Monday, July 27, 2009

Jeff Kickiss's LTE, 7/25/09, to the JSEB

Jeff says, "City/County Cooperation Needed More Than Ever". With both entities running deficits now and more than likely later, Jeff couldn't be more right.
Both the County and the City need boards and council members to ask more questions of those elected and appointed than are being asked. The voter has to get off his or her butt, study the real issues, get better suited people to sit as directors of this combined more than a quarter billion dollar spending machine and convince those elected that they should not be in the venture capital business, they should streamline operations regardless of affiliations of any type, union positions that are not in the overall best interests of the citizens and to stop building up more debt for present and future Peoria County residents.

Easy questions. Does the county need all the elected positions? My view as a third term member of the County Board, no.

Should the county board put the property tax payers in debt $75, plus and plus, million dollars for a nursing home that they and administration have mis-managed for more than a decade? I'd be happy to review the records with any who doubt the veracity of this statement. The answer, if all the facts were publicly known should have been no.

Should the election commissions be combined? A no-brainer as one prominent politician said to me at Beachler's Service Station yet later denied he said that. Unfortunately, I am not seeking re-election and am not politically correct. It was and is a no-brainer, yes.

Should the city get in the hotel business more than they are? In my opinion, they ought to be trying to get out of backing the Marriott deal with tax-payer dollars to the tune of maybe $40 million. Should the county get out of the messy museum business, which they are planning to get in?

Should the city send 5 fire trucks and official vehicles to a false alarm Saturday at Glen Oak Zoo? The ladder truck turned around and went back before entering the already clutter Glen Oak Park. A ladder truck to the zoo??? Not unusual, if you pay attention. But better to be safe than sorry. That's why the city is building libraries (indirectly) instead of safety and infrastructure. The public library system has there own bureaucracy.

Administrations tout the things City and County have combined on. Some no-brainers over half a century.

One County board members say I am mis-leading the citizenry when no new taxes are being planned for the new Bel-Wood, $41 million and counting of which we supposedly have all of $3 million on hand. New taxes? The old direct taxes, the referendum taxes that a mis-led public voted for in 2003 will rise from $1.7 million in 2008, double from 2003, to $4.5 million by 2042-3 and indirect property taxes will rise from $1.2 million in 2008 to who can guess but likely to be at least another $4.5 million a year. The first figure is from our financial officer who has yet to give me a guess-estimate on what these indirect taxes will be yearly by 2042.

29 politicians who are not spending much of their own money but know how to wisely spend a quarter billion a year and growing.

Cooperation, I haven't seen much lately. Do not get your expectations up, folks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How about Kevin Lyon's witchhunt of police officers. The 3 officer's currently on administrative leave without pay will be proven innocent as they did their job and had to fight a drug dealer who was actively resisting arrest. But consider the money involved now. The city has to hire overtime to fill those 3 officer's vacancies at time and a half. A Peoria officer's salary is on average 60k a year not counting overtime. Those three vacancies will cost the city 90k per officer to fill per year. For one year, the city will spend $270,000 in unnecessary overtime. The officers when they are aquitted or dismissed will be owed back pay to the time they were put on administrative leave per contract with the city. So those officers will be paid their 60,000 each. So another $180,000 with $270,000. And the city will be liable for those officer's attorney's fees since it was on the job and in the course of their duties. This doesn't even take into account the county's cost, if this goes on for multiple years since Lyons' is trying to defeat a 40 yr old Supreme Court case Gerrity Vs. New Jersey, or subsequent civil suits from the officers following the end of the criminal trial. What if Lyon's goes after more officers since he's still throwing his tantrum from the police unions not supporting him in the election? This is the tip of the iceberg for unnecessary and wasteful spending in this incident.