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)