It about CONTROL!

By:  Diane Benjamin

If my Internet hadn’t been down AGAIN for most of the day, I’d look up the video.  Maybe you remember Renner talking about downtown:  “We wouldn’t want a Jiffy Lube on the corner”.

Did you elect a Mayor or god?  Who gave him a right to decide what goes where?  Maybe Jiffy Lube did a market survey and people downtown want a Jiffy Lube!  Mayor god says they can’t build there.  Really?  So much for capitalism in Bloomington.

More anti-free market action was on the agenda and supported by everybody but Alderman Lower.  Kevin got laughs from the crowd when he said passing the Sales Tax break for Green Top Grocery would have an upfront cost.  He can explain what he meant, but here’s the facts:

  • The Council made a big point of this area being a food desert (very funny)
  • Karen Schmidt stated the neighborhood people will just be eating better food
  • Evidently nobody outside the neighborhood will shop there because the next point was ignored
  • Wherever these shoppers used to shop will see a DECREASE in business, even the local junk food stores
  • Since their business decreases, so does the Sales Tax
  • Since Green Top will play by different rules, the City will GET LESS REVENUE

Economics, mayor.  Get it?  Happy now?  Alderman Buragas  doesn’t get it.  See her comments at 1:27:16.  It doesn’t cost the City anything.  Sure.  The entire rest of Bloomington will have to pay more taxes to subsidize the government approved economic development.

They didn’t stop there.  Bloomington residents will also subsidize moving a business from Normal to Bloomington.  Maybe Normal can subsidize moving one from Bloomington in return.  Great economic development.  Colonial Plaza may become another TIF district, thus rewarding another friend of government – the developer.  Again, the rest of Bloomington will have to pay more so government gets what they want.  Businesses like Dick’s Sporting Goods now expect subsidies since government hands out cash like candy.

Watch the video at 1:59:35.  Yet another City employee blaming problems on past City leaders and their planning.  Of course, the current batch of City clowns are so much smarter, not like that old bunch.  Again, sure.  Local government has been striving for complete control at least since the Coliseum was built.  Their attempts at control bury taxpayers in debt and high taxes.  Control is the last thing government should have because they have endless money to achieve it.  Maybe next election voters should try free market people!

On the $358,000 taxpayers paid because Emily Bell spiked her pension:

Don’t miss Alderman Lower asking David Hales when he knew about the pension spiking – see 1:05:05.  Can anybody say incompetence?  He admitted he had no idea what was happening while the City was getting bills from IMRF.  Did he want to keep the penalties because he is expecting a big windfall?  Would spiking even had been talked about if the Chicago Tribune hadn’t made Bloomington look like fools?  Emily Bell wasn’t union, but Hales claims he had no authority over spiking her pension.  Watch Alderman Buragas play cover for Hales (uniformed cover) starting at 1:08:53.

As usual, many of the public comments were great.  Too many were the Green Top people pleading for help, fast forward through them.  Hales was hammered at the end by fire personnel for his performance on WJBC.  They should have called for his resignation.  Public Comment begins at 2:28.




14 thoughts on “It about CONTROL!

  1. So what would happen if the council said, no, sorry no money Dick’s! Just stay in abNormal, see if we care. Sorry Green Top, no money for you, too bad so sad. Hey look we’ve got roads to fix so bicyclists don’t sue us for flying over their handle bars when they if a pothole. We’ve got pensions to pay, we’re way behind. So go back to your 800 some owners and get more from them, geesh! Call their bluff fools!


  2. What a bunch of blundering bumble heads! They make the 3 stooges look like Theoritical Space Physicists for Gods sake! Didn’t Upchuck Normal QUIT their farmer’s market due to LACK of interest? So are these folks gonna sell ALL the locals HOME GROWN beer and veggies cheaper because they get a tax break. HEY, wanna do business in B/N Get on the same field as everybody else, and PAY to PLAY (no pun intended Dick”s) As for Green Top, IF it’s such a GREAT idea, why do THEY need a tax break?
    As for a Jiffy Lube in DOWNTOWN, YEAH! I’d go there, I use the one @ Washington and Clinton-GREAT service and work! Keep it up Mike!


  3. When it comes to food, people are not going to suddenly start eating more just because a new grocery store opened. People eat pretty much the same amount of food each day. It will definitely take business away from a different store. The only way a new grocery store could have a large benefit is if it provided the same food at a much lower price.

    And I wholeheartedly agree with Townie. I’ve been going to that place for 9 years now. Great guys in there. Mayor Renner would do good to come down off his high horse and hang out with them for awhile. It would open his eyes to what regular people value.


    1. Even before the law as a manager he should have seen this activity taking place in HR payroll reports. It wasn’t like it was hidden or some big secret. The 2012 law said the IMRF wants the money up front for the pension. Maybe Hales was reading comic books and not HR reports would be my guess.


  4. Blah, blah, blah, Green Top.
    You know at one time I believed somewhat in going organic but you know what in the end you die anyhow and buying local produce isn’t going to guarantee you nothing.

    I’m with others on here when is this city council going to quit giving tax breaks, TIF’s, etc. at the expense of the taxpayers. If who ever wants to open a business or move then you pay for it yourself and stay out of my wallet.

    I just loved it when Kevin Lower called Hales on the carpet as to when he knew about this. My gawd this city is paying lawyers and managers some high $$ and they didn’t know about the 2012 law and what to do. This just blows my mind. Absolutely Hales needs to be shown the door and tomorrow couldn’t be soon enough. Also I’m not convinced the city hasn’t opened itself up to a lawsuit based on the lawyer not wanting to give legal advice. There are some pretty PO’d taxpayers now.

    I also don’t get this delay in changing the policy. I spoke to a friend who worked at ISU back in the 1990’s and they told me ISU changed the sick pay policy and they sure didn’t get to mull this over anytime. Here’s the policy thank you and have a nice day.

    You can likely be sure others now will be looking to jump ship and here comes another spike down the train track. Part of the problem which Hales mentioned is the dufus courts upholding these employees rights to getting their pension increased. You can almost bet that would never happen in the private sector. Why corporate lawyers would be all over this big time. Of course it will never happen because companies got rid of the very practice that Bloomington has been engaged in eons ago.


  5. Ashley Furniture got a “perks package” to move into that shopping center. I’m guessing that the tax break Dick’s got from Normal’s economic development package is expiring so they move to Bloomington to get a new one. Michael’s moves to Normal–Dick’s moves to Bloomington==NO net gain. Did anyone tell the new-bee Staff that there is and has been a serious crime element in the neighborhood adjacent to the north??


  6. This is why all taxes should be paid by the end consumer. The cost of taxes are passed on in the form of higher prices and lower stock prices (which hurt retirement plans). Taxing businesses only does two things: hide the true cost of government and provide a way of rewarding friends and punishing enemies. If no businesses paid taxes, it would shine a light on government meddling. There would still be tax breaks but ordinary citizens would clearly see them since they would be applied to products they are buying.


  7. Another TIF! Just remember that Mitsubishi got a TIF from Normal with the “promise” they would stay there & look how that turned out!


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