History of Metro Peoria
The City of Peoria and Peoria County have been cooperating at various levels in various functions for years, even before a City/County Services Committee was formed in 2005. Examples of long-standing cooperative efforts include mutual aid agreements between public safety entities such as law enforcement and emergency management, agreements for road and traffic signal maintenance, and joint purchasing for fuel and electricity.
The establishment of a City/County Services Committee, however, granted City Council and County Board members a more formal venue for coming together regularly and enhancing communication between the two units of local government. Due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances, the efforts of this committee experienced a temporary hiatus when its chairperson, former City Councilman George Jacob, suffered traumatic injuries due to an accident in May 2010.
In the fall of 2010, Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis and Peoria County Board Chairman Tom O'Neill approached Doug Crew, former manager of governmental affairs at Caterpillar, Inc., to provide leadership for a volunteer citizen group to investigate the feasibility of sharing services between the City and County. Mr. Crew enlisted the help of Brad McMillan, the executive director of the Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service at Bradley University, and in January 2011, they announced the formation of PASS Forward, an advisory group comprised of 35 individuals.
Within PASS Forward, a more diverse core group of 15 people was established that included eight representatives from the City of Peoria and seven from the county, outside City limits. PASS Forward took a bipartisan, solutions-oriented approach to its charge of flushing out potential shared service areas by serving as a research arm for in-depth analysis of common or over-lapping functions between the two units of government.
In November 2011, PASS Forward presented its findings and recommendations to a revitalized City/County collaboration committee that now had a new name and a renewed objective: to seek opportunities for greater service sharing. Metro Peoria was formerly established with the adoption of its charter by the City of Peoria at its council meeting on July 12, 2011, and by the County at its board meeting two days later.
Peoria City Hall
Peoria County Courthouse