Retiring Bloomington City Council member Jack Baloga informed the Newsletter this week that the City Council will only consider citizens for membership on the Strategic Planning Committees that are sent to the Council by City Manager Jamie Verbrugge .
The strategic planning process, as described on the city website, includes the Core Planning Team, which will develop a plan to present to the City Council; an Action Planning Team, which will break the strategic plans objectives into specific measurable action steps; and the Measurement Team, which will monitor progress on the plan.
“The difference between this and other strategic planning processes is that this is being done in partnership with the community,” Verbrugge said. “We want the community’s voice reflected in this strategic plan.”
The City Council uses different processes to select members of committees but has in the past most often winnowed applications itself. The work of the strategic planning committee will influence Bloomington policy for years into the future. Why the City Council chose to delegate selection to the City Manager is not clear. Inquiries to the City Manager’s office about the process have not been answered by publication time.
Councilman Baloga informed the Newsletter that the City Council gave this task to City Manager Verbrugge without taking a formal vote. The Newsletter will continue to attempt to determine why a paid employee of the citizens of Bloomington who has a personal stake in the outcome of the committee’s deliberations has been given veto control over which of his employer-citizens get to join that committee.