By: Diane Benjamin
On March 31st I gave you the budget history since Tari was elected Mayor: https://blnnews.com/2016/03/31/in-honor-of-taris-re-election-bid/
There was very little discussion last night before the budget passed as proposed – 6- YES to 2- NO.
David Sage was first – he’s very concerned but voted YES anyway. Keep listening through Jim Fruin’s comments. Just hit play:
Aldermen Lower and Fruin both voted NO. Alderman Black thought the process was very smooth. Duh. When most the alderman don’t care about controlling costs the process is very smooth!
A BIG deal was made that some of the spending is reserves that funds have built up for capital projects. That’s a good thing. Here’s the problem:
The City has made it impossible to compare spending from year to year because of Enterprise Funds. Items formally in the General Fund no longer are, but the General Fund still has massive increases. Black and Renner want you to believe they aren’t doing anything new.
Renner mentioned aldermen can submit budget amendments. Sure. Alderman Schmidt had been attempting to force an ordinance for quite a while allowing alderman to put items on the agenda. It always disappears into the bureaucracy.
Mayor: Aldermen are supposed to write their own budget amendments and they will be considered? Seriously? Maybe you should have put the lone fiscal conservative (Lower) on the Budget Task Force instead of people who don’t live in Bloomington! I remember meetings where Lower and then Alderman Stearns tried to bring cuts to the Council. I remember you attacking Stearns for even mentioning cuts: https://blnnews.com/2014/04/28/renners-goes-off-on-alderwoman-stearns/
Now Renner wants aldermen to type up budget amendments. All Council conversations have TIME LIMITS. That’s why the votes are predetermined, saves time and allows more agenda items. If the City knew or established a PURPOSE for City government a lot of time could be saved. The only purpose citizens see is raise taxes and spend money for pet projects.
Cuts never materialize because spending is the priority: grow government, protect government employees, grant perks to friends, and subsidize our priorities no matter the cost.
Government NEVER creates prosperity. That fact NEVER stops them from trying though.