By Michael J. Whelan
Within the past couple of days I’ve read that new and existing home sales in Bloomington-Normal are way up compared to a year ago. I’ve also read that our lame duck mayor and city council, with only one no vote, approved a significant raise for our Bloomington city manager, retroactive over the past three years. This is the same city council that has shelved outsourcing city services and paid only the minimum into the city employee retirement plan, to say nothing of approving yet another city park.
Why, any day now I expect our local lending institutions to loosen their lending requirements to allow anyone who is breathing to qualify for a home mortgage loan, regardless of income level or job status.
Yes sir, happy days are here again!
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we seem to be heading back down that same old slippery slope to fiscal insanity, given that our collective memory is about the same length as the attention span of a cocker spaniel puppy.
The lame duck mayor’s reasoning for promoting the city manager’s generous raise is that the lame duck city council is the body which has the most familiarity with the city manager’s performance, unlike the incoming newly elected mayor and some new city council members. This sounds like the same maneuver employed by our most recent lame duck state legislature in approving a sixty-seven per cent increase in the state income tax rate.
Don’t get me wrong. I do think our current city manager is an improvement over his predecessor. But seriously, was this type of raise really necessary to keep him in the position? Especially in light of the aforementioned shortfall in the city employee pension funding level, to say nothing of the endless miles of crumbling streets in town.
Almost makes me wish State Farm would pull up stakes and move to Texas. I can’t say I’d blame them.
Michael J. Whelan has been a licensed practicing attorney for over 33 years. He also serves as an arbitrator in the 11th Judicial Circuit Mandatory Arbitration program. In addition, he is presently the president of the board of directors of his homeowners association, and is also a member of the board of directors of The Old House Society. He and his wife of thirty-one plus years, Cheryl Whelan, live in Bloomington. He and Cheryl enjoy exercising, reading, and being close to family and friends.
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