Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Peoria Journal Reports Sad Facts on Conditions on the South Side of the City
Years ago, I was asked to sit on the Board of Directors of the SouthSide Development Committee. One of the early problems encountered was the division among black leaders on the board. I was in charge of raising money for the work the committee planned. I approached Peter Korn, then Peoria City Manager, and inquired how the City could help us in funding. Mr. Korn asked me what happened to the $25,000 the City had just granted this group. At the next Board meeting I made the inquiry. No one seemed to know. I then asked to see a Financial Statement. There was none. As far as any of the group, led by James Polk, no one remembered any $25,000. Really, I said. At the next Board meeting, I was replaced. The group fell apart with some of the same questions about how funds were and are being used on the SS. With limited results. What was the major concern these 20 some years ago? Job, jobs, jobs. What were business concerns about the SS? Skills, Skills, Responsible workers, responsible workers, Integrity, integrity, integrity, etc. Now the JS is running a three publication series about this sad situation. It appears that the saying of things couldn't get any worse. They are. Conditions on the SS of Peoria are the worst I've seen and getting worse. Not according to the IB who by their own publication lists more vacant business properties in the history of the cit. And all public bodies are running deficits unheard of in my 40 some years as a Peoria City resident. The only problem I have with the JS entertainment section reporter, again writing conditions outside his field of expertise. The same reporter who belittled those of us who did our homework and correctly predicted why the downtown museum would fail. It's been over a year and three major facts that the public should know, since the taxpayers in Peoria County OWN the museum building, are full price paid attendance, financial condition and amount of ACTUAL dollars in the Endowment Fund. This fund was expected to be over $11 million by now, not counting the $5 million then County Administrator allegedly suggested to the museum board that that taxpayer dollars could be rolled over to the Endowment Fund. Endowment Funds are exactly what the term means. Money from the financially affluent, not regular Joe property tax owners. So many lies told by our "local leaders" on so many taxpayer funded projects. Many golden geese have and are turning in to regular Starlings coming home to roost. So sad.