“Opening up City Hall & (County) to the competitive process must be the fundamental aspect of change”. (Statement made by the new Mayor of Indianapolis). Then the governing bodies in Indianapolis did just that, allowing private enterprise to bid on projects traditionally performed by the public sector. Hundred’s of millions of taxpayers dollars have been saved since the bidding process began. All over the country, governments are realizing the competitive private sector can usually render better service at less cost to the taxpayer.
Not here in the City of Peoria. Led by the encouragement of then Mayor Lowell Grieves, an organization called Peoria Area Advancement Group LLC (PAAG), lent the City $1,000,000 to study a possible buyout of the privately owned Illinois-American Water Company. Now, 6 years later, the million dollars is gone & Mayor Ransburg is supporting further funding to study this buyout. All this time, PAAG has been collecting 9% interest on their “risk free” loan. Now the taxpayer is stuck still owing PAAG $1,000,000, & these lenders have collected at least $540,000 of your money. Now the lenders say they will accept less yearly interest, 6.9%, but don’t want to lend the City anymore money. I will list these “Civic Minded” PAAG citizens so you who don’t come close to making 9% on your investments & would love to even make 6.9% for years & years to come, can call these “wealthy” (JS 2/9/2001) lenders & thank them:
Dale & Shirley Burklund
Underwood Furniture Galleries, Inc.
D.A. Hoerr & Sons
Otto Baum Co.,Inc.
South Side Bank
Gerald & Helen Stephens Foundation
(Source) Peoria Journal Star 2/9/2001
“We are weeks & months translate (years) away from even knowing what the buyout price will be, but I think most of the council believes this is, POTENTIALLY, a very attractive thing”. (Quote by Mayor Ransburg – 8/13/04 JS)
You make your own conclusions as to what is going on in Peoria. Look for property taxes to probably rise even further in 2005, as well as well as every other type of tax, local government will need to assess to keep growing their bureaucracies.
I’ll leave you with a statement attributed to Margaret Thatcher –“Governments have the usual socialist disease: they have run out of other people’s money to spend”
Also, know that “when enough bureaucratic prestige has been invested in a policy, it is easier to see it fail, then to abandon it”. You’re going to see a lot more than what you have already seen (of both quotes), in Peoria over the upcoming months (and years.)