I am writing in response to your article about “grants” last week, and practically about the comments of Trustee Johnson [Oak Park opposes grant cuts, News, March 2]. Federal grant programs go back to President Roosevelt. From the article and statements of Trustee Johnson, you would think this is free money sent to Oak Park by a benevolent federal government. Somehow I think we sent the money to the feds first and they are returning our money (or money borrowed from China) to do local projects or charities.

To believe this is a good system one has to believe that a Washington bureaucrat knows more about Oak Park priorities than our elected officials. Federal grants do create jobs. We have at least one professional beggar employed at village hall. He or she must be paid well because we have to compete with the thousands of other professional beggars from all the other governmental units begging for money. Then federal bureaucrats must decide which beggars’ projects deserve to be funded. So a whole new industry of professional beggars and beggar analysts has been created.

If a project or charity is important to Oak Park, it should be prioritized by Oak Parkers and funded by Oak Parkers’ taxes or charitable contributions. The board’s resolution makes you think that you are getting something for nothing. In reality, every project cost more because the beggars must be paid.

Put this resolution in with our expertise on “nuclear free zones,” “global warming,” and “electric cars.”

John Howell
Oak Park

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