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Bloomington to hire more cops, firefighters

Tue, 12 Feb 2013 03:51:38 CST
By: Lee Strubinger

Bloomington to hire more cops, firefighters Bloomington City Manager David Hales is presenting a 169.4 million dollar budget to the city council for approval. Included in the budget, submitted a whole month earlier than required, is money to hire several more police officers and fire fighters.
     Hales says the City is thinking long term with the proposed budget, considering several capital needs. He says about half of the City's debt will be paid off in 10 years time.

"Some of these critical needs won't be able to wait for 10 years. Over the next couple of years we'll be facing some very critical decisions. Once we're aware of the needs and priorities, how do we start putting together a very wise but prudent plan to make further investments in our infrastructure."

     Hales says the proposed budget is significant because there are no dips into the general fund balance which, Hales says, the city expects to have saved more than $17 million by the end of fiscal year 2013.
     Also, the City of Bloomington is appointing Jamie Mathy to the empty Ward 1 seat vacated by Alderman Bernie Anderson after he resigned due to health issues.
     As required by law, Mayor Steve Stockton had 60 days to bring forth a person to fill the seat. Alderman Judy Stearns and Steven Purcell both voted against Mathy--due in part largely by the appointment process. Addressing the appointee, Purcell says he has nothing personal against Mathy.

It would've been ideal, obviously, if you had been running for the office and Mr. Lowry was running for the office too and Bernie resigned. And we could make that decision at that point to put Gibson or somebody else in there for the full two months."

     Purcell says someone running for the Ward 1 seat should not be appointed 2 months before the election.
     In other news, the term managed competition is reappearing in the City of Bloomington. The Council voted 5 to 4 in favor of rescheduling a vote on policy aimed at saving the City money by potentially outsourcing inhouse services like garbage pick-up. The measure was initially tabled due to wording issues.
     City Manager David Hales says it's a touchy subject.

As the council knows, certianly this particular policy is a significant issue that is tied up and involved in many of our labor negotiations right now."

     The council will voted on a managed competition proposal April 22nd.


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