Pantagraph: It’s not about Starcom!

by: Diane Benjamin Since Mayor Renner completely controls the Pantagraph, today a Starcom story appeared.  In case you forgot, Mayor Renner viciously attacked Alderwoman Stearns Monday night for even suggesting the program should be looked at. The Pantagraph did a nice job covering for the City, no mention of interviewing Alderman Lower about his comments […]

The Budget story the media missed

by:  Diane Benjamin Besides calling Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner’s personal attack on Alderwoman Stearns a “heated discussion”, the media completely ignored what Renner’s veto threat meant for the City.  Tari Renner was willing to put public safety at risk just to get a Utility Tax.  Remember, any discussion of budget cuts instead of tax increases […]

Renner’s Hypocrisy

by:  Diane Benjamin I was just browsing through the packet for the April 28th City Council meeting. One item that got pulled for further review was the Public Comment code.  It starts on page 165.  The interesting part is on page 166.  Besides Mayor Renner’s name at the bottom of the document – see […]

Alderwoman Stearns wins with class

by:  Diane Benjamin After being viciously attacked by Mayor Tari Renner and barely defended by most of the other Council members, Alderwoman Stearns gave this short speech: If you missed the Renner atack:

More on Renner’s Outrageous attack

by:  Diane Benjamin Maybe Mayor Renner thought he could take Alderwoman Stearns out last night because the media has given him very little push back.  It was irresponsible for Cities 92.9 to run Renners degrading comments about Stearns and StarCom for 2 days without fact-checking the Mayor.  After all, he is a well documented liar. […]

Normal hits a new LOW!

by:  Diane Benjamin The Normal Township Assessor’s Office wants to make sure they have apartments valued correctly for real estate tax purposes.  If you own apartments in Normal – I urge you to NOT complete and return the requested information. The Normal wants to know how much money you make from YOUR property!  You will […]

Mayor Unhinged – the video

by:  Diane Benjamin The Place:  Bloomington City Council meeting 4/28/2014 Topic:  2015 budget Mayor Tari Renner got everything he wanted – 3 new taxes and almost no discussion of spending cuts.  2 Aldermen presented a list of cuts to be considered, the cuts were never discussed in open session. Mayor Renner spent the Friday and […]

Renners GOES off on Alderwoman Stearns

by:  Diane Benjamin EVERY citizen of Bloomington needs to see their out of control Mayor.  When the video is posted – start watching Renner’s rant and attacks on Alderwoman Stearns around 1:45, maybe a little before.  Mayor Renner’s comments are outrageous and way beneath the Dignity of the Office of Mayor!  His comments were personal attacks […]

City Council Live

by:  Diane Benjamin Renner:  I have to spend so much time, capital etc just keeping the doors open.  100 non-union employees hadn’t been evaluated.  Union contracts on hold for 2 years.  Bold pension policy.  (Same story different day)  Renner is saying everything again he has already said in the past.  Raise taxes now – it’s […]

Here’s your Mayor Bloomington

He forgot to mention a budget already did pass.  He’s not making tough choices – he is raising taxes.  The tough choice would be cutting spending – but then this is what Bloomington elected. From: Tari Renner Date:04/28/2014 11:04 AM (GMT-06:00) To: [email protected] Subject: The Budget–we need YOUR help!  Hello Everyone – We are down to the wire. The […]

The Flamingo Budget

by:  Diane Benjamin Instead of the Flamingo Budget, it could be called one of the following: “Take a Staff Member to Lunch” budget “Feed the Council Pizza” budget “Pay for Staff to See the County” budget “Renner No Cuts Possible, only more taxes” budget Renner never responded to the food and travel budget cuts Stearns […]

How expensive is living in Bloomington-Normal?

by:  Diane Benjamin Mayor Renner loves to compare taxes in Bloomington-Normal with surrounding cities.  He loves saying the City get only 24% of the local real estate taxes.  Is Bloomington a cheap place to live? Maybe he should see this link: This is a ranking of cities across the country.  Bloomington ranks 153rd on […]

Pissing Match

by:  Diane Benjamin The title is in honor of Mayor Tari Renner – that’s what he called the budget process on WJBC this morning.  Let’s examine that Tari. Renner lamented the fact that the dysfunctional government in DC is now in Bloomington.  What has changed since the last budget process Tari?  Scott Black – but […]

Council Retreat: Here’s the minutes

by:  Diane Benjamin Last November the Bloomington City Council held a 2 day retreat.  This morning I couldn’t find the retreat minutes at the link I previously had, but I did finally locate them:  Retreat Minutes Mayor Renner has publicly claimed the budget has been discussed for 9 months.  This morning he claimed the budget […]

Bloomington: Beyond serious

by:  Diane Benjamin Let’s get some facts on the table first. Alderwoman Stearns is out of the country Mayor Renner sent her more than one email yesterday inferring her budget numbers were incorrect and not contributing to the discussion Mayor Renner did an interview with Rachel Wells at the Pantagraph conveying the same to her […]

Hey Tari: Tone down the rhetoric?

by:  Diane Benjamin How are you feeling Tari?  A little stressed?  How about I give you 2 minutes like you gave to each alderman to respond to the budget!  You want to spend $180,000,000 and claim to have been discussing it for 9 months(a lie) and each alderman gets 2 minutes? You crossed a new […]

ISU finally does something right

by:  Diane Benjamin Fired horticulturist Patrick Murphy HAS been rehired by ISU.  It is not the same job he had, but he’s happy with it. Murphy was fired after an altercation occurred with former College President Tim Flanagan.  Flanagan was later charged with disorderly conduct. I know a lot more details, but I’m going to protect the […]

Dear Lisa Madigan,

Attorney General, Wanting Open and Transparent Government was a great idea.  God knows Illinois suffers from more corruption than most other states, but lip services doesn’t fix the problems.  You created the Public Access Office to give citizens a remedy for holding government accountable.  If the office worked, Illinois would be a better place to […]

Scott Black outed you Tari!

by:  Diane Benjamin Mayor Renner has repeated over and over the Council has been discussing the budget for 9 months.  Scott Black was on Cities 92.9 this morning with a different story. According to Scott, the Aldermen had private meetings with City Manager David Hales starting in late February.  Hales met with them 2 at […]

Confused about Independent Maps?

by:  Diane Benjamin Mike Madigan doesn’t want the Redistricting Constitutional amendment on the November ballot.  In 2010, since a Democrat was elected governor, Democrats got to redraw the maps.  They used gerrymandering to insured Democrats will completely control Illinois until 2020.  It also insures that Republicans will represent huge areas making it difficult for them […]

More Coliseum questions – Anybody care?

by:  Diane Benjamin Bart Rogers was listed on the Coliseum website as the General Manager.  Now there is no General Manager, Rogers is a Vice-President  There are a couple of Assistant Managers though and an Associate General Manager.  Could the changes have something to do with the contract terms CIAM has with the City of […]

Add “Arrogant” to Tyranny Tari!

by:  Diane Benjamin Mayor Tyranny had been threatening for at least a week to veto the budget if  the tax increases he wanted didn’t pass.  He has the City legal staff at his disposal to research the veto, but evidently he didn’t consult them. TT’s veto at the Monday night meeting has been declared illegal […]

Let’s talk Administration Tyranny T

by:  Diane Benjamin Maybe you should have let Alderwoman Stearns talk Tari.  Were you afraid of what she would say? How about some facts on Administration spending. See this link – Page 125: This is a 5 year (2013-2017) Operating Budget.  This is pre-Mayor Transparency since he took over in May 2012. GENERAL FUND […]

Tyranny Tari

by:  Diane Benjamin I’m trying out a new nickname, Mayor Transparency is still good, but now he has taken a turn to the dark side.  Been working on the budget for 9 months Mayor?  Really?  Where are the meeting minutes?  It wasn’t discussed at the 2 day retreat in November, I’ve listened to every Council […]

Renner veto’s the budget!

by:  Diane Benjamin See part 1: THERE WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH MONEY FOR GOVERNMENT 2 tax increase and they are still $1.2 MILLION short. Just wait until next year and the next year when pension payment go even higher.  Fazzini proposed cutting 2 stop light installations, otherwise Lower and Stearns are the only aldermen […]

Council recap – if you aren’t watching

by:  Diane Benjamin The meeting started with public comments.  One citizen arrived late (from working all day), Alderman Lower had to make a motion to allow him to speak.  Alderman Fazzini voted AGAINST letting him speak, all other members voted YES.  Nothing else had been started before the vote – nice way to silence the […]


by:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington residents:  Your taxes will be going up tonight. Council members who said they would never vote for this or that will.  The potted plants will do as they are told. Attend tonight’s meeting or watch it live on-line.  Any opposition to tax increases will be vilified and discussion cut off.   […]

One Nation Under God?

by:  Diane Benjamin Not at the Pony League fields.  They are playing baseball on Good Friday – 7:00 pm If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under. Ronald Reagan If you don’t understand, I feel sorry for you. . . . .  

Think ISU will do the right thing? WRONG

by:  Diane Benjamin Because of disgraced former President Tim Flanagan, Patrick Murphy lost his job at ISU.  I have talked to people who worked with him and worked for him.  Patrick is one of the good guys and ISU is throwing him away.  Patrick has a degree in horticulture from ISU.  Since Flanagan was arrested […]

Fly on the Wall: Pantagraph

Today I saw a “cartoon” on the Opinion page.  This is why old media is DEAD! The cartoon apparently mocks the people blocking the Paycheck Fairness Act being pushed by Obama. Apparently the media no longer fact checks the President’s speeches.  It’s been illegal since the 1963 Equal Pay Act to pay men and women […]

Your vote for President is becoming worthless

by:  Diane Benjamin Ever heard somebody say they don’t vote because it doesn’t matter?  We used to think they were being ridiculous and misinformed.  Maybe they aren’t so wrong. 10 states and the District of Columbia have now passed a National Popular Vote bill.  These states comprise 61% of the electoral college vote.  The President […]

Mark Peterson doesn’t like transparency

by:  Diane Benjamin Remember this email?  Remember how the City of Bloomington tried to hide it from a Freedom of Information Act request?  Remember how I filed a complaint with the International City Managers Association since they “claim” to have a code of ethics?  They still haven’t made a determination on my complaint.  Ethics in […]

Bloomington’s out-of-town lawyers

by:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington budget fight has included discussions of City spending with non-local lawyers. I previously posted what I received from the City under the Freedom of Information Act showing how much has been paid to Clark Baird Smith in Rosemont.  The City would only provide me with totals – they claimed attorney-client […]