” the mayor can now make plans for his reelection party with Ike Carothers’ 29th Ward political machinery still in place and at his disposal. The most important question is: where does this leave a community like ours; one which has a myriad of challenges. We’re in great need of a fresh start and new direction. Upon reading the resumes presented to the mayor, it is clear he had ample opportunity to help our community’s progressive leadership emerge restore public trust. With failing schools, prolific violence, economic disparities and despair, and challenges in community-police relations, this was not the time for political expediency on the West Side. We needed bold leadership from the mayor-he failed us. While there appears to be little we as average citizens can do to fight back for honest government, we could go a long way if we simply change the process of aldermanic vacancy appointments. The chief executive officer of the city should not be allowed to pick the legislative branch. It is irresponsible to keep on doing what we are doing and expecting different results. We need a process of replacement that is truly allows for community input. Let’s change this flawed process and give the world class citizens of Chicago the kind of government that they deserve.

Rev. Ira Acree
Pastor of Greater St John Bible Church and co-chairman of the LEADER’s Network

A destined meeting

I met Siedah’s mom today; we talked like we have known each other forever [Battling cancer while keeping hope alive, Dec. 27, 2007]. She told me about her daughter; it really touched my heart. I think it was meant for us to meet today. March 30 is the day her baby passed away. I told her I will be praying for her. The good thing about it is we will be seeing each other at least three times a week. We both go to Lawndale Christian Health Fitness Center. Siedah’s mom was really a blessing for me today.

Sheila Avery
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Scam allegations bogus

I think someone is trying to B.S. Mr. Johnson [Funeral scammer loose in Austin?, March 11]. He is very professional and have done two very important people funerals in my family-one being my mother two weeks ago. My mother’s funeral was amazing-standing room only. We love Mr. Johnson and support him 100 percent. Don’t believe a word of it.

Cassandra Hammond-Murray
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Unfair attack on funeral operator

I think this article is just ludicrous. The media always try to take something and run with it. What has happened to make this suddenly arise? Johnson does great funeral services, and he carries himself in a very professional manner. Mr. Johnson: these are just people who are trying to knock your business. You know misery loves company.

Stephanie Johnson
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Funeral services exceptional

I would just like to say that this article is very slanderous and disheartening. I know Mr. Johnson to be quite professional is his work. Mr. Johnson has taken care of my closest family members, such as my mother, father, and nephew. I have known severally people to refer clients to Mr. Johnson and have looked for him at the funeral home. Johnson’s Funeral Home on Division Street, where Mr. Johnson ran the establishment for at least two years before the sale to Smith and Thomas-why doesn’t Smith and Thomas have their business name on the building? It is very confusing and needs to be changed. Smith and Thomas should be able to get their own business without having Johnson’s name still on that building. Unfortunately, family members will pass and families need people who are concerned, not trying to rip them off. Mr. Johnson does that.

Darlene Chriss
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Allegations need independent overview

I think the state of Illinois, as well as the state’s attorney’s office should investigate this matter and not leave it up to the media to determine whether these allegations towards Mr. Johnson are true or false.

M. Coleman
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