Former City Manager Terry Ellis was not referring to any particular city when he said an acquaintance told him recently, “Peoria is viewed as a city that does things right.”
Ellis is serving as chairman of the Citizens Ad Hoc Charter Review Committee, which is recommending extensive changes to the city’s charter. If approved by council, its recommendations will be placed on the ballot this fall for approval by citizens.
Although the city receives much praise for what City Manager Carl Swenson called its adherence to the practice of sound financial principles, and it has stayed true to living within its means, the approval of a purchase of land on Sunrise Mountain at 91st Avenue and Happy Valley Road should be tracked closely.
Paying $10 million for the total package of 209 acres to preserve open space may appear to be a wonderful bargain, and it is being accomplished with good intentions. But, bear in mind, a neighboring city had good intentions when it built stadiums and arenas that were supposed to bring in revenues.
While Sunrise Mountain brings no direct revenues, it may bring investors to a city that honors the land. Arguments are there for both sides. Just keep it close, Peoria, and don’t forget to fix the potholes in the rest of the city.