By: Diane Benjamin
If the residents of Bloomington still haven’t figured out the Council doesn’t represent you, watch last night’s meeting. The schmoozing was over the top with accolades for each other for everything but breathing.
There were a few slaps in the face to citizens. The first one was made by City Manager Tim Gleason. He lamented the Council was adverse to raising most taxes, but he does have the “opportunity” to raise the gas tax and video gaming fees.
In other words the Council you elected wants more of your money, just as they have ever since Renner was first elected almost 6 years. Instead of ditching Quality of Life that mostly benefits the rich, the Council must be fine with fleecing the poor by gas tax. Meanwhile, the millions spent on the Coliseum and BCPA weren’t discussed. I wonder where Tari’s Coliseum buyer is?
The second item is an even worse slap in the face. The city wants reserves of between $15 and $16 million to keep their bond rating from going any lower. They are anticipating ending the year with reserves of between $19 and $20 million – way over what they need. There is no need to raise the gas tax when the money is already sitting in the bank! That excess should be transferred to the General Fund and put toward fixing the streets.
David Sage attempted to mention that – he was less than coherent. Is it really that difficult to state the obvious? Just hit play below, Sage starts with questions about O’Neil Pool, later it was stated it will open with some repairs this summer. Sage claims the reserves are for catastrophic emergencies instead of the bond rating. He never got around to asking why the excess isn’t being spent instead of raising more taxes!
Maybe the Council is in on a secret the citizens have yet to be told. Maybe that money is going to be used for the sports complex: PDF page 349: http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=18372
With the rapid deterioration of the roads, you will only get there by horse, but it’s Quality of Life and therefore takes priority!
This line item in the budget (prepared by them and distributed to the Council) has yet to be mentioned during a meeting. What else are they hiding?
- Nobody on the Council commented when Tim Gleason presented the spiking fine. Gleason artfully didn’t mention the amount or names so the uniformed are still uniformed. That presentation was required by law. I provided details yesterday of the $230,151 fleece: https://blnnews.com/2019/02/25/bloomington-council-tonight-including-spiking/
- Gleason mentioned he can make the gas tax increase sunset. The last tax set to sunset – the sales tax increase for the BCPA – had the sunset cancelled by the Council. Sunsets are meaningless.
- Gleason claims he wants citizens to know the city isn’t wasting their money. Tim, please explain how these aren’t a waste: Spiking, Coliseum, BCPA, employee parties, extensive travel, Way Finding signs. When the streets are not drivable, citizens call these a waste.
- The Utilities Tax Renner passed to fund pensions has been going down. Look for future tax increases.
- The finance guy claimed the proposed General Fund for next year is $106 million. Take a walk down memory lane to the 2016 budget: PDF page 6: http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=9116 The General Fund was more than $11 million less while spending more on roads.
7. One can’t miss comment is Tari Renner at 1:37:40. He was talking about Chief Wheeler’s upcoming crime presentation. Renner claims most crime is down, evidently armed robberies and shootings are the new norm. Wheeler’s presentation is tomorrow and won’t be on video: