By: Diane Benjamin
The Bloomington City Council held a Committee of the Whole meeting last night. Scott Black was absent this time, David Sage and Diana Hauman were absent at the last meeting. Getting the whole gang to show up must be difficult.
Part of the meeting was dedicated to next years budget.
As as been the case with EVERY financial report since Tim Gleason became City Manager, documentation is provided to the Council but not included in the packet so the people paying the bills get to see it. That would be Bloomington’s taxpayers. What is he afraid of? Somebody might notice something fishy? Like this:
$5 million will be next years budget for roads? Think long time readers – how much has Jim Karch said over and over he needs every year just to get all the roads up to “poor” condition?
I will give you a minute . . . .
See this story: https://blnnews.com/2018/08/03/proof-roads-arent-a-priority/
Gleason is planning on spending slightly more than what they will bring in with Tari’s Gas Tax. The gas tax was supposed to provide MORE money for roads – not all of it!
Remember when your taxes used to pay for essential services like garbage and streets?
Bloomington has shifted spending to what additional money can be picked from your pocket. Want good streets? PAY ME. Taxes you already pay – sales, property, and a myriad of others – go to funding whatever they choose to spend it on. Think pension spiking, economic development, downtown, Coliseum, BCPA, studies, consultants, employee raises, Creativity Center, etc etc etc.
There is one thing Tim Gleason is doing right. David Hales bought needed items on a credit card he called “capital leases”. It isn’t any different from you buying a new refrigerator, washer, dryer, furnace, and air conditioner with a credit card and paying much more than if you paid cash. Hales wasn’t capable for creating a pay-as-you-go system, Tim Gleason wants to. Good for him.
Money is being saved by not immediately filling staff vacancies. At least some of the unions have agreed to not use the city health insurance plans for spouses who have access to other insurance. That is also a huge savings.
Hear the entire budget presentation and discussion by hitting PLAY below.
The majority of the meeting was hearing the results of the $114,999 parks study. The consultant thinks some parks should be converted to other uses, mostly because it costs too much to mow them. He did suggest the City do a Master Plan for EVERY park. He thinks instead of quantity the City should focus on quality of the parks. He thinks more walking trails, benches, and signage are needed. That conversation is at the beginning of the meeting if you want to hear it. You should be impressed with how many times he said this study was “high level”, they didn’t get into specifics. The Council asked questions he couldn’t answer. This study is another left-over from David Hales who never met a consultant he didn’t love.. Hopefully Gleason is smarter.