Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hick'ry Stick Gets Loan From Peoria County Board

"I don't know how we can talk about helping small businesses (small, a $620,000.00 project?) and have them go through 'all they have gone through' and then say no", said 25 year black County Board member, Democrat Lynn Pearson. Two Democrats and 5 out of 8 Republicans voted against any loan, yet 10 board members voted to lend $88,500.00 with possibly more to come when "proper" documentation is presented.

It's beginning to look like I may have made a mistake in endorsing Rosenbaum and Fennel, both Republican businessmen, who have both voted yes on questionable spending and lending projects. Rosenbaum admitted to me after he was sworn in that he "didn't know what he was getting into".

The no voters felt the loan application was "under-documented". Under-documenting has never bothered the board on which I served 10 years. During that time loans to FireFly, RiverStation, Globe Energy and InPlay all went broke sticking the taxpayers with millions.

I questioned every loan asking for more financial information. Board members like Pearson, Prather, Baietto always voted yes even though Baietto sometimes asked questions that couldn't be completely answered.

On one of my last votes (no) was to on a loan the Redbud Ridge Custom Shop for $117,000, the presenter didn't even know whether RedBud owned their bu idling. Didn't bother anyone but myself. Friends tell me that they know of two employees who have been laid off recently.

In my ten years serving on the board, I do not recall any no votes from Pearson and Watkins, except on PDC Hazardous Waste Landfill expansion and may two other minor occasions.

Don't give all the credit to the Democrats who control the board. Former administrator Patrick Urich, told me on more than one occasion that I "kept him on his toes". However, the last two years, I was basically ineffective in stopping the County's ownership of the PRM and my belief that there was too big of a risk to build a new $70,000,000.00 (with interest and other costs) new county nursing home. I was finally joined by some Republicans but it was too late and to my knowledge, the property to build has been purchased and bids have been received for demolition, site preparation and building.

All 10 years I served on the County Board, I was retired. I did not need to cater to special interest groups nor did I ask or accept any money from them. That may not be true with businessmen now serving on the board.

Time will tell.

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