Untraceable spending – because they can

By:  Diane Benjamin

Did you know Bloomington didn’t have an Economic Development person until 2012?  Are things better or worse now?

From 2016 Total Compensation report:  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=21&parent=5443


Salary and benefits:  $94,583.89


Where do some of your tax dollars go?  UN-accountable government agencies!

  • The EDC (Economic Development Council) is getting $490,000 in the new budget.  They got $100,000 last year
  • The Downtown Bloomington Association is getting $90,000.  Same as last year even though they were expected to fund themselves YEARS ago.
  • BN Advantage is getting $390,000.  I couldn’t find them in the 2016 budget as a line item.
  • Convention and Visitors Bureau is getting $545,000.  Celebrate!  They lost $5,000 from last year.
  • McLean County Regional Planning Commission is getting $60,000
  • The Ecology Action Center gets money shoveled to them, no line item.
  • The Route 66 Visitors Bureau/History Museum gets money too, I can’t find a line item

These agencies are either mostly or totally dependent on government funding (not just from Bloomington), but none can be FOIA’d for how the money is spent.  They don’t issue audited financial statements and are therefore unaccountable for how money is spent.  It also makes it easier to hide costs – like the One Voice trip to DC.  Bloomington, Normal, and the County funnel money to the EDC.   The EDC pays for the trip which means you paid for it, but you never know the cost.

Here’s $1,575,000 taxpayers are supposed to believe is in their best interests.  No proof of where it’s spent, no trail to follow, and no justification.

Is Bloomington better off or worse?


Here’s some of the money the EAC has received since 1/1/16:  (I got bored looking)

$ 988.21 EAC prizes for 1/30/15 Events

$ 49.75 EAC – Winter Event
$ 177.73 EAC – Winter Event

$ 269.34 January EAC Event Items
$ 631.39 January EAC Event Items
$ 511.90 January EAC Event Items
$ 35.15 January EAC Event Items
$ 570.64 January EAC Event Items

$ 254.00 Items for the EAC Event

Invoice Net 13,186.00

L. Consideration of approving a two-year agreement with the Ecology Action Center for a Bloomington-Normal Community Energy Strategic Plan. (Recommend that the Agreement with the Ecology Action Center for a Bloomington-Normal Community Energy Strategic Plan in the amount of $9,310 annually for two (2) years for a total of $18,620 be approved, and the Mayor and City Clerk be authorized to execute the necessary documents.)

F. Consideration of an approving a two year Agreement with the Ecology Action Center (EAC) for Energy Efficiency Programing. (Recommend that the Agreement with the Ecology Action Center (EAC) for Energy Efficiency Programs in the amount of $39,031 per year over two (2) years be approved, and the Mayor and City Clerk be authorized to execute the necessary documents.)




  1. marycarlisle4 says:



    • how, exactly, is the ecology action center worthy of the title “crooks”?


      • They are the enforcers to the global warming scam. Just my guess.


      • Taxpayer dollars should not be spent to support NON-PROFIT organizations. Environmentally conscience individuals or groups should support themselves in their efforts through private donations and fund-raisers. If the City wants to ensure clean water, air and recycling (which they do through Public Works and the Water Department), its responsibility would be to enact ordinances and disseminate information to the populous in the same manner all other information is shared by the City. The Federal and local EPA, paid for with taxpayer dollars, already have environmental laws and promote the same programs as the EAC.


  2. $ 988.21 EAC prizes for 1/30/15 Events – – – So what are these prizes? What are they made of? Are they recyclable? Are they just cheap products made in China by slave workers that are crap. Maybe another wind chime. Wonder what these prizes were and if they were “needed” prizes or just some trinket representing waste. Representing a hypocritical statement by a bunch of eco-ill-logical wack-o’s.


    • Mike Jones says:

      Good point Mudd. I have heard EAC on a local radio station that uses the slogan “Tbe Voice of McLean County Communists.” The EAC funded with our tax dollars was lecturing the citizens about curbing our consumption patterns and not purchasing items that are not necessary. Perhaps the EAC should practice what they preach.


  3. Interesting that the approval to provide money to the non-profit is on the agenda for the first meeting of the new fiscal year.


  4. 1panper says:

    yeah but everbody else has one so we need one as well

    Date: Thu, 5 May 2016 20:00:08 +0000 To: wrcherry@hotmail.com


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