Monday, November 30, 2009

Boys and Girls Club Grinnell Location

Just an update on the request for funds for a new roof on the Boys and Girls Club owned building at the Grinnell location. This building has been closed since May 1. 2007 yet was advertised as being open as late as May 2008 issue of IB, pages 42 and 43. The building is currently used by RiverCity Construction as they build Harrison School.

The Grinnell location was closed on May 1, 2007, according to then President Larry Dunn, "because the gangs had taken over the buildings activities and the club could not afford a security officer."

I sent this email to City Manager Scott Moore, Councilman Clyde Gulley and Mayor Ardis. Taxpayer dollars are being requested to re-roof the Grinnell Boys and Girls Club location, closed since May 1, 2007 and currently being used as a site for RiverCity Construction as they build the new Harrison School.

Before advising the City Council for more misguided use of taxpayer dollars, I recommend you read my blogs, "Boys and Girls Club" and "Boys and Girls Club Revisited", dated 6/4/07 and 6/7/07, easily found on my sidebar archives,. Plus my comments on C.J. Summers blog site last week, "The Peoria Chronicle". The Peoria Chronicle blogger is now covering City Council Meetings.

Mr. Moore, being new in town you will learn that local bloggers are very active in bringing debatable issues to the fore front.

To find by blog site just dial in Merle Widmer on your search bar and it will take you to Merle Widmer Peoria Watch.

Thank you.


Not Enough Things to do in the Community? You're Kidding!

A note to my good friends and supporters in Central Illinois:
Well, alright! We've all nearly made it to the end of 2009 and we have time to gather together once more before the calendar turns over. I hope you can join the fellows and me at one of our gigs this weekend (before the total madness of the holidays takes over!!!) and raise a glass to friendship, music, and happiness. We will be beating it 8 to the bar this Thursday, December 3rd at Basta O'Neill's Restaurant on Cummings Lane in Washington, IL from 6 - 9pm - and a hearty THANK YOU to Bill and Kathy Backes for having the Larry Harms Trio and myself all year at the restaurant. We can't help but feel welcomed and appreciated every time we play there...and we're looking forward to more. On Friday, December 4th, we'll be at the Rhythm Kitchen at 305 SW Water Street in Peoria from 8 - 11pm. The band will be Larry Harms (p), Cory Flanigan (d), and Mike Nellas (b) and of course, I'll be singing and swinging too. The lineup will be the same on Saturday, December 5th at Swinger's on Cross Creek Drive in the All Seasons Entertainment Center from 8 - 11pm - and if you are one of our peeps in Bloomington-Normal, we hope you can make that scene so we can toast our Twin City friends.
The group will be taking a break in January, but will return in February 2010 with a whole new season and more wonderful tunes from way back when. No matter what the calendar says, this music stays relevant and exciting and interesting and important - and we thank you, you, YOU for supporting it and us.
With warm wishes and hopes that the best of the season surrounds you,

A Good Democrat

Unfortunately, too many Republicans are trying to fit the role of a staunch Democrat. Bring on more Independents, Joe Lieberman's, Zell Miller's, moderate conservative Republicans and Tea Party people.


Subject: 21 Ways to Be a Good Democrat
1. You have to be against capital punishment, but support abortion on demand.
2. You have to believe that businesses create oppression, and governments create prosperity.
3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than U.S. nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese and North Korean communists.
4. You have to believe that there was no art before federal funding.
5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical changes in the earth's climate and more affected by soccer moms driving SUV's.
6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial, but being homosexual is natural. (Lesbians, too?)
7. You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.
8. You have to believe that the same teacher who can't teach 4th-graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.
9. You have to believe that hunters don't care about nature, but loony activists, who have never been outside of San Francisco , do.
10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.
11. You have to believe that any criticism of Bush is fair & justified, but any criticism of Obama is racist.
12. You have to believe the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.
13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.
14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington.
15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides are not.
16. You have to believe that Hillary Clinton & Nancy Pelosi are women to be admired, but Condi Rice should be ignored as an example to young women.
17. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried is because the right people haven't been in charge.
18. You have to believe that conservatives who tell the truth belong in jail, but liars and sex offenders belong in the White House.
19. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag, transvestites, and bestiality should be constitutionally protected, while manger scenes and angels at Christmas should be illegal.
20. You have to believe that illegal Democratic Party funding by the Chinese Government is somehow in the best interest to the United States .
21. You have to believe that this message is a part of a vast, right wing conspiracy.

Monday, November 23, 2009

WSJ Caterpillar Update

"Caterpillar Inc. said sales continue to tumble in October, dimming optimism that demand for construction machinery is improving with the uptick in the economy.

The Peoria, Il., company said world-wide machinery sales for the three months ended in October fell 50% from a year ago earlier, compared with a 52% decline for the three months ended in September.

Three months sales in North America were down 58% through October, while sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, declined 53%.

Latin America sales fell 41%, while sales in the Asia-Pacific region slipped 36%, slightly better than the 40% decline reported in September."

Source WSJ, 11/20/09.

Did anyone see this information posted in the JS? If so, I missed it. If not, why not? Seems if this is Wall Street Journal news about our local Caterpillar Hdqrts., it should be .........

Journal Editorial Board Cartoons

For a long time I have read the highly biased cartoons in the JS without commenting. The last two have really raised my ire. Despite the fact that we are giving civilian court trials to the the murderers of 9/11/09, the JSEB continues to doublespeak as they did under the Manz-Drake regime. "We were for it before we were against it before we supported it". They should show some shame by showing the last two cartoons appearing on the editorial page in a paper becoming so devoid of meaningful content. And so few meaningful local news that they may soon deliver the paper to subscribers with a single small rubber band even with the Observer included.

I had a conversation with the "person-in-charge" of a well-known public body recently who said "the only way she and her employees could find out what was going on was to follow the media and you know we don't know what we read and hear is the truth."

Well said.

The absurd cartoon of Representative Aaron Schock showing his efforts to learn more about the "would be president-for-life Zelaya" and Schock's seeking justification to support the apparently legitimate current Honduras government, shows the ignorance of the left-leaning newspaper editors and their "stong" support of Obama, their subtle support of Castro and Chavez and the "Obama can do no wrong" cartoonist. If the "cartoonists" crude grade school drawings can be called cartoons. The JSEB recent Editorial about the U.S. returning to "the rule of law" as a civilized country compares to the O.J. Simpson "rule of law" farce verdict. (I can't read the ignorant cartoonist's scribbled name but I do know he must come cheap. And I know the JSEB occasionally puts in a conservative cartoon and publishes a conservative LTR.)

Following the dictum of the JS, this country is rapidly "leaning" to becoming a pacifist, socialist, "civilized country", to later become part of a "one world government" led by perhaps the ilk of Chavez and possibly Obama; who knows exactly where he is heading. (Think the U.N.) Despite the false readings of the stock market, if we don't find a conservative, realistic leader we can elect to replace Obama by 2014, the country our service heroes fought for died for and were maimed for, will become a country many of then might not have "bravely or scared to death" sacrificed their lives and health to defend the freedoms for the mis-taken ideology "of why can't we all just lay down our weapons and just get along?"

Today's media reports that the 9/11 murderer wants to plead guilty so he and those who follow him to trial, can have a world side audience to brag and explain why they were only able to kill a minimum of 3000 innocent people and more if the actions of heroes who love our country hadn't destroyed the killers and themselves in a field in Pennsylvania. Holder and company says they won't be able to use his trial as a propaganda podium.

We will see. Why do you think Obama is going around the world apologizing to those who have used our country for their own gains? Sure, we realized many gains also. But this administration appears bent on destroying these gains.

The U.S must hold itself up as a beacon to the world as a civilized country? Sure we're civilized. We are the leading nation in incarecerated per capita. And still lead most countries in crimes committed. Obama and Holder must sleep with a smile on their faces. Smiling also, is Osama, Muhammad up in heaven with his millions of virgins, all the terrorists and soon to be terrorists and Khalid Mohammed.

Back to the cartoonist. He is a "cheap shot crude cartoonist". And left-leaning newspapers constantly print far-left leaning columnists; racists would be a better term for some, like Robinson, Pitts, and occasionally Dionne and locally, Adams. The paper tries to show it is fair and balanced by occasionally printing Goldberg and Krauthammer, two of the most realists conservative columnists widely published today and a few realistic cartoons. But most of the rest of the conservatives are gone from the JSEB.

Fortunately, someone writes a sensible letter to the editor such as Mike Bigger, of Wyoming to offset a barrage of sheer stupidity as written by the likes of Mark Haggis of Pekin who may or may not understand that Obama is left-leaning therefore decrying the ouster of Zelaya. Despite the fact that the Zelaya ouster was supported by "every institution of the Honduran civil society, his own party, the Catholic church, included Zelaya's revocation of the U.S. visas of the members of the Honduran Supreme Court and his threat not to recognize the constitution of his own country?"

Thanks to Howard F. Jaeckel, of New York and his LTE in the WSJ on 10/21/09.

On 10/09/09, one of my most favorite columnists, Mary Anastasia O'Grady, wrote in the WSJ about the Zelaya government and it's supporters, "Revolutionary Anti-Semitism", quoting a leading Honduran radio station broadcaster on 9/25/09, the following, "Sometimes I ask myself if Hitler wasn't right when he wanted to finish with that race, through the famous Holocaust, because if there are people that are harmful in this country, they are the Jew, the Israelites."

Zelaya and his ilk are hungry for power and are supported by the dangerous nut-case in Iran, Chavez, Castro and with the subtle support of our Democrat President and his administration and many members of his party.

We are living in the most dangerous times of this nation and one of the far most dangerous is the ilk of the little guy Gitmo detainee posed between the two "big" American terrorists, one probably an illegal criminal we taxpayers support, in the absurd cartoon.

The cartoon today showing the terrorist as the 'little' Muslim killer alongside big imprisoned brutes, many of them illegal immigrants, with the citizens described as fear mongers.

The JSEB should know that their paper, often called the 'urinal" Star creates about as much terror as to their position on local and world events as some of the terror caused by prisoners incarcerated in our jail and prison systems. Years ago the JS was accused by a local family of causing one family member to commit suicide because of the daily hammering of this person by this newspaper. How many more have been driven out of their minds and out of the community because of vicious attacks by this near bankrupt (Gateway, who owns them) and shrinking in meaningful content, news media?

Never once has the JSEB praised any of my accomplishments without adding the word "but".

I know the JS can and do, bury me in barrels of ink; they buy a lot less these days, but they will never silence me. Even though they tried to stop my being elected to public office; I ran for an office or position 9 times and was elected 7 times; four of the campaigns in which I spent no money. My name still appears on a prominent home office based company, a company I founded with 2 employees, in 1964.

See my next blog on a subject the JS evidently found not worthy to print.

Thank you, my readers, and I only wish I had the health and energy to write more than I do. "We find comfort in those who agree with us-growth among those who don't."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Another Good Opinion to Pass Along.

M. J. is my intelligent daugthter.

This is probably nothing new but the more time passes with the current players in government, the more I am leaning towards the below suggestions. I am hopeful though that voters will do a bit of homework and not simply vote against incumbents but vote for people based on where they stand on important issues as well as how they have comported themselves (character- values) and where applicable, how they have voted/sponsored legislation. It is important not to get hung up on single emotional issues rather than looking at the big picture. Political hot buttons target our emotions, both sides are guilty of using this methodology. I believe we tend to get worked up and hung up by single issue distortion making our ability to look at the overall big picture clearly difficult. When reason and logic are hijacked by vague implications, as a single motivational issue (healthcare etc.), it is urgent as voters we open our eyes and consider the wider viewpoint. A democratic republic working on majority rules stands still without reasonable compromise, as citizens we are responsible to vote wisely.

Just some thoughts,



Subject: FW: Suggestion for a peaceful purge - please forward

Subject: Suggestion for a peaceful purge - please forward

A friend sent this thoughtful piece and asks that you read it, and, if you agree, forward it widely - - -


"All I ask is that you consider the suggestion here.

"The entire Congress of the United States is corrupt. And I mean both Houses, and I mean both major parties.

"I realize that a few Members of each House are trustworthy, but, as a group they are absolutely the most corrupt bunch to ever disgrace our Nation.

"In November of 2010 the entire House of Representatives will stand for re-election; all 435 of them. One third of the Senate, a total of 33 of them, will also stand for re-election. Vote every incumbent out.

"And I mean every one of them. No matter their Party affiliation. Let's start all over in the House of Representatives with 435 people who have absolutely no experience in running that body, with no political favors owed to anyone but their own constituents. Let's make them understand that they work for us. They are answerable to us and they simply have to run that body with some common sense.

"Two years later, in 2012, vote the next third of the incumbents in the Senate out.

"We can do the same thing in 2014 and, by that time we will have put all new people in that body as well.

"We, the People, have got to take this Country back and we HAVE to do it peacefully.

"That's what the Framers of our Constitution envisioned."

I am also suggesting term limits on the new bunch: 8 years for Representatives and 12 years for Senators; no exceptions. The longer they stay in office, the more power they get, and they love it and will do anything to get re-elected.

We have term-limited the President, now let's term-limit the Legislators.

Please, if you love this Country, send this (as I have done) to absolutely everyone whose email address appears in your address book.

This thing can permeate this Country in no time. Let's make it happen.

Don't just delete this - please pass it on and give our Country a fighting chance.




Hotmail: Trusted email with Microsoft's powerful SPAM protection. Sign up now.

To Good an Opinion to Pass Up

This is from an article in the St. Petersburg, FL Times Newspaper on Sunday.

The Business Section asked readers for ideas on "How Would You Fix the Economy?"

I think this guy nailed it!

Dear Mr. President:

Please find below my suggestion for fixing America's economy.

Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force.

Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings - Unemployment fixed.

2) They MUST buy a new American car. Forty million cars ordered - Auto Industry fixed.

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing Crisis fixed.

It can't get any easier than that!

If more money is needed, have all members of Congress pay their taxes....

If you think this would work, please forward to everyone

Monday, November 16, 2009

Merle's Musings

The news media reported today that "GM Plans to Repay U.S. Loan". Good news, right? Well, not so fast, read on, "The carmaker plans to use other money (OPM) it received from the government to pay back the borrowing."

Sorry, GM, my daughter just bought a Ford product, I drive a Ford product and when my wife trades in her auto, it WILL NOT BE FOR A GM PRODUCT.


In the JSEB critical editorial of the the city, the mention the not even underway new hotel while not even mentioning the well=underway, financially unfunded Peoria Riverfront Museum. Nor do they mention the "can't fail" U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington that has lost money 35 or the 36 months it has been open. Bloomington now faces a massive debt payable for years and years into the future and has a great possibility of putting their bond ratings in jeopardy.

Can you guess why the JSEB is not mentioning the Coliseum? Throw in the Peoria Baseball Club and their inability to turn a profit since 1994, at least, for this stockholder, look at the underfunded PRM with an endowment of only $1.5 million in the bank (JS - Nov. 7, 2009) out of a promised $5 million of an actual need of $7 to $14 million and the answer why not, is easy. 360,000 (Methodist CEO Michale Bryant said expect 400,000) yearly paying attendees to the area, $14 million in new business (per two Bradley professors) a discount of 15% on galleria visits promised to Peoria County residents, out of town visitors will pay the sales tax also so why the discrimination?, a parking garage (pay to park as opposed to free parking at Lakeview) as yet unfunded, an environmental impact study not yet completed, $80 some million borrowed money on "projected" sales tax revenue over a period of 20 years, no contract as yet worked out with the county and no news of any contract with the big promised IMAX. That one is easy to figure. The money has yet to be raised to build the $78 million museum building.

Waiting for more PUBLIC TAX DOLLARS? What do you think? Trust us, the PRM Committee said, the public will only need to put up one third of the cost of the museum. Yes, Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus. Santa's living at the North Pole was the myth.

Sure and trust most governments to "balance their budgets without raising taxes." But your property VALUES will rise. Maybe not your property but just trust us.

On November 10 the JSEB warned the city not to gamble with public safety and PERCEPTIONS.


Arne Duncan on Teacher Colleges

I agree,


From the Chronicle of Higher Education, Friday, October 30, 2009, p. A18.
Duncan Urges 'Revolutionary Change' in Nation's Teacher-Training Programs

By Kelly Field

The nation's colleges of education are doing a "mediocre job" of preparing teachers for "the realities of the 21st-century classroom" and need "revolutionary change-not evolutionary tinkering," Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will say in a speech on Thursday at Columbia University's Teachers College.

In a prepared text of his speech, the secretary accuses colleges of using their schools of education as "cash cows" and "profit centers" to finance "prestigious but under-enrolled graduate departments like physics-while doing little to invest in rigorous educational research and well-run clinical testing." He calls on colleges to make student outcomes "the overarching mission that propels all their efforts."

He also criticizes states and the federal government for approving weak teacher-training programs and licensing examinations for teachers, and for failing to provide enough support for programs that provide mentors for teachers.

Good teacher-training programs, according to the secretary, are "coherent, up-to-date," and "research-based." They should also provide students with subject mastery, prepare them to teach "diverse pupils in high-needs settings," and use data "to inform instruction."

More than half the nation's teachers graduate from a school of education. The U.S. Department of Education estimates that 220,000 students graduate from a teachers college every year.

The secretary's remarks echo criticism leveled by a former president of Teachers College, Arthur Levine, in a series of reports produced by the Education Schools Project.

Mr. Duncan also emphasized improving teacher-training programs in comments he made two weeks ago at the University of Virginia. In that speech, he praised the teaching profession but criticized the nation's colleges of education, calling them the "neglected stepchild" of higher education.


Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Merle's Musings

Financial Recovery? Why should we trust the Fed, which is enmeshed with the largest financial institutions in the country, with banks having some say in election to the boards of Regional Feds? Don't forget the the Federal Reserve is primarily responsible for the financial crisis and the subsequent recession. The Fed operates in a shroud of secrecy which conceals its internal machinations. It has little credibility with the public. No, I and the Tea Party people don't trust the Fed, either.

(AP) 10/16/09 "Think Tank Calls for Center for 'Deprogramming' Extremists". A British counter-extremism tank said that prison policies are failing to stop Muslim inmates from being radicalized, and urged the government to "deprogram' extremists." It said extremist radical Muslims take five to seven years to "graduate" to violence so jails become recruiting centers to breed a new generation of terrorists. And not all of Muslim birth.

One of my acquaintances feels I shouldn't be blogging this sort of thing when here in Peoria we are all "just trying to get along" and welcoming people from all ethnic group with different mores into our community. He appears to be a well read man but I will remind him again "never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world." Unfortunately, many of these people will not be seen at American sporting events and viewing museums. No, while we play, they plot.

Dan Proft, Candidate for Governor of the State of Illinois said recently that Al Gore and other global warming activists are "kind of enviro-terrorists." Dan is my kind of leader. As my friend pointed out, we already have home grown terrorists among us so why should I discriminate against Muslim terrorists. Why, a very recent survey says that there are at least one Muslim Mosque in each state and 10 per cent of the leadership preach "death to the infidel."

Global warming? Of course, anyone who reads widely know that the world has gone through heat and cold. Approximately 10 thousand years ago, glaciers appeared as far south as directly north of Eureka, Il. Europe had an "ice age" in Medieval times.

John Dietzen, whoever he is recently wrote a LTE to the JS that the passage of a concealed-carry law would "dump tens of thousands, or millions more guns into our streets and neighborhoods." Jay Zentro of Bartonville, my kind of guy, wrote back that these guns are already out there in tens of thousands, if not millions, and are already in the hands of criminals and that tens of thousands, if not millions, are already in the hands of responsible citizens who would not dream of committing a violent crime.

With the City of Peoria cutting its police force for libraries and possibly arts programs, expect gun sales to responsible, qualified citizens to rise. My wife just bought stock in a gun company and her stock is up 10% in a week.

Sherry Cannon also wrote to the JSEB that "Peoria's Kids Deserve Educational Choices." Ms Cannon writes, "I am deeply concerned with the level of learning in our inner city schools." She wants to learn more about charter schools. Charter teachers talk about how their job is more rewarding because they are given the freedom to teach, how invested they were in the success of their students and that administration does not keep bad teachers." Right, on Ms. Cannon.

Charter or private school kids are in a learning environment, not distracted by disciplinary problems, drastic adherence to inclusion, and not restricted to hours in teaching and learning situation. Parent conferences are usually held on Saturdays or at times when employed parents can attend.

I am not sold on the Charter School being discussed for the Peoria #150 area because the union, the school board and current administration would be too much involved. We have people with lots of money to spend on enhancements in Peoria, surely they could get the state to grant a private charter to Peoria. They can't, you say. Why not, Oh, just like Chicago, the unions don't want THAT type of competition and by staying in the #150 district, they can get the state to largely fund the charter school. Oh, I see.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Government Insanity? Get Used to it.

Didn't think so!

Bottom line. We've spent several hundreds of billions of dollars in support of an agency ... the reason for which not one person who reads this can remember!

Ready?? It was very simple ... and, at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate.

The Department of Energy was instituted on 8-04-1977. TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.

Hey, pretty efficient, huh???



Ah, yes -- good ole bureaucracy.

And, NOW, we are turning the banking system, HEALTH CARE, maybe the insurance industry and the auto industry over to the same Government?

Is this insanity or what?

What do you think ?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

All Politicians Are Socially Liberal?

Mark Steyn writes in the National Review, "The reality is that almost every 'socially liberal, fiscally conservative' politician turns out to be fiscally liberal--in the same way that, if you mix a half pint of ice cream with half pint of horse manure, it's not hard to figure which taste will predominate."

A lot of voters want it both ways which is why "fiscal" is not a usual word in this context. Big government is not primarily a "fiscal" issue as so many of these "socially liberal" programs are unaffordable; they are unaffordable because they are wrong---they are not the proper role of government, and if you pretend they are you unbalance the relationship between the citizen and the state.

No government can guarantee universal homownership, or absurd returns on mediocre assets as a permanent feature of life. And to attempt to do so is to strip language of meaning. You're debauching the currency--not in the "fiscal" exchange-rate nickel-'n-dime sense but something more profound: the very currency of liberty--property, contract, citizenship, responsibility.

These excerpts are taken from a synopsis by Mr. Steyn from an the article in the Times of London, "Arnie Schwarzenegger Joins the Ranks of Girlie Men" and the "Antacus" effort Arnie has made by evolving into such a social-liberal that he has involved the State of California in so many programs that government should not be involved in, that now the state is a foldin' state-going out of business state.

Even Antacus, though he could slay all comers--as long as his feet were planted firmly on the ground but as Hercules figured out, get him up in the air, unmoored, unrooted and he turned into a big sack of nothing. Pretty much where the State of California and Arnie are right now.

Sound like our socially overextended and semi-corrupt state of Illinois? Sure does to me. How about a another 10 million from the state for our MUSEUM? Maybe the state will bail out the Coliseum, some officials in Bloomington hope so.

Hey, elected officials, everything is important to some one so let's fund all requests. Just turn the country into one big commune. Appears that's where the whole country is heading.

U.S. Government Money Pits

How much can the federal government throw down the housing money-pit in one day? Around $26 billion as Congress approved more tax breaks for home buyers last Thursday as the governments love affair with Fannie Mae continues. This mistress asked her lovers for another $15 billion to stay solvent. But take heart, Fannie promises them that one of its objectives is "protecting the interests of taxpayers." (Source WSJ)


Tax payer ignorance is bliss. But Congress had better learn that most of America is not in the traditional blissful mood these days. All politicians lie when making promises they know they cannot keep. Maybe the traditional "blissful" taxpayer is taking notes and names.

I hope so.

Exuberance - Maybe It's All Irrational

Maybe Alan Greenspan didn't take it far enough. A salesman looking to close a deal should do his of her best to induce a warm wave of good feelings. Remember, a happy customer is a rather less critical customer. Still, there is argument that sadness is always the right mood for the task at hand. "Positive mood seems to promote creativity, flexibility, cooperation and reliance on mental shortcuts. But when attention is to detail and gimlet-eyed appraisals are critical, the grumps have it."

Bliss, you could say, is ignorance. These gems of wisdom were taken from Eric Felten, WSJ

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I 'Wished' I Wasn't in Bloomington, Bloomington, Tonight!

Old Memories. Many memories we would all like to forget.

Some one posted a comment on one of my blogs on impending financial problems incurred by 4, "we know more than you dummies", Bloomington City Council members and one really smart Mayor who cast the 5th and deciding vote to build a Coliseum the public really did not want. I'm going to quote you some headlines and timelines from the Bloomington Pantagraph that a few of you may want to pass on to the ruling class of Peoria:

December, 9, 2001 - "Bloomington Approves Downtown Arena, Mayor Markowitz casts the deciding vote". Mayor Markovitz: "I am proud to vote yes. I don't think there is any good reason why we should not build this. We looked it over and over." Said Alderman Rich Veitengruber, "I spend a lot of time with my kids going to Peoria. I'd rather spend the time in Bloomington.

August 10, 2004 - "Bloomington OK's price for new arena. The city council approved a locked-in price of $30.2 million which does not include parking. The price is up $1.8million projected by city officials a year ago."

February 2, 2005 _ "The City Council learned Monday that $528,650 is all that is left of a $1 million state grant to help pay for for infrastructure in down-town Bloomington related to the arena.

March 26, 2006 - "Building a Coliseum". "People said , we don't need it. We don't want it and people won't come or the citizens of Bloomington. Once they get in the Coliseum, I think the attitudes will change. It is a beautiful facility," said Mayor Judy Markovitz. "It's more than people expected. We're living up to the commitment we made about a variety of entertainment", said City Manager Tom Hamilton. (Is he still City Manager?)

"The coliseum is being paid for by city-issued bonds, not by raising taxes", said Mayor Markovitz. (Is she still Mayor? No, she is gone.)

April 2, 2006 - "Coliseum debut a dream come true". "It was incredible to see all the people", facility security guard Tom Selberg said. "The Coliseum is a good shot in the arm. We definitely need it." The contractor said he was thrilled, "I can't tell you how thrilled". (If he has been paid, I'll bet he's thrilled?)

April 13, 2007 - "Coliseum lost $1.8 million its first year."

May 7, 2007 - "Bloomington Looks to Cover Arena (Coliseum) Losses." (Markovitz is gone) "Mayor Steve Stockson and the council agreed that a tax increase would be a last resort", the Coliseum had a loss of $2.5 million last year and predicts a $1.6 million deficit this year." Stockton said initial estimates projected the museum would generate a $765,000 profit this year.

July 8, 2007 - Pantagraph com/articles: "Nobody listened." "Blame the past administration". "Tear it down and build a racetrack." Let those who profit from the Coliseum, pay for it: those who use it pay for it." Raise the ticket prices." 'It's never going to work, so how much longer is this going to go on before it's admitted." "I'm glad I live in Normal and won't be bailing out this "white elephant." "What would it cost to lock the doors." This two I like. "By the way... how is the culture center doing?" "What part of blatant lies to the entire city do you not understand?"

And out of the 50 or so comments to the Pantagraph web site, this is best: "I don't care how much the arena has lost. I want entertained."

On August 8, 2004, the Pantagraph Editorial Board Wrote. " No one held accountable for added costs of arena. We are now told that the price will be $37 million. The additional cost was sprung on the City Council during a Monday night work session." Other comments in the editorial like "poor planning, underestimated costs, holes in the project, once financing costs are added the actual cost will be around $74 million."

Now we have learned that the arena lost money 35 months out of the 36 months it has been open. We learn the taxpayers are on the hook and the City manager doesn't have much of a clue as to what to do. The cities bond rating is being affected negatively because the arena deficits are being paid out of the General Fund.

Former Caterpillar Manager Mark Johnson, now an employee of Peoria County and liaison between all the groups, city, county, the original museum committee and Caterpillar, said in a talk to the Noon Optimist Club that the $78 million plus many millions in interest on the bonds, Peoria museum project was a "mess". A very reliable source told me that one of the major museum pushers "never attended a committee meeting."

I know that the museum pushers are going to say "but we are different than what is happening in Bloomington". Somewhat true, the arena debt is financed by bonds and the PRM building will be financed by a 20 year sales tax. However, bonds will need to be sold to build the structure. The sales tax will cover principal and interest on the bonds. From that point on, it is my studied opinion, there is little difference. Peoria County so far has had to make up deficits from the General Fund. Peoria City is far deeper in debt than Peoria County and has a less bright future especially if the tax payer supported bonded, General Obligation, ($39+ million) hotel deal goes through and doesn't perform as PROJECTED.

I have said wake up Peoria, so many times that it bores me. Maybe reading this will bore you too.

I hope not. I part with a well known quote. "The first thing you do when you find yourself in a deep hole is to stop digging. You also need to stop denying just how deep the hole is."

Peoria leadership has yet to acknowledge any mistakes they made. Past leaders like Ex-Mayor Grieves, Riverplex pusher, museum pusher, ball park pusher, Gateway building pusher, One Technology Center, and maybe Cubs Food pusher. Bud's restaurant attempt in Banner failed as per the JS today.

We would hear of a lot more failures if it weren't for government subsidies and entitlements with taxpayer dollars. All this government giving must be paid back someday by guess who, the taxpayers, many of them willing to pay. Most are not.

PRM Correction

The article in the JS I attributed to Karen McDonald, "Fund Raising Not Over Yet" (for the museum) was written by Scott Hillyard and Andy Kravetz, not Ms. McDonald. My boo-boo, Karen and I deeply apologize to Ms. McDonald.

As to funds lurking in the stimulus bill for the garage, it is my belief that these tax dollars are just waiting for the City of Peoria to turn over the land where the underground garage will be built to the County. The County of Peoria is waiting for the PRM Committee to raise the money promised to the County Board.

Let me count. They have been trying to raise this money for years turning to Peoria County in desperation, yes desperation because the state and feds didn't have the money to contribute and the "big hitters" wallets suddenly closed up.

One source of raising the missing money is to ask the 14,000 plus people who voted for the sales tax to build the museum, to contribute only $500 each one time, and presto, $7,000,000 would be raised, stimulus money (taxpayer dollars) could be released, construction on the garage, counting $3.6 million of taxpayer dollars set aside from the 2006 or 2007 Highway Bill, could begin.

After all, the museum building was only going to cost $17 per person or $85 for a family of five each year for 20 years or $1,700. So what's an extra one time contribution of $500 for the yes voters?

So simple.

Or combined with one local persons money; one who owns 1,000,000 shares of his companies $50 a share stock; current value $50+ million, could part with just $5 million of his money, the sooner construction of anything could begin. Or of course, the CEO Roundtable, who promised a bunch of money and so far has reneged on $6 million of the promise, who may be waiting until government tax credits to become available, stop waiting and kick in the missing 6 mil...

Meanwhile, I drove some roads in the City today that will need to be closed if we have a winter of hard freezes and thaws. I drove by a huge pile of dirt where an under-utilized library expansion is going to cost half a million more because some board members didn't have the common sense to see if there were any dead bodies buried where they were going to build and I drove by a new library under construction in an UNUSUAL location out along Rt. 6, and yes, Rt. 6 in places will be a mess if repairs work doesn't start soon, with the good news the library tax hasn't yet shown up on your property tax bills.

Priorities, you know.

And, would it surprise some of my readers, to know that the PRM Committee failed to do a proper environmental study where the proposed museum is to be built??

I'll close with a quotation "If you are not invited to the table, you are probably on the menu" and one by Cicero, " It is true that one falsehood leads easily to another".

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Peoria Riverfront Museum - Big Lies, Etc.?

In a conversation with my County Administrator, Patrick Urich, this evening I was informed by Mr. Urich that JS Reporter McDonald wrote "The county has the legal authority to raise as much as $40 million in sales taxes, and the $5.5 million difference would go a long way toward helping out with the museum's endowment." Mr. Urich said he told the reporter that $5.5 million would go toward "construction' of the museum building, not the endowment.

This is what I have always interpreted what Mr. Urich was saying when he said the county board had voted to cap the sales tax money at $40 million for the museum building.

The PRM Committee has promised to raise a sufficient endowment anywhere from $14 million as a Committee Chairman publicized, to the $7-11 million as Peoria County Financial Officer Erik Bush told the County Board the museum would need. This money was to come from the private sector, not from more tax dollars.

At last report, the PRM had set aside less than $2 million for the required endowment.

Republican Wins on the East Coast

"If Republicans, in their exuberance, think that they can just stand on the side and yell "over here" to Independents, Independent Republicans and to an angry herd (think Tea Party Patriots) and 'We've had enough of over-taxing and over-spending and our concerns being ignored by much of our elected bodies': active groups like (Peoria 9/12 Project), (Campaign for Liberty) and dozens of other angry groups looking for a leader, the Republican party will be trampled in the stampede", so wrote citizen Peter Phelan of Charlottesville, Va on 10/20/09 in the WSJ.

"Gloom Spreads on Economy, but GOP Doesn't Gain", wrote Jonathan Wiseman of a poll results that can be found online at The poll reflects increasing pessimism, with a majority saying U.S. is on the 'wrong track' for he first time in Obama presidency. The survey was of 1009 Americans was conducted from Oct. 22-25. The survey found the country in a decidedly negative mood. 58% say the slide still has a way to go back to the level expressed in July.

But a dark national view of how everybody in Washington is conducting the public business appears to be preventing Republicans from benefiting from concerns about the direction of the country or the Democrat-led government handling of the economy. The minority party generally benefits from actions not acceptable to a disappointed, angry or a dissatisfied populace.

It is a sad joke on the country that so many left leaning liberals think that the country "just won't accept a black man as president". It is the policies being set daily by most members of the present administration who seem to overt desire to take from the rich and give to the poor making the poor and somewhat poor dependent on a governmental communal type of society, that are making a usually silent group, angry. Or setting socialistic policies that cloud the issues of what is good for the general populace.

While color may still cloud some people's mind they come from the ignorant class to be found in all colors. shapes and sizes. And some prejudice exuded toward certain ethnic groups. Ignorant people or apathetic people abound in this both poor, middle class and "affluent" society. And forget victimization. It gets to be a lamer and lamer excuse. It happens to all at some points in their lives. Give each other a break.

The new Peoria City Manager who I met yesterday is an example of a man hired for his potential capabilities to bring fiscal responsibility to the cities fathers.

I will end this blog on the subject. The Republican Party had many years of power where they too could have made better policy positions. Locally, some Republicans are running on the same old theme. Let's blame everything on the Democrats.

Sorry, these are not the words the "angry people" want to hear. Given time, these angry people will be heard. Maybe the party of which I am a "Conservative" member like Johan Goldberg (see his column in the JS today, "Conservatives just want a turn", and Conservative Republican candidate for Governor, Dan Proft, will find out a way to reach these angry people.

ObamaCare Confession

"The U.S. is making a costly and open-ended commitment. Let's not pretend that it isn't a big deal, or that it will be self-financing, or that it will work out exactly as planned. It won't. What is really unfolding, I suspect, is the scenario that many conservatives feared. The Obama creating a new entitlement program, which, once established, will be virtually impossible to rescind", so wrote John Cassidy, part of the left-wing stable at the New Yorker. (Source WSJ)

In other words to redistribute income by putting health-care further under government control, in the process making the middle class more dependent on bigger government. Democrats up for election would be the major beneficiaries over the long run.

No wonder so many of those who call ourselves an older breed of conservatives are upset. We know that we are being lied to about ObamaCare, and we know we are going to be stuck with the bill.

On the other hand indications are that 30% of the United States of America population is on a Socialistic bent. Maybe the sane people in our federal government can either make drastic changes to this massive bill or kill it before foisting it on a largely confused citizenry.

Very few members of the citizenry including myself, have read the bill from page 1 to the end. In many cases, it would take a bevy of lawyers to interpret it. Isn't that one of the main reasons for its mass of words? After passage, to be interpreted by lawyers who seem to dominate Congress?

Social Empathy DOMINATING the U.S.?

Forwarded to me by a friend. Please forward.

This should make a LOT of people really mad.

Subj: FW: FW: Makes no sense

an YOU understand this???









Sunday, November 08, 2009

Peoria Business Bankruptcies Upcoming?

Stay tuned. I'm not at liberty to say who but the bad news is known by many. Some government bodies may be stuck again with some unpaid bills of 6 figure size.

Maybe check Peoria Pundit for some information.

Peoria County Company Relocating

In a "Weekly Update" from our administrator, board members are advised that Kelley Iron Works is moving from Farmington Road to a location near Uftring Auto Mall in East Peoria. EDC said several sites in Peoria were examined. Peoria County does not have our own EDC. The board has considered having our own EDC but it has not appeared to be economically feasible.

Maybe someone will comment on the number and names of companies that have relocated from Tazewell County to Peoria County in the last 2 years or so.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Peoria Riverfront Museum: Big Lies, Ignorance of Facts, Huge Egos, or All Aboard the Titantic?

A document received from Lakeview Museum on October, 22, 2009, addressed to the Peoria County Administrator, indicated that only $14,244,543 has been collected out of $73,285,140 pledged to the Museum Project. Since then, $5 million was appropriated from the State of Illinois Capital Development Fund via the DNR to be given to the Peoria County for "costs associated with construction and development of the PRM."

Here are some details:

In a page titled "PMR Capital Budget - March 2008 Version"??? are conflicting figures on the underground parking facility stating "Parking Garage Costs (132 stalls), $9,272,856." Or a scaled down version minus $1,522,500". The roughly $7 1/2 million garage cost as stated by our consultant, Mark Johnson. Scaled down means what is being compromised?

Quoting from the letter, "PRM Reduced Budget w/parking $79,486,662." Continuing, "Unfunded priorities - PRM totals $13,332,249 which includes Endowment Enhancement of $7,000,000. (At one time a PRM CEO said and endowment of $14 million was sought which is probably closer to the truth. At 5% interest, an additional $700,000 would help meet operating costs deficits.

The letter also has a heading "Spend through Sept. 2009 - $3,945,766." Apparently, that amount of funds raised is already spent.

Back to the endowment. The day the PRM and County Administration gave the full Peoria County Board their proposal, the proposal on which the County Board voted 15 to 1, this proposal clearly stated that PRM would guarantee $3 million with another $2 million assumed. Later on, our County Financial Officer said the Endowment should be $7 million with $11 million preferred.

On 8/14/08, the PRM released a fact sheet in which they called for an $8 million endowment with construction starting in 2009. "Caterpillar has set a deadline of 7/1/2009, for their funding support or they will pull the plug on the project."
Also, the museum signed a letter of intent to purchase $460,000 of planetarium equipment and that grant will expire on December 31, 2009.

I have a letter from Mark Johnson, then with Caterpillar, "Representative Ray LaHood has already obtained for infrastructure (primarily parking) improvements on the block. Johnson says that $3.8 of that money is still available for the garage". The Caterpillar pledge of $1.2 million toward the garage still stands.

On 3/7/09, just 8 months ago, Brad McMillan, Chairman, Friends of Build the Block, said in the JS Spotlight "the museum is supported with 57% of private funds and in the April 2009 edition of IB, Senator Dave Koehler and Representative David Leitch were quoted "Build the block is supported with 57% in private funds" (Do I hear an echo??) Details, please, and why is so much of the private money, certainly no where close to 57%, in pledges that can be easily cancelled? And have been to the tune of $556,000 prior to June 30, 2008. Yes, that's 2008. How many pledges cancelled AFTER June 30, 2008?

John Sharp of the JS reported last year that "Kathleen Woith, a Lakeview spokesperson said for the $67 million of the $78 million needed for the museum on the "private" side has been raised."

Pray tell, where are all these "Private" funds and why does this October letter to Peoria County Administrator Patrick Urich have fund raising columns headed "Assumed", "Likely", and Exploring," the later being at the time, $17,435,500 minus the $5,000,000 announced appropriated by from the IDNR.

And lastly, today's JS, quoted Peoria County Administrator, Patick Urich, "The county has the legal authority to raise as much as $40 million in sales taxes, and the $5.5 million difference would go a long was toward helping out with the museum's endowment."


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

H1N1Peoria Update


From: Greg A Chance
Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 7:48 AM
To: Bonnie Hester; Bonnie Hester; Cartheda Welch; Dr. Ali; Dr. Baldwin; Dr. Crane; Dr. J. Crane; Dr. Jim Crane; Dr. Roehm; Dr. Trachtenbarg; Gene Petty; J. Mueller at Dr. Ali's; Lucy Gulley; N. Sullivan; Nora Sullivan; Rich Bartlow
Subject: H1N1 RESPONSE

Please be advised that the Health Department has been informed of at least one death in a Peoria area hospital for a patient that was diagnosed with the H1N1 virus. This individual did have a compromised immunity system due to underlying health conditions. We have been in communication with hospital administration staff as well as the coroner discussing the circumstances of the death and how best to release appropriate information to the public.

The Department is STILL WAITING on vaccine delivery. I have been advised that Illinois placed an order for 20,000 doses of vaccine to be shipped directly to Peoria County on 10/14/09; however, we remain at the mercy of the vaccine manufacturers. IF we do not receive vaccine by 4:00 pm today, I will have no choice but to cancel H1N1 immunization clinics scheduled for Thursday and Friday of this week.

I realize that there is a growing sense of frustration within the community regarding the lack of H1N1 vaccine immunization clinics in Peoria County. This frustration will increase in response to media coverage THAT WILL OCCUR in response to this death. However, contrary to the "conspiracy theorists", the delay in providing H1N1 vaccine clinics is due to the fact that a majority of the vaccine that PCCHD ordered was the Inactivated Vaccine in 10 dose vials. This order was placed long before anyone was told that the vaccine manufacturers were having difficulty producing that specific type of vaccine. Neighboring health departments ordered more inactivated vaccine which was more available earlier in October; however, most agencies have exhausted their current supply and are waiting on additional shipments.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions concerning the Department's H1N1 response.

Greg Chance



Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Peoria Riverfront Museum Gets More Taxpayer Dollars

It might surprise some of you to know that a Peoria County Survey showed that 65% of the citizens who answered the survey said they "somewhat or strongly oppose a sales tax increase." Well, if they were paying attention they know they got a sales tax increase in the whole of Peoria County and it kicks in Jan. 1, 2009. It will collect somewhere between $3 to $3.5 million per year for 20 years to fund public facilities of which up to $40 million will be used to fund the "building" of the Riverfront Museum.

In a mailing to all board members received Saturday, Peoria County Administrator, Patrick Urich, a strong supporter of the sales tax and supporter of Peoria County ownership of the musuem, (and a stalwart Cub fan) wrote, "Sen Koehler today successfully inserted language into an appropriation bill to grant to Peoria County $5 million to assist in the construction and development of the PRM. This will close the funding gap to assist in the construction and development of the PRM to $1.2 million to "construct" the project, but still leaves a significant gap to make the project (and the museum endowment) sustainable."

Quoting the Journal Star Editorial Board today, "a bright spot in a 'solve nothing Legislature' was a guarantee of $5 million in funds for the PRM. Those who would look at this and gripe about the state's ongoing financial woes are ultimately comparing apples with oranges an are --much like those who still want the museum project to disappear--fighting a cause lost months ago. A tiny amount of $50 million was to fund museums. Having $5 million of $30 billion of the capital construction plan to support a local project or having the $5 million spent elsewhere, is not a tough call to make from where we sit."

Overlooked in the JSEB "Our View" is that the PRM was to be funded by only 33% of taxpayer dollars, the balance of 66% was to be funded by the generosity of the private sector. If you read my previous blogs and believe PRM Committee members like Brad McMillan, who is somewhere between being on and Ethics Committee in Springfield, and trying to raise funds for the museum, "only 33%, not uncommon for museums of this type, would be taxpayer funded." (Source, Peoria County Board Minutes and public hearings)

For the actual building of the museum, 66%, not 33%, will be taxpayer funded.

So far.

Nowhere does the JSEB note that the needed endowment, somewhere between $7-14 million remains almost totally unfunded. Also, lacking is anywhere between $3 to 5$ million for the underground parking garage. The $3.8 million being held for garage construction is a gift from then U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood back in 2007 from the Highway Construction bill.

If you recall, the $6.2 million was to be raised by the CEO Roundtable. But why spend private money when the taxpayer will fund it through Leitch, Koehler, Risinger an Gordon. After all, you elected officials and CEO's, pay enough personal income taxes, right?

Look for Rep. Aaron Schock to came through with the "rest of the taxpayer money". We still have stimulus money uncommitted, I believe.

Take back as much as we can from Springfield? I have no problem with that but with all the needs in Peoria County, $5 million for a museum? I won't enumerate our needs greater than a museum; I've done that many times. Probably some have overlooked that every dollar spent on an amenity to the community can't be spent with other merchants. Neither can the $3 to $3 1/2 million sales tax be spent on merchandise either. And, yes, the last projection I have, two years old, is that the museum can operate on a $4.3 million budget, but the projection also says that even with a substantial endowment, $500,000 fund raising drives will need to be conducted each year.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but seldom have I missed on a taxpayer funded "projection". Even the zoo, while bragging about increased attendance has not yet told us about increased operating costs. Don't forget the sewer system, school bonds, library bonds, etc,. etc. etc.

And the ballpark. Remember, I'm a stockholder who has had his stock for sale for 10 years. I still own it.

Call me a sore loser which I probably am. But I never make investments without believing someones promise that I would get a return. Broken promises or projections are a dime a dozen.

America Returns to the Rule of Law

So says the JSEB Saturday. That bad guy Bush is gone and now "dedicated to kill us" people like Al-Marri, are going to be back in business in 5 years. That he will be out in 5 years? I'll take bets. Five years to win converts to his cause, subtly, of course, good behavior, you know.

Credit to Phil Luciano of the JS. He, like me and a lot of others, had the guts to tell it like it is.

I heard he was a good family man, a Muslim, who ran over and may have killed his daughter because she was becoming to "westernized"....Then, he tried to flee the U.S. Just like a lot of crooks on Wall Street. But they don't outright kill very many people. Just cause associates to take their own lives.

Federal Funds for Renovation

"New Life for Older Peoria Homes?", a column by JS reporter, Clare Howard today, says that "No final renovation costs are yet available, but if purchase and renovation of this "older home" comes to $140,000, the home could be sold for $60,000. The developer gets 10%. The buyer is getting a good deal on the home. HUD is creating affordable housing."

Somebody is getting a good deal? I'd say, more than one is getting a good deal. Was renovation bid out? Who selected the bidders doing the renovation? I don't understand this. The buyer gets the house for $80,000 less than it costs? What figure is the 10% developer fee taken from or added to? The $140,000 or $14,000 or 10% of the $60,000 or $6,000? All in the cause of "affordable" housing and keeping growth in the city??

What if the buyer borrows the, $60,000, and after a while finds out they or he can't make payments or can't afford it and maybe trashes the house on the way to eviction, does renovation start all over again? Or what happens? Who is stuck with the ownership? Of course, the legitimate property taxpayer whose taxes fund HUD.

And the "kept in the dark" taxpayer picks up the $80,000 plus the developers commission. If this is true and developers all across the county are doing this, what in the h--- is going on?? All to put another house back on the property tax list, taxes that may never be paid. And how much taxes to make up the $80,000 spread between cost of $140,000 and selling price of $60,000??

This article mentioned that "lead abatement in one closet of the $140,000 renovated home was done incorrectly". Sounds suspiciously like one of the homes where the City/County Health Department lead abatement for 241 homes averaged $12,400 per home? ($3,000,000 divided by 241 homes completed or in process of completion)? I have been asking how homes are selected for this HUD $3 million lead abatement that we are doing for "the kids". I was told it was random selection. What if people with no kids buy this $60,000 home?

Clare Howard also quoted Health and Environment Chairperson, Lynn Pearson, as saying "like anything new, this program bumbled around for awhile". "Bumbled around", I guess it did as HUD did not renew the $3 million dollar grant to the County and the City/County Health Department this year.

As a member of the H & E Committee, l continually questioned this program, especially when the county trained 120 some people for work on lead abatement, yet none of them were hired.

To supplement the HUD program, Dave Williams as H & E Chairman sponsored setting aside $750,000 in County Funds that now stand at roughly $625,000, $500,000 of which our administrator is planning to continue the lead abatement program, or another roughly 40 homes, out of 48,000 home in Peoria with some type of lead problem.

As in all government projects, some "appear" to be making money that slides beneath the radar of the ordinary citizen. A lot of information on this project has never surfaced such as the early involvement of PEECO, some questions need to be answered to the taxpayers here, and the problem of meeting Peoria County's strict policy of using only prevailing wages on the $750,000 county commitment while HUD did not require prevailing wages be used on the $3 million HUD committed in 2007.

When this house is completed, does the developer own the house until it is sold? If it sits on the market a while, who pays for the maintenance and upkeep?

So many unanswered questions here. I'll find more out next week. Look for more unanswered details on this "bumb-lead" project.

As an aside, Dave Williams is running again for County Board. Dave was very involved in fiscal sanity and much concerned about not needing to raise taxes. Also, Karrie Alms, always concerned about where this community is heading fiscally, is running for Lynn Pearson's position.