The Debate!

By:  Diane Benjamin

It was WONDERFUL only having 3 of the 5 candidates show up last night, the audience got much more information from the candidates than would have been possible with all 5 there.  The room was packed with people wanting to hear what the candidates had to say.

If you didn’t attend or hear the live broadcast, audio is available HERE

Go to the end – 87:20 – and listen to Tari Renner’s closing argument.   I know how it felt in the room, I’d like to know what people who didn’t attend think about his comments and tone.

5:05 – Tari claims all his amazing successes since becoming mayor have been accomplished with 100 fewer employees that in 2009.  He states the City has 750 employees now.  Since the City financial report to the State of Illinois for 2016 is WAY past due, see how many employees were reported for 2015:

2015What are those  additional 125 employees doing Tari?  The new garbage trucks were supposed to require fewer people.  Admin spending is way up and every apartment in Bloomington is now being inspected causing higher rents because of increased fees to landlords.  What are the rest of those people doing?

4:30 – Tari proclaims “reserves exceed what our policy calls for”.  That is an admission by the sitting mayor (who wants you to give him 4 more years) that he has stolen more money from you than the city needs!

Tari rattled off the same list of awards he included Monday night that Bloomington has received from places most people have never heard of.  Remember the story I did about the City BUYING the Financial Reporting reporting award?  See it HERE  I wonder how many on Tari’s list were bought?

Other notes:

Tari again claimed millennials won’t stay or move to Bloomington without amenities.  The cost and type are evidently immaterial.

Liquor Commission – Tari claimed he could have added more members to avoid problems with the Open Meetings Act, but he chose to make himself the only member instead.  Lisa Madigan will get around to a ruling in a year or two.

Tari claimed the City will get the $150,000 back they spent on the flamingo exhibit.  He didn’t explain how.

Tari also claimed credit for Rivian.  Um.

Tari claimed the old Coliseum managers got 66% of the concession revenue, and VenuWorks doesn’t.  He forgot the City never saw how much CIAM was taking from concessions because nobody looked.  How’s that State Police investigation going Tari?

The Fireworks:

Go to 73:00.  Ian Bayne attempted to read what Tari wrote on this site because temperament was discussed numerous times.  Tari AGAIN claimed he was protecting his son, something nobody believed then or now.

The weekend forecast is ICE.  The entire debate is worth listening to while you are trapped at home.  Kevin Lower makes some good points and Ian Bayne makes some good points.  Future debates aren’t going to ask the questions heard at this one – most of them came from citizens.

Tari Renner had supporters there cheering his comments.  Big government control of the local economy instead of freedom is obviously preferred by some citizens of Bloomington.

If the taxed to death fed-up majority don’t show up to vote, Tari will be re-elected.



33 thoughts on “The Debate!

  1. Was a well-done debate. Glad the other jokers weren’t there. I was sadly disappointed in Lower’s ability to communicate his positions and staying on topic. May come down to Ian and the professor….which will be fun to watch.

  2. I sat right in front of Tari and noticed he was gripping his podium with his right hand and shaking uncontrollably. Wonder if he was nervous because of all the lies he was telling. Lies like how no money was spent on a downtown hotel (didn’t we have to pay for a couple of studies?) and his top priorities were police, fire and roads. Typical Big-spending Democrat!

    1. Actually I had the seat right in front of Tari and as far as I am aware you weren’t sitting on my lap. However I didn’t notice any shaking from Tari or Lower. Bayne on the other hand seemed to be having mild seizures. That could be because wasn’t able to block people or delete comments from his Facebook page at the same time as he “debated”.

    2. I suspect Tari has a medical condition (early stage of Parkinson’s?) as I have noticed it several times.

    1. Probably busy photographing some gala event to put on their website. All they are adept at doing is social news.

  3. “Tari again claimed millennials won’t stay or move to Bloomington without amenities.”

    Probably true but they are behind the eight ball on this. The largest employer here has realized this and made changes to accommodate what they needed so as to attain and retain talented employees.
    I am doubtful that the high end paid employees of the future automobile manufacturer will move here. I am still not sold on this as becoming a reality. For what I saw they paid for the former factory they can probably sell it for that and not take a loss.

    I’d say the vast majority of everyone is fed up with the tax increases and not seeing the revenue being put toward street maintenance, sewers, etc. Services that City Hall should be doing and aren’t.

    1. Yeah like the mis-management of public works. Last ice storm we got, 4 days no road salt, then finally the day before the predicted thaw, we got salt.

      1. Yes, and with all that money the city has I reserve, they should of been able to buy some! Right Ald. Lower?

  4. The live feed was disrupted last night. It would have been nice to watch to the end of the debate. If the questions were from citizens, did the candidates receive a copy prior to the debate? Renner’s responses were the same sound bites he has been spewing all along–a short version of the State of the State address. Using critical listening skills, it can be determined that Renner’s rhetoric is contradictory. One of the “awards” is for best places for new college graduates. Millennials are now in their thirties, starting families, hoping to be well along in their career paths. Career jobs are not growing in Bloomington. Amenities won’t draw them or keep them here. Well paying, career jobs will. In Renner’s closing statement, he sounds like a radical (manic) activist trying to rally his supporters–sort of scary!! I heard only his support of downtown–what about sewers, streets? Oppps! Did he forget about that promise or was he pandering to his downtown constituents who were in the audience?

      1. I just listened before posting. Anger (aggression) is a response to fear. He just sounded maniacal to me–like a radical activist. Either way, it’s scary!! His opening remarks were presented in a “sing-songy” tone–very different from his closing remarks.

    1. The questions were from citizens that texted and tweeted into 92.9 on Monday and continued into Tuesday of this week during Ben Yount’s show. I was listening to the last half our on Monday and he said he wouldn’t be surprised if the mayoral candidates go to the website or listened to the questions he was receiving and using them to prep for the debate.

  5. I think Mr. Renner’s comments at the end (as with the rest of the debate) were reality based, solid and informed. The difference in experience and competence was glaringly obvious between Mr. Renner and the tragic example of willful ignorance displayed by Ian Bayne. Lower was affable but seemed woefully unprepared as well.

      1. Actually I am a well informed life long Bloomington resident. Active in community and national politics. But feel free to underestimate me. I’m still gonna be here.

    1. Mr. Lower admitted at the beginning that this was his first debate. Given that, he did very well. His answers seemed genuine and he seems to have a fairly good grasp of city function and budgets. I’m looking forward to future forums and debates

    2. I think it’s sad that Renner fans don’t care about the poor in this community. Higher taxes and cost of living make life so much harder on them. This city needs to focus on the basics.

  6. Anyone paying attention would be disgusted by Tari’s behavior, his one sided view, and his abuse. His behavior lines up with that of a narcissist. He is bad for the people of Bloomington. I feel like his cheerleaders are not paying attention or that they do not value morals or basic human decency. Voting for Tari, in my opinoin, is a vote for an abuser. (Reminds me of a certain president-elect). I would rather vote for someone who is not polished, willing to learn and listen as opposed to someone who has an agenda that does not speak for citizens in the community that they represent.

  7. I was confused when Bayne said the city should not have an emergency fund (I believe he referred to it as a slush fund). His platform is to run the city like a business – businesses need to have reserves to withstand adverse events (calculating the appropriate size of that reserve for my employer is actually my job).

    Lower gave a nice example about trying to have enough money on hand if forecasts understate the amount of salt needed in a given winter. Also, holding low capital levels decreases your credit rating, making it more expensive to borrow in an emergency.

    I also believe Bayne said if the city needs extra money it should just “take it” from the citizens. So we’d go into debt to withstand emergencies and then increase taxes?

    Am I being uncharitable to him or taking him out of context? I really want to understand what each of these candidates are proposing. Financial responsibility is a big deal in this election.

    1. I believe his use of the term “slush fund” was referring to the practice of imposing new taxes/fees to cover the cost of items historically paid from the “general fund”, i.e garbage, pensions, and road maintenance. This allows the council to use those excess “general fund” dollars for their own “pet” projects… land acquisition, prop up the Coliseum, multiple studies, etc.

  8. While I applaud Ian’s fortitude and desire to make a difference here, I don’t think he has enough tenure locally to realistically compete. I am concerned however that he is enough of a distraction to overshadow what Kevin Lower is presenting. Kevin needs to make some noise.

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