Bloomington Work Session Woes

By:  Diane Benjamin

Two Council meetings ago one person complemented the Council (during public comment) on how much better they are at working together.  Just hit play: 


The Council “working together” has gotten taxpayers huge deficit spending and a 1% Sales tax increase.  Expect more increases soon.  Is their job to “work together” or represent their constituents?

Last summer Mayor Renner handpick a Budget Task force.  It was a brilliant strategy for making citizens think he cares.  Some members didn’t live in Bloomington and no conservatives were appointed.  David Hales attended all the sessions and steered discussions to where he wanted them to go.

A Citizens Summit was held prior to the Budget Task Force, but the cuts proposed by citizens weren’t what Renner and Hales wanted to hear.  Therefore, the Budget Task Force was created.  What citizens wanted to see cut was bypassed.  These are some of the cuts the Summit proposed:

  • Expensive downtown lighting
  • Coliseum subsidies
  • BCPA plays in the Park
  • Bike paths
  • Downtown ornamental signs
  • Real estate purchases
  • Zoo expansion
  • Extensions to Constitution Trail, especially north
  • Library expansion

See the entire report here:  Citizens’ Priority Survey Results

TUESDAY night the Council will again discuss the findings of the Task Force.  Some of the Council members ranked items they want to discuss, the highest ranked items are:

highestAlderman Lower did not rank their findings on principle.  He was not asked to be on the Task Force, and none of his previously suggested cuts were considered.  None of the suggestions from the Citizens Summit were included either.

To prove the Renner Dog and Pony Show is fixed, look at what received ZERO votes:

novotesLegal Expenses!

The Council needs their $50,000+ per month legal team from Springfield, not to mention the Chicago and Peoria lawyers called in to assist.

Department Reductions

got NO votes either – not even to David Hales’ bloated Administrative staff.

Once again the results are fixed.  The only way you will be represented on the Council is to elect people who know what that means.  The current bunch doesn’t care.

Watch for extreme weeping and gnashing of teeth TUESDAY night.  Alderman Lower will be marginalized because he is the scary guy with legitimate places to cut.  He can’t be allowed to stop the progressive agenda.

The Highland supporters need to be out in force.  I hear it would be a great place for some public housing.  Sick Leave Buy Back will be off the table, so will downtown hireback.

Cluck, cluck, cluck.


6 thoughts on “Bloomington Work Session Woes

  1. Just a note: the meeting will be on TUESDAY, Jan 19, 2016 @5:30 pm due to the MLK holiday on Monday.

    It doesn’t matter how much the Council cuts from the current budget if there is no control of future spending.


  2. Through the direction of Hales and Renner EVERYTHING is a dog and pony show. Welcome to Renners culture change, where transparency is now deceit. Once you begin to see through either of these two, then and only then will you realize the only transparency that they bring to the table.


    1. They used to have an in-house main lawyer, they still have at least one. Instead of replacing Todd Greenburg, they went totally outside. Greenburg was about $200,000, much cheaper.


  3. To be sure, the City is such a machine . . . that the likes of any one person such as a Todd Greenburg, could not adequately keep up with even the labor contracts alone. Jeesshh, the time in negotiations alone . . . the Policemen, the Firemen, the Office Worker’s, the Library. And top that off with the day-to-day. Plus the weird random “new project idea” that may surface that someone at City Hall will want quick turn-around legal advice . . .

    the City has created some sophisticated problems that require some sophisticated legal contractors. Bloomington’s pain is Springfield’s boon.

    You know what lawyers say . . . get that file to 4″. By then, it’s a ball rollin’ that could last a good, long time. That’s your cash-cow client. Routine maintenance will regularly occur w/those cases.

    Time for the local Ancel, Glink office to step in and under-cut Jeff Jurgens’ firm (whoever it is that he jumped Ancel’s ship for down in Springfield.) Surely, the City wouldn’t be against utilizing a locally based attorney w/more than 20 years municipal law experience from time-to-time. Especially if it comes at less cost.

    Quelle Coincidence, incidentally, that it was fairly recent that Council approved increasing the limit of City Manager’s discretionary spending for services w/o Council approval or bid process. I wonder if he considers “shopping around.” He should.

    Oh well. I’m just jealous that I don’t have power over thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars. I also don’t have any friends. Does anyone out there suppose this is related?


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