Integrity requires more than words
No one connected to the Peoria County Board of Review, last year while talking to a Peoria Times-Observer reporter, said ousted member Dave Peters lacked integrity.
They simply implied it.
The reporter was asking about why the board of review was racking up tremendous numbers of protests.
Colleen Whalen, the office manager for the board of review at the direction of board of review member Gary Shadid, in 2008, said the board now has integrity, and therein lies the reason for much of the criticism of the board of review.
“When you reform something, those who benefited the most from a lack of integrity shout the loudest,” Whalen said.
She said the new rules put in place by Shadid and the other two members of the board of review restored integrity to the board of review.
“It’s still a friendly process, but not at the cost of our integrity.”
That was early 2008.
Shadid had no smile on his face when confronted last week with the news that documents showed he purchased property at 3810 N. Prospect Road in 2006 for $275,000.
Yet, Peoria County property tax records for 2008 for that property state the assessed value is $187,530, a difference of $87,470.
Shadid said, at first, “I don’t know what this property is assessed at. I’m only a 25 percent owner in this company.”
Hours later he responded to questions put to him by this newspaper after calls were placed to three county board members, including county board chairman Tom O’Neill, who is recommending Shadid be reappointed to his $40,000-plus a year job on the board of review. Incidentally, that vote comes before the county board tomorrow night.
Integrity requires more than words. Actions are involved as well.
For a member of the board of review to say he does not know the assessment of a piece of property he owns stretches the imagination.
And, for that property to be assessed so low when that same person is expecting the public to swallow exorbitant assessments without protest is incredible.
Yet, O’Neill said he is unconcerned about this revelation.
O’Neill says politics is at the bottom of this. It seems to us politics was at the bottom of the ouster of Peters a few years back. But, that is ancient history.
Let us stick to current events.
Peoria County Board meetings are seldom that interesting to watch or follow.
Tomorrow night’s meeting just might be a departure from the norm.
That is if Peoria County Board members are willing to ask Shadid about this situation if he is present, or even discuss it.
We are less than certain O’Neill will broach it.
Remember what Whalen said, “When you reform something, those who benefited the most from a lack of integrity shout the loudest.”
Allow us to add, that those who are serving political interests instead of the public’s are the meekest when it comes time to stand up and be counted.
Watch the outcome of the vote on board of review appointment, and consider whether it gives you an indication of who on the county board finds integrity an important attribute.