By: Diane Benjamin
It sounds like both Unit 5 and District 87 are as tired of TIF Districts as the citizens. Both Barry Reilly and Mark Daniel spoke about 23 years of diverted taxes being ridiculous. The Council tabled any changes until better language agreeable to the school districts could be worked out. Bloomington may have realized that TIF should never be the first choice for luring development. We will see.
The only interesting part is a change to how things get on the agenda. Alderman won’t need 4 other aldermen to agree to discuss something. Joni Painter is sick of 5 hour meetings, she doesn’t realize this is going to do nothing to shorten them, it will probably make them longer. It will be fun to see what scatter-brained ideas they want Council to discuss though. Meetings could be shortened easily if the City quit dreaming up ideas for how to spend money, especially downtown.
The new procedure will work like this: An alderman fills out a form describing what they want to discuss. It includes an estimate of how much staff time could be involved. That form will appear at a Committee of the Whole meeting, the rest of the Council will then vote whether to bring the item back at a future meeting. Jamie Mathy thinks this will help citizens know what will be discussed, he claimed citizens never know if items will be voted on until after it happens.
Thank the media Jamie, or point them to the City website where every agenda is posted 48 hours in advance so people can know. That is why the Open Meetings Act exists and the posting requirements.
It would have been nice to have this rule when Judy Stearns was on the Council and demanded a discussion on the Coliseum. David Hales buried it instead, we know how that worked out. The Council did nothing to support her, so I could see them easily voting against her item. I bet downtown green space and a fountain would easily pass though.
The Decatur TV station (WAND) has a story on Facebook about Decatur sending their City Manager to Bloomington. You might enjoy (or be appalled) by the comments from people in Decatur. The “police” comments are no doubt in reference to Gleason taking a police car to St. Louis. These aren’t all the comments, I didn’t see anybody sad he was leaving. The picture at the bottom was also included.
If you aren’t familiar with Facebook, the emojis circled are what people reading the comments think of it. It appears they are thrilled Gleason is leaving.