Bloomington Budget-behind the scenes

by:  Diane Benjamin

All of the following emails were received under the Freedom of Information Act.

I still hear people say “Why isn’t the Bloomington Council be more like Normal’s?”

Did you ever tell the kids to just go away for a while and be quiet?  You needed time, space, whatever – so the kids needed to entertain themselves.  Come on, we’ve all been there.  An hour later when the house is on fire because they found a lighter to play with, you regret not taking a minute to see what they were up to.

The Normal City Council says virtually nothing when asked to vote for more revenue.  They are those quiet kids playing with fire.  Just like the kids, they don’t realize it’s dangerous.  Normal just got a 11% property tax increase, the formerly conservative little town is buried in a balancing act of debt that has required tax and fee increases. The citizens ability to pay is immaterial.

The Bloomington Council is not like Normal because 2 members actually represent their Wards.  If you want rubber stamps in Bloomington like the Normal Council, no fear.  You have 7 of the 9 members now.  Next year Renner will try to increase that number.

Below are some telling emails, they clearly show who takes their position seriously.

Alderwoman Stearns asked for information on March 20, 2014 for the budget.  She asked again on March 24th.  I saw no proof she ever received any answers.  Evidently Council members are suppose to act without facts, like Normal. Judy2


A citizen sent the following email to the Council:  (I redacted the name) The Council ignored this citizens and many others when the new budget and 3 new taxes were passed.  What is really amazing is Professor Mayor Renner’s response.  Yes professor, you will be doing the same thing a year from now.  The pension funding plan is not sustainable without more tax increases or severe cuts in spending.  Next year Bloomington will get property tax increases because the Mayor isn’t interested in cuts.  Obviously Renner wants revenue, he just doesn’t want people to think it is his fault.  That would hurt his agenda.







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