Skip to Content

Peoria Park District Presidential candidates speak about their vision for the park district

Two candidates are competing for President of the Peoria Park District, the largest and oldest in the state.

Robert Johnson, a Peoria native, has worked for the Park District for 23 years and currently sits on their board on trustees. He’s running to keep traditions alive.

“Preserve some of the things that we’ve done and to keep working as we all have. A great staff we work with, the community loves us, says great things about us, just want to take us on forth.” said Johnson

Michael Van Cleve said he fell in love with Peoria the moment he moved here and wants to make a difference to keep others in the River City.

“As a local realtor people tell me that quality of life issues are a big part of where they choose to live.” said Van Cleve

The biggest issues? Van Cleve said the Park District needs to people’s input.

“We need to get people involved in the process at the beginning, bringing them into a discussion when something is going wrong is too late.” said Van Cleve

While Johnson is concerned about future finances with the minimum wage increase.

“We employ a lot of young people here, and I believe in a living wage for everyone but we need to work ways and get our budget set up that way so we are able to handle that when it comes.” said Johnson

Their solutions? Both agree that the Park District needs to build on their relationships with private businesses to allow the city and the Park District to thrive.

“I’m excited, I want to make sure we get some good private partner relationships … even in this facility that we are in now the Riverplex.” said Johnson

“We have the same goals, we want the same outcome, we all want to create incredible products. ” said Van Cleve on the business – park district relationship.

Both candidates also agree they want to build more green space throughout the city.

For more information on Robert Johnson.

For more information on Michael Van Cleve.

Kaitlin Pearson

Skip to content