By: Diane Benjamin
The meeting was scripted with pre-determined results, there was very little discussion on anything.
The Public Hearing started with a presentation of how the Federal Grant money (CDBG) will be spent. No one commented, it wouldn’t have changed the vote anyway. People were urged to take the survey to determine how next year’s funds will be used: https://form.jotform.com/90654486550160
Finance Director Rathbun gave his monthly report. Home Rule Sales Tax Revenue is below budget for February, March and April. He blamed internet sales. Jamie Mathy commented the reason might be people are receiving smaller tax refunds because they paid in less all year. I know people who have driven to Champaign to their mall, I was there a couple of weeks ago. Besides the mall, there are thriving strip malls all over the area. Dick’s Sporting Goods has lost a lot of business since they decided to go anti-2nd Amendment. The Bloomington Mall has little reason to shop there. People have less money in their pocket because of tax and fee increases, and don’t forget highly paid former State Farm employees are living on less. Internet sales will only increase since shopping now has limited options in town. Have the chickens come home to roost? Hear his comments at 1:30.
He didn’t mention the Utilities Tax is also off. They used to use this tax as a sign of people leaving. The Hotel/Motel tax revenue if also off. See PDF page 2 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=21662
Numerous items took place before the meeting business started, the most touching (tear jerking) was this:
Watch his family receive the proclamation at 17:50. See the proclamation on PDF page 14 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=21652
Tari Renner did a Joe Biden impersonation at 20:44. (I hope he knew Josh’s mom) A part of Airport Road is being dedicated on Friday in Josh’s honor. See Mboka Mwilambwe’s comments following Tari.
I realize most of the readers NEVER watch video I link. This one is worth your time, grab a Kleenex first.
Public comment didn’t start until 40 minutes after 6:00
The first speaker was Scott Stimeling, he speaks at every meeting about the roads and condition of the sidewalks. He was fired up more than usual.
David Kobus spoke next about the Union Contract. Yes Local 699 members are getting salary increases. The City has no control over the 3% annual pension increases. The Democrats in Springfield refuse to fix that one. He did point out the City needs to cut spending instead of constantly raising taxes and fees.
A City employee who is retiring spoke next. She thanked the City. A lady representing Local 699 spoke next about how different negotiations were without a Chicago lawyer involved.
The final speaker talked about the conditions of the sidewalks making it almost impossible for handicapped people to navigate the town. Her comments are at 50:00.
Lesson on government:
Citizens expect their tax money to be spent on essential services like roads and sidewalks. Instead, Bloomington promotes entertainment venues that lose your money. Yes, last night they approved the VenuWorks agreement to only lose $350,000. The BCPA and now the Creativity Center will suck up more tax money.
Meanwhile, May 1st the Motor Fuel tax will go up to provide more money for streets and sidewalks.
Your Quality of Life in Bloomington will continue to decline because most people don’t bother to be informed and then vote their values. The people wanting this nonsense do vote.
Hit play for public comment, I’m going to refrain from commenting on Tari’s spring matching suit and pants. that’s him pictured below.