By: Diane Benjamin
Sheila Montney pulled hiring the lobbying firm from the Consent Agenda. I don’t remember the last time something was voted down after being placed on the agenda. Administration knows where everyone stands before it’s placed for a vote – 3 on 1 meetings usually clear the path. Tim Gleason didn’t attend the meeting, he left it to Deputy City Manager Billy Tyus.
The documentation included that this firm would develop relationships with area representatives. Remember in the past when all legislators attended a local meeting? The night consisted of putting needs in front of them. I don’t remember a meeting of this kind in years. Remember One Voice? A large group of local elected officials, appointed officials, labor representatives trekked to DC for in person meetings. Those ended with Normal getting millions for an underpass vehicles can’t use?
The sound and the video still don’t sync, it must be too difficult.
Some interesting points:
Grant Walsh: 1:02:00 Council needs to address legislators directly
Sheila Montey: 1:03:15 Bloomington is already a member of numerous organizations that supposedly lobby for local government
Nick Becker: 1:05:15 We shouldn’t have to spend this money, but if we do can you guarantee we get the money back? Billy Tyus response: It isn’t just about securing money, it about decision making and insuring our voices heard.
Jeff Crabill 1:09:30 This is a necessary evil.
Tom Crumpler: A lot of communities listed as customers are paying a lot less, where did $90,000 a year come from? Billy Tyus: Different levels of service. Bloomington would be the only Illinois entity they represent.
Sheila Montey: 1:14:00 We are hiring a lobby firm without knowing what items we want them to lobby for.
Jump to 1:15:32. The mayor thinks the vote was tied, it took him a short time to realize the vote failed. He moved on quickly.
No votes: Dee Urban, Grant Walsh, Nick Becker, Tom Crumpler, Sheila Montney.
See who runs the firm Bloomington wanted to hire: http://thornrun.com/team/
Look up campaign contributions on this website: https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=Yul+Edwards
I picked Yul Edwards because of his unique name. Even though this firm claims to be nonpartisan, Yul has been shoveling money to Democrats for years. He has also worked for Democrats in Congress. Others have a similar pattern.
The 5 who voted no did the right thing. It’s unAmerican to pay anyone to get you money from the Federal government that is printing it to hand it out. It’s a scam to raise money to buy legislators. If Bloomington wants Federal money they need to demand meetings with area elected officials. That’s their job, Thorn Run Partners isn’t needed.
Of course Bloomington wouldn’t need money for infrastructure if they hadn’t spent decades ignoring it.
Just hit play to hear the whole conversation: