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County caving to Cat on museum

Looks like the Peoria County Board is set to capitulate to Caterpillar’s demands. In Caterpillar’s letter of January 20, they gave this ultimatum:

Our message to the Peoria County Board is clear: We must have a deadline or the work for the museum project will continue to languish; the county must modify its governance demands to allow museum activists and professionals to run the PRM; and the Board must help close the funding gap caused by the loss of New Marketing Tax Credits … the county’s contribution needs to be the full $40 million authorized.

In the absence of a positive response from the Peoria County Board by February 12, 2010, Caterpillar doesn’t believe this project can be viable. Failure to move forward in a responsive manner will result in Caterpillar withdrawing its funding commitment for a PRM and termination of our plans to move forward with the Caterpillar Visitor Center.

According to Peoria County Board member Merle Widmer, the County has drawn up an agreement that dutifully complies with Caterpillar’s demands. “The board will be asked to increase the amount voted to give the museum committee to $40 million instead of the $34.7 million the board voted on to help make up the shortage in the endowment,” he reports. “To accept ownership of the building, the County Board will be asked to approve a minimum of three contracts totaling 120 pages . . . and containing such language ‘that a board member can be removed without cause’, an advisory committee (all agreeing to the museum mission) of not more than 60, several layers of boards with the county owning the building forever.”

And if you ever thought the County Board was a professional, deliberative body, looking out for the best interests of taxpayers and thoughtfully considering both sides of an issue, Mr. Widmer adds an account of this conversation, recorded in closed session when at a meeting from which he was absent: “…Mike Phelan, Democrat County Board member [told] the Executive Committee to disregard Merle Widmer and get on with building this museum. He said the public voted on it and the public wants this museum…. He also said board members comments should be limited tommorrow afternoon and Board Chairman, Tom O’Neill said something about ‘putting a sleeping pill in his water.'”

Impolite comments about fellow board members aside, Mr. Phelan forgets that voters were told in town hall meetings that the county would be financing $34.7 million of the cost, and that the museum group would be responsible for raising the rest of the money. Caterpillar is blaming the County for the supposed loss of $5 million in New Market Tax Credits, and are demanding $5.3 million in additional funding from sales tax receipts. No independent proof of this supposed “loss” has been produced, at least publicly. Nevertheless, it appears the County is willing to take the rap for the alleged loss and plug the hole with yet more public funding. All the while, there is still a huge question of whether the other private money that has been supposedly raised will materialize. Most of it is in the form of pledges that have yet to be collected.

A Committee of the Whole meeting will take place today (Thursday) at 3 p.m. at the Peoria County Courthouse.

47 comments to County caving to Cat on museum

  • “dutifully complies with Caterpillar’s demands” SURRRRRRRR prise Surprise surprise!

    “if you ever thought the County Board was a professional, deliberative body, looking out for the best interests of taxpayers and thoughtfully considering both sides of an issue…”

    Does this apply to anyone???? I had to stop reading at this point because you obviously weren’t addressing that to anyone I know who is conscious and has at least an 8th grade education.

    Great post C.J.!!! (oops… I mean, not bad, but I wonder about your obvious bias against corporate manhandling of local political bodies…)

  • The Mouse

    Charlie, that post was insulting to 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th graders. On behalf of those people, I demand an apology. Fourth Graders are not morons.

  • Martin Palmer

    This project is a forgone conclusion whatever the cost is. We as taxpayers can vote with our feet and buy outside Peoria county. Common sense went out the window long ago on this museum. What Cat wants Cat gets. It is like CJ Comment “its better than nothing”

  • Shame on Mr. Widmer for a violation of executive session!

    Regardless of one’s opinion on the topic of the museum, this violation of trust is inexcusable.

    Through established Rules of Order, any board or deliberative body calls executive session for reasons of secrecy that allow members to speak more freely. On most boards a violation of this trust will result in expulsion or censure.

  • conrad stinnett

    The lack of transparency regarding this project has been horrid. Unlike mushrooms, there are people in the community who would prefer not being kept in the dark and fed BS. I applaud Mr. Widmer’s commit to providing the public with the whole story.

  • Paul R Day: As I predicted, someone decided that the real issue wasn’t the lies told during the meeting, or the apparent violation of the open meetings act, but in revealing to the public the public business that was discussed, apparently illegally, in private. Shame on those board members for vioating the public’s trust.

    The Open Meetings Act sets forth specific reasons a meeting can be closed to the public. NONE of those reasons include “Hey, we just wanted to be able to get talk freely.”

  • Peo Proud

    Quite the leap to assume that the meeting was illegal or a violation of the open meetings act based upon the limited information leaked by a disgruntled Board member. Whether the meeting was legal or not, there is a process in place to address that and the disclosure of information discussed, shared, etc. in a presumed legal executive session is a MAJOR violation of ethical responsibility for any board member. These discussions are held in closed session for a purpose and minutes are released at the point in time in the future when the need for confidentiality is no longer needed.

    We all know Widmer is not a supporter of the County’s role in the museum (or in the museum at all), but that doesn’t give him additional leeway to act like a renegade and expect that no one will call him on it. His schtick is getting old.

  • You all don’t understand. It’s hard working for the people and spending the people’s money. It’s hard hard work.

  • PeoProud; How Nixonian of you. It’s not the crime the whistle blowing revealed, it’s the whistlebowing that has you all upset. Again, show me the section of the Illinois Open Meetings act in which it’s allowable to discuss strategy to secure passage of legislation.

  • Observer

    Paul Day- if they killed someone as a human sacrifice during an executive session should they keep that quiet to? Just askin.

  • New Voice

    A “MAJOR violation of ethical responsibility?” Peo Proud, please do not insult your OWN intelligence here. This ‘gangster’ mentality of CAT is appalling. Whether we are talking about the museum project or something else entirely, CAT’s blatant bullying of the Peo County Board is nothing short of unethical. Are they going to start bullying and threatening the [supposed] private donors next? This boils down to an abuse of power and privilege and we all know it.

    The museum was supposed to represent, in-part, our legacy to the future. What a FINE legacy…built on threats and misconceptions. I wouldn’t be surprised if CAT’s little stunt didn’t lose them a few private donors. The money is not yet in the bank. Besides, I can’t image who would want to be associated with this project now.

  • New Voice

    Mr. Paul R. Day,

    Rather than see you babbling on about Merle’s ‘transgressions, I would like to see YOU take a stab at defending this museum project. PLEASE!

  • Aside from the executive session whining, and back to the topic, I don’t think it really matters how much the county is willing to pony up, unless that sum equals all.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that 50 cents on the dollar of the pledged money will actually be collected.

  • charlie

    Re: “On most boards a violation of this trust will result in expulsion or censure.”

    “Being thrown out of here is significantly better than being thrown out of a leper colony” Robert Preston (as Carrol Todd, on being fired from a cabaret in Victor, Victoria)

    I would guess you are hoping to be appointed to a position in the future and NOT ELECTED.
    The key word in YOUR statement is TRUST

  • big john

    so the museum is going to cost us tax payers more money than was originally estimated? damn, never saw that one coming. NOT.

  • 11bravo

    Billy, you’re joking right? The board members would know that Widmer would have access to the records and they knew that whatever decision they arrived at would become public knowledge. Why would they risk an Open Meetings Act violation for something so easy to caught for. Instead of making allegations call the damn County Clerk’s office and ask for the reason cited in the OPEN MINUTES that the board cited before entering into executive session, it isn’t that hard. Until you know that, you don’t know a damn thing about why they went into executive session. My guess is that they were discussing a potential real estate transaction which is an allowable reason enter into a closed meeting for a public body.

  • One thing for CAT though. They have had to live next door to a hole in the ground for what…25 years? Maybe they are tired of inaction on the part of the City and County and maybe they (CAT) just want the damn block developed. I know if I brought visitors to my home, I wouldn’t want them to see a hole in the ground next door every year they came. Just saying….
    Besides, maybe CAT is tired of the lack of anything real to do downtown and taking their guests outside to show them nothing is starting to bother them?

  • New Voice

    11Bravo,
    A potential real-estate transaction? Please explain.

    Emtronics,
    You might want to stop and consider WHY there is a big hole in the ground next to CAT. It might be because the idiotic PRM [and CAT], decided to dig it up before they had the money in the bank. CAT has no one to blame for the hole in the ground [or in their heads], but themselves.

  • charlie

    “My guess is that they were discussing a potential real estate transaction which is an allowable reason enter into a closed meeting for a public body.”

    So Widmer’s “leak” had nothing to do with the reason for the closed door meeting… right?

  • 11Bravo: It was an abandon building (Sears) for years and then a hole long before the Museum was dreamed up.

  • The issue has nothing to do with the museum project itself (on which so many have strong opinions). It is a matter of parliamentary procedure. Any commission or board of directors operates under rules of order (usually Robert’s) not unlike Congress or any other deliberative body. Our own esteemed City Council regularly goes into executive session to discuss matters privately and off the public record. All councilpersons are bound by that trust to not discuss publicly what goes on in that session. As I said, in most bodies, a person who violates that trust is usually subjected to expulsion or censure. It is a matter of trust and civility, which are sorely missing in today’s society (most any blog thread reveals this).
    Mr. Widmer’s “leak” is one thing. His personal attacks and discussion of a colleague’s personal financial issues on his own blog site are truly out of line. The viciousness of his post costs 100% of his credibility in my book. I know that to many of you his nastiness makes him heroic.

  • At least I think it was a hole before the museum idea. I know it was empty for almost 10 years

  • Mr.Day. Sadly missing is also dropping pills into someone’s drink to silence an opinion. Ahh, the Saints.

  • New Voice

    Mr. Day,
    Let us suppose that you are correct in your assessment of Merle’s actions. I will have him beaten and cast out as soon as I find the time. What is YOUR reaction to CAT’s unethical behavior? I am sure this is merely an oversight on your part, so I will withhold any finger-pointing in your direction. I am sure you are as appalled at CAT’s bullying as the rest of us!

  • charlie

    “It is a matter of parliamentary procedure. ”

    Are you seriously suggesting that wrong doings done behind closed doors IN VIOLATION of open door policy (that would include discussing non-executive session agenda items during those sessions) should be protected by executive session protocols?

    You would be a welcome addition in any APPOINTED position in any company… “Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Yes, sir…”

  • Merle Widmer

    Sorry, Charlie, Paul Day and Peo Proud. It was an OPEN meeting of the County Board Executive Committee. We have one every month. I could have attended but I’ve attended enough Executive Committee meeting as Vice-Chairman (4 years). You could have been there.

    Note I have made corretions on my blog.

  • Karrie E. Alms

    Let’s all take a deep breath here! Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    I asked Merle myself —-

    It was an open meeting of the Peoria County Executive COMMITTEE meeting held last week.

    It was NOT a closed session or an executive session of any meeting.

    It would appear some apologies are in order for those who misread / mistook Executive Committee to mean Executive Session and publically trounced Merle for his comments which were perfectly legal. You decide for yourself. And you can FOIA a copy of the tape of said Executive Committee Meeting yourself.

    Additionally, it may not be good form for items discussed in executive session to then be discussed in public — trust among elected officials should be valued. There was a case in Rockford, IL where an elected official discussed in public the items discussed in executive session and there was no legal recourse as there was nothing in the OMA to address that situation.

    ***************
    At the almost two hour meeting of the whole — Peoria County and PRM —

    *** PRM is still millions short of their share of the funding — Mr. Bardwell shares that the PRM is confident that they will be able to raise the missing $7M
    *** GST — Giant Screen Theater — Maybe an IMAX or maybe not as no signed contract
    *** Huge push in next couple of weeks to get the documents signed — especially per Mr. Urich the document for IDOT to get started on the parking deck

    It was a sad day for the continued betrayal of the public trust of the taxpayers.

    Regardless of whether you are for or against this project …. you may wish to consider public process, public policy and public trust. Trust is earned not given.

    All the promises by Lakeview prior to the referendum ….IMAX and private fundraising gap to name just two. We are 10 months post-referendum — more public dollars via a capital bill of $5M for the museum from the bankrupt unable to pay its basic bills State of Illinois — $5M that taxpayers do not have, who will have to pay interest on and still short of private million$. No IMAX because project is stalled and on the draft agreement listed as a MAY include item on what will be in the museum.

    Unfathomable.

  • Mazr

    Well hopefully the realtors in the area will be able to sell more homes because of our new shiny toy……..

    cue the fiddling and flames….

  • Yes, Executive Committee (meeting of the officers) is a totally different thing than Executive Session. Thank you for correcting that misstatement on your blog, Mr. Widmer. Thank you also for removing the derogatory comments about your colleague’s personal finances. They were truly beneath you. Only those incapable of intelligent discourse need to resort to incivility.

  • New Voice

    Well done Karrie.

    Mr. Day,
    Mr. Widmer is being far more gracious about this than I would have been. “Only those incapable of intelligent discourse need to resort to incivility?” I do hope you are joking……………?

    How can you find CAT’s strong-arm tactics anything less than civil?!? In the end, I am sure that Merle’s actions will have gained him a great deal more respect from his constituents than those of his weaker-willed colleagues.

    I will concede this one point…… Your ability to hide your b_llsh_t behind “intelligent discourse” is amazing!

  • Peo Proud

    I’ll grant that I jumped to the conclusion it was an executive session based upon Merle’s blog entry titled “County Board Executive Session – Museum Topic
    I listened today to the tape of last week’s Peoria County Board Executive Session and heard Mike Phelan, ….”

    That’ll teach me to take him “facts” as written as gospel (sarcasm intended). My apologies for taking him to task for speaking about what was though to be closed session topics.

    That said, his schtick is still getting old. We’ll count down the days with ya, Merle. Enjoy the retirement. Not a huge union guy here myself, but you seem to lay all the blame on them and CAT. Let’s not forget, the bond was passed by the majority of the voters of the county. That’s democracy. Love it, hate it — but it’s our system.

  • Sud O. Nym

    Karrie: Who owes the apology? You imply those who were “trashing” Merle. Here is what CJ wrote, though he was obviously going off of Merle’s account: “Mr. Widmer adds an account of this conversation, recording in closed session when he was absent.”

    It was CJ (or Merle) who called it a “closed session” which led folks to call Merle out. No one owes Merle an apology if he is the one who mislead them. I’m glad he copped to it.

    So, is the County footing the whole $40M?? Did CAT gets its way on the board makeup?? The PJS article is silent on these issues. Wasn’t a blogger there?

  • Observer

    Merle you shouldn’t have removed your remarks about the personal bankruptcies of a public official that is voting on issues involving the spending of taxpayer money. Completely relevant. Goes to the judgement of this board member and his capacity to make fiscally sound decisions. You should repost those comments (providing they are accurate).

  • New Voice

    Observer,
    Good point. Besides, isn’t the public disclosure of ‘personal info’ part of being a politician?

    Peo Proud,
    If I donate $1.00 to the museum cause will you please change your nom de guerre? Given your ridiculous notions of what DEMOCRACY is, I am more than a little concerned… Anyone who reads this blog is going to think everyone from Peoria is as deluded as you are.

  • Merle also contacted me and I made a correction on my site. I apologize for the error.

  • Karrie E. Alms

    Sud:

    I am wondering if people follow Peoria County meetings? I am wondering if people understand about OMA? When I read it — I picked up on the Executive Committee, Executive Session difference because I follow the meetings. It does get confusing. Merle was incorrect and I talked with him about the comments on CJ’s blog and he apologized. I apologize too.

    To my current understanding, that which is discussed in closed session is not legally prohibited from being discussed in public when I last checked the OMA statute, except for personnel issues. With that said, again to my current understanding it is not an ethical practice as it involves a stretching and perhaps snapping of trust among elected officials when their conversations under the OMA are relayed in a public setting. There may be new revisions which attach some type of penalty now. If you find out — please let us know.

    Your other questions … these details may be covered tomorrow in Karen McDonald’s article.

    For now …

    *** $34.7 from the public facility sales tax referendum plus $200,000 previously set aside by the Peoria County Board for a total of $34.9M.

    *** Board Composition according to today’s presentation
    Inital 23 board members – 5 Lakeview; 2 Caterpillar; 1 AAHF; 1 PRM; 1 PHS; 1 IHSA; 12 At-large and then Ongoing – the total reduces to 20 and Lakeview reduces to 2. Terms were not mentioned, nor was when the reduction would occur.

    Concerns:

    The PRM (To be formed) has not met it private fundraising goals. They were about $10-11M short at the referendum and then received the $5M capital funding from IL and even with more public $ the Museum Project Sources (funding) presented today put it at $7.2M+ gap in funding between the cost and pledged amount.

    Tom Bardwell strongly believes through research that:

    $4M can be raised in our community…
    $1.5 – 3.0M can be raised from grants, foundations and other governmental entities
    $4.0M can be raised in New Market Tax Credits

    That would be an estimated $9.5 – 11M in funding.

    NMTC are a gap funding source and so the other financing would be need to be in place before the gap financing would be a possible component — hence the name — gap financing.

    It is the familiar refrain that was heard before — vote for the referendum and the people will get off the fence and pledge the money. 10 months letter still millions short. Just vote to turn the shovel of dirt to start the parking deck and we will get the additional private funding …. hauntingly and unreassuringly familiar.

    If the PRM (to be formed) fundraising efforts are not met —- then there is always the possibility that Peoria County will be tapped for the remainder of the $5.3M minus the issuance and other costs associated with selling the bond.

    And yes, the referendum was passed by the majority of the people who voted. At that same time, there were absolute promises made by the Build the Block campaign program

    *** funding gap would be private — now at least $5M more is committed by IL State and bonds are not able to be sold at the present

    *** IMAX promised and contract was to be signed upon passing of referendum — now IMAX is on the “MAY” be included list of the proposed plans

    and so on. What is to be made of promises made and not kept?

    What does it say about public trust, public policy and public funding — when convenience gets in the way of protecting taxpayers’ interests?

    The process for the museum is deja vu of the Riverplex and the other Peoria build it they will come projects.

  • Peo Proud

    New Voice –

    I’m cheap but not that cheap….add a couple zeroes and I’ll gladly change my name to one of your choosing. I find it interesting / amusing that those opposed to the museum have no regard for those that are in favor – so much for an open mind. And being in favor doesn’t mean that some don’t find fault with the process that has occurred or the misinformation shared by some supporters (though that’s hardly a one sided fault). But the facts are pretty clear that the majority of voters approved the sales tax to support this effort –

  • Mazr

    “I find it interesting / amusing that those opposed to the museum have no regard for those that are in favor – so much for an open mind”

    Guilty as charged.

    When the City of Peoria doesn’t have enough money to pay for basic city services (and I’ll go out on a limb and say my property taxes are going up)then I sure don’t want a tax paying for a museum.

    I just can’t see how anyone could have logically looked at the current state of this city and say that a tax increase to build a museum was a good idea. To beat a dead horse, worry about fixing the cake….not making the icing look better.

  • Karrie E. Alms

    Peo Proud writes ….

    “I find it interesting / amusing that those opposed to the museum have no regard for those that are in favor – so much for an open mind”

    The project has the same flaws pre and post referendum.

    Would / should those who do AND do not favor the museum require both a sound funding and operation plan?

    Peo Proud … you are a taxpayer too … this quote from today’s PJStar article by Karen McDonald ….

    “Our funding strategy is targeted to raise about $9.5 million. We hope to get there as soon as we can,” said Tom Bardwell, who heads the Lakeview Museum Board of Directors, during a Peoria County Board committee of the whole meeting Thursday.

    What are your thoughts on this quote… “we hope to get there as soon as we can’? I am keeping an open mind for your input! 🙂

  • Peo Proud

    Mazr & Karrie:

    It’s been a bungled project from day one – no rebuttal from me on that one at all. A lot of the efforts that went into correcting the initial problems over the last year or so should have been done from the very beginning. No doubt there were a lot of inflated expectations raised and distributed during the early years of the project planning and the museum group hasn’t always lived up to their end of the project.

    However, I still see this as a positive addition to the region if handled correctly. Consider me an eternal (or naive) optimist if you want, but I still believe that this will be a very positive addition to the community. It is not going to be the economic engine that some claimed, but that was never part of my rationale for supporting it. However, IF it is still going to happen and be built, we’re all better off if it succeeds and the constructive criticism should be focused on ways to make that happen rather than denigrating those that support it and hoping that it fails so someone can claim “I told you so.”

  • New Voice

    Peo Proud,
    I am glad you maintain a sense of humor so I will refrain from the jibes here. I can’t speak for Karrie, but I believe her words echo the sentiments of a great many people who stand opposed to the CURRENT museum plan. I do not want to rehash old arguments, but I seem to remember most people were in favor of ‘a’ museum. You yourself admitted that this plan was flawed from the beginning, yet you voted for the tax increase anyway. Why?

    You seem to be a proponent of the ‘this is the best plan we’ve got so lets run with it,’ scheme. One of the biggest complaints coming from the ‘anti-museum’ community was that the PRM Group refused to consider any and all ideas coming from without their little circle. CAT raised holy-hell when the Peoria County Board ‘suggested’ that the new museum board might exclude current PRM personnel. Now CAT is employing rubber-hose tactics to [motivate?] the county board. I understand you are a fan of DEMOCRACY. Very good, but is it to much to ask that the people get what they voted for…at least where the museum is concerned? A little oversight here would be a good thing for the museum in the end.

    Constructive criticism? Prior to the vote there was a great deal of this flying around[at least on C.J.’s site]. The problem is, no one connected with the museum [Lakeview] cared to listen to any of it.

    Yes, the people voted for the tax, but this ‘carte blanche’ attitude being taken by PRM/CAT, and the lack of transparency, is beginning to make many YES voters question their support of this project.

  • “the bond was passed by the majority of the voters of the county. That’s democracy.”
    “those opposed to the museum have no regard for those that are in favor”
    “It’s been a bungled project from day one ”
    “I still see this as a positive addition to the region if handled correctly”

    At some point… do you intend on reading what you posted and rethink any of this?

    How can the project be “handled correctly” if it has been “bungled from day one”?
    Majority of the voters in this case was around 11% of eligible voters…
    oh yeah.. and democracy is the equal voice of all citizens in making and executing policy… our system is not a democracy, it is a republic. (You want a democracy, go to Vermont)

  • New Voice

    Vermont?

    I was thinking China…….

  • “As of this month, total project costs are estimated at $140,124,650” pjstar 2/5/10

    $140,124,650

    wow… The FY2009 Peoria City budget totaled $172,451,509

    $140 million for a museum… why don’t we just start another city?

  • Karrie E. Alms

    Peo Proud: I agree that we need to plan for the project to be successful. I am wondering if you feel is a wise or prudent idea for the museum construction (ie first phase of the parking deck) to begin without all of the money being in place?

    Do you have other ideas or suggestions about what you wrote about

    “the constructive criticism should be focused on ways to make that happen”? What does that look like to you?

  • Dangling Participle

    “oh yeah.. and democracy is the equal voice of all citizens in making and executing policy… our system is not a democracy, it is a republic. (You want a democracy, go to Vermont)”

    i love you. seriously. i suspect you might be one of my students…

    as for you Karrie, what do you propose to do if elected to the county board? i mean, that big bag of journalism Billy did forward your candidacy last October, so, wha’ cha gonna do?

  • Karrie E. Alms

    DP:

    Treat people with respect and not name call. Trust is earned not given as stated by Jack Fought so many years ago.

    I would represent my constituents on the issues that are important to them — how would I know which issues — because I would talk with them on a regular basis — not just at election time — then I would have the courage to cast my vote for the vision and voice of Peoria County District 3.

    I would continue to ask the tough questions that the taxpayers want asked about the return on their money BEFORE their money is spent. And I would vote in a fiscally conservative manner for core services. All you have to do is do a search in the Peoria Journal Star database to read what issues I have been involved with over the past 15 years, what I said and it will be easy to determine how I would have voted had I been an elected official. Government cannot provide all services to all people and spending OPM (other people’s money) is a sacred trust. I am fiscal conservative and my husband and I and children live a debt free life. It has taken us twenty years to accomplish this task and so in this area, I can lead by example.

    If the tax rate stayed the same and the EAV increased — I would not boast about the tax rate staying the same —- even though their taxes were increasing.

    I would actually read my board member packet of information prior to voting.

    I would not take the frustrations of constituents who come to county board committee and board meetings and speak from their hearts personally. By that I mean, when someone who is scared quite literally to death of public speaking and is frustrated because they have been cut out of the process, their livelihoods being threatened by some new ordinance and they have an outburst — I would try to understand their message rather than taking offense from the messenger. It is no excuse for poor public behavior — but I would not cast my vote against them because their public presentation was made from fear and frustration and their emotions ran high. I would vote on the merits of the issue and the factual information presented. I would not be concerned that a consitutent was asking tough questions, expecting factual and complete answers, not just the portion that a specific group wants to be told. I would take responsibility for my votes and if I made a mistake — as my sons tell each other and even their mother — just man up and take responsibility, correct your mistake and pledge to do better.

    Just because someone goes from constitutent to candidate to office holder — that person is still human and regrettably will make mistakes. If as an elected official, you read your packet and ask the tough questions — you should increase your success rate by casting informed votes which benefit your constituents and Peoria County as a whole.

    Thank you for asking! 🙂

    What would you do if you were running for office?