Weekend Fun – Sort of

Decatur rebuilt their downtown! Cost here

By:  Diane Benjamin Decatur taxpayers are outraged at the money their City Council spent making downtown a walk-able, livable sustainable space.  They built it and NOBODY came.  Sound familiar? While reading, keep in mind:  The lighting plan for downtown Bloomington is $8.5 Million.  Taxpayers already paid $74, 670 for the study. Downtown Decatur died decades […]

Remember the IWU kid who tried to vilify Stearns last Monday? UPDATE

More Not In Our Town hypocrisy from Twitter: Is this where I’m supposed to say “I object to these words and the damage they cause.  They have no place in our community.”  (from the NIOT pledge – Intolerant words) By:  Diane Benjamin If you watched the Bloomington City Council meeting last Monday you saw: Tari […]

I thought Tari said Bloomington was LOW crime!

by:  Diane Benjamin Not so fast Tari.  Maybe you didn’t know about this report.  Or maybe you did and decided to pretend it didn’t exist.  Maybe you will explain. The below is from CBS Chicago in a report dated December 16, 2014 Not including Chicago, here are the 10 Illinois cities with the most violent […]

Court: What happened! Update

I few people have asked to see the court order issued by the judge today.  Page one is below – there are 13 more pages just like it.  I realize it is difficult to understand.  The judge is responding to the emails the City redacted point by point.  It may be available on line somewhere […]

Court today

By:  Diane Benjamin The judge is supposed to make a final ruling today, 9:00 am, in my Freedom of Information case against the City of Bloomington.  She may be interested in an email I have Tari Renner wrote to a citizen blaming me for all the lawyer fees incurred by the City fighting transparency.  He […]

YOUR opinions don’t matter to Tari

By:  Diane Benjamin The City held a Citizens Summit.  Participants sent a strong message:  Fund essential services first – not wants! The City surveyed citizens.  Citizens sent the same message:  Citizens’ Priority Survey Results Citizens reiterated the same to the Council during public comment last night.  Watch starting at 4:55 Following, Tari gave his State […]

Crony potted plants

By:  Diane Benjamin I wrote yesterday about the Council voting to hand their power over to David Hales:  https://blnnews.com/2015/01/26/bloomington-city-council-becomes-congress/ Dining at taxpayer expense with Renner and Hales makes it easy to be immaterial.  (https://blnnews.com/2015/01/22/remember-the-post-make-sure-you-are-calm/)  SEVEN people aren’t on the Council to represent their Wards.  They think the job is to rubber stamp whatever is brought […]

Did Tari recruit a Stearns attacker? UPDATE!

A reader pointed out something I didn’t see:  Renner saw Brexton in the audience and made sure he got a comment card and was able to speak.  Other people have not been allowed to speak if they didn’t show up in time to fill out a card!  Renner even had the Council vote to allow […]

Bloomington City Council becomes Congress

By:  Diane Benjamin The US Congress gave up much of their power years ago.  The EPA churns out rules and regulations to enforce what they think is important – not what Congress approved. The IRS attacks opponents of whatever administration is in power because they can.  Congress won’t even withhold funding. The Department of Education […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

I wish they would just use a gun to steal your money

by:  Diane Benjamin If you are robbed by somebody with a gun – at least you know it happened. The City of Bloomington would rather you not know. Below is JUST the Admin Pcard spending for 1 month.  Many more pages of spending by other department are at the link below. So far Tari Renner […]

Last night: Community Dialogue

By:  Diane Benjamin There must be a good name for the Pantagraph reporting of last night’s event, but I will just call it ridiculous.  “More than a hundred” people attended, yep, more than 100.  If they had bothered to ask, the church’s main floor holds around 310.  Chairs were set up behind the pews and […]

Hey! Pass this on to Renner and Koos

by:  Diane Benjamin Mayor Renner has declared Strip Malls dead.  Bloomington’s future is downtown.  There is a waiting list of millennials wanting to live downtown. Koos is planning to spend another $60 Million on Uptown so millennials can live in micro apartments. Anybody surprised they are uninformed? This article is from 2013: The Geography Of […]

Fly on the Wall: Pantagraph says it’s YOUR fault

According to an anonymous Editorial: It’s your fault Central Illinois Regional Airport (CIRA) keeps losing airlines.  Quit driving to Springfield, Peoria, or Chicago to fly – you are hurting the local airport. Here’s the plan: 1)  You need to fly somewhere that currently isn’t a destination from Bloomington. 2)  Book a flight out of Bloomington […]

Remember the post: Make Sure You Are Calm? UPDATE

Check the receipts!  Some show tax, some show exempt.   By:  Diane Benjamin Read the original post here:  https://blnnews.com/2014/12/19/make-sure-you-are-calm-before-reading/ I had some help from an outraged reader, Kevin Gerrard, on a Freedom of Information Act request.  All the meals came from PCard charges, similar to a debit card but the City just gets a statement […]

How did the Community Budget meeting go?

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night 100 citizens (invited by their alderman), the Bloomington City Council, and City staff met to discuss budget priorities. First, below is the survey that 601 citizens responded to.  If Excellent and Good were added together, the City would have glowing approval numbers of 84%.  Do you think the results were […]

Tomorrow night: Police-Community dialogue

Thursday Jan 22, 6 p.m., City of Refuge Church, Bloomington. 401 East Jefferson Ask your questions in advance at   http://bit.ly/1wMTMAa More information on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10205642915974868&set=gm.814593568601063&type=1&theater Mayor Renner won’t be there to answer questions about his comments.  He will be here:  http://www.usmayors.org/83rdWinterMeeting/   (At taxpayer expense) Mayor Koos is attending too!

Coliseum: ONE More

By:  Diane Benjamin For the first 6 months of this fiscal year – May 1st to October 31 2014: CIAM reported an operating LOSS of 371,281.77 http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=7613 How much do you think the loss REALLY is? Where is David Hales? Where is Tari Renner? Where is the ______ press? City Council:  Going to give Hales a […]

More Coliseum fraud

by:  Diane Benjamin For the year May 2011 – April 2012: CIAM reported an operating loss of $51,281 Source:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=6561 The auditor reported an operating loss of (1,071,599)  Depreciation of 911,269 = loss of $109,049 Source:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=4650 Reporting by CIAM was off by:  $57,768————— For the year May 2012 – April 2013: CIAM reported operating income of $ 176,759 […]

Coliseum: Just to be clear

By:  Diane Benjamin Coliseum Management issues Quarterly reports.  The media used to widely report their numbers as truth, lately not so much. The year-end for the Coliseum was 4/30/14.  The statements they produce are only audited once a year, Concessions are never audited and no proof exists that taxpayers are getting their share of the […]

Dismal survey Tari

By:  Diane Benjamin Mayor Tari Renner is telling everybody that 58% of residents rate Bloomington:  Good.  They did a survey. Tari missed that 42% DON’T think it’s Good. Look at the actual numbers: Only 601 people participated. Only 349 people rated the City as Good Tari could have gotten that many students at IWU to […]

Bloomington: 4th Ward candidates

Think Coliseum Management should be fired yet?

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve written many stories about the Coliseum and the history of mismanagement and fraudulent reporting by Central Illinois Arena Management (CIAM). I was contacted today by a person who wishes to remain anonymous.  Read the story, then you decide if John Butler and Bart Rogers should be fired.  The City of Bloomington […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

Jeers to the Pantagraph

By:  Diane Benjamin Comments to Pantagraph stories concerning Gabriella Calhoun, Sgt Shumaker, and Tari Renner’s remarks have been disabled. Jeers Pantagraph – Did Renner demand you suspend comments?  I saw some yesterday obviously made by “people in the know”.  I guess only “approved” talking points are allowed. Jeers Pantagraph – For Jeering the Chateau and […]

What did Renner Know and When? UPDATE!

This is a link to the 2013 Pantagraph stories:  http://m.pantagraph.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/mayor-video-of-fight-supports-cops-claim/article_81e5d7da-ea49-11e2-aa65-001a4bcf887a.html?mobile_touch=true _________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin Reading Pantagraph reports of the Gabriella Calhoun incident from 2013, Mayor Renner claimed he watched the surveillance video and listened to the audio of Calhoun in a police car. Renner all but proclaimed her guilty because he saw and heard it […]

Normal doesn’t have enough money! (what’s new)

By:  Diane Benjamin Tell your boss you need a raise.  The Town of Normal doesn’t have enough money because the revenue they anticipated from taxes is lagging behind projections.  Therefore, they have to take more of your money.  A new gas tax and higher garbage fees coming.  Government can’t be expected to subsidize essential services […]

Seattle suspends cop, but not Bloomington?

By:  Diane Benjamin Sgt. Shumaker got punished with a piece of paper for making a racist remark.  That severe penalty is probably still hurting.  Sure. One media report says it can disappear if he stays clean for 5 years.  Wow, so much for that permanent record stuff.  He doesn’t lose anything of value except, now […]

Not In Our Town? Hales institutionalized it!

By:  Diane Benjamin What kind of Police Officer makes a statement like “I hope he bleeds to death” when commenting on a stabbing victim? City Manager David Hales says it’s a personnel issue and disciplinary action was “serious”. Do you know ANYBODY who would say the same thing of an injured person?  The Bloomington Police Facebook […]

Brady Bunch and your tax dollars

By:  Diane Benjamin Recently the Town of Normal agreed to rent space to Rep Dan Brady for $1.  He uses the space in Uptown for his District Office.  If Uptown property is so valuable now, why is Normal leasing space for $1?  Maybe taxpayers should ask. My thoughts went a different direction.  For both Fiscal […]

Ward 4 – the Write-In Guy

By:  Diane Benjamin The upcoming City elections are vital to stopping Renner’s agenda of coming up with new ways to steal your money.  Dan Metz is running as a Write-In candidate.  He has the toughest road to moving on to April.  If you like what he says, contact him and offer some help.  I can […]

Bloomington Council is a joke, a bad one

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night’s Bloomington City Council meeting was short by council standards. Watch it here.   . Alderwoman Stearns was not there to stand up for the citizens – called in sick.  See your future Bloomington, her last meeting will be soon since she isn’t running again. A couple of Aldermen acted like […]

Global Warming? Sure

By: Diane Benjamin In the 70’s, the talking points were Global Cooling.  Then temperatures increased and the talking points went to Global Warming.  Then temperatures cooled again, so now it’s Climate Change. No the science isn’t settled.  No 90%+ scientists do not agree.  No, you can not trust people who profit from towing whatever line […]

Local cage-liner not worth your time

By:  Diane Benjamin I was really expecting today’s story:  Obama college plan gets high marks in Illinois to be Associated Press, but alas a lee.net (parent company) reporter wrote it.  It regurgitated State officials talking points instead of reporting.  It going to be GREAT!.  Silly me, I expected more. Obama wants to “grant” two years […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

Your dime Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin From the Packet for Monday’s City Council meeting:  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=242&parent=7717 COMMUNITY GROUPS/INTERESTED PERSONS CONTACTED: Snyder Development, A. Clay Cox, Edward R. Gower FINANCIAL IMPACT: It is estimated McLean County Land Trust CC-1 currently owes the City $562,194.78 in development fees. There are other “punch list” items that are covered by this agreement that […]

Wasting money, shhhhh

By:  Diane Benjamin March 2009:  Ground was broken for the Fire station on 6 Points Road to serve the City’s southwest side and planned extension of Mitsubishi Parkway. Garbage collection went from $5 to $7 and the sales tax went from 7.5 to 7.75 to pay the bonds on the Coliseum.  The budget shortfall was […]

Renner spending YOUR money to hide

By:  Diane Benjamin Short recap on my lawsuit against the City of Bloomington: Last July Bloomington denied THREE Freedom of Information requests in a week I asked City Lawyer Jeff Jurgens to reconsider, I included Attorney General opinions that his position was invalid He emailed me that they would review the documents and get back […]

The Time is NOW!

by:  Diane Benjamin Face it – the people you elect on the State and National level barely listen to you. They are too busy pleasing leadership to get more money so they can be re-elected. Local elections are the only place you have a vote that counts.  You can go to your alderman’s house, get […]

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