By: Diane Benjamin
On Monday night the City of Bloomington will hold another Council meeting. Lots of you have commented on this site about the Dukowitz-Renner-Hauman attempt to silence the Press. I STRONGLY encourage you to speak at Public Comment. Too often the Council sees the same people at every meeting. The Council can ignore your emails, but not people on video. I suggest you wait until they actually look at you before speaking. The majority won’t.
I’ve noticed something different since the City replaced the Clerk. The minutes used to say who spoke during public comment and briefly what they said. No More! http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=8647 See page 27. All it says is Public Comment happened. Very Transparent – remove critics from the public record. Is destroying video next?
Why do speakers have to sign a comment card Mayor Transparency? If their names aren’t in the public record, you don’t need the names!
Some of the most interesting discussion aren’t going to happen at the Council meeting. A Special Session is being held at 5:45. Public Comment will happen at the beginning of that meeting too if you can’t make it a 7:00
Here’s one of the items on the agenda:
- Review and discussion regarding the City of Bloomington Vision, Mission and Goals.
Alderman Diane Hauman, (15 minutes Presentation and Discussion) (They misspelled her name – not me)
Try not to laugh. The alderman who walked out during public comment at the last meeting (to protest a speaker she didn’t like) is going to inform you about Vision, Mission, and Goals.
I wonder what the Vision will be? Maybe: We are much smarter than you and Bloomington really needs a downtown hotel. Maybe the Mission will be to stifle all criticism of the Council, the Mayor, and David Hales. Goals must be to raise taxes and fees because the City just doesn’t have enough money.
Until Hauman makes a public apology to the speaker and the citizens she supposedly represents, whatever she says will forever be tainted by her actions.
The Special Session also includes an update from Alderman Sage on Renner’s budget committee work. Maybe they finally realized the City shouldn’t own 3 golf courses. Maybe he will report the Coliseum and BCPA are a major drain on finances. Maybe he will want to spend even more on Economic Development since tax receipts are decreasing. One thing I do know: Government spending won’t be identified as the problem.
One more interesting item:
Letter E on the Consent Agenda (meaning the Council is supposed to just blindly approve it)
The Council is going to approve spending $500,000 of Motor Fuel Tax receipts on lighting and fixture rental. Remember, the Motor Fuel Tax was just passed last year. You are paying more for gas because the City needed more money, supposedly for roads.
Look up the documentation to this item in the packet: http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=8647 Page 95
These are expenses that used to be paid from the General Fund. Now they have new money in Motor Fuel Taxes, so they want to transfer the cost there. That frees up General Fund money for other things, like downtown. Remember when Solid Waste used to be funded from the General Fund? Now the fund doesn’t balance.
It looks like the new strategy to balance the budget is dedicated money streams outside of the General Fund. Raising taxes and fees is so much easier if their “fund” doesn’t balance.