August 2013
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  • Of course the Chronicle is done: Without Sandberg to give stores to the Chronicle there is no Chronicle.

Who will get Sandberg’s seat?

I considered throwing my name in the running for Gary Sandberg’s seat. However, after talking it over with my family, I decided this just isn’t the right time (not that I had any illusions of actually being chosen, but I believe you shouldn’t apply for something unless you really are willing to serve).

There is no shortage of other applicants, however. Here are the 31 people who submitted their resumes:

  • Denene Ricks
  • Ken Goldin
  • Randy Ray
  • Thomas Stevens
  • Conrad Stinnett III
  • Harry Block
  • Alma Brown
  • Jody Hoerr
  • John D. Marter, Jr.
  • Patrick Williams
  • Kyie Hess
  • Robert J. Rivoli III
  • Jeff Stauthammer
  • Gloria Cassel-Fitzgerald
  • Monty Spivey
  • Joseph B. VanFleet
  • Brad Douglas
  • Martha Ross
  • Amy Eckardt
  • Martin Deters
  • Brett Kolditz
  • Katherine Coyle
  • Clyde E. Gulley, Jr.
  • Todd A. Dennhardt
  • Patti Sterling-Polk
  • Tara Gerstner
  • Elizabeth Jensen
  • Thomas Angelo
  • Franklin L. Renner
  • Andre Williams
  • Bill Spears

Interesting list. Notable applicants: A couple of former council members who didn’t run for reelection the last time (Gulley, Spears); a current District 150 school board member (Ross); former city attorney (Ray); recent council also-rans (Sterling-Polk, Williams); former City of Peoria Communications Manager Alma Brown; and neighborhood advocate and “Friend Of Peoria Chronicle” Conrad Stinnett.

Notable omission: Patrick Sullivan didn’t throw his hat in the ring.

You can read the resumes of the applicants on the City’s website by clicking here. The council has 60 days to choose a successor. Any wagers on who will get the nod?

51 comments to Who will get Sandberg’s seat?

  • Vonster

    Randall Emert should have been on that list if he was serious.

  • I’m betting the council will chose someone that hasn’t served on the council. So that narrows the field to what…29?

  • Wondering

    Wondering aloud why the applicant Katherine Coyle doesn’t list her current position as chairman of the Peoria County Republicans?

  • Diddlysquat

    Looking at this list, you have to wonder who wants this job to help the citizens of Peoria and who wants this job to help themselves?

  • Joe

    My money is on Spears with the stipulation that he won’t run for reelection.

  • Gulley. Ardis needs another yes man to make voting a shutout for handing out money to developers instead of fixing infrastructure.

  • Randall

    Vonster: I am serious but really, I wouldn’t have a chance in hell and besides, like CJ, I talked it over with my family and being retired, I have things I want to do. Like this Council would even consider me. I am very concerned about how things are run in this city and how various issues have popped up in recent times. However, like in my old days, I don’t need to express my opinions so much anymore. You can bet however that the Council will pick someone pro to their visions and with a big R behind their name. So expect the same old retread visions.

  • Anon E. Mouse

    CJ sez: “this isn’t the right time”
    Mr. Emert makes similar excuses.

    CJ and Randall: I don’t know either of you very well, if at all, so I am speaking very generally and not personally, here. I am using some of the things you said as examples, though.

    Nt right now? I ask you, then, when is the right time? You remember when it was the perfect time to become parents? Me neither.

    The fact is that the best time to serve is NOW. When is the best time to plant a tree? Yesterday.

    By all means, critics have their place. It is a right and a responsibility as a citizen. However, when is the right time to become part of the solution?

    “I wouldn’t win” “They would not pick me” are not a valid excuses.

    You may not be able to change things, but the worst crime is to not try. By not even trying you are surrendering to “the same old retreads.”

  • Mahkno

    Not the right time? To get a seat without a full blown campaign (you only have ten people you need to talk to) is a gift. It automatically makes you an incumbent when the election rolls around. If you can get the seat right now… it most definitely is the right time.

    If you really do have the public’s sentiment… being on the list and not being chosen can strengthen your position as an outsider who needs to be elected.

  • Don

    Conrad Stinnet — knows the city and shows great interest in improving all areas , not just his neighborhood. He’s comment to city leadership with goals to unite all the neighborhoods again and be proud of it as a great city that’s “together”. Planning to increase awareness for the people. Make them aware of the city plans and have them join in to aid in its development. Its going to take a city activist to replace Gary. Down deep in his heart that’s what Gary was.
    If it were my opportunity to select someone it would be Conrad Stinnet.

  • Randall

    A) They are many better qualified people than myself
    B) You have no idea the stress just campaigning has on a person. Do you know people call and say things then hangup while running. (gutless)
    C) It takes a lot of your personal time to really be effective on the Council. After working 35 years and missing many family events, I don’t want to again.
    D) Gary Sandberg and I met in a parking lot in February of this year and the things he told me about the bullshit underhanded backroom crap that goes on in Peoria politics was unbelievable. He told me I would lose the Primary. I also found out that a current councilperson while telling me one thing put money support behind Moore. In other words, there was a plan. Gary has passed so I will never speak of what he said in detail because he obviously can’t respond. I’ll just say it was a waking moment for me.
    E) Because of that meeting, I want no part in government of our city and in fact.

  • Anon E. Mouse

    Randall sez: “B) You have no idea the stress just campaigning has on a person.”

    I sez: Yes, I do. I circulated petitions, got my name one the ballot and was elected. (not to Peoria City Council – somewhere else).
    I’ve had to change a few things because it is a time commitment. But public service was important to me. Putting words into action was important to me.
    So, yes, I understand.

  • Randall

    Good for you Mouse. Must be proud as you also sent me an email for the same. I am sure school board at Morton will be tough…..(maybe) but running for Council in Peoria is tougher. At any rate, I agree, put voice into action. You won. I lost. Not like I didn’t try. Also, I don’t know how old you are but I am 60 and really, my public service days are over.

  • Insider

    Word on the street is its going to be a nail-biter between Beth Jensen and Katherine Coyle – both very professional and accomplished women.

  • Jim

    Beth Jensen would be an absolute joke.

  • Randall

    Both would be a joke. They both are Republican which means we (the working taxpayer) will get trickled down on and pet projects will move forward under the guise that if we have it, they will come. Really?

  • Anonymous

    Beth Jensen would bring them closer to the School District.

  • Jack

    Randall – Peoria isn’t party politics – it’s ego politics. The city continues to suffer while collar communities grow. Thinking of who we’ve lost and what there is to look forward to is, ……. not happy thoughts.

  • Anon

    Randall – Beth Jensen is very much a Democrat. It is scary to think that a chronic apologist for District 150 could sit on our City Council.

  • Randall

    My deepest apologies to Ms Jensen then. Party politics isn’t supposed to play in city council business, but it does and yes Jack, I agree. Egos!!! I wonder what would happen if the city council just appointed a regular working person who had no degrees, no long resume except just being a living working taxpayer in Peoria over 30 years with no “inside” friends. Just a person with some common sense and one who knew how to balance their household checkbook. Someone who knew how to live within their means, knew that a new roof on their home was more important than a new BMW. Someone who raised kids and knew how to say “No!” Knew the value of education and instilled that in their children so their future would be successful. Knew bullshit when they saw it.


  • conrad stinnett

    No matter how things shake out, being “Friend Of Peoria Chronicle” is quite an accolade. Thanks, C.J.

  • teachingrocks

    Randall, that kinda sounds like Y-O-U!

  • Randall

    Ya think?

  • Thank you for some other excellent post. Where else may anybody get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m at the search for such information.

  • CFD

    So, the corruption in the police department is being swept under the rug Many sighs of relief at City Hall. Now the next acts of corruption: first the mayor releases the incorrect information about choosing Gary’s replacement. Now he states the location of Gary’s replacement. Interesting that Senator Koehler is pushing Elizabeth Jensen. Kinda of blows the party affiliation theory out of the water. The back door deals between the city and state have lead to who controls whom. Methinks some in city hall are terrified about getting an independent thinker, threatening the sacred agenda. They need a another non thinking yes vote. Perhaps a chimp from the zoo trained to hit the yes switch would their purpose just as easily.
    Note: The Taft homes project has went from refurbishment to distribution of Taft residents to other locations. Wonder who gets the gunman from today’s incident. The plan is to further destroy neighborhoods so that the development deal for the Taft land can go through. They will need a “yes voter” to get this accomplished. If you want to keep driving over potholes, get attacks by throngs of kids, perhaps have your house robbed or even you and your family at gunpoint, then keep sitting back and allowing it to happen. Perhaps some misguided group will come again to cheer the council onto the path to destruction.

  • Randall

    Like I said during my short run for council, Taft homes was the secret on the burner. Those in command and developers can’t wait to get the land, bulldoze Taft, and build those expensive condos, then gate it off to the rest of us peasants. That will be the capper on the Warehouse District. The council needs a free thinker and not someone loaded with degrees and “knows” what’s good for us. A chimp from the Zoo would be best indeed for at least after hitting the YES button for a banana, the chimp won’t turn around and tell you that he knows what is good for you although he may slap you in the face anyway or poke a finger in your chest.

    It’s all about them and it has nothing to do with the working taxpayer in this community. Mrs Moore of the 1st, where all this is happening, will be in lock step all the while smiling and sending sympathy cards to Ricca and the south town neighborhoods. You get what you vote for.

  • Pete

    I just got back from a vacation without technolgy and was wondering if anyone knows where I can view our Presidents press conference on his outrage over the shooting of the baseball player in Oklahoma. Thanks for the help.

  • Jack

    Randall – How would mixed use private development occur in the near north end with Taft remaining subsidized housing for those chronically needing support?

  • Randall

    Jack: I’m not against development and Taft is a sore on the riverfront. It is where the thugs come out and do the crime and that affects downtown. Heavens we can’t have that in the warehouse district where the people complain about things like loud motorcycles. (While I was campaigning I was asked questions by many people. In the south end many were worried about vacant houses, crime, jobs, businesses coming in and leaving but you know what they worried about at the 401? Loud motorcycles leaving bars and riverfront attractions. Yep)
    If we go by this city’s track record, the taxpayer will pay dearly to raze the Taft, improve the area with sewer, water, and roads and then the city will give more money to a developer to build high end condos there that 80% of Peorians can’t afford, then install a fence around the whole project. I don’t mind that a city invests in infrastructure and even uses a little cash to invite development but that is not how Peoria operates. This city has mortgaged the pensions of it’s workers for a hotel. The Muesum is suffering and bleeding money that the taxpayer is going to have to pay for. The Civic Center has never turned a profit so the HRA Tax goes on. We got screwed years ago with the Garbage Fee which was nothing more than a property tax hike, just done a different way. (Remember, it went to policing and not garbage??)

    For the people to be happy in the warehouse area, Taft will have to go. They will relocate (many have been already as Taft is 1/3 empty) these families via scattered site housing the PHA so loves, which means out into the East and West Bluffs. Like when they closed the Harrison and Warner Homes, the groups moved out to Pierson Hills, East Bluff, and at the end of Forrest Hill where there are various Section 8 apartments and where the crime rate has climbed over 80% since before these units were built.

    That’s OK because those you can afford the Warehouse, where the late Gary Sandberg was making a rack of cash designing suites and flats in the old Maxum building, those sounds of motorcycles will be a welcome compared to hearing police sirens all night. Once again this will be developed on the backside of the taxpayer to benefit the few and the connected all under the guise of improving the downtown for all. It will do neither…..Why? Because in the last 25 years, this is the Riverfront re-invented, what? 3 times already?

  • Jack

    Near north end isn’t the warehouse districit, is it? The part of a politician you seem to grasp is not answering a direct question. The short answer would won’t.

  • CFD

    Jack, you are correct. It won’t be. However the flaw is the idea of mixed use..or what is trying to be sold as mixed income. What is used by the feds and by cities who have done housing projects has been mixed income….very low and low. Not wealthy and low or middle class and low.
    mixed use development. Why does this need to be done at Taft? Taft “interferes with other development because of crime if not reputation. You won’t sell high end living next to Taft. So, kick the poor out and replace with the wealthy and fund some developer to do it. USA has an extensive history of doing this. What results is where the Taft residents go? Around Wardcliffe has been suggested by some, on/near Perry Street and locations on the east and center bluffs. They won’t be going in wealthy, stable neighborhoods where councilmen live I can assure.

  • Karrie E. Alms


    How would mixed use private development occur in the near north end with Taft remaining subsidized housing for those chronically needing support?

    It will take more than removing Taft to make way for mixed use private development in the North Valley. In my opinion, it is a way to get a ‘valuable’ piece of real estate because the PHA states they need money. Then the city will help another developer, ignore the problems and possibly create a Chicago type scenario by advocating and using scattered site housing as the cure all.

    Please take a few minutes to watch a show called … VICE … episode … Chiraq.

    It is eye opening and educational too. You can watch other Chiraq videos … not encouraging.

    If you like reading … you may want to consider the timely article in TIME Magazine.

    The following is from TIME Magazine, “His Kind of Town,” June 10, 2013

    “Three percent of the city’s real estate is the source of 20% of its homicides; at the same time, 40% of Chicago, mostly the North Side, experienced no murders at all last year, according to city officials.

    During the younger Daley’s long reign, the city demolished such notorious high-rise poverty traps as the Robert Taylor Homes and Cabrini-Green, but these overdue steps has the perverse effect of scattering crime and gang activity into previously stable middle-class neighborhoods. At the same time, Chicago police were slow to embrace the revolution in anticrime tactics that helped tame the mayhem of other cities.”

    It is important to remember that gangs are businesses too. These businessmen are entrepreneurs. They need to have a clientele and their storefront is a home or a business or a street or open air market et al. New territory … competition among businessmen or relocation of businessmen into another businessman’s market … no business likes giving up market share. Competition and persuasive sales tactics come in many forms.

    In Chicago, areas which previously had little or no crime … have had crime increases. Areas which previously had a block or two of crime now have one or more police districts of crime … something is not working.

    The Near Northside will likely have more scattered sites as well as other neighborhoods in Peoria.

    This show is coming to Peoria neighborhoods. We should all work together … what is healthy or unhealthy for one neighborhood affects each and every other neighborhood … we need your help … unless you do not want to get involved and you are your neighborhood’s ostrich with your head in the sand.

  • Jack

    Karrie – The PHA would benefit, as they could use fair market value to help more than they currently serve at Taft. You are spot on when you begin the next sentence…Then the city….Yep. The City. It’s woeful leadership, good ol’boy power hungry egotist’s who serve themselves first, their friends second, and constituents if they play nice. And so it goes.

  • Karrie E. Alms


    Please help me out … how would the PHA benefit?

    From what I heard at the recent meeting … they need the money from the sale of Taft to stay in business … it was said that they want to reach their 150th anniversary.

    Didn’t the PHA try to use fair market value or some other program with Riverwest that ended up not working … units for sale and only two or so units sold and the remainder of the units to be sold had to be converted to some type of rental units.

    With the recently proposed Perry Manor Project … it was proposed that there would be 14 plus 2 other units with 4 of the 14 and 2 of the 2 unit building to be fair market value. Does that really work in real life? It sounds great at a meeting, in a presentation, on an application … yet does it actually work in the everyday world?

    Do you have any evidence or documentation that works socially and economically?

    Thanks for the dialogue and helping all of us to understand. Only we can solve these issues is by working together.

  • Jack

    Karrie – from what I have learned and heard from others, PHA oversight, rules&regs is a quagmire. My point was, if they were to vacate, they should be fairly compensated so those capital dollars can seed or further other properties they provide. Unfortunately I am not as well studied on this as you, but I do believe nothing will attract self-supporting residents when that out-dated high maintenance facility remains. Many vacant lots in the near North, coupled with homes and properties of historical significance could lead to ……well, better than exists or has been proposed.

  • Karrie E. Alms

    Thanks Jack. You are spot on with your comments … Many vacant lots in the near North, coupled with homes and properties of historical significance could lead to ……well, better than exists or has been proposed.

    So true … sigh. Thanks for the dialogue.

  • Unreal fact

    Until YESTERDAY, the day before the council chooses Sandberg’s replacement, Conrad Stinnett was not registered to vote. He found out that you had to be a registered voter to serve on the council. So he went to register yesterday, Monday. But that means all these years of his sometimes excellent blog posts, he never bothered to vote. That’s a big disqualifier in my mind.

  • Unreal fact

    #2 One applicant is from WEST Peoria.

    #3 Gloria Cassel Fitzgerald has an admirable professional record. But she actually lists on her resume that she was a “Playboy Bunny” in 1967. TMI Gloria. But she would be a perfect Sandberg replacement, bunny ears instead of a parrot on his shoulder.

  • mazr

    And I think I see Randy Ray sitting in the crowd.

  • mazr

    That was not Ray in the crowd. My mistake.

  • Paul Wilkinson

    Koehler’s first choice, Jensen is in. City council voting block needs that 6h vote and they need the Dems to keep funneling tax money we don’t have into the voting block’s projects.

  • Jack

    Paul is correct. Political cronyism is alive and well in Peoria. My guess is, by selecting Kohler’s pick, he told Ardis the Dem’s well run only a token candidate when he (Ardis) runs for Leitch’s seat – his ultimate goal after being passed over for Risingers seat in favor of Lahoods son. Got the early flight out of Peoria. Flying is easy, but the turbulence of Peoria’s political “leadership” makes me queezy.

  • Randall

    Dems? I think the Republicans on the Council are running things. Look at how this town does things. Dumb decisions. They must be Republican.

  • Jim

    Randy can’t resist name calling. Stop trolling.
    I’m skeptical on Jensen. I especially don’t like that she plans on running for reelection. It’s a weak move for an already weak council.

  • Anonymous

    Jensen will need to recuse herself on any issues relating to the school district.

  • Paul Wilkinson

    Jack, most likely correct as it is unlikely LaHood will run for treasurer with Leader Cross tossing his hat into the ring.
    Randall, you have to look at the bigger picture on who benefits. It is seldom about party in this city it is about perceived power and control. And yes, it is the Dems who have come foreword with huge tax breaks for the River Front and the Warehouse District. Hotel money, museum money. Both on the state, federal and county level. Always ready to spend someone else’s money. Additionally if you really watch the council, their are Republicans and “republicans”

    Regarding Jensen, Rumor is (and note I specified rumor) that she might be wanting to run for a judge’s position. 75% of being elected is name recognition. Who gets in the media more than the Peoria City council. The voting block was desperate to get a 6th vote as they had lost control of the council. Other positive things were beginning to happen. Those will stop and it will be full steam ahead for funding developers for the pet projects. What still bothers me is that the corruption in the police department still is not going to be addressed. It most definitely won’t be now with the control shift. Additionally noted was Beth Akeson outing Setti last night. Mr. Setti reported there was no project associated or any plan association with that new TIF district the council wanted to set at Constitution park. Yet clearly there was and it was that plan that drove the TIF recommendation, so once again a developer wants to do project and city is up and ready to give them the farm to do it. It seems that the loophole was there was not a project that ready right at that moment, not that nothing had been proposed to start the ball rolling. City manager, backed up Setti…..think behind closed doors Wal Mart deal. So we have more staff that very much ready to mislead the public, if not outright lie to them as did the police officers from the previous city council meeting.
    A lawyer on the council will be more helpful than just the yes vote, but in tutoring staff and council members in finding any loopholes and technicalities so the public will only continue to be “mislead” rather than calling it the lie that it will be. I hope that is not the case with Jensen, but does beg the question.

  • Jim

    Why has she had so many jobs?!

  • soothsayer

    If any think Jensen isn’t the right pick, then contact the Council and ask that they not support her. Better yet, go down to the chamber on Tuesday night and ask them in person. I think this whole process was pathetic, from state and federal office holders butting their unwelcome heads in, to others attempting to derail other potential appointees with pithy comments and blatent untruths. We don’t need more YES people in local government, just as we don’t need unquestioning sheep for citizens.

  • Bruce

    My what leadership from our council last night. Some are obviously reality challenged.

  • Pdw

    How many must die, be shot, robbed, raped, etc before council accepts failed don’t. Shoot program. We are clearly expendable.