How did the Community Budget meeting go?

By:  Diane Benjamin

Last night 100 citizens (invited by their alderman), the Bloomington City Council, and City staff met to discuss budget priorities.

First, below is the survey that 601 citizens responded to.  If Excellent and Good were added together, the City would have glowing approval numbers of 84%.  Do you think the results were fixed?  Read the comments – obviously 84% didn’t agree.  Except for the comments, the survey is mostly meaningless.   Click here: Citizens’ Priority Survey Results

Mayor Renner gave some remarks about how open and transparent the City is now that he has taken over.   My lawsuit for NOT being transparent didn’t come up.

City Manager David Hales recalled for the 100th time how he saved the City.  Evidently reducing staff – the biggest City expense – would never have occurred to anybody else.  What exactly did you do David?

The room was set up with 10 people to a table, plus an aldermen and a staff member.  The invitees didn’t sit with their alderman, they were scattered around the room.  I’ve received feedback from numerous places and they all said pretty much the same things.  These items were mentioned frequently:

  • No tax increases
  • Bloomington is becoming un-affordable
  • Zoo is a low priority
  • Parks are nice, but essential services first
  • Set budgets for BCPA and Coliseum and make them live by them
  • Eliminate or bill people for bulk waste
  • Subsidize garbage pickup or privatize it
  • Privatize golf
  • Sell or close Highland Golf Course
  • Sell ads inside facilities
  • Sell naming rights to the BCPA
  • Emergency response times don’t need increased
  • Reduce or restructure services – no tax increases
  • No fee increases unless it’s bulk waste
  • Fund essential services first – fund wants with whatever is left
  • Quit taxing more and spending more

Common sense and conservative values won.

At least some aldermen appeared to be listening.  Actions speak louder though, budget coming soon.

So are elections (for those not listening)



5 thoughts on “How did the Community Budget meeting go?

  1. The citizen survey was loaded with support for funding police, fire, and infrastructure. The citizens of this community have spoken and council needs to pay attention. Election or not, people need to challenge the sitting alderman no matter their politics.


  2. I’m actually surprised. I figured the citizens would be handpicked to ensure support for Renner’s expanding quality of life vision.


  3. As an attendee I felt like I had been suckered into going..several tables had the same topic and many of the comments were repetitive. There was no discussion about CIAM, bike lanes, do you want a hotel, debt, one comment put in about not hiring consultants..the topics were handpicked and other pertinent issues were not discussed. These topics DO NOT encompass what needed to be discussed and with 10 tables each could have discussed other issues.


  4. A friend of mine went as an observer and noted all but one table seemed to be on the same page with the call for prioritizing spending for needs over wants. It’s a good thing to hear that there’s more people waking up out there than the lame stream media will admit.


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