Bloomington mayor, girlfriend fly to Japan on taxpayers' backs, group contends
John Kraft wants to know what city business Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner's girlfriend has to conduct in Japan.
The co-founder of the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW) wrote on the group's Illinois Leaks website that he doesn't understand why the Bloomington City Council approved airfare for Margot Ehrlich to accompany Renner to sister city Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan, or why the city paid for another trip for Renner that appears to be more of a vacation than work.
"[H]e shafted the taxpayers of Bloomington even more, forcing them to pay for the cost of airfare for his girlfriend, at $1815.67 for the ticket – at least Renner’s Facebook page claims he is in a relationship with her, Ms. Margot Erhlich, who is employed at Illinois State University," Kraft wrote.
The airfare was listed on page 115 of the bills submitted to the City Council and approved on the consent agenda at the June 26 council meeting.
Kraft also asked who was paying for the hotel, food and other expenses while Renner and Ehrlich were visiting Japan. He contends that the city's payment of expenses that have no public purpose is a violation of the Illinois Constitution. Public funds may be used only for public purposes as authorized by law or ordinance.