The local SHRINKING Middle Class

By:  Diane Benjamin Source:  http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/interactives/middle-class-metro-map/?utm_source=nextdraft&utm_medium=email This analysis of incomes was published yesterday by Pew Research. Click on the link above to see an interactive map.  This is Bloomington: (it’s easier to read on the link) From 2010 – 2014  Incomes above $124,925 INCREASED 3 points Incomes from $41,641 to $124,924 DECREASED 8 points Incomes below […]

Feds arming LOCAL Gov

By:  Diane Benjamin Adam Andrzejewski continues to expose government corruption.  His latest is an interactive map showing Federal weapons loaned to public bodies.  You can see the map here:  http://www.openthebooks.com/map/?Map=1&MapType=Pin&Zip=61704 National stories about this investigation: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-11/militarization-americas-police-despite-obama-promises-war-weapon-spending-soared-201 http://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/#1745e79954fe Below are what some area cities acquired in the militarization of the local police:  (click to make a […]

ISU buys foreign labor

By:  Diane Benjamin Illinois State University is paying all the bills to import employees from other countries. See this contract Illinois State University made with one law firm:  Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell FY14-1 It’s for 1 year, $70,000, and renewable for up to 9 years.  Since the contract doesn’t say what this firm is […]

Renner wants to abolish Video Gaming?

By:  Diane Benjamin Renner was on WJBC this morning:  https://audioboom.com/boos/4550788-tari-renner-bloomington-mayor-5-11-16?t=0 Update: I think the interview has been moved – try this link:  https://audioboom.com/boos/4551685-tari-renner-bloomington-mayor-5-11-16?t=0 He REALLY hates video gaming because the machine owners are making way too much money.  He actually mentioned a guy who told him he invested $1 million in his business, Renner calculated […]

Destroying Illinois, one business at a time

By:  Diane Benjamin State Farm isn’t growing here.  Formally local jobs now exists in other states.  Send Mike Madigan a thank-you card. A recent report rated all 50 States from Best to Worst for business. See this story:  http://chiefexecutive.net/2016-best-and-worst-states-for-business-full-list/ Celebrate now – Illinois is number 48.  Businesses and jobs will never return to Illinois as […]

Must see slobber fest

By:  Diane Benjamin David Hales got his raise last night with only Alderman Lower voting no.  Lower stated Hales salary is not representative of the local economy and that other employees will expect the same raise.  Considering the Hales’ review took many Executive Sessions, I imagine Lower’s comments and probably more were expressed behind closed […]

What media forgot to report: Rauner

By:  Diane Benjamin I was at Nord Outdoor Power yesterday for Gov. Rauner’s press conference.  Quit listening to the liberal media demanding that Rauner compromise just to pass a budget.  He won’t.  He will do what ever it takes to bring jobs back to Illinois and grow the State’s economy.  The Democrats are blocking everything.  […]

Pension scam continues

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington Sick Leave Buy Back policy continues to kick Bloomington taxpayers.  Hales gets a huge raise without fixing the abuse.  Yes David Sage and crew, the Budget Task Force was a joke! It’s way to difficult for your elected “public servants” to look overpaid employees in the eye and tell them […]

David Hales gets a raise!

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night: That’s a 2.3% increase. Yep, the structural deficit worsens because government employees get what the people paying the bills don’t. Last year Hales earned $239,274.54 when benefits are added to his base pay.  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=21&parent=5443 I wonder what the vote was.  Considering many recent Closed Sessions (Secret Meetings) have featured “personal” […]

Is Tari buying votes?

By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph sells papers by printing feel good stories complete with heart-grabbing pics.  The objects get their names in print and therefore buy copies for family and friends.  If some actual news was mixed in they would sell a lot more, but they can’t afford investigative reporting.  (Or they chose not to) […]

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 GRAMMERAUSTIN   ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COORD 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 […]

How much does FREE cost?

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s no secret that Bloomington’s Mayor and many past ones think government creates Quality of Life.  Therefore, they get to decide what that means – you pay for it. YOU don’t have the freedom to create your own quality of life with your money.  Government knows better than you.  I seem to […]

TWO City Manager reports posted

By:  Diane Benjamin Finally somebody at City Hall decided to release information!  Surprise surprise. February and March both neglected to include anything about the library.  They must have forgotten to count the visitors and distribution since they are under new management. BCPA for February: That’s 133 people per event. How about some real data – […]

Tari: Announce your run for reelection yet?

By:  Diane Benjamin Luckily I have a huge network of people who want the truth told.  The local media has failed miserably at being government watchdogs. Below is a post that WAS on Tari’s campaign Facebook page from 2013.  It has since disappeared.  It was sent to me MONTHS ago by a reader who copied […]

CIRA – still violating?

By:  Diane Benjamin The next meeting of the CIRA (Central Illinois Regional Airport) Board of Commissioners is May 10th.  Since the April meeting, Minutes for January-March have been posted on their website:  http://www.cira.com/   See the bottom of “About CIRA” If you missed previous stories, CIRA was violating the Open Meetings Act by not posting meeting […]

Media setting you up

By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph has a long history of “floating” ideas fed to them from local government.  It’s always the first step in making happen what government wants to happen.  Watchdogs they aren’t.  The last example was “sharing sales tax” – first mentioned in the paper and expanded since. Sunday more ideas were floated […]

Truth about property taxes

By:  Diane Benjamin Between 2007 and 2015 my total property taxes went up almost 15%.  The assessed value went up  a little over 9%. That’s EIGHT years. All those rate decreases mean nothing when the assessor thinks your property values went up. Remember the 2008 crash when property values supposedly dropped?  For taxes, mine didn’t. […]