By: Diane Benjamin
Just so everyone is clear on which Aldermen wanted to continue talking about Sales tax sharing with Normal:
Five Alderman voted against continuing: Schmidt, Painter, Mwilambwe, Sage, and Lower. It’s a dead issue for now.
Mayor Renner just doesn’t understand why it failed.
BN Advantage supported it. ($390,000 from Bloomington in 2017)
Renner and Koos supported it.
The Economic Development Council supported it. ($490,000 from Bloomington in 2017)
The Chamber of Commerce supported it. (Supports all government spending)
Tari, your buddies supported the Normal bailout.
Think this issue is dead? When government wants something they don’t care what you think.
Expect Tax Sharing 2.0, or Koos to announce he isn’t running again.
32 thoughts on “The Renner Comedy show”
I will expect to see cheers to the Aldermen that voted against continuing the discussion and hope to see those 5 present a united front and truly address the issue with a proposal for merger between the town and city. How much would we save the taxpayers with one mayor, one administrative staff, one police chief, one fire chief, etc., etc., etc. How many millions are wasted because we can’t cut/merge anything?
That is a discussion worth having.
OK. Yes I managed to type that with a straight face. To me the benefits are staggering, what am I missing? What prevents it? Is it just petty politics? Is it a turf dispute?
Other than the population is Normal has many left wingers (ISU), conflicts in policy would abound. Nobody believes in providing basic services, too boring.
I’ve lived in Bloominton all of my life and don’t want to live in or be combined with abNormal. There is no reason that the citizens of BLM should assume the debt of abNormal. No reason! The two seperate towns just need to get their shit together without the bailout.
I would think the savings in basic services/salaries would cover the debt of both Bloomington and Normal in no time. We are talking millions a year in savings just in salaries by eliminating 1 each of city manager, police chief, fire chief, communications director, economic development staff, etc I have no idea how much would be saved when we eliminate the need to support the infrastructure of two full city governments- buildings, vehicles, staff, outside consulting, etc
I wonder how much the competition between two geographically identical entities affect local business and how many taxpayer dollars are wasted in that competition?
Imagine how many hundreds we could save in business lunches between the two mayors when they no longer have to meet to negotiate how to redistribute our money between them?
I am afraid the trick would be to be to get the new government to not spend the saved cash and pay off the debt, lower taxes and fix the existing infrastructure which would go a long way towards attracting new business, I would think.
If the citizens could unite and pull this off it would put local government on notice.
Could downtown Bloomington be bulldozed?
I don’t see why not. I’m sure we could get local government to agree if we promise to build some hotel/convention centers. Of course all we have to do is raise sales taxes another 1% so the city can afford to buy the property at 1.5 times it’s value and sell it to the developers for pennies on the dollar. Sweet deal for everyone. (Normal did it and everyone benefits- the Pantagraph told me so it must be true)
What about your June 9, article noting David Sage supporting this? Fat chance he changed his mind.
That’s why it will return.
Perhaps public opinion has swayed him. I know I sent him a message (I live in Ward 2) about how I feel about it. I am guessing I am not the only one. I would like to think that some of them are able to understand they were elected to be our voice rather than to speak for us.
Being a politician has got to be the easiest job in the world, if I were one I would never have to make a decision… I would simply ask my constituents what they want and go to the council meeting and vote on their behalf. Too easy.
You wouldn’t have to ask! They want the roads fixed. tax increases to stop, and no downtown hotel. Everything else will almost always be a NO!
That is my point exactly, how much easier could it be? If I am a councilman, I don’t have to go to meetings with the EDC or BN Advantage or whomever (unless they are in my ward)… just hang out with the people in the ward and hear what they think.
If the city wants the people to go for it, I guess they will have to spend some of that cash ($390,000/$490,000) convincing them. I can’t remember the last time a politician asked what the people want. Instead they always seem to be telling me what I need.
Knowing that we care (I know he gets my email) about the issues Mr Sage has never sent out a mass email or snail mail or said in a council meeting and asked, “Here is what the city is asking for… what do you think?”
Instead you have to find where the City posts the upcoming agenda (Not everyone has the internet) AND attend every council meeting to get the chance to have yourself heard.
No effort is made by those with the information to inform the people.
You do good work Diane. There is alot that I would not know without your efforts. The question is how do we get this from here to the people? I don’t believe the people don’t care, I think they are just distracted.
Person to person. Ask if they are reader. Elections next year – how about running?
The form used by Mr. Sage to put the topic on the agenda was vague and lacked any significant background information. One could only speculate as to what was to be discussed. There was an indication voting would take place. Mr. Sage plus 4 have a history of voting in favor of what the Mayor wants. The mayors had been talking about the topic for a while. The “elite” business community who are appointed by the mayors to BN Advantage and EDC endorsed the idea. (The mayors are also members of BN Advantage.) By all appearances, further discussion and or voting in favor of revenue sharing seemed inevitable.
I do believe the topic will be revisited.
Unfortunately, you are probably correct.
What I see coming here is a problem with big government by definition, by understanding, but most importantly more disconnect between the people, the few elected representatives with the power of the vote, and the multitude of appointments that will be made by one mayor.
Although in theory the idea of a merger might seem beneficial, in reality the consolidation of power is not. Especially when the middle of the road has been abandoned and is controlled with a far left or far right ideology. It’s a bad idea for B-N today and I most definitely vote no against it.
I see it a bit differently, but I see your point. The transition would be a nightmare if it were to happen. I look at it as a downsizing of government, cutting local government nearly in half. Instead of two mayors appointing members to identical boards across the street from each other it would be one mayor and one board.
But wait. Renner and Hales downsized, just ask them. However their idea was to cut services while adding administration and including more private/public partnerships of which here in the confines of B-N means rewarding their cronies with taxpayer funding of which you can see. So as what has been proven and will only get worse is the fact that government will be declared smaller when in reality government bureaucracy will grow. That’s big government. That’s the smoke and mirrors method of declaring transparency while stabbing you in the back with lies and deceit.
Yes, if it were to work more than just boundaries would have to be changed. The reduction in expenses would leave the current administration with a very tempting surplus of taxes to spend. I doubt they would willingly rescind the sales tax increases.
READ the moniker TROY! I live in BLOOMINGTON-not UPTOWN, my family is from BLOOMINGTON, not UPTOWN, I DO NOT wish to be part of UPTOWN and IF the issue is EVER passed, I’ll sell the farm and move! Is that easy for you to wrap your head around?? I despise UPTOWN, and the stupid ideas that they have had Bloomington waste OUR money on! I’d just as soon live in Bhutan than UPTOWN! You like Normal? Move there!
This is what I don’t like about anonymous chatting, the quick leap to hostility and anger, people go so easily on the attack when they feel there are no consequences. It is such hypocrisy when they are so much more polite in person.
This animosity for people across the street is also bewildering. I remember when Bloomington was the wrong side of Division St. and some of that animosity might have been justified. Today not so much. Bloomington has come a long way from having to feel it is us versus them. I also don’t remember when Normal came and made Bloomington spend its money on anything (need evidence). Looks to me that we have done that to ourselves.
Note- Townie, have you been to Bhutan? Beautiful country, a bit backward in some respects (just started allowing television in 1999), but very progressive environmental policies. They were the origin of the term Gross National Happiness (GNH) basing their system of government on policies that would contribute to the overall happiness of the people. I wouldn’t mind a system of government like that, sounds like maybe you might benefit from a dose of GNH as well.
Townie was a little harsh. I can’t see what commenters are referring to, so I’m trusting all of you to keep it cool. No personal attacks please, I do know how to close comments but I don’t want to.
Closing comments just let’s the trolls win. I normally don’t address those type of posts but it is a very touchy subject that deserves to be discussed.
Just heard back from Mr Sage. He did not address my concerns about the sales tax merger but he did address the video game licensing fee. He wrote that he believes that $750,000 is more than enough revenue for the city to collect on those machines. Now he didn’t say he wouldn’t vote for it but I am hoping for the best. Not addressing my sales tax merger concerns was a bit ominous but it isn’t on the table right now.
Let me assure you, Troy, I would be every bit as hostile and angry toward you in person as in this forum. Not one bit of hypocrisy here. Can smell condescending Leftism a mile away. Bravo Townie!
I’ve often thought how stupid it is to have two completely parallel governments in a metro area of 190,000 (and falling). I can see where Townie is coming from as I also do not want to be subject to whatever infects Normal’s city council, but there is no reason to take such a strong tone with someone respectfully posting an idea. Troy, thanks for posting the idea. I would definitely be all for it if we could figure out how to merge the governments and get the newly formed government back to its true responsibilities and off the quality of life kick. So be sure to post if you see any flying pigs around.
Unfortunately those pigs will not only have to fly but will likely be having an aerial snowball fight in hell.
I just see a trend toward agreements between these two city governments that is essentially merging us in everything but name. We connect everything but without the benefit of being able to reduce the size of government. They win again.
Maggie, that is a shame. As soon as we let our anger or fear cloud our judgement, our ability to make rational arguments is severely handicapped. Angry/scared people are rarely taken seriously. I used to be angry, I let myself be manipulated through fear by media.
Rather than be scared or angry… I started looking for evidence. One of the places I found a lot of evidence was here. Diane saves me a lot of time and effort looking things up (I can be a bit lazy sometimes) I appreciate that. I don’t always agree with her views, but I can hardly ever refute an argument backed up by the facts she so diligently prys out of our governments reluctant grasp.
She allows me to contact my alderman and mayor with evidence behind my complaint or suggestion. When I approach them with it, I almost always get an answer. Not always what I want to hear but still I rarely ever have to be angry or afraid when I have facts on my side.
Troy, all I’m trying to say, is that I don’t wish to live in ANY town that refers to itself as “UPTOWN” When Normal did that, they LOST all my respect and business, THAT’S what causes GNH to dissipate! When ONE town thinks it’s better then another! Haven’t been to Bhutan, but have several friends from there, and IT IS a rather serene place-kinda like going back 500 years to a much SIMPLER time, before cellphones, computers, TV, radio, planes, TSA, and just the old abacus for transactions. Sorry if I offended you, but these are VERY STRONG feelings I have about UPTOWN! And I REFUSE to call it that and be “PC” like the folks on TV!
Townie, no worries. You didn’t offend, I am not easily offended. I do enjoy a good argument as long as it doesn’t become personal. Everyone has different reasons for not liking something and yours is as good as any.
I believe they were wrong to go “uptown” and “downtown” as well. Not for what the words imply but why the need to distinguish at all? I was never confused by someone telling me they were headed to Normal or Bloomington. I believe they took the proper names out so the public begins to think of it as all one city- BloNo. Now they want to share sales tax revenue, they are effectively merging the city right in front of us but we don’t get the benefit of reducing the costs down to one city government. I think if they are going to snow us we might as well call it what it is and make them do it right. Good chatting with you.
Troy, to let you in on a secret, my sister USED to live in St Louis, had a good job with a MAJOR company there, but wanted to move back here for several reasons, less traffic, simpler life, better job, and marriage. When she applied for a job in Normal, they spent ALL DAY touring her around Bloomington, as they figured she was FROM St Louis, and would like to see “the best we have to offer” so she got to see all the old stomping grounds again, after being gone several years. Kinda ironic. She STILL likes the “slower pace” much better. And I DON’T think she misses I-270 at rush hour! , as for UPTOWN, If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, ****!
Yeah. Talking about concepts and ideas is bad. We shouldn’t talk. In fact, this blog is probably a bad idea.
Call the POLICE! The guy holding a gun to your head until you read every story needs to be in jail!