By: Diane Benjamin
Your elected aldermen in Bloomington really have guts! On the same day they found out at least $1 Million was stolen from you – they voted to slap higher sewer and storm water rates on the victims of their ineptness! Yes, that would be Bloomington taxpayers.
The conversation was really amusing. Scott Black lamented cuts are never discussed. Duh Scott. They won’t be discussed this year either.
Some aldermen and David Hales were extremely concerned about hiring employees under the accelerated plan to get the infrastructure fixed. They must not remember voting a few weeks ago to disband the Downtown Bloomington Association and hire their two employees full-time! With Benefits! With Pensions! (Shhhh – they support the City goddess: Downtown)
Something I found from 2014 while looking for something else:
In 2012, the City cut funding to the DBA to $90,000, which is 2/3 of their budget. The 2012 article states “there is little incentive for downtown businesses to join the DBA if Bloomington taxpayers are going to supply the majority of the organization’s funding.”
The Downtown Business Association couldn’t get enough support from downtown businesses to fund itself, so the City took it over at your expense!
The ONLY mention of the Coliseum theft was by citizens during public comment. Hit play below to hear the comments. Speakers expressed various degrees of outrage. At least watch Gary Lambert at 18:30 and Angela Scott at 23:35. The third speaker talked about downtown policing policies for bars that he thinks are discriminatory and costing you money. It sounds like “friends of government” get special treatment!
Other items discussed:
Alderman Mathy pulled the signage for the arena from the consent agenda because 2 local companies were not given the opportunity to bid. The Council approved going ahead with the bid from a Decatur company anyway. This is a GREEN LIGHT for you to NOT buy local! Mathy wanted it tabled for two weeks, of course Hales butted in and probably flipped votes. The conversation starts at 26:00 and went for 13 minutes. That’s at least 10 minutes more time than they spent overseeing operations at the Coliseum!
Raising your sewer and storm water rates starts around 44:00. The consensus on the Council was again that’s it’s your fault for not paying enough, therefore rates are not being increased slowly. This is an emergency! Gouging the poorest residents succeeded. I’m sure nobody on the Council equates un-affordable local housing with all the taxes and fees imposed by the Council. Landlords aren’t going “eat” the increases, rents will be raised. None of them realize spendable income in Bloomington will be decreased. Everybody just got a cut in disposable income that will appear in decreased revenue. The vote was 5-4, but not because 4 thought the General Fund (that used to cover sewer work) should be used instead of more fleecing. The proposed plan included hiring 9 employees in the future. Hales wouldn’t agree to taking that out, he claims he has a different plan he will bring in the future. Most likely – just like his “plan” to investigate concessions at the Coliseum. Rates go up May 1, 2018.
At 59:45 Patty Lynn Silva gave a presentation on Bloomington finances as of 4/30/2017! WOW 5 month old data – just like the private sector. (cough, cough). It included many mentions of their upcoming “structural deficit”. That means its YOUR fault for not paying enough taxes – not theirs for over spending! It doesn’t sound like the financial statements will be out anytime soon. They will wait until the data is so far out of date nobody cares.
NO alderman made comments at the end of the meeting. David Hales did announce he’s off to Disney World with his grandkids though.