Tari Transparency Renner – ya right

by:  Diane Benjamin

Tari’s view of government:

  • Repeat a lie often enough and some people might believe it
  • Don’t question me
  • I’m right, you are wrong
  • I can make everything perfect if pesky citizens get out of the way
  • People have to pay more taxes, I need more money
  • The future of Bloomington is downtown (while business move out – the latest being Lancaster’s)
  • I’ve made Bloomington more transparent.

Tari, if you are so transparent:

  • Why has CIAM issued no Coliseum statements since October 2013?
  • Why has City Manager David Hales not posted a monthly report since May 2014?
  • Why am I suing the City of Bloomington for illegally redacting emails?
  • Why are only some Council meetings Live-Streamed?
  • Why did it take a private citizens to get rid of illegal committee meetings?
  • Why did it take more than one citizens to stop Open Meetings Act violations?
  • Why has the promised review of the Coliseum, dog ordinance, etc never taken place?
  • Why is next years budget not being discussed now – like you promised?

Elected officials have a fiduciary responsibility to the people paying the bills.  City business should be conducted in the most efficient and effective way possible.  City leaders should respect that you work hard for your money and that any dollars taken from you MUST be justified and used for maximized benefit.  City leaders must understand that TAXPAYERS are their bosses, not managed peons.  Tari doesn’t get it.

Citizen Bruce Meeks has worked for years to cleanup local government.  He is responsible for making the City comply with many State laws and regulations they ignored in the past.  Tari doesn’t like it.  Bruce emailed the Mayor and Council about the Transparency Ordinance he has worked on for a long time, and he was largely ignored when the latest Ordinance was discussed.  Instead of listening to the guy working for transparency, Renner gave this response to Bruce:

From: Tari Renner <trenner@cityblm.org>
To: Bruce Meeks <brucehelp@yahoo.com>
Cc: City Council and Mayor <citycouncil@cityblm.org>; Kevin Lower <klower@cityblm.org>
Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 8:42 PM
Subject: Fwd: Transparency Ordinance Flash Back

I don’t know who could possibly have the time and energy to follow all of your communication and issues.
The big picture: I’m puzzled that you’re mired in minutia when absolutely nothing is kept from the public (that’s not a personnel issue or similar) and that there are a MYRIAD of opportunities for public comment, input etc.
Virtually no city in the country can match what we do here now – mayoral open houses and website transparency and a near total open door to the mayor’s office!
We have made incredible progress by any standard – including an award from the IPI for transparency. You just aren’t getting the picture or don’t seem to be interested in understanding or being responsible. I hope you refocus your considerable energies and move beyond ranting about minutia.
You must earn respect Bruce.
Tari Renner
Mayor of Bloomington
109 E. Olive
Bloomington, IL 61701

Bruce has to earn your respect Tari?  Really?  Does that mean you don’t respect a citizen’s comments?  Or do you only respect the comments of those you agree with?


Here is Bruce’s response to Tari:

From: Bruce Meeks <brucehelp@yahoo.com>
To: Tari Renner <trenner@cityblm.org>
Cc: Ward One <ward1blm@gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, August 29, 2014 12:29 AM
Subject: Re: Fwd: Transparency Ordinance Flash Back
Dear Mayor Tari Renner,
No, I am not mired in minutia you and Mr. Hales seek to make sure the citizens do not have access to the minutia.
Just ONE Example – The budget – Numerous so-called minutia requests from the council and citizens were not honored in a timely manner.
You might want to re-check your facts on this statement or talk with your intern that has yet to have his work on transparency over what now two semesters now. Or add some definable clarity of cities in Illinois, the midwest or the whole country.  I confident that your statement may only be correct in comparing Bloomington to Normal and few surrounding cities. There are cities that have been ahead for years in Illinois and across the country on a real website transparency ordinance that can be and is published in their city code.
What the problem is that you either do not wish to have the complete open government or no one has explained to you this beyond the Illinois Policy Institute. I am not you so I do not know your knowledge base or your technology level of education related to Open Data Sets and what real existing cities have in place now for the WHOLE CITY and not just the Mayor’s office.
This progress that you speak of was because there was no other choice and staff worked so hard to get it done and COUNCIL did not lead nor show any direction on this matter (FOR YEARS) of the subject of the website transparency as the legislators that should be giving that direction for the many and not the one.  As for these what I consider totally inappropriate for any elected official in tone, context and belittling a citizen not worthy of my energy beyond condemning them. And awaiting a public apology for going out of bounds as the Mayor of this city in addressing a citizen’s advocacy and the progress that has made for THE CITIZENS. You did not change the public comment you even violated the OMA by stopping me exactly like Rob Fazzini.  I will have to see if my 60 days are still available and if so ask the ATG take up a request for review directly related to the four times you did not allow public comment. Then in about two weeks suddenly we have a text amendment on public comment. (OMA section 2.06(g)
“You just aren’t getting the picture or don’t seem to be interested in understanding or being responsible.  I hope you refocus your considerable energies and move beyond ranting about minutia.”
As for this comment I can assure you that I have all the respect I need from those that truly care about me as a human being, citizen, advocate for a better city (including the minutia and processes). Frankly even though you’re Mayor at this time. I really do not exist to have your respect. You might want to take your comment and read it aloud to yourself in the mirror ten times.   Maybe take a poll and see if your respect in the community has dropped since taking the oath.  “You must earn respect Bruce.”

Onward and Upward,

Bruce J. Meeks

Since Tari loves polls, maybe we should see how much respect citizens have for Tari!





5 thoughts on “Tari Transparency Renner – ya right

  1. Is this the way he always talk to people he doesn’t agree with or does he start out civil and then get nasty?

    Whenever elected officials insult and belittle others, it means they are onto something and the elected official feels threatened. If they weren’t a threat the official would ignore them.


  2. C’mon, Diane, don’t you recognize the Saul Obaminsky Rules for Radical Transparency by now? Sheesh! Where do you think you live, America? 😉


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