Buragas not Renner’s pet anymore?

By:  Diane Benjamin

At the May 9th Council meeting Alderman Buragas went into a long speech about the Hales review process, but then voted yes to his raise anyway.  Her speech seemed out-of-place unless she was going to vote against the increase.

Last night she voted against the TIF feasibility study.  I don’t know why unless she’s against a third TIF, but she claimed she isn’t.  She wanted to wait a few months.

Alderman Lower also voted NO, but for different reasons – common sense.  TIF’s can hurt Dist 87, Heartland, and all other taxing bodies for years.  Their share of property taxes is frozen while the City gets a slush fund.

If the Council had paid attention to David Hales’ diatribe, they all would have voted NO.  They are throwing away $14,000 for another study that is likely to say the area doesn’t qualify for a TIF.  Another example of Hales being too late to the party – if they really wanted a TIF it should have been enacted when the property looked disgusting.  When the clearing of debris is done the property will no longer qualify as blighted.

So, is Buragas trying to prove she isn’t a pawn?  She’s still wrong on most issues, but at least she isn’t a Renner robot.

See Buragas’s comments at 1:04 and Hales at 1:12:

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Comments

  1. Disgruntled Dave says:

    It’s a carefully crafted ruse to make the votes on any of the collective Renner/Hales agenda seem a little less one-sided than they usually are. Each councilman knows his/her part and is expected to spend a short period in the doghouse with Lower, the resident (and rightful) burr under Renner’s saddle. Has she been dropped off the free lunch list? I’ll bet not.

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    • Good point Dave, makes perfect sense. Otherwise, why the diatribe if you’re just going to vote for it anyway. There is no honest reason to reason against and then vote for it anyway. Yeah, that is the type of crooked stuff they learn to do at the mayor’s conferences.

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  2. Thanks for the glimmer of light but I can’t bring myself to watching or listening to Emilia talk. I’ll just take your word for it on this one.

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  3. I agree MUDD, she’s as redundant as waves on a beach, and I see that Hales was given a “Competent” evaluation last time, so what’s the criteria for that? A COMPETENT council evaluating the person-the plot thickens.

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  4. Dave has it right IMO. Buragas is one of Tone Deaf Taris hand maiden council members. Considering her family has such a high stake in real estate dealings downtown it only makes sense she would try and create the illusion of being stringent on TIF matters. As Dave said though she is still in the rubber stamp group when push comes to shove. The only thing David Hales deserves is a pink slip effective immediately.

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  5. Joyce Bickhaus says:

    Maybe our outstanding Council needs to look at making residential part of the TIF,s!!!!! it would be nice for the rest of us not to have to pay taxes like State Farm

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  6. Alderwoman Buragas is too new to the Council to really understand the dynamics. Loyalties shift but manipulation continues. I believe she had a valid argument for voting against this TIF–no vetted site plan. Although, she did vote to purchase the property even though there was no budgeted money. Establishing a TIF just to establish a TIF for the sake of marketing the city owned property is inappropriate. What ever happened to “shovel ready?” Has that economic development/marketing tool become obsolete?
    It was Renner and Black who pushed for demolition and purchase of the property mainly because they didn’t want to look at it anymore–too close to the view out of Black’s apartment window and a place for drunk IWU students to vandalize. There was no thought put into the consequences of their actions.
    What I want to know is how IWU’s two parcels fit into the project. There will be no affect on tax revenue because IWU is tax exempt. Will IWU retain control of their land but have influence on the City’s or developer’s plans? Why have the boundaries expanded beyond the old Mennonite parcel to include the gas station across the street–no Jiffy Lubes allowed? Will the City purchase that property to ensure the view from the mixed use apartment/townhouse complex is pleasant? So many questions but no answers. Where is the transparency?

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