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Bloomington Leaders: “Service Delivery Will Look Different”

Bloomington city leaders say positions may be eliminated to bolster the city's budget, but also say they do not see any positions which should be.

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Photo: Daniel Robison

Bloomington city leaders won't rule out layoffs or higher insurance costs as a way toward more budgetary security.

Bloomington city officials say they will consider all cost-cutting and revenue generation options as they work to make good on a push by Mayor Mark Kruzan to reform the city’s governmental structure and increase its cash reserves.

Speaking on WFIU’s “Ask the Mayor” Wednesday, city Human Resources Director Daniel Grundmann said it’s likely the way in which the city delivers services will change as budget cuts are found.

“Not everything’s going to be the same to everyone all the time,” Grundmann says.  “What we’re really looking at in our organization with this initiative is changing our organizational culture. And that organizational culture is one of driving continuous improvement and constantly looking at our service delivery and how we can do it most cost effectively within the constraints of our budget.  That said, by definition, the default answer is: service delivery will look different.”

Deputy Mayor Maria Heslin says the city will consider combining positions in much the same fashion the Monroe County Council is considering for county employees with similar work profiles. But she says she doesn’t believe much change needs to be made where personnel is concerned.

“Other communities, perhaps, are able to do this kind of approach or kind of process a little bit easier because they can see that there is either several employees or divisions or products and services that are either not performing or are outmoded,” she says.  “We don’t have that.”

The city currently keeps an amount of money equal to about 18 percent of its budget in a rainy day fund, but Mayor Kruzan has said that number needs to grow. When asked by how much, Heslin declined to offer a specific figure other than to say the city does not need to return to a previous budgeting strategy where it held cash reserves equal to about a third of the budget.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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