If you are serious about changing local government:

by:  Diane Benjamin The next election is in November.  If you don’t vote you deserve whatever government wants to do to you. If you do vote, there are Conservatives running for the County Board who actually understand you aren’t the piggy bank for whatever government wants.  It’s up to you to help them get elected! […]

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.  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=6676 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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Rules for Tyranny Tari

by:  Diane Benjamin Robert’s Rules of Order – Summary Version For Fair and Orderly Meetings & Conventions http://www.robertsrules.org/Provides common rules and procedures for deliberation and debate in order to place the whole membership on the same footing and speaking the same language. The conduct of ALL business is controlled by the general will of the whole membership […]

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:  http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-27/these-are-americas-10-most-and-least-expensive-cities-and-361-cities-inbetween This is a ranking of cities across the country.  Bloomington ranks 153rd on […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=2016 This is a 5 year (2013-2017) Operating Budget.  This is pre-Mayor Transparency since he took over in May 2012. GENERAL FUND […]

Renner veto’s the budget!

by:  Diane Benjamin See part 1:  http://blnnews.com/2014/04/21/council-recap-if-you-arent-watching/ 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]