Council fun – Part 1

By:  Diane Benjamin

New Alderman Jamison Mathy didn’t show up last night for the Bloomington City Council meeting.  As usual, nothing was said.  Everybody acted like it’s perfectly normal for an elected representative to be a no-show.  Unfortunately, his absence might have cost one family their property rights.  (stay tuned)

Alderman Diana Hauman didn’t show up prepared.  She abstained from two votes pertaining to the consent agenda.  Her excuse is at 48:05.  She didn’t have time to read those items!  One of those was stealing money earmarked by ordinance for road resurfacing and repairs.  Nobody else on the Council cared either – it wasn’t pulled for further discussion.  David Sage didn’t care, even though he voted NO for the gas tax.

I wonder if the Council is planning to increase the Motor Fuel Tax?  Keep this theft in mind, stealing road money means they have to obtain more from somewhere.

A temporary detour: 

This spending wasn’t last night, it was 9/14/2015.

City Manager David Hales commented on this study last night – see 2:40:40.

They haven’t had time to use the data!

The data is now useless since local conditions are changing rapidly.   Oops, it’s only $67,000 flushed away.  However, Hales is continuing to use Fiscal Impact Data, not from the 2015 Comprehensive Plan, but from 2013:

PDF page 2:

Hales used these exact numbers last night – without ever saying they were from 2013.  See 2:15:00.

The Grove has MANY more houses now than in 2013, the $500,000 number is way off.

To my knowledge, Fox Creek has never received payment owed by the developer.  The last I remember is “the City has a plan”.  BOTH projects happened under former City Manager Tom Hamilton, (Coliseum +unused fire station+ . . .) but no blame is ever allocated.

I’m sure the residents of The Grove are just as sick of the City attacks as I am.  Until the City revises 4 year old data, they have a right to be.  It shouldn’t be that tough to plug-in the real number of houses paying property taxes and any other applicable information.

The Mathy case:

During public comment, a husband and wife requested the Council vote in their favor to allow building an accessory structure (library/reading room).  Two members of the Zoning Board of Appeals voted for them, two voted against them, and one abstained from voting.  That is hardly a definitive decision!

The first Council vote was to uphold the Zoning Board decision to not allow them to build.  That vote failed, a 2/3 vote was required.  That vote was 4-4, so Renner was forced to vote even though it was immaterial.  He voted against the homeowners.  6 votes were required either way.

Another vote was taken to overturn the Zoning Board decision and allow them to build.  That vote was 5-3 in favor of the homeowners.  It needed 6 votes – Mathy wasn’t there to voice an opinion.  He might be responsible for these people not being allowed to build.  The money they have spent on architects and lawyers now doesn’t matter, although they can revise the plan and try again.  This couple said they recently relocated to Bloomington.  I’m sure they appreciate the welcome.  The ZBA couldn’t make a decision and one absent council member may have cost them big.  The second vote is at 1:44:30.

See the video here:

Public Comment is easily a story by itself.  Part 2 eventually.



4 thoughts on “Council fun – Part 1

  1. I love the voices against the bike lanes. The guy who said “the bullying by Bike Blono violates Not In Our Town” is exactly right. Too bad all this is decided already.

    1. Not all the facts are out yet. Regardless, this shows Renner he does not have a mandate. That the methods used to promote their plans are unsavory at best.

  2. Just finished watching the entire video. I cannot believe Renner referred to the sign placed in a homeowner’s yard voicing her family’s opposition to bike lanes in Washington as a “political sign.” Am I missing something here? Where is the politics? His comment strikes me as being dismissive. That family was abused by the biking community simply for having a differing viewpoint. Shamefull behavior by the mayor. Public comment was not the first time he heard about the bullying.

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