The Bloomington City Council approved a partnership with the The Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal, Western-Avenue Community Center, Lawrence Irvin Neighborhood Center, and Town of Normal. This partnership helps at risk youth find the resources they need to stay on the right track.
Youth Intervention Specialist Mike Donnelly said they also hope to partner with mental health specialists to get local youth the help they need. Alderman Amelia Buragas said she supports the partnership and its cause.
“The youth intervention specialist I mean that was a pilot program that we’ve decided to continue with because it’s been so successful, and these are the types of programs that are why the City of Bloomington is such a safe place to live," said Buragas. "We’re out there in the community trying to proactively deal with issues before they have become problems.”
Buragas said the payback this program brings to the community is immeasurable.
The council also approved at 2.5 percent pay increase and 18 month contract extension for City Manager David Hales. All alderman were in favor except for Alderman Kevin Lower. This was Alderman Amelia Buragas’s first time evaluating a city manager. Buragas said the evaluation process for Hales was extensive, and had two main concerns with the process overall.
“One is that when we are dealing with city manager compensation, it's in line with what we’re asking from our other employees, and two, that when we are looking at these long term decisions with the leadership of the city administration, that we find a way to engage the citizens and our stake holders more thoroughly in the process."
Buragas said this evaluation process was a learning experience, and hopes to help improve it for future years.