Bloomington: This is the building you are now paying for

By:  Diane Benjamin     The City of Bloomington has been using this building for 2 years – for free – after Connect Transit moved to their new location.  At last Monday’s Council meeting a motion to pay them  $5,226.54 per month passed the Council.  Several aldermen questioned why it was free for 2 years, but […]

ONE day to higher gas prices!

by:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington’s gas tax goes into effect tomorrow – Four cents more per gallon! Bloomington thinks you should blindly pay any taxes they want you to.  The good news is Normal has NOT passed a Motor Fuel tax! Mayor Koos will try to sneak it in when they think you won’t notice, so […]

#DumpDurbin – more reasons

by:  Diane Benjamin If you firmly believe government has to run every part of your life – vote Durbin!  The rest of us see Durbin’s empire crumbling around him – the peons just won’t comply! His latest target is Walgreens.  He has declared Walgreens unpatriotic for considering leaving America for Switzerland.  You can see his […]

More on Normal’s road changes – get a bike

by:  Diane Benjamin Last week I posted a story with a picture of an intersection in Normal.  It’s really hard to tell from the picture what Normal is doing, so today I drove out and took video.  Mayor Koos will be happy to learn I drove my big pickup truck and I even drove through […]

Lawsuit filed

Lawsuit: Benjamin vrs City of Bloomington

by:  Diane Benjamin Transparency in Bloomington means City Hall decides what they want you to see, then they celebrate posting documents they claim you want to see. Mayor Renner has an agenda from which he plans to take no detours.  He doesn’t care what you think and he doesn’t like being challenged.  Many of the […]

Still afraid of Rauner? Read this!

This article is written by economist Steven Moore.  Moore is a co-author of a book called Rich States, Poor States which compares what works and what doesn’t in all 50 states.  It was written years ago, but Illinois was still at the bottom even back then.  If you have any reservations about voting for Rauner, […]

More on the new EPA rules

by:  Diane Benjamin Today I received the August edition of Country Living Magazine  from Corn Belt Energy.   If yesterday’s post was disturbing (https://blnnews.com/2014/07/28/government-plans-to-shut-you-off/) today they are asking (crying out) for help from you.  Here is a link to today’s article:  http://icl.coop/epa-regulations-raise-bills-cost-jobs/ The proposed EPA rules will not only INCREASE the price of electricity, it […]

Tari: What’s the reason?

by:  Diane Benjamin You campaigned in a suit with a bow tie, but you come to Council meetings in a golf shirt?  You claim running Bloomington is like running a corporation, but you and SOME Council members don’t have respect for the office by at least by dressing the part?  It’s difficult to take you […]

Another reason to celebrate Fazzini quitting

by:  Diane Benjamin Aldermen Rob Fazzini really doesn’t like citizens.  He especially doesn’t like them making comments at Council meetings.  He also doesn’t bother to read the law (that he took training in) before commenting to the Council. Before every Council meeting aldermen can submit questions to the staff concerning items on the agenda. The […]

Government plans to shut you off!

by:  Diane Benjamin Corn Belt Electric sends a magazine to members of the electric cooperative every month.  The July Issue has 2 good articles about the EPA shutting down coal-fired power plants. If you weren’t paying attention, Obama promised he would do just that before he ran the first time.  Kiss cheap energy goodbye. Here’s […]

Don’t forget who raised your taxes!

by:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner BELIEVES he can raise your taxes anytime he wants.  He just doesn’t want you to remember he did.  Sorry Tari, just because the Pantagraph and WJBC won’t remember or report, I will. The votes on the 3 new taxes for the City of Bloomington are shown below. The Aldermen who […]

What happened to the PROMISED Coliseum review?

by:  Diane Benjamin I’ve written a lot of articles on the Coliseum.  Mayor Transparency doesn’t want to talk about, he claims it’s here now and we have to do whatever we can to make it a success.  David Hales promised a full review back when the Council was asked to approve changing the Hockey Team […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

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Does Renner want you to know this?

by:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner is going to spend your money on downtown Bloomington!  He isn’t open to any discussions or debate.  Renner fervently believes Bloomington will cease to exist unless people move downtown. Hint Tari:  Call some votes for spending more downtown – it will make it much easier to defeat your potted plants […]

The commission you’ve never heard of

by:  Diane Benjamin It’s the McLean County Regional Planning Commission! http://www.mcplan.org/department/division.php?structureid=14 What do they do?  Make plans for Bloomington, Normal, and McLean County.  Think East-side Bypass, Bike Routes, and now Bring It Bloomington. According to the MCRPC 2013 financial statements, 46.6% of their funding came from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).  Who do you […]

More on Media paid to NOT report

by:  Diane Benjamin At every Bloomington City Council meeting part of the agenda is approving bills and payroll.  On July 14th I reported the bills included 1,355.85 to Cumulus Broadcasting (WJBC) and 3,645.50 to the Pantagraph.    https://blnnews.com/2014/07/14/pantagraph-wjbc-why-they-dont-hold-government-accountable/ On Monday the council will approval more payments to both: http://www.cityblm.org/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=7057 Cumulus $1500.00 Pantagraph $3083.40 Totals for 1 month: […]

Amtrak: The rest of the story

by:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I posted some horror tidbits from a guy riding Amtrak.  Today He copied me on an email he sent to Amtrak with the rest of the story.  Keep in mind while reading it that Amtrak is heavily subsidized with your tax money.  Agencies funded by government doesn’t have to give good […]

Hey Tari: Since you really like the IPI now . .

Before the citizens of Bloomington are forced to fund more downtown spending: Illinois workforce shrinks by largest margin in state history 20 Jul 2014 | Michael Lucci  Illinois Policy Institute In June, Illinois suffered the largest monthly workforce loss in recorded state history. June’s workforce loss was worse than the worst month of the Great […]

Tips for letter writers to the Pantagraph

by:  Diane Benjamin Has the Pantagraph refused to print your “Letter to the Editor”? Did you criticize local government or express conservative values? Citizen can no longer voice opinions about local government or traditional values.  The Pantagraph has elected officials to protect because they have a downtown building to unload and they make too much […]

Bloomington has a food desert!

By:  Diane Benjamin According to the McLean County Regional Planning Commission report made to the Bloomington City Council on July 14th, much of the west side is a food desert.  Evidently Walmart and Jewel don’t count. I guess this is a chance for an entrepreneur!   Got food? http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?Documentid=7003 Page 347 . . . . […]

High speed rail will fail because it’s AMTRAK

by:  Diane Benjamin High speed rail has been shown many times not to be so high-speed.  Since it’s still Amtrak, success is questionable. Below is a first hand account from a friend of mine travelling via Amtrak yesterday:  So if you are planning on taking the Empire builder train with Amtrak anytime before September 30th, […]

What is Normal doing to their streets?!?

by:  Diane Benjamin Normal is changing some intersections on the west side of town.  People driving in this area have reported to me that sidewalks are being brought out into the street.  When they are finished, some residents feel there won’t be enough room for a car waiting at the intersection and a car turning […]

More interesting points from last night’s Council meeting:

by:  Diane Benjamin Did you notice Alderman Rob Fazzini didn’t think the meeting was important enough to stay long?  He had to run to Normal to testify before their Council about his new project – turning garbage into jet fuel.  Instead of representing his ward, he left for personal reasons.  He plans to make money […]

Wow! 3 Freedom of Information Denials in less than 1 week

by:  Diane Benjamin Monday I posted this story with links to 2 FOIA denials:  https://blnnews.com/2014/07/20/whats-mayor-transparency-hiding/ Yesterday my request for emails To or From the New Communications Director Nora Dukowitz was partially denied.  See the letter here:  Dukowitz Denials The City of Bloomington needs to investigate further what can be denied.  I’m done filing Request of […]

Learn how to dump Common Core tonight!

Tonight 7:00 at the Starplex Theater in Normal – live event. There are only a few opportunities in life to make a real difference by standing up for what you believe in. Glenn Beck and Fathom Events invite you to your local movie theatre to experience a live national night of action against Common Core. […]

Renner should TERRIFY you Bloomington!

by:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner wants a hotel and conference center in downtown Bloomington.  Period.  Citizens have already paid $30,000 for a study that showed an $18,000,000 gap between what it would cost and what it will be worth.  Renner was not deterred. Last night Renner claimed again that developers are flooding his office for […]

Bloomington reaches a new low – making you pay

by:  Diane Benjamin Besides trying to justify you paying for a hotel and conference center in downtown Bloomington, tonight the Council will be told how the City can save $200,000 a year.  You pay! $200,000 is pocket change to the City.  $150,000 for flamingos, an estimated $250,000 a year for food and travel, $30,000 for […]

Not just Hobby Lobby that doesn’t pay for abortion drugs

by:  Diane Benjamin I just received my new Health Insurance benefits book for the insurance we have through my husband’s employer.  Since I’m not capable of doing only one thing at a time, I was paging through it while eating lunch. Hobby Lobby just had to take their case to the Supreme Court to get […]

Fazzini exhibits the Council’s arrogance

by:  Diane Benjamin Alderman Rob Fazzini has been known to change his mind before.  Remember when he stated he would never vote for the budget if roads weren’t funded at $14,000,000?  $10,000,000 borrowed and $4,000,000 from the general fund?  Somehow he managed to vote YES on the budget anyway. I hope he is smart enough […]

What’s Mayor Transparency Hiding?

by:  Diane Benjamin When Tari Renner was running for office, he stated all public documents should be posted on the City website.  Watch the video – he almost seemed like he meant it: . I wonder why I received TWO denials in 1 week for Renner emails?  They are public documents, unless you are hiding […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

Hales: I can tell you why staff are leaving!

by:  Diane Benjamin The INTERNATIONAL City Managers Association sends an email every day with links to stories they find interesting.  I’m sure Mayor Renner and David Hales are on the email list.  There is no need to hire an outside firm to do the study, just read your email. Today they have this story: The […]

Renner: I want it NOW! Now! Now! . . .

by: Diane Benjamin The taxpayers of Bloomington already paid $30,000 for a study of putting a hotel downtown. It didn’t say what Professor Renner wanted, so Monday night the Council will get briefed again at a Committee of the Whole meeting-5:30. http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=7039 Renner and Hales will attempt to convince the Council of the great economic […]

ISU Wedding-Gate Part 2

by:  Diane Benjamin I received the email below about the previous ISU story. (https://blnnews.com/2014/07/15/isu-how-do-they-get-by-with-this/) The writer gave me permission to print it – without any identifying information.   I think it shows there are problems at ISU. Diane,Kudos to the article on the wedding fiasco with ISU athletics. Some things to consider for follow-up:  who […]

Events – pick some (Update)

National Day of Protest against AMNESTY Local location is Oakland Overpass (Bunn Street)  July 18th 3:30-5:00 pm  Bring Flags, signs and July 19th – Fox Creek Overpass from 11:00 – 2:00 (might have to park further west and walk back) . Bruce Rauner will be in Normal July 18th at Pub II form 4:00-5:00 If […]

Bring It On Bloomington

By  Diane Benjamin Vasudha Pinnamaraju, Executive Director of the McLean County Regional Planning Commission, made a presentation to the City Council last Monday.  The Council is updating their Comprehensive Plan.  The presentation was on existing conditions in the City of Bloomington.  Some of the data used was from 2010, I doubt it is still valid, […]

Bloomington: Just so you know

by:  Diane Benjamin Update:  Park might be south of Hawthorne Hills – Commercial area? At last Monday’s City Council meeting you got a new park.  The guy who gave it to the City gets a big tax write-off.  The citizens get to develop it, pay for equipment like swings, slides, etc, and then pay to […]

The Zoo – unaudited truth

by:  Diane Benjamin The audited financial statement for the City of Bloomington won’t be out for months.  The Coliseum if allowed to make their own financial statements (unaudited), so I can too. I received the unaudited Trial Balance from the City of Bloomington as of 4/30/2014.  A Trial Balance is a complete list of all […]

Lisa Madigan asleep at the wheel

July 15, 2014    SPRINGFIELD, IL (ECWd) – Attorney General Lisa Madigan was the Co-Chair of Governor Pat Quinn’s Illinois Violence Prevention Authority (IVPA), which means she was a key player in the actions taken by that group, and I think most will agree has some explaining to do based on just a brief review […]

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