By: Diane Benjamin I attended the Roundtable council meeting held today at the Police Station. Only 4 alderman attended: Black, Hauman, Painter, and Schmidt. Mayor Renner did not, but maybe 10-12 staff people were there. I don’t personally know many of the staff, so it’s difficult for me to determine who was there. Many citizens […]
By: Diane Benjamin The meeting is during the day when most people work. The meeting is being held at a room in Police Station where City video isn’t available. Citizens can attend and COMMENT. If you can, please do!
By: Diane Benjamin The vote to raise the Sales Tax was rushed through the Bloomington City Council on purpose. Normal wanted more money, so Tari fixed the vote for Chris Koos. The reason given was the County’s year-end – they had to have their 1/4% fast. Instead of voting on just the 1/4% increase requested […]
By: Diane Benjamin The Council meeting last night was short. The video is below. Public Comment starts at 4:05. I hear most of the Council was busy doing other things instead of listening to the speakers. There are some CAN’T MISS comments, including Judy Stearns, Alton Franklin, Gary Lambert, and Joe Walden. We always hear […]
By: Diane Benjamin The City Manager wasn’t at the Council meeting last night. I suspect he was here, since he goes every year: The ICMA Annual Conference is the largest annual event in the world for local government managers and staff. The conference is being held in Seattle. (ICMA = International City/County Managers Association) Are […]
By: Diane Benjamin Below is a link to a pdf file I created from the McLean County Assessor’s website. All the properties are owned by the City of Bloomington. I deleted most or all of the leasehold properties at Lake Bloomington. Now I need to identify the remaining properties. A lot of them are going […]
By: Diane Benjamin I realized something this morning. I’m a 2nd generation American! There was only one generation of my family born in America before me. All of my grandparents immigrated here as children. Their families FLED to this country for refuge from European wars. I never knew my dad’s parents (long story), but I […]
By: Diane Benjamin Filed on the City of Bloomington website – under Staff Responses – was this letter from the McLean County Chamber of Commerce: http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=9176 Yes – they supported it. I didn’t realize the Chamber was part of the staff. From the Chamber of Commerce website: http://mcleancochamber.org/advocacy The McLean County Chamber of Commerce is […]
By: Diane Benjamin 60 day notices have been sent to employees – official termination date is November 30th for most employees. The contract and any termination payments are still not decided.
By: Diane Benjamin From Bills and Payroll for Monday night: http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=9193 Page 89 ADMIN City Council Expens Illinois Municipal League $ 310.00 IML Registration for Mayor & D.Hales ADMIN City Council Expens Illinois Municipal League $ 310.00 IML Registration – Alderman Mwilambwe ADMIN City Council Expens Illinois Municipal League $ (95.00) IML Registration Refund – […]
By: Diane Benjamin Even though Bloomington’s Springfield attorney (Jeff Jurgens) knew on August 24th that stopping pensions spiking wasn’t a violation of the Illinois Constitution, the policy still hasn’t been changed. See his email and IMRF response here: https://blnnews.com/2015/09/18/who-knew-and-did-nothing-imrf/ The agenda for Monday is on-line, nothing about stopping the rip off of taxpayers that is […]
By: Diane Benjamin The lawsuit I filed to obtain concession and payroll information from the Coliseum was a lot more expense than the last Freedom of Information lawsuit I filed. The County has raised fees! The last time I found a cheap process-server, this time I had to use the Sheriff’s department. The cost doesn’t […]
By: Diane Benjamin One of my readers sent the Sheep story to the Council. Tari responded with this email: From: Tari Renner <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Kevin Gerrard <redacted> Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 6:39 AM Subject: Re: Fw: [New post] Big crowd, but SHEEP LOSE Kevin,You should tell your colleague that, as usual, she has her […]
By: Diane Benjamin Remember the kid in Texas taken off to jail in handcuffs because of his “homemade clock”? Today the bird-cage liner editorialized about how wrong that was. Too bad they have no facts. Associated Press doesn’t investigate any more than your local supposed news source. He wasn’t an innocent kid! Irving Texas, where […]
By: Diane Benjamin Watch one minute of the video below from Monday night. Start at 1:49. Poor Tari, two kids in college. Yes, us parent who have PAID for college feel your pain. But, Tari has no pain! His kids can attend IWU for free! Even support staff can now send their kids to IWU […]
By: Diane Benjamin I could mention a LOT of things from last night, but this one is by request: See Alderman Painter using Common Core math to justify the tax increase: Background starts at 1:56:50. Go straight to the math – 1:58:50. . While you are there, you might as well see Alderman Black calling […]
By: Diane Benjamin City Manager David Hales was on WJBC this morning: http://cdn.stationcaster.com/stations/wjbc/media/mpeg/David_Hales__Bloomington_City_Manager-1442925320.mp3 At least Scott Laughlin watched the meeting! Where did Hales lie? Listen at 16:40. Scott asked Hales if he was happy with the Coliseum management. Hales loves them and went on to say they achieved BREAK EVEN in operations! That was your […]
By: Diane Benjamin Congrats to the citizens of Bloomington who showed up at last night’s Council meeting. I hear the room was packed – all the way back to the windows. I occasionally heard some soft applause when an alderman stood up for you. Aldermen David Sage and Karen Schmidt were DYING for a way […]
By: Diane Benjamin Budget Task Force report: 4 meeting focused on cuts 1 meeting focused on Revenue The ONLY cuts discussed were cuts that have been discussed for YEARS: Make schools pay for the Resource Officer Make downtown pay for the Police Hire Back program – David Hales was charged with doing this years ago. […]
By: Diane Benjamin If the Council is stupid enough to pass tax increases tonight based on lies from Renner and Hales, I am forced to do their job for them. The reason for the vote tonight is so it can be filed before October 1st and go into effect January 1st. The Council just hired […]
Note: Share this post with your friends. The media isn’t going to tell them the truth! By: Diane Benjamin Poor Mayor Koos. Normal can’t steal more money from you unless Bloomington votes to steal more too. The media is allowing Renner to lie to you! Hey Tari: Why are tax receipts to date UP 3.9% […]
“Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors Corp has started preparing for the closure of its sole U.S. factory after failing to find a buyer for the high-cost auto plant, the Nikkei business daily reported on Saturday.” Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/19/us-mitsubishimotors-usa-idUSKCN0RJ03420150919 Wonder how that task force is doing?
By: Diane Benjamin The below are from a big pile of information I received from IMRF under the Freedom of Information Act. They all pertain to pensions spiking that David Hales allowed to keep happening and is still allowed today. Remember this when your taxes get raised Monday! I may be posting more, I haven’t […]
By: Diane Benjamin David Hales on WJBC 9/15 : http://cdn.stationcaster.com/stations/wjbc/media/mpeg/David_Hales__Bloomington_City_Manager-1442324001.mp3 Hales was asked about the comments made by Alton Franklin Monday night calling for him to be fired over the pension spiking which cost Bloomington taxpayers more than $1.2 million. Obviously Hales is the source of Alderman Buragas’s information, her email sounds just like him. […]
By: Diane Benjamin It’s pretty obvious that David Hales can’t make a decision without hiring a consultant to tell him what to do. The list never ends. Everything is studied by someone outside of government, even where to put benches and lights downtown. Now rates you are charged for water, sewer, garbage etc are being […]
Closing: Office Depot (K-Mart shopping center) I see a setup for a TIF!
By: Diane Benjamin When Tari was running for office, he received campaign contributions totaling $1500 from Prairie PAC. Source: http://www.elections.il.gov/CampaignDisclosure/ItemizedContrib.aspx?FiledDocID=506335&ContributionType=Transfers+In&Archived=True&OrderBy=LastorOnlyName-AtoZ&ItemizedContribFrom=D2Quarterly.aspx So, who is Prairie PAC? Dick Durbin! Source: http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/lookup2.php?cycle=2012&strID=C00347195 Guess who contributed to Prairie PAC? BRONNER, GILA HIGHLAND PARK, IL 60035 BRONNER GROUP, LLC/PRESIDENT & CEO 09/23/11 $500 http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgave2.php?sort=A&cmte=C00347195&cycle=2012&Page=2 In February, Bloomington hired the Bronner […]
By: Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington hired Bronner Group as yet another consultant back in February. According to Renner, Bronner is examining everything Bloomington does, including the budget line by line. That’s funny, Council members can’t get a line-by-line budget. Citizens attempting to get that information under the Freedom of Information Act can’t either. […]
Buzzing around I heard crying and gnashing of teeth at State Farm yesterday. A memo to employees who are still here in the Property Damage Division (Auto) will be out of a job next year. Transfer to a hub, apply for a job in a different division, or collect unemployment. Yeah! Raise taxes.
How did I forget? 5 years ago Tari, Bloomington wasn’t sending around $50,000 PER MONTH to Springfield for legal! By: Diane Benjamin Renner on WJBC: http://cdn.stationcaster.com/stations/wjbc/media/mpeg/Tari_Renner__Bloomington_mayor-1442412227.mp3 Renner on WGLT: http://wglt.org/wireready/news/2015/09/01831_09-15Renner_070330.shtml Tari Renner: We aren’t doing anything today that we weren’t doing 5 years ago. Inflation is causing the need for tax increases. 5 years ago […]
By: Ulysses Arn The status quo at the College of DuPage cost the taxpayers dearly and has resulted in the states second largest school being embroiled in scandal. The status quo is no more at the college thanks to a new board majority of reformers, several investigations(sadly, but needed), the ouster so far of two […]
By: Diane Benjamin See: Gary Lambert again at 2:13:00 Donna Boelen at 2:13:00 Alton Franklin – MUST SEE – 2:21:37
By: Diane Benjamin Bloomington is so “blessed” to be run by people who have no interest in good government. All they want is money, more money, and control. The video failed to capture the beginning of the meeting. I wonder if that was so Tari shuffling the comment cards wasn’t shown. Public Comment was over […]
Update: Bloomington finally released the Coliseum 1st Qtr report. They lost $252,000, but we don’t know how much of this is wages to themselves. We do know CIAM took commissions of $24,378 and Management fees of $35,510. Concessions income is a secret. The Coliseum works great for John Butler, not so much for you. By: […]
By: Diane Benjamin This is a letter sent to the Normal Council before they voted for the 1% Sales Tax increase. It didn’t receive a response, Normal raised the Sales Tax anyway. Emails and letters aren’t going to stop Bloomington – only a room full of angry citizens will get their attention! Here’s the letter: […]
By: Diane Benjamin David Hales gives frequent interviews on WJBC, I’ve posted links to many of them. I remember one of his lines about the budget – but I’m not going to re-listen to find it. He claimed any cuts to the budget now are cuts to “muscle”, not fat. Of course he was lying […]
By: Diane Benjamin Last July I compared taxes in Bloomington to Champaign: https://blnnews.com/2015/07/30/taxes-how-about-the-truth/ Champaign doesn’t tax everything possible like Bloomington. Here is Peoria: http://www.peoriagov.org/content/uploads/2012/11/Tax_Rate_Schedule.pdf Peoria, Illinois 1.50% County of Peoria, Illinois .50% Infrastructure Maintenance Fee 1% Gas & LP: Peoria, Illinois 1.50% County of Peoria, Illinois .50% City of Peoria MF (remitted directly to City) […]
By: Diane Benjamin Instead of raising PRIVATE money for a soccer complex – Illinois fusion expects single mothers, the elderly, people on fixed incomes, and students, to pay for their complex. They have known for years that the FAA was throwing them off the airport property. They have done nothing to raise money to build […]