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: