Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Water Co. Buyout Present and Past - Mayor Ardis, Council Members, City Manager and Staff

My credentials - Founder of Widmer Interiors, today the largest company of it's type in Downstate Illinois. In retirement, I was asked to run for the Peoria County Board. I was elected 7 times, twice by my peers and served a full 3 terms on the Peoria County Board in days where we had surpluses in all our funds when I retired in 2010.

The last time I spoke before this Council was 2005. Only Mayor Ardis,  Eric Turner and Mr. Grayeb are members of this Council today. The issues are still the same. Buy the water company but first do a due diligence requested by a group know today as the CEO Council.

In 2005, a group known as the PAAG committed to loaning the Council $1 million at 9% interest (later reduced to 6.9%,). The City received only $816,000 after early interest payments were deducted requiring the City to add $170,545 of taxpayer money to complete the study.

The Council voted to accept the offer and do the study. It's thoroughness did not satisfy the PAAG.

As most are aware a lawsuit by was the filed by the PAAG, those members are listed on my blog 'Widmer Peoria Watch', under the title of "Water Logged #4, dated  3/29/05, requested the million be paid back plus interest amounting to over $2 million dollars. As I understand, a Judge ruled in favor of the PAAG, and while this ruling may be under appeal, it is most likely the City will need to come up with $2 million of taxpayer dollars they do not have to pay this group of mult-millionaires.

Now we are back with a different group, the CEO Council of which some of the original PAAG group are members now offering to contribute $400,000 with a possible $300,000 added still leaving the City to pick up the remaining unknown costs to complete a due diligence study that will need to pass the legal interpretation of 'due diligence'.

It's known the City is in debt and their debt is rising. So buy the water company and add to the City $16 million a year as often stated by the spokesman for the CEO and others Now come the problems facing the City Council- they do not have the hundreds of millions that the water company will ask for the sale. The CEO spokesperson admits that the $16 million a year profit will come to the City ONLY  after the 25-30 year bond is paid in full. But the City would still earn $3 million a year for 25 years.

All speculation. Every projection made by the 'experts' in this community have failed to meet projections. I could mention a few. the PRM whose Superintendent was fired when projections misfired. Two Bradley professors stated the PRM would bring $16 million of new business to business owners in the area. Yet retail sales are down putting several big box stores to close.

Need the $7 million and perhaps more that this council stuck the taxpayer with by getting into the hotel business.

Many false or semi-false statements have been mad; The water company does not pay property taxes. A check with the Assessor's Office indicates they do. A City owned water company would NOT pay property taxes.

"85% of all communities own their water companies". That statement is misleading. The 85% includes Congerville, Carlock, Lacon, Granville, and thousands of small communitys in this country that no major water company would buy as these would not turn the profit a private company with stockholders, would present.

Comparisons are made to Indianapolis as owning their own water company. Their is no comparison as Indianapolis is 8 times lager than Peoria

NO  water company 'OWNS' their own water.  One present member of this council once worried about a foreign country owning the water here. The water in this country is owned by the government who, in event of emergency, could nationalize all or any water company.

The major interest of certain influential citizens of this area want City ownership as that would remove control of the massive job of maintaining, purifying, distribution, etc. of the water of Peorians from the jurisdiction of the ICC. This would permit new lines anywhere in Peoria County, the Brimfiled area, Kickapo or all West and NorthWest Peoria with unknown reultswhat it would do to water rates.

And any rate the Water Council could enact. Which brings up another point. How would the naysayers have any chance of sitting on the Water Council Board??

Yes, water rates could increase. In a JS news headline, then City Manager Randy Oliver is quoted as saying, "Buyout may require a YEARLY  rate hike. It would take about a 3% increase in water rates charged to area customers to sustain the cost for the City to buy Peoria's division of the Illinois-American Water Company. (JS, March 8, 2005)

As for a costly referendum? It would show that 75% to 80% of the voters are OPPOSED to the proposed buyout. About the ame percentage that were opposed in 2005.

Thank you.

Merle Widmer
612 W. Collingwood Cr.
Peoria, Il  Cp 618 830 5647

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Saudi Jouralist Turned Spy For U.S.A.?

He lived in the U.s. but was not a citizen. It is not at all unusual for a person to, especially a journalist or a person with access to vital records,  be 'turned' into a spy against his native country. The rewards can be great as detailed in the non-fiction book, "The Billion Dollar Spy". If caught, the spy can expect torture and a quick death. In Russia, about 3 days or when they feel they an no longer torture more information. In the compassionate U.S.a., about 2-3 years of trials.

The Saudi's are not compassionate and the risk of spying without being compromised' from within or outside, is EXTREMELY dangerous.
Read the book and look at this case carefully. I'm afraid he was a journalist 'turned by possibly the U.S.A. Once caught by the offended country and tortured, expect disappearance like DOA.

Every major country has spies WITHIN  the U.S.A. and vice/versa.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Peoria County Tax Referendum For Road Repair Sales Tax Increase - Vote No

The County under the guidance of a Democrat Board and former Administrator Patrick Urich and County Board Chairman Andrew Rand, listened to Former State legislator Dave Leitch and shrewd and sly groups of consultants that left the taxpayers with a hangman's noose tightening daily.

Leitch was the cheerleader for $5 million or more County/City in taxpayer investment in FireFly where not any investment money is left. Leitch was also the cheerleader for the convincing Peoria County to take the Hanna City Correctional Center dilapidated site off State hands and put it into Peoria County taxpayer hands. Now the County is baffled as to what to do with it as it is hanstrung on what to do with Heddiington Oaks.

I have long been blogging about the $20 million of taxpayer money already lost on the terrible decision to build Heddington Oaks hemorrhaging about 2 1/2 to 3 million dollars a year. I will never be given credit for the research I did to be the only creditable source as a Board member to oppose it's building to replace BelWood County Nursing Home.

The County also paid approximately $1 1/4 million to raze BelWood when credible sources say the County refused a $500,000 offer to buy from a local businessman who would spend $17 million to convert BelWood into a different type of business. Rand was the key man in refusing this offer because he had told the community the building had no value. We need real investigating reporters in this financially struggling community.

We desperately need a leadership that .... and I stop here because this community will NEVER get the type of leadership. Time has run out and more fees and taxes to an overtaxed community are HERE NOW with more on the horizon. (While home valuses appear to be shrinking)

Sears In Jeporday - Future of Northwoods Mall Cloudy

With almost all the governing bodies in Peoria in some type of financial stress, a pretty picture is not  presenting an enticing destination for new business. While the health industry is strong and many small businesses are thriving, the future of Peoria is similar to the conditions of the roadbeds, bridges, etc., in the entire County.

Rough and bumpy and short of repair and rebuild fund without raising already high taxes.

Caterpillar may hold the a large part of the key with around 14,000 employees working in the area. Times have been good but change is always just a short distance away.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Democrats Wanted a Seventh FBI Investigation of Judge Kavanaugh - Now They Call the FBI Corrupt

Democrats, (and a couple of 'flaky' Republicans), didn't like the FBI investigative results. They didn't have the time to try to 'rig' the investigation so now they are calling the investigation 'horrific'. Surely some of my Democrat acquaintances and all my Democrat (and some Republicans) friends must realize that the people who are on Tucker Carlson's "Ship of Fools' book cover are bankrupting this country and making us the 'laughing stock' of half the world.

Unite this nation? With women who believe all men are guilty if charged and before the accused has a fair trial? Most of these women are Democrats, bitter divorcees, gays and just plain men haters. I agree that some men are guilty of sexual harassment and that some women are sluts, no matter their position in society and lineage.

And with Socialists posing as Democrats as shown on Carlson's book cover, we are going to unite this nation?

Dream on and if you support these people that are on the book cover, you are no friend of mine but I grieve over your innocence and stupidity.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Chicago Cubs OUT - Maddon Should Be

I picked and predicted right on the money and won two farms. Now I bet these 2 farms that the American League will win the World Series.

Sorry, you Authentic Cub fans, but wait till next year and hope that Maddon, Bryant, Murphy and half a dozen other Cubs have been traded for at least a couple of guys (or gals) that can hit or at least know where the STRIKE ZONE is.

Goodnight, Ron. I'll call Pete in the morning and tell him to "wait till next year".