What do you choose?

By:  Diane Benjamin

Bloomington held a Council work session last night to hear plans for downtown.  David Sage was absent.  Do you have a right to know why your elected representative wasn’t there?   9 people are going to decide the future of Bloomington, if any can’t attend a vital meeting, and you can’t hear their thoughts, don’t you have a right to know why?

Alderman Buragus clearly showed why she is Renner’s favorite alderman late in the meeting.  Watch her comments starting at 2:27:45 and Tari’s comments after her.

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Quote:  “If we fully vet these projects . . . benefits will out weigh risk . . . move our City forward”.

What is the Council “moving our City forward” to?  Heard those lines before?

Bloomington’s newest consultant, Steve Friedman, said more than Tari probably wanted him to.  Watch his response to a question from David Hales starting at 32:00.  Watch at least 1 1/2 minutes.

Key points:

  1. He has studied Route 66 traffic north of Bloomington, there is some, but it’s not huge
  2. Hotel would help a downtown restaurant
  3. A downtown hotel has to tap into demand already there

Friedman evidently doesn’t know about long time downtown restaurants (like Lancasters) that closed.

Earlier he stated a hotel has to have 70% occupancy to be successful.  Point 3 should scare not only citizens but current hotel owners like the Chateau and the Double Tree.  “Tapping into demand already there” means taking business away from them.  Think Uptown.  Koos’s plan to make downtown the center of Normal’s universe worked perfectly by closing businesses located elsewhere in the Normal.

Now listen to Alderman Lower discussing the same thing AND getting cut off by Renner.  Lower is having a conversation with David Bentley.  Start watching at 2:06:20.  Lower wants to know what the City is doing to attract people from outside the County, otherwise “we are just regenerating and competing with people we’ve already got”.

Renner pretended that he was ending discussion.  It didn’t end.  Obviously Renner doesn’t want anyone to know he is following the Koos plan to force people downtown.  Koos didn’t care what businesses not located in Uptown shut down, neither does Renner.

Citizens have told the City many times “Needs before Wants”.  The citizens think needs consist of roads, sewers, police, and fire.  The City think it NEEDS Uptown Bloomington.

If your needs aren’t the same as the City’s, you elected the wrong people.

Elections have consequences, the Coliseum and BCPA were sold as “moving the City forward” too.  How’s that working Council?

10 thoughts on “What do you choose?

  1. Couple of things..your title of “what do you choose” makes me think we have a choice. We dont, the outcome is almost preordained because of who is on the council..or should I say in the tank for the Mayor..

    Also, it would be interesting to find out if the our newly minted Rt 66 visitors center is really pulling in the traffic that was projected..Because according to our Mayor, people will flock to the new visitor center and create more income for downtown (if you actually believe that load of crap).

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    1. If City Hall was packed with angry taxpayers, yes it can be defeated! Funny you mention the Route 66 center. I was just reading a popular blog about sites on Illinois 66. Bloomington isn’t mentioned.

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    2. Alderwoman Buragus seems to think there has been enough discussion about revitalizing downtown–to heck with discussing costs or details. “Bring It On Bloomington” surveyed 2,000 people–3% of the population. Close to 25% of the citizens live at or below the poverty level–just raise taxes to subsidize developers.

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  2. I’m beginning to think the 1% tax increase is for the support of the Tax Abatements and TIFs needed to pursue these projects. The Huff deal is not that different than the one from May. When the Mayor was interviewed on the radio yesterday, he mentioned that he, Alderwoman Buragus and Alderwoman Schmidt met with last night’s presenters.
    [audio src="http://cdn.stationcaster.com/stations/wjbc/media/mpeg/Tari_Renner__Bloomington_mayor-1445262152.mp3" /]
    The homes of both Alderwomen will increase in value as the downtown increases in value. And, the Farnsworth Group is part of Bentley’s proposal. How will that affect voting??

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  3. the citizens needs and wants are far different from Tari’s Citizens want garbage pickup, city streets that dont have craters . Tari wants a hotel or three ,a zoo a coliseum and the citizens to go away and leave him to rule!

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  4. What really doesn’t make sense to me is that the city is going to go into debt for a boutique hotel to rescue a coliseum that still carries a debt and is operating in the red. I may be mistaken but I think I read somewhere that bonds were going to be taken out for streets since the tax increase won’t even cover the cost of the structural deficit. There are TWO ways to reduce deficits–reduce current expenses AND don’t add more. I haven’t seen the council vote NO to any spending proposition.

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    1. Rob, Please go back and reread the beginning of the article before criticizing.
      Quote: “If we fully vet these projects . . . benefits will out weigh risk . . . move our City forward”.

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