By: Diane Benjamin
Presenting the budget continued last night at the 3 hour City Council meeting. Below is part of a slide that was presented:
The Bloomington Election Commission wants $550,000 more this year.
No one at the Bloomington Election Commission is elected. They have directors that are appointed by a judge. It appears they can create budgets requesting anything they want, their money comes from the County who is required to pay whatever they request. The paragraph below is from the BEC website: https://www.becvote.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Election-Commission-Basic-Information.pdf
Independent sounds lovely until you realize nobody is watching them. BEC has no financial information on their website. Does the County just pay without even knowing the salaries paid? Rumor is BEC pays their staff more than the County Clerk, the County Board sets the Clerk’s budget. The only thing BEC does is elections, what do they do the rest of the year? Staff gets paid even when there isn’t an election.
Why does BEC need another $550,000 this year? It is an election year, but BEC is duplicating what the ELECTED County Clerk already does. BEC is: duplicate equipment, duplicate staff, duplicate training, duplicate duplicate duplicate!
Jamie Mathy asked the Finance Director, Scott Rathbun, about the increase. Jamie ends up believing BEC is a pass through entity like the library. It isn’t Jamie, at least you have oversight of the Library and the Council authorizes budget and tax increases.
Nobody has oversight of the Bloomington Election Commission. They recently rented more space after Bloomington expanded their footprint at the Government Center and kicked them out of their office. Who approved that one? Their unelected board?
Several years ago abolishing BEC was on the ballot, it failed then because a good job explaining why wasn’t done. It needs to be back on the ballot with better messaging and clear language. BEC is a waste of valuable resources, the job could easily be done by the ELECTED County Clerk that can be held accountable.
BEC is a farce that has existed for too long. Some candidates have to be on the BEC ballot and the County ballot because their district spans both. That means twice as much work for candidates and confusion for voters. BEC has had numerous problems getting elections right even though that is their ONLY job.
Tired of wasting your money yet?
Just hit play to hear Jamie Mathy and the response from Rathbun: