Councilman Chuck Grayeb

I hope you all had a wonderful summer! Fall is around the corner and school has reconvened.

The Convergence Center Reconstruction continues on the Hilltop, and the Brownstones on Moss project is about to commence . The new MacArthur Bridge should be done by Thanksgiving, and we installed more traffic calming on Sheridan between Moss and Main. Traffic dragnets are in play and will continue to nab inconsiderate motorists.

The ornamental lights are being repainted on Moss from Sheridan down to Western.

The upscale 25 million dollar Muse Housing Development has been approved by the City Council. It will serve the UofICOMP and BU student clientele with 330 more people residing, studying, and spending disposable income in our neighborhoods and great City, come August of 2020.
The historic Larkin Building at Main and Sheridan is undergoing a facelift. The experimental Bloomberg grant parkelet— a people oasis— outside Las Delicias was a great success and look for more of them.

We have applied for 25 million dollars of federal money to do a complete rebuild of West Main from Laura Bradley Park to Water Street. Features will include a bike path and wider sidewalks and more exciting al fresco dining opportunities for our restaurants.

We will continue to wrestle with money issues, largely induced by years of mismanagement at the State level. I believe that the pension burden on our municipalities will be fixed by the next State of Illinois Administration and General Assembly after the November Election.

I feel our best days are ahead, and I want to thank the At- Large Council people who take a great interest in supporting our neighborhood, in a district second to none!

See you soon.



Councilman Chuck Grayeb

With the vernal equinox and Spring upon us, it behooves us to look at the opportunities ahead.

First, the Chase Bank Building downtown will be restored with historic tax credits. It will become the headquarters for roughly 18 OSF hospitals and a further testament to the strong commitment of the Sisters of the Third Order to our great city. When retrofitted, it will house 750 OSF employees who will be a stone’s throw from our neighborhood.

Great things are happening! I see a vibrant corridor of opportunity stretching from Western and Main and extending to the new OSF development as well as Warehouse District.

Many additional high paying union jobs will be created during the retrofit stage, complementing the work at Bradley’s Convergence Center site.

A built out NEW Bradley student housing development at Main and Garfield will enhance the vibrancy of West Main as we approach the Main and Sheridan intersection and result in even more jobs! A new cross signal will soon be installed to help residents and shoppers cross a very busy and vibrant West Main Street and facilitate a safe crossing for the Central Illinois Ballet students.

The work on West Moss Brownstones is commencing,  and we will have a new Douglas A. MacArthur Bridge by November.

On a different note, we must again beat back the reckless and grossly irresponsible recommendation

to close the Science Lab on North University. Two hundred government scientists must be allowed to continue their life saving research. Working with our Congressional and Senatorial delegations, we can win this battle again.

We also have a new Acting Police Chief.  Loren Marion III has assumed the position, and I will continue to work closely with him to assure that he has a complete understanding of some of our security challenges.

I wish all of you the best and will see you soon.



Councilman Chuck Grayeb

As we conclude 2017 and ring in 2018, we have much to be thankful for!

A new brownstone development on West Moss, the Central Illinois Ballet in the old Foster/Jacob building, and more projects just around the corner.

We have concluded a biennial budget which has a human face,  and we will continue to work hard to rectify the many difficult issues in Springfield and Washington, D.C., which impact our local budget. These influences are extrinsic to us but impact us all.

In 2018 the new Douglas A. MacArthur Bridge project will begin.

We also will continue to bear witness to the erection of The Convergence Center on the Bradley Campus — a lasting legacy for Peoria and Bradley University. Just as importantly, we will make plans to rebuild Main Street, making it more pedestrian friendly and the continued focal point for our vibrant West Bluff and Peoria area.

The 650 million dollar multi-year federal defense contract will continue to mean many jobs for Central Illinoisans who work at the East Peoria defense facility. I want to thank all of you for making us a great neighborhood and want to thank Brian Buralli, our dedicated President, and our NPO, Adrian Aguilar, for their tireless efforts to make our neighborhood one of the best in our nation.

Finally, we are fortunate to have Councilors Jensen, Rand, and  Ruckriegel as dedicated public servants who assist us in the maintenance of a high quality of life in the Moss/ Bradley area.

From my Family to yours, I wish you Happy Holidays and a very prosperous New Year!


Councilman Chuck Grayeb

As the clocks fall back, it is time to look to our future.

The Council must settle the EPA lawsuit and carve out a responsible spending plan to carry our City forward. The budget should fund what YOU want. One of my predecessors spoke often of the primacy of core or basic services. Councilman Sandberg even opined that most folks don’t mind paying taxes if they can see a palpable and meaningful difference in their neighborhoods and lives. I agree wholeheartedly.

As we move forward with the balancing of the budget, we must look to public safety first. Police, Fire, and Public Works absorb most of the money, as you would expect. But building and environmental codes, IT, and all ancillary support positions are vital as well. Our City has shed hundreds of jobs over the past decade. The City is making do with less. But… we dare not jeopardize lives by cutting the basic services any deeper.

Soon the ice and snow will return. Make no mistake about it — those big yellow trucks which fight the elements and rebuild our infrastructure are critical as well.

I have long felt that I was fortunate to be a Peorian and I feel the same now. I have had a great deal of confidence in most budgets we have carved out in my seventeen years on the Council. I will fight hard to reflect your values and work for a budget which has a human face— a budget which does not stop all the progress WE have made together in District Two.

An additional issue of great concern to me is the amount of litigation still unresolved, which existed when the City was  self-insured. A successful wrongful imprisonment claim can make our 7.9 million dollar shortfall look like a picnic in the park.

My other great worry is the action of a malignant player which often cannot be predicted. Our police work hard to preempt criminal conduct but no one knows when the next outrageous act will be committed. This uncertainty extends throughout our troubled world. As your Councilman, I am working with our authorities to identify threats in the neighborhoods and shutter malignant properties before they damage us. Our Neighborhood Service Unit is designed to preempt problems and alert property owners of their responsibilities under our laws.

We will continue to rebuild our West Bluff and our City, and I remain cautiously optimistic that the Brownstone Development on Moss is viable and will be great for all of us. I hope all of you have a great Thanksgiving as we enter a beautiful holiday season. See you soon.


Councilman Chuck Grayeb

At recent meetings on the West Bluff, I realized the great change in conversation as various developments are announced and indeed go forward.

On the Bradley University anchor side of the West Bluff, we have a 100 million dollar school project and investment which will forever change us. The new Business/ Engineering Convergence Center is a huge legacy project for one of our top community employers. Bradley’s academic atmosphere adds so much to the West Bluff,  and the students and faculty contribute much to our local community. Town/ Gown Relations have never been better.

At the Hale Memorial Church, much work is occurring under the Yaku Cultural Center banner. This development is potentially transformative and is near our great hospital and medical school anchors.

We are also blessed with a great Renaissance Park Community Association with its members’ great civic engagement on West Main.  Add to this mix a potential Brownstone Townhome Development across the street from the thriving Buddhist Temple, and one begins to see another sign of great and continued prosperity for our neighborhoods.

Millions of dollars have already been spent repairing the West Bluff infrastructure, with even more work coming with the soon to be rebuilt Douglas A. MacArthur Bridge.

As Thanksgiving approaches, we have much to give thanks for, as we continue to work on the preparation of our 2018 and 2019 biennial budget. This will be my 17th budget process as your City Councilman. I am reminded of the late Councilman Gary Sandberg’s admonition:  a community’s budget is oftentimes the embodiment of a community’s values— or at least the values of those sitting around The Horseshoe at that time.

I can assure all of you that, wherever I go, I am hearing that we must continue the rebuild of the heart of our City and dare not reverse course. Property values are rising once again and energy is returning to the heart of our City.  It is the place where our young people and

Creative Class want to live. I will not acquiesce in ruinous cuts which will detract from the resurgence in our neighborhoods. We have fought too long and too hard to turn back. We will cut unnecessary spending and look for a revenue source that will be helpful to all of us. We cannot spend or tax our way out of the current 7.9 million dollar deficit. We must work with scalpel like precision to forge a new biennial budget.

I hope to see all of you soon. Thank you, Councilors Jensen and Ruckriegel, for helping me deliver for District Two— a district second to none!


Councilman Chuck Grayeb

Next year one of the worst bridges in the State will be rebuilt. I want to thank those of you who participated in the three Douglas A. MacArthur Bridge colloquia which the City sponsored. Our new gateway bridge will continue to be iconic and will retain the Art Deco finials and will have sidewalk and bicycle lane.

A potentially exciting new project may be built on the vacant lot across the street from the Buddhist Temple in the 800 block of West Moss. I have insisted that any zoning be R4, single family residential, as this development contemplates townhomes. Scott Lewis is the potential developer. The Historic Preservation Commission must issue a Certificate of Appropriateness, and any new development must be approved by The City Council.

I have asked President Buralli to allow Developer Lewis to become much more specific about this project at the next MBRA Meeting in October. I am thrilled that a historically compatible development may replace an unsightly lot which has been a code enforcement challenge for some time.

Bradley University is continuing to build the new Convergence Center which will house the schools of Engineering and Business. As one of our top employers, Bradley continues to promote our West Bluff and regional economy.

We are continuing to work on our next city budget. We need to produce a balanced budget which does not set our neighborhoods back and which has a human face.

Happy Autumn and I look forward to seeing you soon.


Councilman Chuck Grayeb

I hope all of you are having a wonderful summer. Much is happening.

It looks like there is bipartisan support to reject any attempt to close the Science Research Lab on North University. This is great news as this lab helps contribute 100 million dollars per year to our local economy. The Bradley University Convergence Center work is ongoing. This is a four year, 100 million dollar investment in District Two by one of our top employers. Much development continues on West Main.

As I write this, we have high hopes that the Central Illinois Ballet will occupy the Foster/Jacob Building with anywhere from 60 to 100 students, six days a week. The Renaissance Park Association continues to do great work along West Main, with the flowers and colored pots their latest initiative.

Much work will be coming to West Main as we work hard to ink a CSO agreement with the EPA.

Other business expansion on West Main is in the planning stage. Prodigious efforts continue with the Western Avenue Greenway and it is looking good! All in all, things are looking great in the Moss/ Bradley area. The gas station at Main and Sheridan is now associated with the Mobil Oil Consortium and looks better. The Monster Pawn folks exceeded their authority, as of this writing, and I have asked Staff to continue to review what rights and permissions we as a City have as it pertains to this project in the West Main Form Based District.

Lock your cars up. There has been an epidemic of car crimes, City-wide.

On a positive note, the congregants of the Buddhist Temple have done fabulous interior work and would like any of us to visit and meditate.

I wish all of you the best and I am privileged to be your Councilman.


Best to all!


Councilman Chuck Grayeb

Spring is not far off–renewal and awakening time.

The recent announcement about Caterpillar moving its top executives has not played well in Peoria. For many years, we have been preparing for this possibility. The good news is that we have been successful! Peoria’s dominant employer is now the medical field. We have become a world class medical research and healing center. We now have a four year medical school and a government laboratory renowned throughout much of the world.

District Two remains a great place to live and a $100 million dollar investment will soon be made on The Hilltop. I am happy to recite the many blessings we have.

I predict Peoria will further diversify its economy and will soon begin to deal with its CSO/EPA issues, yielding great and green advances in our heritage neighborhoods and producing more local jobs. I hope we all take time to give thanks for what we have.

The most important thing this City has its resilient and courageous people. I am proud to represent all of Peoria as well as the Second District!

Our future is bright and we are moving forward to this Springtime of hope and renewal. By summer, some really exciting news will break about the old Chase Bank block.

Best to all!

Councilman Chuck Grayeb

chuck-grayebI would like to address all of you about some great economic opportunities which lie ahead. Jobs are so important for the health and vitality of our community. Our city infrastructure rebuild will be vital, not to mention 10 years of work for local workers, pursuant to a green resolution of the EPA lawsuit. Stay tuned!

While there is uncertainty in the land during the Presidential Transition, I am hopeful that a much needed national infrastructure rebuild for our country will yield great dividends for a key employer, Caterpillar Tractor.

In District 2, a 15 million dollar project looms in the rebuilding of Pierson Hills, soon to be renamed Parkwood Commons.

Also, hundreds of jobs are looming for Bradley’s impending 90 million dollar Convergence Center to be built on the West Main Hilltop.

A potential moonshot effort to make the USA the global colossus in sustainable and renewable fuels –wind and solar– should contribute to a return to great prosperity and a revival of our middle class. This all has a direct impact on us in District Two.

The 4 million dollar new MacArthur Highway Bridge,  commencing in 2018,  will create a dynamic entryway to District Two.

I believe there is every reason to look with confidence to our future economically. It is my deepest hope that all of you find joy, health, and love in the New Year. Let us look back on 2016 as a year of great challenge, with great opportunity ahead. From my loved ones to you, I wish all of you the best for 2017!


Councilman Chuck Grayeb


Greetings, as we move into the holiday season!

The Neighborhood Awards Banquet is in the rearview mirror, and, once again, we honored those who toil  in our neighborhoods to make Peoria a great place to live. The Ted Bannon Brick Award was awarded to Tom Wester who is a very effective neighborhood leader and President of the Heart of Peoria NA. Tom is also a newly appointed member of the Historic Preservation Commission and has been instrumental in drawing attention to properties which can be saved.

Another city issue which looms large is balancing our biennial city budget. To date, our deliberations have produced near unanimity in the importance of continuing to focus laser sharp on public safety and roads/ infrastructure. I hope the budget will be put to bed well before Christmas.

A huge issue before us is the Combined Sewer Outfall Issue. I hope that our City is successful in getting the EPA to allow Peoria to be a Green City, which will allow a roughly 225 million dollar investment in the greening of Peoria, which will result in millions of dollars being spent in District Two with lots of good paying local labor jobs! We need to get this country moving again!!!!

The overall condition of our roads, bridges, ports, highways, and airports is a disgrace. Just down our street,  the MacArthur Highway Bridge has a structural integrity score of 8 out of 100 with 100 being the best! It has been languishing for many years with rocks falling on cars beneath it. In 2018, all of this will change, and we will continue to engage all of you in the planning of what the new bridge will be like.

Finally, when you read this, we will, in all likelihood, have a new President-Elect. This election will be very important for all of us. I hope that the new President will rally Congress to pass an infrastructure rebuild Marshall Plan scaled bill and make the USA the leader in solar and wind energy as well as other clean energy fuels.

If the Green Model is implemented here, thousands of good paying middle class jobs will be created, as we fix infrastructure in our neighborhoods. Once Caterpillar starts the new headquarters, there will be jobs for the trades for at least 10 years. All or most of these pieces will fall into place, thereby creating a bright future for our City and Nation.

Your Councilman believes this community’s best days are ahead. I wish to extend my best to all of you at this sacred holiday season.


Councilman Chuck Grayeb

Time is passing as the “dying embers” of November approach. Completion of the Sheridan Road Bridge cannot come soon enough. The Cottage District traffic circles have been completed. We are busy installing temporary speed humps on Barker with the ensuing metrics.

Again, this street lies smack-dab in the middle of one of the most densely populated zip codes in the State, adjacent to a university campus. If the humps are well received, I will place them in the budget to be made permanent next year.

Currently, I have tasked Staff with the job of developing a nonreactive way of assessing where cell towers may go in our City and what they can look like. Much valuable input came from the representatives of the West Bluff Council during its September meeting. Verizon is proposing a huge tower behind the Innovation Center on West Main. Bradley University has no dog in the hunt, and they indicate that they very much want to proceed in accord with the wishes of our community. I believe there is a middle ground which allows us to protect our heritage neighborhoods and meets the needs of cell phone users.  December is the month for a coherent report back.

BU VP Gary Anna was at the September WBC Meeting and indicated that an almost 90 million dollar project may commence in 2017 with the new Convergence Center, placing the schools of business and engineering under one roof. I have stressed to BU officials the need to share their plans once they gel. Gary Anna assured all of us that this would happen. This new structure will face Main Street and have a plaza.

Finally, we will have yet another colloquium in 2017 to unveil a design for the new Douglas A. Macarthur Bridge.  This new bridge will be a key transition area between two proud Council districts. I am confident that it will be a huge plus for our City. The bridge now has a rating of 8 out of 100 for structural integrity!!! It has been disintegrating for many years. It will be constructed in all likelihood in 2018.

I want to thank all of you for your engagement and want to  thank At-Large Councilors Jensen and Ruckriegel for their assistance in D2 and their service to our City.

Best wishes, Chuck

Councilman Chuck Grayeb

chuck-grayebMy friends: I want to talk a little bit about what is happening in our beloved City and Country. We are in a dangerous period when a single incident can divide us and set back all the progress we are making as a unified City with tolerance and love for all.

Moss/ Bradley has won a great award for its outstanding neighborhood features, but, more importantly, Moss/ Bradley exhibits an embrace of diversity and warm positive change. The strength of Moss/ Bradley is not in its homes or in its beautiful lawns. The strength of Moss/ Bradley is in the fundamental decency and loving nature of its exceptional people who are determined to love their neighbors as themselves.

As your elected leader, I rarely speak of such intangibles, focusing instead on our material progress. But, my friends, it is time for us to recommit ourselves to our neighbors and show them the love and respect which we all deserve.

MBRA is reflective of the greatness of all of District Two and, indeed, the entirety of our City. As I travel through our neighborhoods, I am so humbled to think of the many people who reside here who have built our community. Some are still in the living years and some have passed, leaving a hole in our hearts which we must fill.

Continued hard charging progress on our roads and public safety is at the top of my list and occupies my attention every single day. Since my election, I have been convinced that we must move fast and urgently to build and rebuild the core of our City. I have challenged Staff and have enjoyed your unwavering support.

As we move into the Fall and toward Election Day, may we give thanks that we have each other. Would we really want to live anywhere else at any other time?

Finally, I want to acknowledge the departure of a really good guy– our Public Works Director, Michael T. Rogers, who is a visionary and who has served all of us with probity and vision. Scott Reeise will be the new Public Works Director who will no doubt continue with the initiatives and progress all across our City.

Again, I am deeply privileged to be able to serve you and the people of Peoria. I will always be in your debt. Thank you Beth and Sid for all you do and your love of community. Together, we will not falter or grow tired.

Best, Chuck


Councilman Chuck Grayeb

chuck-grayebGreetings!  Hope you have had a wonderful summer as we begin the inevitable march toward the Fall and back to school time.

Road projects continue in our neighborhoods all over District Two, and, by 2017, over 20 million dollars will have been spent rebuilding our infrastructure in District Two, the heart of our City. Additional interventions are occurring on Moss and traffic circles are being built in the Cottage District.

Bradley University will soon commence a ninety million dollar project on West Main, thereby converging the Schools of Business and Engineering under one roof. This will mean many jobs for our people and place Bradley in a superior position to attract the best and brightest students from all across the globe.

We will carefully monitor our one – way Fredonia street pattern and hope it is a win-win for the neighborhoods and the Whittier schoolchildren.

I am also very excited about the new Douglas A. MacArthur Bridge Project commencing in 2018. I am visualizing  ornamental walls, retained finials, and more attractive light fixtures, making it a wonderful and attractive gateway to both Districts 1 and 2.

For the most part, it has been a routine and safe summer with minimal public safety issues. As all of you know, I will always place the funding of public safety as the highest priority for our City. We will soon have yet another 2nd Second District Resident Officer at 220 W. Republic. Thank you Andrew Rand and AMT for making it happen! At the Bannon House, home of yet another Second District Resident Officer, Adrian Aguilar, we have had a great upgrade to the home, which now has a fresh paint job.

I hope to soon see repaired red brick streets in the Armstrong-Ellis and Randolph/ Roanoke neighborhoods where we have succeeded in ousting slumlords and are now seeing significant new investment.

You will be seeing many changes coming to Main and Sheridan to enhance pedestrian connectivity along the vibrant and surging West Main Entertainment and Shopping Corridor.

Would we really want to live anywhere else? District Two is on the move and we will continue to make our area the best place to live in our City.  Moss/ Bradley is already an award winning neighborhood! We are yet to reach the pinnacle but we are continuing the climb.

Thank you, Councilors Jensen and Ruckriegel, for being great leaders and helping me as I strive to provide the highest level of  service for our constituents.

Best wishes, Chuck


Message from Councilman Chuck Grayeb

chuck-grayebSignificant safety issues for Whittier Elementary School students and residents have been reported to me, and I have asked Deputy Director of Public Works Scott Reeise to address them. We explored them at a recent MBRA meeting. I wish to thank City Manager Patrick Urich for immediately talking to the Principal of Whittier School after I brought these concerns to his attention.  When you read this, we will already have conducted a colloquium with Cottage District residents to consider appropriate traffic calming measures for this great neighborhood.

I recently met with the newly appointed President of Bradley University and assured him that a strong town/ gown relationship remains a priority of ours. He indicated that continued emphasis on public safety was very important to Bradley University and its personnel and that they would be continuing to review potential public safety emergencies, which might require a coordinated response from both the BU and Peoria Police Departments. I

have received overwhelming and highly positive response from all of you about the four electronic sign boards installed on Moss Avenue. Soon, additional speedtable work and handicap accessibility work will be done east ofMacArthur Highway along Moss Avenue.  In addition, work on Sheridan Road in general (and its bridge at Richmond) will soon commence as we complete University Street from Forrest Hill to War Drive.

Exciting business development initiatives are in the offing and additional announcements will be forthcoming for West Main Street as well.

Moss / Bradley is a great neighborhood and its engaged residents have made it so. I know Beth, Sid, and I are proud to serve you. Having two At-Large Councilors so eager to help us is huge. Our City Staff continues to provide topnotch service for a district Second to None! Also, kudos to Andrew Rand and Advanced Medical Transport for their many contributions to our Community. AMT was honored for its involvement at the State of the City Address delivered by Mayor Jim Ardis. AMT is a great Second District and City of Peoria business and made a critical decision to expand their operation in District Two a couple of years ago. Kudos need to go to Deb Dougherty, our newest member of the Historic Preservation Commission. Thank you Brian Gruber for your presentation and work on the Peoria Promise program which helps so many of our students. Best wishes for an early Springtime of renewal and hope.