Roundtable Report

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 […]

Why was the Sales Tax increased?

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 […]

Making Progress to WHAT?

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 […]

Where was David Hales last night?

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 […]

Bloomington Properties

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 […]

What are you?

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 […]

Who supported the 1% Sales Tax?

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 […]

This months FEEDING themselves!

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 – […]

Throwing away $49,152.21

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 […]

Let’s talk Tari

By:  Diane Benjamin One of my readers sent the Sheep story to the Council.  Tari responded with this email: From: Tari Renner <trenner@cityblm.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 […]

Where you get news matters!

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 popular demand

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 […]

Hales Lies again

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 […]

Big crowd, but SHEEP LOSE

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 […]

Give them a trophy

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.  […]

Coliseum: Lawsuit filed

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 […]

Make them look you in the eye!

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% […]

Who knew and did nothing – IMRF

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 […]

Hales still promoting bull

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.  […]

What’s up with this Tari?

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 […]

Bronner Group: Getting your money

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. […]

Fly on the Wall: State Farm

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.  

Taxes increases would be easier with TRUTH UPDATE

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 […]

They REALLY don’t care

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 […]

Coliseum: Lawsuit time

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:  […]

Letter to Normal: IGNORED

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: […]

Tonight’s bottom line

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 […]

Taxes: Don’t get info from Pantagraph

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) […]

These people had YEARS!

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 […]