Mayor candidates: #FactsMatter

By:  Diane Benjamin

The Pantagraph has a video on-line of their mayoral candidate interviews.  See the video below.  Yes, as Tari likes to say FACTS do matter.  The video is less than an hour – watch it.

Diane Hauman is already planning to increase fees for garbage service even though a January 17, 2017  presentation was given to the Council showing Solid Waste would end the year in the black.  Did Hauman not read the packet?  These numbers show there is NO NEED for increased fees.  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=11892

haumansolid

Hauman also claimed that one person’s needs are another person’s wants.  A wonder which one the downtown dog park is?

The Coliseum was never mentioned, but this chart showing revenues of $5,710,106 is fiction.  Of course, numbers from the year ended last April still aren’t available.

Tari Renner again claimed the City has 750 full-time employees and implies the City is making do with fewer employees.  Facts do matter Tari.  Below are the numbers reported to the State of Illinois for full-time employees.  The City of Bloomington now has far more employees than when the early buyout was offered!  A lot of the $40,000,000 increase in spending is going to additional employees!

2009:  Here    599

2013:  Here    583

2014: Here    592

2015: Here    583

2016: No data available because the City hasn’t issued financial statements from 4/30/2016

These numbers were reported before David Hales supposedly saved the City with early retirements:

2007: Here   690

2008: Here    690

Renner and Hauman both justified all the tax increases by saying they were dedicated for pensions and streets.  Tari did mention one was for the “structural deficit”, the Pantagraph missed that in their story.  Pension funding and streets are what citizens expect their taxes to fund.  Citizens can’t garner more income just because they want to buy something, the city under this mayor does – Tari steals from your wallet and brags about receiving awards for pension funding instead of budgeting the additional expense.

Hauman claimed the mayor has no power since he/she doesn’t vote.  NOTHING gets on the agenda without Tari approving it.  Likewise, things other people want on the agenda never make it – like spending cuts.

Once again Tari claimed that City property taxes are flat.  Yes, the rate hasn’t gone up but the assessed value of your house has.  Therefore property taxes aren’t flat.  Every time the value of your house increases, Tari takes more of your money.  The City claims they are only taking .13 cents.  They leave out the library got another .03 in 2015, and the township got .02.  The Bloomington City Council approves all three, so .18 is more appropriate.

Don’t miss Tari again claiming there or no “free lunches” at 42:30.  He even said he wished he was the “king” of free lunches.  He is!  Check his PCard spending.

I wonder if the Pantagraph noticed any false statements?

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Comments

  1. Facts matter? FACT, I’d make a GOOD wager that the ending balance on the coliseum is NOT ZERO! This is NOT transparency, this is wishful dreaming!

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  2. If Diana Hauman seriously thinks the mayor has no power just because she doesn’t vote, then why is she running for mayor? Why not hold on to her council seat where she can vote and exercise her power that way? Mayor Judy voted once and we’ve had a white elephant on our hands ever since.

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  3. Here are some Facts:
    The City of Bloomington’s Property Tax Levy is generally allocated across seven activities which include:
    1 General Corporate: 22%
    a. Fire Protection
    b. Police Protection
    c. Public Parks
    2 Bloomington Public Library 19%
    3 Police Pension: 17%
    4 Fire Pension: 17%
    5 Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF): 10%
    6 Social Security: 6%
    7 Bond & Interest Fund: 9%
    http://www.cityblm.org/…/local-tax…/2015-tax-levy

    Note: Property Tax pays for pensions!! The new 0.25% tax on utilities is earmarked for pensions…hmmm…probably because raising property taxes would have been political suicide. Renner can claim the property tax has not changed. Not to mention, public hearings are needed if the property tax is raised above a certain %.

    Water, sewer, storm water and solid waste are Enterprise Funds and are supported from separate, additional fees, not property taxes. Golf and the Coliseum are also separate Enterprise Funds. Public works is not supported with property taxes based on the information found on the City website. The water fund has been raided to pay for Coliseum losses thereby leaving it without adequate resources.

    The Home Rule sales tax increase(s), including that for mental health, are to guarantee a revenue source for bond issue. The 0.25% for mental health is for building the jail–PERIOD. The 0.25% increase earmarked for streets is for future bond issue necessary to do the work. The 0.50% earmarked for the “structural deficit” actually increased the General Fund reserved because the “deficit” disappeared rather quickly, if there really was one, or possibly because of the additional large increase for liquor license fees. The bond rating for the City, which determines the interest rate for the “loan” is good due to Home Rule allowing unfettered tax increases but below the level of “A” due to the negative impact of the Coliseum’s losses.

    The transparency “award” is issued by the IPI for the City’s website based on a checklist. The State has a policy (mandate) requiring government entities to have certain information available for public access. It is the City’s IT department that deserves the credit for the award, not the mayor. IMO, good leaders give credit where credit is due rather than claiming it for themselves.

    If you’re interested, the sources for the above information can be found on the website.

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