Parting gift: Tari guilty of another OMA violation

By: Diane Benjamin

WGLT reported yesterday Bloomington was found guilty of violating the Open Meetings Act in 2017 for discussing ending the Metro Zone agreement with Normal in secret. The Attorney General had previously ruled it illegal, according to the article the current ruling reversed a lower court ruling.

Besides the fact Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied, this case was obvious from the start. Using “pending litigation” as an excuse for discussion in Executive Session when there is no “pending litigation” is a violation.

Story from 2/22/2017:

This story reminded me of another Renner taxpayer fleece. He talked the Council into buying 807 North Main for $1.4 million so he could control development. Nobody wants to buy that property, Bloomington even had it listed it with a real estate company for a year. Your $1.4 million is now a parking lot for City vehicles.

The Bloomington council voted to end Metro Zone on 2-27-17. It started a war that will continue since the voters in Normal want it. They re-elected all of the ones waging it with taxpayer money.

The Vote – this won’t help end the war either:

Mboka Mwilambwe is the only Council person left now, tomorrow he becomes mayor. Attorney Jeff Jurgens was working for the City when the secret discussion took place. This was when he was still with Sorling Northrop before he was officially hired in 2020. Since the City refuses to release Executive Session Minutes, we don’t know if he was present when the illegal discussion took place.

Finding Bloomington acted illegally will just give Normal more reasons to keep the war raging. Taxpayers will be paying for.

The audio of this illegal meeting should be released. The discussion is vital for citizens to hear. Unfortunately the last time Bloomington did the same thing the audio was never released. That was when Judy Stearns walked out of the Executive Session and filed with the Attorney General herself. The City was also found guilty then.

5 thoughts on “Parting gift: Tari guilty of another OMA violation

  1. “They elected” with the help of electronic voting machines we’ll never know who really wom any elections in ILLannoy or the world!!!


  2. An interesting comment from the 2017 story:

    “Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. An Enterprise Zone was set up with the help of State funding to attract the car plant to Illinois. B/N entered into the Metro Zone agreement to share both Sales and Property tax revenue from the expected development adjacent to the car plant. Bloomington was more successful by attracting retail establishments (strip malls) whereas Normal relied on the property tax from the car plant and the since failed Outlet Mall. From the time the Metro Zone was established, Normal has generated far less tax revenue than Bloomington creating a $7 Million gap ($1M/year to Normal for the past 7 years) to the detriment of Bloomington tax payers. Where have we heard the amount of $7 Million before? The structural deficit!! The issue of the $7 Million gap from the Metro Zone should have been addressed by the Budget Task Force prior to the 1% Sales tax increase. Apparently, Renner couldn’t convince Koos to end the agreement prior to raising the tax.”

    “Fast forward to Kroger wanting to expand its College Ave. store by moving across Veterans Parkway to Bloomington. Now, remember the two Mayors wanting to establish an inter-governmental agreement to share Sales tax based on population–60% for Bloomington and 40% for Normal–in order to alleviate ‘completion’ between the Town and City. The majority of Bloomington’s Aldermen were NOT in favor of the shared tax concept. Normal’s Mayor and Council “refused” to dissolve the Metro Zone agreement unless Bloomington agreed to share Sales tax. (Extortion or childish behavior? You decide.) Apparently, in November at Mr. Sage’s request, an ad hoc committee consisting of both mayors, Alderman Sage, Alderwoman Buregas and a Normal Council member and both managers began negotiating a solution . There seems to have been a stalemate. Ward 2, Alderman David Sage led the initiative to dissolve the agreement, retroactive to December 31, 2016, with the support of Ward 1 Alderman, Kevin Lower, in addition to Ward 3, Ward 5 and Ward 6 by having the Resolution placed on the February 27 meeting agenda.”

    “Mayor Renner had nothing to do with protecting Bloomington’s taxpayers as he claims.”

    What would be informative is to read the original MetroZone agreement.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 807 N Main is one of many pieces of property (land and/or building) that Tari Renner bought with taxpayer money in order to control the marketplace rather than let private individuals and businesses, acting voluntarily, risk their own capital to offer products or services that people want, need, or desire. While business is risky to be sure, people risk their own money (not other people’s money i.e. taxpayer money). And, while risky, the private sector is exponentially better at identifying what the marketplace needs/wants since they go by consumer demand, not ideology. The local elitist clique cannot stand anything they don’t know about and/or can’t control. That’s why the local government will continue to purchase and develop land, decide who can be an occupant or tenant, and what goes on in the community. Pretty soon they will only have themselves to govern.

    Liked by 1 person

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