It’s a baby step but an important one, says a Peoria city councilman about the goal of merging the city’s and county’s election commissions. On Tuesday, the Metro Peoria Committee, composed of members from both City Hall and Peoria County, voted to recommend approval of a measure that allows Peoria County to retain control of money used by the city to fund elections. Tax money is collected by the county and then divvied out to the city election commission, which then uses the funds, about $500,000 annually, to pay for elections. Any unspent money stays on the city’s books but can be used only for election purposes, says 3rd District City Councilman Tim Riggenbach, Metro Peoria’s former chair.
Under the new proposal, the county would keep the money and dole it out as needed to the city. Unspent money would stay with the county, but again with the caveat that it be spent only on city election-related items.
“It cuts out the middle man,” said Riggenbach, who ultimately favors merging the two commissions.
With this vote, the administrative heads of the entities, Lori Curtis Luther for the county and Pat Urich for the city, will try to hammer out an intergovernmental agreement that would have to be approved by both sides in order for the committee’s proposal to take effect, said Mike Phelan, the committee’s chairman.