By: Diane Benjamim
From the capital spending plans:
Jamie Mathy signaled he is opposed to new subdivisions east of Towanda Barnes Rd and will oppose the spending that allows The Grove to expand when it officially comes to Council. There is a housing shortage but Mathy wants to tell people where they can’t live. Maybe he should ask former City Manager Tom Hamilton why he signed documents forcing taxpayers to pay the expansion costs instead of telling people where they aren’t allowed to build homes.
The Convenience Center might need to be moved as the City builds a retention pond to help with flooding. Since the cost of the land is known, they already have a location.
Question for Townies: Was Hamilton road named after Tom Hamilton? The guy who blessed the citizens with a never used fire station and never used water tower?
More capital spending:
Note the city is planning on spending another half a million on the Coliseum building in addition to the $3.8 million reported yesterday.
The Route 66 Trail is a joint program between the County, Normal, and Bloomington. I believe it originated in the McLean County Planning Commission years ago because they obtained a Federal Grant. My problems with this trail is:
- the trail keeps expanding at taxpayer expense
- nobody ever reports how many people use it
Have you ever seen walkers or bikers or this massive trail? I see bikers out in the country not using any trail, anybody ask why they aren’t using it? Does government at any level ever question why programs continue without discussing why? Remember when a new trail from Bloomington to Champaign was discussed? It should be a dead issue without looking at the current trail use but it won’t if the feds want to pay a big percentage. Your elected officials easily kneel for free money that isn’t really free.
There were 3 Council initiatives on the agenda.
Nick Becker’s request to look for more ways to cut costs passed easily. Sheila Montney mentioned at 1:24:30 the budget in recent years has ballooned from $161 million a year to $269 million a year. At 1:26:30 Jeff Crabill claims Tim Gleason and the Finance Manager have explained that. Don’t forget you got a gas tax and an increased gas tax, increased sales tax, utility tax increase, garbage increases, water rate increases, sewer/storm water rate increases, amusement tax, and probably others I’ve forgotten. Is your life $100 million better?
The Council wasn’t thrilled about Mollie Ward’s special commission to look at gun violence, 3 voted against it (Becker, Montney, Urban). The City already has police that know why gun violence happens, some members mentioned the PSCRB could be assigned the task too. Mollie won’t have to worry if the bill below becomes law. The City won’t be able to hire police and many won’t be hanging around to be personally sued. Citizens will be forced to arm themselves:
This bill has passed committee and may be heard on the House floor this week. Democrats still haven’t figured out who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.
The Council wasn’t overjoyed with Julie Emig’s Green Infrastructure initiative. Some thought the City already looked at these issues. Others don’t want another Commission. Staff was charged with bringing back ideas anyway.
Note: ONE of these initiatives wants efficiencies in government, the other two grow the size and scope of government. It’s obvious how the budget grows every year.