By: Diane Benjamin
Last Monday the Bloomington City Council voted to BORROW around $1.5 MILLION to buy video equipment for the Coliseum. Only Aldermen Scott Black and Kevin Lower voted against it. Karen Schmidt got out of the vote because she was acting mayor in Renner’s absence.
Alderman Joni Painter evidently didn’t do her homework – remember when Renner chided the Council for not reading the hundreds of pages of documentation before each meeting? Alderman Scott Back had submitted the “contract” question to the City before the meeting and staff responded: http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=8849
The scoreboard had NOTHING to do with the City being required to buy it – CIAM just wanted it! CIAM would never sue the City because (hopefully) the City would counter sue them for mismanagement and failure to disclose information required under their current contract!
Painter goes on the explain her constituents are very unhappy about this purchase. Watch the video below starting at 1:31:49. If she had read the document provided, it would have given her a reason to vote NO. Why did Alderman Black not inform the Council about the City’s response?
Many City purchases are completed through “buying clubs”. It’s the perfect way to usurp competitive bidding while claiming they get the best prices. This procedure has been used over and over and over.
Since David Hales has been proven to stretch the truth when it fits his purposes, (http://blnnews.com/2015/07/15/david-hales-misleads-wjbc/) the Council needs to quit believing him and demand more accountability than they are currently receiving. Hales frequently interjects comments when the Council is leaning toward not approving something he wants. Stretching the truth is rarely provable during a meeting. Every time comments from Hales are needed to pass more spending, the Council needs to table it so the information can be verified. It would be easier to just fire him and get a competent City Manager, but Renner will never allow a vote on that.
If it smells Council, start believing it rotten. You outraged a lot of citizens Monday night without cause. The current equipment is still working and replacing it could have been delayed until real bidding took place. You also could have demanded accountability from John Butler and Bart Rogers. Since neither were present, the vote should have been tabled until they were.
For those of you who still don’t understand “Limited Government”, look at the Coliseum. It’s the perfect example of why government is not capable of demanding accountability and structuring contracts that protect the people paying the bills. Friends of government are always behind the fleecing of taxpayers.