An article Bloomington leaders won’t read

By:  Diane Benjamin

Tonight Bloomington is holding a special meeting to talk about TIF’s.  Again, they believe they can create prosperity with the “Right Fit”.

Here’s the article they need to read:


If you’ve been here with Strong Towns for any amount of time, you know the suggestion that, “the object of a city should be to grow,” is deeply flawed. Despite the suggestion, the marginal revenue is not greater than the marginal cost, not even in New York City. What Doctoroff calls “net profit” we call a sugar high — a short-term bump in cash flow from the new growth while the community takes on an even greater amount of long term liabilities.

We’ve called it a Ponzi scheme. I don’t think there’s a better description.

This is fatal because the goal of a city isn’t to grow; that is sometimes a happy side effect, but it’s not the objective. The goal of a city is to endure. To survive. To be around tomorrow and the day after and the day after that.

If the city you are in goes far into debt, you’re stuck with that, regardless of what urgent need may come along. If your city takes on miles of new road and pipe in an effort to grow, that’s now an obligation you have; it’s on your community’s balance sheet and you will forego other things in the future to meet that obligation or there will be dire consequences.

In the private sector, we need people who are willing to take great risks, to run the chance of failure in a competitive effort to grow. That benefits us all. In the public sector, we need people who are obsessed with stability, who shun risk with the recognition that local government is a platform for people to do good things, that the role of the city isn’t to grow but to provide the stable environment necessary for prosperity to emerge.

Tari and company won’t read the article because building monuments to themselves is much more fun than stability.

You need to read it to see why they are wrong.  TIF’s, “Right fit”, Comprehensive/Master Plans whether they make sense or not – all prove stability isn’t the goal.

It was just announced that Steve Rasmussen won’t be the next City Manager.  They hired the guy from Decatur instead – probably because Decatur has a new downtown.  I bet they didn’t ask him why Haines and Essick, the main anchor store in downtown Decatur, closed after more than 100 years:

Rasmussen forced the Council to make decisions for themselves – he provided options.  Guess the Council couldn’t take the stress.  Guess they didn’t care about Gleason’s budget that doesn’t balance of taking a police car to St Louis or the SEVEN TIF districts.

Is Decatur a success story?  FYI:  No.  By the way, I grew up there.  I didn’t leave by accident almost 40 years ago.




17 thoughts on “An article Bloomington leaders won’t read

  1. Tari picked the guy from Decatur. Guess it makes sense since Bloomington will replace Decatur as the fastest city in decline in IL real soon. They must be drooling over at Farnsworth Group. At least Steve can leave public service with dignity and continue some of the great volunteer work he does in our community. Does anyone remember Hales giving back to local charity or volunteering? (Photo ops don’t count)


      1. A willfully blind sockpuppet for the Mayor’s big government, high taxes, and wasteful spending agenda? What’s not to love?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Of course these idiots would choose the “worst fit” They have a PROVEN track record.
    Decatur is in shambles, and now it looks like Bloomington will join the ranks, I see MORE junk on the curb in the city’s future as MORE people move out.


  3. This is where Bloomington is headed…

    Failure #1: During Mr. Gleason’s tenure in Decatur, bonds were issued in the amount of $14M for revitalization of Downtown with the purpose of improving the economy. However, the media reported that he presented and the Council voted on the current budget containing a $3M deficit. It is the primary responsibility of the City Manager to oversee the budget and provide one that is balanced.

    Failure #2: The media also reported that during Mr. Gleason’s tenure, a contract with the Public Safety providers has not been negotiated. The Public Safety providers have been without a contract for 3 years. Mr. Gleason spent most of his career in law enforcement. I am concerned as to why he is unable to negotiate contracts with the personnel of this vital service.

    Failure #3: Lastly, during Mr. Gleason’s tenure in Decatur, Moody’s has downgraded Decatur’s credit rating as a result of significant debt, depletion of Reserve Funds and the underfunding of Police Pensions..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. these yokels are about as smart as a dung beetle ,, are they do is keep rolling their agenda around and around , leaving a chit trail as they look for more to add to their collection . We need the basic needs of any city , decent lighting , sewers , water supply and drainage , sanitation , freedom of opportunity for free enterprise to prosper thru ample customer bases , good roads and access , well maintained infrastructure , good schools , and tif zones may seem like a great draw to attract .. but it also eliminates a few things such as real reason businesses set up in a place ,misplaces taxes that would help the community , adds to needs , could be unfair to competitors , No way should the city be buying properties either , and should be enforcing some codes on a few downtown structures . time to end the buddy system . As i see it this town is wasting money on many strange things ,, be it classes at 800 + a person to learn about the operation of a machine just few will ever use , or committees that do little , or trying to make downtown pretty . the good ol boys just love patting each other on the back as the till keeps going deep in the red .folk are leaving this state left and right . but some rich don’t mind , they just build for new tenets , in Illinois , there are plenty of aid to help pay rent and buy stuff . guaranteed income ,, better than bonds ..Welcome to our town .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. From personal experience Steve Rasmussen has the skills that would make a great leader for the City of Bloomington, I believe the fact that he challenged the council and the mayor led to him not being selected. A huge opportunity missed!


  6. Another shooting in Bloomington? Congrats Mayor Renner, the town has become a cess pool since the beginning your reign. Coincidence? This is your socialism culture change come home to roost. Crumbling infrastructure and a dangerous place to live as round-a-bouts and bike lanes are the center of your attention. You are the mayor, the buck stops with you!


    1. Wonder if the police review board will hear complaints about the handcuffs being too tight on the suspect’s wrists or the “occupying force” of police in the area surrounding the shooting. [sigh]


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