By: Diane Benjamin
Even though the Financial Statements (CAFR) have been finished for at least a month, they were finally presented last night. The data was uploaded to the Comptroller’s site many weeks ago, why the City couldn’t take the time to release the data is a mystery. The auditor stated Bloomington is overpaying into pensions but the funding percent dropped anyway because the year ended when markets plunged by 4/30/2020. They should have seen some recovery but we won’t know how much for a year. Markets could plunge again by then which proves defined benefit programs are unaffordable. Illinois marches on anyway.
One note: Bloomington has been using the same auditor for 5 years. They need to change next year because using the same auditor diminishes the possibilities of finding problems. They get cozy and look at the same data year after year which can lead to missing the big picture.
A long discussion took place on how the additional CDBG money from the feds should be spent. Jenn Carrillo and Jeff Crabill think 100% of it should be spent helping people which means all of you taxpayers have to pay personnel and office supply expenses to divvy up the handouts. I wonder if either realize how much the feds took long before Bloomington ended up with some bucks? Of course the money was likely printed which will eventually devastate generations who had no part in spending non-existent tax dollars. (Evidently immaterial for now)
The Liquor License for 706 N Clinton Ave was unanimously denied. Liquor Commissioner Renner had approved it in Commission. The next mayor should restore the historic norms of not crowning the mayor king and return to a larger group of citizens making decisions.
Something you need to know:
When Bloomington borrowed money to build things like the Coliseum and move some offices to the Government Center, they told the lenders property taxes would be used to secure payment. So, if payments ever can’t be made, your property taxes will increase to cover payments. Hint: Normal did the same thing but that’s a separate story.
This chart on PDF page 154 of the packet spells out how much property tax was used to pay debt this year. They avoided raising property taxes this year by using other funds – $4,966,569 wasn’t paid by property taxes.
City Manager Tim Gleason didn’t spring any COVID updates like Normal. Don’t expect that to last.
Mboka won’t be getting the far left vote for mayor. Several people at Public Comment were disgusted he doesn’t support the Welcoming Ordinance.
Tari was coughing through much of the meeting. He claims he will find out today if he has COVID. You may want to hear another Tari story about growing up poor around 1:40:00. That didn’t stop Tari from excessive taxation that hit the poor the hardest: Utilities tax, Gas tax, Sales Tax, garbage rate, water rates, etc etc etc.
The Council is meeting again next Monday. Christmas schedule.