By: Diane Benjamin
The Bloomington City Council met Thursday night since technology prevented them from holding a meeting on Monday.
The only Alderman in the room was Donna Boelen. also present was Tari Renner, Tim Gleason, City Clerk Leslie Yochum, and Jeff Jurgens. There was a painfully long pause when aldermen wanted to speak, most started with “Can you hear me?”. Occasionally Julie Emig didn’t respond when her name was called. Ditto Jamie Mathy. Aldermen Black evidently couldn’t hear well, he frequently asked for clarification. It looks like the Clerk had the ability to mute and unmute aldermen and the aldermen could signal her when they wanted to comment.
One Note: Leslie Yochum keeps Tari Renner in line. He couldn’t conduct a meeting without her.
Two people spoke in person at Public Comment, the clerk did not read the comments submitted by email. All should have been read, public comment isn’t just for elected officials, frequently it reflects how other citizens feel. That leads to the realization they aren’t alone. See those here: https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=24246
Alderman Carrillo and Crabill attempted to table most of the spending on the consent agenda. After lengthy discussion over three items pulled by Alderman Mathy, they were outvoted.
What citizens need to know: Bloomington has way more money in reserves than they need. They got that money by over-taxing citizens. A few years ago they wanted $15 million, now they want $18 million in reserves. They are projecting to end the fiscal year with $23 million. They aren’t going to cut taxes or refund that money to you. That is why the spending continues unabated. To government there is no non-essential spending, especially when they have a huge savings account.
Carrillo pulled numerous other items and attempted to table voting on them until the last meeting in April. Alderman Bray defended the City staff and refused to overrule staff decisions on essential items. Alderman Boelen noted that many of the items pulled pertained to infrastructure. She said the biggest complaint from citizens is infrastructure, therefore she does not want the items tabled. Carrillo and Boelen got into a tussle when Jenn claimed her priorities are people being able to stay in their homes and not losing businesses. Boelen called a point of order for being off the topic. After some back and forth Renner let Carrillo finish. Carrillo and Crabill lost that battle too.
Everything pulled from the Consent Agenda eventually passed.
The Emergency Ordinance was on the Consent Agenda last Monday, it was moved to the Regular Agenda for this meeting. It was in two parts, the first was just technical corrections. The second was specifying emergency measures. Unlike Normal, Bloomington officials do not have the authority to shut down gas, alcohol, gun, and ammunition sales:
See the City Code here: https://ecode360.com/34405175
The Finance Director gave his monthly report. See it here: https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=24230
The meeting was adjourned without comments from Council members, I suspect on purpose.
Use of the new technology did eventually get better, I wonder how many aldermen wanted to talk and weren’t allowed? The new system makes that very easy to do.
As of this morning, video of the meeting is not on line.
I will add it to this story is it ever appears.