David Hales screw-ups

By:  Diane Benjamin

Hales is frequently praised for pulling Bloomington back from the brink of disaster, but Tari Renner claimed he did it when he became mayor.  See his announcement for re-election.  Both believe taxing people to death creates prosperity.  For government it does, not so much for those not in or profiting from government.  The City now has excess money.  No wonder Hales has quit compiling his monthly City Manager’s report.  Monthly tax receipts are now hidden!

Not supervising the Coliseum management is a huge problem for Hales.  It was his job to see that taxpayers received what they were owed from the arena.  Hales slapped taxpayers in the face with his lack or oversight.  Heard any updates on where the City investigation stands?  Maybe Hales can fill us in on Monday night.  Or maybe Tari can at his open house Friday – if you go, tape his answers.  I wonder if an alderman with “No comment” will be filling in for him, all the talking points aren’t defined yet.   https://blnnews.com/2016/08/26/bombshell-sit-down-before-reading/

What else has Hales screwed up?

Sick Leave Buy Back.  So far it has cost the citizens of Bloomington $1,597,265.  Instead of telling employees they could still collect the accumulated benefits but not spike their pensions, Hales allowed the spikes.  Taxpayers probably won’t get pensions or accumulated sick days payouts, but government workers, under Hales, are entitled.  Don’t forget their Gold Plated Health insurance – rubber stamped by Hales.  https://blnnews.com/2016/08/20/proof-the-council-is-immaterial/  &  https://blnnews.com/2016/08/11/gold-plated-government/

Then there was the Water Department Director hired without qualifications.  He worked for a week.  Taxpayers funded his expenses and the waste of time hiring him.  http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/government-and-politics/bloomington-water-director-resigns-after-about-week-on-the-job/article_38021fbd-03ed-5fed-b068-03f20ae63373.html

A water department employee was prosecuted for theft under Hales’ leadership.  Other problem areas identified by auditors for having the potential for theft weren’t fixed.  The City decided to hide the auditor’s report instead.  https://blnnews.com/2016/09/06/transparency-normal-vrs-bloomington/

Hales has failed to hold developers accountable.  Synder Development owed $562,194.78.  https://blnnews.com/2015/01/09/your-dime-bloomington/  Remember the mosquito farm?  The City accepted the property from Bill Brady’s company without checking the drainage.  Taxpayers had to fund the fix:  https://blnnews.com/2015/07/25/bloomingtons-mosquito-farm/

$2.4 million was transferred to the Coliseum Fund and then written off!  https://blnnews.com/2015/12/13/2400000-disappears-at-coliseum/

Hales allowed the old Coliseum Management to say what video boards they wanted.  They cost taxpayers $1,389,605.  No competitive bidding took place, and the buyer’s club CIAM bought through received a commission.  https://blnnews.com/2015/07/16/coliseum-not-obligated/

Hales segregated the budget with Enterprise funds.  Some he expects to break even, which means fee increases for you.  Think water, solid waste, storm water, and sewer.  Others like the Coliseum and golf can carry on as usual.  Keep in mind that pre-Hales many of these services were covered by taxes you already paid.  https://blnnews.com/2015/11/30/enterprise-funds-facts/

Budgets are created by Hales.  Seriously under-funding pensions, deferred maintenance, and roads so the FUN stuff is included created a disaster.  The massive capital spending plan is coming soon.  Of course the money isn’t available to fund it.

Had enough?

No, you need more.

Remember the police officer who said “I hope he bleeds to death”?  https://blnnews.com/2015/01/15/not-in-our-town-hales-institutionalized-it/   This came out in court because of a prosecution of a young lady who was found NOT GUILTY.  Before court, nobody knew this happened.  Great management skills!

Hales lies to media:




It sure would be nice to know which aldermen think Hales is doing a great job – besides David Sage.  Hales didn’t get another nice raise without at least 5 wanting to hand it to him.  Of course, the Hales review took place in secret so citizens can’t know.

Hales will be slinking off early next year when he qualifies for his pension.  Is holding him accountable for earning over $200,000 a year too difficult?  Renner thinks Hales is the CEO of a corporation.  It would be out of business by now if he was.

(Yes, I probably forgot some others!)





10 thoughts on “David Hales screw-ups

  1. Thank you for putting in the effort to highlight problems in city gov, city officials have run amok without any legitimate, in depth news sources, the pantagraph has its sacred cows to protect …


  2. “The City is fortunate to have a group of very dedicated and talented individuals, under the direction of John Butler and Bart Rogers, managing the City-owned Coliseum,” says Bloomington City Manager David Hales.

    Citing industrywide hardships and other factors, the Coliseum ended the year with a $494,320 loss in net operating income.


  3. Where is the budgeting for infrastructure? Consultants were paid to provide a Street Master Plan. As a matter of fact, a lot of consultants were contracted and produced master plans and fiscal feasibility studies since 2009. What is there to show for it?


    1. Perhaps the Complete (bullshit) Streets Plan will include the Street Master Plan. They’ll play with the words and push for their wasteful bike lanes.


      1. Complete Streets is a “policy” associated with the Comprehensive Plan–the all inclusive plan for utopia.


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