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I share the following in response to a few of the recent H&R letters to the editor. I am proud to call Decatur my home. My family moved back from New York City 19 years ago, and I intend to retire here.

In my work, church, and volunteer roles, I do everything I can to help improve the quality of life for all in our community. Some have questioned the state's contribution to the amphitheater project at Nelson Park. The money that was contributed by the state to the Decatur Park District's Lakeshore Landing project is capital money that cannot be used for operations. If it were not given to Decatur, the money would have been allocated elsewhere in the state. I am proud that our Governor has confidence in and supports Decatur and our amphitheater.

The argument of which came first, the chicken or the egg, can apply here. The Decatur Park District creates a healthy, family-friendly atmosphere for residents and visitors to our community. Without a beautiful lakefront, trails, and outdoor activities, job creators may not want to come to Decatur to begin with, and without jobs, fewer people will enjoy the parks and everything we have to offer. As a member of the Decatur Park Board of Commissioners, I want to invest for the future. I am proud of our partnership with the City on this important project and thank Governor Quinn and Howard Buffett for their generous investment in Decatur.

Chris Riley

Decatur

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