Council Recap

By:  Diane Benjamin

The Bloomington City Council only had ONE meeting last night instead of 2 or 3.  It didn’t help them not spend your money, but at least they only contemplated how to shovel out more.  Of course, it was on downtown.  More later.

Jamie Mathy did not attend, so Ward 1 had no representation last night.

Tim Gleason is now the City Manager.  $185,000 salary, $550 per month car allowance, and $7500 to relocate.  Of course he gets all the other benefits and a PCard.  He also starts with 4 weeks of paid vacation.  When or if the Council realizes he was a mistake, he gets paid 6 months salary to leave.  The contract starts on PDF page 206

The contract looks almost identical to what David Hales had.  Gleason’s contains this clause, I’m betting Hales’ did too:

This must be why the Council didn’t care that Hales failed to ever look at concession reports for the Coliseum.  Since Hales wasn’t charged with a crime, being incompetent is allowed under the contract.

Diana Hauman was not happy with the process the Council used to pick Gleason.  She did vote “yes” to show unity.  Just hit play below to hear her comments.  If the Council only relied on information given them from GovHR they failed.  Maybe Hauman knows GovHR failed to tell the Joliet City Council about the Coliseum arrests before they hired Hales.  What else did GovHR fail to tell them?

In other business:

The City will continue to use TIF Districts to find “Right Fit” opportunities.  Since Decatur has 7 of them, Gleason will concur.

The EDC will get $100,000.

BN Advantage will get $125,000 part of that also going to the EDC.

You can’t miss Tari’s comments on economic development at 1:30;20.  They are comments he has made before about what millennials and businesses want to locate here.  Streets are secondary to amenities.  Prior to this, one speaker said 46% of Illinois students go out of the state to college and don’t come back.  Not surprising since it’s cheaper to leave Illinois, but their focus will be keeping kids here.  Now you know why IWU is offering deals to local students.

The Council neutered Tari’s ability to throw things on the agenda.  He wasn’t happy.  See his comments at 33.30.  The vote was 8-0.  Goodbye Welcoming Ordinance!

Downtown, Downtown,  Downtown!

Nobody mentioned the two concrete planting boxes by Rosie’s that were put in and then one was ripped out, but they want more pretty stuff.  The recommendation is to turn downtown into a park.

Bloomington is thinking about hiring an “Urban Ambassador” service.  Listen at 1:36:30.  That company would make sure downtown is cleaned up and presentable by 8:00 am.  Maybe security could be done by them too.  The cost would be minimal, only $100,000 – $200,000 a year.  Continually adding new programs is one reason why the budget has increased $50,000,000 since Renner became mayor.

The downtown documentation starts on PDF Page 286.

The Council was charged with marking what items are important to them in preparation of further discussions.  Road work is happening downtown, these guys think they are the reason.  They probably are:  (Bike competition)

The good news is the tagging of bulk waste will end August 1st, according to Jim Karch.  He thinks enough citizens will know about the new rules by then, so trash won’t be left piled on the curb for weeks.  He claimed 1,467 tags were issued, just over 200 were collected – the rest took the items to the collection center themselves.  Hear Jim at 1:57.





9 thoughts on “Council Recap

  1. Does Tari realize that there’s a rest of the City?! More layoffs coming at State Farm and outmigration continues, yet Tari wants to discuss putting in a green space and hiring an “Urban Ambassador” service. What about Trisha and her new department and budget? Tari is completely out of touch with reality and out of control.

  2. Urban ambassador? What the heck do they do to make downtown look pretty by 8? Roll up the sidewalks at 7:30??
    I like the photo of the traffic cones, I think they NEED a few more, so the bike Blono folks don’t get lost. I’m SURE the traffic cone preservation society would LOVE this photo (YES there is such a site)
    Tari getting his dander clipped? That’s too bad, maybe the tar and feathers are next?
    Wonder IF he made friends at the HEY guy! parade like he does here?

  3. Converting downtown to a park designation? Will downtown pilfer funding from Parks & Rec? Since people are allowed to live downtown, does that mean people can live in the other city parks?
    Steve worked very diligently to balance the budget. There is no money available for Capital Improvements without raising taxes. Gleason is a go-getter. Look what he did to Decatur. All of the downtown “stakeholders” pushed for Gleason. Everyone on Council is focused on downtown.
    God help us!!!

  4. So NO ACCOUNTABILITY for his actions with that added clause … should state if fired .. no benefits or added cash on the exit , not a bonus for being irresponsible . Those in charge give two chits less as it’s not out of their pockets , but the communities .. who they are Supposed to be watching over . good grief .. bureaucracy and idealist elitist at the helm of a ship they purposely steer into storms .

  5. It’s rather frightening that they don’t even know that the contractual provision is for “moral turpitude”, not “more turpitude”. Wonder who drafted that Agreement?

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