Government broke it

By:  Diane Benjamin Name a problem we face today not caused by government.  Bad roads, invasion by illegals, minimal economic growth, flat incomes, high taxes, unfunded liabilities, unfunded mandates.  Another endless list. Tari’s mug is in today’s paper saying Springfield has to fix problems caused by local government.  If the City never allowed employees to […]

Coliseum: the Actual loss

By:  Diane Benjamin I guess Bloomington is now just like Washington DC – drop documents late Friday hoping nobody will notice.  The financial statements for both the City and the Coliseum are now posted: Remember the outrage and concern expressed when the Coliseum reported a loss of almost $500,000 last year?  The audited losses […]

Round 3: Last Monday night

By:  Diane Benjamin A Work Session was held before the Council meeting.  The most remarkable discussion was started by Alderman Fruin.  It pertained to employee benefits.  Watch his comments starting at 15:30, other people join the conversation, so keep watching.  Jim actually stands up for citizens!  That’s until he gets to an off-hand comment about […]

Round 2: BN Advantage

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night the City Council approved: Consideration of adopting a Resolution endorsing BN Advantage: A collaborative economic development strategy for the Bloomington-Normal-McLean County Region The Vote was 8-1, Alderman Lower was the NO vote.  . BN Advantage is composed of: EDC – Economic Development Council McLean County Chamber of Commerce Bloomington-Normal Convention […]

Bloomington Pensions – Round 1

By:  Diane Benjamin I doubt you noticed, but I haven’t written about last Monday’s Council meeting.  I still can’t convey the outrage I feel properly, but I will give it a shot.  A number of items shocked me, it’s hard to believe the people claiming to represent you didn’t just immigrate from a communist country.  […]

Stanford: Do you ever get mad?

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember this story about police in Stanford?  John Owen claimed they couldn’t afford to pay Danvers for policing anymore, so now you pay more than double for your own police! Less than 700 people live in Stanford, seems like sharing police with Danvers was a much better idea. It gets better […]

New UPDATE concerning ISU!

By:  Diane Benjamin If you are totally unfamiliar with the saga between ISU and my church, see this story: Last Sunday church leadership sent an email to ISU terminating the relationship. The church has now received an apology from an assistant to the President.  But it gets better! Our Pastor talked with some of […]

Alderman Painter needs to explain herself!

By:  Diane Benjamin Can an elected official say anything they want on emails to citizens?  Can they present as facts anything they want the facts to be? Sorry Joni. See this post from Monday: Alderman Painter claims the Coliseum Contract on my site is NOT the current contract.  She also claims 4 changes to […]

How’s Connect Transit ridership?

By:  Diane Benjamin In order to see trends in bus ridership, information must be gleaned from the Board reports: Below is a summary of riders compared to the number for the same month in the previous year: The below is from the audited financial statements in the October 27, 2015 packet. Note Connect Transit […]

Allin Township Fire: Throwing away your money

By:  Diane Benjamin The Freedom of Information law was written to protect the rights of taxpayers.  Since government has no money unless they take it from citizens, it is presumed under the law that all documents BELONG to the citizens, not government.  Here’s the opening paragraph of the law:  (5 ILCS 140/1) (from Ch. 116, […]

UPDATE: State Farm moving out?

Don’t miss the comments.  Two readers reported relatives only working 4 days a week now.  Several others say this is meaningless.  You decide. By:  Diane Benjamin An email was sent to every associate at State Farm today.  Does this sound like State Farm is staying in Bloomington?  I’ve heard from numerous sources that employees locally […]

Problem Joni

By:  Diane Benjamin A reader sent one of my Coliseum stories to Alderman Painter and politely asked if she thought it raised issues that needed answers.  ( This was her response: On Oct 3, 2015, at 7:41 AM, Joni Painter <[email protected]> wrote: Redacted, I don’t read Diane’s website any more because I have found it […]

Tari admits circumventing OMA

By:  Diane Benjamin The Open Meetings Act is law to prevent government officials from colluding among themselves  where citizens can’t see the process of reaching decisions.  Here is the opening text of the law: (5 ILCS 120/1) (from Ch. 102, par. 41)     Sec. 1. Policy. It is the public policy of this State that […]

Pantagraph: Research YOURSELF!

By:  Diane Benjamin Oh, I forgot the Pantagraph doesn’t do investigative reporting.  Printing ridiculous statements from Tari Renner and David Hales is better?  For who?  Your bottom line?  The story today proves the Pantagraph is the last place to get news! David Hales claims to have investigated the accelerated payments problem for Sick Leave Buy […]

September eating at your expense

By:  Diane Benjamin  Page 91 ADMIN Council Exp  Hilton Hotels Chicago $ 319.55    IML Lodging for MayorADMIN Council Exp  Hansen Center $ 14.90                   Business lunch for Mayor & M.Lee ADMIN Council Exp  Kelly’s Bakery And Cafe $ 18.51    Business breakfast for Mayor & Ald Fruin ADMIN Council Exp  Hansen Center $ 19.84                   Business lunch […]

Connect Transit-MORE money?

By:  Diane Benjamin While Normal was raising the Sales Tax to provide more money for Connect Transit, CT was busy spending it.  Have you noticed all the new green signs? Below is some of the spending approved at the September 22, 2015 Board meeting. Source:,%202015%20Regular%20Board%20Meeting%20Binder1.pdf This is what happens to taxpayer money when the […]

The price of “Let’s all agree”

By:  Diane Benjamin The following information was received by a reader under the Freedom of Information Act. Remember Lynn Montei?  She’s the facilitator who leads retreats.  The goal is getting the Council to all agree with David Hales.  Montei led last November’s retreat and the one this summer.  (maybe others)  I thought Alderman Hauman was […]

Needs or Wants?

By:  Diane Benjamin I was obvious at last Mondays Council meeting that some Aldermen think any project in downtown is better than none. A reader found an interesting Facebook page yesterday promoting what looks like the Bentley plan.  Here’s how the page is selling it: The Viable Downtown Bloomington Development Plan Yesterday at 2:38pm · […]

Rauner is right – here’s proof

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington residents: Have you looked at the address you send water payments to? If you have the misfortune of taking a trip in an ambulance, and get billed for it – where does that payment go? Remember yesterday’s story about ISU? What do they all have in common?  Illinois discourages business! […]

UPDATE Bloomington: You need to cancel

  Tomorrow’s meeting doesn’t say cancelled but the agenda for the other meeting got changed!  “Assoc” used to be a shorter abbreviation.  Use your imagination. By:  Diane Benjamin On the City of Bloomington calendar for tomorrow is a Property Maintenance Board of Review meeting.  Since no agenda has been posted 48 hours in advance – […]


Don’t miss the latest update: My church Council voted to terminate any further action with ISU yesterday.  We feel horrible for the little kids that could be helped, but government lawyers and churches are not a good combination. By:  Diane Benjamin This is another lesson in limited government!  Hopefully readers have figured out Limited […]

What do you choose?

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington held a Council work session last night to hear plans for downtown.  David Sage was absent.  Do you have a right to know why your elected representative wasn’t there?   9 people are going to decide the future of Bloomington, if any can’t attend a vital meeting, and you can’t hear […]

More Coliseum Fun

By:  Diane Benjamin I just finished reading all 124 pages of the Coliseum Contract.  Management Agreement CIAM Only around the first 35 pertain to CIAM’s management, the rest are naming rights contracts, a pre-opening agreement, and some miscellaneous this and that. I did find one very interesting page.  Below is the projected INCOME for the […]

Downtown folly

By:  Diane Benjamin This morning Tari was interviewed on WJBC.  Listen here: Tari claims he doesn’t know all the details of the presentations to the Council tonight by two developers.  He also claims Bloomington is “on the move” and that’s why developers are interested in downtown. Tari has been proclaiming since he was elected […]

Developer scam-City FORCED to fix

By:  Diane Benjamin Developers have been fleecing taxpayers, while the City of Bloomington watched, for decades.  Monday night a new crop of guys in need in business will make their cases for your money.  The Council is drooling over their ability to rule from the top down.  What citizens want is immaterial.  Why don’t developers […]

Tari’s downtown obsession

By:  Diane Benjamin I think Tari’s constant focus on downtown comes from sites like this one: “What do baby boomers, families, young professionals and new U.S. immigrants all have in common? They’re driving the reurbanization of America. After decades of flight, cities are becoming the go-to choice of living. Access to amenities—including parks, transportation, restaurants, […]

Monday: Boutique Hotel!

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night the Bloomington City Council will hear a proposal from David Bentley.  He wants to turn the Pantagraph building into a boutique hotel. Tari Renner discussed the idea Tuesday on WGLT: City Manager David Hales mentioned at the last Council meeting Jeff Giebelhausen would also make a presentation.  (  We […]

Mitsubishi settled!

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve received some of the details the union employees agreed to today with Mitsubishi.  Approval for the plan was overwhelming. Long time employees with be eligible for 16 months of insurance coverage.  Coverage decreases on a sliding scale for employees with fewer years of service. Employees 54 years old and higher will […]

McHenry County cut budget $10,099,624

By:  Diane Benjamin Elect people who work for you instead of the establishment, good things happen.  They quit taxing you to death! The author of the article below is a veteran, a conservative, and a friend of mine.  He was elected to the McHenry County Board along with a few other like-minded conservatives. Read the […]

Something you probably missed Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin Buried in the Consent Agenda for last Monday’s Council meeting was the approval of Minutes from a meeting held October 22, 2012. See the minutes here:  10/22/2012 Minutes  The meeting was a Work Session concerning pension funding and the tax levy.  The discussion was not profound, why the Minutes weren’t previously approved […]

Need a raise? Leave Illinois!

Source: Tari loved the Illinois Policy Institute when they gave him a transparency award.  I wonder how he will feel about this?  Of course, part of the high taxes in Illinois are HIS fault! Tell Illinois politicians they have stolen enough of your money!

Allin Fire: Was 2015 report correct?

By:  Diane Benjamin Below is the debt report Allin Fire Protection District made to the Illinois Comptroller’s Office.  Note:  The report shows debt at year-end (May 31, 2015) of $167,000.  See the report here: The report correctly shows a new loan of $45,000 Minutes 12-10-2014 The ambulance purchase reported here: is still not […]