By: Diane Benjamin
I doubt you noticed, but I haven’t written about last Monday’s Council meeting. I still can’t convey the outrage I feel properly, but I will give it a shot. A number of items shocked me, it’s hard to believe the people claiming to represent you didn’t just immigrate from a communist country. They rule by their warp ideology of government solves problems, public servant isn’t a label the majority of them deserve.
Name some Bloomington problems. Bad roads, underfunded pensions, high taxes and constant increases, Coliseum bleeding money, BCPA subsidized by people who never go there, and developers refusing to pay. The list could be endless, but don’t forget the UNUSED fire station and the UNUSED Water Tower. Actions of past Council have proved to be totally wrong, but this council thinks they are brilliant, therefore they deserve to redevelop downtown. Government CAUSES problem, they don’t solve them.
Back to last Monday. If the Mayor or City Manager actually had any integrity and cared about taxpayers, they wouldn’t have wimped out on reforming Sick Leave Buy Back. Public opinion should have been used against City employees who believe they are ENTITLED to spike their pensions! They already will get paid to NOT work at mostly taxpayer expense and get a 3% raise every year. Government jobs are the golden goose few people in the private sector will ever see. Bow now folks.
Mayor Renner and David Hales could have gone to the local media and told the truth. The policy should have been fixed in 2011 before it cost YOU $1.3 million. Without change it will cost you even more. Let’s all give David Hales another big raise – he’s doing a GREAT job.
Remember, this all would have been a secret without the Chicago Tribune exposing former HR Director Emily Bell’s spike – the BIGGEST in ILLINOIS.
Remember, the Council didn’t know about the $1.3 million because Wire Transfers never made it to Bills and Payroll for approval. Where was the outrage Council? crickets
Here’s some facts for you. In 2014 former City Manger Tom Hamilton was paid $10,800.11 EVERY MONTH to not work. Emily Bell was paid $9,431.74 EVERY MONTH to not work. See a list of the top 100 MONTHLY pensions to former City employees here: Top 100 Bloomington pensions
See all Bloomington pensions here: http://www.openthebooks.com/search/?PensionCode=22&F_fiscalyear=2014&F_employernm=City%20Of%20Bloomington&F_employeenm=&pg=1
150 people are paid more than $1,900 a month to NOT work. The State of Illinois created this fiasco and included language for government workers that will require another Constitutional Convention to fix. Since government was created for government workers and campaign contributions, taxpayers pay the price. Renner and Hales could have stood up for you. Employees should be embarrassed to claim they have a RIGHT to spike pensions. Nobody is taking their Sick Leave Buy Back away, just when they get it.
Citizens have no rights, only government employees. The Pantagraph did an editorial about State employees ripping off taxpayers, but they are silent on local ripoffs. They didn’t notice local agencies pay people to leave too. Who is looking out for citizens? Nobody.
Public outrage could have kept the unions from suing. Even if the unions did sue, the future liability to taxpayers the City refuses to fix, can pay a lot of legal fees. How much did the Power Point Jeff Jurgens used to justify NOT changing the policy cost taxpayers to put together? A better question: The Council couldn’t even change the policy for Non-Union employees? Gee, it never came up. Funny how they are the worst offenders! Bell and Hamilton weren’t union.
The entire presentation was nothing more than “screw you citizens”. Employees are more important.
There’s more that happened Monday night. Stay tuned.