Why Illinois is bankrupt – Bloomington follows

By:  Diane Benjamin

Illinois ranks very close to the top of the worst run states in country.  Illinois should be a wonderful place to live – natural resources, centrally located, world-class universities, Fortune 500 companies with headquarters here, just to name a few.  Instead, we don’t even have a budget.  Illinois’s government exists for government employees and friends of government, not the people paying for it.

The Bloomington City Council meeting last night exemplified why Bloomington is on the same road.  Disastrous results will follow.  The days of Bloomington-Normal being shielded from the nonsense policies plaguing the rest of the state are over.

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For FY 2016, the BCPA has a budgeted subsidy of $497,873

The BCPA budget was not on the agenda last night, but many of the speakers during public comment proclaimed its greatness and how tragic it would be if funding was cut.

Community Organizing 101

One guy even brought his young daughter to speak.  The choreographed display was a preemptive strike for the status quo.  Since the budget wasn’t on the agenda, expect these attacks for your money to continue.

The money grab show continued with Greg Koos and his need for an additional $50,000 a year for 5 years – your money.  Tari had to set the stage for him first.  Hit play:

Koos got more and more absurd as his time continued – all the way to taking historical artifacts into senior living facilities around the community.  He has huge plans and no money, so go where the money is – taxpayers.

Yes, the old courthouse is a beautiful building and a huge asset to downtown.  Koos knows the Council rarely rejects funding anything.  Say the right words, imply Quality of Life, all wrapped around downtown – magic funding appears.

Only Alderman Lower considered the fate of people on fixed incomes or living paycheck-to-paycheck with his NO vote.

January 1st you will be paying more for a lot of things you buy.  Both Bloomington and Normal increased the Sales Tax with very few reasons for why.  Connect Transit didn’t get the Tiger Grant for a new downtown hub, no word from the County about not needing that whole 1/4%  increase anymore.

Your local governments have no boundaries for spending.  If you are a friend of those in power, you get funded.  Illinois funds anything that buys them votes, Bloomington funds their friends.

An estimated 95,000 people moved out of Illinois last year.  http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2015/03/12/why-are-people-fleeing-illinois-three-personal-stories/

Actions by Renner, Hales, and the majority of the City Council prove why.

7 thoughts on “Why Illinois is bankrupt – Bloomington follows

  1. Koos got more and more absurd as his time continued – all the way to taking historical artifacts into senior living facilities around the community.

    There is noting absurd about this. They have done it already and would like to expand it.
    That doesn’t sound like a group that is pro-killing senior citizens on fixed income like Alderman Lower would suggest. That was by far one of the most over-the-top, ridiculous things I’ve ever heard a council person say.

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      1. No one is going to die over this. There is no reason why Lower should have used those words. He took a blanket statement about spending tax money in general and used the most cruel emotional argument to target the museum. Did he say that seniors will die if we continue to fiscally support the golf courses?

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      2. I seem to remember something about they can’t afford their medicine. Does that mean die? Why not. He doesn’t live on the east side where it’s less of a problem.

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      3. Kelby,
        Mr. Lower has faithfully represented his Ward which is one of the oldest where many elderly and poor reside. Mr. Lower has used very similar arguments in the past pertaining to other amenities in the City. His basic premise is that the economy is not expanding in Bloomington or Illinois at this time. The major employers are laying people off or relocating them. The City has a $7.5M deficit. The increased sales tax does have a negative effect on those who live on fixed incomes as well as the working poor. Many do have to choose between medicine or food and utilities or clothes. Mr. Lower cares very deeply about this City and its success.

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  2. I am appalled by the vote to amend the budget ADDING $50,000.00 per year for 5 years for a total of $250,000.00 to expenditures when there is a $7.5M deficit which will NOT be corrected by the 1% sales tax increase. That amount is in addition to the $20,000.00 ANNUAL subsidy the City provides to the Museum. Not one member of the Budget Task Force was present for the vote…not that that would have mattered. Normal is contributing to the Capital campaign but have they been providing annual contributions? Normal’s citizens use the Museum, too. Perhaps the Council members who voted in favor of this should each donate their $4,000.00/year stipend and the City Manager can make up the difference because he recommended this insanity.

    There was also a “change order” adding $40,000.00 in expenditures as well as $300,000.00+ for emergency repairs (not budgeted) for infrastructure.

    I am also overwhelmed by the irony. Tina Sipula, director of the Clare House was honored for her nearly 4 decades of service to countless numbers of the most vulnerable in the community…also known as improving the quality of life. Clare House is and has been supported by a countless number of volunteer hours. Clare House is NOT tax exempt. Property taxes are paid on the house. Sales taxes are paid on all purchases and donations for the food pantry and soup kitchen. Motor Fuel taxes are paid for transporting donations and utility taxes are paid–on and on. In other words, there has been NO government subsidy. As a matter of fact, Clare House has additionally contributed to the economic development of Bloomington by affording the poor with a little “disposable” income for clothing, blankets, hats & gloves.

    Instead of begging for taxpayer dollars, the BCPA supporters should establish some kind of foundation that would raise enough funds to ensure that “culture” remains in Bloomington. Solicit corporate sponsors. Hold fund raisers. Enlist more volunteers like all the parents of those children who benefit from the “free” summer theatre program. If it survives, so be it–if not, it is not meant to be. Culture is just a train ride away in Chicago or St. Louis. Or, drive to Peoria or Champaign-Urbana.

    Give me a break!!

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  3. BOTH the Koos are money sucking vortexes! Especially when the TAXPAYER is footing the bill, is it NO coincidence that Mayor Koos is so into bike paths clear to the moon? Wonder WHAT his agenda would be if he sold Peterbilts-highways to China? And his electric car program, wonder how that’s working, now with Mitsubishi leaving he will NOT be buying local. And as for the other Koos, what’s wrong with using the nursing home buses they use to take residents to the doctors, etc, and just taking them to the museum-like a school field trip?? Then they’d get to see everything, not just the stuff the MUSEUM decides to show them-is THIS really quality of life here in B/N? Heck, if the RT 66 museum is getting the 60,000 people a year they projected they SHOULD NOT be getting ANY tax money. Next thing they’ll want a talking Lincoln statue that drinks watermelon juice on the hour!

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