David Hales misleads WJBC

By:  Diane Benjamin

City Manager David Hales was on WJBC with Scott Laughlin yesterday.  The interview is the perfect example of the media not forcing the truth from a City official.  Maybe Scott didn’t know what questions to ask.  You can listen to the interview here:


Yes, it’s painful, but the part that interested me starts at 7:20.

Scott mentioned that a speaker at public comment  Monday (obviously a BlnNews reader!) brought up concessions at the Coliseum and she urged the council to not approve the scoreboard purchase unless financial data was disclosed.  Hales claimed the City knows in “great detail” what the concession sales are.  He went on to explain the City hires independent auditors to audit the “Coliseum”.  Hales said all the audit reports are on-line, there for everybody to see.  Nice spin David.

Here is the latest available page Hales is referring to:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=7481  Page 10


Questions David SHOULD have been asked:

Who does the Coliseum receive a percentage of the food and beverage concession sales from?

Answer:  BMI Concessions – John Butler

Is BMI Concessions audited?

Answer: NO!

How does the City know they are getting their fair share when BMI Concessions won’t produce any reports generated on the CITY OWNED Point of Sale equipment?  The taxpayers are even buying them NEW Point of Sale Equipment!

David Hales is a master of political spin.  The only person he is protecting is John Butler!  Why are you protecting Butler, David?

Concession Revenue History for the Coliseum – NOT BMI concessions,  all are for year ended 4/30

2007     $400,434

2008     $299,155

2009     $302,096

2010     $260,205

2011      $293,361

2012      $280,726

2013      $259,559

2014      $266,042

2015      $155,218


  • How do you know John Butler isn’t stealing from the taxpayers?
  • Why has the revenue paid to the City dropped significantly?
  • Why is the City re-negotiating a contract when performance is so poor?
  • John Butler gets a salary from the Coliseum (I think, that’s also a secret).  Butler gets commissions and management fees too.  He also gets whatever money BMI concessions makes, since the above numbers are between 15% and 42% OF GROSS SALES, Butler could be raking in tons more money from a CITY owned asset.
  • The Coliseum isn’t making money, financial impact is nothing more than redistributing tax dollars to businesses that benefit from the Coliseum’s existence.
  • Dixon Illinois lost $55,000,000 by theft WHILE their financial statement were audited.  BMI Concessions is NOT audited, how much did Bloomington lose?
  • It’s your job to mange the City and the Coliseum.  Obviously either you aren’t capable or you and John Butler are working together to keep citizens in the dark.  Which one is it David?
  • Where in the City’s contract with CIAM is BMI Concessions authorized?  Funny, I can’t find it.

The only way the City of Bloomington can restore faith in the Coliseum is to completely sweep the current management.  An independent firm with a contract favoring taxpayers must be created.  If CIAM is re-hired, the Coliseum will continue to fail.

Go back the interview.  Previous to this discussion is Hales spinning the video boards purchase.  Knowing how he spun concession sales, do you believe anything he said?


10 thoughts on “David Hales misleads WJBC

  1. Sounds like a non-audit deal Canteen Corporation had with Ohare airport and city of Chicago. Didn’t work out real well for anyone. Transparency is needed here. Next question, why do you think people and business operations are leaving Bloomington and Illinois? Overt corruption makes me happy my real estate taxes are only 9k a year. Not I out town! (Kinda like a confederate flag)


  2. You can’t expect wjbc to ask David Hales tough questions. Like they routinely say. “He is a friend of the show.”


    1. Do you suppose David Hales would be a friend to let’s say 92.9 for a question and answer session? Then again 92.9 may not want him so as to not to lower their ratings to say what WJBC has.


  3. It was painful but I listened to the WJBC clip. Laughlin noted that ISU got a huge new scoreboard (said he doubts it would fit inside the coliseum), new sound system, and outside video board for $1.2 million. BLM will get and inside and outside new video screen for just under $1.4 million. Hales notes different specifications may inflate the price. However in this business of LED signs, it’s like TV sets, prices are coming down. Not knowing any specifics it is difficult to judge but I would guess a better price could have been had.

    On another note POS systems for years have had the capability for all sales to be monitored remotely via the internet.


  4. I cd HOMEFIELD energy & opted out & am back w Ameren. 1 866 694 1262. Meant to do this in 2013 but forgot. (FYI)

    Sent from my iPhone



  5. Almost $250,000 less in concessions revenues from first year to now. And the City never questions it? and gives them a new scoreboard? Suites are significantly lower and club revenues are almost non existent? And the City never questions it?

    I would hope these questions would come up when the management contract gets brought up.

    Anyone in the private sector who would have these negative trends would be fired.


  6. Here’s a question for Hales and the Council. What is more expensive for the City; a forensic audit or $1M/year subsidy for the Coliseum?

    Another point about the Budget Task Force–The Council did NOT approve the specific individuals who do not live within the city limits of Bloomington, the Chamber of Commerce did. So, there are THREE questionable, unelected members on that Task Force who stand to benefit from any policy decisions that are put forward and will be rubber stamped by the Council. How many dead people voted in the last two elections?


  7. WHO approves of THIS kind of MANAGEMENT? From Hales the ARENA or Butler/CIAM? A $250,000 LOSS (that’s MINUS) in only 9 years. SOMEONE should do the math OR get shipped out of town on a FAST train! I don’t know of ANY job where you can do that kind of LOSS and call it MANAGEMENT? Anybody know of one-other then the arena? WHERE is the council, the mayor, or even Lisa Madigan? This just REEKS of corruption! Long LIVE Boss Tweed!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s