The online “March Madness” bracket started with 64 competitors. It’s now whittled down to the title game between Peoria and Vancouver, Wa.
City of Peoria Spokesperson Stacy Peterson says she sees an added bonus from this competition -- an outpouring of enthusiasm from the community.
“And if it gets people involved in city government, in addition to being interested in the things that we’re doing, wow, you couldn’t ask for anything more,” Peterson said.
Aside from the bragging rights, the winner of the Engaging Local Government Leaders bracket receives complimentary membership and a Leslie B. Knope trophy. It’s named after the protagonist of the TV show, "Parks and Recreation," played by Amy Poehler.
“A lot of people who work in city government, who work in park districts have watched that show, and we may or may not see parts of ourselves in different areas of that show," Peterson said. "So it’s mythical for us to bring this trophy back.”
Peterson says the city has heard from supporters from across the country, including former Peoria residents who moved away.
At last check, Peoria’s red sandstone City Hall was ahead of its LEED-Certified opponent in Vancouver, by about 7,000 votes. The contest ends Friday at 11 PM.