Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Peoria's New City Manager - Scott Moore

Welcome to the City of Peoria, Scott Moore. Like all city manager's before you, your work is cut out. The Journal Star headline calls you a "team player". In all my years of seeing City managers come and go, I suggest that if Peoria Mayors continue to be the team leader and you join us as a "team player", the game of who will next fill the "musical chairs (city managers) will continue.

Peoria County has had the same "manager" for almost nine years and most likely he will stay longer and we want him to stay. The board chairman and board sets policy and our administrator (manager) advises the strength and weaknesses of the policies we outline. Then our administrator leads the way knowing he will not always be 100% right and will seldom be able to please ALL.

Of course we need team players but at all times governmental bodies similar to the private sector, badly need team "leaders" who earn the respect of the "team". To come to Peoria with an open mind, an open heart and an open door policy, inviting community partners to city discussions, reaching out to neighborhood association leaders, etc. That makes good sound bites but sounds too similar to what all your predecessors said. They came and left.

This community is looking for a leader that can lead while placating, and yes, listening to) the many strong ego's who believe that only they and those that agree with them, know what is best for the citizens of Peoria.

What we need most are businesses that come and stay. We are on overload with taxpayer funded enhancements that attract people to come visit and but live elsewhere, most often; nearby.

Observe well, be a good listener and take the lead to right this debt-laden "tilting ship".

Our best wishes to you and as a county board member and former businessman, I look forward to your leadership towards more unified. efficient and fiscally responsible local government.

In closing, I quote our last City Manager, Randy Oliver, when he was hired in 2003. "We're (he and his family) looking for someplace that we're going to stay for a long period of time. we're looking for a right fit and this place looks like a right fit. I think the cultural amenities are great. The next part that has to go hand in hand with that is the residential and commercial development".

We have the cultural amenities. Or as much as the private sector seems to want to commit as the museum seems to have gotten water-logged down by the river. The residential appears to mainly move OUT. North, NorthWest and across the river. The commercial development; I'll leave to the judgement of the reader. And Randy Oliver left in four years.

Strong leaders in both the public and private sector are in demand. This community, I hope, is looking for a strong leader. If you are it, I hope the council, mayor and the voter, recognizes our need for your leadership.

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