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Why do you think he keeps getting elected?

The Journal Star is shocked — shocked! — that at-large city councilman Gary Sandberg has been helpful as the city’s library liaison. The headline today is “Library’s unlikely advocate: Sandberg.” Ed Szynaka, director of the library, is quoted as saying:

“But he’s gone above and beyond his role as the council liaison. He hasn’t missed one meeting. He’s well-prepared and we’ve benefited greatly from his extensive knowledge of the process.”

And Frank Gold, chairman of the library board’s building subcommittee, added:

“I think differently about Gary than I did at the beginning,” Gold said. “He coached us back from our initial misstep and has been a strong supporter of the project. He’s been nothing but helpful.”

Well-prepared, extensive knowledge, commitment to basic services… who doesn’t know this about Gary? Why is this a big surprise — so big, in fact, that it merits a front-page, above-the-fold headline? Apparently the confusion comes because the newspaper and others don’t see libraries as a basic service; they see them as a “quality-of-life” amenity.

The most surprising thing to me was not that Gary was helpful and prepared, but that Gary evidently allowed himself to be interviewed by the Journal Star. Gary’s had a pretty well-known feud with the paper, and hasn’t granted an interview with them for years.

Naturally, a majority of the other council members, who have had no problem imposing/maintaining the garbage tax fee that’s almost universally opposed, are reticent to impose a tax that 72% of voters approved in a non-binding referendum.

7 comments to Why do you think he keeps getting elected?

  • Mazr

    Maybe Hinton is giving the Council advice on how to proceed with items that have been endorsed or rejected by the public.

  • peoriafan

    Some still like to give Gary too much credit. Never been a Gary fan, never will be be.

  • ImaSwede

    I lived in Gary’s area years ago and he showed up for every neighborhood meeting and always was quick to repsond to peoples phone calls and e-mails. Isn’t he also the only member that voted against all the restaurants downtown where there should be grass? Go Gary!

  • Sandberg has my vote for Mayor but the machine won’t let him win.

  • Peoria has a working “machine”?

  • kcdad

    No one might argue it “works”, but it may well be very effective.

  • Josh

    The story is the JS wanted to slam Gary in the process but after interviewing everyone involved they determined that he busted his rear as always and that was only thing they could write. Another case in point why I don’t subscribe to that rag.