Downtown Task Force gets slapped

By:  Diane Benjamin

The “Special” meeting before the 7:00 Council meeting has discussions about the library and the City property tax rate.

The Library Board wants a tax increase but they don’t know what it is for.  Either they are going to continue plans to expand where they are or they are going to use it for maintenance issues.  They are waiting for the Council to give them direction.

The direction from Sage, Black, Painter, and Mwilambwe was the library isn’t moving.  Tari’s hand-picked Downtown Task Force needs to pack up their wish for a joint library and bus transfer station.  It won’t pass the Council, it’s pointless to continue the discussion.

Tari mentioned about 1,000 people a day come to the library.  He also mentioned many of them come to use computers.  Scott Black claimed the library gives businesses a reason to move to Bloomington.  Evidently libraries aren’t about books.  If they were, Mathy wouldn’t be talking 40-50 years in the future when books may not exist.  If the library was truly progressive, they would be jumping on the trend of all digital, save a lot of money on books, and save money on space.  Instead, the Council is still living in the past at your expense, you will be forced to pay for whatever plans are eventually cemented.

After nothing was determined but the library tax levy, the discussion turned to the City tax levy.

The City tax rate isn’t going up, but if the value assigned to your property increased – so will your bill.  The library portion will go up regardless of your assessment.

More than $7,000,000 from property taxes go to pensions.  Don’t forget, employees are still allowed to spike their pensions because the Council is too chicken to stop it.

I love the Dollar Bill the City staff likes to pull out to claim only .13 cents out of every dollar you pay in property taxes goes to the City.  Oh, and 3 cents and rising for the library.  Oh, and 2 cents for the Township.  Oh, and 2 cents for the Water Reclamation District.  18 cents without BNWRD, 20 cents with it.  See PDF page 26:

Just hit play below to hear the library tax increase merriment, Patti Lynn Silva follows talking about the City tax rate.





19 thoughts on “Downtown Task Force gets slapped

  1. I wonder how much the Downtown Task Force report cost to print. I hope the Council has the moral backbone stand by its original commitment. It is multiple plans and task forces that create deficits. When will the Council learns?

  2. Make no mistake about it, this project has nothing to do with libraries, dead trees, “books are just the beginning”, or economic development. This is all about make-work jobs for the unions, suppliers/vendors of government, and the developer friends of government. Tari gets to delight his Downtown worshippers and reward HIS constituents. If this had anything to do with economic development, it wouldn’t involve two high-cost, antiquated liabilities: Connect Transit and the library system. The Council lives in the past. Maybe they should be discussing how to prepare for the downturn at State Farm, which they’re pretending not to know about.

      1. I heard something similar. The overall number might be as high as 1,000 with many of soon departed averaging $85k-$125k per year salary. Those not accepting buyouts then have to hope that they survive the next round, where the buyout is lower. Is Survivor still on TV? If not, they can start filming here. Also, I’m told the CEO of SF Bank retired suddenly without notice and that SF sent out notice that the Bank was moving to Atlanta, only to recall and retract that notice the following day.Something bigger is going in. This is worrisome indeed.

      2. Hales early departure?? Director of Community Development suddenly leaving?? They know the story of the future of SF.

      3. Diane – An insider tells me that the local governments, EDC, and Chamber are scared to say anything out loud, and even among themselves, about State Farm for fear of offending them. He/she went on to say that these entities realize that they are largely dependant on the money from SF and are thus afraid to say anything. This is terrible! So, there’s no preparation by our so-called business and municipal “leaders”. No one has any guts in leadership.

    1. None of our “leadership” seem to want to address this growing reality. Good leadership addresses the problems that are coming… our leadership is silent? This is not going away and we the people need to prepare for the downsizing that is coming from State Farm.

  3. I wish they could have held the camera on Buragas more last night during the library conversation…she seemed shocked. Maybe she really doesn’t understand her agenda does not supersede the best interest of this community. And if she does understand and just does not care that’s a bigger problem.

  4. Once again… Libraries are part of the past not the future. The question is how to we provide internet access to everyone regardless of their income? If you can provide internet access to everyone regardless of their income then there is no need for a library. It’s really that simple.

      1. Not sure when it happened, but from what I was told, no SF employees are using it. Downtown businesses are feeling it.

    1. It’s not completely empty yet, it will be in a couple months. They’re in the process of moving out the last group.

  5. In a past life, I worked to help people who were unemployed to get back into the workplace. Not preparing for something like this (considering what it will do to our community and how is will affect the lives of our residents) is almost criminal and definitely not the behavior of good leadership. For every State Farm job lost, how many related support/service jobs will be lost? 2-1 or 3-1? Whatever the ratio turns out to be, this translates into the fact that this is not just about State Farm jobs. This is about ordinary people who work in support/services jobs that are driven by State Farm employees’s money. And yes these people have homes and children and dreams that are about to be altered permanently. Yet our leadership is silent? Shame on them….

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