By: Diane Benjamin
Deficits are just fine with the Bloomington City Council because they can tax you. It doesn’t matter if you can’t afford it, they have needs – you have the money.
Only David Sage realized that last night – years late, but better late than never. He voted against hiring the Downtown Bloomington Association staff because of the predicted return to structural deficits. They aren’t so much structural as INTENDED through salary increases, lavish benefits, pensions costs, and pet projects.
Mboka Mwilambwe voted against it too, but only because he thought it needed more details before being implemented.
Jamie Mathy and Joni Painter recused themselves. If the citizens in their Wards were against this spending, their voices were not represented last night.
A long line of DBA Board members spoke during Public Comment. Some sang the praises of downtown and the DBA. Others berated the City for not investing in downtown for decades. Maybe they missed the Coliseum, the BCPA, that last TIF and the DBA funding long after they were told to be self-sufficient.
Funding for the DBA from taxpayers since 2011 (6 years) has been $90,000. Somehow the DBA was doing great (according to some of the speakers) until right now (according to others). $90,000 plus membership dues from existing downtown businesses isn’t enough to reach utopia. Maybe most aren’t paying, we don’t know.
None of that matters now because Bloomington taxpayers are on the hook for two more employees, their benefits, and their pensions. Downtown is going to be great!
Just hit PLAY to watch the Public Comments: