I said I would give you names, places and activities in my blog on 8/26/05 titled “Water Company Buyout “End Run”. Now for more of the story. ( I can’t say “the rest of the story” because I don’t believe the controversy is over yet”.) On Thursday, 8/25, Scott Sorrel, Assistant to the County Administrator, wrote a memo to Patrick Urich, County Administrator under the subject of “water company buy-out” stating, “Rita called to ask if someone would meet with Randy and Gary Sandberg within the next four days”. She said, “The issue is not really dead?” “What do you want me to do?” asked Mr. Sorrel. In my presence, Mr. Urich handed the memo to David Williams, County Board Chairman, who read it and handed it to me. I asked David if he was aware of any conversations directed to him from anyone connected to the city wanting to discuss the City buyout controversy. He said he no. I then asked Mr. Urich why Rita would be contacting Mr. Sorrel and was there conversation going on between County Administration, Rita, Gary and Randy? He indicated some conversation as one would have in a normal conversation about a controversial city possible project. Mr. Williams then attempted to reach Mayor Ardis to ask if Mayor Ardis knew what was going on. After some phone tag, Mayor Ardis told Mr. Williams he was not aware of certain people connected to the city and to PAAG wanting to meet with county officials. I personally called Mayor Ardis who again confirmed that he knew nothing about this attempt by these three already named people to set up a meeting with County Administration and he confirmed what we already knew: the City Council voted 6-5 to stop pursuing “due diligence” by the City to possibly buy the privately held water company.
I said in a previous comment on my blog site that wealthy powerful people do not part with more than a million dollars easily or give up on a project just because the voter voted 81% against the city attempt to buy the water company. If wealthy people didn’t inherit it, they know how hard it usually is to get wealthy and they don’t usually part with a hundred thousand or so very easily.
I might suggest to Rita Kress, who was identified by last name by Scott Sorrel, a lesson in how Peoria County Government is structured. It starts with the election of a County Board who in turn elects a Chairman to chair the elected County Board officials. In turn the County Board hires an administrator to facilitate the wishes of the board, using professional knowledge to keeping everyone working in the same direction for the best results for Peoria County citizens, other governmental partnerships and other elected County officials. I will not suggest anything to City Administrator Randy Oliver except to remind him how the ‘pecking order” goes on controversial issues in which the County is not directly involved. (Mr. Sorrel identified Mr. Oliver as the “Randy” in the memo.)
To Mr. Sandberg, who claims to have been on the city council a long time, it is probably too late to suggest anything. Gary will be Gary. However, since Mr. Urich and Mr. Sorrel know the “pecking order” of the County Board, I’ll spell out the “pecking order” on the County Board to Mrs. Kress:
1. The buck starts and stops with Mr. Williams. Problems you may have in your district should start with your elected board member who will bring it to the attention of the proper department or individual. On matters in which you have already tried to get answers and failed, through proper channels, you certainly have the right to eventually go to the top.
2. The full elected County Board.
3. The administration hired by the County Board. (Mr. Urich, Mr. Sorrel, ect).
I believe all elected officials in Peoria County know and are willing at all times to advise a citizen, voter, newcomer and taxpayer in the county that the best way to advance a cause, protest an injustice, acquire information and so on, is to follow a proper chain of command or authority. I know powerful people often go to the “top” to try to get faster results, but in this case Gary, Rita and Randy misjudged where the “top” is.
Conclusion of this story; no meeting was held. If there is merit in a meeting, I’m sure Mr. Williams and Mr. Ardis will make the proper decision.
(Mrs. Kress told me during a break on the City Council floor, Tuesday evening, commenting about my blog of Tuesday, August 23, 2005, that she would use that blog as toilet paper. I have printed over 150 blogs and will continue to provide more “paper” when needed.)