Watching pennies

by:  Diane Benjamin One thing I found while reading all the emails about Paradigm concerned a retreat for Town of Normal employees held at Starved Rock.  I filed another Freedom of Information Act for details and I received them yesterday.  Probably the citizens never would have known if one email hadn’t made reference to it. […]

More on the Bill Brady money – $750,000

by:  Diane Benjamin Note:  The Brady grant of OUR money would NEVER have happened without the approval of Renner and Hales.  Blame not only Bill Brady but them for bringing it to the Council. Renner’s pick to replace Rob Fazzini, Diana Hauman, voted last night to take $750,000 from the bankrupt State of Illinois for Central […]

Renner, Koos, and Net Neutrality

by:  Diane Benjamin Net Neutrality hasn’t received the attention is should.  First, you have to understand what it is.  Government creates names, like the Affordable Care Act, to make people believe it’s a good thing.  Is the Affordable Care Act affordable?  Maybe it is if you are using other people’s money to cover part of […]

Renner 0, Council 2

by:  Diane Benjamin Mayor Renner has decided he makes all the rules on liquor licenses in Bloomington.  He made himself Chair of the Liquor Commission and appointed 2 others to the board.  One of them will go along with whatever Renner wants, not sure about the other one, but it doesn’t matter.  2 votes are […]

Bill Brady: I gift you $750,000 Update #2

This would NEVER have been on the agenda without Renner and Hales supporting it.  Upset about mis-use of taxpayer money?  Now you know who to blame! 5-4 vote Bloomington is taking the money.  Votes against were Kevin, Judy, Mboka, and Karen.  Evidently Billy said the money had to be used for this project. by:  Diane […]

Fly on the Wall: Prevailing Wage

Illinois has a law – union labor only needs to apply for construction contracts.  Of course, they call it paying “prevailing wage” and require apprentice programs. Tonight Bloomington wants to require union labor for construction in TIF districts – like a new hotel downtown.  Free market labor NOT welcome. Can anybody think of a union […]

Priority Based BULL

by:  Diane Benjamin Do you remember the budget discussions that took place earlier this year on the Bloomington City Council?  Mayor Transparency Renner demanded tax increases and declined to consider any cuts.  He publicly vilified Alderwoman Stearns for even presenting a list for consideration!  Renner vetoed the budget – then he got his 3 new […]

Bloomington Retreat Report! (cough)

Correction:  The Department heads didn’t have to come today, they have Saturdays off.  Only minimal staff and the Council are there today.  The Council is really earning their $4500 a year salary. __________________________________________________ by:  Diane Benjamin Yes, I stopped by the Den yesterday.  If you want to see all the highest paid employees of the […]

How government parties on YOUR dime

By:  Diane Benjamin Since a big majority of people want to hear more about Paradigm, I’m reading the vast amount of information I received under the Freedom of Information Act from the Town of Normal.  Thanks for the workload folks. When I find something interesting, not necessarily related to Paradigm, I’m going to stop reading […]

Judy Stearns: I’m not running for a 3rd term

By:  Diane Benjamin Alderwoman Stearns announced this morning on Cities 92.9 that she will not be seeking a 3rd term on the Council.  The taxpayers of Bloomington will be losing their biggest advocate.  I occasionally hear “Judy just votes NO to everything”.  That’s not true, but she does oppose spending your money on Wants instead […]

Yippee! Retreat tomorrow!

By:  Diane Benjamin The re-scheduled retreat for the City of Bloomington is going to be held Friday and Saturday.  It is happening at the Den – no live streaming will be available.  What does Renner and Hales have to hide? I’ve seen the room, the chairs don’t look all that comfortable.  So why are they […]

Paradigm Preview

By:  Diane Benjamin Evidently readers want to know the story of Paradigm that hasn’t been told before.  a small percentage clicked I don’t know what Paradigm is, so briefly here’s the background: Bloomington Alderman Rob Fazzini quit the Council to be President of Paradigm BioAviation.  They wanted both Bloomington and Normal to pay them to […]

Did corruption beat Quinn?

by:  Diane Benjamin The incredible waste of taxpayers dollars before the 2010 election didn’t make much news downstate.  The media thought it was nothing more than politics and questions from republicans were unjustified.  Maybe the people of Illinois knew better.  Maybe the people are sick of low job growth, companies leaving the state, and high […]

Fazzini, Paradigm, you paid

By:  Diane Benjamin Rob Fazzini resigned from the Bloomington City Council effective September 3rd.  He resigned to be President of Paradign BioAviation, a firm that wanted both Normal and Bloomington to pay them to haul off their garbage.  By now you know a joint Council session dashed all hopes of this project coming together here. […]

Bloomington Debt – Are You Toast in 5 years? Update

I’m still trying to interpret the City’s presentation of debt.  The accompanying notes don’t match the tables, more later.   By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington has issued their Financial Statements as of 4/30/2014.  The numbers below start on page 51. The current debt payments are set to explode in 2020: The outstanding […]

Bloomington vrs Madison Wisconsin

by:  Diane Benjamin The population of Madison Wisconsin is estimated at  243,344, Bloomington is around 77,000.  That makes Madison more than 3 times bigger than Bloomington. Madison has a full-time Mayor, salary $131,855.74 Bloomington has a full-time City Manager, salary $202,489 Bloomington has 23 employees earning more than $125,000. Madison has 25 employees earning more than […]

Fly on the Wall: Steve Vogel ethics

Talk about hypocrisy! Saturday the Pantagraph’s Steve Vogel lectured journalists on ethics.  He forgot he doesn’t have any moral ground to walk on. Until forced to reveal his daughter was Tari Renner’s campaign manager twice, he loved writing glowing stories of City management. Spare us the lectures Steve, let us know when the Pantagraph and […]

Get Out and VOTE!

By:  Diane Benjamin Below are links to every story I’ve written about the election. I received a report yesterday that in the LAST election an electronic voting machine switched a Republican vote to Democrat – IN BLOOMINGTON  Funny how they NEVER switch a Democrat vote to Republican!  Use Paper ballots, fraud will be rampant in Illinois. Vote for […]

Coliseum: What the auditor says

By:  Diane Benjamin The audited financial statements for the Coliseum year ended 4/30/2014 are finally posted on-line: Below is the auditors statement of Revenues and Expenses.  The numbers in RED are what CIAM (Central Illinois Arena Management) reported.  See their report here:  Coliseum 4/30/2014 Note that CIAM reported more revenue than the auditors.  Including […]