Ardis disappointed at Manning’s departure

DeWayne Bartels

With a brief Sunday press release 3rd District councilman Bob Manning put to rest all the speculation about whether he would seek re-election to the Peoria City Council. He will not

“I appreciated the opportunity to represent the 3rd District and I am thankful for the strong support that my constituents provided. I enjoyed working on their behalf and achieving solutions to many of the issues and challenges that we faced,”  Manning said.

“My decision comes after weeks of deliberation and after discussion with family members.  At the end of the day, I simply want more time to spend with my wife and children.”

Disappointed

The decision caught Mayor Jim Ardis somewhat by surprise.

“I knew Bob had some concerns but I was hoping he would get them resolved,” Ardis said.

Ardis said his level of disappointment  about Manning’s departure is huge.

He said Manning brought diplomacy, intelligence and keen financial insight in very difficult economic times to the city council.

Ardis said Manning will be hard to replace.

“He set the bar very high,” Ardis said..

Ardis just a few weeks ago said his decision to seek re-election was, in part, influenced by his analysis of what the makeup of the district council members would be.

“I knew it was a possibility but I really hoped he would be able to come back for four more years,” Ardis said.

“Bob never argued personalities, only issues. Sometimes that’s difficult. I hope whoever takes his place has his skill in that area.”

Ardis said the council will miss Manning’s skills.

“Bob is a huge constituent service councilman and a very analytical businessman.  With the economy going in the direction it is, all decisions we make will be weighted even stronger in the costs to the city which is Bob’s strong suit,” Ardis said.

“His presence and professional background in finance will be tough to replace.”

Ardis said whoever is elected to take Manning’s place will have a steep learning curve, but Ardis said he has confidence Manning will make it a smooth transition.

“Bob’s knowledge of city issues both in the 3rd District and the city at-large far surpasses his time on the council. Hopefully whoever fills that seat will be able to tap into Bob’s knowledge and resources by establishing a good transitional relationship with Bob,” Ardis said. 

“I know Bob won’t walk out the door and leave the new person hanging. He doesn’t operate like that.”

Ardis said he expects at least a “couple” of people will run for Manning’s seat.