The JS said today that “most of the candidates to be voted on Tuesday support the referendum”. I don’t think anyone was opposed to the printing of an advisory referendum on Tuesday’s ballot. But many of the newly seated and current councilpeople are going to have to think twice, whether the referendum passes or not, before they lay out $35,000,000.00 for non priorities when our streets, curbs, sidewalks are falling apart, our school system needs some overhauling, the claim there is still need of a fire station and more security for citizens to feel safer. At Peoria’s incarceration rate there may soon be a request for a jail expansion if you want to keep the bad guys off the street and out of your homes. Which of these are more important? More computers and meeting spaces?
The day before the primary election in March, I noticed that two candidates had jumped the gun and placed their yard signs at Lakeview Library. Not only is illegal to put signs on Park District Property; the PPD owns all the Lakeview land, but is not the type of action that you would expect from a city councilperson. The signs bore the names of Thetford and Montelongo. Montelongo is the only person who to date has told me to stop sending him emails because he didn’t agree with what I was saying. At that time, he was President of the Chamber of Commerce. I note they did not endorse him. If you’re wondering, they did endorse me; I just didn’t accept any money from them for my campaign. I’m sure he’ll work well with the County if he gets elected.
In looking through the Library’s Proposed Strategic Plan, page 4 shows a picture of the beautiful Seattle Public Library. Comparing Seattle’s library is like when the PPD replicated Cincinnati’s recreational center, located on the Ohio River, right here in Peoria. Seattle and Peoria comparison? Peoria and Cincinnati? Peoria and Memphis? Give me a break. Okay, no problem, just show me the money, yours, not mine.
A letter to the editor today said that “When you look at places like Rockford, Elmhurst, Arlington Heights, Springfield Missouri, Muncie and Indianapolis you see modern libraries, not one left over from 40 to 50 years.” My goodness, the Jones got ahead of us again so let’s catch up whether we can afford it or not. My home, built in 1976 will soon need to be relegated to the junk pile. Why have my taxes on my “old” house risen every year but one since 1989? I don’t believe we’ve seen anything yet. Figure in what many feel are already too high property taxes, the $32,000,000.00 zoo and the still unpaid for RiverPlex; never able to meet the principle and interest on it’s bond. According to the promises made us, it was supposed to be profiting over $600,000.00 a year by now. Consider the Peoria Museum, not yet off the drawing boards, the big question mark about the expanded Civic Center, the Park Board moves to first Knoxville Ave. and then to the vacant Lakeview Museum after the new downtown Museum is built, the $35,000,000.00 Library Plan, the $500,000.00 a year money losing Gateway Center, a Renaissance Center that is still in a development stage, the Transport still in early development , the Springdale Cemetery question and the possible development of more of Southdown TIF’s.
Did I leave out the $60,000,000.00 plus Peoria Public School District #150 PARTIAL overhaul? Yes, the $60,000,000.00 Downtown Museum. Inflation will carry it to closer to $70 million when completed.
Did I also leave out public pensions that are increasing rapidly every year, especially the cities pensions, along with health costs and “A Mild Job Market Projected for Peoria”; April 2007, InterBusiness Issues. Did I leave out that we are a one major company city with a population that has shrunk from 120,000 in 1980 to 113,000 today? Did I leave out that most all the hospitals do not pay property taxes, including St.Francis?
Some will say I’m negative; no, I’m just a realist speaking as and individual property owner in the City of Peoria. I note the home I was born in and built in 1925 still looks the same from the outside and is occupied by a hard working family who has no intention of replacing it even though it is now 82 years old.
Since there was no organized public dissent about the Library Proposed Tax Increase, I expect the referendum will pass. I know some of the Council read me and know I am speaking as an individual. Those who don’t read me will get a copy of all I’ve blogged on my site after the new council is seated.
If you believe in what you’ve read written by me, pass it on.