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, but CHICAGO media exposes the Emily Bell payoff that resulted in the HIGHEST “fine” accessed by IMRF in the whole state!  ($358,000)  Not only is the City of Bloomington the laughing-stock of incompetence, so is the Pantagraph for never investigating.

Go back to last Monday’s Council meeting and listen to David Hales never answer the question from Kevin Lower.  Hales spins off into a totally different subject, but he says one thing interesting:  Listen starting at 1:05

Did you hear him say he consulted with a pensions specialist at Sorling Northup – the law firm getting paid between $45,000 and $60,000 a MONTH?  Hales spun off into how the penalties get paid, never mentioning if Sorling said it’s easy to AVOID the penalties!  It is, and one of today’s articles finally has Attorney Jeff Jurgens mentioning it – the same thing I’ve posted for days:  Employees get paid when they leave, not months in advance.  If Sorling failed to inform Hales of the obvious, they should be fired.  If Sorling did – Hales needs to LEAVE NOW.

The cage-liner could only find one employee willing to talk.  I bet he regrets that now.  Let’s look at the facts – from the City website:


NAME                               SALARY     INSUR        PENSION         FICA       MISC            TOTAL COMP

HINDERLITER GARRY  $75,046.40   5,994.36  12,046.70     5,601.94     1,115.50           $99,940.20

Vacation  Days – 25

Sick Days  –  12
Personal Days – 2

Garry is going to receive a pension and Social Security when he retires.  At $75,000 a year, he earns about $36.00 per hour.  If Garry maxed out his sick leave buyback, that calculates to:

$36 per hour x 1440 hrs = $51,840

Yes Garry, you would cost the City(taxpayers) another accelerated payment since your salary would be spiked more than 125%.

Garry laments that he may have to retire now so his pension isn’t hurt.  Garry wants to spike his pension with the $51,840 so he can collect more in retirement.  Keep in mind, his pension goes up 3% every year no matter what because that’s the Illinois way.  In 10 years his pension could be more than he made working!

Garry:  Does it matter to you that the buyback is at $36 per hour but the hours accumulated were from earlier in your career when you weren’t earning $36 per hour?

Changing the policy now doesn’t take the approval of the City Council – its administrative.  Employees get paid when they retire.  Pensions aren’t diminished – they just aren’t allowed to be increased right before retirement.  Employees still get their perk nobody else in the private sector gets.

Issue the change tomorrow David – before Garry walks out and IMRF hands you another bill.

By the way David – exactly how was the $1+ million paid?  Is that a secret the Council wasn’t suppose to know about?

Three Cheers for the Chicago Tribune!

Boos all around for the Pantagraph


11 thoughts on “Where’s the TRUTH?

  1. Hales says he WAS NOT aware of it in 2012, at 1:06, so basically he’s NOT a competent city manager! WHAT does he do all day, besides eat? Fiddle with his pen?


  2. Hales talks in circles and doesn’t answer questions especially those that make him look bad. I’m not sure people are too upset about workers collecting unused sick-day or vacation pay if that has been the policy. What people are or should be upset about is the incompetence that resulted in massive fines and interest payments. Who is responsible for making policy for the City? Council or City Manager? I thought elected officials make policy. This whole thing is a stinking mess and there is enough blame to go around.


  3. If as has been stated, this decision was make not by the City Council, but just a group of City employees, how legal is this? Use the City Council to remodel this malarkey.

    Is the Mayor and most of the council on board with this?


  4. The bigger question now is how many others are lining up to retire and collect a boost in their retirement income. Hales made a big mistake by not immediately making a policy change. Hales is the manager and being paid for it. Why should the council even be involved.

    I think what most people are floored by is the sense of entitlement being expressed by city employees. In the private sector you take what gets dished out to you without question so to speak.

    On a side note I’m surprised someone hasn’t challenged the Hales ordinance of no mowing before 7 am in the court. One should have their 1st amendment right to express their dissatisfaction with their neighbor via the voice of their mower. I wish someone would challenge it. More egg on the face of Hales if they did.


    1. Option #2: Effective January 1, 2018, all SLBB would be paid out with the eligible employee’s last payroll check preceding retirement. Staff estimates there are approximately 250 current employees that would potentially be eligible for the structured SLBB payout if they stay with the City long enough. If the City ends SLBB structure payout effective January 1, 2018, there are only approximately 65 people that would technically be eligible during this time.



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