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 […]

Throw Kirk out! Here’s why

By:  Diane Benjamin This list could be much longer, but I will keep it short. Mark Kirk is more likely to vote with Democrats than he is to support the Republican platform.  If he is the GOP candidate for the US Senate – He WILL lose.  When there is very little difference between the two […]

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 […]

Got kids in public school?

I friend sent this link to me. I’ve watched the movie. The public school system does not want you to see this movie. You probably have a long weekend, so take the time to watch. Very powerful film that you can watch for free until the end of the year! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! […]

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? […]

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 […]

Guest Editorial

Merry Christmas to BlnNews readers. I ask , no plead with you, when you are with your family and friends celebrating the birth of our Savior – please discuss where we are in Bloomington. How are continued increased fees, taxes, and council members who ignore the citizens who put them in office working?  How about […]

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 […]

Bloomington: Get a Sales Tax bill?

By:  Diane Benjamin If residents think they can save money on sales tax by buying a car from a small town dealer, they are wrong.  The City of Bloomington (and Normal) will find you and send you a bill for the additional tax. Even if you don’t live in the City limits, Bloomington is still […]

What’s up with Renner?

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night Mayor Renner left the Council meeting – see video at 43:50. Shortly after Karen Schmidt announced that Tari had been feeling sick all night and wasn’t sure he would make it through the meeting. See the video here – just click play: . What that doesn’t explain is why Tari […]

9 Horse pile up

By:  Diane Benjamin Here’s all you need to know about last night’s 2 meetings of the Bloomington City Council: You aren’t using enough water, therefore your storm water bill is too low.  You therefore have to pay more because the fund doesn’t have enough money.  (Government forced you to be sustainable – now you will […]

The race is on!

By:  Diane Benjamin Not by accident, since it’s close to Christmas and a lot of people won’t be paying attention: The horse race for your bucks starts at 5:00 tonight! Lane 1:  City Employees     . Lane 2:  Storm Water Fund         Lane 3:  City throwing away more money to dismiss […]

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 […]