Monday, November 24, 2008

Missed Projections and Random Facts

Tired of all the stress surrounding you? Check out any of the books written by Fannie Flagg but especially "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe". A very realistically fiction writer with a good sense of soft humour.

Tired of hearing that the Rec/plex, oops, I mean Riverplex that opened in 2001 after much debate, is a profit Center? Evidently some PPD official is saying that is a good profit center. Not hardly when the PPD Financial statement of 12/31/07 says that the RiverPlex has NEVER been able to pay it's principal and interest on it's original bond. PPD President Cassiddy says it was never supposed to. Ha.

I beg to differ short of calling Mr. Cassidy a liar. When Cassidy was doing a hard sell on the RiverPlex and the Fitness Center, here again is what Mr. Cassidy told the JS. I quote, "If the growth of our community continues at only a fraction of what is has in the last five years, most, if not all of the bonded indebtedness will be paid through RecPlex operations". Since the new named RiverPlex opened in 2001, it has NEVER been able to meet it's bonded indebtedness of over $800,000.00 per year and it still has 13 years of payments in the $800 thousand dollar range due each year. (JS, 9/21/99)

Also, Mr. Cassidy said "Contrary to media reports, there will be no required membership fee". (JS, 9/21/99) Ha. Then why did they they sell memberships even before the RiverPlex opened?

How's the touted Fitness Center doing? Profits were to be split with a major hospital and the PPD. What profits? Last year, the Fitness Center lost $500,000.00+, about the same as every year since it opened. Look it up in PPD's Financial Statements.

Now the PPD is "stuck" in the zoo red ink. Scheduled to open in the spring of 2008, it is now scheduled to open in the summer of 2009. And the highly hyped $32 zoo will now be a $25 million zoo. Not even the major donor to the zoo was aware that the present zoo loses approximately $400,000.00 a year.

Will the new zoo be greeted with "ah and oh's? You bet. Same as if anyone built and displayed anything new and expensive.

Even with the PD taking in record property taxes and a budget of almost $42 million, the PPD has not even started on the sports complex they swapped for Meinen field. This complex was to be open in 2006. Nor have they broken ground on the $1.2 upgrades they promised for Peoria Stadium.

As was hinted when the 2009 budget was released, increased taxes may be needed for 2010 and beyond.

Before the year is over I fear we will hear about more missed projections all blamed on the economy and lack of grant money. Wasn't it IBM who had the slogan "Plan Ahea

I have a dislike for people who make promises to the public to stay in office or to keep their jobs and then hope that their promises "fade" away. Don't count on the Journal Star to reveal these missed projections. They don't want to kill the next big tax-collecting project that may be seen on a referendum early in 2009.

Make sure you know all the facts like seeing an operating statement. If it says "operating costs are projected at $4.2 million overall per year ,year after year", and overall attendance 360,000 per year, year after year. Be wary. Bet if the museum was operating in 2007, they would have missed projections over the last two years.
Then I suggest you read all my blogs titled "Missed Projections". But should you have a lot of extra money, no problem, unless Obama gets serious about "spreading the wealth". And he will as he said so again today. It's those who make a lot of money he is talking about. But I'm sure you are aware of that. That's why the "movers and shakers" are asking for more of "your" money every year after every year, till they need another expensive non-taxable enhancement project.

With all their pompousness, the PPD is actually cash strapped and should property taxes fall in this depressed economy and grant money from the State dry up, expect to see the PPD struggling to maintain the approximately 9000 acres they control, not in the least of which is erosion control and the further amount of topsoil being added to our river every day.

Dream big the "movers ans shakers" tell everybody? Evidently too many people did as encouraged. Look at the mess this country is in. And the "recession" hasn't even hit Peoria. Yet. And remember, all these things are good for you. Takes you off your couch and on your feet. I agree. Where I differ is how we are going to keep paying after the glow has worn off. And pay for all the priorities on the drawing boards like improving our infrastructure, like $100-300 million dollars in sewer line replacements. And $27 million for libraries? And $120 million for new schools. Just to mention a few priorities.

The moral of all this? Never dream beyond your ability to afford to pay for what you commit and count on severe dips in the (your) economy or maybe just read more factual stuff and just, occasionally, authors like Fannie Flagg or Carl Hiaassen.


Anonymous said...

You are an idiot and an asshole.

Anonymous said...

And the wicked take the truth to be hard!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous number really think Merle Widmer's blog speaks the truth!? You must be dumber than him.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:24 am --- And what documents can you produce to show us that Merle is not speaking the truth? Go with Merle to the PPD and have a meeting with Jan B. to review the PPD financials --- just as Merle states.

The Riverplex has never broken even let alone made a profit as projected and 'promised' by Mr. Cassidy. No ball fields have been done as promised. The zoo was not to be built until all the money was raised upfront, oops, another broken promise and so it goes on and on.

So, give Merle some documents which support your position that Merle is not telling the truth, otherwise you are just blowing smoke. Anonymous #2

Merle Widmer said...

Anonymous #1 & 3, I'll leave your comment stand. You could be one of the several overpaid PPD employees.

Prove any part of my blog wrong. You won't because you can't. Detail it like I do. You nor any one else.

Hey, anony, at least I am not a coward. You attack my person, not what I say and don't wan't it known who you are. Others post anonymously and speak the truth. I have no problem with that.

Drop by sometime, day or night and call me those words from your "limited vocabulary, you've posted the same comment many times), call them to my face.