Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A little advice for the coming budget battle

This advice is aimed at the council members who represent the 1st, 2nd and 3rd districts of the Peoria City Council. There is this neat little trick city staff does to make sure projects out in North Peoria get done at the expense of projects in the older sections of the city.

Remember the repavign work they did on North University? They did the work in two different sections and and took about about two years to complete. What does this have in common with the work the city is doing now on North Allen Road? All are included in the city's operating budget and are being funded with operating funds.

Let's turn our attention to the road project on Wisconsin Avenue. It's needed to be done for a long time, and city staff included it in the last budget only reluctantly (according to my sources). It's being funded through capital improvement funds -- a completely seperate section of the budget that the University and Allen road projects.

This is the sneaky way it's worked for years in this city. Projects the muckety-mucks and their buddies in city hall want done get tucked into sections of the budget where they don't really belong so they don't have to compete with other, similar projects.

But projects in the poorer parts of the district are held to stricter standards, and thus must compete for a smaller piece of the funding pie.

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