Bloomington meeting was PAINFUL

By:  Diane Benjamin

Public comment:

Most of the speakers were there to talk about video gambling.  A big fear of the local business owners is the State of Illinois raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.  Even though democrats think business owners have stashes of cash in the back room, they don’t.  Many of these establishments with video gaming will need the cash flow to keep from laying off employees.  Illinois is going to lose jobs and businesses – simple economics.  See 12:25.  A local business owner reported he sent a letter to every Council member.  Donna Boelen was the only one who responded.  He mentioned there is no cap on liquor licenses, why is their a cap on video machines.  Hypocrisy?

One lady was appalled at the amount of money gambled locally.  People could throw their money away at the Coliseum if they had any shows.  They don’t, so people pick how they want to be entertained.  She didn’t like it.

Public comment starts at 5:50

Too many things were discussed at one meeting.  Committee of whole is just discussing different topics.  The meeting lasted over 2 1/2 hours.  Much of it was a snooze-fest conduct by Connect Transit.

Before the Connect Transit people spoke, a lady from the McLean County Regional Planning Commission presented their short range transportation plan.  See 27:04.  She spoke too fast and the materials she covered were not in the packet.  If you want to follow along, the presentation is on their website:

Connect needs to use their services instead of hiring consultants who know nothing about the local economy or needs.

Connect Transit:

We learned the buses look empty because out-lying areas don’t have many riders while the busiest routes run frequently and therefore don’t have a bus full every 15 minutes.

That comment alone justifies smaller buses, not to them however.

Issac Thorne, General Manager, claimed smaller buses don’t last a long.  Duh, they don’t cost as much either.  They would provide access to areas that have been cut because of the huge buses, but that doesn’t matter.  They would also allow riders to be dropped at the door thus eliminating much of the need for Connect Mobility, but that doesn’t matter either.

One thing is clear.  These people will not listen to the Working Group report.  If they say smaller buses, they will read the bigger the better.  If the report says transit dependent people aren’t being served, Connect will tell them to walk close to a mile to a stop.

Issac Thorne and the entire Board need replaced with common sense people so problems can be solved.  Thorne wants to build a transfer station downtown that will last 50 years.  Meanwhile transportation is changing rapidly.  In 5 years there might not be a need for buses at all.  Let’s build it anyway – we can get a grant.

The discussion started at 56:15.  The babbling lasted until 2:00:35

The only conversation worth listening to is Donna Boelen at 1:37:18.  She mentioned their 95% ridership increase is only 1% per year.  She had done a lot of math and reading and she presented facts.  31% of the riders per their survey are students.  Looking at the slides Connect presented, ridership is highest around ISU so the percent is likely higher.  The frequency of buses means large buses aren’t needed.  Donna claimed her analysis supports smaller buses.  Thorne of course didn’t agree.

Video gaming was next.  Free markets don’t exist.  All sorts of rules are being entertained.  Establishments have to be open a year before they can apply for a license and they have to prove how much of their income comes from food.  What that has to do with anything isn’t clear, just regulations.  The Council might decide selling an establishment doesn’t mean the new owners can be denied a license.  That rule made it very difficult to sell a business.  Violations were discussed.  The City might yank liquor licenses for violating rules on what percent of the business can come from gambling.

A couple people discussed mandatory stickers telling where to get help and adding money for gambling addition.  Donna mentioned around 2:12:00 taxpayers already pay for mental health treatment, more funds shouldn’t be needed.

City Manager Tim Gleason is going to compile what was discussed and bring it back for a vote.  Guaranteed:  Free markets will be squelched.

The final item was Jenn’s desire to create a task force on how selling cannabis should happen in Bloomington,  2:23:45.  She compared legalizing marijuana to ending prohibition.  Listen at 2:25:00.  She thinks Bloomington can be a pot mecca while revitalizing downtown.  She threw in the failed war on drugs that affects communities of color.  Does she want pot shops only in downtown?  I wouldn’t put it past her.  What wasn’t mentioned is pot will be a cash business.  Banks don’t want to risk their federal ability to operate by violating federal law,  same problem that exists in other states.  Gee, cash is easy to hide.  Hopefully the City won’t have the tax receipts spent before they get any.

The Downtown Task force came up with the brilliant plan to tear down a parking garage and build a library/bus transfer station.  This won’t end any better.  9 people on the Council can’t even agree on much after talking it to death.

Listen to Kim Bray shoot Jenn down at 2:27:21.

The Council decided 5-4 to put the task force on an upcoming agenda.

If you think this story is hard to read, try watching the more than 2 1/2 of mostly nonsense.  I did so you don’t have to.




8 thoughts on “Bloomington meeting was PAINFUL

  1. Heard a rumor that 275 acres of land was purchased west of blm for the purpose of pot production. Anybody else heard that?

  2. Jen wants a “marijuana mecca” let her MOVE to COLUMBIA, and she can spout off her mouth and wave her happy flag there. THAT I’d watch!! Wouldn’t last more then 30 minutes..

  3. I really felt badly for the small business owners trying to plead their case in front of a city council, for all intents and purposes, loathes them. Progressive marxists hate small business owners and the success they represent. And as usual, carrillo and crabill were insufferable. And in their circles, that’s a good thing. How can the tax paying citizens of Bloomington be persuaded to get to the polls and vote next election?

  4. No one with common sense is buying the bs from Connect Transit. The lefty loonies are clapping and barking like seals because it’s “green” and run by government. Intentions, not outcomes matter to this crowd. Regarding gaming, let’s face it, Tari and the elites don’t want these machines, which they consider low brow, but greedily want the tax revenue. Not a shock there. As a libertarian, I agree with Jenn on the failed War on Drugs. (Even a busted clock is right twice a day.) Great point about the issue of licensed marijuana being a cash-based business, Diane. Certainly some public safety issues here. Hopefully, the to-be-named new chief will provide some perspective.

  5. I am a lifelong Bloomington/Normal resident with 2 GrandBoys. I have attempted over the years to remain abreast of local issues. Apparently, with greater & more consistent attention I would have FAILED ANYWAY!
    Your SCATTERED take about a SCATTERED Council meeting is very effective!!
    However, I implore EVERYONE to take a step, or 2 or 3, BACK from all those issues that are important or seem so IMMEDIATE to various groups, & view those issues thru the PRISM of the most CONSEQUENTIAL ISSUE, especially for my GrandBoys & THEIR CHILDREN, confronting EVERYONE: GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE!!
    To give a LOCALLY RELEVANT EXAMPLE: According to an online article in the “Washington Post” last Wednesday (14th),
    McLean County has experienced a 1.5°C temperatures rise since 1895!!
    That is the MAXIMUM GLOBALLY, I believe by 2050, determined by the Paris Accords on Climate from 2015 as the GOAL to AVOID the most serious consequences OF GCC. Of course, in 2015 the agreement was from the standpoint of GCC having YET BEGUN!!
    Well, it is HERE, & ACCELERATING, & ALREADY tipping point FEEDBACK LOOPS are THREATENING, with several possibly reached
    If everyone TRULY wishes to do what is RIGHT & NECESSARY for our Children & GrandChildren, & THEIR PROGENY, during the LAST YEARS available to only MITIGATE, not PREVENT, GCC & LEAVE a REASONABLY LIVEABLE PLANET for them, EVERY ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, POLITICAL, & HUMAN RIGHTS discussion needs to BEGIN THERE!!
    AND, with the UNDERSTANDING that NOTHING, especially ECONOMICS (& Living Standard), needs to be EXAMINED in FULL CONTEXT,rather than SHORT-TERM GAIN &/ or CONVENIENCE!!
    If anyone DOUBTS or DISBELIEVES (or “says” as much), &/or doesn’t TRUST or BELIEVE THE SCIENCE, all one needs to do is ASK, “What if I am WRONG,” rather than GAMBLING with the FUTURE of OUR, & ALL, CHILDREN….. & ALL THOSE YET TO BE!?!?!

    1. Sorry, you are on the wrong site! global warming is a hoax, research where it started, the charts computer models that were altered to make it look bad, Al Gore’s private jet and huge house plus the MILLIONS he has made off this sham, Greenpeace Founder calling it hooey, etc etc etc. 1.5 degrees since 1895? Ever hear how concrete holds heat? 1.5 degrees in February isn’t near enough to make living here bearable!

    2. You know ‘climate change’ is a hoax precisely because it’s called ‘climate change’. The problem used to be ‘the new ice age’. Then it was ‘man-made global warming’. Then it was ‘global warming’. Now it’s ‘climate change’. Why all these name changes? Because the real issue is an ulterior agenda looking for an excuse, so as each excuse is debunked they have to move on to a different excuse.

      Nobody can deny climate change exists. It predates people. It predates the dinosaurs. It predates life itself (at least on earth). So the pretend humans are responsible is laughable.
      And climate change is not some horrible bogeyman – if there were no climate change, there would be no humans.

      And even if one ignores all that (plus the data falsification Diane refers to), if this needs to be a global undertaking, then what is the goal? What is the global average temperature we are aiming for? Or what is the maximum rate of temperature change that is ‘sustainable’ vs what we’re seeing now? Or whatever other measure one wants to apply? And how was this determined? There is no goal, because the ulterior motive needs hysteria for ‘change’, not to solve whatever their claimed problem is. If you provide a justified goal, people will find solutions for it, and they may not involve massively expanding government power, or millions of dollars in speaking fees for Al Gore, or whatever else, and that defeats the whole purpose of having the issue in the first place.

      Climate change Is scary. So are vampires and zombies, but it doesn’t make sense to mandate everyone wear garlic cloves and carry an ice pick and lighter fluid at all times.

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