Nora Dukowitz: The Police Report

By:  Diane Benjamin Unlike Bloomington who NEVER answers Freedom of Information Requests early and frequently extends them, Normal ALWAYS answers!  I certainly don’t approve of how Normal operates financially, but Tari could learn transparency from the Town of Normal.  Normal has never tried to hide anything they are doing. Yesterday I did a FOIA request for any […]

Who is Nora Dukowitz?

By:  Diane Benjamin Since Bloomington’s Communications Director Nora Dukowitz decided to ask a judge to declare knocking on a door illegal, I decided to do a little research about her. It wasn’t difficult because I received her application to the City of Bloomington last month under the Freedom of Information Act.  Nora also still has her resume […]

Nothing will stop Tari

By:  Diane Benjamin Most council meetings are scripted.  The Mayor and City Manager take their favorite aldermen to lunch at your expense and brief them on how to vote.  If the ONLY conservative on the council, Kevin Lower, says anything – nobody but citizens care.  Expect the next 2 years to be filled with 8-1 votes. Besides Public Comment being part […]

Classless Alderman Hauman

By:  Diane Benjamin Citizens of Bloomington need to watch Public Comment from tonight’s meeting.  It starts about 5:30.  https://youtu.be/PzTrILJQlLY Cities 92.9 sent a different representative tonight. He was a must see first speaker. Since the camera was on the speaker, viewers didn’t see Alderman Hauman get up and leave.  Renner said after the speaker that she […]

City Priorities: Somebody else pays

By:  Diane Benjamin Federal debt now stands at more the $18 Trillion.  Bloomington and the County want it higher.  Tonight the council will vote to approve a Federal Tiger grants application to expand Hamilton Road and build a Multi-Modal Transportation Center by the Law and Justice Center. Bloomington can’t afford it, so make the entire country pay […]

Nora, City, and the press

  By:  Diane Benjamin Nora Dukowitz wants a court to approve why she doesn’t do her job.  The Cities 92.9 reporter wanted questions answered and she refused to respond.  Since Nora refused to see him at City Hall, he knocked on her door.  She didn’t answer (no surprise), so he left his business card.  That’s it, no stalking.  […]

Unit 5 and District 87 BURN your money

By:  Diane Benjamin Maybe this story came out over a long weekend so you miss it.  The bird-cage liner REALLY blew the story!  Reason #24367 to not trust them or give them your money! Back story:  A law was passed in 2005 to prevent school districts from fattening pensions of retiring educators.  The Chicago Tribune […]

I’m trying to stop laughing!

By:  Diane Benjamin Since I just got back from a road trip north where driving on roads means paying for the privilege, I haven’t been able to comment on Nora Dukowitz’s attempt to silence the press.  I don’t remember a time when Bloomington had any real local press.  Obviously Nora has no idea what it looks like.  I feel […]

Remember . .

By:  Diane Benjamin The Constitution means nothing if it isn’t defended. This Memorial Day weekend remember all who have DIED to preserve, protect and defend not only the Constitution, but us. Also remember those who would rather government controlled all instead of We The People. Will freedom die in our lifetime? What is your part in making […]

Communists invaded the Pantagraph!

By:  Diane Benjamin Quote from today’s editorial:  http://www.pantagraph.com/news/opinion/editorial/editorial-united-front-is-only-way-to-drive-economic-development/article_942a3be9-533e-5f46-b2f8-d0f15d3ac211.html There must be a consensus to step forward as a group to support ideas or processes that are in the best interest of the county as a whole. I didn’t need to attend the joint Council + County meeting this week to know what was said.  I […]

Soccer: More bailouts for friends?

By:  Diane Benjamin Last weekend a soccer tournament must have been held on the fields by the airport.  Cars and kids were everywhere, so many that a Bloomington Police officer was on duty ALL day to control traffic.  Did the soccer people pay his salary or the citizens of Bloomington? Both Normal and Bloomington are […]

Conflict?

By:  Diane Benjamin Does anybody read the City Code?  Do you know elected officials who might be benefitting “indirectly” from the Giebelhausen fleecing? Chapter 16 : Section 57A : City Officers Not to Have Interest in Municipal Contracts. http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=262 No officer of the City shall be interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract made and entered into under the […]

The Huffs bailout – with your money

By:  Diane Benjamin The Ensenberger building is held by the Huffs as Ensenberger Building Corp.  They own other properties under Front N Center and Consolidated Properties Inc.  To view the County Recorder of Deeds website you have to apply for access, so I will just give some highlights: No Ensenberger condo sales are listed since 2013, the only activity […]

American tragedy

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I met a 24 year old very recent ISU grad.  She is now $114,000 in debt and can’t find a job in her field.  The friends she graduated with can’t find a job in their field either.  She works a job that doesn’t require a college degree.  She may never be […]

LaHood = Hillary Update #2

The Flynn open house is THURSDAY, not Friday By:  Diane Benjamin Hillary Clinton announced she is running for President about 6 weeks ago.  She has yet to do an interview with the press, instead she has staged events with supporters only.  Coronation?  She demands it – mainly because people flee when she opens her mouth.  […]

Front & Center

By:  Diane Benjamin The City had no problem with massive legal fees fighting the arbitrators ruling on Scott Oglesby. The City had no problem with big legal fees to put Paradigm together before the citizens knew Bloomington was even involved. The City has no problem sending $50,000-$60,000 a month to the Springfield law firm for […]

The Rennerwitz show

By:  Diane Benjamin Judy Markowitz will always be known as the mayor who inflicted Bloomington taxpayers with the Coliseum. Tari’s plan for his shrine can be seen here:   http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=531 The City wants to pay $8.2 Million for blank land after Giebelhausen demolishes historic buildings.  The Front and Center building is not in any danger of falling down, according to […]

Freedom of Worship? Really? Update

By:  Diane Benjamin I came across an interesting article today about Bloomington.  It claims Bloomington, not Bloomington-Normal or McLean County, is in the top 10 small cities for educated millenials.  With 2 colleges and a major employer like State Farm, it probably is.  (Even if State Farm is moving jobs out). The article notes 40 […]

Government control intensifies HERE!

By:  Diane Benjamin Does government create economic activity?  Tari Renner believes he needs to control what happens to downtown Bloomington.  Obviously Chris Koos had the same thought when he created Uptown. Meantime, tax revenue is down in BOTH cities.  Both mayors believe more government intervention is needed to force economic development and growth.  Now they […]

Tari on WJBC today

By:  Diane Benjamin Listen to the interview here:  http://www.wjbc.com/2015/05/13/renner-tif-could-pay-for-downtown-development/ Tari seems possessed by Ronald Reagan.  Lately he has been saying often that TIF’s were suggested by Reagan.  Tari, Ronnie also cut taxes and created a boon in job creation and economic development.  Reagan also wanted to stop funding for Regional Planning Commissions because they exert control from DC […]

Karch: What used to be on the website

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I wrote about the exchange at Monday night’s Council meeting between Alderman Lower and Public Works Director Jim Karch.  Numbers to fix the roads were revealed, much higher than the current budget.  https://blnnews.com/2015/05/12/13-7m-9-5m-what-tari-didnt-want-to-hear/ Karch referenced a report on the City website, I looked for it.  I couldn’t find it, so I emailed Jim.  […]

RULES for the REAL press

by: Diane Benjamin If the bird-cage liner or the low information radio station ever want creditability – here’s a tip: When a government official glibly says the law doesn’t say we can, or I can’t by law – CHECK the law! I’ve seen a pattern with the local officials.  To deflect further questions or discussion, […]

BAM! Pantagraph bias revealed

By:  Diane Benjamin The bird-cage liner makes crystal clear today why NOBODY should ever read the rag again.  Not only did they leave out Jim Karch’s statements concerning how much it will cost to fix the roads, some nameless person editorialized about Gov. Rauner’s “private meetings”. Gee, guys.  Last night Mayor (not so) Transparency got […]

13.7M, 9.5M – what Tari didn’t want to hear

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari didn’t want to consider any budget cuts last year, so he forced through 3 tax increases. Tari didn’t want to consider any budget cuts this year, so he is taking $3M from savings. Tari didn’t like the results the citizens summit and surveys, so he’s putting a commission together to study […]

Definition: Public Servant

By:  Diane Benjamin Two schools of thought are in play locally: 1)  Government exists to create Quality of Life – no specific definition 2)  Government exists to provide essential services citizens can not provide for themselves – police, fire, streets, sewers etc Normal switched to option 1 when Koos was elected.  Everything that happens there […]

Hales: If his lips move . . .UPDATE

Evidently Hales hired a Water Director who wasn’t qualified! Imagine that. By:  Diane Benjamin I know it’s a lot to ask, but maybe the local government-run press (bird-cager liner and 90 yrs on air) could every once a while realize they are being lied to. The latest incident occurred this week when Bloomington City Manger […]

Did you know ?

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington has been trying to revive downtown since at least the 80’s.  I don’t know when this program started, but I saw references on-line to loans being made through this program in 1982. Remember Chinatown nightclub and later the Xi Do restaurant (Bou Chu)?  Chu borrowed $200,000 and received […]

Let’s get Tari!

By:  Diane Benjamin Here is a summary of the downtown Bloomington deal: Remember the Life commercial – two brothers want their little brother to try it first? “Let’s get Mikey” Substitute Tari: Much more in the coming days!

Downtown bailout Update!

Read the Comments By:  Diane Benjamin Meryl Huff received TIF money to develop the Ensenberger building, how many condo’s have been sold?  The Front and Center building was taken as collateral by the City and 2.2 Million was loaned to Huff.  Under Steve Stockton the loan was forgiven!  Poof!  2.2 Million gone.  Now the City […]