Free Lunches DO exist!

By:  Diane Benjamin On June 26th I told you about Tari’s lunches with nobody listed as eating with him.  Common sense would reveal that a business lunch should be at least 2 people.  Here’s the story:  https://blnnews.com/2016/06/26/mondays-spending-your-bucks/ Either City Hall is sick of his spending or the FOIA people are about to leave for a […]

Goodbye Transparency

By:  Diane Benjamin On June 23, 2016 I posted an email from Alderman Hauman questioning why David Hales did a City Manager’s Report:  https://blnnews.com/2016/06/23/hauman-shows-no-respect-for-citizens/ It looks like Hales agrees and is therefore not compiling the report anymore.  For May, some data is in a folder – most is missing:  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=21&parent=9539 I’m sure posting real information, […]

Oops, they did it again

By:  Diane Benjamin Last summer I posted pictures of City employees NOT working: https://blnnews.com/2015/04/29/austere-budget-short-staffed-really/ https://blnnews.com/2015/07/09/more-fun-with-city-employees/ I thought they had finally figured out with this story: https://blnnews.com/2015/06/05/and-the-good-news-is/ Consider this lesson #2 in Common Sense vrs Government.  Part #1 was last night:  https://blnnews.com/2016/06/28/common-sense-vrs-government/ The private sector values productivity.  Employees don’t sit around and get paid for it.  […]

County: Questions for Zoning

By:  Diane Benjamin From PAGE 3-May 3, 2016 McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals minutes:  http://www.mcleancountyil.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4650 ‘The topic of this meeting was approval of a special use permit for a gravel pit on the south edge of McLean County across from Dewitt County:  This area already has many gravel pits – the proposed site is […]

Chapin Rose on Illinois’s budget

By:  Diane Benjamin A number of people have asked me recently where the tax money is in Illinois if the bills aren’t being paid.  Senator Chapin Rose took the time on Tuesday to fill me in. First, he went over how we got in this mess.  Of course, this is his opinion. The Democrats didn’t […]

Common Sense vrs Government

By:  Diane Benjamin Connect Transit held another Board meeting today.  Revenue for the month of May was $136,587. Expenses were $806,208 http://www.connect-transit.com/documents/June%2028%202016%20Regular%20Board%20Meeting%20Binder1.pdf Your tax dollars subsidized empty buses! Ridership was down again – off 9.4%. The following Facebook post was used with permission: . A Private Sector business owner is intelligent enough to stop when […]

Last night’s Council meeting

By:  Diane Benjamin Hit PLAY below to hear last night’s Public Comment: Some of the speakers were REALLY good! Two things of note happened: Diana Hauman managed to get restrictions removed for a small business trying to open. (Listen to public comment)  It seems that somewhere between the Zoning Committee and the Agenda, the number […]

Pantagraph Hypocrisy!

By:  Diane Benjamin Every 30 days the Pantagraph prints a Letter to the Editor from the most uniformed local personever!  If she could get a letter in every week, I’m sure she would. Conservative writers have their letters rejected, many are told they can’t prove what they wrote.  Some don’t get an explanation. Meanwhile, divisive […]

FYI: Government employees are just fine

By:  Diane Benjamin While looking for something else, I found the following in the June 21st minutes of the County Board.  http://www.mcleancountyil.gov/index.aspx?nid=464 At least one local company is bringing in foreign contractors and firing long time employees. The unemployment rate in Bloomington-Normal is skyrocketing. Local available jobs require skills, but don’t pay enough to support […]

Illegal emails on raising liquor fees:

By:  Diane Benjamin This story expands the previous post:  https://blnnews.com/2016/06/27/tari-sees-objects-ripe-for-fleece/ I have emails from Aldermen Diana Hauman and Jim Fruin, Mayor Renner, and JAMES.  I believe that JAMES is James Jordan, member of the Liquor Commission.  I have MANY emails written by Jim Fruin over the past few years – none of them say JAMES.  […]

Tari sees objects ripe for fleece:

By: Diane Benjamin This is story #1 from the Saturday preview.  I wanted to begin with the County, but since there is a Bloomington City Council meeting tonight, I’m starting here.  Tari Renner is at the US Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis.  I don’t know if he will be back for the meeting tonight or […]

Dismissing Alderman Lower?

(You are still waiting for the 2 stories!) By:  Diane Benjamin Last week I posted a story about a consultant hired to help the Council evaluate David Hales:  https://blnnews.com/2016/06/22/bloomington-another-consultant/ The consultant sent an email to the Council – see the addresses: Karen Schmidt is Ward 6 – she got the email twice. Missing is WARD […]

Monday’s spending your bucks:

By:  Diane Benjamin (Wait a little longer for the stories referenced yesterday) From Bills and Payroll for 6/27/16:  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=242&parent=9535   More Consultants: http://www.biddle.com/ _________________ Legal:   _________________ This is the same consultant used to evaluate David Hales:  https://blnnews.com/2016/06/22/bloomington-another-consultant/ _________________ Media: Now: Eating and traveling at your expense: City Council Expenses Station 220 Inc $ 30.47 […]

When “public servants” aren’t

By:  Diane Benjamin I’m reading a great book called Anatomy of the State.  Shock:  “We The People” aren’t the government and government is not for “We The People”. Look no farther than the State of Illinois, now close to its second year of no budget.  Mike Madigan is threatening 4 years of no budget because […]

Weekend Fun – sort of

Bloomington: Your Mayor

By:  Diane Benjamin The email below was received under the Freedom of Information Act.  The topic of this email will be expanded in the future. If you were “James”, what would you think? Even if “fat fingers” are responsible, who hits send anyway?  Doesn’t EVERY device show misspelled words?          

Council doesn’t like citizen contact

By:  Diane Benjamin Below is another email I received under the Freedom of Information Act while looking for something else.  It was written by Alderman Jim Fruin. Normal’s elections for council members are At-Large.  That means nobody on the their Council represents citizens, everybody represents the entire town.  It also means the Council members don’t […]

Was fertilizer banned when McVeigh killed 169?

By:  Diane Benjamin Isn’t heroin illegal Pantagraph?  How’s that working out?  You just did a series on it! They couldn’t help themselves.  Today they called for more gun control.  Gun control is nothing more than an attempt to keep guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. News Flash: Criminals don’t care what laws you […]

Comparing area cities

It looks like the magazine made a mistake.  They are talking about Springfield, Bloomington was a typo.   By:  Diane Benjamin The following page is from a publication called Decatur Magazine, that’s Decatur Il. I think it is printed every other month.  An acquaintance in Decatur always gives it to me, this page is the […]

Hauman shows NO respect for citizens

By:  Diane Benjamin I was looking for something else when I did a FOIA for emails recently.  It never fails to amaze me what some elected officials will put in writing when they think it’s a secret.  Emails are part of the public record because State law requires all deliberations be done openly in front […]

Bloomington: ANOTHER Consultant

By:  Diane Benjamin Evidently the Bloomington City Council is now acting like Congress.  Do nothing, can’t make decisions, and they need guidance.  They must not trust their own opinions. I received the following email yesterday under the Freedom of Information Act.  I knew that many “secret” meetings (Executive Sessions) had been held to considering David […]

Back in Court this morning

By:  Diane Benjamin This hearing was scheduled by the lawyers for CIAM.  They wanted further settlement talks. Instead I filed an Amended Motion that has little resemblance to what I have filed previously.  Yes, I met with a lawyer last week who explained what the judge was looking for in words I could understand.  I […]

Last night: Committee of the Whole

By:  Diane Benjamin Only the audio of the meeting is available – no video. I think some of the Aldermen were absent, the roll call was hard to hear, so I’m not sure.  Some might have arrived late. The paper reported a straw poll was unanimous in not taxing the video gaming machines.  If all […]

Kinzinger: One of the problems

By:  Diane Benjamin Adam Kinzinger was on WJBC yesterday:  https://audioboom.com/boos/4724141-adam-kinzinger-u-s-rep-6-20-16 Start listening at 12:30. He doesn’t understand the anger voters have against their representatives.  He thinks we can all be nice and sit down to Thanksgiving dinner together.  One of his best friends in DC is a California liberal, just a nice guy. Meanwhile: The […]

In honor of Tari’s Transparency award:

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight’s Committee of Whole meeting starts at 5:30 – not the normal 7:00 pm. A transparency award is scheduled to be presented by the Illinois Policy Institute.  It’s a WEBSITE transparency award, not a general transparency award. Transparency is much more than a website!  It’s not meeting in secret and violating the […]

ISU Police: Too much?

By:  Diane Benjamin Illinois State University has its own police force. Lately I’ve been hearing stories about the ISU police operating off campus.  They patrol student housing that isn’t on campus and one citizens reported they were writing speeding tickets on Raab road – a long way from campus. I requested information from ISU as […]

Local lunacy you pay for

By:  Diane Benjamin Government wastes your money!  Proof:  An unused fire station and unused water tower.  $$$$ – MILLIONS – $$$$ poof, up in smoke and nobody in jail. Those are just huge examples of utter incompetence.  Many many more exist on a small scale.  Just this week Council and staff time were needed for […]

Weekend Fun – sort of

Who cares about downtown Bloomington?

By:  Diane Benjamin Looks like the business owners do, the City not so much. Do citizens have to take care of the streets and sidewalks too? Does this mean Giebelhausen can’t find an investor?     Cabelas Bargain Cave

Your taxes import labor: ISU, U of I

By:  Diane Benjamin My ancestors came to America penniless and legally – through Ellis Island.  Nobody gave them welfare or paid their way.  They came here to be Americans, nothing hyphenated.  They learned English, just like millions of other legal immigrants.  E pluribus unum  (Out of many one) The push now is for Diversity.  Think […]

Friday special meeting:

By:  Diane Benjamin The agenda screw-up from last Monday will be fixed Friday at a special meeting of the Bloomington City Council.  They aren’t approving just one liquor license, they are approving two! Of course, approving the release of the verbatim audio and written account of the illegal Executive Session isn’t on the agenda. On […]

Scott Laughlin: Ever get tired of Tari lies?

By:  Diane Benjamin Scott, how many lies do you need to hear?  Is it fair to your listeners to let Tari spout on the air and pretend he is telling the truth?  Is WJBC city controlled media?  Do facts matter? Here’s Scott’s latest interview with the illustrious mayor:  https://audioboom.com/boos/4699788-tari-renner-bloomington-mayor-6-15-16 Fast forward to 13:00.  Renner claims […]

Public Comment YOU need to see

By:  Diane Benjamin The sharing of Sales Tax with Normal was not discussed at the Council meeting Monday.  Continuing talks were voted down at the meeting before – the Work Session. Two supporters, a guy from the Chamber of Commerce and another from the Economic Development Council, spoke before two citizens.  You need to hear […]

Creve Coeur questions

By:  Diane Benjamin Last month I wrote about the Federal Government arming local governments.  https://blnnews.com/2016/05/12/feds-arming-local-gov/ I included lists of mostly guns that area cities received.  Creve Coeur received many more items.  Their list included all kinds of unusual items, so that made me wonder what happened to the extensive list. Of course I filed a […]

Breakfast with Superstars

By:  Diane Benjamin This morning I had a long breakfast with the Edgar County Watchdogs, Kirk Allen and John Kraft.  They call me when they are passing through town.  For some reason they always pick places on the west side to eat, that gives me a chance to see how bad the roads are on […]

Route 66 Flop!

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington budgeted $2,683,206.28 this year for Economic Development.  https://blnnews.com/2016/05/24/pretending-to-create-success/ Today I finally had a chance to glance at the latest copy of Illinois County Living Magazine.  I only get it because I’m a Corn Belt Energy customer. The cover is “Get Your Kicks on Route 66”.  Here’s a link to the story:  […]

The Renner Comedy show

By:  Diane Benjamin Just so everyone is clear on which Aldermen wanted to continue talking about Sales tax sharing with Normal: Jim Fruin Diane Hauman Scott Black Amelia Buragas Five Alderman voted against continuing:  Schmidt, Painter, Mwilambwe, Sage, and Lower.  It’s a dead issue for now. Mayor Renner just doesn’t understand why it failed. BN […]

More Hales bungles

By: Diane Benjamin Another example of incompetence happened at the Council meeting last night.  Increasing Video Gaming fees was illegally on the agenda: Increasing fees on video gaming machines was first discussed at the April 25th meeting.  It was TABLED to a Committee of the Whole meeting : Why is “Tabled” important? City Code:  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=262 […]

3 minute meeting?

By:  Diane Benjamin The approval of a Liquor License was left off the agenda last night.  Since the recipient has a Father’s Day event planned, he can’t wait until the next meeting for approval.  Therefore the Council is planning a quick meeting whenever they can get 5 aldermen together to approve it.  Who dropped the […]

UPDATE: Not transparent Tari

  A special 3 minute meeting was just called for later this week.  Put approval on that agenda Tari! By: Diane Benjamin The last time the City Council looked at their Secret Meeting minutes, as required by law, they refused to release the old City Manager Tom Hamilton’s performance reviews.  In other words, people still […]

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