More “Right Fit”

By:  Diane Benjamin

Tuesday night the Bloomington City Council is going to talk about TIF districts:

http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17858 PDF page 209

Bloomington has a long history of projects that aren’t the “Right Fit”.  Start with the Coliseum and the BCPA, both catalyst project that did nothing to revitalize downtown.  Between the two, around $100,000,000 has been invested, interest payments seems to always be left out of the investment totals.

This item on the agenda is why the paper has TWO stories today from downtown business owners crying about the City not doing enough.  Here’s one of them:

http://www.pantagraph.com/business/local/downtown-doldrums-longtime-business-owners-tired-of-waiting-for-city/article_4c7a1b15-8a8e-5f45-bb2a-f90ad604e663.html

Attitudes like this brought you the Coliseum and the BCPA!

The “Thompson” quoted is Butch Thompson – owner of numerous downtown bars.  Anybody think he would speak out against the Liquor Commissioner?  (Tari Renner)

See who got TIF money during the last downtown TIF in this story – many are quoted in the paper’s story:    https://blnnews.com/2017/12/26/who-got-tif-money/

Think they aren’t big time Tari and TIF supporters?  How about all the free lunches Tari bought for David Bentley?  For example, In April of 2017 Bentley got 2 free lunches:    https://blnnews.com/2017/10/30/lunch-with-people-who-sue-renner/

Yet Bentley’s building right at the gateway to downtown has looked like this for years.  Are the code enforcers waiting for parts to fall off and hit people?

From the 2010 TIF report – who got money:

The opinions of anybody on that list should be immaterial since they got paid to support downtown. The paper failed to talk to average citizens.  Unlike Thompson, they don’t want Renner “taking a chance” (gambling) with their money.

Tuesday night the council will be told TIF’s are wonderful.  The last downtown TIF did nothing to turn the area around.  Tari needs to drop the “Right Fit” approach because decades of attempting revitalization by many councils have produced little.  Instead, empty buildings are common.  Of course Trishia Stiller (of the former Downtown Business Association that failed) thinks downtown is on the upswing.

Good thing the City is investing in mental health.

The paper did have some truth:


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13 thoughts on “More “Right Fit”

  1. One positive outcome of the TIF discussion on Tuesday will include input from the affected taxing bodies. Those bodies want shorter terms for the TIFs–less than 23 years and guarantees that the generated tax revenue will actually be given to them. Plus, the other taxing bodies are requesting the City examine other “incentive tools” first. The Council needs to begin sending out RFPs for the “shovel-ready” properties owned by the City.
    Currently, no property taxes are being generated and the most recent land purchase was made by issuing a bond which adds interest payments…brilliant!

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      1. Yes. That property was purchased immediately after the 1% sales tax increase which was supposed to be used for the structural deficit in 2015. The amount of cash tied up in city owned property downtown is equivalent to 1/3 of the cost for the entire O’Neil Park renovation. The pool could have easily been replaced with $2-3M.

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  2. Must admit, I had to double-check the list above, as I thought Diane posted Tari’s campaign donors rather than TIF recipients. Ah yes, they’re one in the same. The Downtown cronies and their townie cheerleaders are on the run politically. There’s no support for Downtown outside of those that stand to gain financially. Repeat after me, “No bailouts for Downtown! No bailouts for Downtown!”

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  3. So Bob the city slicker buys 100 nice acres about 10 miles out of town and thinks to himself,,,”What should I do with all this land? I’ve got lots of timber and acres of pristine land. My oh my, what should I do? Should I harvest some of those trees and plant some crops,,,looks like plenty of room for livestock to graze. Get a few chickens, raise some beef. WIth what I’ve got, that makes sense. I know, I’ll ask that Professor/Mayor Tari guy, he must be smart.”
    Next day,,,,Bob has the mayor out to his place and gives him a tour.
    Bob: “Hey Tari, what should I do with this land? I’ve got a 100 acres here.
    Tari: “Hey Bob I’m very transparent and everything is great, yeah Bob looks like a great spot to raise alligators, we’ll start a TIF and go out to lunch.”
    Bob: Uh, alligators? Are you serious?
    Tori: Serious as a trip to Japan with my girlfriend Bob, yeah, alligators! Did I mention how transparent I am?
    Bob: Tari, I’ve got a small creek running through here but no place for alligators. What in the hell are you talking about?
    Tari: Well Bob I hate to tell ya, but your idea of doing farm stuff on farm land just isn’t the right fit. As close as you are to my town, I want something else. Alligators, get some alligators! We’ll bring the kids down from the zoo to see your alligators. Connect Transit can bring ’em down, God knows they’re mostly vacant. We can do this Bob! Maybe you can sell some ice cream sammiches to the kids. Yeah some slurpees and cotton candy. I used to love that stuff when I was a kid.
    Bob: Well ya know, I was thinking something that the rest of the people in this area expect and do themselves. Many of them run very successful farm operations. I think that is the right fit, it’s what does work here. Being a professor and all, I just figured you were a smart guy. Guess I was,,,,
    Tari: Nonsense! Look Bob I’ve been to the mayors conference and those guys know everything. They don’t even have to come to my town and they know everything. They tell me what to do and I just do it, okay,,,cause they know everything. People here don’t know anything. I’m transparent and I got an award that says so after I gave them a bunch of tax dolllars. What was question?
    Bob: Wow! Sorry I asked. That doesn’t make any sense at all Tari. Mayors conference? Never been here,,,they know everything? Geesh!
    Tari: Glad we had this talk Bob cause I’m all about transparency. Hey gotta run, it’s time for lunch.

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  4. What a racket … and waste . it’s nothing to do about making downtown better , it’s about greasing and fleecing , helping buds feel good and promoting personal gain . things change and so do markets and businesses , traffic patterns , supply and demand , when the city gets involved it’s risky business . several factors determine how well a business can do , how long it will last , and how long customers will return .. taxes can effect profit , but location , parking , ease of access , advertising , or product price and quality are part of deciding if it’s worth a risk , a tif is an inducement but not much help if everything else sucks …

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  5. The sad CII East building is welcoming sight for people driving into town. Maybe they could used it for an advertisement as the Welcoming Community City!

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    1. Let’s face is, Farnsworth is essentially an arm of the local government. They’ll back any boondoggle project and are champions for big government. They don’t care about taxpayers, just our money.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Renner and council wouldn’t recognize the “right fit” if it smacked them in the head while their eyes were wide open and they were observing up until and at the time of impact. Their Orwelian double speak isn’t fooling the masses.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. But, wouldn’t another “Art Gallery” and maybe another Yoga studio be a major boon to Downtown? Maybe another over priced and “trendy” little “Boutique”, maybe a little tapas place right by the coming mega bus stop I am sure the bus riders will gladly fork out $7.99 for a little bite or two of some exotic fusion cuisine, maybe add a pop up/kiosk type wine bar along with the tapas place where the homeless can get a glass of proper chardonnay for $12.00 a pop. I think I should run for city council, these are all ideas that they would find quite progressive and innovative and even “exciting”.

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