By: Diane Benjamin
The video of the December 20th budget meeting at the BCPA has been posted. The camera angle does not allow viewers to see the data the crowd got to see.
One thing is clear: Council members like Scott Black believe government is the answer to every problem, they just need to spend more. He mentioned an aquatics center would bring in revenue. Renner agreed at 54:00. Renner wants to estimate future revenue, he fails to understand government estimates are never correct.. Both probably think a sports complex will generate revenue too. Maybe they can spread the phony economic impact numbers from the Coliseum when they try to sell you on the idea! The same Madigan Democrats destroying Illinois are running Bloomington!
Steve Rasmussen wants the Council to decide what programs will be cut, not just cuts a percent from every department. That comment is around 25:00.
27:40 – Sales tax revenue will continue to decline. Your garbage tax will probably increase again because the “fund” is negative. Bulk pickups twice a year instead of constantly was also discussed.
At 28:25 Rasmussen states the City has 722 Full Time employees. Just a couple of days ago I reported the City had 622 as of 4/30/17: https://blnnews.com/2017/12/20/tari-needs-to-tell-the-truth/
Maybe Steve is including the full-time equivalents the financial statements don’t. They are considering not replacing employees who leave unless essential. Turnover per year is about 5%.
The never used fire station on 6 Points Road is now called a training facility. There are no buyers for it.
Selling a golf course came up again, no buyers in sight.
Note to David Sage: To avoid violating the Open Meetings Act have all discussions in public! Novel concept. Around 46:00 he wanted a way to poll the Council on cuts etc outside of meetings. Rasmussen shot him down.
BIG action is needed by this Council to reform spending with declining revenues. I saw nothing to suggest this Council is capable of BIG unless it’s spending more money to create possible new revenue sources. (Coliseum 3.0, 4.0 etc on the way!)
Around 49:00 – the library will need to raise your property taxes for a new building!
The only members of the council I heard speak were: Sage, Schmidt, Mathy, Black, and Renner
Why was this presentation held during the day when all couldn’t attend?
You might want to read this WGLT story. I’ve mentioned large checks to VenuWorks before labeled BCPA. This story proves government incompetence. They get by with it because nobody is accountable: http://wglt.org/post/bcpas-interim-director-left-town-not-paper-trail