County Issues


Fiscal Responsibility.

As Chairman of the County’s Ways & Means Committee, Allen Mayer has taken the lead in pursuing balanced budgets, responsible financial policies, and good internal controls. Over the past several years, Peoria County has done a good job of controlling spending and building up adequate financial reserves. In fact, county policies, supported by Allen Mayer, led Moody’s Investor Services to upgrade Peoria County’s bond rating from “good” to “excellent” in December 2007 and to upgrade again in 2010.

http://www.pjstar.com/article/20130703/NEWS/307039890/0/SEARCH
Peoria County's 2014 tax rate of $0.8050 per $100 of assessed valuation reduces the tax levy by an estimated $91,890. When Allen joined the County Board in 2004 the property tax rate was $0.8543.  In fact, every year Allen Mayer has served on the County Board the Board-approved property tax rate has been held constant or reduced.
Peoria Chamber of Commerce Letter image
The 2014 Peoria County budgetapproved by the Board in November 2013, appropriated a little over $128 million to pay for everything from the county jail and public health department to recycling and property tax assessment. 

Previously, even the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce commended the County Board for the 2012 budget, noting that the “budget, in what is still a challenging economy, is balanced, includes no significant staffing reductions... maintains reasonable fund balances and no property tax increases.”

Peoria County’s three most recent external audits found “no material weaknesses” - an achievement less than five percent of governments can claim. And, the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) presented Peoria County with its Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.

Peoria County's Nursing Home.

Heddington Oak facility

Allen Mayer believes that we, as a society, have a duty to care for those who can no longer care for themselves. That's why he has been a strong supporter of Peoria County's nursing home -- both the past Bel-Wood Nursing Home and the new Heddington Oaks facility in West Peoria.

Allen campaigned for the 2003 referendum that provided increased funding for the nursing home. And, he has consistently opposed efforts to privatize, sell or other otherwise "get out of the business" of Peoria County's 150-year commitment to our senior citizens. 

As the Journal Star noted in 2012: "From this vantage local voters have emphatically spoken in support of Bel-Wood, soon to be Heddington Oaks, nursing home."

The new Heddington Oaks facility opened in the fall of 2013 and has received widespread acclaim from residents and the public. 

Heddington Oaks ribbon cutting

A December 2013 independent report from CliftonLarsonAllen confirmed that there is significant and sufficient demand in Heddington Oaks' primary market and that the County's nursing home is on the path to meet its financial benchmarks.


Landfill Issues.

PDC Hazardous Waste Landfill fails headline
Allen Mayer has been a leader on landfill issues on the County Board. In 2006 he successfully led the opposition to the expansion of a hazardous waste landfill on the outskirts of the City of Peoria - a bi-partisan decision that was unanimously upheld by the Illinois Pollution Control Board and the Appellate Court.

In 2011 Allen was the Chairman of the committee handling the siting of the expansion of the City-County municipal landfill. Under Allen's leadership the final proposal will expand recycling opportunities and will have more protections for the local environment, including a ban on treated hazardous waste and PCBs. The siting decision crafted by Allen passed the County Board with a unanimous, bi-partisan vote.

Against Perks for Politicians.


Pay Freeze Headline
In 2004 before he was elected, Allen Mayer campaigned against a 50% pay raise for County Board members in 2004. Since then Allen has consistently voted against pay raises for elected officials in Peoria County. Earlier this year, a County Board committee voted to give 2.5% raises each year for the next four years to Board Members. Allen successfully convinced a majority of his colleagues to accept his amendment that, instead freezes pay raises for Board Members for the next four years.
 
(Journal Star 5/12/065/22/085/13/10, 5/10/12, 5/8/14)

In 2013 Allen successfully pushed to eliminate pensions and subsidized health care
perks for County Board members. The Journal Star noted that it's "
rare to see politicians give up a financial perk, but that's exactly what the Peoria County Board did..."

(Journal Star 8/9/13; 9/13/13

Bi-Partisan Redistricting.

Even ten years new County Board district boundaries need to be adopted to account for changes in population. In 2011 Allen Mayer chaired the Peoria County Board redistricting committee.  Historically this has been a bitter, partisan fight that has occasionally ended up in court.

Redistricting Map

However, the new County Board map proposed by Allen was supported 
as fair by Democrats and Republicans alike. The final vote was bi-partisan and unanimous. (Journal Star 6/9/11) 


District maps and information about the redistricting process can be found the county's website. Residents can even type in their home address to find their county board district. (www.peoriacounty.org)


Transparency in Government.

Allen Mayer has been a consistent advocate for increased transparency in government. During his time on the County Board citizen access to county information has greatly expanded. Agendas, minutes and even audio and video recordings of County Board meetings are now available at the county's website. Similar information for individual committees is also available as PDFs.

FInancial information like budgets and audits can also be found online as PDFs.

Headline for Online Checkbook proposal
Working with County Auditor Carol VanWinkle, Allen has been pushing for a "checkbook online" where taxpayers will be able to see detailed financial information about Peoria County -- all the way down to individual payments to county vendors. Eventually, this may even be available as a searchable online database.

Supporting Veterans.

Veterans Benefits banner
Peoria County's Veterans Assistance Commission helps area veterans with emergency assistance, but more importantly the VAC helps veterans apply for the benefits to which they are entitled. 

After multiple foreign wars, the number of veterans entitled to medical, education and other benefits has increased dramatically. After helping 11,000 veterans in all of 2012, the VAC is on track to assist over 30,000 veterans in 2014.

Allen led the effort to provide increased staff for the VAC to help area veterans apply for and receive the benefits they deserve.
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