The Oyler Plan
As a Realtor, Zach Oyler understands the reasons people move into a community and why they sometimes leave a community. Zach and his wife, Heather, have directly invested in Peoria’s heritage neighborhoods and have renovated several houses for young families to move into the City.
Be an educated voter
As a resident of a heritage neighborhood in Central Peoria, Zach brings representation to one of the most underrepresented areas in the City. Zach sells and renovates homes and puts his efforts where his heart is when it comes to directly investing in Peoria. Healthy neighborhoods equal a healthy city. It’s as simple as that.
Diversify and Grow our Economy
Through his work at Caterpillar, Zach understands the global market forces that impact our local employment outlook. After becoming a Realtor, he only gained a greater understanding of why people are attracted to our community and why they sometimes leave. Zach has applied this firsthand experience to better retain residents and taxpayers in Peoria through improved public policies enacted by the City Council.
To that end, Peoria must find new, more effective ways to encourage private sector investment than just saddling local taxpayers. It’s unlikely that Peoria will ever again lure an existing Fortune 50 company to town, so it must start with the city doing its part to begin planting the seeds for a grow-our-own, entrepreneurial culture. It means building an environment where those who grow up here want to return here to operate their businesses and raise their families. It means adopting economic development policies that do not punish school district budgets, as nothing is more important to attracting young families with choices – the lifeblood of any community – than perceptions of local classrooms. Too often local governments just get in the way. City Hall has no business picking winners and losers in a free market.
The "Elephant in the Room"...Violent Crime
If perceptions of school quality influence family decision-making, so do perceptions of public safety. Peoria is coming off a near-record year for homicides, and in 2019 we’re picking up right where we left off. Of course Zach supports our local police force and the fine job they do under often trying circumstances. Of course Zach believes in giving them the tools they need. But our police officers alone cannot combat the deterioration of families and neighborhoods and the crime that can occur as a result. The City Council must find a way to go to bat for policies that create more economic opportunity for all of our citizens, that give them career options, that give them hope, that give them the sense that we care about them and refuse to leave any behind. Only then will a life of crime become a less desirable option, and Peoria a more desirable place to live.
Protect Overburdened Taxpayers
Our community, like many others, is facing declining revenues due to home value decline from population loss, sales tax collection reductions because of online sales, and businesses leaving our State because of the terrible jobs climate that exists in Illinois.
Some Illinois cities are failed and bankrupted already. The result has been major cuts to public safety employees in order to meet the pension demands of municipal retirees. Many Illinois cities and villages are headed in the same direction. All Illinois local governments are facing crumbling infrastructure as well as ever-present mandates and red-tape from Federal and State Governments (think combined sewer overflow as just one example).
Property tax payers are not a bottomless piggy bank for our leaders to turn to every time a tough decision comes up. Zach believes we need to respect our taxpayers and grow our tax base.
Currently, the 12% of your property taxes that go to the City of Peoria simply covers pension and road maintenance costs. All other city services run on sales taxes and fees alone. This has been a drastic budgetary change for the City of Peoria over the past decade.
We need to grow our tax base by attracting new jobs and businesses to our community. We can grow a year-round culture of 'shopping local' by reminding Peorians of the many small businesses that make our community unique.
Zach also has supported new revenue streams for the City of Peoria like exploring the purchase of the water company. Under current laws, Illinois American Water Company has been allowed to purchase other cities' water services, such as Farmington, while publicly financing the deals and using City of Peoria ratepayers to absorb the costs.