by: Diane Benjamin
Last November the Bloomington City Council held a retreat. The big topic was a “Culture Change” at the City. I previously reported on it here: http://blnnews.com/2014/01/27/culture-tales-bloomington-council-retreat/
Remember, this is the retreat that triggered the Open Meetings Act violation filed by Alderwoman Judy Stearns. It also triggered Mayor Renner and David Hales hiring a Chicago attorney to respond to the Attorney General. I’m still looking at how much that cost you. Mayor Renner thought it was no big deal, so you need to know the dollars he spent to look innocent.
The minutes of the retreat don’t say what the “Culture Change” is, just that the Council is expected to “have David Hales back”. Tonight you will find out what that means as the budget is presented. According to the Pantagraph, it involves deficit spending of at least $4,000,000!
The budget is not on-line. If you want to find out what’s in it, you have to attend the meeting tonight. Transparency Mayor? Obviously you would rather deflect comments long before people have a chance to see it.
“Having David Hales back” must mean the potted plants shouldn’t comment in public and blindly go with whatever Hales and Renner have cooked up. A new “plant” will be approved tonight, so the Council will still have 7. If they are planning a deficit budget, you can bet tax increases are next. I wonder if Alderman Rob Fazzini still thinks increasing the Motor Fuel Tax won’t increase gas prices? That quote is also in the article referenced above.
Several years ago the City spent MILLIONS on early retirements to decrease the City workforce. Now it appears they are hiring people back – especially in Administration. Remember that new Communications Director? Get ready for the spin. Somehow they have to convince you this is all for your own good. Remember you elected a Democrat. Did you actually believe he was different from Mike Madigan or the other Democrats running Illinois into the ground?
Stay tuned. The Tom Hamilton financial mess will look like a picnic compared to what Renner and Hales are planning.