Epidemic of at risk kids

By:  Diane Benjamin

The Bloomington Council meeting last night did not produce much to report.  We did learn from a lady during public comment that Bloomington has an epidemic of at risk kids.  Holly (didn’t catch the last name) volunteers many hours at the Boys and Girls Club.  They currently serve almost 1000 kids and want to open the doors to more.

The Council will likely lease the club land in Sunny Side Park for a new building.  Interim City Manager Rasmussen reminded the Council the Comprehensive plan calls for more green space not less, so look for a land purchase in the future to replace this property.

Not discussed is why there is an epidemic of at risk kids.  An epidemic implies the problem is worse now that in the past.

The Bloomington City Council has caused at least part of the problem.  Taxes taxes taxes.  Many of the Renner era tax increases attack the poor:  utility taxes, sales tax, gas taxes, garbage fees, sewer fees, water fees, library levy increase, and probably others.

At risk kids have at risk parents.  State Farm is eliminating high paying jobs and creating ones that don’t pay enough to support a family.  They may have 15,000 employees, but those people won’t be flush with disposable income.  The decrease in disposable income will ripple through the local economy and depress all wages.  When government thinks they are entitled to more money, the risk to kids and parents grows.  That’s Economics 101, the class the Council evidently skipped.

All of the numbers below are from the Illinois Comptroller’s Warehouse site:  City of Bloomington

Total Budgets:

2017 – $207,858,950

2016 – $186,568,210

2015 – $180,686,063

2014 – $169,633,232

2013 – $167,503,453

2012 – $165,334,396

A small part of the massive spending increases have been funding police and fire pensions.  The additional funds are having little effect on the overall percent of liabilities funded:

Fire pension funding

2017 – 48.7%

2016 – 45.4%

2015 – 49.5%

Police pension funding

2017 – 52.2%

2016 – 49.8%

2015 – 54.9%

As government grows the people get poorer.  For the year ended 4/30/17 – the City took $42,524,554 more from citizens than it did in 2012.

Are the roads great?  Is the economy booming?  Where is the $42,524,554?

Instead of prosperity, Bloomington has a growing number of at risk kids.  The decline in the local economy will continue until government performs essential services only and quits pretending they create prosperity.  Obviously they don’t understand they are the problem.  Failure to vote in local elections means the most radical big spenders easily get elected, people receiving the free stuff do vote.

Hear Holly’s comments here, other public comments can be heard before and after her comments.




12 thoughts on “Epidemic of at risk kids

  1. That said, where is the $85 million? The number is derived from the base of 2012 – $165,334,396 as additional budget that was called for in the successive years. Is Renner or someone setting up their own equestrian facility? It’d be mighty fine with that kind of dough.

    1. Some, about $2M, was added to the budget as a pass through for the jail expansion. Jump starting the funding of pensions by increasing utility taxes adds to the budget.
      The subsidy for CT has gone from $800K to $1.2M in 3 years. Downtown land purchases total at least $3M. ED with all of the TIF districts which cost thousand’s to form are part of the budget. The addition/increase of the LMFT, liquor license fees, inspection fees add to the revenue available in the budget…+/- $4M for roads…who knows the amount from other fees and where it goes. But, there is still a structural deficit. Everyone blames the police and fire but they provide basic public safety…the entertainment venues are “black holes” which are sucking the life out of the City.

  2. The new jail will be needed as be move into this new economy. We can expect the crime rate to raise dramatically in the next few years. State Farm is a company that is in a full fledged spiral downward right now. What it will look like when it reaches planet earth is anyone’s guess. It appears to be turning into a white collar sweatshop right now. Click on the link to see what the Farmers are talking about…. it is not pretty out there. https://www.thelayoff.com/state-farm

      1. It is not good at all… It is as serious as it gets for a community with basically one economic driver. Yet our leadership and our lapdog media is silent?

      2. Young people, creatives, and techies do not want to work for State Farm or live in BN. The brain drain is happening.

  3. I wonder if these children will have the same quality of learning and city subsidies as the new Creativity Center. There is an epidemic and the majority of Council chooses to ignore the reality of what is going on and focus on shiny things like Down Town and Brick Roads. The Council’s solution is to make Bloomington a Sanctuary City…so we can have more individuals in poverty with less tax revenue…👏👏👏👏. And anyone who points this out somehow becomes a racist stalker because putting the truth out there goes against everything the one sided liberal media and liberal ruling class puts out there…which frankly has become dangerous. The truth is dangerous. That’s where we are and the price of this is really high.

    1. The truth and truth tellers are dangerous here in Bloomington-Normal. They don’t want to hear it or see those who speak or write it. For almost 3 years, I have tried to raise the alarm about State Farm and ISU. Am I invited to speak or talk about what I have accurately predicted for years? No, the leadership here (with their lapdog media) are happy to pretend that everything is OK and everyone will wake up one day and this will all be a bad dream. This is NOT going to turn out well and many families and children will suffer greatly. Shame on our leadership (city and business…. you know who you are?)

      1. Tellers of truth are tabled as “naysayers.” During every appointment ceremony at the beginning of the Council meetings, Renner thanks those who serve on the various committees, Those who speak during Public comment are not viewed as providing a service even if they are suggesting advice or warning of fiscal issues facing the City.

      2. Spot on Lawrence451. You, I, and many others have been told publicly and privately to keep our mouths shut when pointing out the systemic economic decline of Bloomington-Normal and/or proposing new solutions to help remedy the issue. Koos, Renner, and the elites proactively try to silence voices of concern. If they were smart and truly cared (which they don’t), they’d seek out such people, listen, and learn from them. How many more moving trucks, layoffs/relos, declining tax receipts, and decreasing economic activity will it take before people care? Well, I suspect those that do care, see what’s happening and have already left or are making plans to leave real soon. Mark my words, Bloomington-Normal will be unrecognizable in 5 years.

  4. I need to point one more thing out. Both the Pantagraph and WJBC mentioned the anti illegal immigrant rally. I was there. There were 7 people there when both Howard and Maria came out. Both reported 5. I know 2 additional people doesn’t seem significant, but if these two “journalist” can’t count to 7, what else can’t they do. I realize this sounds petty, but when they over inflate numbers for one group and diminish the number for another smaller group I think that tells us something about these two “journalist” biases.

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