By: Diane Benjamin
I almost feel sorry for Tari. Citizens who disagree with actions of the City and Tari were pretty furious last night. I’m sure by the end Tari was ready for it to be over. I expect his next event to be stacked with a lot more supporters.
Schedule: 12/12 – 5:30 – at the BCPA and 12/20 – 5:30 – Miller Park Pavillion.
If you are on Facebook, you can watch the video from last night on my page (Diane Sroka Benjamin). Several citizens live streamed the event. I know one of the videos already has close to 2000 views.
A couple interesting things happened. Tari recapped his version of economic development. He claims to not only look at what it costs to bring a business here, but also the effect that business has on the local economy. He mentioned the Coliseum producing $100,000,000 of economic impact. In case you don’t know, this is the lack of data formula used to calculate that number – they make it up:
Building the Coliseum cost at least $35.8 million, not including the interest on the bonds. Next add the massive losses each year taxpayers had to cover. Add the sales tax increase passed for the BCPA that got diverted to cover the bond payments. Now consider who benefited: the guys who built it, downtown restaurants, CIAM, others? Who got hurt? The people who have never attended an event because either they can’t afford it or have no interest, but were forced to pay for it anyway. Everybody pays higher sales taxes.
If the formula isn’t bogus enough, the justification is even worse. Tari did say if he had been on the Council he “probably” would have voted against it.
There was some discussion of building a sports complex. Watch out if this is the methodology they use to promote it. What they are doing is redistributing wealth from the people least able to afford it to those who should have raised the money privately years ago.
There was a dust-up between Bruce Meeks and Tari Renner. Bruce is the guy who issued a cease and desist email to Tari to quit lying about him in the media. Sue Feldkamp, a friend of Bruce and a very nice lady, tried to end the feud between the two. It didn’t go well when Tari offered to shake hands with Bruce and apologize, but he couldn’t remember why he was apologizing. Bruce refused to shake his hand, then Tari again accused him of suing. Tari, Tari, Tari. Bruce has never sued you and Bruce is not the guy who challenged your petitions. Kevin Gerrard is and he had every right under the law to do it. Is a mental health exam needed? Tari is still fixated on the lie it was Bruce a year later?
One citizen wanted more information about the budget. Tari resorted to saying it was discussed in length at the retreat. That would be the meeting with no video citizens can watch because it wasn’t held where live streaming was available. Do citizens have to live stream events themselves so other citizens can be informed? Last night citizens did. Since the retreat lasted many hours, it’s harder to accomplish.
The other big dust-up was between Tari and Angela Scott. She thinks dissolving the Downtown Bloomingtion Association and hiring their employees (costing you a lot more) was illegal. She has a point, I’m looking into it. How did the City not violate their own code by not allowing anyone else to apply for the job Tricia Stiller got?
The City Code prohibits discriminatory practices in employment . . .
From the packet PDF page 217 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14532
It sure looks like the Council voted to hire two people, instead of advertising the job and accepting resumes from other interested people. Tricia Stiller was not able to achieve self-funding for the Downtown Bloomington Association, so what makes her qualified for a city job? Just asking! Why did the council hire two employees when that isn’t their job description?
Tari was not present for this meeting, he was on “medical leave”. He was not aware last night that TWO employees were added to the staff, not just one.
The cost to citizens went from $90,000 a year to $267,456.78.
This is another reason for “structural deficits”. In case you forgot, Painter and Mathy recused themselves, Sage and Mwilambwe voted again it.
See the vote here – bottom of PDF page 6 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14778
Try to attend at least one of the next two Town Halls, Facebook Live it if possible!