By: Diane Benjamin
Everything is scripted in the City of Bloomington to make sure citizens only know what the City wants them to know. Unlike Tari Renner’s claims of transparency, very little exists. Try filing a FOIA request and see how long it takes, what is denied, and how much is redacted. It has gotten much worse under Renner because lawyers review every request and they know most people won’t file a lawsuit to get the information. Therefore they aggressively redact or deny FOIA requests.
The Budget Workshop held last Saturday is a perfect example of NO Transparency. It was held in the locked Police Station where live streaming isn’t available. The citizens were not part of the process and did not hear comments made by staff or elected officials. That’s not transparency. It also proved your right to know what your government is doing is immaterial to Renner, Hales, and most of the Council.
It gets worse!
David Hales announced at the last Council meeting Monday’s Committee of the Whole will be cancelled because he has nothing ready to present. (Actually, a lot of things are ready – they are just waiting until after the election)
Why didn’t the Council sit around and discuss the budget openly instead of cancelling the meeting? Alderman Fruin complains frequently that he can’t talk things over with the rest of the Council, here was his chance. Obviously the City doesn’t want open discussion. Cuts aren’t allowed to be discussed because some might actually happen. Go back to previous years when the budget was passed. Conversations are very limited, details were unavailable, and Tari cut off anybody who brought up spending he wants to hide.
Citizens could have heard the alderman’s thoughts. The aldermen could have requested a detailed budget showing exactly where the spending is. It would have taken 5 aldermen to overrule the City Manager. Obviously 5 aldermen didn’t want the budget discussed. Are they not intelligent enough to have a public discussion? Are they trying to hide the huge transfers from Enterprise Funds (like water) to balance the General Fund? What else are they trying to hide?
doesn’t exist – contrary to Tari’s constant drum beat.
If the City cared about controlling costs, Monday night the Council would be sitting having that discussion.
Yes, your vote matters. April 4th the current Council members who aren’t representing you need to be tossed (Painter, Mwilambwe, Black) So does the mayor. Kevin Lower would have attended with a list of cuts in hand. The Council will never discuss them thanks to Mayor Lack-Of-Transparency.