Let’s steal an election

By:  Diane Benjamin Almost four years ago, Bloomington voted for Tari Renner as Mayor.  He was elected with 5005 votes.  Total registered voters were 46,740.  The election was stolen by the few people who bothered to vote, a lot of them IWU students who have graduated and left Bloomington. Kevin Lower was elected with 615 […]

Jim Fruin: Compare Benefits

By:  Diane Benjamin At last Monday’s council meeting the City looked at changing health insurance benefits for employees.  Alderman Jim Fruin mentioned the City coverage should be compared to the private sector to see if City benefits are “gold-plated”. The plan for just my husband and myself (through his employer) changed as of July 1st.  […]

Tari, Tari, Tari

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner on WJBC this morning:  https://audioboom.com/boos/4866784-tari-renner-bloomington-mayor-7-27-16?t=0 Most of the conversation was national issues, but start listening at 1:45.  Tari claims:  (paraphrased) Both sides have gotten to the point in this country where a core of people who – if you don’t agree – you have to vilify, trash, and crash and […]

UpTown broke?

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I showed how Normal’s Uptown TIF is most likely not generating enough TIF money to cover expenses:  https://blnnews.com/2016/07/26/more-uptown-tif/ Here’s more proof: The 2014 TIF report shows some sharing of revenue with other taxing authorities:  Page 5  ftp://ftp.illinoiscomptroller.com/LocGovTIF/FY2014/06409531/14TIF06409531Downtown_volpment.pdf  The 2013 TIF report also shows sharing taxes:  Page 5  ftp://ftp.illinoiscomptroller.com/LocGovTIF/FY2013/06409531/13TIF06409531Downtown_volpment.pdf The 2015 TIF […]

More Uptown TIF

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal’s Uptown TIF began in May of 2003. Remember, TIF’s are created to encourage economic development.  The hope is any money borrowed or promised will be paid back by the increase taxes received. The Town of Normal 2010 – 2015 TIF Reports are on the Comptroller’s website:  http://warehouse.illinoiscomptroller.com/Downloads.cfm See the chart below.  […]

Last night-Bloomington Council

By:  Diane Benjamin The Davids were missing:  Hales and Sage. Renner declared July Parks and Recreation month, no word on why he waited until the 25th of July. David Hales has hired yet another assistant:  Melissa Hon.  Administrative costs continue to rise while essential services aren’t performed.  Expect that to continue since big government always […]

Adkissons TIF money

By:  Diane Benjamin See this post:  https://blnnews.com/2016/07/19/downs-the-audio/ The applicable part of the audio from the July 7th Board meeting is still over an hour.  I would need to cut it into 5 parts to put it on YouTube.  I’ve looked into other ways of posting it, but I haven’t found anything better.  The Village Clerk […]

Normal: Just for you

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember when Normal bought the former Route 66 gas station property for more than $250,000?  https://blnnews.com/2016/05/16/normal-sick-of-your-government-yet/ Well, it looks like work on the parking lot has begun.  The same can’t be said about the road leading to it. Are Bloomington and Normal having a contest to see who can have the worst […]

Sometimes new laws are good!

By:  Diane Benjamin Last week Governor Rauner signed the Local Government Travel Expense Control Act.  See it here:  http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=88&GA=99&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=4379&GAID=13&LegID=93136&SpecSess=&Session= Here are some highlights: One problem: It doesn’t apply to Home Rule cities – Both Bloomington and Normal are Home Rule. Heartland and the local schools will have to comply.  If Bloomington and Normal cared about […]

Health Insur: Gov vrs US

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight the Bloomington City Council will consider changing providers for Employee Health Insurance.  It could save A LOT of money: Under Obamacare, employers with “Gold plated” insurance were supposed to pay significant penalties.  Enactment of that provision got delayed after the people receiving it threw a fit at possibly paying more or […]

NEW pics of the Bentley Motors fire

By:  Diane Benjamin h/t Bruce Meeks Up to 150 vehicles could be destroyed!  Main street is still closed. A friend stopped by to watch.  A fireman told him a small electrical fire was extinguished around 11:00 last night.  It could have rekindled. If you are on Facebook, many more pics:  https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=302734023409637&id=100010191245936  

Indoctrinated media: Pantagraph

By:  Diane Benjamin A citizen FOIA’d the City of Bloomington for Tari Renner’s calendar.  I predict Tari won’t be putting everything on his calendar anymore. See his June calendar here:  Renner calendar There are a lot of interesting items – see them for yourself.  Some entries are redacted.  Tari has some personal items listed, so […]

More Tari eating by himself?

By:  Diane Benjamin From Bills and Payroll for Monday night:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=10911 In June I posted receipts showing Tari Renner is feeding himself and calling it “business meal”:  https://blnnews.com/2016/06/30/free-lunches-do-exist/ This month’s P-Card spending shows more Renner meals with no one else listed.  Of course I’m going to file a FOIA for the receipts. More questions:  Eric […]

Court Update

By:  Diane Benjamin Making a trip downtown requires pics of almost empty buses – so here’s a couple: Speaking of downtown, the law firm representing the former Coliseum Manager is moving to Hershey Road.  They are leaving downtown because parking, accessibility for clients, and space issues made it difficult to stay in their current location.   […]

Allin Township: Guilty of noncompliance

By:  Diane Benjamin Last November I wrote about the ever-changing hourly wages paid to Josh Deterding:  https://blnnews.com/2015/11/13/allin-township-ask-eidenmiller-to-explain-this/ There was always more to the Deterding story than media has reported.  Investigations should have included public officials. Josh filed a complaint with the Illinois Department of Labor.  They found in his favor and ordered Allin Township to […]

Update: Illinois HACKED!

I wonder how the Pantagraph found the story? 9:19 this morning By:  Diane Benjamin Government is looking out for you:   From: Thomas, Kyle <[email protected]> Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 4:06 PM To: Thomas, Kyle Cc: List – VRS Subject: Status of Statewide database (IVRS) Dear Election Authority, We will begin the process of bringing […]

Good Fairy Durbin

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.kfvs12.com/story/32481217/il-sen-durbin-announces-28m-in-funding-for-housingcommunity-development Dickie Durbin is throwing YOUR money all over the state.  The war on poverty, launched under LBJ, should have completely eliminated it by now, but no.  Instead it enslaved people IN poverty.  Obviously throwing money at people doesn’t work.  That doesn’t stop Dickie however. Bloomington got some, not enough to do […]

Structural Deficits

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington continues to hide the formerly transparent tax receipts.  That means they are either way above projections or dropping like a rock.  There is no way of knowing since transparency died.  Thank Alderman Hauman for suggesting the City Manager’s Report doesn’t need to be done.  I agree printing it […]

Mr Koos goes to Washington

By:  Diane Benjamin Unlike the Constitution Mr. Smith (Jimmy Stewart) took to Washington DC (the original), Chris Koos wrote one to serve his purpose.  He was quoted in the paper:  “Federal support for transportation is a longstanding tradition and a core constitutional responsibility.” Maybe somebody should ask Koos where he found that in the Constitution.  […]

It’s always the cover up (James & Renner)

By:  Diane Benjamin Mayor Mike James of Downs has a lot in common with Bloomington’s Mayor, Tari Renner. Both had a chance to not have situations explodes, but both chose to pretend nothing happened. Mary Goveia set up a meeting with James to discuss Adkissons liquor problems, he never showed.  He must have thought Mary […]

I couldn’t decide . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin I couldn’t decide which story to do, so I’m throwing THREE into one story. 1) Are employees fleeing?  THREE Manager openings at once!  http://www.mcleancochamber.org/chamber/job-openings 2) This one is funny!  The Title in the printed version of the Pantagraph was “Visitors center a strain on museum” The on-line version got changed:  http://www.pantagraph.com/news/national/government-and-politics/museum-seeks-help-for-route-center/article_97cecedb-3e91-5734-8da3-246c1fa238d6.html “Museum […]

Renner’s downtown

By:  Diane Benjamin Renner isn’t responding to the market, he’s trying to create one.  Just like he claims bike paths and buses are the future, he continues to claim Bloomington’s future is downtown.  Decades of massive spending haven’t been enough. Here’s a little Renner history.  Not included are the Downtown Streetscape Plan and the Downtown […]

Renner lies to Laughlin AGAIN!

By:  Diane Benjamin Two days ago Renner was on WJBC with Scott Laughlin.  I only listened to the interview to hear what Tari said about the downtown hotel that was killed the next day.  (He gave no indication it was going to be killed!) Here’s the interview:  https://audioboom.com/boos/4814794-tari-renner-bloomington-mayor-7-13-16 Fast forward to 12:05.  Scott brings up […]

Renner/Hauman not attached?

By:  Diane Benjamin Diana Hauman first got a seat on the Council by being hand-picked by Tari Renner to fill a vacancy.  She was then elected in 2015. Every once in a while I’m surprised by Diana, like her objections to Geoffrey Tompkins’s appointment last Monday.  At other times, I just want to say:  REALLY? […]

Stearns response to Renner – Part 2

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I posted the 2nd email Tari Renner sent to Judy Stearns, but I didn’t post Judy’s response.  See this post:  https://blnnews.com/2016/07/13/renner-emails-judy-again/ The original email exchange started here:  https://blnnews.com/2016/07/13/renner-hauman-running-scared/ As a review, here is Tari’s 2nd email: Here is Judy’s response: The next Council meeting could get interesting! Maybe Tari can explain […]