by: Diane Benjamin
What does a rich retired guy have to do all day? Plot against the citizens of Bloomington.
At the last Council meeting Fazzini suggested Bloomington could issue $500,000 more in bonds to fix sewers, streets, fund pensions, whatever. He also claimed it wouldn’t affect the City’s credit rating! Fazzini also suggested raising Utility and Gas Taxes. He is entitled to your money. David Hales made a long speech about getting local residents and businesses involved, in other words, convince them the City needs more tax dollars.
Now Fazzini is spearheading the effort to remove neighborhood representation from the people. Bloomington has 9 Wards, any Bloomington resident with a problem can contact their alderman who probably lives close to them. Citizens are currently represented by a person who knows the issues they face in their part of the city.
Fazzini wants to change that because he wants to be SUPER Alderman that represents the whole city. Actually, he probably wants to be the next mayor. I wonder if new massive debt will be part of his campaign?
Mayor Tari Renner appears to be supporting the effort, according to today’s Pantagraph. Why would anybody support removing representation from the people? With only around 20% of the citizens voting in local elections, Fazzini has a really good chance of pulling this off. The people who follow local politics and the organizations seeking to control the Council will get voters to the polls.
Bloomington has MANY serious problems, all of them revolving around spending money on things other than necessities. If Fazzini is so smart, why isn’t he studying the budget to find money being mis-spent instead of plotting how to get more from taxpayers? A city in trouble is a city borrowing to fund pensions! (Fazzini’s idea)
From Alderwoman Judy Stearns Facebook page:
Suppose you called your alderman and no one came?
Aldermen traditionally took calls about street lights out, pot holes, needing speed bumps, you supply the need. If you call yours, do you want them to represent your neighborhood and live close (within a couple of miles or less) from you? The push by Rob Fazzini (see Sunday’s paper) would change our 9 Ward system if it is first placed on the ballot and then voted in. Some of the aldermen would not have a Ward to represent, but the whole City. Whatever alderman you have would have a larger Ward with more neighborhoods and more people, and of course, more calls. Suddenly, your need has more competition.
Some people decry the amount of money it takes to run–or stay–on City Council. If you must be elected by far more people, who will run and who will win? Mayor’s races have cost near or at 6 figures, why would a city-wide alderman be different? Ours is an affluent town, lots of retirees, whether corporate or academic, enjoy 6 figure pensions, same with executives still working. How will the guy you grew up with or the working guy who is passionate about the City possibly finance a campaign? Find funding? Really? . Who funds
campaigns at significant levels? Think about it.