When Aldermen are absent

By:  Diane Benjamin

Aldermen Diana Hauman and Kimberly Bray were both absent Monday night.  Bray participated by phone, Hauman wasn’t allowed because she was supposedly on vacation.  The City Code says absent alderman can only participate if sick or on business travel.

I believe, based on the last time the Towanda-Barnes/ Ireland Grove intersection was before the Council, Hauman would have voted yes.  In her absence Tari had to break the tie vote.  Since that intersection isn’t downtown he voted no.  Evidently State Farm employees are immaterial and so is their safety.  There are long backups coming south on Towanda-Barnes when they are trying to get to work.  Tari’s vote made it clear that State Farm employees aren’t important, and therefore the company.  Tari mentioned changing the start time for the two schools on Ireland Grove.  They are both EAST from Towanda-Barnes, the congestion is WEST.  The schools have nothing to do with it since Towanda-Barnes is a two lane road with a LEFT turn lane heading east.

Tari also broke a tie vote on buying the E Washington property for $95,000.  The only reason for the City to purchase this property is to CONTROL it.  A developer wants to build low income housing right next to it – they could have bought it.  Sage, Mwilambwe, Painter and Schmidt voted no.  Tari broke the tie with a yes vote.  I don’t know how Hauman would have voted, but without her present – her Ward didn’t get a vote.  That vote took place at 1:39.

Go back to 53:45.  Alderman Painter asks for a recap of all the current TIF districts.  Downtown South-West TIF was established in late 2016.  Austin Grammer, economic development employee, claims to have talked to a lot of developers, but nothing has materialized.  He added that even more unoccupied properties now exist in this TIF than before the TIF.  They could be creating another TIF for the property north of downtown.  I wonder how many projects weren’t the “right fit”?  Economic Development in the City of Bloomington is all about CONTROL.  Bloomington is not “open for business”.

Public Comment consisted of a demand the Council pass a welcoming ordinance, after the head of Illinois People’s Action spoke he and his lemmings announced they were all leaving and did.

You can’t miss Angela Scott.  Evidently Tari was snickering at her comments – she called him out.  Just hit play:





22 thoughts on “When Aldermen are absent

  1. It’s the same with national and state politics. People don’t want to make their constituents mad, so they don’t vote against what their people want.

    In my opinion, there is no need for the City of Bloomington to employ Austin Grammer. That’s a lot of salary and benefits down the tube to produce very little and be unprepared for meetings. Why not take his salary and benefits and use those to fund economic growth? Say his overall compensation costs the city $100,000 – why not give two projects $50,000 a year, each, for the next 10 years. Perhaps that would stimulate more development than the city just buying properties that sit there and go from collecting a few thousand dollars of taxes to nothing. If the property owner defaults on taxes or maintenance, then buy the property from a tax-default sale.

    1. Austin is clueless about economic development, as are the members of the City Council and the Mayor. Here’s a gem from Austin: “The closure of Macy’s presents many new opportunities for CBL to attract multiple new, top-tier national retailers to Eastland Mall that are not currently in Bloomington, retailers that have long wanted to be in Bloomington and retailers which have been requested by area residents for many years,” (Pantagraph 05/31/17) Ladies and gentlemen, this guy is leading economic development in Bloomington.

  2. The end of the meeting is gold. I RARELY agree with Karen and Painter, but applaud them for calling out his abuse. He’s treating them exactly how he treats citizens who challenge him. It may be time for another leave of absence.

  3. It is time for those supporting the welcoming/sanctuary ordinance to demonstrate your true commitment to what you want to force on the other residents of Bloomington, remove the front door on your house your threshold is now a border welcome all that cross and come into your house you feed them, you educate them, and you pay for their healthcare. Make sure the sign that says welcoming house in your front yard is large enough for all to see.
    Problem solved you no longer have to waste time trying to get other people such as the council to follow your desires just take the iniative and do it.

    1. I like it, Bob! Perhaps, an electronic billboard ad on Veterans could reference the Welcome Ordinance and provide the addresses of certain politicans in support of it. Go Fund Me Page, anyone?

  4. The taxpayers now have $3M for vacant land in downtown. The deficit is $2.9M. Listen to Grammer state that there was a lot of money spent doing hotel feasibility studies for the hotel. No one asked what the TIF fund balance is.

  5. One last catch: did you hear Renner asking Schmidt to talk and her response, which appeared to be, “No, I’m not talking to you.”

    1. Karen’s response may have been to the WGLT reporter who rushed to speak to her. Renner would not initiate reconciliation.

  6. It’s clear that the Council is significantly distancing itself from Tari. They’re not going to help him with anything now. This is perfect! Notice how Koos is staying away from the ordinance, for now at least, and soft-peddling on the police review board. Guess he’s watching and learning from Tari’s failure.

  7. Acres of pavement at Ireland Grove and Towanda-Barnes and no one is there 11 AM to 3:00 PM. Peak engineering is a waste of money and this project is a huge waste of government money to do anything there when the core of the city is crumbling. Improve the sewers and repave existing streets. Please. Fill the potholes!!

  8. I probably should not comment as I am not a resident of Bloomington, but is it just me or did anyone else notice the Council Members seats are a tad lower in height than the Mayors? That exactly where he sits his desk top is raise up and is a level area? And I think his chair is different than the ones on ether side of it and it may set higher too. These are signs of someone with an inferiority complex to start with. And if this IS the time for Council persons to speak, why must the Mayor debate each one? I yield the floor.

    1. Renner fails to follow Robert’s Rules. The Council members need to call him out. Jurgens can’t unless asked—the Council has to.

  9. wow , did not know some of this ,, what a shark in the water ..where do they get the money to purchase property . the city should not be in real estate or real estate development . funny how things go .

  10. Koos only won by 12 votes i heard , and terry is not getting my vote and too many others hopefully ,, We need a score board of facts of his wild spending sprees and disappointments , failed promises and odd and spoiled behavior

  11. Enough of Mayor El Renno! The Decenting Five Alderman need to stand firm on this Ordinance. Do no succumb to the vocal miniority that El Renno and the YWCA trots in to put on their dog and pony show. The EDC is usesless right now under this administration. Terminate the positions- there is no ROI. It’s all cost against the tax base. Keep thwarting his craziness, and all Alderman should stand up to his bully tactics. We know at least two Alderman ( Batboy and Princess Leigh) will always carry his water, but let’s hope the rest remember that they represent their constituents and did not take a loyalty oath to El Renno.

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