By: Diane Benjamin
From Bills and Payroll for 2/22/16: http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=242&parent=9535
How much of that is work on a downtown hotel?
How much more will the City rack up at your expense?
Yes, Giebelhausen’s proposal is costing you money.
Speaking of Giebelhausen, he wants to change East Peoria’s form of government. See this article: http://www.pjstar.com/article/20151203/NEWS/151209772 He only needs 161 signatures to get it on the ballot. To his credit, he chose the November ballot. Rob Fazzini’s plan here would have had the question on the primary ballot (lower turnout). Remember Modified Wards?
The government they have now doesn’t represent citizens – all commissioners are elected At-Large, just like Normal.
East Peoria has a commission form of government. The council is made up of four commissioners and a mayor. Each commissioner oversees a specific section of city services such as police, fire, public works, and streets and each commissioner is elected at-large. There are no wards and no representation of geographic sections of the city. According to Giebelhausen, the commission form of government is practiced by about 2 percent of municipalities in Illinois.
Giebelhausen’s plan for change is worse. He wants a Council/City Manger government.
East Peoria can hire an expensive City Manager who knows nothing about the local economy. They can pay big bucks for consultants, just like Bloomington. The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) can run government instead of citizens. It does make Giebelhausen’s job easier though. He cozies up to the City Manger and only has to convince one person of his greatness. Then the City Manager convinces the Council to support whatever plan, in Bloomington – that’s a lunch,
If Giebelhausen really wants local government that represents the people, he would support the Strong Mayor/Council form. Everybody is local, the Mayor isn’t going to get paid like a City Manager, and all decisions would be local. Citizens can’t fire a City Manager, they can fire a Mayor and Council. The Ward system must be maintained, obviously the people in Normal aren’t well represented when the Council is all At-Large. Nobody is accountable and only insiders can win elections.
Include a recall ordinance too Jeff. Nothing forces government to conform to the will of voters better than fear of being replaced.