Monday, February 11, 2008

Tazewell Stunner 2/11/08

"Incumbents generally ruled Tuesday, but in the race for the Tazewell County Board, incumbent Mike Godar's ouster has some county officials bewildered". Godar finished 863 votes lower than newcomer and 2nd place finisher, Paul Hahn. Godar blamed the loss on himself but I suspect not for the reasons he told "Word on the Sreet" writers Karen McDonald and John Sharp of the JS. Mr. Godar's background may be closer to the truth. Let's take a peak:

"Group organizes to lend support for 'eastern bypass'" is an article by John Sharp and Karen McDonald in the 7/18/07 edition of the JS. The group has a new name the "Eastern Bypass Regional Coalition" and a new President Tazewell County Board Member Mike Godar.

Let's take a step back in history. In the April 15, 1997 edition of the JS, Kari Siegle quotes Mr. Godar as stating, "any ringroad would be built over my dead body". Anthony Smith of the JS quotes Mr. Godar, Co-Founder of of Communities Aganst Ring-Road Encroachment or C.A.R.E.,the organizations goal is to keep the ring road from being built. The organization claimed to have 7,000 signatures of people opposed to the ring road. JS writer Steven Susens quotes Mr. Godar on June 20,1997, in noting that Peoria County Board endorsed the ring road, "The Peoria County Board doesn't have a clue". Mr. Godar also noted that Peoria County lacked the leadership and economic support showed the greediness of business people and some politicians.He also took some shots at IDOT.

On April 21, 1997 the JSEB had criticized comments by Mr. Godar stating "that (PUATS) was authored in 1972 and included plans for a completed ringroad far before the overwhelming majority of homes, businesses and people involved were present". I personally believe that had action had been taken then to build the ring road, the ringroad could have been an asset to this part of Central Illinois. I believe it is too late, too costly, too disruptive and that most people affected in Tazewell County do not want it. I believe Mr. Godar's change in positions as being the real reason that the incumbent got "blown" out of his seat on the Tazewell County Board.

There is an old saying that "when the facts change, I change my facts". Unfortunately, for Mr. Godar, facts haven't changed but his position has done an 100%change and voters do remember politicans who change their "spots".

In Mr. Godar's defense of his position of "no proven economic benefits", then IDOT engineer Dale Risinger was quoted in the Bloominton Pantagraph in the late 90's as talking about the highly debated Highway to Chicago that "none of the four routes proposed showed any outstanding economic benefit because jobs created along the corridor would be at the expense of other Central Illinois communities".

I suggest the reopened ringroad debate will get the JS lots of copy, engineers will get multi-million dollar contracts to study alternate routes again; one has already been awarded $3,000,000 for another "study", that the now billion dollar plus ringroad and bridge will never be built in the careers of it's current batch of supporters.

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