I first came across a JS article way back when Dave Ransburg was a councilman. Dave is quoted in the JS that he felt the buyout of the publicly owned water company, could be accomplished for approximately $60 million. At that time Sandberg, Ransburg and Ed Glover were all outspoken buyout advocates. Voting against the buyout study were Leonard Unes, Bill Spears, Andre Bohannon and Steve Kouri.
Tonight’s vote I believe included only two councilpeople from the late 1990”s; Sandburg still voting to continue the study with a plan to buy and Bill Spears voting no, period.. Tonight’s vote showed that 5 1/2 years later, neither had changed their opinion.
Common sense prevailed and demagoguery fortunately failed. The buyout pursuit failed by a large margin, only Sandberg and Grayeb voted to continue this money train down the drain.
To review; Grayeb was worried about foreign ownership of our water which is B---S--- since all water in the United States is owned by the good old USA. That argument continued to lose steam so Grayeb continued his demagoguery by saying time and time again that our water rates were the highest in the USA, in fact double the rate of other cities. I previously blogged that Grayeb was wrong and tonight Councilman Nichting put this lie to rest by reading off the names of a dozen or so communities had higher water rates than Peoria. Nichting and I used the same official source; I believe Grayeb just wanted to believe his lie. Grayeb also tried to discredit the Illinois Commerce Commission. A note on the ICC; if Grayeb has long felt the ICC to be inept, he had only to ask his legislators to shape this commission up!! Grayeb also claimed there was not enough time to study the buyout. Five and ½ years to study something and then start over, reminds me of the bureaucracies Grayeb has worked for over his career.
During the council meeting, Sandburg read a tear jerking letter from some older citizen who previously voted “NO” but after she received more information, she would have changed her vote. This person did not want to reveal her identity. Speaking of being brave as both Sandberg and Grayeb challenged the council to “be brave” in their vote and then read an anonymous letter didn’t show much bravery at all. The letter could have been written by the PAAG group who pushed hard for continuing the buyout. Maybe this woman didn’t even vote the first time. How can you tell without her identification?? (The Peoria County Board will not allow an anonymous letter to be read on the floor of our horseshoe).
Grayeb again said there needed to be more studying done at an additional cost of ½ million dollars, more public forums held and more taxpayer money spent in addition to the millions already spent. (Grayeb didn’t attend the public forum that brought the President of IA to Peoria; indeed and very few people showed up as is typical in most forums) and more taxpayer money spent.
Now the council is faced with the interpretation of the PAAG contract. These investors probably won’t want to lose the money they invested. Whatever contract language that was signed by this group and the Peoria City Council should be followed. That’s why contracts are written. Otherwise, this subject if as dead as the recent mayoral and council election.
Thank goodness. Maybe now the council with there newly appointed member, can get back to the core business of running Peoria!!