By: Diane Benjamin
The Downtown Task Force was a joke, the vast majority of people did not want to build a new library and bus transfer station by tearing down a parking garage. Tari claimed the Budget Task force was a success, it proved that Council was incapable of making any cuts. Huge success Tari. The Connect Transit working group is a joke, tonight their Board will approve ordering huge heavy electric buses and awarding a contract to study locations for a downtown transfer station: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VnNpRDPK7mbHSOgI1fZO2yfmT4yioSrR/view
Normal is under-represented thanks to Chris Koos, the Working Group hasn’t made any recommendations yet, but Connect Transit charges ahead anyway.
The Cannabis Task Force will come back with their recommendations, the results are predetermined by who Tari appointed. Expect downtown sales locations preferred and cannabis tourism promoted. Since a large contingent of Black Lives Matters was present last night, the question remains as to what they want to see this Task Force do. Legalize smoking weed in public? Legalize the black market? We don’t know, other than they have a representative picked by Renner.
The conversation started around 29:00 when Donna Boelen pulled approving Tari’s picks for the Task Force was pulled from the Consent Agenda. Donna and Kim Bray voted no being consistent with their opposition to creating the Task Force in the first place. Both felt the Council was capable of doing the job themselves. Jenn Carrillo wants Bloomington to be a cannabis tourism mecca. With her and Black Lives Matter steering the conversation this Task Force will also be a joke.
Side note: Kirk Allen and I talked to City attorney Jeff Jurgens before the meeting. The topic of cannabis discussions that took place at the Illinois Municipal League conference came up. He made it clear nobody has any idea how the new law will play out. Many cities are opting to not allow sales, it isn’t worth the trouble it will cause. Bloomington won’t be one of them.
The monthly Finance Director’s Report was presented around 1:08:40. The Utilities Tax is behind budget, the City claims due to people removing their home phones. Since this tax supports pension expenses that will be increasing dramatically, expect a Utilities Tax increase in the future to compensate.