Sunday, March 13, 2011

The TIF and the City

John Sharp has written an excellent piece in the Journal Star about the upcoming East Valley Growth Cell TIF that will soon be enacted for the East Bluff and Near North Side. While his article is balanced and tries to include both sides of the argument, there is an interesting side note to the entire affair.

Now the TIF funds are at the mercy and discretion of the City Council, once it is enacted. So, since the consensus appears to agree that it will go through despite objections of residents like myself, the question really becomes WHO do I want holding the checkbook? Despite the protestations of Timothy Riggenbach, who has publicly stated he will fight the disbursement of EVGC TIF funds to the MidTown Plaza TIF, the funds generated by the TIF (Taxpayer Dollars) can be maneuvered by the City Council to other TIF areas. And while the last meeting of the TIF Advisory Committee was a show designed to give the illusion of community involvement, the charter of that Advisory Committee clearly states that they are strictly that, an advisory committee, who's information, recommendations, and findings can be disregarded in part or entirely. There is not regulation or law that prevents the City Council from doing whatever they want to do, in spite of the desires or objections of the homeowners.

Personally, I think the incumbents have lost sight of their purpose and their calling. They are not there to be Empire Builders or Dictators, but Servants of the People. We are the ones who should be telling them what we want done, how we want it done, and what we think should be the direction of our city.

Gary Sandberg, C.J. Summers, and Beth Akeson appear to have this message in their platforms. The other candidates...well, not too sure. Still checking and I will be listening very carefully on Wednesday, March 16th when we have them on the Dais at the Peoria Theater starting at 6 p.m. Will you?


  1. You don't have to vote for five candidates.
    Peoria uses Equal and even cumulative voting: In equal and even CV, voters cast votes for as many candidates as they prefer, and their votes are allocated equally among those candidates. In a five-seat race, voting for just one candidate would give that candidate five votes. Voting for two candidates would give each one 2.5 votes, and voting for four candidates would give each candidate 1.25 votes.

  2. Susan, that is true, but we need to change more than just one seat on the Council. Gary Sandberg is an exception to the Council, but he cannot do the job by himself. If we are to attain real change, we need more than one voice.

  3. I'd like for those three (CJ, Beth, Gary) to be elected and for Turner, Spain to be off the council. I've gone to two candidate forums and haven't been impressed with the remaining candidates. If I had to pick two more I'd probably vote for Grayeb and Williams but I'd just as soon to spread the other two votes to Sandberg, Akeson and Summers). As for the others? Jim Stowell appears to be running for school board, George Azouri is clearly too inexperienced and Chuck Weaver hasn't managed to attend and/or stay and answer any questions (he has had to be at prearranged coffees; who knows - perhaps he will stay at your forum this week). Weaver has managed to get his automated phone calls started however - so so much easier than having to actually answer questions.