By: Diane Benjamin
Yesterday former Mayor Jesse Smart spent 2 hours on WJBC – mostly talking about local government. I can only think of three things he said that I agree with:
1) Government needs to spend tax dollars locally. His example was printing brochures for the BCPA. He said they are printed in Champaign. Evidently Jesse doesn’t know about all the other money shipped out of Bloomington. A few examples: Contract lawyers – millions sent to Springfield, Chicago, Peoria – any place but Bloomington. How about the $60,000 a year sent to the National Development Council in DC? How about the $116,000 just passed by the Council to Chicago consultants? How about all the other consultants hired by the City – none of which are local? Wake up Jesse, brochures are a tiny part of what is shipped out of Bloomington every month.
2) Jesse wants Bang for the Buck. Very subjective, but see above.
3) The Council lacks direction. You are right Jesse – they have no direction, just Master Plans for everything from downtown, the zoo, to bikes – and no money to pay for them.
Jesse and the host lamented that Bloomington used to be the jewel of Illinois. We were admired around the state and were pretty much recession proof. Jesse didn’t know what happened.
When did Bloomington’s decline start? How about when government turned on the citizens! Citizens said “No Coliseum” – it was built anyway. Sales Taxes were raised while City government claimed it won’t cost the citizens a cent. The Council members who voted for it were replaced – but too late. The Coliseum is sucking the life out of Bloomington while profits go to 2 inept managers with no accountability. Oh, Jesse thinks they are too scared to adequately manage the place because the City looks over their shoulder too much. Being informed isn’t one of Jesse’s strong points! Type Coliseum in the Search Box on this site. The City has FAILED to oversee management. How did the City handle the $585,866 difference last year between what management reported and what the auditors reported? Did they accused CIAM of fraud? Of course not, friends of government never get that treatment.
Jesse is a big believer in Quality of Life. Cost to you be damned, the City has to have them to attract businesses and new people. He actually stated that somebody visiting the BCPA might think Bloomington is wonderful and move here to start a business. Gee, Jesse. Is subsidizing the BCPA for $500,000 a year worth the off-chance somebody might move here to start a business? This is reason number 2 Bloomington is a shadow of its former self. When government takes money from citizens for a service they didn’t ask for, it’s theft and merely redistribution of your wealth.
Mr. Not-So-Smart didn’t understand why the City didn’t jump at the Bill Brady-Central Catholic-Park addition money. Other than it was a set-up and a waste of money, what part didn’t you get Jess? Let’s have lunch – I’ll explain it to you.
Jesse was a cheerleader for Bloomington when he was mayor. He said nobody is cheer-leading now.
He failed to state the obvious. He blamed the City Council for not having a clear purpose. He blamed the City for not having a cheerleader-in-chief.
Next time name names Jesse. The citizens deserve to know who is throwing Bloomington into the great abyss. Actually, citizens do know, do you?