by: Diane Benjamin
Last November the Bloomington City Council held a 2 day retreat. This morning I couldn’t find the retreat minutes at the link I previously had, but I did finally locate them: Retreat Minutes
Mayor Renner has publicly claimed the budget has been discussed for 9 months. This morning he claimed the budget was discussed at the November retreat – he was on Cities 92.9 with Lee Newcom.
There is a little discussion of the budget in the minutes and a LOT of discussion about new taxes, but mostly the discussion was Culture Change. The City even hired a lady named Lynn Montei to evidently teach the Council how to get along. I believe she was paid at least $20,000 for the job. How’s that working Mayor?
I love the comments about how the Normal City Council doesn’t have any problems getting along. It helps that their Council is almost entirely hand-picked by the Mayor, frequently a member will quit before their term expires so the Mayor can pick a replacement. It makes meetings short and buries the citizens in debt.
Bloomington: Is that the Council you want?
The 2 days could have been spent examining every line of the budget since obviously City Manager David Hales, Mayor Renner, and Director of Finance Patti-Lynn Silva knew trouble was ahead. Read the minutes yourself and see if any serious spending cuts were discussed, or if “Culture Change” just meant tax increases and the Aldermen were expected to go along without dissent.
Hey Council: Did you notice the unemployment rate in Bloomington-Normal is up again? Are tax increases a good idea when people are hurting?