Despite an admonishment letter from council to the mayor and a new proposal that would remove mayoral power, Bloomington's interim City Manager Steve Rasmussen doesn't think the council is any more fractious than usual.
"I kind of see it as the same as it's always been," said Rasmussen. "I'd like to be an influence to try to bring them together because councils always do have differences and so I'd like to do what ever I can do to help facilitate that." He also stated during GLT's Sound Ideas that it's not his business to manage the council, but instead manage the staff.
On Oct. 23 six alderman signed a letter criticizing what they view as poor behavior by Mayor Tari Renner. During a work session Nov. 20, aldermen will consider a proposal to take away mayoral authority to place issues on the agenda and make that task solely subject to a group of aldermen.
"I don't know whether it's necessary or not," said Rasmussen. "At this time the staff and I wouldn't take a position on that. That's for them (aldermen) to decide."
Rasmussen agreed it could be a solution in search of a problem. However, he also said the agenda is the council's agenda.
"The council is able to move forward its priorities by the things it puts on the agenda and handles," said Rasmussen. "I would like the council to have a strong hand in developing that agenda in determining what they want to move forward."
The council is wrestling with cuts to help address a projected $3 million budget deficit. When asked to prioritize the changes in the aldermanic request form to place items on the agenda and dealing with budget issues like a years-long deficit in the city's solid/bulky waste program, Rasmussen said the issues are on separate lists.
"They're two different things. It's like if I were to ask you, 'Do you walk to work or bring your lunch?'" said Rasmussen.
You can also listen to GLT's full interview with Rasmussen:
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