Congrats Tari

Tari Renner made the Pantagraph top stories for 2015: On Tari was the number one most read story: Hopefully 2016 will be better. Happy New Year!

The Watchdogs sue the Edgar County Board

By:  Diane Benjamin The Edgar County Watchdogs filed a Complaint for Administrative Review with the 5th Judicial Circuit Court in Edgar County yesterday. Again, the case is about following the law, the Edgar County Board didn’t.  Below is the law for Counties in Illinois that govern purchasing: The Edgar County Board (and McLean County Board) […]

Clark County Park District: NOT confidential!

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember back in 2014 when the Edgar County Watchdogs did a Citizens Arrest of the entire Clark County Park District Board?   See these two stories: The Park District Board still hasn’t learned laws matter.  They also haven’t learned not to mess with the Edgar County Watchdogs. One of the Watchdogs, […]

Update: Climate facts and deniers

Here’s another article to consider: I few days ago a banned person left a comment about climate change to this story: This person has the honor of being the only person I have banned from commenting.  The IP address isn’t local, so I don’t take her seriously.  I banned her because having an […]

Big Project

By:  Diane Benjamin I haven’t been writing much because I am working on a BIG project.  It will take filing Freedom of Information requests, so don’t expect the result very soon.  Losing power for many hours yesterday didn’t help! Meanwhile, my research has led to other questions.  I could use some help.  Anybody have some […]

Scratch your head and wonder if . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin For the last couple of months the anonymous editorial writers at the Pantagraph have occasionally written the truth.  They must have somebody new writing a few editorials because they actually contain some common sense. I thought there might be a little hope for local media, but today the old guy must be […]

Vogel: You make my writing sooooo easy

By:  Diane Benjamin Evidently Steve Vogel’s god is Santa Claus.  Today in the Pantagraph, Stevie is asking Santa not to wait until next Christmas to grant a long list of progressive requests.  Hide the children:  Sorry Steve, Santa Claus isn’t real. Still believing in Santa must be why Steve thinks  “Gun Free Zone” signs magically […]

Bah humbug – No Bloomington Christmas

By:  Diane Benjamin From last year – 11/24/2014 Council meeting:     From the 12/6/2-14 Council meeting:     This year Christmas didn’t happen at City Hall, at least in public.  There was no tree lighting ceremony.  Maybe the only reason it happened last year was Alderman Stearns insisted, Alderman Schmidt didn’t care to continue […]

Bloomington’s Hire-Back problem

By:  Diane Benjamin Hire-Back is more correctly called overtime.  Last night’s Bloomington City Council Work Session lamented the costs to the City – $130,000 per year. One thing ALWAYS left out is how much money the City of Bloomington makes from all those kids drinking every Thursday through Saturday! Through October, the City collected almost […]

Normal: Charging you for free

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal wants Bloomington and the County to help pay the $126,000 per year bill for electronics recycling. Best Buy will take your electronics for free!  Old computer?  Monitor?  Printer?   See the full list of what they accept: If that link doesn’t work, try this one: Why is government involved? […]

Standford: Demand Christmas!

By:  Diane Benjamin Every house in Stanford has been paying $5 per month since August of 2009 in hopes someday the Village will get a sewage treatment plant. The cost estimate in 2009 was $6,250,000: The sewer piggy bank is most likely still under $100,000, last August it was around $80,000. Since the magic […]

Government needs MORE money

By:  Diane Benjamin Alderman Amelia Buragas on WJBC: Apartment owners in Bloomington currently pay around $30 a year to register their property.  Buragus wants a small increase to $65-$75.  According to Amelia, Bloomington should be charging at least as much as Normal!  She also mentions Urbana.  How much does Champaign charge Amelia?  I don’t […]

Bloomington meets again Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night the Council is holding a Special Session with secret meeting (Executive Session), a Work Session, and the Council meeting. Theme for the work session: Ever program must pay for itself (except the Coliseum) No, the Coliseum isn’t on the agenda.  They can lose as much money as they want and […]

Why Bloomington is expanding the library

By:  Diane Benjamin Traffic at Bloomington’s library continues to decline, yet plans to expand continue.  Why? The answer can be found in NORMAL’s Master plan for Uptown: If you haven’t read Normal’s new plan, here’s a link:  Uptown 2.0 Plan  (It downloads a PDF instead of linking you to a webpage) The document is the […]

Send Koos and Renner thank you cards!

By:  Diane Benjamin Chris Koos had years to destroy the citizens of Normal with higher taxes.  Evidently they enjoy it since nobody fights back. Renner has had only a few years, but he’s making up for it by raising taxes wherever and whenever possible.  Your property taxes went up without a peep Monday night. Send […]

UPDATE Court today!

February 5th is the hearing date – all day. The City is going to claim CIAM does not perform a government function.  They will also claim it would hurt them competitively if concession information is released.   (No comment yet) They are calling witnesses, so I am too.  Stay tuned.   By:  Diane Benjamin I have […]

You are being robbed!

By:  Diane Benjamin Connect Transit would make a great comedy sketch if it wasn’t so tragic for future generations. There would not be huge buses on the streets of Bloomington-Normal without Federal and State grants, and money from local government.  It’s your tax dollars and money borrowed from other countries or printed by the Federal […]

Hales October City Manager’s Report!

By:  Diane Benjamin Below are the points I find interesting.  You can read the entire report here: BCPA: That’s 218 people per event!  (Hint: if you don’t want facts distorted, frame them differently) ___________________________ Police: Another problem that’s been discussed for years!  Page 15 ___________________________ Zoo – Page 24 Revenue from admissions was up […]

Remember that un-Used Fire Station?

By:  Diane Benjamin The taxpayers of Bloomington paid MILLIONS of dollars for a Fire Station on Six Points Road that has never been used – at least for the intended purpose. It is being used however: Heartland Hills Homeowner’s Association Annual Meeting: Six Points Rd. Firehouse  – January 31st, 2016 from 2-4pm This is a […]

Stanford: Taxed Enough Already?

By:  Diane Benjamin The Village of Stanford has around 600 people. See this spending list:  Stanford Expenditures Here’s a summary: Total expenditures are budgeted at $1,060,060. That’s for 600 people (including kids) $1,767 for every person in the Village. I think this ordinance is posted here: Unfortunately, there is nothing to click on. Feeling […]

How Nora spends her time

By:  Diane Benjamin Taxpayers have long wondered why the City of Bloomington needed a Communication Director.  Somehow the City was fine before Nora Dukowitz’s position was created and she was hired.  (A lot of people think it was better!) John Kraft from Edgar County Watchdog did a Freedom of Information request for Nora’s Internet access […]

More spending You Won’t Believe!

By:  Diane Benjamin From Bills and Payroll tonight: Remember when the Financial Statements are issued and the City brags about their Award Winning presentation?  See page 7 They BOUGHT it! FIN Misc. Expense Government Finance $ 580.00 App. Fee for Cert. of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program I’ve never seen Financial […]

Coliseum continues their losing ways

By:  Diane Benjamin !st Quarter Statement:  1st Quarter 2016 Coliseum Fund P & L CIAM continues to pay themselves 4% of everything listed as Revenue whether it’s actually revenue of not.  See Event Income on the first page – 179,036.49.  This is money from the acts to reimbursement the Coliseum.  Some may be income, but […]

$2,400,000 disappears at Coliseum

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve heard reports from numerous citizens that attended Tari’s “Open House” Friday night.   Tari claimed the City is suing the Coliseum.  Meanwhile, Alderman Hauman is telling citizens the new CIAM contract will look much different.  Maybe Tari is trying to pass off my lawsuit as his own.  Tari? Evidently Tari and […]

Taxpayers slammed Monday night

By:  Diane Benjamin Besides everything else I’ve already written about, the Colonial Plaza + TIF District is on the agenda. Here is the report you paid $36,600 for: Start on page 244.  There is a map of the proposed TIF on page 250. The City of Bloomington wants to claim they have a better […]