Bloomington mayor calls on taxpayers to help tired, stressed city
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BLOOMINGTON (Illinois Watchdog) — Pity the
poor workers of Bloomington, Ill.
They’re tired, burned out, stressed. They need help, more money and
better pensions, a city leader says.
That’ll fix things.
“Too many employees have not achieved a healthy level of work-life
balance,” Bloomington City Manager David Hales said. “Unfortunately,
this is resulting in job stress, anxiety and burn-out.”
Apparently not content with spending taxpayer money on an arena millions
of dollars in the red, or on a million bucks’ worth of trash cans, the
city wants to spend $7 million more to improve that “work-life balance.”
YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING: Stearns said she couldn't believe the tax hike
YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING: Stearns said she couldn’t believe the tax hike
Hales’ solution is to raise taxes on things such as cable TV and
electric bills, grabbing enough cash to hire 17 new workers and give pay
raises and pension bumps to many of the almost 650 currently on the
“As I meet with employees around the city … I continue to hear time and
again employees state that they feel over worked, under-appreciated and
Too bad, says Adam Andrzejewski, founder of the government watchdog For
the Good of Illinois.
“Here’s a guy that out-earns every governor of the 50 states and is one
of the top 47 paid city managers in the state of Illinois,” Andrzejewski
told Illinois Watchdog. “(Hales) costs taxpayers, every single year, in
excess of $270 thousand dollars. I am not going to give him any
Andzerjewski said taxpayers pay Hales $176,439 in salary and almost as
much for pensions, benefits and other perks.
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“The fact that (he) is claiming that he has a poor work and life
balance is disturbing to me,”
It’s disturbing to other city leaders, as well.
“I was appalled. I am still in shock,” Bloomington alderman Judy
Stearns and the rest of Bloomington’s City Council will ultimately
decide on Hales’ proposed tax hikes.
Good luck with that, Stearns said.
“I will not support these tax increases. Period. Taxpayers are the
piggy bank. We need to cut back.”
Hales is proposing a new amusement tax — on everything from movie
tickets to the city’s zoo. He wants to max out the city’s utility
The new city budget would increase spending by $11 million, with
more than $7 million going to city workers. Pension increases for
police officers and firefighters alone will top $1.5 million
“We’ve raised fees. Charges for services went up 10.9 percent;
water, 5.8 percent; sewer, 15.4 percent; and solid waste, 13.4
percent,” Stearns said. “Our citizens are maxed.”
Stearns is urging voters to stand up and say no. Bloomington will
decide on its budget in April.
Contact Benjamin Yount at
Ben@IllinoisWatchdog.org and find him
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