Sunday, January 23, 2011

Peoria City Council and Ex-County Administrator, Patrick Urich

Since my predictions are coming true, I will make more on what the City Council plans to do in the near future.

They will hire Urich as they privately agreed to do before he announced his resignation.

The salary range will be in the neighborhood of $175-185,000. Benefits will be about the same as they were with Peoria County which are substantial.

Ardis will give up some of his power, one reason being that Ardis has kids growing up and going to college and he probably needs to pay more attention to his income stream stream.

Bringing the deficits under control will be Urich's first responsibility. Part of that will get the ball rolling on Uni-Gov which I favor if the citizens outside of the city (and I don't mean just Dianne, Doug, "Bud" and Rita) get input and agree to the benefits that will be promised and verified.

Urich will work to get a new referendum on the ballot to combine the election boards under the County which this time, most of the City Council will agree. If you recall, the city voted unanimously against the referendum and the County, with the exception of Phil Salzer and one absentee, voted to combine.

Uni-Gov and Urich will face a hard battle to convince the public security unions to combine under the jurisdiction of the County and the Sheriff. McCoy can probably stay in office as long as he wishes.

Since departments will be combined to save money, some employees would be given the option of early retirement or....

Urich's children will be leaving Whittier and that will probably determine where the Urich family lives. They have resided on Institute near Bradley, one reason surely because of the good reputation of Whittier School.

No, Mr.Urich, will be a good hire for the community but his role will not be the same as any City Manager in recent history. Hollings will take his money and retire again but expect him to be on a Uni-Gov committee along with some members of the Citizens Committee or whatever name they call themselves today.

Will taxes be lowered because of the hiring of Mr. Urich? No, too many millions have already been borrowed or rising taxes to pay for enhancements and new schools, libraries, nursing homes, RiverPlex types, zoos, the Civic Center, the not paid for unoccupied former Cub Foods building on Knoxville, the sewer $100-300 million upcoming project, the leaky public water systems, never ending contracts to "study" the ring road and with it's new bridge, stopping the erosion of good soil filling the Peoria Lake and the river, etc.

I'll sit back and enjoy my 'retirement' and see how all unfolds. Mr. Urich, as County Administrators go, was the best Peoria has seen in quite a while. And may see again for quite a while. However, he is not a miracle maker, just an intelligent leader, with flaws, some similar to those all of us have.

My best wishes, Patrick, may you continue to grow in your new upcoming leadership position.

The weather was mild, great day for playing tennis. In the 24 days I have been in Southwest Florida, only one day was not tennis playing weather. Still, I agree with my wife, I would not like to live here permanently.

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