Bocconcelli: Why is Peoria City Council denying my right to vote?

By Paul Bocconcelli
Posted 7/28/20

I’ve been a resident of Peoria for almost 30 years. Besides being a great place to live and having an excellent school system, I have enjoyed and respected our city government. It seems our elected officials were really responsive to the citizens and there was never, at least apparent to the public, back room dealings or self-serving or other shenanigans.

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Bocconcelli: Why is Peoria City Council denying my right to vote?

Posted

I’ve been a resident of Peoria for almost 30 years. Besides being a great place to live and having an excellent school system, I have enjoyed and respected our city government. It seems our elected officials were really responsive to the citizens and there was never, at least apparent to the public, back room dealings or self-serving or other shenanigans.

Apparently, something has changed.

A few years back, council for reasons known only to them, decided that council members could serve three terms, but the mayor would be limited to only two. Perhaps the goal was to slowly become like our Congress where they can serve for life, but the executive is limited to two terms. I don’t know.

Recently the Peoria City Council decided to remove two of the five approved city charter amendments from the next election. This was done with little to no transparency to their employers, the citizens of Peoria, and an insulting justification.

A little history — last year, a committee of nine volunteer citizens was appointed by the mayor and council to review, and if necessary, propose changes to the city charter. The  committee met multiple times and proposed five changes to the city charter. City staff reviewed the recommendations and held a 30-day public comment window. Council approved all five recommendations in June.

At a special council meeting, July 9, council with incredibly insulting justification, decided to remove two of the previously proposed charter amendments. One allowing the mayor to serve three terms; the other tying council pay raises to changes in the consumer price index.

Council’s justification for this action? “The ballot was too cluttered.” Seriously, that was the reason.

So, now I and the rest of the voters in Peoria are denied the opportunity to vote on these previously approved items.

Shame on you city council!!

Please city council, show me and the citizens of Peoria you have not devolved into closed door decisions that show a complete disregard for the people you took an oath to represent, and overturn this terrible decision at the next meeting.

Let the voters decide.

Editor’s note: Paul Bocconcelli is a resident of Peoria.

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