By: Diane Benjamin
The meeting, including Township before Council, was over 3 hours. Your representatives look ridiculous behind masks. Normal doesn’t wear them at Council meetings, citizens deserve to see your faces!
Of course the camera operator makes seeing faces difficult since it always isn’t in the right location. It was much more fun seeing everybody at once on zoom. Council could all sit in their new location on zoom and the camera person wouldn’t be needed. It was especially fun watching Mboka and Tim from their shoulders to their hips during the Pledge. Was the camera angle to not show who wasn’t participating? 29:43
Microphone problems have plagued speakers at the podium since they went back to meeting in person in the Government Center. Can you guys get that fixed? I wonder if Tim Gleason knows none of his slides during his City Manager comments were on video? They always have been in the past.
Greg Koos showed up at Public Comment since Historic Preservation was on the agenda. He mentioned Bring It On Bloomington, yes the City is still using that survey even though very few people participated. https://blnnews.com/2014/09/19/bring-it-on-bloomington-flops/
Koos got even funnier when he claimed the City has to protect District 87’s tax base. Meanwhile Unit 5 is close to surrounding the City because somebody years ago decided District 87 won’t take all Bloomington kids. Regret that now 87? Bloomington residents have to fund old neighborhoods because District 87 made a bad decision and land locked themselves?
Greg next got really funny, before his mic died, the rest of his comments didn’t make it to video. He was in the process of conveying how climate scientists agree old buildings should be re-used instead of new construction that produces unnecessary carbon outlays. I wonder what the heating and cooling bills are at the McLean County History Museum. Better than new construction or MUCH worse?
A lady spoke next about Gleason’s raise, especially the change that sends his car allowance to his retirement account. She also talked about the Council handing their power to the Mayor and City Manager to sign documents. The Council barely discussed it before passing it. They justified it because construction could be held up. Can’t call a special meeting? Emergency meeting? Why are aldermen needed? waiting . . waiting . . .
She stated they were giving up her ability to be heard through the people who represent her. She is 100% right. She also wanted the timeline for sewer separation moved up even more.
The last speaker talked about the video gaming ordinance. He stated the ordinance changes would put licenses in the hands of unelected officials (economic development department) and make them susceptible to underhanded tactics or bribes. Later in the meeting it was stated the Council would have the final approval on any new licenses, but does anybody believe the majority of the Council would vote no if some huge project was brought to them that would crash and burn without video gaming?
Just hit play to hear what public comment is on video. After Koos they switched to a different mic.
You can review the monthly financial report yourself. Unlike Normal, Bloomington is transparent: https://www.cityblm.org/home/showpublisheddocument/26983
Video gaming and cannabis revenue aren’t listed however. Hotel/Motel tax is at 190% of budget with 3 months reported. Of course it was probably budgeted low because of COVID. Rivian is likely helping out here.