by: Diane Benjamin
The meeting started with public comments. One citizen arrived late (from working all day), Alderman Lower had to make a motion to allow him to speak. Alderman Fazzini voted AGAINST letting him speak, all other members voted YES. Nothing else had been started before the vote – nice way to silence the public Rob. Sorry it took 3 minutes out of your life Rob.
Next Renner wanted a vote on the proposed cuts and things added back to the budget. 10 whole minutes were allotted! Renner had a long diatribe about discussing the budget for the last 9 months, nice try Mayor. What about the 2 day workshop in November? 2 whole days to hammer out the issues – you blew it. Your mayor’s Open Houses aren’t public discussion.
Aldermen Lower and Stearns moved to have their proposed cuts included in the motion. Every other alderman voted NO! Cuts aren’t allowed, even the ones Fazzini is proposed to cut 2 stop light projects of the 3 included in the budget. Mayor Renner kept pushing for a vote – no time for discussion. Scared some cuts might get through Mayor? The vote to cut some the street lights failed. Renner then rushed to vote on the original motion to accept the proposed cuts and restorations. Stearns and Lower voted against it. The potted plants fell in line.
Next – making the .25% sales tax permanent. It was to fund payments on the BCPA and Coliseum. Once they are paid off, there is no need for the tax. Making it permanent is just more money for the City to spend later. It passed.
Here’s the big two: You just got an amusement tax and a gas tax! Congrats citizens! Alderman Sage managed to show he still has some conservative backbone, at least on the gas tax. Sorry, got sidetracked – but I think he voted Yes on the amusement tax. Stearns and Lower are the only No votes. You really need to watch the conversation. The clueless not only live among us, they got elected or appointed.
Alderwoman Stearns has been vilified for years because she stands up to the big spending bureaucrats. Since the Council meetings are now live streamed, the City and the local media can no longer get by with printing whatever they want. I strongly encourage you to watch who is standing up for you and who thinks you are the personal city piggy bank! Stearns made clear during the Utility tax increase discussion that Bloomington is risking another recession because of the spending – as reported by Moody’s, not her.
The Utility Tax vote failed – Sage showed his not a real conservative, he voted YES. It was to be earmarked for pensions, evidently cutting in other areas is outside the realm of possibility to Sage.
They are in recess. More later.