Spotlight: Don’t be afraid of facts on water company
By Elliott Murray
Peoria Journal Star, Letter to Editor
Apr 22, 2017
Thanks to Lori Horstman for Illinois-American Water’s response (March 26) to Cynthia Hsieh’s March 18 letter, “Publicly owned water company makes sense.”
I understand that Ms. Horstman’s job, as superintendent of production for IAWC, is to speak for the private water company. Cynthia and I, however, are citizen volunteers who served together on a League of Women Voters committee that studied whether a public water system better serves Peorians than a private system. As independent volunteers, we have nothing to gain personally in our advocacy.
It was disheartening to read Ms. Horstman’s conclusion that Ms. Hsieh’s comments about chloramine were “irresponsible and inaccurate.” In fact, they came straight from IAWC’s website: “Water with chloramines is safe to drink, though it is not to be used in fish tanks or for dialysis patients.” And it is IAWC that states: “Chloramines in water cannot be removed by boiling, aerating or reverse osmosis.”
The meeting took place in order to certify the results of the April 4 consolidated general election The first order of business was to end the tie in the election for Hollis Park District. Mother, Anita Zeine, and son, Russell Zeine, were tied after the April 4 election. It was the first time members of the Commission used the tie-breaker protocol. First, Chairman Collins pulled a party name out of a bag to determine who would draw a number first. Then Anita Zeine drew a four from chits numbered one through ten. Russell Zeine drew a six and was declared the winner.
The Commission approved a change in the hours that the office would be open to the public. Even though staff arrives at 8:00 am, the doors will not open until 8:30 to give staff time to get organized and ready for the day.
There was actually higher voter turnout for the April 4 election than in the last two off-season elections.
The percent voting in the city was almost 20%, but because there were more registered voters this year, actual numbers were higher.
After an update on the Brandywine building, the Commission wanted it on the record that they were unhappy with the length of time it has taken to ready the building. Unfortunately, the Commission is not the leaseholder; the County is. Hopefully, things are now on track for remodeling to occur and for a tentative move in date to be planned.
In answer to a question from an attendee, Director Tom Bride explained in detail what determines a valid mail-in ballot. First, the ballot must be postmarked no later than Election Day. Then two judges, one from each major party, determine if the signature is a match. If there is any question about the validity of the signature, the voter is given the opportunity to prove that the ballot should count. That is why there is such a gap between Election Day and the day votes are certified. -- Irene Pritzker, Observer
April 19, 2017- The first City County Landfill Committee meeting chaired by County Board member Steve Morris was on March 15th. Mr Morris's appointment was announced at the February meeting. Past chairman Les Bergsten continues his many years of service with the committee as an appointed citizen member. Sharon Williams is on Landfill Committee to replace County Board member Lynn Scott Pearson who did not run for re-election to the County Board.
Discussion continued on issues regarding free residential pick-up truck size loads of trash that are brought to the landfill. This topic began several months ago when Mr. Morris raised concern about a resident who phoned him saying they were charged an excessive amount for discarding a couch.
April 18, 2017 - Al Andrews who recently retired from the management authority was given a service award for his dedicated service to Springdale.
The manager's report included that he:
League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria, IL
LWVGP studied ownership of the water distribution system beginning in early 2016 and determined its position in 2017.
Water is a necessary resource for human life, not a commodity. The most important attributes of a water utility are: transparency; local control of rates and quality among other issues; local governance which is co-located with the water supply and service area; public oversight; high quality service; competitive rates.
The LWVGP believes financial analysis of public ownership of a water utility is warranted.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information: Cheryl Budzinski 309/253-9594; firstname.lastname@example.org
Greater Peoria League of Women Voters April 19, 2017 event,
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