Coffee & Conversation is Thursday

 Press release:

PEORIA, IL –  Council Member Jim Montelongo will be hosting his Coffee & Conversation from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, December 1st, at Panera Bread at West Lake Shopping Center

Please come meet with Peoria Council Member Jim Montelongo and discuss City Council issues that primarily impact 4th district residents. The community is welcome to attend and discuss issues that impact their home, neighborhood or city.

Former cop Mike Eddlemon running for Peoria City Council

Press release:

Saying he wants to “continue my service to the citizens of Peoria,” former Assistant Police Chief Mike Eddlemon announced his candidacy for 4th District City Councilman in the 2017 municipal election.

”I’m running because I want to put my skills as a problem-solver and innovator to work for the citizens of the 4th District and all of Peoria,” Eddlemon said. “My entire career has been in public service and this is a logical next step to give back to the community.”

Eddlemon started his service to the City of Peoria at the age of 16 as a Peoria Police Explorer and officially joined the Peoria Police Department at the age of 21.  He enjoyed a very fulfilling career serving in the Peoria Housing Authority as a Detective in the Child Advocacy Center, Vice and Drugs and the Target Offender Unit. Eddlemon was also a member and eventually Commander of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team, served as a member of the Honor Guard and as an instructor teaching Mobile Field Force, and Juvenile Law and Procedures.  He served on the State’s Child Death review team and co-authored legislation mandating reporting of suspected child abuse to law enforcement.

Eddlemon served as Treasurer for the Police Benevolent Protective Association of Illinois and as President of the Peoria Police Benevolent Association.  He retired from the Peoria Police Department as Assistant Police Chief in January 2016 and is currently a Global Account Director for Pinkerton working in Peoria.

As the President of the Peoria Police Benevolent, Eddlemon implemented the 1st Shop with a Cop program which is still active.  He also negotiated several contracts as union president and one as Assistant Chief which gives him a unique perspective for labor-management relations.

As Assistant Police Chief, Eddlemon worked with a small group of police officers and re-instituted the Police Explorer program, renewing our charter with the Boy Scouts of America.  He also worked to re-institute the Cadet Program for the police and fire departments, providing job opportunities along with educational opportunities allowing the city to recruit and train our future police officers and firefighters from children and young adults living in Peoria.

Eddlemon’s platform includes a prioritization of basic city services. “We need to establish goals and provide leadership along with clear direction while holding people accountable,” Eddlemon said. “We have to make Peoria a place where people want to work and live in a very competitive environment.”

Eddlemon said he is concerned about the quality of life in the 4th District especially where rental properties and tenants negatively impact some neighborhoods. He also wants to prioritize public safety, infrastructure and small business growth. “We need Peoria to be a haven for small business owners and entrepreneurs and must do what we can through regulatory reform or incentives to stimulate more growth. We can’t put all our chips on attracting large employers. Small business is the engine for growth, jobs and investment.”

Eddlemon was raised in Peoria and has lived in the 4th District the majority of his life.  He attended Peoria public schools and graduated from Richwoods High School.  He also graduated from Illinois Central College and attended Sangamon State University and the University of Illinois Springfield.  He is happily married to his wife Tami for 22 years and they have 3 children: Alex (19), Orion (17) and Kati (14). His family are members of St. Philomena Catholic Church and his children attended St. Philomena Grade School and Peoria Notre Dame High School.

Unable to innovate on its own, the Peoria City Council hires a ‘chief innovation officer’

Really? I thought we elected city council members to come up with ideas:

Peoria – The City of Peoria has selected Anthony Corso to serve as its first Chief Innovation Officer (CIO).  Mr. Corso will be responsible for spearheading Peoria’s Innovation Team, or “i-team.”  The Peoria i-team is made possible with a three year, $1.5 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Peoria was one of fourteen cities selected in December 2014 as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Teams program. The program aims to improve the capacity of cities to effectively design and implement new approaches that improve citizens’ lives. Grant funds allow cities to hire and fund i-teams for up to three years. These teams function as in-house innovation consultants, moving from one community priority to the next. Using Bloomberg Philanthropies’ tested Innovation Delivery approach, i-teams will help community leaders and staff go through a data-driven process to assess problems, generate responsive new interventions, develop partnerships, and deliver measurable results.

Mr. Corso and his team will work side-by-side with City staff, elected officials, community groups and other stakeholders to help solve some of Peoria’s most difficult and complex problems.  As part of the grant process, the City identified an initial problem set for the i-team to help tackle.  Peoria needs to address its “combined sewer” problem, a condition that periodically pollutes the Illinois River.  Correcting defects in the environmental infrastructure, though literally below the surface of the city, is one of the most imperative challenges we face.  This is a massive community undertaking with an equally large cost.  Since the combined sewer area is also the oldest and poorest part of the community, the Peoria i-team will take a broad look at this issue, exploring and developing strategies that improve water quality while simultaneously improving community outcomes: more jobs, greater investment, lower crime.

Mr. Corso has spent his career as an architect, urban designer, consultant and educator, working to make communities more livable and resilient.  Since returning to his hometown of Peoria in 2009, Anthony has worked as an architect providing design and consulting services to public and private clients, served as program director at Illinois Central College and represented Central Illinois on the board of the US Green Building Council Illinois chapter.  He also founded and hosts Green Drinks Peoria, a monthly conversation on sustainability topics.  His first official day as Chief Innovation Officer is April 7, 2015.  Hiring for the two Project Managers continues with the intention of the full team being in place by the end of April.

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $462 million. For more information on the philanthropy, please visit or follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

The Peoria City Council works well together, so re-elect them all … but especially re-elect Beth Akeson


Beth Akeson

I never thought I’d say that, but it’s true. Normally, I’m a throw-the-bums-out-of-office kind of guy.

I can’t think of any one guy I want to see thrown out of office for any one vote.  And I cannot in good conscience recommend the lone challenger Katherine Coyle. She is chair of the Peoria County Republican Party and used to work for Congressman Aaron Schock.

She is a hard-core partisan Republican. There are Democrats on Peoria City Council, although they don’t wear it on their sleeves. As well, they shouldn’t, since the the job of city council member is a NON PARTISAN position. We don’t want Coyle voting against an ordinance because it might help out a hated Democrat.

A vote for Coyle is a vote for the partisan gridlock that infects Washington D.C. and Springfield. Who needs that? And whatever problem you have with this or that decision by the City Council being the last four years WILL NOT be fixed by voting Coyle into office at the expense of the five veterans.

No … we want neighbors serving on the Peoria City Council. We want people voting for and against ordinance because they benefit neighborhoods.

And for that reason, I would recommend to those so inclined to cast all five of their bullet votes for Beth Akeson. She’s smart and asks a ton of questions (as does Chuck Weaver) and has a pretty good vision of a neighborhoods-oriented Peoria.

Cast your votes accordingly on April 7.

Sidewalks, sidewalks, SIDEWALKS! Repeat after me: The issue is SIDEWALKS

The biggest problem in this city is the utter lack of sidewalks in some neighborhoods. We are talking about streets in older neighborhoods that, over the years, NO ONE has thought to put in a sidewalk. And there are brand new subdivisions that they let developers walk away from … without putting in sidewalks to and from the subdivision.

It is the number one infrastructure issue Peorians complain bitterly about.

Yet, is there even a LIST of streets that need new sidewalks ANYWHERE in the offices of the city manager or public works departments? If so, I have not seen it.


Sunday and Monday’s newsbytes

Hey, a lot of this is canned crap that was probably written before noon on Friday.

101 Things That Play in Peoria: Emo’s clown

I was using the Emo head in a banner years ago. Apparently, the PJS is copying me from decades past. 😉

Word on the Street: Peoria City Council may get shot of the 5th

Train fair gives nod to Peoria’s rail history

The headlines says Peoria, the dateline reads East Peoria.

Quick action unlikely on Peoria video-gambling cafes

Eventually, every single bar in Peoria will have video gambling machines. Which means no competitive advantage to anyone. Except, of course, to the companies that make the machines.

Weekend water leak damages multiple courtrooms in Peoria County Courthouse

Hopefully, my arrest records were destroyed.

101 Things That Play in Peoria: Vanna Whitewall

Hey, I was crushing on Vanna 10 years ago in this blog. Damn copycats.

Peoria house fire causes $125,000 in damage

Peoria Heights woman killed in traffic crash