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Muha: May 7 meeting new low for Peoria mayor, city council

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The meeting of May 7 hit a new low for providing information, scheduling topics and listening to Peoria residents.

For starters the study session started late, then an economic development presentation was made. This left less than 30 minutes to review the highly anticipated airport feasibility study and get an overview of the results. Very little content was able to be presented and little to no time for questions, because the mayor jumped up to go to a children’s art show in the hallway and the study session was over.

The city council meeting then started late. One major topic was supposed to be the budget. We heard very little about it, one of the council persons had a number of questions, with only one question being asked due to the late hour and rushed pace of the meeting.

The agenda was so packed the mayor just kept moving through many topics that could have been scheduled at the next meeting. The seating area of the chamber was packed with a number of persons wanting to comment on either the airport or the budget. Most of the people never had an opportunity to speak and left early. It was almost 10 p.m. by the time the meeting concluded. They could not continue sitting and waiting.

The optics of this meeting were ludicrous, The mayor lecturing someone about having grace, perhaps a heckler. With so many speakers, this was an exciting time for one candidate for the city council to lean as far as he could to keep his face in the camera with every single speaker. He, nodding approval on topics he liked and smiled. He then frowned when he was not in agreement. It was both embarrassing and annoying.

The Peoria city staff needs to look at their agendas and figure out how to put together a study session and city council meeting that can be conducted in a reasonable time frame, not the 4-5 hours for these two sessions, with practically no information on the two primary topics - budget and airport study.

These long sessions, packed with numerous items, and a children’s art show appeared to be a deliberate attempt to avoid questions on the primary topics, or simply very poor planning by individuals who should know how to put an agenda together.