Congratulations to all winners and losers in the many elections in the area. To run for any elected position is hazardous to one’s health but the rewards are many even if you lost. You did run which shows courage. You did learn to accept disappointments and you probably learned lessons that could be valuable for a better chance of success next time.
This race shows again that money does not necessarily guarantee a win. Let’s say it doesn’t usually hurt to have a large campaign war chest as long as those major contributions don’t come attached with too many special interests obligations. Evidently, some of the races were run with too much transparency and the voter got a more clear view of insider workings and made a decision that caused the ousting of three incumbents in the city.
The political analysts, the public and private entities, and college professors have the leadership graphs wrong. They usually show a chart that resembles a pyramid with the #1 leader on top and then the pyramid gradually spreading out in order of leadership rank to a wide base. Sometimes, graphs will show the #1 leader in the middle of a circular graph with spokes spreading out. This usually is done as an effort to not offend any supporting position or group as is done in “Our Family of Companies” chart published by The Heartland Partnership. A lot of big egos to not offend such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Progressive Political Action Committee, The EDC and the Civic Federation. Lots of big egos to satisfy so it is better to use a circular chart. A lot of very good community minded people work on these committees so it is never my intention to paint all who strive for the best interest of all people with a common brush.
(I occasionally use the terms elite, arrogant elite and wealthy arrogant elite. If my use of these terms offends any of you and those offended wonder who I’m talking about, just look in the mirror. I might add none of my friends and people I work with on the Peoria County Board fit any of these descriptions).
I believe the pyramid configuration is okay but the pyramid should be inverted with the electorate and the beneficiary of leaderships at the top and the leadership tapering off to #1 at the bottom tip of the pyramid. That is where the “buck is supposed to stop”. Don’t believe Ken Lay or Bernie Ebbers!! The circle is okay too but put the common people in the middle. That’s who these supporting groups ARE SUSPOSED TO BENEFIT, not just the powerbrokers who now sit in the middle of the circle and the end of the spokes or at the top of the pyramid.
So now we have a new Mayor and two new council people, (all of who I supported) who say they will be more inclusive. And I believe them, but I also know power corrupts. I also know they also were elected with the help of some special interest groups. I do not believe Mayor Ardis will be beholden to any unions but will treat them fairly and in the best interests of the community. Nor do I believe that any of these three will oppose planned growth or projects underway. It is their job to sort out and continue with projects that are in the best interests of all the taxpayers, voters, and those who have reached some “bad spots” in their lives.
We thank them for winning hard campaigns against many obstacles, including the obstacle of the Chamber of Commerce and their Political Action Committee who donated $8500.00 each to two incumbent councilpeople and, I believe a much larger amount to the incumbent mayor. Maybe someone on this committee or my friend who posts as anonymous can help me by posting the figure on this blog sit e so all readers can see it. The C of C is supposed to represent all business in this area. At last count, the C of C had approximately 1200 business members out of over 6,000 businesses in this community. The incumbents the C of C supported with big dollars all lost. That should tell you something about the equal representation of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce.
The entering of a possible new era in city government with the retention of Bill Spears and Pat Nichting, both of whom I also supported both in print or verbally, is looked forward to by a fairly large majority of the voters. This may serve as notice to other so called untouchable elites in other positions of authority, that the community will be paying more attention to how they are treating the taxpayers and voters.
Unfortunately, no one paid any attention to the two unopposed Peoria Park District members who now have four more years to raise your taxes. However, I believe by the end of four more years or perhaps only two more years, people who pay taxes to the PPD will have many reasons to pay more attention. Don’t count on the JS to keep you informed, they only once in an isolated area of the paper mentioned that there were two positions on the park board up for reelection. You may not have noticed that the JS stopped printing membership numbers for the highly touted RiverPlex which lost around six million dollars in its first 40 months of operation.
I believe that Peorians are starting to believe that “when you know there is a need for change, act.
Look for more of my views on the election on my next blog including the Water Company Buyout Advisory Committee actions and the actions they may take in the very near future.