by: Diane Benjamin
Scott Black stated again his desire to apply for more state and federal grants to help fund the Bloomington City budget. I’m sure he saw the value because of his time on the County Board. The County frequently applies for grants and is proud of their success.
The problem? Receiving grants always comes with strings, strings pulled by the State or by Feds, thus transferring local control of spending away from the citizens.
Examples: The money for a new park. The state will contribute some, the taxpayers have to come up with the rest. The West-side Gateway – some was contributed from above, the citizens had to pay for the rest. The extension of the bike path, same deal.
The list is practically endless. Local government gets some money for pre-determined projects, but taxpayers are forced to pick up some part. Meanwhile money is not available for streets etc because it has been redirected to non-essential projects.
If you believe spending should be restricted to essential services and spending should be totally controlled locally, Scott Black is not the guy you want representing you on the City Council.
Keep in mind, even grants are taxpayer money. There is no free lunch.