Bloomington Residents Voice Concerns At Renner's First Town Hall | WGLT

Bloomington Residents Voice Concerns At Renner's First Town Hall

Bloomington residents had a lot to say to Tari Renner on Tuesday and tensions rose during the mayor’s first town hall meeting at the YWCA McLean County.

Alderman Karen Schmidt said the 35 people who asked questions showed opinions often differ.

“There were some tough questions that were asked and I think you saw that not everybody in this community has the same priorities for where we spend our money, and actually having these conversations will help us as a council,” said Schmidt.

Schmidt also said it may be difficult for people to see the full picture of how the city works. Many economic concerns focused on property taxes and what drives city growth. Other issues included economic development and council transparency. A few residents asked questions concerning whether the council had the right priorities when budgeting.

Resident Vince Rasa asked Renner about the possibility of building a sports complex. Rasa said some of the city’s current plans may not be enough to attract people.

“My concern is I don’t see Bloomington as the destination it was about seven years ago, and it seems like revitalizing some of the downtown area is not going to bring people in,” said Rasa.

Renner, now in his second term as mayor, said there are benefits to this idea but the city doesn’t currently have the needed funds to pursue building a sports complex.

Renner, who returned from a five-week leave of absence Oct. 1 for undisclosed medical reasons, will hold two more town hall meetings later this month. Details are on the city’s website.

WGLT depends on financial support from users to bring you stories and interviews like this one. As someone who values experienced, knowledgeable, and award-winning journalists covering meaningful stories in central Illinois, please consider making a contribution.