Ex-Peoria one term Mayor, Lowell “Bud” Grieves weighed in Saturdays edition of the JS offering his reasons for supporting another term for Dave Ransburg. As a resident of Peoria and an ex-business man, teacher, coach, resident of Peoria and currently Vice Chairman of the Peoria County Board, I’ll enter the “why I support Jim Ardis”side of the contest. Let’s examine Mr. Grieves credentials: His service as a one term mayor will not put him among the most memorable of Peoria Mayors. In October 1999, he suggested some type of property tax hike, then in January proposed some sort of property tax reduction. In the January 15, 2000, the Journal Editorial Board said of
Grieves, “he is at risk of becoming the mayor who tries everything and accomplishes nothing". He appears to lack focus, consistency and direction”.
Grieves wanted higher parking fees (approximately $215,000.00)which would scare more business away from downtown, he wanted to use excess HRA taxes as a source of city revenue, he strongly supported a downtown ball park (we got one that missed it’s projected attendance last year by 93,000).” The city of Peoria invested approximately $5 million dollars in the infrastructure surrounding the ballpark with the expectation of getting that back from business growth around the ballpark. Three years later the city is still waiting and will probably wait a lot longer. He strongly supported the RiverPlex which lost approximately 7 million dollars in its first 40 months of operation.
He was involved in late tax payments by the G&G Hotels as well as tardiness in liquor license renewals at G&GPacket Co. which he owned at that time. He suggested that Peoria School District 150 incorporate the Bible in its curriculum and people of non-Christian religions took offense, prosecutors investigated his lingering ties to G&G Packet Company.
He proposed the $5 million dollar taxpayer gift to Midtown Plaza. He strongly supported the city buyout of the water company which I believe the voters will strongly reject in April. The taxpayers should reject this buyout that has no real idea whether city ownership will be a boon or a bust. Whenever business or public entities stray from their core responsibilities, statistics show only three out of ten succeed. (Wall Street Journal March 2005)
In the May 2 issue of the JS, results of Dial-A-Vote showed the following opinions on Mr. Grieves performance as Mayor; 319 votes gave him a high C, 196 gave him a C, 185 gave him a D, 62 gave him a B, and only 28 gave him an A.
He was a champion of TIF, which denies District 150 a share of additional property taxes for twenty years. “He hired as the cities chief image booster a man who had filed for bankruptcy, can’t pay his rent, and lists on his letterhead such non-existent branches in London and Malaysia”. (JS July 23, 10, 1997)
Mr. Grieves, who lists his address as Canton. Il. , strongly supported the proposed Promenade which would have cost the taxpayers anywhere from $71 million to $99 million according to a letter I received from Bob McCord of Illinois Mutual on 11/28/99.
The plea to the voters by Ransburg and his supporters like “Bud” Grieves, is to “stay the course.” Take a look at the “course” we are on. Ransburg supported the RiverPlex, the ballpark, the Gateway Building, One Technology Plaza, the $5 million gift to Midtown Plaza, the proposed new Zoo which a PPD official told me, is so far away from reaching it’s goal of $32,000,000.00 that the PPD Board is proposing that the PPD sell bonds to make up the deficit so that construction can start this fall as scheduled!! The PPD is already obligated to pay back over $24,000,000.00 in accumulated debt.
At this late date Ransburg is purporting to help School District 150 with some of their problems but according to school officials he is a little late in the game.
I have for some time warned Peoria taxpayers to expect substantial increases in property and other taxes over the next few years if we “stay the course”.
I strongly support Jim Ardis for a financially stable growing Peoria and beware of smooth talking ex-politicians who plan to grow Peoria on their own egos and your taxes.