We got the State of the Union from President Trump earlier this week. Today, we got the State of the City of Peoria. Hundreds gathered in the Peoria Civic Center Ballroom to hear what Mayor Jim Ardis had to say. He kept the message positive with a highlight reel of accomplishments by local businesses and organizations. From Caterpillar and Keystone to OSF and Autonomous Stuff, Ardis praised their innovation and commitment to Peoria.
“We should be proud of Peoria, who we are, hoe we’ve evolved, and where we’re going,” said Mayor Ardis. In the midst of all the positivity, Ardis did address a problem. He said the state pensions are “by far the biggest issue that needs to be addressed.” He added, “I’ve been talking about this for years..And I believe it is finally a critical point where something has to be done.”
One topic that was not addressed during the speech was the violence in Peoria during 2018 and early in 2019. After the speech Mayor Ardis was asked about the violence, how it affects the city as a whole, and what is being done. He calls the most recent string of 5 homicides “crimes of passion.” He said “These are situations that are nearly, practically impossible for law enforcement to do anything about.” Ardis admitted relationships in the community could be better. “I don’t think it’s going to come as a surprise to anybody that in some areas of the community we need to do a better job of community and police relations,” he explained.
4th District City Councilman Jim Montelongo says the violence is a top priority. “It’s one of our biggest issues that we are going to continue fighting,” he said. But he enjoyed to positive message of Mayor Ardis’ speech. “I heard a number of people just making comments before they left saying how uplifting it was and what a positive message it was today.”