Promoting those
who promote business

(Peoria, IL, February 28, 2023) – BizPAC of Central Illinois announced the endorsement of three candidates for Peoria City Council.

Candidate interviews were conducted over two days. Candidates were asked about their plans for Peoria and how they would address policy and issues facing businesses throughout the region. Board members carefully considered the responses of all candidates who elected to participate in the interview process. We proudly endorse Zach Oyler, John Kelly and Kiran Velpul.

Zach Oyler has served on City Council since 2017. He is a local realtor and previously worked at Caterpillar. Mr. Oyler is a dedicated public servant always willing to address concerns from citizens. “Mr. Oyler brings strong opinions to City Council. He is well researched and prepared for every City Council meeting” according to Mr. Crawford. “The Board is impressed by Mr. Oyler’s ability to corral votes and persuade other Council members to see issues from a perspective shared by local businesses. He knows Peoria and has strong work ethic as a Councilman. He is a champion of business interests knowing that business growth is the lifeblood for vibrancy, growth and revenue for the City. Mr. Oyler has been an advocate for sanity when it comes to the City’s budget. He has advocated for the need to be prudent particularly when considering Covid relief money received by the City in the recent past. Mr. Oyler knows that our revenues are significantly inflated because of Covid relief. The City can’t spend what it doesn’t have and can’t depend on monies that won’t be there in a typical year. Mr. Oyler has the courage to say no and encourage his fellow Council members to do the same. We need Mr. Oyler to ensure that Peoria’s future is bright.”

John Kelly is completing his first term on City Council. Mr. Kelly is a lifelong Peoria resident and retired financial advisor. He was elected to City Council in 2017. He has a strong grasp of financial issues and the skill to approach budgetary issues with a unique perspective. He has served one term on the Council, but his service to address challenges facing City Hall began in his early twenties. He has seen what has worked in the past. “John told us that he has and will continue to look for a “different” approach when it comes to addressing the growth and attractiveness of the Peoria area. We agree with John that taxes and fees can work to the detriment of the City driving away business that otherwise might locate within Peoria. For instance, the long-term vibrancy of our downtown is impacted by the never-ending parade of fees and taxes. Mr. Kelly understands this and we welcome his pledge to take an innovative approach so Peoria can get back on a healthy growth trajectory.

Kiran Velpula has been serving on the city council since 2021. Kiran is a champion of economic development. BizPAC is confident that Mr. Velpula will continue to strongly advocate for business concerns as evidenced by his service on City council and, perhaps most importantly, his extensive experience as an entrepreneur and service in the medical field. Board President Chris Crawford said “Kiran’s entrepreneurship and expertise in the medical field of tomorrow is unmatched. The two companies he founded and those he advises shows Mr. Velpula knows what it takes to grow the medical industry in Peoria”. Mr. Velpula is a professor, researcher, instructor and mentor at University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria. He has been recognized numerous times by the U of I for his service and leadership. “We need someone on City Council who understands what it takes to grow medical services, research and manufacturing in the Peoria region. Mr. Velpula has the credibility, intelligence, experience and most importantly vision to deliver.”



city council voting record


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