City of Peoria
Located on the Illinois River in Central Illinois, Peoria is the oldest, and presently the third largest municipality in the State of Illinois and is the economic center of the Peoria Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), the second largest MSA in Illinois. The 1990 census lists the Peoria MSA population as 339,172 while the City of Peoria itself has a population of 119,218. The City is an economically and ethnically diverse community and is centrally located within three driving hours of Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis.
Peoria is the home of Bradley University, a private university with nationally recognized graduate and undergraduate programs in fields such as engineering and business. Illinois Central College, a junior college located in East Peoria, has a satellite campus in downtown Peoria. The City of Peoria has both outstanding public and private school systems. The City is also considered the regional medical center for central Illinois with three major hospitals, a Veterans Administration clinic and the University of Illinois Medical School.
Caterpillar Incorporated has its world headquarters in downtown Peoria. While Caterpillar remains the largest employer in the Peoria area, the employment base has steadily shifted away from a manufacturing economy decreasing from 34% in 1970 to a current level of 20%. Peoria has experienced significant progress in telecommunications, medical services, agricultural research, service and retail. Notably, the city is currently reviewing proposals for more new retail shopping in Peoria, ultimately creating increase in the City’s sales tax revenues.
The Peoria Civic Center is a recreational and convention center located in downtown Peoria, adjacent to City Hall, which hosts a variety of events such as concerts, theater productions, ballet, opera, banquets and a variety of family events. Professional baseball and hockey teams call Peoria their home, as well. The vast natural beauty of the Peoria area can also be seen in the many parks and river views around the City. On three occasions, Peoria has been named an All-American City in 1989, most recently in 2013.
The City of Peoria is a home rule city which operates under the Council-Manager form of government. The City Council is elected on a non-partisan basis and is composed of ten Council Members and a Mayor. Five of the Council Members are elected from individual districts while the other five and the Mayor are elected at-large. City Council Members serve four-year terms with elections staggered every two years. The only other elected officials are the City Clerk and City Treasurer who both serve four-year terms. The City Manager is appointed by the City Council as the chief administrative officer for the City and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of all departments and appoints all department heads. Departments and offices reporting to the City Manager include Office of the City Manager, Equal Opportunity Office, Human Resources, Legal, Finance, Information Systems, Public Works, Police, Fire, and Community Development. The workforce consists of approximately 600 employees.
Peoria, unlike some other cities, does not operate the park system, school system, airport, transit system, or any utilities. These functions are operated by other governmental bodies or the private sector.