By: Diane Benjamin
Questions for the Council: Last November you held a retreat. EVERY program the City is forcing people to pay for was presented.
See PDF page 34 and following: http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14932
There are 15 pages of programs ranked from HIGH priority to Low priority.
It looks like cutting programs died the day they were presented – November 4th 2017. Normal cut $20 million from a budget close to half as big. Bloomington zilch.
Meanwhile, Tari Renner is telling the media the job cuts at State Farm are not going to affect the local economy.
Alderman David Sage forced the City to admit revenues are already dropping. Alderman Jamie Mathy stated that revenues will continue to drop not only because of the job losses but because other people do not feel secure in their jobs. They won’t be buying new cars and eating out as much.
Sage works at State Farm, he knows there are more cuts to come. Renner lives in la-la-land just like the Democrats in Springfield.
I attended the budget workshop this morning. There were no major breakthroughs and no major cuts discussed.
Registering businesses is still an option. Normal registers them, but doesn’t charge a fee. Bloomington won’t be able to resist charging. After a few years that fee will double, then triple. They have a LONG list of other fees they think need raised, like permits and contractor fees. I love the way they compare their fees to other cities. It’s so easy for them to conspire together for maximum “revenue enhancements”.
The Council is thinking about cutting the Connect Transit subsidy, they won’t but it sounds good. Connect claims they provided 2.2 million rides, but the head was forced to admit that riders who change buses are counted as two. Their return trip would be another 2. Actual riders are nowhere near 2.2 million. A WHOOPING 20 people per hour board a bus – that’s ALL the buses. Connect has no way of knowing how many people actually ride, the numbers they do provide are worthless.
Did you know the City is contracted to give the History Museum $250,000 over 5 years? Obviously an essential service!
The current budget does not contain money specifically for brick streets. Amelia Buragas wasn’t there to force the issue. 1 block of brick costs between $500,000 and $600,000. Alderman Kim Bray said the homeowners should be approached about kicking in money if they want to keep the brick.
Jim Karch won’t get more money for resurfacing or street preservation unless you pay more Motor Fuel Tax. Alderman Diana Hauman said the additional tax is only a couple bucks a month – around $24 a year
Now add $20 a year increase in property taxes for a $10,000,000 aquatics center.
Sewer and Storm Water rates are going up around $10 a month – add another $120 out of your pocket.
If you have a 96 gal garbage can, that’s going up $4 buck a month – another $48 a year.
$24 + $20 + $120 + 48 = $212 a year that you can’t spend where you want.
The City will continue to allow pensions spiking, it wasn’t mentioned today. City employees will continue to get Cadillac benefits.
This budget isn’t for citizens, it’s for City employees.
Alderman Jamie Mathy wants a serious look at employee compensation.
Don’t hold your breathe.