by: Diane Benjamin
Why seven Council members voted to give David Hales a new 4 contract and big raise is baffling. He gets paid HUGE bucks to manage the city, not spend it into oblivion and participate in every left-wing study and conference available. The proposed budget is his latest masterpiece. By the way, at the beginning of today’s budget workshop Mayor Renner gave his full support to the budget, including hiring more staff, raises, and taxes.
Hales is far from CEO material – he just gets paid like one. He has made NO attempt to analyze Quality of Life spending that is no longer working for citizens. Golf has been decreasing for several years, but there has been no discussion of selling off a golf course. Why does Bloomington need 3? The BCPA is sucking money, what’s being done to change it? How much is spent on travel and food? Nobody knows, but a lot of staff members do travel. They attend conferences and come back with more ways to spend money. How much is Hales’s project to compare Bloomington with cities around the country costing? How many staff hours? Perfect place to CUT!
Meanwhile, Hales wants more money. Hales has no plans to restructure city government. The private sector adjusts to changing situations to stay competitive. Government doesn’t because they are not accountable. Their actual spending is hidden behind the totals allocated for each department. When a City Manager is paid over $200,000 a years plus a huge car allowance, he has no idea what his policies do to average citizens living pay check to pay check.
Here’s an economics lesson Hales (and Council): Many of you thought a gas tax was a good idea. Here’s the reality:
Raising the gas tax has a domino effect on the local economy. It’s not just a few cents to each driver. How much does UPS have to raise their prices? How about any business that delivers goods to people? How about that pizza you get delivered? The gas tax doesn’t just raise the price of gas. It raises the price of everything involved with any form of transportation. How long before people don’t buy gas in Bloomington – or Normal since I’m sure they would say yes too?
Champaign gas prices are higher than Bloomington-Normal. Luckily there are a lot of other places to buy gas that don’t have huge gas taxes. If I can find them, other people will to.
The Council seemed to like the amusement tax. I say go for it. What gets taxed you get less of. Go ahead and shoot the BCPA and Coliseum, but don’t come back next year crying about attendance being down.
It looks like I need to file more FOIA requests that the city doesn’t answer. Never fear, plan 2 is about to go into effect.
Wouldn’t Highland make a nice subdivision?
Here’s a link to the workshop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTvdmisMbPA I think some opening comments were cut.