UPDATE: BHS: It’s Freedom OF Religion

Today we got answers.  The coach is moving to a school where God isn’t banned. ———— BHS may want to see this story:  Football-Coach-Fired-for-Praying-With-Team-Turns-Tables-on-School-District-n2203386 “Bremerton School District’s actions violate Coach Kennedy’s First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise, as well as his rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, […]

The fun never stops: See this!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Illinois Municipal League has a conference in September.  The IML is an organization that hasn’t filed tax returns in decades, their top employees got themselves State pensions even though they aren’t State employees, and they lobby Springfield for local governments – and against the citizens paying the bills. See these two […]

Coliseum: the timeline

By:  Diane Benjamin Last week I posted a story about documents I received showing concessions sales at the Coliseum from 2013 – 2015.  https://blnnews.com/2016/08/26/bombshell-sit-down-before-reading/ I never would have received them if I hadn’t filed a lawsuit in 2015.  The City of Bloomington did not suddenly discover problems existed when the new management took over.  I’ve […]

Connect Transit Lunacy!

By:  Diane Benjamin If losing close to $10,000,000 a year isn’t enough, Connect Transit is now funding bike lights in Uptown.  Of course, the Town of Normal is footing part of the bill too – along with bike safety checks.  I’m sure Mayor “bike-shop-owner” Koos will participate too. That’s not the lunacy however! I can’t […]

Thumbtacks

By:  Diane Benjamin This morning a local radio host tried to blame anti-bike lane folks for the thumbtacks on the road that interrupted the downtown bike race last weekend.  I won’t embarrass him by saying who. Changed my mind – he just said it again:  Scott Laughlin. People who oppose bike lanes do so because […]

Tonight: Koos trying to grab Sales Tax?

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight Bloomington and Normal’s Councils are holding a “social” event.  Thanks to a reader who sent this to me: Looks to me like eavesdroppers should attend! Somebody else could check for impairment when they leave! I know Koos and Renner were shocked at how fast the Bloomington Council rejected Sales Tax sharing.  […]

Secret meeting: the transcript

By:  Diane Benjamin I won’t have to file another lawsuit for the transcript of the Executive Session that Judy Stearns walked out of.  I now have it, parts are redacted.  A link is at the end of this article.  The meeting was held November 15, 2013. First, everybody in this meeting, except facilitator Lynn Montei, […]

Two quick stories

By:  Diane Benjamin I hear the Children’s Discovery Museum has taken down the “Hello From Japan” exhibit with Chinese writing instead of Japanese.  See this story if you missed it the first time:  https://blnnews.com/2016/08/13/childrens-discovery-museum-error/ The next story will gross out some of you and others will say “What’s the big deal?”.  Let me know your […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

Bombshell followup: Revisit April 14, 2014

By:  Diane Benjamin April 14, 2014 was the Council meeting where CIAM’s management agreement was changed to allow Junior Hockey instead of Professional Hockey.  The badly worded contract could have been scrapped and renegotiated, the City choose not to. I realize most readers NEVER watch the video’s I post.  You prefer reading what was said, […]

Bombshell: Sit down before reading

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve been writing about the Coliseum since early 2014.  My lawsuit against the City of Bloomington was the last resort to getting somebody’s attention!  I would not have this information without the lawsuit. Earlier this week I received part of the information I sued for:  three years of concession sales information.  I […]

Tomorrow: Bombshell Friday!

By:  Diane Benjamin Don’t miss tomorrow. Huge story! No hints.

Tari’s re-election bid

By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph reported around 50 people showed up yesterday for Tari’s big announcement.  I hear 25 of them were media.  If you can read the Pantagraph on-line, the comments aren’t promising for his 2nd run:  http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/government-and-politics/elections/renner-touts-city-progress-wants-nd-term/article_512365c5-7492-5c1f-b834-e6b3fb38c2f5.html Tari claimed he stabilized Bloomington’s finances.  I thought David Hales did that in 2008 and 2009 […]

Complete Streets: Social Engineering

By:  Diane Benjamin Government has forgotten why they exist and we let them get by with it.  Government has one mission:  To secure our unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It isn’t government’s job to predict the future, redistribute wealth, or do anything more than the bare minimum necessary to maintain […]

Is Renner’s announcement illegal?

By:  Diane Benjamin In about 30 minutes Tari Renner is announcing his bid for re-election.  He is doing it in front of the Route 66 Visitors Center located inside the McLean County Museum of History. That building is owned by McLean County. Campaigning inside City Hall is illegal.  Campaigning inside the Law and Justice Center […]

Other IMRF penalties

By:  Diane Benjamin I few days ago I posted how much citizens of Bloomington have been forced to pay because City employees are allowed to spike pensions:  https://blnnews.com/2016/08/20/proof-the-council-is-immaterial/ Only $1,597,264.60! That’s money that could have been spent for the benefit of citizens, instead of employees. When I did a FOIA request for Bloomington, I included […]

court update: VICTORY

By:  Diane Benjamin My original lawsuit against the City of Bloomington for Coliseum Concession reports and payroll was filed September 21, 2015. It goes back farther than that because I had previously filed with the Attorney General’s Public Access office.  Those documents go back to at least January 2015.  I foolishly though Lisa Madigan’s office […]

In Honor of Tari’s re-election bid:

Originally posted on BLNNews:
By:  Diane Benjamin The Total Budget Tari inherited in 2013:  $167 million http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=21&parent=7074 Tari’s first budget – 2014:  $169.4 million http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=21&parent=7073 2015 Budget:  $180.4 million http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=21&parent=6501 2016 Budget: $186.3 million http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=21&parent=8220 Proposed 2017 Budget:  206.9 million (Evidently the stacked Council is going to pass it as is) http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=21&parent=9844 Spending increased $39.9…

Progressives: Connect Transit/Lahood

By:  Diane Benjamin The Connect Transit July loss report is out.  This is before the route changes were enacted in August.  July is the first month in their fiscal year.  Of course they lost money: All of this information is in the 8/23/16 packet:  http://www.connect-transit.com/about/trustees/packet.asp Note that Connect Transit PLANS to lose more than $12,000,000 […]

Last night’s show

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s hard to know where to start with the marathon meeting.  Just the council meeting was almost 3 hours long.  That’s after a special meeting was held and Bloomington Township meeting.  The Council were captives from 5:00pm until almost 10:00. If you don’t know what a PROGRESSIVE is, you should.  It’s a […]

NOW: Tonight’s meeting

By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph has been running this ad on Facebook: I will wait for you to stop laughing! waiting . . . waiting . . . Today an entire article is devoted to praising the City of Bloomington’s for closing last year under budget. Some things they meant to mislead you about: (tonight:  […]

UPDATE: Monday night – what you won’t see

This part of the meeting is live-streamed.  Smartest thing I’ve heard is a court should decide on any changes to the trust administration.  Archived video will be available sometime after the meeting. UPDATE below By:  Diane Benjamin At the 5:00 meeting tonight this item is on the agenda: Instead of putting this item before an […]

Court AGAIN Tomorrow

By:  Diane Benjamin The saga continues tomorrow at 2:00 – Courtroom 5C.  The attorneys for CIAM filed some last minute documents, probably hoping for another delay.  I really appreciate the support from citizens who took time out to attend hearings.  Come tomorrow if you can – it could get interesting.  I’d love to see a […]

Follow the law please!

By:  Diane Benjamin Being a citizen watchdog has two purposes: Report what the media is refusing to report Make sure laws are followed Bloomington is showing again Monday night that laws don’t matter.  On the agenda for the “Special Meeting ” at 5:00 pm is approving the minutes from the August 8th meeting.  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=11077 See […]

Proof the Council is immaterial

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve now got proof that Bills and Payroll, approved by the Council at regular meetings, is meaningless.  Nobody is holding checks waiting for the Council vote.  I wonder how many aldermen even read what they are asked to approve! If you don’t know what Bills and Payroll looks like, see this webpage.  […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

Sorry it’s late – just got back from the Watchdog training in Springfield!  They will be here in September, maybe the 24th.

UPDATE: Number SEVEN

UPDATE:   Another agenda for a 5:00 meeting was posted sometime yesterday.  Releasing the transcript may be approved then.     By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night will make the SEVENTH Council Meeting since the Attorney General requested release of the transcript and audio from the illegal Executive Session (Secret meeting) that violated the Open Meetings […]

UPDATE: Government is doing this:

More current information:  July-Jobs-Report-Unemployment-Rate-Drops-as-Illinois-Workforce-Shrinks-by-33600-during-summer-moving-season/ . IRS Migration Data: Taxpayers Leave NY, IL & CA For TX, FL & SC The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) just released its July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 migration data, which “approximates the number of individuals” who moved between states in the U.S. California was the third largest net […]

Guest Editorial

The Pantagraph never says who writes theirs, so I’m not either!  It was written by a citizen sick of seeing tax dollars wasted. DOWNTOWN Bloomington The citizens of Bloomington have heard on multiple occasions the Mayor’s proclamations, “Without a vibrant downtown, economic development will not occur.” “A vibrant downtown is the primary means to spur […]

More on Bills and Payroll

By:  Diane Benjamin See Monday night’s Bills and Payroll here:  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=242&parent=9535 Media did well: Straightening out the mess prior management left? . This months eating at your expense: ADMIN City Council Expenses Station 220 Inc $ 32.75 07/01/16 Business lunch T. Renner  (By himself?) ADMIN City Council Expenses Station 220 Inc $ 50.00 06/30/16 Business […]

Redistribution of wealth – SURVEY

By:  Diane Benjamin If government wants to help a segment of people: It has to steal money from some to hand to others It has to remove any incentive for personal responsibility It has to weaken the economy by not allowing earners to keep their money It has to pay bureaucrats to administer programs It […]

Lobbyist scamming your money

By:  Diane Benjamin From Bills and Payroll for Monday night:  Page 113   http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=11064 ADMIN City Council Exp IL Municipal League $ 310.00 07/13/16 IML Reg ‐ D.Hauman ADMIN City Council Exp IL Municipal League $ 165.00 07/13/16 IML Reg ‐ M. Mwilambwe ADMIN City Council Exp IL Municipal League $ 310.00 07/19/16 IML Reg ‐ […]

AG: Pending cases against Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin The Public Access division of the Attorney General’s office was designed to hold government accountable and give citizens a voice. As with Judy Stearns’ case against the City for violating the Open Meetings Act, justice can take years of mostly no action. I lost count of how many Request for Reviews have […]

Dan Brady: Campaign Cash

By:  Diane Benjamin Comptroller Leslie Munger has a new website to promote transparency.  This one reveals campaign contributions.  The State Board of Elections has this information, but it’s NOT in a usable format.  This website is!  Data can be copied to a spreadsheet without doing any reformatting.  From there is can be sorted, grouped, and […]

Did your Tax Assessment go UP?

By:  Diane Benjamin There is now no level of government that understands you work, your earn your paycheck, and they are NOT entitled to it! Yes, government needs the smallest piece possible from you, but they have completely lost the purpose for their theft.  Government only exists to do things people can’t do themselves like […]

The downtown dance

  I need reader support to continue bringing you news the rest of the media ignores: Contribute Now If you appreciate the truth, please contribute!     By:  Diane Benjamin Last night’s Committee of the Whole had a missing alderman:  Scott Black. Two citizens spoke during public comment.  In an attempt to limit free speech, […]

Bloomington doesn’t know best

By:  Diane Benjamin Years ago a guy wanted to buy the old Coachman Motel property on East Washington and turn it into a parking lot. Instead of collecting money and handing over the property title, the City told him they didn’t want a parking lot there. Instead, under City ownership, this is what it looks […]

Downs Mayor: It’s your fault!

By:  Diane Benjamin The minutes of the Downs July meeting have been posted.  See a copy here:  Meeting_Minutes_july_7_2016 This permanent record of Council proceedings will forever say LAWS don’t matter. Mayor James didn’t respond to Council member Mary Goveia’s request for the liquor reports. Mayor James didn’t show up for a scheduled meeting with Mary […]

UPDATE: Useless wind

The wind turbines are all dead again!  No wind, no electricity. I could post another 18 second video, but it would look the same as the one below. ______________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin Did you know wind energy doesn’t work when there is NO wind? Bet you can’t wait for the Clinton Nuclear Power Plant to […]

Bloomington locking up DEBT

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s great to have a plan, but Bloomington is going to create debt that future Councils have to deal with. Tari Renner promised to fix the roads.  He didn’t promise to raise taxes to do it, and he sure didn’t say it would take borrowing tons of money to do it. Keep […]

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