The Peoria County Board held its regular meeting March 10th with all present but Member Rosenbohm.
One Citizen’s Remark in support of the pending Springdale Cemetery agreement and preservation of the savannah under the pending care of the Peoria Park District.
The Consent agenda passed on a vote of 17-0 without discussion but two items were voted on separately to allow members to abstain due to possible conflicts of interest. Among approved items were:
Link to the meeting agenda and video are here:
The trustees of the PPD board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the 2022 Springdale Cemetery Intergovernmental Agreement between the PPD, the City of Peoria, and the County of Peoria. Under the agreement the city will subdivide and sell the area of the savanna at Springdale Cemetery and Mausoleum to the PPD for $1.00. This area will be put into permanent environmental stewardship at the Park District’s cost. The agreement is for ten years with the option to extend an additional ten years. The Peoria City Council approved the agreement prior to the PPD board meeting and the Peoria County Board will vote on it March 10, 2022.
In other business Jacob Kuban reported on the process the PPD has gone through to receive Level 1 accreditation from the Morton Arboretum’s Arbnet for the Donovan Park Arboretum. Signage is being developed to identify 25 tree species in high traffic areas of the park. A tree planting will be held Friday, April 29 in conjunction with Earth Day. All trustees were present in person/via Zoom. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 and adjourned at 6:45.
The Peoria County Board of Election Commissioners met Tuesday, March 8, 2022, with Commissioners Manning, Williamson, and Bartolo present. The Commission website now lists candidates who have filed for various positions in the County, including Peoria School District 150. Filings are scheduled to close on Monday, March 14, at 5:00. Everyone who was in line at 8:00 am on the 7th and has an opponent will go into a lottery to determine whose name appears first on the ballot.
The new voting system has arrived except for a few pieces that were to arrive later that week. First, everything will be tested to assure they are working properly. This includes voting equipment, printers, and other equipment. The following week staff will be trained on the equipment. Training for judges will take place in April, followed by a mock election mid-month.
Pollbooks will be tested around the first of April.
After attending a run through of the equipment in DuPage County last month, Director Tom Bride said the slowest point of the election process is checkin. There are also discussions on ways to work with handicapped voters. The old equipment goes back to the vendor for recycling.
The only legislation in the works concerns tweeks and the clean up of language in previous bills.
Irene Pritzker, Observer
The 4pm meeting was chaired by Pam Johnson with two members participating by phone and 6 participating in person. New representative from the County is Henry Blackwell (besides County Board Members Linda Daley and Kate Pastucha.) Joyce Harant representing the Peoria Park District is fairly new to this board also. This Observer was the only member of the public in attendance. The wifi in the Volunteer and Maintenance Building where the meeting is held is not good, so it would be difficult to hold the meeting virtually.
The Manager Mark Matuszak’s report included:
GPSD Trustees participated in person and online. That option was open to the public also. Staff and Trustees were welcoming to have an Observer.
Their website was very helpful finding the location, time, date, how to participate online or in person. Also from their website https://www.gpsd.org/
The Peoria County Board held its regular meeting February 10th with all present but Member Bryant. Members Reliford, Elsasser and Rosenbohm participated by phone.
There were no Citizen’s Remarks.
The Consent agenda passed on a vote of 16-0 without discussion. Among items approved were:
Link to the meeting agenda and video are here:
Agenda & Video
Board President Robert Johnson has been elected to the State Board of Directors for the Illinois Association of Park Districts for a two-year term. He and four PPD employees attended the IAPD Conference where he was recognized.
Shalesse Pie, Human Resources Director, gave a minority hiring report for last year. In 2021
A request for $5,000,000 in General Obligation Park Bonds and a lease agreement with OSF for space at the RiverPlex both passed unanimously.
A question on the new Peoria Public Schools calendar led to discussion concerning preliminary thinking about programming for breaks.
All trustees were present in person/via Zoom. The meeting was called to order at 6:45 and adjourned at 8:15.
The Peoria County Board of Election Commissioners met on Tuesday, February 8, 2022, with a quorum of three. Commissioners Bartolo and Ketterer were absent.
In his monthly report, Director Tom Bride said that there would be a kickoff meeting for the new voting system the following day. A calendar will be determined through the primary in June. On the 15th, he and Elizabeth Gannon will be going to DeKalb County to observe a mock election on the Hart equipment, which is the same equipment that Peoria County will be getting. DuPage and Peoria Counties are the only voting entities in Illinois doing ballot on demand.
New voter registration cards will be sent out. They are not forwardable and are sent back to the Voting Commission as undeliverable if the person doesn't live at that address anymore. Those voters whose cards were "undeliverable" are then sent a letter that can be forwarded, telling the voter that they need to change their voting address.
Peoria has been visited by Cybersecurity personnel from the federal Department of Homeland Security. They evaluated the local election office and made a few recommendations, mostly having to do with documentation. They gave an active shooter seminar, but found no necessary changes.
A short public meeting regarding redistricting of council districts was held prior to council meeting. Comments were made in person and written communication by seven citizens, most representing home-owners associations from the West Bluff and Moss-Bradley areas. All were against the proposed changes in V2.3 map based on lack of transparency, as well as community input, and not keeping existing neighborhoods intact. The Council plans final vote on redistricting at February 22 meeting. Proposed council district maps are available www.peoriagov.org/redistricting.
Annual Township meeting of City of Peoria will be held April 12, 2022 at council chambers at 6:00 P.M. Citizens wishing to speak must submit specific items to be considered for meeting agenda by Tuesday, March 1, 2022 to Township Clerk ; communication must be signed by fifteen citizens.
Council approved issuance of general obligation bonds not to exceed $17,000,000 for financing certain capital improvements and refunding certain outstanding bonds to provide for levy and collection of direct Annual Tax for payment of principal and interest and authorizing sale of the bonds. Vote preceded by robust discussion by members; final vote eight to three, with nays by Councilors Cyr, Kelly and Ruckriegel.
City Manager Urich provided overview of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) process and benefits for the University/War redevelopment project. Benefits include additional improvements, as well as tax revenue from new businesses. When asked about public input on this project, Urich cited a public hearing held January 25, 2022, as well as presentation to local taxing bodies given at Open Meeting where comment available. The TIF would expire in twenty-three years.
Peoria City Council meets second and fourth Tuesdays at 6:00 P.M. and can be viewed online or cable public access channel 22. Agenda and minutes available at www.peoriagov.org/city-council/council-meetings.
The Board of Commissioners met for regular monthly meeting electronically due to COVID-19 pandemic. There were no public comments or FSS graduates. Human Resources announced one new employee this month and anticipate another in next few weeks.
Minutes of special meetings of January 6 and 7, 2022 were approved, as well as the Annual and Regular meetings of January 10, 2022. Consent agenda approved without discussion.
The Chief Executive Officer’s report was brief. Ms. Newman’s written report was distributed to Commissioners but was not available on website or at meeting. HUD scores for 2021 in progress; scores carried over from prior year and will be resolved in January – February 2023. She will report on upcoming changes in housing programs in March.
Being no old or new business items to bring forward, or board comments, the Commissioners went into closed session for employee compensation issue at 4:45 PM. There was no update from CEO Search Committee. Next Board of Commissioners Meeting is March 7, 2022, at 4:30 P.M.
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