The following letter was sent to Emerge @ 10:05 a.m. on Friday, March 20, 2009. General Parker claims that he has sent this letter to the Journal Star and they would not publish it.
After lots of prayer and discussions with various people, I reluctantly became a candidate for Mayor of the City of Peoria when no one else was willing to challenge the incumbent. This race,and my campaign, is about issues and ideas. I believe the taxpayers of Peoria are not and have not been getting the basic city services they have been paying for with tax dollars.
We need a change at city hall and I believe I can deliver the change that’s needed. The Journal Star has not been fair in its news coverage of this mayoral race and continues to assassinate my character at every opportunity. I believe that they will continue to do so. They endorsed my opponent without inviting me for a sit down interview to find out my position on the issues which affect all the taxpayers of Peoria. They also may not publish my answers to their election questionnaire. This questionnaire is very important because it gives the voter a side by side response by the both of us to specific questions of concern to the voters and the community.
Hence, this letter may be my only opportunity to let the voters know my position on the key issues which affect us all.
First of all, I do support Lakeview museum and its quest for expansion and to bring a world class museum to Peoria, however I believe it should be expanded at its’ present location or another parcel of property that is already designated as nonprofit. The proposed riverfront location would result in a sales tax increase and remove prime real estate from the property tax base of Peoria.
Second, I would not have supported using 39.3 million dollars of taxpayers money to fund the private development of the new Marriott Hotel.
Third, I would put a moratorium on establishing anymore TIF districts or enterprise zones, especially in areas that abuse or misuse the incentive.
Fourth, we need to take the lead and ensure our public school system have all the tools necessary to guarantee student achievement.
Fifth, we need to ensure that our public safety workers have the adequate equipment and manpower needed to keep our public safe and make timely responses.
Sixth, I am committed to an open and transparent government. The citizens will remained informed and litigation will be kept to a minimal.
Seventh, we need to resurface all streets and sidewalks, especially in District 1, that are in serious disrepair or are nonexistent.
Eight, the City should negotiate an agreement with Comcast which would generate the most revenue for the City of Peoria while at the same time, substantially reduce the number of consumer complaints.
Ninth, we need to establish and implement strong neighborhood associations and empower them because their success is essential to taking back our neighborhoods and making them safe again.
This is a list of some of my priorities.
If elected, I will work with council to make city government more responsive to taxpayers. Some suggest that a vote for Parker is a wasted vote or more specifically “ a vote in vain”. This is not true because the will of the people will prevail. Your vote is a testament of your beliefs and ideas. If my ideas outlined above are your ideas, then in no way is your vote in vain or wasted. In Missouri, John Ashcroft lost an election to Mel Carnahan, a dead man. Those voters did not
believe their votes were in vain even though there was no way a dead man could serve. They voted for what Mel Carnahan stood for. Believe you me, your vote counts.
When elected, I will receive my long sought after pardon and I will proudly serve as Mayor of Peoria. If you share my concerns then I ask for your vote on April 7th .
General Parker, CCCA