A Clock Tower Does Not Justice Make

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The County Board passed in January a proposal
for spending $6.81 million dollars on
courthouse and tower renovations. Renovations
have begun on the clock tower, but
community concerns persist.
Area residents, such as Chris Evans, still
insist that “While we are writing checks for
the county clock tower, let’s look into what
is going on inside the building.” Instead,
Evans contends that increased funding
should be going for the Public Defender’s
Office, noting that a lack of public defenders
violates citizens’ constitutional rights to
adequate legal representation and due
process in Champaign County.
Belden Fields comments that “The
Courthouse is not a church—it does not
have to reach up to the heavens,” in
response to the millions that are being
spent for the renovation of the courthouse
building and Clock Tower. Instead, Fields
believes that some of that money should
have been used to set up a contingency
fund for the County nursing home.
Although a variety of worthy proposals
were presented by area residents to the
County Board prior to their decision, it
seems that again property—the Courthouse
and Clock Tower in this instance—
are the priority for community officials,
rather than the needs of disenfranchised
people in this community, who bare the
brunt of government neglect.

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