By: Diane Benjamin
The interim Police Chief, Greg Scott, presented the departments annual report as did Eric West the Fire Chief.
Both the police and fire have trouble staffing their departments.
Highlights from the Police report:
- Selling on Facebook Marketplace has resulted in robberies. Cameras film the parking lot in front of the Police Station. Exchanging cash for merchandise there is the safest place.
- Evidently the police haven’t been seriously enforcing DUI, seat belt, and distracting driving offenses because of COVID. They will be soon.
- Most crime rates are down, domestic violence increased 9.6% likely because of lockdowns.
Those wanting the police defunded want more data and funds redirected:
Hear Jeff Crabill as 28:00.
Hear Julie Imig as 38:27.
Hear Jenn Carrillo at 44:28.
The department has to replace their Records Management System to comply with National Incident-Based reporting, it won’t be cheap.
The presentation begins at 11:20. You don’t need the sound just to view the slides.
The Council had many questions for the Police Chief, not so many for the Fire Chief.
The Fire Chief presentation begins at 1:02:00.
See 1:18:46 for a map of incidents reports. The west side as far more calls responded to than the rest of the city.
See the slide at 1:20:01. The department’s highest rate of response is to false alarms and false calls.
Go to 1:40:05. Donna Boelen asks about covering for Normal. I have heard Bloomington has to respond too often to calls in Normal, the Chief glossed over her concerns. Meanwhile Normal is covering ambulance service for Hudson and Towanda. The Chief did say this can affect service in Bloomington.
Want to see Council members salivate?
See the discussion of spending the expected $13.4 million of printed money that will be showered on Bloomington under the American Rescue Plan. The City better spend it quick before the dollar is virtually worthless. The Biden spending spree is already causing inflation, it will get worse.
The conversation starts at 1:44:00 with the Finance Director. Various Council members expressed their wish lists – it’s Christmas! Right now the guidelines for spending the money aren’t clear from the feds. The slide at 1:48:32 shows how much and when Bloomington expects to receive the money. Keep in mind Bloomington had massive reserves that allowed them to weather COVID without laying anyone off.
1:51:25 has a slide from the Treasury Department showing possible uses of the funds. Redistributing wealth is high on the list.
Council comments start around 1:59:00.
Ward 5 did a great job electing Nick Becker. See his comment at 2:12:11.
Citizens should listen to all the comments, the “food fight” will begin soon. Some Council members alluded to new programs instead of utilizing existing non-profits who know where the needs are.
The meeting ended with Mollie Ward’s 2 Council initiatives. She wants the City forced to be in ADA compliance across Bloomington.
Mollie, first the City needs to end Rust grants. Rust has nothing to do with the grants, it’s all taxpayer money. If the City will finally comply with the decades old law it needs to be transparent. Quit hiding behind pretend grants that are budgeted.
More news for Mollie: You shouldn’t have voted for an entire complex at O’Neil Park when all that was needed was a new pool. If you expect essentials to be funded quit funding frills. Both pools could have likely been replaced and green space saved if the Council stopped dreaming big.
Meanwhile, money for ADA compliance isn’t available because the roads are still crap, money is tossed to empty buses, and the Coliseum isn’t paid for.
Mollie could benefit from a “Limited Government” discussion. Most of the others could too.