REAL Facts Matter Tari

By:  Diane Benjamin

Instead of enjoying Christmas with family and friends, Mayor Renner has been busy re-writing history through emails.  Here is his latest edition:  My comments are in red

From: Tari Renner <trenner@cityblm.org>
To: Dennis REDACTED
Cc: City Council and Mayor <citycouncil@cityblm.org>; Tari Renner <trenner@cityblm.org>
Sent: Friday, December 26, 2014 7:20 PM
Subject: Re: Citizen Priority
Dennis,
The bad decisions of the past continue to be a problem as we move forward. The Grove subdivision, the Coliseum, bad contracts by Todd Greenberg and Tom Hamilton etc.  We have to handle those things and ‘move on.’  The Coliseum Management contract has been violated many times.  CIAM should have been fired long ago and the management put out to bid.  Instead, it’s a big secret bleeding the taxpayers.

As Mayor, we see the mistakes of the past dragging us down all of the time but we have no choice but to try to make progress for the FUTURE – we can’t stay mired in the horrible mess of the past!  I bite the bullet almost every day and just move on!

As far as the current reality, the inflationary costs of the overall economy affect us just like every other service.
I would like to promise a free lunch (that city services in Bloomington will not go up with inflation in contrast to absolutely everything else in the economy – except for gas lately) 🙂
And, there are some aldermen and a few small group of extreme fringe ideologues that keep telling people they can get a ‘free lunch.’  What aldermen want a free lunch Tari?  You mean the two that wanted expenses cut, the two who proposed cuts, and were ignored by you?
But, that’s obviously ridiculous and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying – to themselves and others. There are no models in the real world where that happens.  No cities, no counties, no states, no countries, no businesses. Inflation affects us all. Frankly, I’ve never encountered a city (and I’ve worked with hundreds across the nation) that has agonized over a basic variable in the economy – inflation – like the city of Bloomington.  We seem to keep trying to pretend we’ll never ever have to have inflationary increases in taxes and fees (mainly because a very small group of a half dozen people or so keep demanding it).  But, we WILL. It’s inevitable. Pretending? It’s pretending to throw away tax dollars and then require tax increases by blaming inflation?
I was on the County Board for twelve years with people of various political viewpoints on national politics but, we all knew we had to pay our bills and that
inflation was like political gravity – it was inevitable and you had inflationary adjustments in taxes and fees as part of the normal order of things.
That doesn’t mean you aren’t ALWAYS trying to save money and improve efficiencies (Tari’s spelling)– we are – and try all the time! After all, we all pay taxes too! My property taxes are over $8,000 a year in fact (although the city’s proportion of that has gone DOWN not up by the way). 🙂  If taxes are raised by schools etc, of course it’s going to look like the City’s share is going down!  It’s called MATH Tari.
As a perspective, the city did not increase much of anything for the last five years – until 2014 when we had a combined increase in taxes/fees this year that was …inflationary.  The total increase of tax and fee increases was almost exactly the national inflation rate this year (around 2%). The total budget in all funds was $180 million or so – you can do the Math.  SEE BELOW!
We didn’t do anything new. There were no new government programs or other ‘big’ government spending, just an increase to cover our costs of providing core services
to our citizens – police, fire, emergency 911, public works and parks and rec – that’s pretty much everything.  SEE BELOW!
I’m happy to chat with you directly about this and get any ideas you might have for improving services or saving money.
We are always open to new ideas but we all still have to realize that general cost increases are inevitable to government, business and private citizens.
Feel fee to stop by our bi-weekly mayoral open houses or chat with me directly.  Thanks again Dennis for ALL of your great involvement!
Best,
Tari
.
I just want to be clear that despite the roughly 2% cost of living ad  (I don’t know why this is here)
.
Tari Renner

Mayor of Bloomington
109 E. Olive
Bloomington, IL 61701
 .
2% increases?  No new programs?  You hired a Communications Manager, David Hales’ budget exploded, and you wanted 17 new hires just a few months ago.
 .
What about those tax increases?
.04 a gallon Motor Fuel Tax – that 100% increase since one didn’t exist before
4% Amusement Tax – that’s 100% increase since one didn’t exist before
.
Garbage increased form $16 per month to $18 for 65 gallon cans – that’s a 12.5% increase
Garbage increased from $16 per month to $20 for 95 gallon cans – that’s a 25% increase
Did you really not know residents would choose the cheapest price (no increase) even if the can is smaller?  Maybe business experience instead of a classroom would have helped.
.
Water Fees went from $3 to 3.75 – that’s a 25% increase
Natural Gas went from $3 to 3.75 – another 25% increase
Telecommunications went from $3.5 to $6 – that’s a 72% increase
Electricity went from $3.5 to $6 – another 72% increase
All these figures came from the Pantagraph, so if you don’t agree Tari, contact them.
It has to be read in the archives:  http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-36036006.html
 .
Budget history – from the City website:
Total 2015 $180.4 million  6.5% increase  (TARI’s budget!)
Total 2014 $169.4 million  1.4% increase
Total 2013 $167 million  1.0 % increase over 2012
Total 2012 $165.3 million
 .
Truth and FACTS matters Tari.  There was no 2% increase, not to mention your tax and fee increases hurt the poor the most.
 .
What massive increases are you going to propose for next year?  Can citizens expect more of YOUR truth or the REAL Truth Tari?

4 thoughts on “REAL Facts Matter Tari

  1. I’m enjoying all the references to eating, food and free lunches. Talk about irony, Diane. I’m thinking of casually hanging out at some of Tari’s haunts around meal times to see if I can’t get in on one of those subsidized lunches. We can call it a “school lunch” but I’ll be the one teaching him a thing or two (=0

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  2. Mismanagement by our city manager and the lack of concern with spending by most of city council is the problem, besides our mayor hasn’t a clue.

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  3. The other fact Tari conveniently ignores is that taxes are usually calculated as a percentage not a flat rate. Therefore as inflation increases prices and property values, tax receipts should also go up. As Arthur Laffer showed (and experience has repeatedly demonstrated), tax increases frequently make the actually monetary amount collected go down.

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