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home : opinions : opinions   April 29, 2016

2/24/2014 9:21:00 AM
Letters to the editor: Citizens of Peru, let your voices be heard

The “Alderman-At-Large” Referendum will be on the ballot for the primary election on March 18. 

Peru is divided into four wards. Peru voters can vote on a referendum that would reduce the number of aldermen from the current eight (two per ward) to six (one per ward and two “at-large”). An “at-large” alderman would represent all four wards. Every Peru citizen would then have the choice of 3 aldermen to call upon when needed, 1 ward alderman and the two “at-large” aldermen.

This past year the citizens of Peru have watched in frustration as our elected officials refused to allow competitive bidding on a $3,000,000 service contract. Public action to convince our aldermen and mayor to protect the tax dollars of every Peru citizen fell on deaf ears and they voted 7 to 1 to not bid out that contract. However recent action to bid out grass cutting and landscaping passed unanimously, and the dollar amount of those bids was much smaller. Why pick and choose what will be bid? Shouldn’t it be fair bidding across the board?

Numerous “Closed Session” meetings are held and the minutes are rarely released. Many of the issues discussed in closed session are completed, and there is no reason those minutes cannot and should be made public. That practice does not promote open and honest government. The recent ineffective and incomplete investigation of “payroll irregularities” has seriously diminished public confidence in the majority of Peru’s elected officials. The reduction of aldermen from eight to six would also bring a savings of over $10,000 per year from wages and expenses. The council recently voted to reduce the number of meetings held from four per month to two per month without a reduction in salary — same pay for less work.

On March 18, the voters will have a rare opportunity to change the government structure of Peru. This is an unprecedented chance for the voters of Peru to be the “decision-makers”. Approval of this referendum will provide a chance for every aspiring leader in Peru to step forward and challenge the old ways of doing things in Peru. Please vote YES and take the first step towards new leadership in Peru.

Sherry Mayszak,

Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Article comment by: JustSaying

I just have a general question about the at-large aldermen... Would the same two selected aldermen be assigned to all wards? If so, doesn't that give those designated aldermen more power than the regular aldermen? Is there a possibility that this power could be misused?

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