Bloomington spending priorities-you decide

by:  Diane Benjamin Number one complaint of citizens:  roads falling apart.  So the City borrows $10,000,000 and plans to budget another $4,000,000.  The budget comes out and the $4,000,000 is cut.  The City can’t find a way to keep your car from getting damaged dodging potholes. Guess what they can find money for? Golf paths. […]

Hey! Big pensions and Social Security

by:  Diane Benjamin It’s common knowledge that government pensions are MUCH bigger than anything offered in the private sector.  Teachers remind us they don’t qualify for Social Security, which is true.  But what about local government employees? Below is a list of City of Bloomington employees where the City is paying into both the pension […]

NO progressive Income tax for Illinois!

Lawmakers and special-interest groups across Illinois are trying to dupe Illinoisans into paying higher income taxes. They’re trying to convince Illinoisans that a progressive income tax hike is only a tax hike on the rich. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Need proof? Look at both progressive tax proposals on the table in […]

Bloomington: Employee benefits compared

by:  Diane Benjamin Being a CPA, I like numbers.  Frequently they reveal interesting things.  Here’s my latest: The information listed about employees is now really good on both the Champaign and Bloomington websites – thanks to the Illinois Policy Institute.  All expenses per employee are listed, so I decided to see how much Bloomington pays […]

Fly on the Wall: Electric Aggregation

I’m hearing some of those low electric rates, that were supposed to be locked in by aggregation, may not be so locked. If you live in Bloomington, the rate signed with  Homefield Energy (Ameren) was $0.04539 per kilowatt hour.  It was signed in May 2013 and lasts for 22 months. In Normal the rate is $0.04099 per […]

Comparing Salaries: Bloomington and Champaign

by:  Diane Benjamin In 2012 the population of Bloomington is listed at 77,733.  Champaign’s population was 82,517 This is a link to the City of Champaign salaries:  http://ci.champaign.il.us/cms/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/2013-Compensation-Report-Final.pdf This is a link to Library salaries in Champaign:  http://ci.champaign.il.us/cms/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/FY-2012-13-ACTUAL-TOTAL-COMPENSATION-LIBRARY-POSTED-ON-CITY-WEBSITE.pdf Champaign numbers are fiscal year ended 6/30/13 Champaign City Manager Salary:  $194,905 Total employees for City and Library   […]

Comparing Bloomington – MOVE or start FIGHTING

Originally posted on BlnNews :
I’m re-posting this article in honor of Bloomington’s $180,000,000 proposed budget! See this companion post too:  https://blnnews.com/2014/01/20/more-on-bloomington-champaign-peoria/ by:  Diane Benjamin In 2012 the population of Bloomington is listed at 77,733.  Champaign’s population was 82,517, Peoria was 115,687.  Note:  Bloomington is the smallest!   These numbers are all from the City’s websites.  Total…

More taxes Bloomington!

by:  Diane Benjamin I hope the residents of Bloomington took the time to watch the Council meeting on-line tonight.  You can’t really tell what they are thinking unless you watch it.  It will be available here if you missed it tonight:  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=61  Bring coffee, it’s long. There was a presentation of the budget – $180,000,000 […]

Fly on the Wall: Chamber of Commerce

I have to congratulate the McLean Chamber of Commerce for coming out against the 1% Sales Tax hike wanted by the schools. Hopefully they will decide all future increases the same way-the effect it has on local business. Has leadership at the Chamber changed?  Just wondering.  I hope they aren’t holding off for a different […]

Bloomington: Culture Change is going to COST you

by:  Diane Benjamin Last November the Bloomington City Council held a retreat.  The big topic was a “Culture Change” at the City.  I previously reported on it here:  https://blnnews.com/2014/01/27/culture-tales-bloomington-council-retreat/ Remember, this is the retreat that triggered the Open Meetings Act violation filed by Alderwoman Judy Stearns.  It also triggered Mayor Renner and David Hales hiring […]

Good-bye Poem for the #GOP

We threw Pelosi out in 2010 We’re gearing up to do it again. This time it’s not Democrats to go It’s Boehner, Cantor, and McCarthy so . . Get ready because your goose it cooked Gohmert and Gowdy are leadership booked. We asked you to restore  Constitutional principle Instead you deceived us, doing business as […]

Fly on the Wall: The good news!

City of Bloomington: Scott Black will always vote how Mayor Renner wants.  Now with the appointment of Joni Painter, who will also do whatever the Mayor wants – THEY ARE ENOUGH VOTES TO GET RID OF DAVID HALES! Mayor Transparency? How low does employee morale have to be before David Hales is held accountable?  How […]

Attorney General is for the CITY to IGNORE

by:  Diane Benjamin In November I filed another Request for Review with the Attorney General’s Public Access Office.  It concerned Aldermen Fazzini, Fruin, and Black PLUS Mayor Renner  conspiring together to put the Modified Ward referendum on the March 18th primary ballot. I have NUMEROUS documents outlining their strategy and meetings.  They thought they had […]

I can’t come up with a title for this one!

by:  Diane Benjamin Allow me to set this up: The City of Bloomington owns the Pepsi Ice Center. I reported earlier the Pepsi Ice Center showed a profit:  https://blnnews.com/2013/10/15/how-much-does-the-pepsi-ice-center-cost-you/ The City of Bloomington own the Coliseum, but they handed it over to CIAM to manage. The Pepsi Ice Center now has so many users they […]

Fly on the Wall: Ukraine

Have you seen the news coverage?  Citizens are in the streets protesting because their leadership wants to partner with Russia instead of Europe.  They demand Freedom, not being under Russia’s thumb. Have you noticed how they are fighting back?  Burning tires in the streets to stop the police and throwing rocks and bricks. They made […]

Still living in Illinois? Why?

by:  Diane Benjamin Illinois ranks 2nd for more people leaving than moving in.  Only New Jersey out-ranks Illinois.  (What does that say about NJ Gov. Chris Christie?)  The list of why it’s happening is almost endless, but they all have to do with one thing:  GOVERNMENT.  The first job of government is to protect the […]

ISU students encouraged to destroy their futures

by:  Diane Benjamin Young people have turned on President Obama.  According to a recent poll, 71% of Obama voters regret voting for him in 2012:  http://washingtonexaminer.com/poll-71-of-obama-supporters-regret-voting-for-his-reelection/article/2544165 Young people are realizing the massive debt is going to fall on them.  What does government do?  Give more presents! Today in the ISU newspaper – the Daily Vidette: […]

Does anybody know the Coliseum Parking garage is still closed?

by:  Diane Benjamin The 7-8 year old Coliseum parking garage has been closed since October.  The media isn’t asking questions.  Citizens must find out for themselves what the plan for it is.  David Hales issued his December Monthly Report: http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=6319 .  No mention of the parking garage.  Water usage is down from 2012 though.  Golf has been […]

Coliseum Recap

by:  Diane Benjamin I’ve posted a number of stories about the Coliseum.  The Coliseum saga exemplifies why government isn’t capable of running a business.  Who is looking out for taxpayer dollars? The Coliseum was built and turned over to a private company to run.  CIAM posted an income statement that posed more questions than answers. […]

Legislating from the bench – Foley

by:  Diane Benjamin Scott Oglesby:  I hope you appeal Judge Foley’s ruling  to overturn the arbitrator’s decision.  Next time get a MALE judge.  The female factor is the only explanation for her ruling. The relationship between the Bloomington Police and David Hales was already strained.  The comments made by Hales, as reported in the Pantagraph […]