Bloomington Meeting Recap

By:  Diane Benjamin

All you need to know about what happened at last nights extremely long Council meeting:

  • Your gas tax is going to double to .08 per gallon because you want the roads fixed and they can’t find any money
  • You will get an estimated $10 million aquatics center, no word whether it will only be used for three months in the summer or if this is an indoor facility built to complete with other private indoor pools.
  • Alderman Black thinks the aquatics center will make money
  • Privatizing garbage service will be studied, it won’t happen.
  • Changing bulk pickup to twice a year received little comment from Council
  • The Welcoming Ordinance is back in February,  The meeting is back at the BCPA, Tari apologized for taking so long.  Yes, this Council will ignore their Police Chief.
  • A representative of the Immigration Project admitted during Public Comment they had the facts wrong on a local illegal being detained.
  • The AFSCME union contract was approved with zero discussion
  • Selling property was discussed, just not the North Main with $1.4 million tied up doing nothing
  • 80% of City employees are union
  • The $200 business license isn’t likely, but registering businesses for free is.  (We can’t afford it, but let’s grow government and give employees something else to do!)
  • Cutting Quality of Life wasn’t mentioned except in Public Comment
  • Cutting entire programs wasn’t mentioned
  • Cutting legal expenses wasn’t mentioned
  • Hiring Steve Rasmussen as permanent City Manager was mentioned during public comment numerous times
  • Alderman Hauman organized a group of citizens to look at the budget.  All of them spoke during Public Comment.  See 21:15  The group had suggestions, like making employees pay more for benefits.  They currently contribute far less than private sector employees do.
  • The meeting was almost 3 hours long, the only clear theme was they need more money.

Since most of your taxes go to employees:

  • The head of HR thinks ONE City employee should exist for every 100 citizens.  The population is down to 76,000, she claimed they have 656 full time equivalents.
  • She also claims the average salary is $50,000 and nobody works in government to get rich.
  • See this PDF:  2017TotalCompensationReport   The first 2 1/2 pages are people making a base salary of less than $50,000-some didn’t work a full year and shouldn’t be listed.  The next 8 pages are people with base salaries over $50,000 a year.  I used City data, converted it to excel, sorted it by base salary and deleted zero and very low salaries reflecting either people working part time or ones who left:

The average salary is NOT $50,000.

Watch Nicole Albertson lamenting how difficult life is for employees – just hit play:




11 thoughts on “Bloomington Meeting Recap

  1. Just when one thinks that anyone on this council is experiencing any brain development, a night like this comes along and extinguishes all hope. * An added $ .08 tax will detour the big trucks from stopping here as they pass through on the interstates. * The aquatices center will not make money. Nothing this city does makes money. Scott Black is truly an idiot. I wish his former villiage would claim him and take him back to his home where he belongs.

    1. There is a local small business who tracks gas prices by the minute and directs the truckers to the truck stop with the lowest prices. The gas tanks in those trucks can hold 500 gallons. The Council doesn’t understand that, at this point, raising taxes has the opposite effect from what is hoped for.

  2. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey for garbage truck drivers in the USA.

    Hourly Rate $12.78 – $22.46
    Hourly Tips $0.43
    Overtime $17.93 – $33.08
    Annual Data $0K-$57K
    Bonus $33.77 – $1,812
    Total Pay (?)
    $27,106 – $57,812
    • Country: United States
    • Currency: USD
    • Updated: 21 Jan 2018
    • Individuals Reporting: 742

    Employer Average $0$57K
    Waste Management, Inc.
    61 profiles $37,612
    Republic Services Inc
    22 profiles $40,170
    Waste Connections, Inc.
    14 profiles $36,228
    8 profiles $35,771
    Waste Pro USA
    5 profiles $31,290
    Advanced Disposal
    4 profiles $43,400

    An example of a BLM Truck Driver in Solid waste:
    Salary $59,963.20 OT $4,762.36 Pension $8,846.51 Ins. $6,224.40 FICA $4,321.35. Total annual amount $85,380.92

    If we take Advanced Disposal, the highest on the above list at salary $43,400 add Soc. Sec at 7.5% – $3,225.00 even if you add in the gold plated insurance approximately $2,795.00 (6.5%) at the cities rate the man grosses $49,020.00.

    The objection from my alderman is that the private company must make money and thus it will cost more. The city employee Grosses $85,380.92. The private hauler grosses $52,849.40. It looks like to me, a non-mathematician, that there is $36,360.92 difference in this example. I do not know how many “solid waste” haulers the city employees. If it is 30 the private company could have a reduced cost of $1,090,827.76 or over $1,000,000.00 per year just in personnel costs. Not to mention the fact that a private company would be much more efficient. Plus they would need to provide good customer service.

    Diane , I know this is really long. Clean it up any way you need too. And erase this comment. Thanks, Jim

    1. Yes, send the information to the entire Council. They’re not the best at math, though even when presented with such clarity.

    2. Union pay vs non-union? Even so, I am curious and ask what history shows when private takes over public services. I don’t recollect that in the long term it benefits the citizen. As has been discussed here many times, with a city council that is completely out of touch with reality it’s hard to count on any common sense to all of a sudden change to being frugal when in charge of the public money. Our continued out of control spending is truly the result of a council that has truly strayed from it’s original charge.

  3. Illinois NEEDS to DUMP the unions. There WAS a time and place for them 100 years ago, but they have become so complacent and lazy (and yes, powerful) that they need to be QUASHED! They are out of touch with the common folks (like THEY claim to be) in the area of pay.. You listening Mike???

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