Guest Commentary: QUALITY OF LIFE VS. quality of life

City Council Alderman take an oath when elected. What does that mean to you and I, and how does
that affect anything local? It vows and affirms not only the defense of the Illinois Constitution by the
Alderman, but vows and affirms by their oath to uphold it.

A quick review of the applicable language for this discussion reads from the Preamble of the Illinois
Constitution that City Council Alderman are responsible and accountable to the citizens to uphold or exercise the following:

1. To maintain a representative and orderly government;
2. To provide for the health, safety and welfare of the people; and
3. To insure domestic tranquility.

Article 1, Section 23 of our Illinois Constitution further establishes this and reaffirms the obligations
City Council Aldermen are sworn to:

a. To secure the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness;

and the citizens elect those Aldermen to:

b. secure these rights; and

c. protect our property.

Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution declares that a Home Rule Unit, which Bloomington is, ­ may perform any function pertaining to its government and affairs including, but not limited to the power to regulate for the protection of the public health, safety, morals and welfare.

What this Section essentially says in the legalese of Constitutional phraseology is the same thing that our Constitution mandates in its Preamble and Article 1, Section 23: that the Home Rule Unit authority of Bloomington is obliged to provide the same requirements listed in those two mandates. What it does not imply is that local government officials may, at their whim, ignore or deviate from providing these necessary and basic requirements.

What the supreme law of the land also identifies in these mandatory exercises is the requirement that our elected Alderman provide for, and guarantee the protection of our Quality of Life.

Quality of Life is a term citizens hear stated quite a bit, especially by our local government officials and elected Alderman. Unfortunately, it appears that the quality of life referred to in the supreme law of the land is being, and has been, ignored by current City Council and local officials.

To set things straight, Quality of Life is accomplished by fundamental, foundational and basic elements -­ those elements guaranteed us by the Illinois Constitution. These basic elements are what provides for the things that are necessary for us to be able to strive for, to be able to attain and achieve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. First and foremost, things that make our City function properly and effectively. Things like streets and roads that are maintained and driveable. Things like adequate sewers we know will provide their expected service. Things like the basic infrastructure necessary to live life happily without unnecessary inconvenience. And, things like reasonable costs and taxes that make living in our City bearable and enjoyable.These are the quality of life issues our elected Alderman swore an oath to and promised, under the pretense of law, that they would provide us.

Over the last few years the definition and identification of Quality of Life and Quality of Life priorities has been altered by local government administration. Unfortunately, this new definition has failed to include the otherwise basic, fundamental and foundational needs envisioned by the authors of our Constitution. Sadly, and to the detriment of the City and to the citizen, this new millennialism view has been accepted and adopted by the majority of our elected Alderman, displacing and despite what we continue to read in our Illinois Constitution. While we still hear the terms, “health, safety and welfare”, the elements and components that define and identify them are absent in application.

Quality of Life priorities are now defined as cultural, entertainment, recreational and even environmentally green and beautification priorities. These factors have now displaced fundamental Quality of Life basic needs. This is why citizens of Bloomington are witnessing the rapid decline in infrastructure standards, maintenance and repair along with the absence of any improvement in these areas.

While there is certainly nothing wrong with wanting the best of both worlds and that culture, entertainment and recreational activities are desired by the masses, these are simply activities that provide further satisfaction once the basics are met ­ they are wants and not needs. We must recognize there is a fundamental and significant difference between Quality of LIfe and life satisfaction.

It’s time the difference is recognized by citizen and City. And, we must hold elected Alderman
accountable and responsible for the oath they swore to and what they swore to uphold. Our City and our future depend on it.

You choose: Quality of Life or quality of life?

If we delay much longer and quality of life gets much better, there will be little the average citizen will be satisfied with in Bloomington.



3 thoughts on “Guest Commentary: QUALITY OF LIFE VS. quality of life

  1. This is probably the first time most of the Alderman have been made aware of this issue.

    1. They really didn’t notice only the fun stuff is getting funded and not the real work government is suppose to do? I heard one alderman say funding pensions would take to much money away from the other stuff. Is that a mental illness?

    2. Anything is possible.
      Tender mercies aside, though, the bottom line is this:
      If this is the first time any Council Member has realized these obligations and rules, especially having raised their hand under oath to the same, then we have them in the wrong position.
      There is no excuse.
      To accept any accommodates their ineptness and expedites our grief.

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