Round 2: BN Advantage

By:  Diane Benjamin

Monday night the City Council approved:

Consideration of adopting a Resolution endorsing BN Advantage:

A collaborative economic development strategy for the Bloomington-Normal-McLean County Region

The Vote was 8-1, Alderman Lower was the NO vote.
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BN Advantage is composed of:
  • EDC – Economic Development Council
  • McLean County Chamber of Commerce
  • Bloomington-Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • McLean Country Regional Planning Commission
  • Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority

None of these are run by elected officials.  The Chamber of Commerce endorses big spending local liberals for elections.  The rest suck up tax dollars.

In addition, the City of Bloomington has an Economic Development Coordinator and a Community Development Director, of course paid for by taxpayers.

Also receiving your tax dollars are the Downtown Bloomington Association, Illinois Small Business Development Center at ISU, and the Center for Emerging Entrepreneurs at ISU.

Here’s the problem:  Where is free market capitalism?

Below is the stated purpose the City has for Economic Development:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=9309    Page 204

Economic Development Incentive Guideline
PURPOSE:
The purpose of this policy is to assist in attracting and retaining high quality development that is compatible with the long-range goals expressed in the Strategic Plan and land uses outlined in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Furthermore, it serves to stimulate development within certain priority areas as outlined in the Target Area Map, wherein enhanced incentive tools and levels may be deemed necessary. It is important to note that a guideline is intended to provide a recommended practice that allows some discretion or leeway in its interpretation, implementation or use, depending on the circumstances surrounding the particular project being evaluated
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In other words:  Government approved economic development.  Government is going to attempt to attract and retain business they approve of, not business that don’t fit their model.  Remember when Tari stated during Council he doesn’t want a Jiffy-Lube downtown? https://blnnews.com/2015/08/25/it-about-control/
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If government (Tari Renner) states over and over they have FREE MONEY for developers – anybody surprised developers show up?
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Who’s money do you think they will use to accomplish their goals?  Think downtown hotel.  Tari wants it, he can get these groups to give it a glowing endorsement, and then use your money to make it happen.   Funny how low wage jobs at a new hotel are such a high priority.
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There’s other names for this:  crony capitalism and socialism
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Both FAIL every time they are tried.  BN Advantage is people who make a living sucking tax dollars and expecting to be treated as your saviors.  Hope and Change brought home to roost!
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Instead of strengthening the local economy, Bloomington now has crushed private enterprise.  Investing locally means tolerating tons of red tape so you are “approved” by these visionaries.  Anybody willing to endure the process is only after your tax dollars.
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Capitalism began in this country.  Free enterprise allowed us to flourish and become rich.  According to the Heritage Foundation, the US now ranks 12th on the Index of Economic Freedom (http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking)  BN Advantage creates less Economic Freedom.
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Watch Karen Schmidt’s glowing endorsement of BN Advantage starting at 36:00.  Other Council members follow.  Kevin Lower made his case before Schmidt.  Alderman Fruin wants to look at the results in 6, 12, or 18 months.  Don’t worry Jim, I will be.

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11 thoughts on “Round 2: BN Advantage

  1. I saw today that Rauner signed a 4 year ban on new government entities which puts the park district on hold. Does BN Advantage fit the definition of a local government entity?

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  2. Looking at the 5 entities that make up the BN Advantage it is clear the the citizens will soon recognize it as the DIS Advantage to their best interests. Maybe we can now just call it what it is the BN DIS Advantage as the cronies strike again.

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      1. How can citizens understand when it was not presented or fully explained. Just another example of “moving forward” without any direction.

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  3. I was listening at the beginning to the “Public Comments” of Mr Franklin and he talked about Hotels in the area “Hurting”.. This may help understand why. Why when traveling do they raise their rates on end of week thru weekend rates. Wait raise is not the right term here. Example just Friday. I have stayed at a Microtel Motel north of Lexington, Ky a few times in the past for less than 75.00 per night, including weekend. I had driven all night and needed a few hours of sleep and I was close to there. I stopped and was informed that they were full because of a Horse Race. They also told me they knew of no rooms any where close by. I asked what their rate was if I could have gotten one of their rooms. Hope your in a chair, $195.00 plus all taxes per night. I have known of over charging in Bloomington-Normal going on and if it’s anything like it was here, they deserve a little pain.

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    1. Mr. Franklin was referring to the occupancy rate of the local hotels which is currently about 50%. Adding another hotel (more rooms) will result in each hotel having more vacancies thereby making each of them less likely to succeed or even have to close. Unless Bloomington attracts NASCAR races or multiple MAJOR events, the many hotels in the area will never be filled at the same time. As outrageous as it is, the room rate increase you describe is a result of supply and demand.

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      1. As you have said before–redistribution of wealth. This appears to be for political gain for Mayor Renner. After all, Downtown revitalization was his campaign platform.

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  4. “Alderman Fruin wants to look at the results in 6, 12, or 18 months.” That comment contradicts the statement that BN Advantage is simply a guide to be used over time. What happened to budget cuts and reduced spending? Will there be results to examine prior to the approval of the FY2017 budget? How much more structural deficit will that produce? Connect Transit is also joining the group to extort more money from the City. I’m guessing the 250 people interviewed for the project are directly associated with the 6 entities, the Mayors and the Council members from Bloomington & Normal.

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