The Rich Get Richer? – Blame Regulations

In  just ONE year: 41,662 pages of new regulations. The Affordable Care Act, which nobody read before voting on it, was only 2000 pages.  Kathleen Sebelius has written 13,000 pages so far to implement the law, and she isn’t half done. How can this many pages of Federal regulations be complied with?  How many State […]

Unions BUY Tari Renner

Local 99 – Plumbers and Pipefitters PAC gave Tari Renner $10,000 for his mayor campaign: Compare it to Steve Stockton’s 2009 mayor campaign: Mayor Stockton loaned his campaign $12,000.  Cash and in-kind contributions of $10,660 are listed. Mayor Stockton defeated Tari Renner in the last election.  The Local 99 contribution means Tari Renner […]

GOP Healthcare Reform – Update

By Diane Benjamin Another uniformed Letter to the Editor appeared in Sunday’s Pantagraph.  The writer can’t be blamed for not knowing – the media will tell you NOTHING about what happens in the GOP House!  It doesn’t help that the Senate WILL NOT discuss ANY bills passed by the House.  It isn’t the DO NOTHING […]

The #Pantagraph Makes it Too Easy!

by Diane Benjamin Accurate fair reporting allows media to be trusted for information.  For YEARS the Pantagraph has proven to be untrustworthy.  We all hoped, with new owners, things would improve.  NOT A CHANCE! Today they posted a story, locally written, in the Money section titled “McLean County Jobless Rate Creeps Up In June”.  According […]

Peoria Area Neighbors Challenge Agenda 21

It might seem to some local citizens, and even to many of our local city officials and elected council members, that the focus of sustainable issues, and thus, Agenda 21 – related projects, are issues that only us here at CITYWATCH are concerned about. Such is not the case. But, unfortunately, our community and city officials […]

Heartland Community College – Home of NO Transparency

by Diane Benjamin Heartland Community College is a public institution funded by taxpayers.  They are accountable to taxpayers for how OUR money is spent.  Ideology should have NO ROLE in education, but it does at Heartland.  The college pushes “Green” technology at any expense and with total disregard to the people paying the bills.  See […]

Town of Normal – Questionable Land Purchase – UPDATE 2

Received from the Town of Normal: Diane,   Wendy provided me a copy of your email and asked that I respond.  As you see from the documents supplied to you the Town Council authorized purchase of the parking lots from One Main for $500,000.  This was about $240,000 more than the amount budgeted for these […]

A Letter to the Editor the Pantagraph refused to print

Stockton, California has just filed for bankruptcy. They are $700,000,000 in debt. Stockton is six times the size of Normal and they started to renovate their downtown in the 90s, which is a main reason for their bankruptcy. The city made $90 million in drastic cuts over the last three years, including reducing the Police […]

Really Bloomington? Vetting Tari Renner continues . .

From the Pantagraph Jan 19, 2010 BLOOMINGTON — McLean County Board member Tari Renner made it official Tuesday: He is resigning from his board seat effective Feb. 28 because he is moving out of District 8. “It has been my distinct honor and privilege to have served the residents of District 8 since 1998,” Renner […]

Poll Watching Mike Madigan’s Precinct

by Diane Benjamin We are finally able to release this report.  Acorn like groups are suing people trying to insure election integrity, so we had to make sure it wasn’t going to happen to us.  Even though the story doesn’t mention it, all the volunteers were members of the TEA Party.  This video is a […]

Properties the Town of Normal Own-Visual

The properties pictured are all connected to the Uptown project. The Town of Normal is listed as the owner on all yellow properties.  All of the properties were checked on the McLean County Assessor’s Office website.  The parcel pictures are all from the Assessor’s site. The Town of Normal, McLean County, Unit 5, and all […]

#Illinois #GOP Does NOT = Conservative

by Diane Benjamin This is a teaser post – much more information will follow. The Illinois GOP – specifically Christine Radogno – is conducting a war on conservative candidates running for office in Illinois.  She did the same thing during the primary a LOST BIG!  Sorry Christine – conservatives are still on the ballot for […]

“Rebuild the Dream” demanding a nightmare

Rebuild the Dream is a group organized under President Obama to help him get re-elected.  Van Jones, the self-identified communist who was forced to resign as the Green Jobs czar, is one of the forces behind this group. These emails normally sound flowery and have the “We are looking out for you” tone.  This one […]

ISU and Pantagraph Bull***t UPDATE

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee has held hearings on Obama’s WAR on COAL. Is GREEN ENERGY worth the cost?  It’s not the “Do Nothing” Congress – it’s the “Do Nothing Senate” John Boehner’s Office sent the following email today:   #WarOnCoal     Energy & Commerce Hearing Highlights Obama Administration’s “War on Coal,” Expected […]

City of Bloomington Investigated for Violation of the Open Meetings Act – Update

I spoke this morning to the Attorney General’s Office (7/30/12).  Bloomington is responding to Request For Review today.  The Attorney General will forward a copy of the response to me when they receive it.   by Diane Benjamin I thought the Pantagraph was going to file – Pantagraph?

You’ve been Duped Bloomington – Local Main Street Task Facilitator Julie Hile Tells All

It comes to no surprise to those of us “in the shadows“, as we have been tagged. To those of us “in the know”.  Those of us who have been involved in this Main Street/Form Based Code debate with local government from the beginning have known all along something was amiss. And those of us in the know have been well […]

More Grants & Bike Paths

by Vic Connor I’ve been spending time going thru the latest 5 Year Budget of Normal. There is an entry for Normal spending about $200,000 for the Route 66 Bike Trail. Since I don’t normally read the Pantagraph I missed the following story. It’s about the State of Illinois picking up 80% of a […]

Normal Illinois Saves the Country!

by:  Diane Benjamin CPA, reg The total cost figures for the multi-modal transportation station vary from report to report – but I will use the ones listed in the Pantagraph above: Total Cost:                      $43,300,000 Tiger grant:                    $22,000,000 […]

Something Else You Probably Didn’t Know About Normal Il.

Eminent Domain was meant for government to obtain land from private citizens for the public good.  Until 2005, public good meant for schools, public buildings, & roads, but the Supreme Court decided eminent domain could be used against a private citizen for use by another private citizen.  The Town of Normal is now famous for […]


Tonight, at a Work Session prior to the regular Bloomington City Council Meeting, the Council will be presented with, review and determine, at the suggestion of the McLean County Regional Planning Commission, a proposed project scope for the updating of our City’s Comprehensive Plan. You may read this agenda item at the following link: . Within that Project […]

Shenanigans or Tragic? More on Normal, Il.

All the the following is public information or it was obtain under the Freedom of Information Act. On August 20, 2008 – Simon Wilson sold the following parcels to One Main Development for $1,412,500: 14-28-435-013  114-122 E Beaufort 14-28-435-027  North of -013 to College 14-28-435-014   North of -013 to College 14-28-435-030    North of -013 to […]

Town of Normal and TIF districts

by Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal doesn’t have just 1 or 2 Tax Increment Finance districts, it has 4 – all started since Chris Koos became mayor.  The original intent of TIF districts was to encourage developers in blighted areas.  According to one of my sources, TIF districts are now used more to provide […]

More on the Town of Normal-Update

Normal didn’t stop at 2 Tax Increment Finance Districts – More tomorrow by Diane Benjamin The last report on properties bought – sold – given away – and held by the Town of Normal focus on the Normal Uptown Increment Redevelopment.  Part of that strategy is to pay for the plan using the difference between […]

Who Gave Normal Permission to Buy & Give away Properties?

by Diane Benjamin Since Chris Koos has been elected Mayor more than once – You Did! In previous posts about the Town of Normal, I stated in 2003 every citizen was $11.52 in debt to Normal.  By 3/31/11 every citizen was $1725.18 in debt.  The 3/31/12 financial statements have not been issued yet.  A look […]

Vetting Dr David Gill

Excepts from their email:  Note: Bernie Sanders is a self-proclaimed socialist, Bernie and David quoted in the same email? YEP! Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling on health care proved it’s possible for the good guys to win. Even a right-wing Court agreed that the federal government has wide authority to improve people’s lives — handing a major […]

Notes on Normal from CityWatch

Today’s Pantagraph reports in headline fashion on tonight’s Normal Town Council meeting.  The Pantagraph coverage highlights apparently what it considers the most impacting items on the agenda as rural Towanda’s ambulance service and bus service to Normal’s new train station. My point here is certainly not to downplay or minimize the importance of emergency vehicles or emergency response.   Obviously a critical […]