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
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.