Council doesn’t like citizen contact

By:  Diane Benjamin

Below is another email I received under the Freedom of Information Act while looking for something else.  It was written by Alderman Jim Fruin.

Normal’s elections for council members are At-Large.  That means nobody on the their Council represents citizens, everybody represents the entire town.  It also means the Council members don’t need to respond to citizens in their wards because their aren’t any.  They have far fewer direct interactions with citizens, the results are obvious.  They rule – citizens have no voice.

Remember when Rob Fazzini wanted to make Bloomington more like Normal with “Modified Wards”?  It failed, Bloomington is not Normal!

I’d ask Bloomington’s Aldermen one question:  why do citizens contact you?

Could it be because you have raised taxes continually since Renner became Mayor?

How about because the roads are still a disaster, but the Council focus is on downtown Bloomington?  Having a plan means nothing 3 years into the term of the guy who promised action.

Being a Bloomington Alderman is a part-time job.  Yet, the Council is subjected to long meetings 3 times a month consisting of Special and Regular ones frequently on the same night.  Topics include development, land purchases, and monument building to themselves instead of what citizens think their government should provide.

If citizens are contacting you more Jim, it’s because small things are slipping through the cracks while government grows to create their own Utopia.  Basic government services aren’t a priority and listening to citizens comments isn’t part of the agenda.

We’ve seen Citizen Summits, Open Houses, the Budget Task Force – every one ignored the people forced to pay the bills.

If citizens bother you JIm, announce you aren’t running next year now.  Time to go!

Look below Jim’s name.  He claims no neighborhood boundaries, but complains about citizens outside his Ward calling him.   Maybe they were trying to find a Council person who cared Jim.  I guess they mistaken.fruin


11 thoughts on “Council doesn’t like citizen contact

  1. I live in Ward 3. I am unrepresented. Yes there is an Alderman for Ward 3 however he stopped taking my calls or responding to email two years ago after I asked him the following question: “What is the purpose of city government”. I am not sure he knew the answer, and if he did he certainly did not want to have an answer in writing.

    I sent an email to Jim Fruin when the Central Catholic football field was an issue. He invited me to have coffee with him. Why? I am not in his Ward.

    1. Jimmy, I live in a different Ward than you and am unrepresented as well. City Staff works under the direction of the Council so contacting your alderman is the appropriate first step. The alderman can speak to the City Manager or Department head to initiate a resolution to a problem–most often requiring appropriation of funds. That’s the way it is supposed to work, anyway. Contacting the Mayor is a waste of time unless it has to do with a progressive agenda item.
      My experience with Alderman Fruin has shown him to be a gentleman who tries to live by the midwestern values by which he was raised. He is well known and has been an alderman for decades. He attempts to please everyone so citizens call on him. I can only speculate how much he becomes frustrated or annoyed that citizens view him as the only one who can respond in a supportive fashion. Trying to please everyone makes him vulnerable to the forces on the Council as well.
      When he speaks of “one community,” he is referring to Bloomington’s relationship with Normal–not necessarily “one community” within Bloomington’s city limits.

      1. Nice description of JF. It’s too bad however that while sitting in the council chambers he only occasionally shows a spark of thought considering those supposed midwestern values and rarely speaks up for the citizens best interests. My opinion of his performance is about as exciting as reporting on the activity of a bump on a log. Gentleman Jim just goes along to get along, which is very useful to the Renner/Hales regime as Jim’s desire to challenge this status quo is absent 99% of the time.

  2. Every time I contact MY council person, I get a “form” response. Try it sometime! Send an email to TWO different council people, and you’l get the SAME answer almost verbatim. It’s like listening to Charlie Browns teacher.

  3. I am also unrepresented. You’d think I’d have great representation being in the mayor’s ward, but he so doesn’t care about our concerns, as peon taxpayers. I’ve emailed Haumann with concerns multiple times and she comes back with a “we should all respect each other’s differences” response and never addresses the issues. She’s dumb as a rock.

  4. Wow. Is this some kinda game where we all tell each other generally where we live so we can “out” each other? Well, I ain’t fuckin’ fallin’ for it, you dumb bitches! LOL!

  5. Welp, just want everybody to be a little careful when revealing details. Although, Mudd, I’ve enjoyed many of your comments and if you want . . . well . . . I’m totally open to meeting in real life! LOL, no joke! If your single and available and male, we could credit Diane as matchmaker! But don’t tell me where you live or where you go or where you work, cuz I like to test my research/sleuthing skills. Maybe drop subtle hints in your future posts from time-to-time, ifn’ your game;)

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