Why Bloomington can’t fix the roads

By:  Diane Benjamin

The financial statements for Bloomington’s year ended 4/30/19 are finally being presented at Council Monday night:  https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=23337

The chart below shows the long term debt.   Why can’t the roads be fixed?  Because retired employees need paid.  OPEB is Other Post Employment Benefits.  Look closely at these numbers!

PDF page 31

bloom debt

This chart shows the data Bloomington submitted to the Comptrollers office.  From May 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019 the City added 20 full time employees.  Instead of outsourcing tasks to avoid pension liabilities, the City is creating more.


See the employee list by function on PDF page 194.   The additional employees aren’t in essential services like police and fire.   

  • 4 are in collections, jobs that never existed before (easily outsourced) 
  • 2 are in procurement, jobs that never existed before  
  • 2 are in building safety
  • 1 in planning
  • 2 in downtown development

Legal still has 5 employees, the same number as when all legal was in house instead of Springfield.

These notes in the financial statements clearly show why your tax dollars go to employee benefits and not things like fixing the streets.  Common sense should tell all levels of government to outsource every possible job if pensions aren’t reformed.  Obviously common sense plays no part in government: 

PDF page 101

imrf funding

PDF page 105

police funding

PDF page 110

fire funding

Since IMRF is better funded, even though they revised the required funding this year, police and fire pensions have never been a priority.  Look at how much you now have to pay for the errors of MANY previous Councils.

Even with massive amounts of money being tossed to the police and fire pension funds, the percent funded barely changed from last year:

funding percent

The above is from the data Bloomington submitted to the Comptroller’s office:


Note:  A downturn in the economy will destroy any progress funding 90% by 2040.

The schedule below for funding police and fire pensions was passed by the Bloomington City Council in 2014.  It may have been revised, but your taxes were increased to pay these amounts in previous years.

If Springfield doesn’t propose a Constitutional Amendment to fix pensions, state and local budgets will show ever increasing amounts to pay people not working.  Taxes will continue to rise.  The exodus from Illinois will continue too.


10 thoughts on “Why Bloomington can’t fix the roads

  1. Tax and spend, tax and spend,,,,look it’s all right here in the demonrat manifesto. Whadda ya want me to do? Ve must follow the communist manifesto! Sa-lute. Sieg heil!

  2. You ever notice the poor timing of signal lights on Veteran’s Pkwy. I truly believe the city has intentionally done this so that vehicles burn more fuel = more fuel sales = increase in tax revenue.

    If you asked a Democrat if they see anything wrong with this pension picture they wouldn’t find it.

    Yesterday the Useless Today website had an article on the over time paid to LA fire fighters. One was over $300K plus their base pay on top of that. Some commenters questioned the hours they turned in… like exactly when did they sleep. Poor city (Democrat) management.

    You’re right the city should out source.

    They must be fixing streets that I don’t ever see. What a street mess over on east Oakland Ave.near Walgreens. KFC and the city must still be arguing who’s going to foot the bill to replace the crumbling turn in into KFC on Prospect. Hey now there is one messed up street. I saw their recent pot hole patch attempt. What a joke! .

    1. My understanding is that firefighters’ work schedules are something like 48 hours on, 24 hours off, and they are paid by the shift. So if contract and work regs allow and he has no life otherwise, it’s possible to rack up a good amount of OT covering others’ shifts. A good portion of that would literally be ‘sleeping on the job’, because that’s part of the usual firefighter employment contract.

  3. This is a GREAT message for college bound children! DO NOT go to college. Instead get a GOVERNMENT job, where you don’t have to think, have no responsibility, can tell OTHERS what to DO and basically sluff off all your 40 years, and then enjoy your “sluff off ” time. This is TOTALLY ridiculous! I know city employees who can’t do math, think for themselves or fill out a form correctly, and yet they make THIS MUCH! That’s NOT what made AMERICA great! It’s what is actually causing urban decay and dismay among “educated people”.
    Time to REDO the credentials here!! And CUT the BUY BACK and EXPLODED pension crap.
    How many people in the PRIVATE SECTOR have had their pensions absolutely WIPED OUT or CUT back to where it’s NOT sustainable? But in the “public sector” it’s ALL GOOD! NOTHING TO SEE HERE FOLKS, JUST MOVE ON!

  4. Do firemen get an extra bump or pay for each time they leave their station? I find it odd that for and accident there will be a batt chief vehicle, rescue vehicle, a ladder vehicle and multiple police. Not sure about the ladder truck. Guess im getting paranoid. I forget that I work for the city staff.

    1. I’m guessing the ‘spare’ truck has jaws of life, fire suppression foam, additional muscle power, and perhaps some other things potentially needed at severe accidents that may be beyond the primarily-medical pervue of the rescue vehicle.

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