Friday, August 06, 2004

Conceptions, misconceptions, perceptions, truths, sublte falsehoods, & outright lies

That’s what the news media claimed a couple of months ago. WHAT WAS LEFT OUT IS THAT THE RAISES DON’T GO INTO EFFECT UNTIL 30 MONTHS FROM NOW OR UNTIL DECEMBER 2006!! The County Board went one stretch of eight years WITHOUT a raise. Figuring from 1990 to the end of 2006, all raises total a little over 2% a year. Unlike the city, we get no car mileage or parking allowance. Also, I get no retirement benefits or insurance. I’m not complaining, just setting the facts straight. The saying is “unless the job means more than the pay, it will never pay more.”

Voters recently approved a small tax levy, the money to be used only to help keep the Bellwood County Nursing Home running. One feature writer for a small local paper accused the County of using that extra money by the end of 2003. To set the record straight, the county did not receive any of this money until June, 2004 with the balance due in September, 2004. The writer, a member of the Peoria County Board for 22 years, in his critical attacks on the County, on Bellwood & County board members, failed to note that lawsuits against the County were filled by Bellwood employees on during his tenure on the County Board. These lawsuits were recently settled for hundreds of thousands of dollars of added expense to the taxpayers. The writer did not run for election in 2002. It should be also noted that the county had $12,000,000 in the General Fund in 1997 & yet was $1,500,000 in the red when I was elected to the board. By the end of this year, we project the County General Fund will be $6,500,000 in the black.

Any comments regarding landscaping under jurisdiction of Peoria County will be appreciated. Especially your comments about landscaping around the Courthouse, County property on Gift Avenue, Bellwood Nursing Home, & the County Jail & Juvenile Detention Center. You can talk to me on this site or at 692-2591. Better yet, attend a County Board meeting, 2nd Thursday of each month, 6:00 PM, 4th floor of the Courthouse.

For thirty odd years, the County contracted with the Peoria Park District to do Peoria County landscaping. Attention was called to the rising costs of doing business with the Park, & dissatisfaction with the quality of some of the work done by the Park. Legally following the intra-governmental agreement in place, the County advised the Park that they were invoking the 60 day cancellation phase of the contract, & that the County intended to invite the taxpaying private sector to bid. The Park Superintendent immediately cancelled their service to the County, only agreeing later to give the County a few days extension. The Park also contacted the media with their side of the story claiming that the County had put the park in an unfair position because “the Park did not bid against the private sector” The County then received bids and accepted the bid of Classy Grass, a local taxpaying private enterprise. Projections show that we will save more than $30,000 this year & more than $30,000 in the second year of the contract. One well known Master Gardner called me recently to say the some county landscaping “never looked better”. Moral of this saga – just because tax collecting bodies have agreements to “scratch each other’s backs” does not mean this “scratching” is always in the community’s best interest!!

We encounter conceptions, misconceptions, perceptions, truths, subtle falsehoods, & outright lies. This site will always strive to present the truth. I never intend to say “nothing can be farther than the truth.”

Talk to you soon.

1 comment:

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