The Flamingo Budget

by:  Diane Benjamin

Instead of the Flamingo Budget, it could be called one of the following:

  • “Take a Staff Member to Lunch” budget
  • “Feed the Council Pizza” budget
  • “Pay for Staff to See the County” budget
  • “Renner No Cuts Possible, only more taxes” budget

Renner never responded to the food and travel budget cuts Stearns and Lower proposed.  Of course, he’s part of the problem.  $250,00 is just peanuts.

Flamingo budget is the most catchy – anybody have a better one?

Question Tari:  If you talked to the Police and Fire Chief about the Starcom radio upgrade, and then concluded it has to be in the budget because 2/3 of a radio system won’t work, then what are they using now?  1/3?  2/3?  Is this another Lie Tari?

We need to review some votes so everybody is straight on where the Council stands:

1)  Vote to consider cuts proposed by Lower and Stearns – Failed.  Voting against considering the cuts:

Aldermen Mwilambwe, Schmidt, Painter, Fazzini, Sage, Fruin and Black

2)  Vote to impose a 4% Amusement tax:

Ayes: Aldermen Mwilambwe, Schmidt, Painter, Fazzini, Fruin and Black.

3)   Vote to add $.04 a gallon Sales Tax

Ayes:   Aldermen Mwilambwe, Schmidt, Painter, Fazzini, Fruin and Black.

4)  Utility Tax – Electric  FAILED

Ayes: Aldermen Mwilambwe, Painter, Sage and Black.

Only 2 Aldermen believe government already takes enough of your money:  Lower and Stearns

The aldermen voting FOR every tax increase:  Mwilambwe, Painter, Black

Schmidt, Fazzini, and Fruin voted for all but one increase.

The other Utility Taxes failed to get a motion – but tonight they will all be back as one amendment.

So, the Mayor needs 5 votes to pass it.  Painter and Black will do whatever Renner says – so there’s 2.  Mwilambwe liked all the other taxes, so he’s probably 3.  Sage voted no on all the other taxes – but he liked Utility taxes because they fund pensions.  Sage lost his conservative card a long time ago, so he might be 4.

Stearns and Lower will vote no, so that leaves Schmidt, Fazzzini, and Fruin.  Fruin isn’t up for election next year, that leaves Schmidt and Fazzini – who claims he isn’t running again.  Who will Renner flip?  Maybe a better question is “Who will Renner intimidate unto voting for Utility Taxes?”  Schmidt, Fazzini, and Fruin think everybody should just get along, so maybe they will vote YES just to stop discussing cuts.

I wonder if Schmidt, Fruin, and Fazzini noticed Renner has changed his numbers on what this tax will cost the average family.  Originally it was about $7 a month.  Saturday on WJBC Renner claimed it was $3.  More lies?  Actually, it’s impossible to know what it will cost because it’s a usage tax.

I’d still like to see the minutes where the budget has been discussed for 9 months Tari!  That lie never got cleared up.

Anyway, by tomorrow the taxpayers of Bloomington might be a lot poorer.  If you don’t show up tonight or contact the aldermen, Detroit can be your future too.  Are there enough government employees to fund their own pensions?  The Council was set up to fund pensions aggressively.  Do you think the union support for Renner’s campaign had anything to do with it?

Oh, the liberals from Wesleyan are busy emailing the Council with “raise my taxes”!  Funny how Karen Schmidt and Tari Renner work there, and Wesleyan pays no property taxes.  Maybe we just found Renner’s 5th vote.

What taxes are going to be raised next year?  This is only the beginning.

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