By: Diane Benjamin
THREE of your representatives, a full one third, failed to attend this meeting. Mathy, Mwilambwe, and Bray were absent. Of course the ones that did attend acted like it was perfectly normal.
Only a few items of note:
A guy from Millennium Soccer spoke during Public Comment. (22:50) I was not aware of the 12 field soccer complex already on the west side. He credited the Nord family as a driving force behind it. He didn’t ask for anything except help. He never said what that meant. Maybe he was trying to keep the Council from starting a new complex when the existing one could be expanded.
Gary Lambert made the point at Public Comment that tax increases are not needed when surpluses in the General Fund are higher than needed. (16:30) The Video Gaming Fee and Motor Fuel Tax increase will be on the agenda for the March 25th meeting.
Fraternal Organizations, like the Knights of Columbus, were exempted from the video gaming license expansion ban if they had applied before March 1st. I wrote about this issue previously: https://blnnews.com/2019/03/08/bloomington-waiving-moratorium-for-friends/
The new Zoning Ordinance passed easily with one big change. It did say citizens who didn’t agree with rulings by the Zoning Board of Appeals had to go to court instead of before the City Council. That provision was reversed, Amelia Buragas voted against it! (1:33:30) She didn’t say why she didn’t want citizens to have the ability to address their grievousness directly with elected officials. Joni Painter made the case for allowing it.
Bloomington will have a new Economic Development Department. It will be interesting to see what incentives they offer in the future.
The “truly clueless” award goes to David Sage. He thinks ISU students ride Connect Transit buses for free. Just hit play below. ISU has a contract with Connect Transit, in January ISU paid Connect $45,417. Those “free” rides are included in tuition.