Bloomington: What citizens need to know

By:  Diane Benjamin

Transparency must be dead:

No Coliseum reports have been posted on-line since 4/30/15.  (Meanwhile the media is instructed to report false information about real losses)

City Manager Monthly Reports haven’t been posted since December 2015.

Sewer rates will increase:

sewerThis is from the Budget Work Session for 2017.

Providing the sanitary sewer system is no longer an essential government service the taxes citizens already pay cover.  Bloomington put sewers in an Enterprise Fund just so they can raise rates.  This frees the General Fund from having to absorb the costs.  Citizens will pay more so Renner/Hales are free to be developers.  Expect increases soon.

By 2026, the typical customer will be paying $11.79 more a month – $141 per year.  See this document:  8C-1.Sewer & Stormwater rates ATTACHMENT 1 – breakdown

Meanwhile, median household income in McLean County is declining:

McLean County

  • 2014: $60,460
  • 2000: $67,873
  • Percent change: -11%

With the closing of Mitsubishi and the State Farm exodus, the trend will continue.  Announcing new retail and fast food joints will never replace the incomes lost.


The City has decided to keep all three golf courses and manage them with City employees:  Golf RESOLUTION 1

The resolution contains this phrase:


The City owns the courses.  City employees run the courses.  City taxpayers are responsible for all expenses and capital improvements.  How is golf a public-private partnership?

Tucked in the Golf Financials document is this – New HiresCouncil Budget Work Session 03122016 Final  (click to enlarge)

incomeThe page following this one states:  Offset Citywide by 6 less positions in Solid Waste and Code Enforcement Division Mgr position not replaced.

Didn’t the Council just lament the sad state of rental properties and demand higher inspection fees?   Code Enforcement?

Look at the salaries of the new hires.  Then look at the medium HOUSEHOLD income above.  4 of the 5 new positions pay more than the average total County household income.

Finally, if you still don’t know why Tari Renner and most of the Council need to be replaced – read this document:  5 Priorities Memo DH Revisions DRAFT

Free market capitalism in Bloomington has been replaced by government makes the decisions.  The declining economy will continue if government doesn’t get out of the way.

All referenced documents are available here:

Don’t blame Hales.  Renner demanded he comply or get out.  Hales is doing what he is told to do.

Regret not electing a libertarian yet?







9 thoughts on “Bloomington: What citizens need to know

    1. But the City Council supports Economic Development by providing minimum wage jobs at a new downtown hotel and retail shops throughout the city. Adding new luxury apartments that no one can afford is a solution to economic growth, how?

  1. Diane, has anyone ever told you that golfer fees, etc, pay over 90 % of the golf costs (was recently stated by T. Guttschow at a Prairie Vista Meeting on saving our golf courses). Have you or anyone else for that matter ever wondered how the city’s expenditure and participant user fees/tickets compare with expenses on the zoo, tennis courts, youth baseball/youth and adult softball, swimming pools, or hockey at the pepsi ice center (does anyone actually believe the ice fees come close to what it actually cost to produce, maintain and administer. I was once an avid golfer, haven’t played in 5 + years but as you can see this is a nerve that still bothers me when it is continuously struck. When I have asked my councilman, D Sage, about the other courts/fields, zoo, and pools, participant/expense/ ratios I am told they are different and there is no support on the council for golf. The only difference I see is golf is an enterprise fund, while the others are not. Thanks for what are doing.

    Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2016 14:54:57 +0000 To: [email protected]

    1. Golf fees don’t cover capital improvements needed, Years ago they wanted the paths at Prairie Vista re-done because the carts were being damaged. They never were. Next we will see new carts.

      None of their programs make money. They put some in an Enterprise Fund so they can charge more. The zoo is FAR worse than golf, but it’s not an Enterprise Fund.

      1. BCPA isn’t an Enterprise Fund either. I am neutral about golf but was under the impression that Council was to represent the citizens. Just because the council members don’t support golf it shouldn’t be supported? Just because the citizens don’t support the city being in the real estate and entertainment business, the Council supports that. There is a double standard here.

  2. Just an observation. The decrease in median household income of 11% is the same percentage as the increase in the City budget in one year.

  3. News flash!! Of course all the items on the agenda passed. All new tax revenue will be funneled into the redevelopment projects and won’t be available for normal government function for the next 30 years. Bloomington is a mecca for tourists especially those who wish to hunt grouse. CIAM did such a wonderful job as an economic driver and will be missed.

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