There are so many red flags, I might need a new favorite color. No shortage of tension at the main attraction at Tuesday’s City Council Meeting; A 4% tax for the Pere Marquette.

The deal on the table: Unless the proposed tax and restructure was passed, the Hotel risked closing its doors. The City would be risking its 30 million dollar investment until a new owner came.. The other option was to accept the deal, take a payment of 2 million, and have an unsecured loan.


Let me remind you, Matthews has been brought to court for not meeting his side of a deal, but NOW he promises to pay back his 8 million plus to Peoria…

This deal is just a temporary fix; It just continues the problem for another year! After so many years of unpaid loans and bills, what on earth would make the difference now?


The Council adjourned to Executive Discussion, making it a private matter.  One council member suggested to discuss the matter for the public to witness. However, another replied that it was not in Council members’ interest, due to the nature of some information that could not be shared with the public.

What is happening with the Pere Marquette that can’t be shared with the public? Stinks like Crony Capitalism.


Over an hour later, the Council members returned. Eagerness swept across the stubborn audience stragglers as the council members spoke, each expressing their personal views. Libertarians are too familiar with this song and dance: The excuse of choosing between the lesser of two evils. Although no Council member praised the deal, one called it a “bridge over troubled water”.

The 2 million dollar payment is what persuaded most. It promise the city would get at least 2 million of its 30 million back.  


The biggest Are You Kidding Me? Moment: Our 8 million dollar loan to Matthews is now unsecured.  We basically have a 6 million I.O.U. written on a stained bar napkin. One Council member, opposed the future burden, suggested we should wash our hands of this situation and just work with the next owners.


With the final vote passing 9-2, I stood up, picked up my coat, and walked out the door. My first city council meeting and I witnessed a blatant disregard for the principles of good government. Crony Capitalism continues to play in Peoria.


Joseph Keel


Libertarian Party of Greater Peoria

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