Bloomington Budget – more money

by:  Diane Benjamin

The Bloomington Budget workshop is happening now.  I’ve listened to enough to know where City Manager David Hales and Mayor Tari Renner want to take the city:  down the same path of the State of Illinois

The general theme of the budget discussion is serving the almost 80,000 citizens of Bloomington.  So far there is no discussion of what that actually means, other than we don’t currently have the staff or resources to do A, B, C and on and on.  Hence we need more money, more staff, and licenses for all businesses.

You can watch the Council here:

The City has gifted citizens with amenities they can not afford to maintain – more money needed.  Just like the State of Illinois, Bloomington is attempting to create a Utopia where government hands out services to the citizens.  When do they say no?  When do they realize utopia isn’t possible?  There is a never-ending list of goodies and policies that city government can do, the question is should they?  How much are citizens willing to pay for it?

The Council members are making comments now.  Alderman Fazzini started off really well recapping the massive debt that has been accumulated because past Councils chose not to fund items like roads, sewers, pensions, and deferred maintenance.  Then he brought up a gas tax again, again repeating that other cities have raised their gas tax and the price of gas hasn’t gone up.  Then his idea fell apart when he said Normal would have to pass it too.  Rob, is that because gas in Normal would be cheaper than Bloomington?

Another question Rob:  How many of those past budgets that didn’t fund all of the above did you vote YES on?  Last year only Stearns and Purcell voted NO.  Where were you then?  Kicking the can down the road?

Citizens really need to watch YOUR Council in action.  Tune in.  If you can’t, an archived video will be available later.  After a lunch break the Council will continue the discussion.  Aldermen Sage and Mwilambwe heard their voters say no new taxes.  Alderman Black says his people want property tax increases.  This afternoon they will talk about cuts they want to see.

Leadership is making decisions in the best interest of the entire city.  Many aldermen appear to be wobbling on cutting any Quality of Life because some citizens might yell at them.  If they continue to kick the can down the road or raise destructive taxes,  the problems will be much worse than a few upset citizens.





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