By: Diane Benjamin
When David Hales was still City Manager, the Council held a meeting to look at every program the City has. They couldn’t come up with a thing to cut.
They failed because a conversation on the role of government is never allowed to take place. Instead Bloomington has been allowed to grow massively and tax massively for Quality of Life. Nobody will sit back and look at the results of the taxing and spending. Poor people are being hit the hardest with increased sales, utilities, gas, and all the other levied taxes. What the City describes as Quality of Life destroys the Quality for those who never participate.
So what is the job of government? Should spending benefit the majority or a few? Shouldn’t government only fund what benefits the many? Why should any government program benefit only a few?
Here’s another example:
The 125 Premium Roses from a story yesterday were for a Daddy/Daughter dance: https://blnnews.com/2019/04/23/125-premium-red-roses/
This is on the Parks and Rec website: http://www.bloomingtonparks.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/10124/809
We don’t know how many attended, but at most this event was held for the benefit of 160 people. Did 125 daughters attend with just 35 male adults? If not, what happened to the rest of the roses?
Think about this: Bloomington taxpayers had to pay at least one person to organize this event, including their benefits and pension. Staff had to decorate, set up the venue, be there to run it, and then clean up after. Was food left over? What happened to it?
All this to benefit at most 160 people!
The poor forced to subsidize this event didn’t attend. When you live paycheck to paycheck, $40 for some fun isn’t going to happen.
What benefit did the other 75,000 citizens of Bloomington reap? NONE.
The City of Bloomington has the money to spend (possibly buying votes) on things like this because they forced the citizens to pay more for garbage, roads, and sidewalks. That freed up the taxes you already paid for entertainment of the minority.
Your roads still won’t get fixed. Your garbage rates will automatically increase every year. The City of Bloomington will continue to subsidize what they think is Quality of Life.
The few who can afford to participate get to party.
You get the government you vote for.
4 thoughts on “Government’s job?”
This situation was ludicrous. I doubt that anyone who lives near Miller Park attended. The $40 fee was decadent.
This event truly separated the rich from the poor. This was a blatant blow to the true Spirit of McLean County.
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I am more than happy to call out socialist stupidity and self-serving whenever I see it, and Greatly appreciate all your hard work to bring such issues to light Diane, but I am compelled to play devil’s advocate on this one.
Beneficiaries: 160 max. Rose count implies 125. I’m going to assume 120, with 5 as spares or for event workers.
Labor cost: 2.5 hr event, assume 5 workers. Triple that 2.5 hrs to cover setup, take-down, planning, etc. Assume avg $20/hr. Call that $40 to cover benefits costs, possible overtime, etc.
Other costs: $150 for roses. Assume 4x that for snacks, one-time use decorations, etc.
120 x 20 = $2400 in fees collected
7.5 x 5 x 40 = $1500 in labor costs
150 x 5 = $750 in materials
By my calculations, it’s entirely possible this event Made $150. I fully expect my estimates are off someplace and it really did lose money, but this isn’t a blatant steal-from-the-poor-give-to-the-rich scenario like BCPA.
If this were a free event, you would be completely correct; but given that registration fee was a decent approximation of the costs, this was not unreasonable imo.
Too many assumptions. We have no idea how many attended!
I can see the value in parks and libraries. They are free for everyone. But, when the poor pay taxes to support entertainment for the rich, that is just wrong. Our taxes support golf courses, swimming pools, the arena, ice rink, zoo, the BCPA, etc. If those were free for everyone, I’d be willing to have a listen about the quality of life.