August 2013
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Chronicle predictions of 2009 come true in 2013

The Journal Star reports:

Attendance was lower and the red ink was deeper than expected during the Peoria Riverfront Museum’s first year. …Board leaders pointed to a growing realization that the original White Oaks consultant study done prior to construction of the museum didn’t offer realistic projections.

It wasn’t lower and deeper than expected by this publication. The Peoria Chronicle analyzed museum attendance projections back in January 2009 and concluded they were wildly optimistic. This site predicted the actual attendance figures would be at least 22% lower than the numbers touted by museum officials. In a report given to the Peoria County Board, museum officials disclosed that attendance is actually 24.3% below projections.

The non-IMAX theater attendance is 45.8% below expectations. That’s significant because much of the hoped-for profitability of the museum was tied to projected revenues from the theater. When museum officials decided to go with a generic “Giant Screen Theater” instead of a promised IMAX-brand theater, this publication also predicted that that decision would result in lower theater attendance and be a bigger blow to museum revenues than lower attendance to the exhibits. Indeed, overall earned revenue is 46.8% below expectations.

Well, the good news for museum folks is that no one will be held accountable for these gross miscalculations, and the county will continue to receive your tax money to pay off the bonds used to build this white (gray?) elephant.

68 comments to Chronicle predictions of 2009 come true in 2013

  • Good call! Love the ’09 research. Not knowing anything about the others, it seems from the names alone that they are more interactive and hands on. I could be totally wrong there… PRM seems a little too sterile and missing that true interaction that would make people want to come back.

    As for the theater, that is probably the #1 thing that would/could get people coming to/back on a more frequent basis. But the cost times the whole IMAX debacle seems to have put those patrons off. Been once, wasn’t bad, but don’t really need to go back.

    The little piece of prairie in an urban setting doesn’t seem like it was built to meet a demand, just fill space in hopes to stimulate interest. That’s always going to be a problem and I would use Kalamazoo as the benchmark going forward.

  • The Mouse

    I’m not sure an IMAX would have made that much difference. Look at the price vs. the length of the films they are showing vs. the surrounding area. And I would also consider the negative impact of the traffic situation in downtown Peoria right now, with all those streets torn up.

  • Museum Supporter

    I think the road construction was poorly timed and definitely contributed to the lower attendance. That said, I don’t think the attendance was that bad, and the museum is making the adjustments it needs to make to improve future attendance. I think the Museum will improve with time, as will the exhibits. The kinks will be worked out, and The Museum will be another “go to” destination in Central Illinois for centuries to come.

  • Eye in the Sky

    SURPISE SURPISE!!!(in gomer pile voice) We knew the numbers were a lie from the start. When ever the city gives numbers for anything there always WRONG. They should have toured some REAL museums before giving away the best land in peoria to CAT. We just got back from STL science center and PRM would fit in a closet there. Can’t wait to see what hair brained ideas come out of council now that they have another YES man on council. Gary has got to be rolling in his grave about this but then again he knew how stupid they can get at city hall.

  • Eye in the Sky

    the museum is making the adjustments it needs to make to improve future attendance. I think the Museum will improve with time, as will the exhibits. The kinks will be worked out, and The Museum will be another “go to” destination in Central Illinois for centuries to come


  • Museum Supporter

    I’m not on crack or any other drug – I’m just not the glass-half-empty-sky-is-falling-we-are-all-going-to-die pessimist that you are.

  • Eye in the Sky

    I am not the glass half anything. I live the reality of them spending money on pipe dream projects IE MIDtown which is still ABANDONED instead of BASIC services IE police,roads. You won’t walk my area after dark without a POLICE escort with a chance of getting jumped by a gang of rouge teens. If they would worry about basics the rest would follow because there would a demand for it instead of You Build it they will come.

  • Animal lover

    Don’t forget the Zoo. Last year a giraffe had his neck snapped, this year a lion died. What next?

  • Museum Supporter

    Eye- this is where you and a lot of others miss the boat. No one says “I’m moving to Peoria because they have GREAT basic services!!” No one.

  • Museum Supporter

    And as far as the violence and gang warfare -nothing will change that unless Peoria stops the prevalent distribution of welfare, housing subsidies and food stamps. Heck District 150 is feeding kids 2 squares a day including summers. Stop paying young unmarried women to have kids and problem solved. “Nice sidewalks”. That is just idiotic.

  • Paul Wilkinson

    Museum supporter, correct to point. in that no one states it. But, people research crime and schools (both are failures in wanting to live in Peoria). Many will visit. If they drive through thug ridden areas, dilapidated areas, experience potholes, litter, etc. They won’t move here. Robbed, shot at, car vandalized, etc. and if they move here and have resources, they will leave. If your basics are failing, you can’t polish a turd brightly enough to outshine a poor foundation.

    For some reason the attendance projects keep changing, lowering in fact. The original pitch was 1000 visitors a day. Blame construction, blame consultations, I am sure someone will find a way to blame George Bush. Other data was available and ignored.

  • Museum Supporter

    Probably can’t blame Bush but could definitely tie it to Obama.

  • Randall

    They are not staying in Peoria because it’s safe. They are leaving because of the crime and the schools period. Please don’t throw property taxes in as they are very high across the river and yet people fight to buy houses there. I know, my son is trying to buy one now and has tried to buy 3 others only to be beat out by someone else.

    It is indeed build it and they will come and it doesn’t work. No matter how fast the museum gets itself together, no one is going there because of the crime.

    What made me think you are full of it Museum Supporter is your Obama comment. Now I know you not only see half full, but UFOs, birthers, and teabag rallies. What is so wrong with the economy today, right now? I see malls are busy, out north, new cars, and where I work out north I see nothing but BMWs, Saabs, Volvo’s, Toyota’s, and on and on. The well to do don’t seem to be suffering at all. If anything the crash from Bush which caused many cities to lose funding and make cuts to vital services started all this.

  • Eye in the Sky

    Just had police babysitting the peoria high kids on their way home.Wanna guess how many burglaries happened while they were doing that? Paul is right on the money about services. I am more concered about how the city presents itself when there are NO cheerleaders hyping it up. Clean streets and SMOOTH roads speak volumes about how much a city cares about its people.

  • Paul Wilkinson

    If you’re seeing BMW’s, Saabs, and Volvos in your neighborhood Randall, they are drug dealers.

  • Randall

    No Paul, they are out north, Mt Hawley, Northpoint etc etc and they are white young girls or white guys. The economy is doing very well.

  • Dennis in Peoria

    Some of you folks have short memories again. Yes, the City did give the land away for the Museum, but it was Peoria COUNTY that pushed for the referendum, THE COUNTY collects the sales tax, and THE COUNTY built the Museum and operates it. THE COUNTY is receiving reports on the financial and attendance side. The City has no say so in how it operates.

    Quit blaming the Peoria City Council for the lower-than-expected performance of the Museum.

    At the same time, has anyone done research on similar museums in cities the size of Peoria? How did they do as far as attendance and finances less than a year after opening?

    Finally, for those that like to blame Obama for all the current ills: if an alien from another planet ever landed in the USA, and Obama was chosen to greet them in peace, the right-wingers would bash him for personally inviting illegals into the country.

  • Pete

    Yep. Only 47% need help. Minority unemployment is at DECADES highs – especially for youth. Quite well indeed. And in your world the Post Office is profitable and carries their own weight. Has for years…..

  • Eye in the Sky

    Dennis Nobody but a gun to there head and said give the land away. Who’s paying for all the road work? I still believe if the basics are covered then the developers will come without having to pay them to take money from the taxpayers. The city is still to BLAME they are the ones who are suppose to do the POLICE and keep us safe. Let’s not forget the bait and switch with the NEW hotel for 95 million and NO retirement for city workers. A half empty mall in the hole would have made more money for the county at no tax increase for us.

  • mazr

    Amazing that people still don’t realize that crime and schools are the main reason people choose where to live.

  • Gee, C.J.. One of those times when “I told you so” just doesn’t seem to cut it. One more Peoria white elephant. What’s next, an ostrich race track?

  • Eye in the Sky

    Fred SHHHH don’t feed them any ideas. unless you get a couple hundred thousand $$ fee first.

  • Paul Wilkinson

    Dennis, your are partly correct. They city gave away the land instead of taking the $6 million they were offered. They also gave a few million to the project and funded the infrastructure, etc. County Board members should be held accountable as well as those city council members that participated in the initial scam of selling it to the public. Do you want to see the pictures of a councilman giving a presentation on the museum with details of the project on the screen behind him?

    Regarding Obama greeting the Alien, he would, and in one hand would be an envelope with a LINK card, citizenship badge, a driver’s license, health insurance voucher and maybe even a gun from fast and furious. In the other would be an audit from the IRS and prebugged free cell phone for the alien to use.

  • GOPer

    “Regarding Obama greeting the Alien, he would, and in one hand would be an envelope with a LINK card, citizenship badge, a driver’s license, health insurance voucher and maybe even a gun from fast and furious. In the other would be an audit from the IRS and prebugged free cell phone for the alien to use.”

    Paul – Don’t forget a few dozen voter registration cards.

  • “Eye- this is where you and a lot of others miss the boat. No one says “I’m moving to Peoria because they have GREAT basic services!!” No one.”

    And they aren’t moving here because they are saying “Let’s move to Peoria; they have a great museum!”

  • Jim

    People live in cities based on basic services. Developers build hotels, shopping centers, and other retail where people live. This is a fairly simple concept.

  • Eye in the Sky

    Kevin This is where peoria is missing the boat basics SUCK so they are paying the developers to build something so they will come. Even if its the wrong thing.

  • Randall

    Pete you are ignorant especially when it comes to the Postal Service. If Congress was to pay back the USPS the money they took starting with Bush’s Postal Reform Act in 2006, they wouldn’t be broke and in fact in 2011, the USPS would have been $450 million in the black. Yes, $5 billion a year has to be paid by the USPS to fund Retirement Systems of the CSRS and FERS because of that Act passed. Bush and his Republicans needed a way to pay for the wars without it reflecting in the national debt. That is the debt that Obama has reduced by over 37% since taking office despite the constant obstructions from the GOP who didn’t care about debt during Bush but now, are really concerned. Do some reading up on just why the USPS is in dire straits. The USPS is owed over $56 Billion and will never see it from Congress. The USPS was set up in 2006 for privatization by the GOP and their retirement system is already funded for the next 75 years. That means someone born today, grows up, gets a job at the USPS and works for 30 years has their retirement funded right now without another dime being paid. What private sector company is required to do this?? None. These aren’t my words. Please, instead of Fox talking points, read up on the Postal Reform Act 2006 and see exactly what they did to the Postal Service.

    As for you 47% unemployment, I doubt that number but even if it is correct, blame the corporations with their greed that farm out jobs to China. Where’s your outrage for that? You on the Right complain about immigration and immigrants stealing jobs but have no problem with CEOs making huge money and corporations making the biggest profits they ever had and yet refuse to hire American workers and when they do, only at part time or at greatly reduced wages paying no benefits. It is the worker who makes a living wage the spurs the economy, not corporations making huge profits and then stashing the money overseas. Just how many JOBS or JOBS Bills have the GOP House passed? NONE. All they do is obstruct the President at every turn. In many countries, that would be considered treason. Her it is just the MO of the GOP.

    You are indeed a dolt. Most of this is 4th grade reading.

    Back to the thread at hand: Dennis the City of Peoria gave away the most valuable asset the city had. The Sears Block for a buck. That is irresponsible? They did it solely for the Museum hence you can blame the city. The city are the ones who commissioned all the expert opinion on attendance and projected costs. Nobody was buying into that so a city wide added sales tax wouldn’t be enough to start the project. So…give it to the County and let them tax everyone in the whole County of Peoria. Presto! Money……

  • Randall

    BTW Paul….and GOPer Voter Fraud is made up by the frauds in the GOP. There is no voter fraud. How sad we live in a country where the Party who thinks voter fraud is an issue because most poor and minorities vote Democratic because the GOP wants them to go away, so they rig voter laws to make it happen and in a country where it takes more for a person to vote than it does to buy a gun.

    I am white and I have voted for over 40 years and I have never been asked for a photo ID. Ever. In the 70s and 80s, states like Illinois didn’t even have your photo on a driver’s license. How would the GOP idiots have handled that?

  • Randall

    CJ: Your dad worked for the USPS. You are a very intelligent person and do your research. How about doing a small post on the USPS and dispute what I have posted or correct it?

    Paul: You live in a shitbox neighborhood, trying to make it better and failing and yet you vote for the party (GOP) and defend that party. That makes no sense as no Republican gives a rat’s butt about you and your neighborhood problems. In fact if the GOP had their way, you would get even less in city services and social programs designed to improve quailty of life. It seems like you would won’t a Liberal point of view in office to help you with the problems your area faces. Yet you rail on the President. So if Aliens did land, and were greeted by Boehner, he would put them in jail as illegal immigrants. Gee, the USA, where we imprison more than any other country in the world. Where Defense is 37% of the GDP or $277 Billion for Defense. Welfare is 2%. Cut it all welfare tomorrow, it wouldn’t dent the debt one bit. Tell us another one please. Cut the F35 program and you could send all students to college for free. Ah, who wants an educate electorate?

  • lanestar7

    Yes, I have to agree that all the homeowners with money who have been steadily fleeing to Dunlap and Washington don’t give two craps about a museum. They want a good school to send their kids and safe parks for the kids to play in. They want to be able to leave their garage door open while the mow the grass and not walk back in to find their car stolen. They want to put out yard decor and Halloween pumpkins without them being vandalized, they want to protect what they have worked hard for. Not pay the highest property tax in the state after Chicago and send their kids to the worst schools. Sorry, one little piddly museum full of stuff no one cares about is going to gloss over all that. We mistakenly bought our first house in Peoria but you can bet your last dollar that’s not where our next homes will be located.

    I meet people constantly that have moved to the area for CAT or other businesses and I would say maybe 1% of them are living in the City of Peoria. They are all out there in Dunlap or Washington or Morton or even East Peoria. Didn’t anyone just see the Star article about the revenue base for Dist. 150 decreasing??? NO ONE IS MOVING HERE. I am completely sure all of the Museum supporters live in Dunlap, where they can pretend like Peoria has plenty of cops and isn’t cutting school services or failing all of their AYP scores.

  • Paul Wilkinson

    Randall, you live in Illinois, run by Dems for how many years. So many people have left that we lost a congressional seat. We give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, We raised the income tax to pay bills, yet paid none of them and in fact racked up more, so the proposed solution is to raise income taxes even more. We are beyond bankrupt, we have the worst credit rating anywhere. Crime rates and shootings are through the roof with the toughest gun laws and so on and so on. Who the hell wouldn’t vote for other options? Sheep Randall, Sheep. Rant all you want and blame the GOP, then look around you once again.

    Shitty neighborhood: yep, instead of working, thugs lay around the porches making babies that the people working with have to pay. complaining about low minimum wage. What prevented you from getting you ass to school and paying attention and going to college to get a better job. We send people to prison because they commit crimes. Don’t want to go, then don’t commit a crime. It’s really pretty simple.

  • Eye in the Sky

    I had Christmas lights ripped out of the ground by tween age girls. Got it all on video even me charging out the door to try and catch them. As they laughed running down the block.SUCKed the joy right out of the holidays.

    This is the kind of crap that makes folks not willing to move to an area. NOT some pie in the sky crap. I don’t blame one party or the other I blame them ALL it’s like they get some KOOL-AID and forget what they are in office for.

  • soothsayer

    The museum that was sold and what we got today are very different. To say the public was lied to is correct, but putting it very mildly. As much as I believe clearing the lot and starting over to be the best solution, it is not a realistic one. We need to keep speaking up with ideas for improvement. I do agree that dealing with crime must be on the list of things that need to happen. People need to feel good about going downtown. Fear of crime is going to keep people away.

  • Paul Wilkinson

    Randall, go vote early. you must show an ID. No one complains about that.
    Voter fraud….yes dead Chicagoans are very civic minded.

  • Dennis in Peoria

    I agree that the city shouldn’t have given away that precious land for only a $1. But those of you that want to continue to hang the city’s head for what is there now:

    Tell me which developers were standing in line at City Hall to offer to buy that land, tear down Sears and the lot, then develop it into another strip mall that would contain a digital store, a nail salon, a cash loan business, and a carry-out restaurant? I know Gary Matthews probably wasn’t in that line, and the City really has given him tax money.

    Like I said before, complain about the Museum: go to a County Board meeting.

  • Eye in the Sky

    Dennis they had just not offered enough tax money to get one to step out of there whole in the ground. As far as going to a meeting and complain then get ARRESTED for disturbing the peace or what ever charge they can make up to get you out of the meeting.

  • CFD

    There was an offer by Embassy Suites, Dennis. Not well known despite the reported “transparency”

  • Randall

    Paul, some dead people voted in Chicago what 70 years ago? I don’t vote early so I have never had to show an ID. Fact is, Voter Fraud is non existent. Maybe what? 2 cases during the last national election? (One was a Republican woman in Las Vegas) As for this State, yes it is run by Chicago democrats but Illinois has had a Republican Governor more often than not. (when they don’t go to prison) Plenty of blame on both sides. We all pay taxes Paul. It’s so we can drive on roads, call the fire department and or police. As for guns, well, putting more on the streets isn’t the answer. As for the debt in Illinois, that is from all politicians on both sides rapping the pension funds for years without paying it back. I am sure your boy Aaron got some bacon during his time in the State House. Of course the big crash caused by Bush in this country in 2008 didn’t help with the States either. As for your view on people laying around porches etc.. well I must say, college isn’t for everyone, and have you checked the costs lately. Very hard for the poor to go and not rack up a lifetime of debt, which by the way, Republicans bitch about, college loan debt. So not many opportunities to get this people off their ass and find a job is there? Maybe if this country would stop bombing other countries and spending 37% of our GDP on war bombs and machines, we could offer the poor some opportunities. Otherwise, I guess bitching about them and stereotyping is OK….for you. Your party’s big corporations are responsible too for creating a large class of people no longer considered middle class but dirt poor and at $8.25 an hour minimum wage, why work? Exxon makes $5 million in PROFIT an hour, each and every hour, 24 hours a day and that is just one big company. They, the corporations own the Republicans and yes many Democrats in Washington and they love the fact, especially the GOP, that the un educated and poor are kept that way. And you live in the mist of this and still defend them.

    As for developers in line for the old Sears block, there were many. If Mathews wasn’t in that line Dennis, then it was because the City wasn’t giving him enough millions to be there. That big beautiful Embassy Suites sitting in East Peoria I think offered up a proposal to build here. I believe at the time the Council rejected it saying too many hotels downtown.If true, irony??

  • mazr

    “People live in cities based on basic services.”

    I disagree Jim.

    Safety and schools will always be the factors for families. If the schools and safety are bad, you can pretty much assume basic services aren’t good. Now if you’re talking single people, basic services may be a factor.

  • point of order

    Hey Randall, who is getting ready to drop some bombs now. Your hero Obama. What a hypocrite. He can’t even get Great Britain to stand with him. Is that the fault of the hated corporations too.

  • Dennis in Peoria

    Thanks to Randall and CFD for correcting me on developers on the Sears Block.

    However, if the City had offered lots of tax incentives (just like the Marriott), then most of you would be bashing the City for that, too.

  • Randall

    Dennis: Offering tax incentives? You mean like the city mortgaging the pensions of it’s workers for the next 30 years based on a hotel and whether it makes it or not?

    President Obama hasn’t dropped any bombs on anyone yet. I’ll wait and see. GB won’t stand because of the lies Bush told them about Iraq. You should have listened to their debate on this. It was on TV. Their house of Parliament debated and the main ground issue wasn’t proof of attacks in Syria, but the fact that the British people were mislead about Iraq by Dubbya and they weren’t falling for it again. Who can blame them? Besides, the will of the British people don’t want to get involved with the US in another useless war so their government went with the will of the people. The GOP here could learn something from this as they ignore the will of the people every single day. If that wasn’t true, then we would have had a jobs bill by now from the great GOP. We have instead 40 repeals of Obamacare. shhhh.
    As for what Obama will or will not do, well he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. I hope he just cuts the money off and no bombing yet the Republicans are drooling at the mouth for the bombs to start BUT only if Boehner and company agree on what and where those bombs go. If Obama does nothing, then Fox and the GOP will rake him over the coals and if Obama bombs them, then Fox and GOP will blame him for doing something against the will of Congress. Talk about hypocrites??? This is how the GOP has operated since Obama was elected. If the President said the sky was blue, Hannity would be on Fox saying the President is calling the sky racist.

    So POO (love that as it reflects some of your opinions) go back to your Fox News channel.

  • Dennis in Peoria

    @ Randall: “Dennis: Offering tax incentives? You mean like the city mortgaging the pensions of it’s workers for the next 30 years based on a hotel and whether it makes it or not?”

    Exactly what I was talking about.

    To POV: Obama just had a Press Conference from the White House. He has made 2 decisions:
    1. He is going to use military action against Syria. He said it could be tomorrow…next week…or next month.
    2. He met with Congressional leaders Boehner, Pelosi, McConnell, and Reid. They all agreed that as soon as Congress reconvenes (scheduled for Sept. 9, wish it was sooner), the President wants a debate in both the House and Senate on whether to use military action (no ground troops). So President Obama is putting the decision in the hands of Congress. Good luck on getting the Elephants and the Donkeys to agree even on military action.

  • Randall

    Obama is a genius. All in one speech, he made compelling reasons for a response, said he would be glad to do it, and then laid it on those idiots that run the House and the dumwits in the Senate. Classic! Let’s see……

    a) this is off topic, sorry CJ
    b) the Repubs try to embarrass him and not approve a bombing, to which Obama says see? If I say the sky is blue, then the GOP says it isn’t

    c) the repubs approve of war, the Senate filibusters to prevent a vote and nothing happens except high oil prices because of fear, backlash, the American public finally….finally is convinced the Repubs are war hawks and so must be voted out as we can’t even agree to bomb anyone. 62% oppose any action in Syria.
    d) Worse case Obama then has to bomb them (which I think he really doesn’t want to do)and then blame the Republicans for ordering to do so.

    Bottom line: Obama sounded war like, commander and chief like, and dumped the mess in Congress. Beautiful.

    On topic: The Museum must succeed. If it doesn’t, we will end up with another fee, like the garbage fee to pay for. Think your house in Peoria has lost value, if it fails and we are taxed to keep it, down go the property values

  • desperado

    Soothsayer was absolutely correct in his comments regarding the lies and deceptions perpetrated on the citizen of Peoria County regarding the Museum project. But the lies finally caught up with the Liar in Chief, Mr. Jim Richerson, and in the end, his lies were his undoing. Unfortunately, under his direction, he and his little band of minions created a huge hole for the facility. Let us all hope that the PRM Board finds a top notch new CEO who will listen to the community and respond to that input and implement changes that will result in positive improvements. Unfortunately, we will have to suffer through one last Richerson fiasco which will be another Lakeview repeat exhibit coming after the Ansel Adams exhibit. Strange, that with so many smart folks on the PRM Board, that 2 of the first 3 main exhibits in this new museum were just Lakeview do-overs. It is now so fundamentally clear, that Jim Richerson hi-jacked this Museum project which had such potential, but ultimately ended up at least initially, under his leadership, in just a downtown Lakeview. How sad, how sad indeed that one man bambozzeled a whole county.

  • Karrie E. Alms

    Soothsayer is correct.

    desperado …

    In my opinion, as much as I do not like what happened with many aspects of the museum issue … laying ALL of the blame at Jim Richerson’s feet is misguided.

    Jim at the helm was supposed to be the visionary and leader to get the museum built … some methods used were very deceptive and false information was distributed … nevertheless, he was successful in reaching his goal … getting the museum built. Along the way, museum board members supported his vision … their votes helped him to keep on course. Jim did not operate in a vacuum … he had help to reach the museum.

    At several meetings … there were reports of the many focus groups and attendees and community input … so at least some of that group of people are/were supportive of Jim’s vision.

    The goal was to get a museum built … not necessary what would play in Peoria … rather what would play in Jim Richerson’s mind and the minds of those who supported him. With all the changes from better to worse with building design issues and exhibit issues and so on … this is what taxpayers paid for and now we are stuck with it.

    I do not feel that getting a top notch new CEO will do much for what we have now … there is no redesign money and the taxpayer will be on the hook … sorry Randall … it will take a mighty miracle and drastic change for taxpayers to not be shelling out money for this debacle.

    Then remember the elected officials who promoted this debacle … Ryan Spain was a huge cheerleader for this project … please remember that should he ever seek to be Mayor of Peoria … the Peoria City Council Members (had to be at least six of them) who voted to give away the land for $1.

    And the former Peoria County Administrator, Patrick Urich left before that lame museum bird came to roost at the county … and is now our Peoria City Manager. Patrick pushed and pushed this debacle along with Peoria County Board Members … Andrew Rand, Lynn Scott Pearson, Tommy O’Neil, Allen Mayer, Steve Morris et al who voted for this debacle … alas, those memories will pale next election cycle and there is a very high probability that all those ‘yes’ voting elected officials will be re-elected.

    Nothing really changes in Peoria … stay sad story … because elected officials and city and county administrators along with developers (private and social service agencies) have all the ideas of how to build a city.

    The question which needs to be asked …

    How do you build a city?

    With all the stakeholders included from the beginning … a little messy yet more effective.

  • merle widmer

    Short memories indeed. Mentioned by no one is the fact that as a member of the Peoria County Board from 2000-2010, I was one of three who led the “No”
    vote on the referendum that failed by 400 votes out of 30,000 cast and the RPMsupporters spent $630,000 and oppositions spent less than $3000. I was ONLY one on the County Board, on all aspects of the museum, who voted no. I am the major one who posted 25 blogs filled with facts as to why this “rural” musuem would fail. My constant quote “show me the money” made in ‘open to the public board meetidngs’ never appeared in print in the prejudiced and strong supporter of the “build the museum” Journal Star.

    Mr. Urich was the major supporter to give the PRM committee an extra $5.3 million for them to use as they wished. How did they wish? They rolled this money into the struggling and still UNDERFUNDED Endowment.

    The KNOWN amount the the County contributed to the museum BUILDING is $41.6 million not the $40 million as constantly quoted by JS reporters.

    The public has contributed oveer 66% of the total cost of the susposed overall cost of the museum, $99 million. Not 33% as originally promised by Brad McMillan and other PRM Board members.

    By the way, the JS and Chris. K have blocked me from making any commments on their site. My ignorant actions in a house I own and the jewelry I paid for and never worn for 17 years, gave the JS an opportunity to sensationalize the incident reported by me to the police making me the culprit and not the thief. Sorry, my detractors, I will not stop reporting the truth even though it may embarass me.


  • Martin Palmer

    “and the county will continue to receive your tax money to pay off the bonds used to build this white (gray?) elephant.”

    Only if you purchase items in Peoria County. I for one take my purchaes out of Peoria County if I can. It is our only way to avoid the tax.
    Also what is wrong with Headding Oaks? Not open yet and what will become of the soon to be closed Bel-Wood? I look for the county to spend $$ on the “Horrable shape” Bel-Wood for re use and still cost us money for the future also.

  • CFD

    What else was little know, was the way Urich allegedly shuffled money around to use any and all funds to the museum. One of the reasons why a democratic board wanted to get rid of the two positions at that last election was that Carol wanted to put the county check book online. In doing so, much would have come forth. They offered up Nancy’s position to make it look like they were being fiscally responsible and eliminating two positions as well as not to look political.

    Urich was on his way out of the county anyway, So his buddies on the city council picked him up and gave him a big fat pay raise, some nice perks and they now have their own attack dog in their employ.

    Dennis, Tax incentives should be used to draw business that would not ordinarily be done. COP has misused every economic tool we have and developers expect every tax payer perk that can be offered. The council created the corporate welfare and now they can’t get anything done without it.

    Also the 30 year mortgage for the main gift of the Marriot is not the only problem. Don’t forget the $7 million “loan” given to Matthews from the COP worker’s retirement fund.