"Maloof doesn't regret passing on Par-A-Dice". Wow, neither does East Peoria where the almost landbound boat is raking in big bucks for EP while Peoria gets the left-overs. Maloof and his Christian friends opposed video gambling that the Peoria County Board had the common sense to approve. Hey, Jim if you want to stop gambling have the 85% of the population that gamble on something eliminated. Start with the lottery, the biggest ripoff by government ever before Obama, then the Casinos, then the racetracks, Vegas, Atlantic City and Jimmy Lock Shop. Opps, the local boys don't gamble there anymore replaced by all the local boys and the school kids playing hold-em at their parents homes.
Vonachen says the $37 million hotel project is a gamble but he thinks we gotta do something Downtown. "It's just something we gotta do". Pete did do something for downtown quite a few years ago. He moved the ballpark from Meinen to the mid-south end. Pete doesn't mention the unpaid ballpark he and Rocky, Caterpillar, a stock broker and a couple of developers brought downtown. As a stockholder since 1994 and an an opponent of building such an expensive edifice in THAT area, I have yet to see one dime of profit and by the looks of attendance figures, I doubt I'll see one next year. Just as a reminder, the Vonachen's didn't put more money in than the rest of us stockholders but some of the Vonachen family made out quite well in salaries, benefits and expenses.
If you recall, the ballpark was to start a renansience of new building in that are but the renascience has appeared to have moved closer to Bradley and away from the river.
Shadid says the city and the county could save money by combining city and county election commissions. Really? Perhaps George forgot that the City Council voted unanimously to oppose consolidation while the County Board voted 16-2 to combine. I worked hard to pass this referendum but I had the proof of the savings but the City Council continued on their path of mistakes, still making them today, and George did not endorse this money saving consolidation.
Maloof espoused again on "uni-gov" which Shadid scoffed at the notion of too much, too fast. My own opinion, if asked, would be, we will have and Indianapolis style uni-gov when pigs fly. We have combined about as much as we can combine including the City/County Landfill, still in litigation with the methane miners, largely because of failure of the City Council back a decade or so to agree to settle this case out of court. Chicago attorneys keep racking in $445 an hour. ( I asked to removed from this committee after 5-6 years of my floundering to get this case settled so we can stop burning off the valuable methane that we had been selling for a tidy profit to the taxpayers)
Combine the County with the City when the City is already deeply in debt and committed to back a lot more debt? I'll admit few people, other than myself on the County Board are trying to prevent the same thing happening to the County.
Shadid says the city should not be making cuts in public safety. Any citizen, you would think, would say that but they don't and didn't. The City Council voted to cut public safety costs while supporting $50 plus millions for new libraries and a new $150 million downtown museum (Cat plans to kick in about $50 million) but most all other costs will be borrowed money on which taxpayers will pay interest for 20 years. (Approx. $12 million of the $14 million raised in CASH for the museum has been spent yet not a spade of dirt has been turned. Yes, Cat stockholders paid for the mostly fenced in demolished site you now see.
Shadid says about combining safety forces, "People will not care what the color of uniform is, as long as they're treated properly and get good services." What about the different unions combining? Ho, ho, ho. The only thing growing is Peoria now is the medical community and big egos. In case you haven't noticed, Peoria has returned to a union dominated city, the same unions that drove the distillers and other producers of a 'product' out of Peoria years ago turning this city into a service and entertainment center with the exception of the domination by "big yellow" and big medical centers.
As to East Peoria? While this Roundtable didn't say it, EP let's Peoria build circuses with Peoria taxpayer dollars and then they drive across the river and gladly pay the price of admission. Vonachen says EP does a better job of working with developers needs. "They cut deals". Pete should know about cutting deals as Peoria poured anywhere from $5-8 million into Vonachen's f-----y ball park. Deals? When Pete and Rocky were on the Peoria Park District Board, the Laura Bradley trust that denied liquor sales at the formerly owned Meinen Field was broken. Now the PPD has ex hanged this field back to Bradley for exactly what? Even some board members aren't sure what they got in exchange. But that is another story I've blogged on before.
Anyway, Luciano adds a little of the old vaudeville for Peoria was once famous.