A Publication of WTVP

It is the traditional time of the year to reflect on the past year and project into the next. Some will take time to honestly and objectively contemplate the successes and failures of their business and personal life in 2006 and establish realistic goals for 2007 and the future. I find this to be a difficult process. With real discipline, if one were to participate in this exercise on a monthly basis it may make the final review and analysis at the end of the year more meaningful and profitable. Our lives seem to be so hectic and we manage to juggle so many balls in the air at once that any attempt to reconcile and determine the success/failure of our resolutions is extremely difficult. Analyzing our goals on a monthly basis similar to a business model may help us stay focused and allow appropriate time to modify and adjust behaviors to meet the desired outcomes. For example asking, “How am I doing at achieving my goals for this month vs. year to date, etc?” and “Maybe it’s worth a try?”

In considering goals for myself and the City in 2007, I remain focused on the one word required to move Peoria forward. The one-syllable word I have tried to incorporate into the many plans coming together throughout the community is team. Peoria needs to pound our chests as passionately when we identify our successes as we do when we are pointing out our failures. We need to hold out our hand to one more group or individual who may not have been included in a previous discussion in an area that affects us all. As we continue to grow and diversify in not only the racial composition of our population but our economy as well, we need to rejoice in that diversity and make every effort to maximize our potential to continue that growth and diversification.

We all know the saying “there’s no ‘I’ in team.” Recognizing that saying in our personal and business lives is significant because we cannot function by going at it alone. That realization is certainly true on the City Council. No one person will ever make a lasting impression in government alone. Functioning as a comprehensive unit, prioritizing our services, listening to our constituents, analyzing our options, being open to compromise and willing to accept change—these are keys to our success.

You know change is one of those words some of us are reluctant to embrace.

Technologically our world is changing at lightning speed. Change is constant. And unless we are willing to accept it and move forward, we’ll get stuck in the past. John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” Change is coming to the City Council.

As we begin the process of electing At-Large members to the Peoria City Council, I would ask you to be a participant and not an observer. We will be replacing at least two members this spring. Will you take the time to learn about all those running to represent you and determine those who would best serve our community? Can you critically analyze their strengths and weaknesses and determine which of those can contribute positively to the team? Can you identify those whose election will achieve a positive change on the Council? Will you make a commitment to vote and to encourage your family, friends and co-workers to do the same? Will you help to restore faith in what the City Council is trying to achieve and persuade others to play a part as well? As flawed as the cumulative voting system is, I encourage you all to use your votes wisely and to help build a City Council we can all be proud of. Please educate yourself on the cumulative system.

Going into this New Year, I would ask you to become a member of the team. How can you contribute? Only you know the answer to that question. There are plenty of ways for you to involve yourself in the community and I encourage you to make that one of your resolutions for ’07. I wish a wonderful and prosperous New Year for all of us. Thank you for allowing me to serve you. IBI