The Watch | Gun violence discussed
From gun violence (big deal) to voter fraud (not), government officials work to protect citizens and their rights.
Peoria City Council
On June 14, Monica Hendrickson, County/City of Peoria Public Health Administrator, and Katy Endress, Director of Epidemiology and Clinical Services, discussed gun violence as a public health issue.
They gave a presentation on the Cure Violence program and the evaluation process, an evidence-based way to engage the community. Additional information on alternative programs has been requested.
Councilors also learned that 38,500 citizens receiving electricity service from Homefield Energy are affected by energy rate increases. The city has been unable to obtain electricity rates lower than those currently offered by Ameren. More information is available at www.pluginillinois.org.
On June 14, several people expressed concerns about the potential for voter fraud. (Note: Voter fraud issues have been raised several times; this is not an issue.) The NAACP has come out in favor of retaining prepaid mail-in ballot envelopes.
Federal Warehouse – the only bidder and former good service provider – had to deliver new election equipment. The cost was expected to be $14,100, up from $3,000 for the June election because it’s busy moving season.
Commissioners voted to use 30,000 pre-printed mail-in ballot envelopes already in-house for the two 2022 elections and then revoke the mailing permit in future elections. The motion passed 3-1 with Commissioner Matt Bartolo voting “no”.
Two new drop boxes were not due to be installed in time for the June 28 primary due to issues with an intergovernmental agreement. They should be available for the November general election.
The Commission still lacks judges, especially Republican judges. One of the reasons is the current lack of student judges.
On June 6, a 66-year-old man filed several complaints about the owner’s follow-up regarding plumbing and other issues. President Carl Cannon asked him to leave a contact number for the staff.
New CEO Armeca Crawford asked department heads to highlight something exceptional that this department has achieved. Sterling’s Residents’ Council met in May with new Resident Representatives. Human Resources recently hosted an employee recognition luncheon and distributed service awards. Updated capital improvement plan modernization for housing scattered across the site, elevator maintenance and hallway renovations at Sterling Towers, and roof replacement.
Ms Crawford was hired in April 2022 to lead the Peoria Housing Authority. She also provided an update on the issues that residents had presented at the May meeting.
Peoria County Council
On June 9, a public hearing into the Heddington Oaks refinancing was conducted, without comment.
Consent agenda passed 17-0, including issuing general redemption bonds not to exceed $42 million; acceptance of a grant from the Family Violence Coordinating Council; projects on Glasford Road, Dry Run Creek and in Hallock Township; a three-year licensing agreement supporting a “one-stop shop” for up-and-coming entrepreneurs called Lifting Up, LLC.
This latter program is currently in use in Morton and Muscatine, Iowa.
Peoria Park District
On May 25, Scott Loftus, Superintendent of Recreational Services, said Summer Fun Park passes, which allow unlimited access from June 1 through August 31, were mailed to all students within PPD boundaries. in the city of Peoria. Passes allow two parents to accompany their child.
Director of Recreation Services Kevin Davis discussed a scholarship program that allows qualified families to participate in camps, RiverPlex memberships, the Peoria Zoo, and more. for a small fee, not to exceed $5 per person. Scholarships are full or partial, depending on financial need. Applications can be picked up at the Bonnie Noble Center, RiverPlex, or Proctor Center. From May 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022, just over 300 families have qualified.
James Stuttle received a Certificate of Appreciation for his years of service 2013-2022 as he retires from the Recreation Advisory Committee. He has worked closely with the Springdale Cemetery, particularly with regard to the intergovernmental agreement.
On June 8, PPD Police Chief Todd Gavin introduced three of the six civilian security officers employed by the district.
These officers have not undergone law enforcement training like the regular police officers employed by the PPD. They have no powers of arrest, but are seen as influencers and observers capable of defusing difficult situations and calling in the police for assistance, if necessary. Most of them are employed by Peoria Public Schools as security guards, so they know many young people who frequent park facilities.
All PPD officers were to be deployed during the annual fireworks festivities at Glen Oak Park on July 3.
Rebecca Shulman, manager of the Peoria Playhouse, resigned on June 30. Interviews are underway to fill this position.
Peoria Public Schools
On June 13, when the council was asked about its response to the Uvalde school massacre, member Martha Ross said security issues were being looked at by the buildings and grounds committee as part of the master plan installations.
PPS has launched a new Hall of Achievement to recognize alumni who have made significant achievements since graduating from a PPS high school. Applications are available at https://peoriapublicschools.org or at the administration building.
Richwoods High School principal Carly Emken honored junior ROTC cadets who competed in a national fitness competition. The girls won; the boys placed third.
Teachers and school administrators across the district partnered with the American Institute for Research to review the 2018 grading policy. More than 1,400 people participated. The committee proposed five “tweaks” to better reflect the district’s 2021 strategic plan.
To improve collaboration and parental involvement, a list of over 50 pages of community resources has been compiled. It covers food assistance, addiction recovery, housing assistance, natal services, and Hispanic outreach.
Fifty-three employees retired from Peoria Public Schools at the end of the year, representing 1,175 years of work experience upon leaving the district.
Observers from the League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria attend and report on local government meetings. Check out https://www.lwvgp.org/news/category/observer-reports-logo for their full reports.