Renner: Council spat shouldn’t impact city manager search

Tari Renner
Mayor Tari Renner said he and the Bloomington City Council will still hear from good candidates for the city manager vacancy.
(WJBC file photo)

By Eric Stock

BLOOMINGTON – As Bloomington’s city council prepares to name an interim city manager, mayor Tari Renner said he doesn’t believe the public dust-up between him and the city council will discourage good candidates from applying for the permanent post.

PODCAST: Listen to Scott’s interview with Renner on WJBC.

“Every city is going to have some bad headlines, especially one about personality conflicts or an email,” Renner told WJBC’s Scott Laughlin. “It’s not likely to scare away a really good candidate.”

The city is expected on Thursday to name assistant city manager Steve Rasmussen to the interim post. After six aldermen gave the mayor a public rebuke this week, Renner said he believe he can have a good working relationship with the city council, but he said several alderman don’t return his calls.

“There’s at least one city council member, actually a couple, that are not very good at returning phone calls,” Renner said. “One I haven’t had a serious dialogue with, and that’s Alderman David Sage, for two years. If you rarely respond or don’t return phone calls, it’s going to be pretty hard to have constant communication.”

Renner says he would like to talk with each of the alderman at least monthly. Renner adds he doesn’t think all of the attention over the city council’s recent letter rebuking him will discourage good candidates from applying for the city’s vacant city manager post.

Eric Stock can be reached at


Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…

Everyone counts and you could make the difference

By Mike Matejka How many federal dollars will there be for road repairs?  To feed hungry families?  How many Illinois representatives will there be in Congress?  Are Illinois communities going to get their fair share? There’s only one way to ensure our community gets treated properly – answer the census. The every ten year U.S. census,…