Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Peoria Public Park District Rumors, Truths and Speculation

These are rumors as those visited don't want me to use their names. When the PPD hired an administrator or park superintendent, the former holder of this highly paid position was not happy. When the new hire looked more closely at the position she was filling, she found that "retired" Queen Bonnie would be critiquing her every move. She also was concerned about the financial condition of the PPD.

She was also concerned that the power structure, mainly the Foundation, was not in favor of hiring a person whose background appeared to be mostly sports oriented.

Queen Noble want a person who had worked for her and who she could control behind the scene. Emily Cahill was the exact person. It will be interesting to see how the duo intends to extract the district from it's wobbly financial condition. (Cahill's starting salary is $150,000.00 a year plus boukou benefits. Before Queen Bonnie, the position paid zilch)

For almost 16 years, the PPD has been trying to get out from the deficit coming from the RiverPlex, even with administrative services picking up most of the indirect services costs,  a facility that was supposed to pay off it's loan in 10 years but had to extend to 16 years. It is very likely the loan was extended again but you will not read anything negative aboput the PPD from the JS who gets considerable revenue from PPD advertising. PPD deficits were the reason the PPD was not able to build the 40 acre sports complex at the corner of Fox Rd. and RT.91 that was to be part of the transfer of Meinen Field to Bradley. Bradley University took out a mortgage showing they paid $13,000.00 and acre for this land. It is the major reason for the closing of Donovan Golf Course, also, next to no erosion control, (the lengthening earth delta into the Illinois River comes almost 100% from some of the PPD's 8000 acres of wooded areas) the poor condition of the clay tennis courts at Glen Oak and the terrible condition of the hard courts at lower Glen Oak.

The deficit is one of the reasons the PPD was not able to complete the new zoo expansion as planned. The Barton's had to step in with their money but even that was not enough. The entrance off Prospect was to be changed and a huge sign was to be erected touting the African Experience.

It will be interesting to see how Board President Tim Cassidy and the Cahill complex extracts itself from their precarious financial condition without again raising fees for this $40+ million budget.

It is the reason shy fees go up every year, that and increasing pension costs.

No comments: