Government and DBA don’t have to be responsible!

by:  Diane Benjamin

From the Pantagraph 7/15/2008,  10/25/2009, 9/29/2010, 4/6/2012

The Bloomington City Council had a 5 year, $850,000 plan to pay the Downtown Bloomington Association  to manage the downtown district.  The Association President at the time was Greg Koos.

The 5 year funding plan was supposed to end in 2011.  Of course, it hasn’t ended.  The City of Bloomington wants downtown refurbished and they will do it anyway they can.

Next consider the downtown was a TIF district.  According to the 2009 article, then Mayor Stockton claimed $12,000,000 had been pumped into downtown.  That means the entire rest of the town shouldered more of the tax burden while downtown had their taxes eased so they could do redevelopment projects.

Then there is the obvious attempts at even more spending:  Guess who was President of the Downtown Bloomington Association in 2010?  Jamey Mathy – the guy Mayor Stockton appointed to replace Bernie Anderson, even though with Anderson resigning, Kevin Lower was the only guy on the ballot.  Mathy had missed the deadline to file for the election.  It makes perfect sense that Stockton would want an automatic YES vote for spending in downtown, to bad his plan was foiled by the voting citizens!

The 5 year funding plan started in 2006.  The DBA is still being funded in 2014.  They know the City desperately wants Bloomington to mimic Normal, so why should they become self-funding as they promised?  They have no incentive to do so.  This is a perfect example of why government isn’t capable of being fiscally responsible like the private sector has to.  The money is always there!  Of course, it’s yours, but that doesn’t matter when the elected have an agenda.

In 2012, the City cut funding to the DBA to $90,000, which is 2/3 of their budget.  The 2012 article states “there is little incentive for downtown businesses to join the DBA if Bloomington taxpayers are going to supply the majority of the organization’s funding.”

So true.  How much is the City going to pony up in the next budget?  Negotiations are starting now – stay tuned.






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