Here is a copy of another email just received from the person planning on relocating in Peoria from St.Louis, MO. I had just emailed him a copy of what I received from Peoria City Manager Randy Oliver calling attention that the City of Peoria only receives 11% of Peoria County property taxes, Peoria County receives 10%, the Peoria Park District receives 9%, all other bodies including I.C.C., Greater peoria Sanitary District, Library Board, etc., receive 10% combined and Peoria Public School District #150 receives an astounding 60%.
Here is his email:
That breakdown is very interesting. To answer your question, according to the St. Louis County website, the county's park maintenance budget for 2007 is $5,217,090 (that portion of the budget is provided here http://www.co.st-louis.mo.us/budget/Budget2007_Final/Line%20Item%204%20Park%20Maintenance%20Fund%202007%20Final.pdf ).
(Peorian's note: the overall Peoria Public Park District has an astounding budget of $49,800,000.00.)
On that particular topic, my wife and I both spend a lot of time at the gym, so I was happy to hear that Peoria had both a new Gold's Gym and the new RiverPlex. In researching the two I learned early that the RiverPlex was part of the park district, which was an immediate red flag. From all my past experience dealing with government owned facilities inevidably leads to frustration. Beaurocrats simply do not run enterprises such as this as effectively as private parties because, among other things, the financial motivation to please customers is missing (I know I'm preaching to the choir here).
In fairness, though, I was still going give the RiverPlex a fair chance at my membership fees and called to get information on membership rates, hours of operation, etc. After sitting on hold for 25 minutes, my intial reaction was confirmed, and I hung up without ever speaking to a person. With a new Gold's Gym in town, I will not even waste my time visiting the RiverPlex after that display of governmental customer service. There is a plethora of reasons why socialism has always failed its subjects throughout history, and those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. It sounds like some of Peoria's officials need some history lessons.