By: Diane Benjamin
I’m just getting started looking at Bloomington’s budget. One point citizens MUST understand: Paying for needs used to be in the General Fund. Taxpayers probably think their taxes go for Roads, sewers, etc: essential services. Instead, roads are now funded only by the new Motor Fuel Tax. If your taxes had not been raised, no money would be spent on roads. Last year the only money spent on roads was borrowed – $10,000,000. Garbage was moved to an Enterprise Fund. Funding used to come from the General Fund, now the City expects garbage to break even – meaning you have to pay more. Did the General Fund spending go down since spending was transferred? Silly question. More later.
I found something even more interesting. How many times have City officials lamented they don’t have the staff to do this or that, they did it again at the Council meeting last night. The two charts below are from the 2014 Budget – Book 1 and the 2015 Budget – Book 1 (page 19 in both): http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=21&parent=6501
According to their own data, in 2013 the City of Bloomington was not in the top 10 employers in the County. Since #9 and #10 both had 700 employees, the City of Bloomington had less than 700 employees in 2013. Now look at 2014 – Bloomington is back in the top 10 with 765 employees. That means they hired at least 66 more employees in one year. Administrative staff got bigger with a Communications Manager and aides for David Hales, no word on where the rest of these employees were added.
Note to City: False reporting to citizens on any issue makes it less likely they will believe anything you say! Maybe you should try doing less data analysis and controlling the message, it’s not working.