Message from Councilman Chuck Grayeb

chuck-grayebBest wishes for a very prosperous New Year! Work and planning continue in the early days of 2016 for the execution of numerous Public Works projects in the MBRA area.

Firstly, the second set of electronic speed board signs have been erected east of University on West Moss as will be the creation of 2 speed tables for that stretch. In addition, we will soon have a colloquium for Cottage District residents to see if they would favor traffic circles and speedtables in their area which would replicate what The University
East NA has on the six streets north of Main along Russell.

In the Spring , Sheridan Road will be done from McClure to roughly Nebraska with new bridge work occurring at Richmond and Sheridan . 2016 will see the completion of University Street in District Two as well. A conscious decision was made by the Council to continue with the aggressive rebuild of our City infrastructure. This occurred after taxpayer input colloquia and months of Council deliberation. Full throttle on the gas also occurred as it relates to the rebuilding and increased staffing of our Police force.

Adrian Aguilar is our new Second District Resident Officer, and I hope we can soon invite him to an MBRA meeting. I also have the funding for a second Second District Resident Officer who will reside in the north central part of D 2.

We are working hard to fill the important Historic Preservation Commission vacancy, necessitated by the selection of Sidney Paul Ruckriegel to be the newly appointed At- Large Councilor to fill the seat vacated by new State Senator Chuck Weaver. I am so proud to see a bit more geographic balance in where the City Councilors live. A large majority of Reps have lived, for many decades, north of War Drive.

I hope we will soon see a vigorous inquiry into the lackluster response of Ameren to a storm predicted many days in advance. Some folks in District Two had no power for four days! May I conclude by thanking Beth Jensen and now Sid Ruckriegel for covering D2 issues and providing constituent service when I am on vacation and assisting with all 5 districts. We make a great team and I guarantee you that we will not let you down. Finally, Mayor Ardis remains a solid supporter of our heritage neighborhoods and I am honored to fill the seat which his Father once occupied.


Message from Councilman Chuck Grayeb

chuck-grayebAs we approach the Hanging of the Greens, we need to look to the future. The Buddhist Temple Project at 839 W. Moss is moving forward. Assuming no issues at the PZ Hearing on the special use request, the item will be brought forward by me at the November 24 Council Meeting. The petitioner is also requesting permission for a twenty foot tall statue of Buddha. It is not an alteration to the building and would be in the front yard of the temple.

In yet another vein, traffic analysis has been done for the MBRA area. The stats indicate that the reconfigured Main and University intersection rebuild has had little to no impact on the volume of traffic on Moss Avenue. In general, over the last 25 years, traffic has declined and now it has stabilized. Speeding continues to be an issue, however. Accordingly, we are taking the following steps:

  1. In 2016, I have allocated money for a raised pedestrian crossing on the east side of Moss Avenue to slow traffic down.  Enforcement will continue.
  2. At my direction, we will be adding two permanent speed feedback signs on Moss Avenue west of Mac Arthur.  There will be one for westbound traffic and one for eastbound traffic. The engineers are recommending that these signs be located between Institute and Cooper. Enforcement will continue. The engineers are looking at the logistics of the installation. Solar power will not work on Moss because of the tree canopy. These signs will be hardwired so that they will always be operational. I have asked staff to complete them before Christmas.

We have a newly appointed BU President. We welcome back Gary Roberts, a BU alumnus,  to serve as Bradley’s eleventh President. In spite of Caterpillar’s challenges, our best days are ahead as a City and Country. I wish all of you a great Holiday Season.

Message from Councilman Chuck Grayeb


Much work needs to be done outside before the snow flies. University Street work continues, and 2016 will bring a new Sheridan Road from Richmond to McClure.  New business is opening on West Main, including Ribbon Records and a new Chicago style eatery at the old Mr. G’s ! Business people have exciting new projects coming to West Main,  and I will share details as these projects coalesce. You will love them!

More West Main murals are also in the offing.

Beth Jensen and I are working hard to get more solar powered speed reminder signs and secure the completion of an additional speed table, east of University on Moss Avenue.

Strong proactive code enforcement, with a more commonsense approach,  has already commenced, minus the neon stickers which will no longer be affixed to glass or siding. I want to thank Councilor Jensen for helping all of us in so many areas of City policy and operation .
Your City Council is hard at work on erasing  a several million dollar budget deficit  and implementing a green model resolution to the federal lawsuit involving the EPA and the City.

In the education arena, Peoria High has undergone 20 million dollars of improvements as it strives to meet 21 st century educational challenges.

At this writing, The Council is interviewing candidates for the vacated Weaver Council seat.

I  hope you all have a great Fall and Thanksgiving. We have much to be thankful for and hope Caterpillar will recover in due course.

Hoping to see you soon!

Message from Councilman Chuck Grayeb

Happy Autumn ! I hope all of you had a most enjoyable Summer.chuck-grayeb

A Buddhist Temple is coming to the Washington School Architectural Gem. I pray that this will be a lasting legacy for our Neighborhood, Community and State.

We will continue to monitor traffic through the entire West Bluff and make adjustments as the optimizers   continue to improve traffic flow through four key intersections.

We remain on high alert as it relates to recent criminal activity where some Bradley students were robbed. We also will continue our efforts to form an even stronger town/ gown relationship. I communicate directly with BU students and administrators whenever a problem arises. In turn, the City of Peoria is always anxious to affirm our enduring commitment to a successful Bradley University.

We continue to work on revitalization of our adjacent commercial corridors and are drawing more members of the creative class to West Main Street. We are hoping to secure a green settlement with the EPA and be able to do some infrastructure improvements in our D2 neighborhoods. We are hoping we secure a grant for a new City permeable lot abutting Main and University.

Speaking of green, doesn’t our Greenway look great!

I look forward to seeing all of you at upcoming MBRA meetings. In our City, gun violence continues to plague us. After a relatively quiet year, we had several homicides in just a few days. When I first ran for office in the early Nineties we had 25 in one year. We are at 13 at this writing. Our people are united against violence and criminality. We will prevail and have already solved a number of these homicides.

Finally, we are really fortunate to have Councilor Jensen leading and helping all of us. I rely on her advice and help every single day.

Finally, if you see any of our city workers out and about, say “hello” and let them know how much we appreciate their work.

Best wishes,


Message from Councilman Chuck Grayeb

chuck-grayebSpring is here! Neighborhood associations are planting flowers and trees all over the West Bluff and Second District. I hope to see some of you at the Great American Cleanup Events this Saturday.

I will be delivering two Mayoral Proclamations at Dayspring Park this Saturday, to acknowledge all the work done there by volunteers and the Nolans.

Columbia Terrace North NA continues its great efforts. Bernadine Nolan deservedly won the Ted Bannon Brick Award!!!! 

Conrad Stinnett and Bernie Goitein are indefatigable in their quest to reorganize Calvin Coolidge and Whittier Schools into K8 schools. I believe they are getting a meaningful dialogue going on both sides of Western Street.

Signal optimizers are about to be installed to better move traffic throughout the West Bluff. Metrics will then be done again.

Uplands leaders and PW Staff are working with me to see if new water pipes for the 400 homes (there) can continue to be served by new pipes in reconstructed green alleys. This will require special permission from the IEPA.

Exciting new vibrancy continues with new business initiatives along the revitalized West Main Corridor, drawing attention in a recent Journal Star business article.

New suitors have stepped forward to acquire Washington School.

The Randolph/ Roanoke area needs extensive repair of their lights. Two new LED bulb colors are available. They will soon decide what hue they want.

Congratulations to Marilyn Trinder for earning the Mayor’s Award for her many years of service to the RR neighborhood and our entire community. I am pleased with progress occurring in the West Bluff. We have a District second to none!

As always, it is a pleasure to serve you!

Best, Chuck

Message from Councilman Chuck Grayeb

chuck-grayebRecent traffic studies show no significant increase in volume of traffic in the MBRA area. The findings were quantified in handouts provided by staff at the last MBRA meeting. In fact, traffic is considerably reduced from the decade of the nineties. I also indicated that further traffic calming methods are being looked at on Moss Avenue east of MacArthur.

The EPA settlement which will be expensive for our taxpayers may be a boon to the Heritage Neighborhoods, as we do sustainable green projects, providing  uplift to the neighborhoods.

All major road reconstruction on my watch has incorporated these features, and the Main and University Street intersection is a template for further citywide work, with its rain gardens, which effectively prevent the kind of runoff the EPA wants us to combat.

Washington School will soon be shown to prospective buyers. I will keep you posted.

A more comprehensive, systematic citywide snow removal strategy was outlined by Director Rogers at the last MBRA meeting, which involves better equipment to remove the snow slush from sidewalks following a storm (which often freezes hard as a rock and is beyond the capacity of any homeowner to remove without specialized equipment).

Shotspotter is being expanded to an additional three square miles. It has promoted citizen and officer safety and netted more arrests and removal of guns from our streets.

We will continue to look at the erection of more ornamental stop sign poles and four-way stops in the MBRA area.

I hope all of you enjoy the weeks leading into Spring. We are blessed to live in a neighborhood and District second to none.

Best, Chuck

Message from Councilman Chuck Grayeb

chuck-grayebHappy 2015! Exciting news awaits us as our Fortune 25 global corporation

considers its future in our city and country. The new year looks bright. Many exciting building projects loom which mean jobs for our people. We do have a challenge with Washington School again being available for sale. A new intergovernmental agreement will be approved allowing us to begin anew our nationwide search for an appropriate suitor. Traffic analysis will continue to inform us on additional measures we need to consider,  to further calm our neighborhoods. We will see the rebuilding of University Street from Nebraska to War Memorial Drive, as well as the reconstruction of Sheridan  Road  from Richmond to McClure. Progress continues as we grow greener as our City meets EPA standards. This means much opportunity for District Two where we have already built rain gardens at Main and University Streets. District Two will continue to be a leader in creating a new design for urban living.

Best to all in the New Year!

Message from Councilman Chuck Grayeb

chuck-grayebI feel that Peoria is on the verge of renewed economic vitality. I look forward to a Caterpillar announcement and the many construction projects underway in 2015. Overall, I believe the Second District is better than it was a year ago. I will not rest until every single slumlord is punished and held accountable. Demolition by neglect is unacceptable and antithetical to the continued health and well being of our heritage and historic neighborhoods. I reject the notion that repopulating our trees is a frill. I look forward to new trees being planted to replace the unsafe and diseased trees. We appropriated money to achieve that goal during our last Council Meeting of 2014. As Don Luebbe, one of our great leaders has pointed out, trees are a draw for many to our neighborhoods, and add character, and serve to clean our air. I have requested that the stop sign be removed at the top of Union Street hill and I thank Dr. Lorenz for his work on this. A better approach will be used. I look forward to unveiling some potential strategies to further calm the MBRA area and will bring the engineers to our January Meeting.

When you read this, the fate of Montessori may well have been decided. Many have worked with the leadership at Montessori to help deliver financing and flesh out grant opportunities. At the end of the day, if it does not happen, we still have Principal John Meredith Cox, Kate, and a new baby, living in our area,  as active members of MBRA. As the year winds down, I find the City experiencing a cascade of violence and shootings, for an otherwise better year than 2013. We are using our listening posts to see if there is a common thread to many of these incidents.

I am thankful for the privilege to serve and wish to thank the Adams’ for hosting such an outstanding holiday party. I want to acknowledge the strong partnership and assistance Councilmember Beth Jensen has brought to our collective endeavors. We work as a team!  I wish all of you a Happy Holiday Season and pray for all of you, your families,  and those you love. We know that our friends on the BU Hilltop continue to make things better. On behalf of the Mayor, City Staff, and the City Council, best wishes for a great 2015!

Message from Councilman Chuck Grayeb

I am happy to report that work continues all over District Two. The time is rapidly approaching for the Street Fall Cleanup as we batten down the hatches for Winter. Yard waste collection ends on Saturday, November 29. I believe that some of the cuts which we are required to make to keep our biennial city budget balanced will have minimal impact on service delivery to the People of Peoria.

I ask that you not leave your car doors unlocked as there has been a rash of car entries all over the City. I am busy nominating qualified District Two residents to as many commissions as I possibly can. I believe we have the most informed and engaged citizenry in the City. If you wish to serve on a commission, let me know.

Message from Councilman Chuck Grayeb

chuck-grayebMy friends: It is vitally important to your elected representative that we maintain amicable relations with our great friends atWestminster Church. We are part of the same community of interests. I certainly hope that reason prevails and that MBRA leaders and Westminster Church leaders resolve the sign issue once and for all. I would hope that this matter does not need togo to the HPC for evaluation. Surely, there is a better way!We must complete the great infrastructure upgrades before the snow flies and we will continue to do traffic enforcement on theWest Bluff. Over 400 citations have been issued to motorists.We are living through a time of momentous change. The upgrade and redesign of our aging infrastructure on almost 20streets is altering our social and cultural fabric. I also allocated money to redesign and transform the ugly and dated CityParking Lot behind the businesses on West Main. We will have a strong application calling for park areas intermixed with a new permeable EPA favored parking surface. I want to thank Council members Jensen, Akeson, Spain and City Staff for helping to move this along.

I want to thank Councilman Turner for visiting Main Street Liquors–a business which now has a City approved plan of operation. I would encourage the operators to get more involved in all the positive and energetic changes sweeping our District and the West Bluff. Also, I want to thank all of you for your understanding and support during this time of great renewal and change. MBRA is on the cutting edge because of its leaders and members. The Mayor and the entire Council share my excitement about the opportunities ahead for all of us.

Message from Councilman Chuck Grayeb

chuck-grayebI hope you are looking forward to the fall season when the leaves turn such beautiful colors. We continue to monitor and measure traffic in the West Moss/ Bradley area and are hopeful to get accurate counts after the Sterling Road work is completed. We will enhance enforcement of 20 mph limit and hope speed boards also send a message.

The West Bluff has in a few short months had almost three million dollars worth of work performed in its environs, impacting 20 streets. Four lit pedestrian crosswalks have just been completed. Two of them are west of Main and University, one at Underhill and Main Street, and one at Bradley and University.

We are enhancing overall police patrols in the area and fielding aggressive curfew operations throughout the City. If you see kids out after curfew, call the PPD at 673.4521.

I look forward to working with all of you  on any problems which arise. I want to congratulate our new Police Chief Jerry Mitchell on his appointment! 

Best wishes,

Chuck Grayeb

Message from Councilman Chuck Grayeb

chuck-grayebGreetings! Hard to believe but the dog days of August have passed and students are back to school. We have some interesting mural work at the Sunbeam Building, and this will be just the beginning. Entrepreneurs continue to be good neighbors, with the Muir Building getting a fresh coat of paint as well as the old Church Mouse building, now the site of an Anglican Communion. West Main Liquours will soon have to change its mode of operation and hopefully become an asset to the West Bluff.

We have recently brought back walking police patrols and will continue with them as needed. The patrol stretches from North Street to University. The City continues to take action on out of control properties in the Roanoke Street area and I will not rest until stability returns there. For the first time in decades, an arrest has been made for criminal housing management in the City of Peoria, pursuant to the recently enacted serial predatory (targeted offender) slumlord law. Heads up! Our neighborhoods will not accept predators who house the lawless and who do not maintain their properties. Several other landlords are being investigated now. Code enforcement has also been working on decrepit and nuisance properties on South University, which have been allowed to languish for many years. 

I am happy to say that the Great Road Reconfiguration is mostly built out,  with adjustments still to be made in the Uplands and University East and MBRA territories. Three million dollars have been spent in less than a year to refresh and renew our old decaying infrastructure. We are on the move! We are busy doing preconstruction and post construction count comparisons. Right now, the Sterling Road work in District Two will affect any count . It will take some time to really get a handle on numbers, as more drivers are learning to avoid the West Bluff as a cut through. I will have the engineers present at the September MBRA Meeting, and they will be all ears. With the new Montessori School beginning its operation in 2015 at 839 W. Moss, it is even more important to scrutinize the stretch of Moss east of University. A few of you have contacted me with great suggestions, and I have shared them with the engineers. 

A new West Main Merchants Association has arisen phoenix-like and Renaissance Park Community Association continues its great work. Would we really want to live in any other place in Peoria? The Second District is truly the Heart of Peoria and is second to none. Continue to watch the transformation north of (one of our 9-12 high schools) Peoria High School. This too is a legacy project. What an exciting yet challenging time! See you on September 3.

Message from Councilman Chuck Grayeb


Work continues on Redux of West Bluff infrastructure to create a more aesthetic and walkable home for all of us. Our streets will be transformed to be safer and more pedestrian friendly. After completion on May 10, we can assess and determine if we have any adjustments to make.

Almost three million dollars is being spent to positively transfigure our neighborhoods!  The plan is cutting edge, progressive and solidly done. The transparent approach allowed you, an engaged citizenry, to make it even better.

Our Giant Oak still stands strong in spite of the impact of age and recent high winds. I have asked the Park District to retain the wood as it could be cut into attractive memorabilia pieces. We have lost an apartment building on Roanoke Street to a catastrophic fire. We are fortunate there were no casualties. The other sister structure is deemed unsafe for human occupancy based on the inspection process. It will be going into demolition court. Our challenge is twofold: find an investor to make it safe for occupancy and a credit to our historic neighborhood. We continue to have showings of Washington School and I am optimistic. I will soon call a meeting of the West Main Business Redevelopment Association and acquaint them with the pros and cons of establishing a Special Service District. Already, the businesspeople all along West Main have been meeting with me about some of their exciting plans. We are indeed entering another springtime of hope, for a better future united as One.

It is my high privilege to represent and serve you.

Councilman Chuck Grayeb

I wish to report that work continues apace on the West Bluff Intersection remake and the treatments intended to protect the adjacent neighborhoods. We have had numerous meetings and discussions with the public and I feel the plan is solid and will make for a safer more visually appealing West Bluff. We hope to reeducate the public to understand that the West Bluff streets are not better than I-74 to reach downtown and that other routes are as efficient when traveling. 

Also, I wish to report that we will soon need to meet in reference to whether or not we have a strong suitor for 839 W. Moss. This may require a special MBRA meeting. For additional information on the West Bluff road redux, you may navigate to the City of Peoria website and you can go to the area where it is discussed. Please be careful during the winter storms.

Best Wishes, Chuck Grayeb

Also, I wish to report that we will soon need to meet in reference to whether or not we have a strong suitor for 839 W. Moss. This may require a special MBRA meeting. For additional information on the West Bluff road redux, you may navigate to the City of Peoria website and you can go to the area where it is discussed.

Please be careful during the winter storms.