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?