Council fails again

By:  Diane Benjamin

The majority of the Council thinks government creates prosperity.   The failure of the State of Illinois should be instructive, to them Illinois just isn’t doing it right.

Congrats – you are getting another City employee with salary and benefits.  That makes 3 new downtown employees.  The Council failed to understand that past endeavors, like the Downtown Business Association, failed to ever prosper.  Eventually the City had to take responsibility  and pay the two employees with your money.  The Zoo Foundation helps, but you pay most of the loss.  The Friends of the BCPA will be no different.  Sage and Hauman were the only votes against the Memorandum and hiring.

Speaking of the DBA, you need to watch Public Comment.  Just hit play for all of them.  Angel Scott made some serious accusations about how the DBA spent the $90,000 a year the City used to give them.  It involves one of Tari’s buddies.  Will the City care?  Not likely since they didn’t care about the Coliseum theft when they were told about it for years.

Side Note:

About the Coliseum – Grossinger Motors Arena:  I had to FOIA the 3rd Quarter report.  They lost $159,344.87 from November to January.  Year to date they lost $718,069.11.  They are playing the same games CIAM played with economic impact numbers, no proof-no actual tax revenue increases, just made up numbers.  See the report Q3 Venuworks-Grossinger Motors Arena FY18

Back to Council:

Alderman Hauman pulled the contract for the Sergeant and Lieutenants from the consent agenda.  See her brief comment at 45:26.  I don’t know whether she was serious of just trying to make a point about 2.5% salary increases, but she stated that property taxes need to be raised instead of taking the salary increases out of the money the Council gets to spend.

Just hit play for Public comment, only one person showed up to speak about the budget and his comments really weren’t about the budget.  I hope you all like your rotten roads – you get to keep them.




7 thoughts on “Council fails again

  1. Wow! Wow! The Downtown Business Association was always a slush fund for Tari Renner and friends. But this…yipe! Jan Lancaster is part of the problem. She and the Downtown cronies expect government to run their businesses (and apparently pay vendors). By the way, this should disqualify Jan from the Civilian Review Board. But of course, she won’t be removed. She was not nominated based on her critical thinking skills or rational decision making.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was busy meeting with my real estate agent. No really, I’m not being cute, I was in fact meeting with my real estate agent to start the listing process. The City Council and Mayor are in complete denial or they know and just don’t care. If you think this is the last we’ve heard from State Farm, you’re wrong. More layoffs are on the way. The pain has only begun for this community. But don’t worry, I’m sure Tari & Co. have a plan…right? Hello? Hello?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Renner has the ability to twist the facts like no other. How can people be so dumb? Renner claims half the budget gap was accomplished with cuts.
    Look at the chart posted on the screen by the City Manager.
    The Budget is balanced with a combination of:
    1. Council Targeted Action Plans–translation: raise taxes and fees (sewer, solid waste)
    for a total of $2,125,000
    2. Departmental Operating “CUTS” for a total of $775,000
    3. Departmental operating “CUTS” used for Capital–translation: continuation of deferred Capital improvements.
    The total amount of true “CUTS” ($775,000) is a result of a few “COST SAVINGS” within each department (with the exception of Park & Rec, CA) such as a “Soft Freeze” on hiring.
    The Council is not finished with filling the budget gap. They are considering an increase in property taxes, utility taxes and/or LMFT. Even with any increase in taxes, the roads will not be adequately funded but the Creativity Center will and the BCPA will continue to be subsidized.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is disingenuous to represent the COUNCIL RESOLUTION of October 24, 2016, which states: “The City of Bloomington will continue to maintain the facility in line with other City facilities”—not to be responsible for OPERATIONS of the CREATIVITY CENTER. The MOU is contrary to the Council action as stated in the Resolution.

    The original MINUTES of the MEETINGS where the vote was taken to raise sales taxes by ¼% to purchase the CULTUAL DISTRICT properties makes no mention of the tax revenue to be used for OPERATIONS. On the contrary, the tax increase was to secure the BOND for purchasing the properties and renovation of the BCPA. The BONDS are due to be retired in 20 years.

    At that time, A Cultural Commission was tasked with providing for the OPERATIONS of the facilities. Instead of forming a not-for-profit at that time, the group continued to request and was granted additional financial support from the Council as is the case today with the Tiltons. As a result, the subsidy to the BCPA from the General Fund has become unsustainable considering the decreasing sales tax revenue. Had the Cultural Commission fulfilled its responsibility more than 10 years ago, there could be substantial financial resources in some sort of an ENDOWMENT FUND to hire staff to run the programs of their choosing.

    • In 2003 the Council voted to purchase the Creativity Center for $1.6M to be renovated with funds generated through private donations. HUD Grants were also earmarked.

    • Finally, in 2015 Friends of the BCPA received 501 (c) 3 charitable status with a short-term goal to raise funds for The Creativity Center.

    All other City Departments are contributing to COST SAVINGS measures except PR & CA. The COUNTY cut personnel, NORMAL cut personnel, PEORIA cut personnel. Bloomington has NOT cut personnel. LABOR COSTS for FY2019—49% of the budget—increased by $3M over FY2018. A position that has not been filled for several years can be cut from the budget.

    MOU allows the FRIENDS to DISBAND leaving the City with LABOR COSTS:
    This MOU shall automatically terminate, without further action, upon the dissolution of the BCPA FACILITIES or the FRIENDS, or when either ceases to exist for the above mentioned purposes. Additionally, this Agreement can be terminated by either party, with or without cause, upon a one hundred and twenty (120) day written notice to the other party. Upon termination, any funds raised for BCPA FACILITIES shall be turned over to CITY Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department.”

    FACTS MATTER! The newbies on the Council are clueless and are led by the nose.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The local economy is declining. Another 890 high paying jobs have been lost. The 1200 from Mitsubishi have not been replaced. Jobs being brought in to the City are low paying customer service positions. There is and will continue to be a negative economic impact for several years or more. The ability for the Council to practice discipline and fiscal restraint is of utmost importance at this time. I truly hope that this Council is up for the challenge to focus more on quality BASIC services because having the Mayor being quoted in the local media that he believes the restructuring of State Farm will have no economic impact on the local economy is frightening. It just proves he has no concept of what economic development is. Additionally, raising property taxes will be an exercise in futility because property values will be decreasing. The tax base is disappearing.
    When the Council and Mayor don’t listen to the only Alderman who works at State Farm about the future financial challenges the City faces, there is a more serious problem than anyone can address. Deaf ears…with nothing between the ears to stop the words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re not letting economic reality get in the way of their agenda. Of course, who are the locals that believe Tari? I’m just dying to know who believes the State Farm happenings are a non-event.


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