Here’s the latest on Normal’s street plans UPDATE

My sources tell me Bryan will not have bike lanes.  Cars and bikes are expected to “coexist”.  The purpose of the narrowing is to slow down cars to match the speed of bikes.  The bike master plan for Normal is extensive and expensive.  Cottage is expected to become a 2 lanes road with bike lanes […]

Economic Activity? You Judge

by:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington recently declared the Coliseum has produced $98 MILLION dollars of Economic Activity.  The Coliseum opened in 2006, the first full year was 2007.  2007 Sales Tax receipts were LOWER than 2006 (see chart below).  Receipts increased when the tax to pay for the Coliseum was increased.  Keep in […]

YES you are smart enough

by:  Diane Benjamin I’ve talked to many people recently who think they aren’t smart enough to run for City Council.  Have you watched a Council meeting?  Seriously, most of the current elected do as they are told.  If you are capable of any amount of independent thought, you would be among the best and brightest […]

Fly on the Wall: Flex basketball

I hear the trip to China was cancelled.  Fundraising for charity also wasn’t going well. Anybody surprised? I wonder how that new league is working out?  I wonder if they now regret getting themselves kicked out of a real league!

Why voting Libertarian will destroy Illinois UPDATE

Libertarians:  Please read and think:  http://dailysignal.com/2014/09/30/political-strategists-plot-libertarians-conservatives-can-unite-take-back-white-house/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social by:  Diane Benjamin Yes, I’ve heard all the arguments.  You don’t want to hold your nose and vote again for somebody you don’t 100% like. Get a clue:  There are no perfect candidates!  No even those calling themselves libertarians. Think about this: Democrats control Illinois Democrat Gov Quinn controls […]

Fly on the Wall: Steve Vogel

Here is Steve Vogel’s reason to vote for Pat Quinn in November: Quinn is going to jail.  Paul Vallas (Lieutenant Governor candidate) is going to be a great governor!  After all, the Chicago public schools are great now since Vallas fixed everything. Brilliant!  Anybody still funding the Pantagraph propaganda machine?  Why? . . .  

Weekend Fun – Sort of

Tari: Here’s the problem

by:  Diane Benjamin Nobody is against development Tari, just development funded with taxpayer dollars.  Do I need to start listing all the Bloomington City boondoggles the citizens were told are going to be great?  Or maybe a list of all the City “gifts” they gave citizens that don’t come close to breaking even? I realize […]

Pantagraph: Stupid isn’t harsh enough

by:  Diane Benjamin It’s common knowledge that the Pantagraph is the LAST place to get news.  They have a standing order to NEVER do any investigations. Given that, the RAG could at least use Google. Try it, it’s quick and you don’t have to leave your desk and actually ask tough questions. Cheers and Jeers […]

Renner: Another Indoctrination Retreat?

by:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington budget process for FY 2015 was a sham.  It resulted in 3 new taxes, no time for discussions, and verbal attacks on Alderwoman Stearns just for proposing cuts. Mayor Renner promised an entire year would be spent reviewing the budget for next year.  This video is from the April 28, […]

Enterprise Zones – everything citizens hate!

by:  Diane Benjamin Enterprise Zones:  crony capitalism, no accountability, no transparency, tax breaks for some while everybody else pays. When was the last time government picked a winner?  Think hard, there must be at least one time. I can’t think of one either. Enterprise Zones and TIF districts do create economic development – at your […]

What is the Ward 4 candidate hiding? UPDATE!

by:  Diane Benjamin She is hiding who she is! Her candidacy announcement says she works at the Dorris Law form.    There is no mention that she is the daughter of David Dorris, a big player in downtown Bloomington. Is she hiding that fact because daddy is most likely FOR spending YOUR money downtown? Is […]

Welfare Country

by:  Diane Benjamin Collecting money from government has turned millions of people into government slaves.  Government is NOT being compassionate, they did it on purpose.  The population must look to government to solve their problems or government is unnecessary.  What better way to establish job security than having peons beg at your feet just to […]

Renner: The rest of the world knows better

by:  Diane Benjamin At last night’s City Council meeting, adding bike lanes for the Bloomington portion of Jersey Avenue was approved.  In case you can’t visualize what they approved, imagine turning on to Jersey from Towanda Avenue. On the right side will be parking and a bike lane for around 200 feet.  No parking will […]

Why Alton Franklin wasn’t picked for Ward 8

by:  Diane Benjamin Alton has spent many hours at Council meetings.  He has spoken many times during public comment.  That is exactly why Renner would never appoint him.  Franklin isn’t a potted plant.  Stacking the Council because Renner has an agenda for the City is the master plan.  Franklin would care more about citizens and […]

Mayor Tyranny: Don’t cross me

by:  Diane Benjamin 3 very short clips from last night’s City Council meeting: 1)  Renner sets the rules for Public Comment . 2)  If Renner doesn’t like the public comment – he breaks the rules . 3)  Renner has a woman REMOVED from the Council chamber Some background: If a taxpayer has never attended a […]

Renner is stacking the Council

by:  Diane Benjamin Mayor (less than) Transparency is busy stacking the Council.  Scott Black quit the County Board to be a Renner puppet.  Renner appointed Painter, so far nobody is running against her next year.  Tonight Renner gets another appointment.  The Council members made comments to Renner about his pick but they are still a […]

Me, a black guy from Chicago, and politics

by:  Diane Benjamin Saturday afternoon I found myself marooned in a small room with a black guy from one of the worst neighborhoods in Chicago.  It happened when the storm hit.  (No – he wasn’t a scary dude!) He mentioned his wife would love living down here where you don’t have to worry about being […]

Fly on the Wall: Food pantries

Evidently the local food pantries can’t keep food in stock.  Lines are long, food is in short supply.  Why would formerly prosperous Bloomington-Normal have long lines at food pantries? Think . . Think. . Think hard. State Farm has moved people out.  That means less money in the local economy which means fewer jobs all […]

McLean County makes a mockery of Open Meetings Act

21 Sep 2014 | Brian Costin  Illinois Policy Institute  http://www.illinoispolicy.org/mclean-county-makes-a-mockery-of-open-meetings-act/ In 2010, the Illinois General Assembly unanimously affirmed the right of citizens to speak at public meetings in stating: “Any person shall be permitted an opportunity to address public officials under the rules established and recorded by the public body.” In a sense, McLean County […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

Bring It On Bloomington flops!

by:  Diane Benjamin Of course nobody in Bloomington City government is going to tell you that. The goal was to get 7,660 people to complete the survey.  They only got 1,160.  15% of what they wanted.  It will be declared a success, Mayor Renner will say how he works with data and 1,160 is plenty. […]

Bike lanes: Now we know

by:  Diane Benjamin When I took pictures of Jersey Avenue in Normal and the new bike lanes, it seemed silly that the lanes just stopped before getting to Towanda Avenue. https://blnnews.com/2014/09/10/the-wonderful-world-of-bikes-normal/ On the Bloomington City Council Agenda for Monday night is this: G. Bicycle Lanes on Jersey Ave. (Recommend that the bicycle lanes for Jersey […]

Covering for David Hales

by:  Diane Benjamin The pieces are falling into place.  Last year Alderwoman Stearns filed an Open Meetings Act violation against the City of Bloomington for discussions that took place in Executive Session – those secret meetings citizens aren’t suppose to know about.  To be fair, there are some things that must be discussed secretly, but […]

McLean County Board doesn’t want to hear from you

by:  Diane Benjamin Want proof?  See this link to their policy for speaking at Board meetings:  http://www.mcleancountyil.gov/index.aspx?nid=663 Get on your  knees and beg permission Hope the County administrator doesn’t “misplace” your request 5 days before the meeting Then hope Matt Sorensen (chairman) doesn’t cut you off because you aren’t worthy to waste their time on […]

McLean County Board NEEDS your wallet

NOTE:  If you don’t stop the County Board, Bloomington are Normal are next!  After that is Illinois pushing teacher pensions to local districts.  Think your property taxes are bad now?  Just wait! by:  Diane Benjamin Taxes are theft by government.  Tax increases CUT the money you have to spend on everything else.  Government decides how to spend your […]

Illinoisans are a special kind of stupid

by:  Diane Benjamin Democrats have abused taxpayers in Illinois for years, but citizens don’t care: As ranked by its residents, Illinois is the #1 in worst place to live 745,000 residents in Illinois are now on Food stamps There are nearly 300,000 fewer Illinoisans working today than in January 2008 Illinois has the worst private […]

Coliseum: Settlement, $ changed, stooges

by:  Diane Benjamin Less than 2 weeks ago the cost to repair the Coliseum parking garage was $1,098,836.  The Council approved a contract for repairs:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=7274 Item 7A. Analysis of Bids and Approval of Contract with Structural Preservation Systems, LLC, for Pepsi Ice Center Parking Structure Repairs. Motion by Alderman Schmidt, seconded by Alderman Black […]

Renner will want more $$$$$$

by:  Diane Benjamin “Every Tax is a Pay Cut … A Tax Cut is a Pay Raise”  (So good I copied it:  http://www.cltg.org/) Tari Renner does not understand that or care.  He WILL propose a PROPERTY TAX increase to fund next years budget.  He mentioned numerous times during this year’s budget discussions that Bloomington City […]

Flex and China: I will ask the questions

by:  Diane Benjamin I reported previously the Flex got kicked out of their league last year because they refused to travel to the playoffs.   (https://blnnews.com/2014/04/07/bloomington-flex-the-leagues-side-of-the-story/) Without a League to play in, the Flex started their own.  (https://blnnews.com/2014/08/30/flex-kicked-out-so-start-your-own-league/) Every major local media outlet has reported that China choose the Flex as the only American team […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

Lawsuit Update

by:  Diane Benjamin Here’s the status: – I filed a  compliant against the City of Bloomington siting 5 batches of emails that were either denied or redacted.  I believe the City violated the Freedom of Information Act passed by the Illinois General Assembly to insure open and honest government in Illinois.  (yes, I understand the […]

Coliseum: Wanting you to believe

by:  Diane Benjamin According to the City of Bloomington:  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=18&recordid=1177&returnURL=%2findex.aspx Coliseum 1st Quarter Impact Over $2M Total economic impact in 1st quarter $2,026,789 Posted Date: 9/8/2014 . The Coliseum lost $139,667, but you are supposed to believe losing money is good because of the impact it has on the local economy. . I’ve reported before on […]

Why Renner was predictible

by:  Diane Benjamin If you didn’t look at the 2 applications turned to fill Rob Fazzini’s seat, here’s all you need to know: Diana Hauman – Look at 22.  She is fully on board with spending your money downtown.  Renner’s agenda. I wonder who she listed as a reference and the City redacted?  (section 24) […]

Tari: Is it really hard to tell the truth?

by:  Diane Benjamin Everybody understands that you want the citizens of Bloomington to believe you are doing a great job.   The citizens want to believe their government is working for them, not the other way around.  Citizens want to see government providing essential services without making their lives more difficult, or more expensive. Bloomington […]

Dear Mayor Transparency

by:  Diane Benjamin Mayor Transparency: You asked the City Council to tell you who they thought should get the appointment to fill Fazzini’s Ward 8 seat.  Are their comments a secret?  Does the public not have a right to know their thoughts?  Are you going to release the comments made by the Council?  Are you […]

Renner and Hales obviously hiding the truth

by:  Diane Benjamin At Monday’s Council meeting, spending over $1,000,000 to fix the Coliseum parking garage was on the agenda. Aldermen submitted questions for City staff before the meeting, the questions asked by Alderwoman Stearns weren’t included on the City website.  She questioned Renner and Hales at the meeting as to why hers weren’t included, […]

Fly on the Wall: Renner & Ward 8

Renner is going to appoint one of the two candidates who applied to fill Fazzini’s seat.  We already know who Renner is going to appoint, even though the Pantagraph is reporting she will be interviewed by phone.  He is going to appoint Diana DeSio Hauman, it doesn’t matter the other applicant (Alton Franklin) attends virtually every […]

Rt 150 Rail Crossing: Official Notice

by:  Diane Benjamin The original article started with an email I received.  See it here:  https://blnnews.com/2014/09/08/dont-drive-this-road-in-bloomington/ The pictures show the danger your tires are in driving over it.  Yesterday I received another email saying the State was out patching holes. This morning I received one more email: Ms. Benjamin, I was asked to respond to […]

The wonderful world of bikes: Normal

by:  Diane Benjamin In Normal there is a great sledding hill on Jersey Ave.  I remember taking my kids there.  Even with parking on both sides of the street, at was still hard to find a parking place at times.  It’s a great hill that attracts a lot of kids and their parents. Unless you […]

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