By: Diane Benjamin
Cities 92.9 held a debate last night between mayoral candidates Kevin Lower and Tari Renner. Listen to it HERE
The picture below is the back side of a mailer sent by Tari Renner. I’ve been holding it for a couple of days because I knew he would use these talking points during the debate. Some of his points are just silly, like no to renewable energy. I sure don’t remember any Council votes on wind turbines and electric cars. Maybe Tari is talking about electric aggregation that may be costing you more now since the City aggregated for “renewable source electricity” that costs everybody who didn’t opt out more! Check your bills and call Ameren yourself to check rates.
No to a Balanced Budget? That would be NO to tax increases to balance the budget! Every budget has balanced, Tari steals money from funds like Water, Sewer, and Storm Water to balance it, then it helps him tax you more when the funds run short of cash!
Kevin made perfectly clear last night why he votes no on many items. Instead of using existing tax dollars for essential spending, Renner raised taxes to pay for pensions and streets. Renner is conducting a war on the poor with Utility tax, Gas tax, and Sales Tax increases. Past Councils didn’t spend money on pensions and roads and that’s why the fiscal status of Bloomington is a mess. Instead of redirecting tax dollars already received, Tari just took more. He isn’t going to stop taking more. Kevin will.
Economic Development is always fun. Tari points out that nobody is writing checks to developers. He leaves out “yet”. Greentop, Kroger’s, Empire Crossing, and Downtown developers will be getting checks in the future. What do they all have in common? None of these offer new diverse additions to the local economy. All merely compete against existing businesses that won’t be getting checks. That’s not called economic development, it’s called picking winners and losers.
No to the Budget Task Force? This one is clearly a lie: (5/11/2015 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=8577)
The minutes clearly show Kevin voted YES.
Tari is the one who picked the members, many of which didn’t live in Bloomington. Tari is the one who ignored their recommendations and had David Hales sit in on meetings to make sure nothing big was discussed to cut.
Listen to the debate, the other points were covered. Tari had a small crowd of supporters who boo’d when Kevin said we shouldn’t be building a new library in a recession. (50:37) Evidently respect from his supporters only applies when the media is WGLT. They obviously think you need to pay for shiny and new when fewer people are using it.
Other notes from the debate:
Tari is willing to help “a little” with the soccer complex, Kevin says the soccer people should build their own complex. (Around 24:00)
Tari claimed State Farm will always have 15,000 employees here, but the financial statements as of 4/30/2016 say they are down to 14,200+. (Around 39:00)
Tari always mentions Hyvee even though he wasn’t mayor when they decided to come here.
Tari again mentioned his trip to LA with Chris Koos to promote companies building here. (around 19:00) They must have failed – it was 3 years ago.
Tari: No free lunches and Bloomington has “the equivalent” of 750 employees down from 850 in 2009. What’s an equivalent? Multiple part-timers? The actual number of employees now and in 2009 is/was nowhere these numbers. (around 12:45) Numerous part-timers don’t equal a full-time employee, benefits and pension expense doesn’t apply to them. “Free lunches” we all know about.
Around 16:30 Tari claimed the Coliseum and BCPA are close to breaking even in operations. (No comment necessary!)
Tari accused Kevin of never showing up for one of his mayoral open houses. Tari doesn’t realize a lot of people are still at work at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon. The usual 10-15 people are the ones that show up, so Tari’s claims about getting your problems solved are useless if being there isn’t possible. Again, a transparency failure.
You need a new Photoshop guy Tari.