REALTORS® work in the trenches of real estate every day and are important local government resources for issues involving real estate in a community. In Peoria that resource connection was formalized recently with the appointment of REALTOR® Jeff Kolbus to the City of Peoria’s Land Management Committee.
Jeff is a past president of the Peoria Area Association of REALTORS® and past chairman of its Government Affairs Committee. The appointment comes as a result of several meetings between PAAR Government Affairs Committee and At-Large City Councilman Chuck Weaver.
Weaver created the city’s Land Management Committee to assess and define vacant property within city limits. Area REALTORS® have been working with the city for about a year on the issue of vacant property including stopping a land banking proposal and working toward more effective solutions.
“Because the Peoria Area REALTORS® work with Councilman Weaver on the vacant property issue, Kolbus was asked to participate,” says Kristie Engerman, the Illinois Association of REALTORS® local Government Affairs Director (GAD) who monitors local government activity for its impact on the real estate industry for the Peoria Area Association of REALTORS®. “Kolbus’ involvement is an important way in which local REALTORS® can assist in advising the city on important policy, the ultimate goal of which is to help revitalize specific neighborhoods.”
The Peoria Area REALTORS® Government Affairs Committee meets monthly and each time there is an invited guest ranging from political candidates, city officials, county board members or staff from the tri-county region local government.
“REALTORS® stress at the meetings that they want to be a resource on any real estate related issue so we can discuss it before it becomes policy,” says Engerman. “Oftentimes they will say ‘I never thought of it that way.’”