Other items from last night’s meeting

By:  Diane Benjamin

The City wants you to believe they can control only 5% of the budget.  State mandates were heavily blamed.

The budget discussion starts around 1:28.

Not blamed was the cost of employees, the cost of their lavish benefits, and pension spiking.

This Council made it worse when they hired two more employees from the DBA.  They will make it worse again when a development director is eventually hired for the BCPA and Creativity Center.

Controlling cost means controlling the number of employees and what benefits they get.  This Council would rather have their votes.


The Ecology Action Center plan that will lead to FORCED recycling passed.  Of course other measures will be tried first.  Affordable housing will be even less affordable when landlords are forced to pass on recycling costs.


A one year moratorium on new video gaming terminals was put in place.  Alderman Painter claims almost $16,000,000 is being taken out of the economy – see 2:08:50.

Stats are on PDF page 600 – http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15932

$15 Million is the net owners of all the local machines earned in 2017.  Of that amount $750,396.18 went to the City for doing next to nothing.  The State of Illinois received $3,751,985.71.  That leaves around $10.5 million earned by entrepreneurs who invested their money in the machines.   Painter isn’t the only one who claims this money is leaving the local economy, Renner has said the same thing.

    • How many people have jobs because these machine generate income for the business owner?
    • How many business owners have bought a house or a car because of increased income?
    • How is putting money in a gaming machine any different from spending it at Kohl’s or Kroger’s?

Would that be because some people get nothing back for it?  You mean like a show at the Coliseum or BCPA or a movie?  The only thing taken home is memories?

It’s about CONTROL and it never ends well for everyone involved.  The vote was unanimous.  They all need classes in economics.


Watch the entire meeting here:




13 thoughts on “Other items from last night’s meeting

  1. The 3% annual increase for Solid Waste is to cover increases in total compensation for the union employees. That is why outsourcing would have saved millions in tax dollars—except Renner would find something else to spend the “savings on.”
    Regarding gaming machines, Bloomington received a rating of the City with the most terminals in Centeral Illinois—apparently not an image/brand they want to promote. The number of machines is determined/controlled by the Mayor/Liqour Commissioner. Additionally, one needs to look at “payouts” to the players. That $$ becomes additional income for the winner to spend producing additional tax revenue. Use the payouts to “calculate economic impact.” Video gaming is not the “right fit.”

  2. Let’s face it, the City Council and Tari are elitists that despise gambling. But, at the same time, love taxing everyone and everything. What to do?! I’ll help Ms. Painter who seems lost. The most successful grossing video poker machines are off the highway and/or inside truck stops. Players at these terminals largely live outside of Bloomington. So this is outside money coming into the City in the form of tax revenue and revenue for the business owner and gaming machine company. There is little “removal” of money from the local economy. If anything, it may be the opposite.

  3. I have said it before as long as I have to pay over a $1.00 in taxes for a $10.00 meal food that I need to sustain life, I absolutely believe the governments in Bloomington and Normal are worthless. Instead of making tough business decisions they continue to cater to unionized labor and make those on fixed incomes and the poor pay for it.
    We need another Boston Tea Party and add in tar and feathers for those fleecing us!
    Leaving this town and state unfortunately are the only option I have left!

  4. This moratorium on new machines will not change the amount of money. This tactic will protect the 59 established businesses with machines from new comers entering the market. In 2015, there were 59 establishments gaming, and in 2017 there were 59 establishments gaming. The net amount earned by the establishments increased from 14 million in 2015 to 15 million in 2017 with the same number of businesses with machines. The really scary number is that 194.7 million dollars were played in these machines in 2017 just in Bloomington. Not a fan of gaming, it’s created for bored people and those who don’t understand probabilities. Things should be legal or illegal, government should not get to pick who gets to sell or do something and who doesn’t. This just leads to corruption.

    1. Well I like to play the machines occasionally just for fun. I prefer it over going to the zoo and looking at pink flamingos. My money, my business. Anyway I put in a $20 bill. First spin I win $2.00. Next spin I win $ .50. Then I continue to spin for a while up and down, win some more money, get nothing spins. Now as I add up all of my wins of $2.00 = $ .50 + more, it will appear as though I put in perhaps $35.00 but in fact I had only put in $20.00. So yeah I played $35.00 but only put in $20.00. It would be nice if the mayor and the naysayers understood what they were talking about before opening their pie hole.

  5. The moratorium on video gaming terminals was precipitated by the proposed Circle K gas station development with a mini casino adjacent to a daycare center. The Planning Commission, appointed by the Mayor, approved the proposal. Justin Boyd, Renner’s campaign manager is the chairman of the Planning commission. All those who voted in favor of this proposal should be removed of their duties.

      1. You are correct. He is blind to the failure by the Mayor to use Robert’s Rules of Order. Renner’s responsibility is to introduce agenda items, recognize Council Members and call for a vote. It is NOT his place to editorialize, mansplain or interrupt. The poor decorum is completely on his shoulders. Boyd wants the Council to “get out of the way so the mayor can do his job.” Actual quote!

  6. If “$15 Million is the net owners of all the local machines earned in 2017. Of that amount $750,396.18 went to the City for doing next to nothing. The State of Illinois received $3,751,985.71. That leaves around $10.5 million earned by entrepreneurs who invested their money in the machines. Painter isn’t the only one who claims this money is leaving the local economy, Renner has said the same thing.”

    The businesses who own the machines are largely out of town businesses that receive half that money, roughly $5.25 mil and the local businesses that get the other half, roughly $5.25 mil. That said the city continuously pays out of town consultants, legal teams etc., many millions more than that which makes them fat hypocrites in this regard.

    If the gaming machines were not here, people would just go elsewhere to play them anyway. People that want to gamble are going to gamble and you’re not going to stop them. Renner is trying to position his agenda for raised fees, that’s all.

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