Some of you may have noticed that one the most ardent supporters of the "water company - City of Peoria proposed 'back-door' tax' is Mike Everett, President - West-Central Building Trades Council. Here is what Mike Everett wrote on 9/11/08 about union support of what is now know as the Peoria Riverfront Museum "boondoggle" as those of us who studied the proposal knew that it's outcome would be just that. Here is what Mike wrote in the JS:
"The West-Central Illinois Building and Trades Council strongly backs the "build the block" in Downtown Peoria. We represent 20 individual construction craft unions. Most of our 15,000 construction members live here in Central Illinois.
For too long the old Sears block has remained vacant. PRM and the Caterpillar Experience are the perfect projects to fill this empty hole in the center of Peoria.
Through an unprecedented agreement between Caterpillar; the Museum Collaboration Group and the Greater Peoria Area Contractors and Suppliers Association, these fabulous new facilities will be built with 100% local labor. This will mean hundreds of of jobs for our highly trained skilled building trades.
This project will have something for everyone: a museum for high school sports and other scholastic events, art and history , a digital IMAX theatre, a powerdome planetarium, Illinois River Encounter, traveling Smithsonian exhibits and a high-tech Caterpillar Visitors Center. This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Our community is a great place to live, (except for 5-6 months of each year, my comment) work and raise a family. But we cannot rest on our laurels. We have to step up and take our lives into our own hands.
To the building trades, this is not just another construction project. It is a choice to move our community forward. We fully intend to put our money where our mouth is.
So far we have eight organizations from the union construction industry pledging $485,000 to this project, and we are just getting started. Together we can "build the block."
Hmm. Anyone but me have any questions here? No IMAX but that is 'old hat'. 100% local labor? Hm. Eight constructions companies kicked in $485,000. How much did the other 12 kick in?? Was it pledged in cash or "in-kind"?? Big difference. Was it ever 'paid' and if so why no further info appeared in our local main rag. Why not? What happened to the Lakeview Museum lady head honcho who seemed to have disappeared from her job? What happened to the Museum Director? Discharged or so our local rag indicated. What happened to the IMAX? What happened to the 800 a day visitors? Why and what happened to to the promised $51 million Caterpillar Visitors Center later scaled to $37 million even with the top floor inhabited by Caterpillar off-limits corporate people.? Why is the Visitors Center top floor occupied by Cat staff unrelated to the VC?? That was NEVER mentioned by Cat or our local rag.
Now I find we have all kind of projects being floated around to raise money for our almost totally deteriorated sewer system and our water server and who will gain the upper hand in the deal now being studied by an out of town attorney.. And is it a back-door tax? And when an officials guarantees something, who know whether this employee will still be with the City or still with the water company 5 or so years from now. And as our unworthy president has proven, contracts are easily side-stepped or broken.
Then I catch up on reading the IP Magazine and it tells me I own a residence in a place nearly worthy of God's Heaven. Then, I drive the south side and then I have some conversations with some knowledgeable residents and then I head home dodging potholes and, and, and, and, and...........contemplate buying tickets for the NCAA Championship in 2022 to be played in Bradley's new Basketball arena holding at least 50,000 fans.with Geno and the Bradley Board and mascot being in the final four and, and....... then I remember Rome wasn't built in a day and.........Manual and Central Boys Basketball will NEVER EVER be the near what it was just a few years back, Or have you forgotten Chuck, Wayne and Van??