Tuesday: 4 Wards Town Hall

By:  Diane Benjamin Alderman Lower had a Town Hall meeting last week.  104 citizens showed up to listen and voice their opinions.  It got rowdy when citizens loudly objected to flamingos when they have sewage in their basements!  funny how the bird-cage liner didn’t report it. Tuesday night 4 Alderman that need to hear outrage […]

Structural Deficit Tari?

By:  Diane Benjamin One of Tari’s favorite lines:  We have a “Structural Deficit”.  He uses it to say all expenses are fixed and there is nothing we can do about it but raise taxes. Sorry dude! Maybe you need a new economist, or at least a new line.  According to this site:  http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-structural-deficit.htm Structural deficit […]

Another of the local clueless

By:  Diane Benjamin Want to know why Donald Trump is still high in the polls?  Read this WJBC forum commentary to see what the “establishment” thinks.  He’s not even close to the real reason, but it’s good for laughs.  This is exactly what the GOP thinks too – and it’s why the Trump attacks are […]

Where’s the TRUTH?

By:  Diane Benjamin It should be more than obvious the City calls the Pantagraph to do a story when they know they are in trouble.  Today there were 2 printed about spiking pensions.  Gee, I wonder if citizens are upset?!?  Taxes are about to be raised because you exist only to be abused by government, […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

Thanks for the laughs Pantagraph!

By:  Diane Benjamin In the continuing quest by the Pantagraph to prove yet again they are not real media: Today they CHEERED Bloomington and Normal for working to stopp pension spiking! WOW!  Why didn’t they include how great it is that Normal WASTED $29,939.10 and Bloomington THREW away $1,215,177.70 before being exposed by the Chicago […]

Green Top still needs money

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington made a BIG deal when Green Top Grocery picked a site to build.  Last Monday person after person spoke to the Council about the GREATNESS of this project and how they needed a tax rebate to open. Turns out they don’t have the money to build.  All those […]

Fox Creek Road-Taxes at work!

By:  Diane Benjamin The east side of Bloomington has been getting some better roads this summer.  East Oakland is great now and part of E Washington.  Still a LONG ways to go, but how’s the rest of the City? Evidently Fox Creek road is so bad that a motorcyclist lost control in a pot holes […]

A little more info on “spiking”

By:  Diane Benjamin I emailed with the reporter of the Chicago Tribune story today.  Without him, you never would have known the City was allowing you to be ripped off. Joe Mahr gave me a little more history of spiking.  The law disallowing employees to spike their salary in the final 3 months of employment […]

Where was the $358,394.12 paid?

By:  Diane Benjamin The fine for Emily Bell spiking her pension was assessed against the City of Bloomington in DECEMBER 2014.  It wasn’t paid until 4/30/15 – and congrats taxpayers, interest of $1636.99 was added to the tab.  Total paid was $360,031.11! All payments in excess of $50,000 are supposed to be approved by the […]

David Hales allowed this scam

By:  Diane Benjamin See this post from yesterday:  https://blnnews.com/2015/08/26/imrf-what-did-hales-know-and-when/ David Hales could have stopped this insanity in 2012.  $1,216,177.70 of Bloomington taxpayer dollars would not have disappeared if employees and David Hales had any ethics.  All that needed to be done is this:  Employees get their accumulated sick leave pay THE DAY THEY LEAVE CITY […]

IMRF: What did Hales know and when?

By:  Diane Benjamin At last Monday night’s Council meeting a discussion took place about pension spiking.  The Chicago Tribune reported on Emily Bell’s pension spiking and the resulting fine of $358,394.12 the Bloomington taxpayers were forced to pay.  Her fine was the highest in the State.  Obviously the discussion never would have taken place if […]

The biggies of Past Due

By:  Diane Benjamin Below is a list received under the Freedom of Information Act.  The list only has two headings:  Past Due and Name.  There is no mention of how far past due or if the debt is collectible. Back in 2013 I asked under FOIA for an explanation of why $513,722.534 was written off:  […]

Why September?

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari’s Budget Task Force is going to report to the Council in September.  The Council will then be told to vote YES on whatever is proposed, most don’t realize the effort was a setup and will gladly comply. Other than raising the Sales Tax has to be approved by October 1 to […]

Joke: Budget Task Force

By:  Diane Benjamin Why is David Hales advising the Budget Task Force?  Didn’t he already have an opportunity to propose a budget that balanced, and he failed? Last night David Sage reported on how to squeeze taxpayers, sorry, I mean some of the recommendations of the committee. It’s more than obvious that Sage and Hales […]

It about CONTROL!

By:  Diane Benjamin If my Internet hadn’t been down AGAIN for most of the day, I’d look up the video.  Maybe you remember Renner talking about downtown:  “We wouldn’t want a Jiffy Lube on the corner”. Did you elect a Mayor or god?  Who gave him a right to decide what goes where?  Maybe Jiffy […]

Bloomington erases history

By:  Diane Benjamin On tonight’s City Council agenda (from the packet): CONSENT AGENDA ITEM: 7A FOR COUNCIL: August 24, 2015 SUBJECT: Consideration of approving the Council Proceedings of August 10, 2015. RECOMMENDATION/MOTION: That the reading of the minutes of the previous Council Proceedings of August 10, 2015, be dispensed with and the minutes approved as […]

Owing Bloomington money UPDATE #2

More owing added at the end. By:  Diane Benjamin The following information was received under the Freedom of Information act.  Evidently the various departments keep track of their own receivables.  That means they are responsible for collecting their own debts. This note from the City was included with the FOIA response: The information requested in […]

Alderman Lower Town hall TOMORROW

Tuesday August 25th Ward 1 Alderman Kevin Lower Town Hall meeting Miller Park Pavilion 7:00 – 9:00 pm Upcoming Town Hall: Tuesday, September 1st 4 Wards Town Hall Aldermen Sage, Buragas, Schmidt, and Black BCPA – 6:00-7:30 http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=17&recordid=3884  

Low morale is DAVID HALES fault

By:  Diane Benjamin Only the Hales supporters on the City Council don’t understand that low employee morale at the City of Bloomington if David Hales’ fault. Employees have been stripped in essential areas while Hales’ staff has ballooned.  Employees are forced to document everything they do so Hales can measure results.  Much time is wasted […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

Choose Life!

Update:  WJBC reported 100 people.  Common Core math. By:  Diane Benjamin At least 260 people staged a protest against Planned Parenthood today in Bloomington Il along Veterans Parkway at Clearwater. Over 50 million people have been murdered at Planned Parenthood clinics since the Supreme Court ruled the baby doesn’t have any rights. Now undercover videos […]

High taxes – People leave!

By:  Diane Benjamin Attn:  Bloomington Budget Task Force, McLean County Board, and Normal City Council Illinois has the second highest property tax bills in the country!  https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-homeowners-pay-the-second-highest-property-taxes-in-the-u-s/ People are leaving both Bloomington and Normal:  https://d2dv7hze646xr.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Population_Change_JobsGrowth.png Just because you have some project you want to do doesn’t mean you can raise taxes to do it., If […]

Spending, spending, spending

By:  Diane Benjamin From Monday night’s Bills and Payroll for City of Bloomington:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=9024 This is the Springfield Law firm hired to replace the City Attorney that used to be paid less than $200,000 with benefits.  They are paid about this much EVERY month.   Budget Committee? SORLING NORTHRUP HANNA   Legal Contr Lega 3,650.00 SORLING NORTHRUP […]

Less employees at the City?

by:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner and David Hales continue to proclaim the City has cut staff.  Judge for yourself: From the payroll report in Bills and Payroll for approval at Monday’s Council meeting:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=9024 Bi-Weekly Payroll shows 448 employees Weekly Payroll shows 423 employees That’s a total of 871 employees. Some are seasonal, so compare […]

July’s feeding themselves at your expense

By:  Diane Benjamin P-Card spending for July – starts on page 95:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=9024 ADMIN City Council Expenses Marcos Pizza $ 62.34 Business dinner for Council ADMIN City Council Expenses Reality Bites $ 22.75 Business lunch for Mayor and R. Verracelli ADMIN City Council Expenses Rosie’s Pub $ 44.00 Business lunch for Mayor, Alderman Buragas & […]

Affordable Housing COMMON SENSE

By:  Diane Benjamin The League of Women Voters is decrying (through the bird-cage liner) the lack of affordable housing in Bloomington-Normal. In an Editorial today some obvious flaws in logic are more than apparent. The League claims housing should be 30% of income.  That means somebody making $600 per month would need to pay $200, […]

Unit 5: Full Union Dues isn’t required

By:  Diane Benjamin Something I found while looking for something else:  The Unit 5 contract with the Unit 5 Education Association says teachers only have to pay “Fair Share”, not full union dues.  http://www.unit5.org/cms/lib03/IL01905100/Centricity/Domain/54/contract.pdf Page #42 How many teachers know that?  Don’t we always hear not joining the union is not an option? Teachers:  Are […]

Never enough of your money

By:  Diane Benjamin McLean County Board Chairman Matt Sorenson appeared on WGLT yesterday.  Either Bloomington passes 1/4 Sales Tax increase for mental health or the County will raise property taxes.  http://wglt.org/wireready/news/2015/08/01262_sorenson_SI_MH_spot_web_180041.shtml Instead of jumping at raising taxes, how about cutting administrators Matt? Below is a list of every Taxing Body on the State Comptrollers website […]

Stanford: Your turn

By:  Diane Benjamin Stanford has a regular meeting tomorrow night.  See agenda here:  http://stanfordil.org/id464.html I’ve written about many issues both with the Village and the Fire Protection District.  Taxpayers deserve answers, especially why your police chief hasn’t turned over investigations to the Sheriff. Here are the issues your Village needs to explain: About the $5 […]

Hales passes the buck

By:  Diane Benjamin Probably knowing he was getting the blame, David Hales called into WJBC this morning to discuss the sick leave payouts.  He claimed that except for Police and Fire. all new employees don’t get that benefit anymore. He blamed past Councils for not taking action. I guess he still hasn’t figured out the […]

Quality of Life Myth

By:  Diane Benjamin City officials for decades have justified spending by calling it Quality of Life.  Frequently cited is “people and businesses will move here”, it was just used to justify flamingos.  With State Farm and Mitsubishi leaving, how’s that working for you? Quality of Life is why the Coliseum was built.  That’s why the […]

More Hales covering up?

By:  Diane Benjamin Renner was on WJBC yesterday with Scott Laughlin.  You don’t need to listen to the whole discussion, just the last 30 seconds. http://cdn.stationcaster.com/stations/wjbc/media/mpeg/Mayor_Tari_Renner-1439933912.mp3 The topic was the fine paid by Bloomington taxpayers when Emily Bell spiked her pension with accumulated sick days.  Renner and the Council were “shocked” according to Tari when […]

City now hiding flamingos?

Note:  The paper did an editorial proclaiming the brilliance of the project.  You will be expected to fund future expansion too. By:  Diane Benjamin The groundbreaking took place on schedule yesterday for the flamingo exhibit at the zoo. Renner et all must be feeling heat from the people not wanting maimed birds on display just […]

Letter rejected by the Pantagraph

From: Pantagraph Letters Sent: Tuesday, August 18, 2015 9:50 AM To: Redacted Subject: RE: Letter to the editor I’m sorry but your letter has not been selected for publication. Thank you.   Dear Editor: In Genesis 4:10 “the Lord said, ‘What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.’”  If […]

Down!

I’ve had no internet since Sunday night.  If it ever comes back, so will I. Diane

Flamingos: pink isn’t the color

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday Bloomington officials will break ground at Miller Park Zoo for the flamingo exhibit.  They may be stepping in lots of red ink instead of showcasing pink. It all comes down to wings.  Flamingos have them.  Flamingos were born to fly.  The ones in Miller Park won’t.  They will try, but most […]

How many screw ups from Hales can you afford?

By:  Diane Benjamin Previously I wrote about local school districts throwing away your money in penalties because some employees were paid more than allowed before they retired – thus spiking their pensions.  https://blnnews.com/2015/05/24/unit-5-and-district-87-burn-your-money/ The City of Bloomington is doing the same thing!  Their policy of allowing employees to accumulate sick days and getting paid for […]

Stanford: Games with your money

By: Diane Benjamin Remember when I wanted to know where the $5 per month added to your water bills for a future sewer plant is?  https://blnnews.com/2015/08/06/stanford-wheres-your-money/ The Town lawyer decided to deny my request on nefarious grounds, but he decided not to mess with the Edgar County Watchdogs when they did the same, There is […]

Weekend Fun – sort of

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