Managed competition, the 2014 budget, an alderman appointment, and state lawmaker talks highlight a big night for Bloomington. (WJBC file photo)
By Zach Dietmeier
BLOOMINGTON - It's a loaded agenda for tonight's Bloomington City Council meeting.
Monday's schedule will likely feature an alderman appointment in Ward 1, a decision on which way the discussion will go on managed competition, and the introduction of the 2014 recommended budget.
Mayor Steve Stockton is recommending the appointment of Jamie Mathy to replace Bernie Anderson until April.
City Manager David Hales said the council will also consider a motion to remove managed competition from the table for the time being.
And, a recommended budget for 2014 will be introduced.
"In fact later in February, a citizen voice meeting will be held with the purpose of citizens and business leaders to come and give input on the budget or city service in general," Hales said.
The city will get an earlier look at the 2014 budget than any past financial plans in the last five years.
"The council is receiving this budget about five weeks earlier which was a major goal this year," Hales said. "We're giving the council more time instead of maybe one month to have that recommended budget and to also hopefully have more business and citizen input."
The council will have two months to consider alterations to the proposed budget. Hales said managed competition will come back later.
"They cannot take any action on the policy and they could have discussion but I don't anticipate that being the case," Hales said. "It's really a procedural motion to take it off the table and decide when they would want to consider for approval."
Prior to the regular meeting, the council will meet with local legislators on state-level issues including taxes, revenue cuts, and city pension funding. Hales said while local citizens pay toward the pension costs, it's important to remember the Illinois General Assembly controls the amount required.
"Unfortunately over the years the benefits have usually gone up," Hales said. "Our taxpayers carry the burden of paying those higher taxes for our union employees."