Trust Lesson for Tim Gleason

By:  Diane Benjamin

The new Bloomington City Manager seems to be launching a campaign to make citizens trust their government.  No Tim, spending money on signs when a few roads get fixed isn’t going to cut it.  The people paying more for gas will see that as just another waste of their dollars.

Since Tim is new to town, he needs an extensive review of the facts.  I will start with the huge and obvious reasons for no trust.  The quote from Thomas Sowell  Gary Lambert used during public comment fits perfectly:

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.

The taxpayers of Bloomington paid millions of dollars for a fire station that has never been used.  They also likely paid millions more for a water tower that was only used briefly because it was built too short.

Maybe Tim can tell us who paid the price.  It sure wasn’t the City Manager at the time, Tom Hamilton.  He’s collecting a pension now of $11,900 every month.  (see openthebooks.com)

That brings me to the Coliseum which was built against the wishes of taxpayers.  No the people haven’t forgotten.  The City only made it worse by not managing the people they hired to run the place.  David Hales, Tari Renner, and the entire Council knew CIAM needed investigated but ignored repeated requests and demands to do so.  Who paid that price Tim?  How about the FAKE loss numbers the City puts out to media?  Tell your buddies in media to start reporting audited numbers, not pretend ones.

A small number of people are possessed by downtown.  The Coliseum and the BCPA were supposed to be catalyst projects that led to revitalization.  Both failed.  Now people want stamped concrete and  transfer station for Connect Transit.  Neither of these will do anything for downtown except steal more taxpayer money.  The downtown Business Association was supposed to fund itself and was given 10 years to do so and lots of taxpayer money.  They failed, so the City quit funding them and hired the two employees.  That wasn’t paying the price, that was a reward for incompetence and the downtown merchants not really caring enough to support them.

We are sick of hearing about DOWNTOWN.  The City already blew their $100,000,000.

The entire Comprehensive Plan was created from a survey called Bring It On Bloomington.  Only 1160 people took that survey, but the City took their answers and spent likely millions developing Master Plans for everything.  Bike lanes are joke, funding empty huge buses is a joke, plans for downtown are a joke.  Who is paying the price?  Just like all of the above – taxpayers.

Tim, passing the gas tax last night when reserve money exists was a slap in the face to taxpayers.  Diana Hauman had a great motion to sunset the tax after a year because when the State raises the gas tax the City will be getting more money.  She failed to get a second and then blew her credibility by voting YES.  Since 2014 the City has received $10,834,652 from State Motor Fuel Tax.  Where is that money Tim?  It certainly isn’t in the budget for local road repairs.

This story could be pages and pages long.  I will switch to just a quick list of other reasons the citizens have no trust in the City of Bloomington:

  • Hiring a fundraiser for the Creativity Center and keeping it a secret how much she has raised, why does the City own it anyway?
  • Being cozy with the Pantagraph to control what stories they write
  • Budget in 2014 was $169.4 million.  The total proposed budget is $221.6 million (a $50+ million increase in 6 years!)
  • Taxes raised:  Motor Fuel Tax twice, Sales Tax, sunset canceled on .25% Sales Tax, Amusement Tax, Utilities Tax, Garbage fees that will increase 3% every year, Sewer and Storm Water, and probably others I’ve forgotten.
  • Fire Protection fiasco – who paid that price Tim?
  • In 2018 the Council held a workshop to review EVERY program the City funds.  They couldn’t find anything to cut,
  • $1.4 million is sitting in the North Main property doing nothing to generate tax revenue
  • $770,000 is proposed for the Springfield Law firm, buy local isn’t for government
  • Is the Pepsi Ice sign still up?  Pepsi hasn’t paid for years!
  • CII East building owner hasn’t been held accountable to fix his building.  Is that because he’s Tari’s former lunch buddy?
  • Council refuses to release Executive Session minutes of former City Manager reviews from DECADES ago.
  • BCPA and Grossinger Motors Arena event reports get posted when somebody feels like it.
  • The pensions payment schedule is impossible to achieve and will never be realized.  A downturn in the economy (because it always resets) will wipe out gains.  Instead of telling Springfield to fix the problems, the City will tax people out of town.
  • Fake business registration program that was forced to be withdrawn.  Anybody held accountable?
  • Total compensation report for last year still isn’t posted.  What is HR hiding?
  • Sick leave Buy Back got the City on the front page of the Chicago Tribune.  Giving employees lavish pensions at taxpayer expense is worse than a slap in the face.
  • Made up facts like economic impact numbers, percent of out-of-towners paying motor fuel tax, and somebody wants to buy the Coliseum.

Tim, this list could go on and on.  The City and Council have no credibility especially after raising the Motor Fuel Tax again and fleecing video gaming machine owners only because you can.  Attacking businesses is how the City operates.

The local businesses are sick of the attacks.  The citizens are sick of the attacks.  Trust will never be restored until the City starts over.  Fund essential services first, scrap the Quality of Life spending that has destroyed the wallets of citizens.

The City and Council have proven they don’t care about the opinions of citizens or fiscal responsibility.

Until they do Tim, trust is broken.  Skip the “Your tax dollars at work” signs.

Readers, feel free to add to the list.

 

15 thoughts on “Trust Lesson for Tim Gleason

  1. As a former central Illinois citizen, who stumbled onto this blog, it’s my contention that “as Bloomington goes, so goes our country.” The waste is unfathonable, the lack of concern, the total lack of accountability or consequences and the sky rocketing profit in pensioning out of a government job is beyond comprehension. I have little hope that any honorable or integrity minded souls will correct our spiraling future. Never thought, ever, i would feel so disillusioned by my towns, states or country.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Mr Gleason comes from Decatur, which is a town in SHAMBLES, and he is taking what is LEFT of Bloomington down that SAME path. He wants US to trust him????
    He can START by reigning in the mayor AND council, stopping ALL the wasteful spending, GET a BALANCED budget, QUIT pension SPIKING, and fixing the streets and infrastructure, and going back to a REASONABLE schedule schedule of bulk waste pickup/trash collection. And Stopping new taxes..
    Otherwise, he’s JUST AS GUILTY as the rest of the corrupted..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is truly amazing that they hired this man. Have you been to Decatur lately? It is like a 3rd World City. One visit to Decatur should convince anyone that the city manager of the town is not someone you want leading your team. Yet we hired him and we are paying him a very large salary? How does this make sense?

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  3. Besides Diana who voted for the gas tax (and is not running for council) who else voted for the gas tax hike? I am guessing Sage since he is also not running for council again.

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  4. ” I have Bloomington to thank for the most important lesson that I have learned; that in quiet places, reason abounds, that in quiet people, there is reason and purpose, that many things are revealed to the humble that are hidden from the great. The spirit of Bloomington is the midland concept of Americanism, progress coupled with order, liberty without license, tolerance without laxness, thrift without meanness. Here I have learned that good governments make a good state and nothing else can. Here from my parents and friends, I learned that good government is good politics, and that public office should double the responsibility that a man feels for his home, his own neighborhood, his home town.”
    From a Presidential campaign speech in Bloomington Illinois 1952, spoken by a former Pantagraph reporter.
    Diane Benjamin, you are a light in the darkness. You have my unbridled support.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think it’s amazing that the water tower has never once been used. The City realized only after it was fully constructed that they couldn’t use it. It was never once filled with water and just continues to rust away as some big round billboard for BloNo. Talk about a colossal waste of money.

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  6. I attended last nights meeting. What a dog and pony show. I predicted before the actual votes that both would end up 5-4 in favor of taxing. What a disappointment Diana Hauman was. It was, I thought, a reasonable compromise to add a sunset provision on the gas tax to prove they were serious about fixing the streets. When she made the motion, absolutely no one looked surprised or interested in seconding the motion. My question is why. I understand the council people that voted for the proposed tax. But why did none of the ayes not second it. At least to make them vote on it again next year. My guess, they all knew she was going to propose this. They all wanted it, but some can’t appear to want the new tax. I believe they all knew there was going to be opposition, and this was their way of putting the best face on it. Let the people not running vote for it. And why, after such a well thought out speech as to why she was against it, did she then vote for it? The whole lot of them are a joke.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Maybe the city folks need to stop worrying about when the next Not in Our Town conference is. Stop worrying about when the next taxpayer funded party is and LISTEN to the people . Gleason polled the City Council,he admitted that publically, but not the citizens of Bloomington. His job is to WORK for the people of Bloomington not be a mouthpiece for Tari and his court jesters. If he wants to poll someone he needs to get out and poll his employers , the taxpayers. If he would have listened to his employers instead of the council he may have learned that his employers are pissed. I dare Gleason to go and have a town hall meeting . Meet and greet the citizens he just fleeced.

    Liked by 1 person

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