A Letter TO the Pantagraph

The writer sent this message to the Pantagraph strictly to make a point.  He knows it will never be printed.  Since it won’t be, he sent it to me so all of you can see it.  You are actually reading it before the recipient, he got an automated “Out of Office” message until 5/2.   […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

Another letter the Pantagraph refused to print

Printed with permission from the writer: —–Original Message—– From: Terry/Dewi White Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2016 1:49 PM To: Pantagraph Letters Subject: Bloomington’s leaders, Infested with liberals. As a lifelong resident of Bloomington, I’ve observed our cities leaderships has gotten progressively worse. Our current leadership is infested with liberalism and if you don’t know what […]

Stanford shreds money

By:  Diane Benjamin Less than 600 people live in Stanford.  It’s so tiny that understanding “limit government” should be easy.  I still don’t know why pitchforks and tar haven’t been deployed over dropping Danvers police patrols because “they couldn’t afford it”, and then hiring their own force for twice the cost.  https://blnnews.com/2015/10/28/stanford-do-you-ever-get-mad/ Now see these minutes […]

ISU, Voting, and stupid Media

By:  Diane Benjamin Same day voter registration was a stupid law and, contrary to what Democrats think, it’s not government’s job to make it work without any attempt to DUMP it.  Stupid laws with unintended consequences can’t be fixed.  It was never about increasing voting, it’s about getting uniformed to the polls.  Think ISU. So […]

Breaking: Mitsubishi news

By:  Diane Benjamin I have information from a VERY reliable source that the Mitsubishi plant is being sold to a liquidator.  They are taking possession of the plant on June 1st. Since there are no current prospective buyers, any providers with equipment inside the plant is being asked to remove it before July 1st. Since […]

I wonder who is in Germany?

The reader was back today (Friday).  Say hi everybody! By:  Diane Benjamin When traveling overseas trying to buy a company to replace Mitsubishi, you still have to know local news.  Reads from today: At least Koos and company know where to find it!

Tari HATES Capitalism

By:  Diane Benjamin History isn’t taught anymore, so let me briefly recap. Before America declared that “Rights” come from God, not government, and the people can govern themselves – the entire world was a dark place.  Capitalism didn’t exist.  The people were government slaves without any possibility of creating a better life for themselves. America […]

ISU pay policies you aren’t supposed to know

By:  Diane Benjamin This might be a State-wide policy for hourly employees.  I’m positive it happens at ISU.  I’ve heard prisons do the same thing, readers can tell me where else it happens.  I’ve got the smartest readers on the planet (and no time to research further). The easiest way to describe this is with […]

ISU: nepotism

By:  Diane Benjamin A reader sent a Freedom of Information request to ISU for student employees in the offices listed below. This email and document were received from the FOIA officer at ISU: 3 of the students are related to the FOIA officer. Children of ISU employees get 1/2 off tuition too. Only one job […]

It’s about the kids?

By:  Diane Benjamin Source:  http://www.openthebooks.com/map/?Map=1823&MapType=Heat&Zip=61704 Highest area school district monthly pensions: See others at the link above. . . . .

April 26th, still no February

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=21&parent=9539 The award-winning City Manger monthly reports won’t be winning any more awards of they don’t exist. See the link above, nothing has been posted since January.  David Hales doesn’t do these reports.  The departments compile the information and hand it to Administration.  Administration either: hasn’t put it all in a PDF […]

Today’s Court Update

By:  Diane Benjamin Central Illinois Arena Management MAY want to settle the case.  Their lawyer mentioned it in court after scheduling yet another hearing on May 19th.  I get to play lawyer once again and respond to a motion filed by them and one by the City. Ever wonder why justice takes years?  Many trees […]

Raise liquor/gambling fees? Really?

By:  Diane Benjamin Lately the City of Bloomington has been raising every fee possible under the theory of “users” should pay for the service.  It doesn’t matter that decades of previous spending paid for the service with taxes already collected. Obviously the goal is to Tax more so they can Spend more. Tonight the Council […]

A Socialist’s Dream

By:  Diane Benjamin From the packet for Monday’s Bloomington City Council meeting:  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=242&parent=9534 Connect Transit – 2016 budget Connect Transit 2017 Budget: Taxpayers are forced to subsidize the huge empty buses! Instead of using smaller buses for lightly used routes, bigger is always better. Meanwhile, fees on everything are being raised because “user pays” justifies […]

More eating on your dime +

By: Diane Benjamin From Bills and Payroll for Monday night:  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=242&parent=9535 ADMIN Rosie’s Pub $ 31.86 Business lunch T. Renner & J.Smart ADMIN Hansen Center $ 5.96 Business lunch T. Renner & A. Hays ADMIN Hansen Center $ 9.07 Business lunch T. Renner & A. Hays ADMIN Station 220 Inc $ 34.25 Business lunch T. […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

More on “Sharing” Sales Tax

By:  Diane Benjamin The anonymous editorial writer at the Pantagraph jumped in this week to proclaim the greatness of Bloomington and Normal sharing Sales Tax. Citizens are being set up! Normal has 5 TIF districts that are costing them A LOT of money because revenues generated aren’t paying the interest and principle on all the […]

Pantagraph reports a crime-but didn’t notice.

By:  Diane Benjamin The bird-cage liner just reported the Decatur School Superintendent is taking a new job in Heyworth.  Since the Decatur paper is a sister publication, they got the story from them.  (Saves salaries just reprinting articles) The story claims the School Board voted 4-3 not to extend Lisa Taylor’s contract. The CRIME? The […]

Quinn OVERPAID local gov – oops

By:  Diane Benjamin Unfortunately, just because the Illinois Department of Revenue overpaid local governments and schools $168,000,000, they don’t get to keep it.  THIS HAPPENED UNDER GOV. QUINN! See the complete list here:  http://tax.illinois.gov/#&panel1-5  (Right side-PPRT Estimate of Misallocation) See a story with more details here:  http://kwqc.com/2016/04/19/illinois-overpaid-local-governments-168-million/ This is the McLean County list: McLean MCLEAN […]

ANOTHER Court update

By:  Diane Benjamin The next court date is Monday, April 25 – 9:30 am.  Same courtroom as last time if you want to attend – 5D Judge Lawrence will decide whether the amended motion I filed is enough to proceed to a hearing.  If he rules against me the citizens of Bloomington will never know […]

County: Sorensen email

By:  Diane Benjamin An acquaintance sent an email to a large number of people, former McLean County Board Chairman Matt Sorensen’s email address  was inadvertently included.  The email didn’t “bounce” even though it was sent after he quit the Board. I filed this FOIA request: All emails to and from Matt Sorensen’s County email address(s) […]

CIRA complies

By:  Diane Benjamin I wonder why nobody ever noticed CIRA was violating the Open Meetings Act? Illinois has a HUGE problem with too many units of government, the Central Illinois Regional Airport being just one.  Since I didn’t want to FOIA them every month for information or just be on their email list, I filed […]

Sharing Sales Tax is a DONE deal

By:  Diane Benjamin Congrats Bloomington!  Every one of your elected representatives managed to attend the unscheduled Council meeting last night! Normal wasn’t happy when Bloomington announced Kroger was moving down the road and across the street.  The story I’ve heard from numerous sources is that David Hales kept it a secret.  Normal had NO IDEA […]

The Uptown fleece

By:  Diane Benjamin Uptown’s 3/31/2015 TIF report:  Uptown TIF This TIF was started in 2003 – remember who started it:  A guy who owns a bike shop. Click on any of the pics below to enlarge them. Start with page 3: Notes: The beginning balance was zero.  That means every dime generated in 2014 was […]

Wind: What property owners need to know

By:  Diane Benjamin If you know anyone being approached by a Wind Farm company now – get this to them.  These companies will attempt to get landowners to sign contracts even before a wind farm is approved!  Make sure they DON’T sign without knowing the facts!  These companies are not above saying the neighbors have […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

Airport Grants

By:  Diane Benjamin See the 2017 Airport proposed budget here:  FY2017 Draft budget-1 The far right column below is part of the budgeted revenue for 2017. State grants:  $132,024 Federal grants:  $5,895,954 Note – the Feds are paying $2,500,000 or the $3,500,000 interior rehab mentioned in the last article.  The Feds are also paying for […]

More on the airport

By:  Diane Benjamin Update to this story from yesterday:  https://blnnews.com/2016/04/14/airport-report/ I received this explanation from Carl Olson (airport manager) about the $9.3 Million reflects as Investments: I received a copy of the proposed budget – a note was included that it will be voted on at the May meeting.  See it here:  FY2017 Draft budget-1   […]

Gabriella Calhoun vrs Chicago

Originally posted on BLNNews:
By:  Diane Benjamin In case you forgot, Gabriella Calhoun is the young lady from the Denny’s incident that happened in 2013. Her case also led to the discovery of racists comments made by Sgt Shumaker that had been buried by the City.  Sgt Shumaker wasn’t fired, he just got a letter…

Airport report

Update:  Right after I posted this story I was contacted by Carl Olson at the airport.  Hopefully he can answer my question. By:  Diane Benjamin Last Tuesday I attended a CIRA Board meeting for the first time.  I’ve previously reported on CIRA, see stories here:  https://blnnews.com/?s=CIRA I’m sure I was the last person they expected, […]

Thoughts on sharing Sales Tax

By:  Diane Benjamin If you don’t pay attention to how Normal and Bloomington operate, once they start talking publicly about anything it’s already a done deal.  Both Councils are stacked, so Renner and Koos can easily talk them into the latest declared “best practice”.  Independent thoughts are too rare matter.  Have some lunch. Here’s what […]

Fly on the Wall: Media sleeps with government

A few weeks ago the bird-cage liner’s Steve Vogel wrote his column about Normal and Bloomington sharing sales taxes. Magically, the plan gets floated now by Renner and Koos. Is Vogel a prophet? Or does local government conspire with Vogel to “float” ideas to gauge response before they make fools of themselves? It’s not the […]

Want cheap property taxes?

by:  Diane Benjamin Buy a Condo in the Ensenberger Building! I was looking for something else when I stumbled on some astounding numbers. Below are Condo Sales in the Ensenberger Building.  The Property Taxes are from the Assessor’s website.  Some properties list the Selling price, some don’t.  I looked up the ones without a selling […]

How to get a Wind Farm approved?

By:  Diane Benjamin The Logan County Board had rejected plans for a Wind Farm by a company named Relight.  That didn’t stop them from trying again.  Relight is an Italian company, gee I wonder why they want to build here.  It can’t have anything to do with Europe abandoning wind and the US handing out […]

Budget comedy

By:  Diane Benjamin On March 31st I gave you the budget history since Tari was elected Mayor:  https://blnnews.com/2016/03/31/in-honor-of-taris-re-election-bid/ There was very little discussion last night before the budget passed as proposed – 6- YES to 2- NO. David Sage was first – he’s very concerned but voted YES anyway.  Keep listening through Jim Fruin’s comments.  […]

Missing in action!

By:  Diane Benjamin In the continuing sage of Aldermen don’t need to attend Council meetings: Amelia Buragas was absent AGAIN last night! Since January 1st, including tonight, 8 meetings have been held.  Buragas has missed two.  That’s more than a 20% failure to attend rate. How long would you have a job if you were […]

Coliseum: Losses unknown

By:  Diane Benjamin The LAST Coliseum report posted on the City website is for the year ended: 4/30/2015 Usually quarterly reports are filed and posted.  I filed Freedom of Information Requests for the first three quarters of Fiscal Year 2016.  I got the first and second:  https://blnnews.com/2015/12/13/coliseum-continues-their-losing-ways/ Through October of 2015 the Coliseum lost: $367,691 […]

Downtown TIF: 2010

By:  Diane Benjamin Below are the disbursements listed on the 2010 Downtown Bloomington TIF report:  2010 Report Remember how the DBA (Downtown Bloomington Assoc) was supposed to pay for itself years ago?  What did $324,368 get them (OR YOU?) I wonder where asbestos was removed? Good records matter. Wonderlin Galleries is now listed as being […]

TIF problem!

By:  Diane Benjamin Downtown TIF report filed with the State of Illinois for 2010:  2010 Report Downtown TIF report filed with the State of Illinois for 2011:  2011 Report Both reports are filed by the same guy – the Finance Director at the time, Tim Irvin. You don’t have to be a CPA to see […]

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