Peoria councilman Tim Riggenbach wants to continue making a difference in District 3, and all across the city.
“I think I've been a face for the constituency that I represent, and I've been able to build some coalitions, because that's what it's all about,” Riggenbach said on his decision to seek a fourth term on the city council. “You can get a lot done when you know how to get six other council members to agree with you.”
First elected in 2009, Riggenbach said he weighed the idea of another run, and ultimately decided he still has more to give as the city works through many challenges, notably the financial crunch arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It's always quite a process to go through in your head when you're trying to make that decision,” he said. “We have a lot of things happening throughout the city. Obviously, this year has kind of been an outlier, I would like to think.
“Specific to the East Bluff and the 3rd Council District, I just think that there's some things in the fire here that I want to see to fruition.”
Among those, he pointed to the $500,000 East Village TIF housing program, redevelopment of the vacant Cub Foods location, and new ownership for Wisconsin Plaza as key accomplishments for the district.
“Our East Village TIF housing program has been a real success story,” said Riggenbach. “We've had over half a million dollars go out to about 100 homeowners for residential repairs, and this is the first TIF that the City of Peoria has had that actually benefits the homeowners.”
Riggenbach said he knows the city’s leadership is in for some changes with Mayor Jim Ardis opting against seeking a fifth term.
“There's been a lot of security having the same mayor for 16 years. I think we want to make sure that we look at this as an opportunity and see where this takes us,” Riggenbach said. “I think there's going to be a lot of things looked at from a different angle.”
He said his passion for municipal government is stronger than ever, especially without partisan politics coming into play.
“I think I've provided some steady leadership, but the thing that I'm probably most proud of is the fact that the council and I don't have to run as a Republican or Democrat; I'm simply a Peorian,” he said. “I've had support from the business community, I've had support from organized labor, and support from Republicans and Democrats.
“So, being able to work together is so critical--having relationships with members of the school board, knowing people in the park district. Those are all things in the municipal government; it's really beautiful that we can work together because we all live here and we're not running off to Washington, D.C. all the time.”
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