By: Diane Benjamin
Downtown businesses didn’t even support the Downtown Bloomington Association. Now the DBA employees are happy City employees complete with higher salaries, benefits and pensions!
The Coliseum and the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts (BCPA) were supposed to brings hoards of people downtown.
The Visitor’s Center in the McLean County History Museum was supposed to bring hoards of people downtown.
The last Downtown TIF expired in 2015. This is a recap of the total TIF as filed with the Illinois Comptroller’s office: ftp://ftp.illinoiscomptroller.com/LocGovTIF/FY2015/06402530/15TIF06402530Dwtwn_Cendistrict.pdf
PDF page 10 of the TIF report has this chart showing TOTALS:
Where the $4,633,141 was spent is itemized starting on page 10 and following.
I will file a FOIA request to try to find out what the $23,500,000 means.
Where am I going with this?
The Downtown Task Force Committee has no original ideas. Every member of that committee LOVES downtown and thinks you need to pay for their whims. Just like the City Council, there are no members who represent the citizens – that is the fault of un-engaged citizens who have allowed them steal your money at will.
Moving the library and building a bus transfer site will accomplish nothing more than rearranging the chairs on the Titanic. Neither suggestion will bring more people downtown, it definitely won’t bring people with money downtown. The citizens will merely be in more debt, 10 years from now everyone will know this was a big mistake and sucking the life out of Bloomington’s finances. (See Coliseum and BCPA)
Why does the library want to expand?
This story from January 2017 shows a decrease in circulation: https://blnnews.com/2017/01/30/december-library-usage/
It used to be much easier to see trends when David Hales did Monthly City Manager reports. When the news on tax receipts etc turned bad, they were discontinued in the same form. What Hales publishes now has very little information with links that have no information.
Here’s another story from October 2016 showing the library decreases: https://blnnews.com/2016/10/19/bloomington-library-facts/
What we have seen from the library is an increase in “programs”. Library tax funds aren’t used solely for library purposes, they are going toward “entertaining” patrons.
The purpose of a library is not to entertain, once again government is usurping the ability of the private sector to compete. Capitalism is under attack again by the government that should be protecting free markets. Government makes bad decisions with your money because there are no consequences. They can always throw more money at any problems.
Maybe the City should start selling insurance, used cars, and groceries. They have most of the entertainment venues sewed up: Miller Park Zoo, Grossinger Motors Arena, BCPA, Lincoln Leisure Center, many dozens of parks, Constitution Trail, and now the library. I wonder if discussions of how to take over the The Castle Theatre have taken place? They are succeeding in entertainment while the City has failed.
Government doesn’t create economic prosperity. The City Core is Veterans Parkway and nothing this group or Council does is going to change that. These leaders live in a bubble with their buddies who think downtown deserves your bucks. That is why Tari only appointed people who agree with him. EVERY commission is staffed with the same type of Renner lackeys.
It’s hilarious watching some of the Council telling of all the “positive feedback” they’ve heard on this or that, the latest being the new signs. The nine members don’t know anybody outside their circle or they are summarily dismissing anyone with a different perspective. They are creating more local acrimony by even contemplating tearing down a parking garage. What they haven’t said is a new parking garage will have to be built. In fact, they have been discussing the need for another garage downtown anyway, so you may be building two.
Bloomington leadership has long envied Normal’s short meetings and ability to tax and spend with little discussion. They finally achieved their goal, except they have a mayor incapable of governing who needs to resign.
Bloomington needs to find their own Marc Tiritilli.