UPDATE: Court again on Monday

Both the City Attorneys and CIAM’s Attorneys have filed motions to dismiss. I have a surprise for them on Monday! ______________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin Monday is yet another court date for my lawsuit against the City of Bloomington and Central Illinois Arena Management (CIAM) as an intervening party. http://webapp.mcleancountyil.gov/webapps/PublicAccess/TwoWeekDocketCivil.htm Judge Foley gave the City and […]

Tari: Did City Hall move?

By:  Diane Benjamin Two days ago Renner was on WJBC with Scott Laughlin.  He gave the address for City Hall so citizens could send their health insurance plan summary sheet to him. I have to credit a reader for catching this, I didn’t.  I was shocked Tari took Alderman Fruin’s suggestion to ask for the […]

Connect Transit only LOST $812,117

By:  Diane Benjamin The August Connect Transit report has been posted.  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4zAZemF_qQuOUc3ckRxVGZfUWM/view Celebrate now – Connect Transit had a company picnic – and it only cost you: See PDF page 2: Last August Connect had 216,299 riders. This August Connect has 175,700 riders. Last August an average of 28.8 people per hour boarded a bus.  […]

Downs: More on Adkisson’s Restaurant

By:  Diane Benjamin This post appeared on Facebook: The value of this property was increased significantly with TIF (Tax Increment Finance) money:  https://blnnews.com/2016/07/26/adkissons-tif-money/ If the business is sold, does the $41,331.44 have to be paid back?  Or, does the Adkisson family get to keep it? You might want to ask the Mayor and Village Board […]

More Tari on WJBC

By:  Diane Benjamin See this previous post for a link to the WJBC interview:  https://blnnews.com/2016/09/29/tari-on-wjbc-wiggling/ Tari took Alderman Jim Fruin’s advice and asked citizens to mail their health insurance plan summary to him.  MAIL? Seriously, who mails anything!  Okay, for the few of the computer challenged, put a copy in the mail to him. The […]

Tari on WJBC (wiggling)

By:  Diane Benjamin If Tari isn’t doing anything wrong with the Liquor Commission, like violating the Open Meetings Act, why did he fire the other commissioners and declare himself Liquor King? Remember when former Alderwoman Judy Stearns filed an Open Meetings Act violation against the City for Renner and Hales actions in an Executive Session?  […]

Coliseum: Just THIS year’s costs

By: Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph has a ridiculous editorial today urging the City to spend spend spend on downtown.  They must not realize with building the Coliseum and covering the losses, rehabbing the BCPA, and with the TIF dollars from the past – Bloomington is probably close to spending $100,000,000.  Don’t forget to add the […]

UPDATE: Consultants: Another one that slipped by

I just found ANOTHER payment on 8/22/16 for $5,298.75.  New TOTAL of $44,786.25. By:  Diane Benjamin I’m doing some research I’d been thinking about doing for months but haven’t gotten to. I had to stop and show you this: This is from Bills and Payroll – 6/13/2016  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=242&parent=9535 Who is Genesis Authority LLC? Note Yocum […]

Transparent? More lawsuits needed!

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington still doesn’t believe laws matter. From the Attorney General’s website: http://foia.ilattorneygeneral.net/Default.aspx It is the public policy of this State that public bodies exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business and that the people have a right to be informed as to the conduct of their […]

Kudos Jim Fruin

By:  Diane Benjamin Alderman Jim Fruin is NOT letting the gold-plated City health insurance issue drop! Normally alderman wring their hands over some injustice and the issue is never addressed again.  Jim is dogging the City to address the health insurance issue without a need for expensive consultants. He even suggested the Mayor ask, during […]

Tari proves he’s unfit to serve

By:  Diane Benjamin Problems surfaced months ago with the Liquor Commission when Tari wanted to raise Liquor Fees and Video Gaming licenses.  Tari conspired with one of the two other members of the Liquor Commission to make that happen.  Citizens deserve open, honest, and transparent discussions, Tari thought otherwise. A citizens filed NUMEROUS Request for […]

What is Bloomington paying tonight?

By:  Diane Benjamin Eating at your expense and more: City Council Exp Arkansas Flag And Bann $ 100.96 8/15/2016 Banner pole for use by City Council City Council Exp Station 220 Inc $ 46.00 8/1/2016 Business lunch T.Renner & C.Koos City Council Exp Chipotle $ 14.95 8/2/2016 Business lunch T.Renner & M.Mwilambwe City Council Exp […]

Surprise: Bloomington Bills and Payroll

Bills and Payroll posted at 8:53. See this link for details:  https://blnnews.com/2016/09/26/what-is-bloomington-paying-tonight/ By:  Diane Benjamin The agenda for tonight’s Council meeting was posted last week.  This item is on the agenda: This means the Finance Department knows what Bills and Payroll the Council is expected to approve.  They knew this last week! The actual list […]

Normal’s 3 year tax history

By:  Diane Benjamin From the Illinois Comptroller’s website: Source:  http://warehouse.illinoiscomptroller.com/ProcessSearchResults.cfm?AFRDesiredData=Revenues&Code=064/095/31&CFY=2016&Menu=Yes&PrintIt=No For the year ending 3/31/2016 Notes: Normal is relying on Property and Sales Taxes more than they previously did. Bloomington has claimed that declining Utility Tax receipts means a decreasing population.  Is Normal shrinking? Licenses and Permits aren’t growing. . . .  

Normal: What?

By:  Diane Benjamin Source:  http://warehouse.illinoiscomptroller.com/ProcessSearchResults.cfm?DisplayMode=GETAFR&AFRDesiredData=Pension%20Funds%20/%20Retirement%20Benefits&Code=064/095/31&CFY=2016&Menu=Yes&PrintIt=No Normal has their 2016 report entered on the Illinois Comptroller’s website. Normal’s Year End was 3/31/2016. Are they opting not to fund pensions?  (click to enlarge) All pension funding has dropped! Police and Fire pension funding isn’t sustainable! Where do the unions stand? Tax receipts next! . . .  

“Planners” destroying Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin Nothing citizens said at the Citizen’s Summit mattered. Nothing Bring It On Bloomington said mattered either. The Budget Task Force was a joke. The Downtown Stakeholders meeting held last night was equally for show, except the City most likely bought the food that was served. The stakeholders nixed a downtown hotel!  Therefore, […]

UPDATE – What do you think?

Guess who returned! Nora, since the media refuses to inform citizens, somebody has to.  It’s the LAW: _______________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin There used to be three Facebook pages and a couple of Twitter accounts dedicated to attacking me and some other local conservatives.  Issues were never discussed, just attacks.  The pages had very few followers, […]

Renner circumvents appointments and more

By:  Diane Benjamin This item is on the Agenda for Monday’s City Council meeting: At the August 8, 2016 meeting, Tari tried to abolish the liquor Commission and crown himself the only guy in charge.  He took it off the agenda before anybody discussed it.  See this post:  https://blnnews.com/2016/08/09/tari-is-truth-too-difficult/ Jim Jordan is on the Liquor […]

UPDATE: Anybody see a problem:

There is yet another meeting tonight – again not on the City Calendar.  It is on the Home page of the City website:  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=18&recordid=3777&returnURL=%2findex.aspx It is about Hamilton Road.  Interested parties should attend.  This one starts at 5:00 at Prairie Vista.  The only meeting on the calendar is Citizens Beautification. By:  Diane Benjamin This meeting […]

County Board elections: Harris

By:  Diane Benjamin County Board elections do not pretend to be nonpartisan like the City elections do.  Although it’s hard to tell that some members of the County Board are Republicans, the GOP and Democrats hold different views of what government should be.  Candidates that will be on the November ballot shouldn’t be hiding what […]

National politics can’t be fixed . . .

There will be BIG news coming soon about the Edgar County Watchdogs.  You will be kicking yourself if you don’t attend!  . This will be the a completely fascinating 4 hours!  Don’t miss the opportunity to meet these two everyday heroes.  . National politics can NEVER be fixed if local officials are corrupt.  Find out […]

State Farm, Jamie Mathy and more

By:  Diane Benjamin State Farm is facing a $7.6 BILLION class action lawsuit.  What effect will that have the local economy?  At the end of 2015, State Farm reported a Net Worth of $82.7 Billion.  http://www.mcgisweb.org/Html5Viewer/index.html?viewer=public The lawsuit is close to 10% of their total value. Keep spending Bloomington/Normal – at least towns (unlike states) […]

Who’s fault is The Grove?

By:  Diane Benjamin Mayor Renner, David Hales, and members of the City Council blame The Grove housing development on East Ireland Grove Rd for taking too much tax money.  Some members did it again last Monday night.  Tari frequently says the development contracts are bad.  So who is at fault? Former City Manager Tom Hamilton?  […]

Pantagraph EDITS Letter to the Editor

By:  Diane Benjamin Today the Pantagraph printed this Letter to the Editor:  http://www.pantagraph.com/news/opinion/mailbag/ciam-should-provide-information/article_6b4daeab-9b06-5c78-a0ab-1a41646ffe43.html That isn’t the letter Erik submitted! He emailed the original to me: Diane, This is the original text of my letter: . Thank you for your article in the Sept. 1 Pantagraph about the Coliseum and it’s relationship with the former manager.  […]

Something I found looking for something else

By:  Diane Benjamin October 8, 2007 Bloomington City Council Minutes:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=3049 Ensenberger Condominiums received $2,228,000 in TIF money.  Many condos are still unsold.  These are the same people who want bailed out of the Front & Center building. Just the architect for the Fire Station that has never been used cost $301,900. More info on […]

Bureaucrats in Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night the Bloomington City Council met as a Committee of the Whole.  Around an hour was spent on a presentation by an ISU professor on how to do a salary and benefits survey. See his written presentation here – beginning on PDF page 49:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=11309 This presentation was prompted by Alderman […]

CIRA getting a new website

By:  Diane Benjamin Central Illinois Regional Airport wanted a new website, mostly to comply with laws concerning required postings. As I stated in this article:  https://blnnews.com/2016/04/19/cira-complies/ $50,000 was a ridiculous amount for a website.  The bids received showed that.  At the August meeting a company was selected: The minutes state CIRA wants to “own the […]

VenuWorks still has problems

By:  Diane Benjamin The Steve Miller Band concert held Friday did not sell out.  Concessions were still a problem.  According to the reviews on the US Cellular Coliseum Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/USCellularColiseum/reviews VenuWorks wrote the $299,999 check to John Butler for the equipment.  The City is paying them back with commissions. VenuWorks also provided $450,000 for […]

More on the Contract Hales failed to enforce

By:  Diane Benjamin Part #2 – see part #1 here:  https://blnnews.com/2016/09/19/coliseum-david-hales-failed-taxpayers/ The Renner/Hales talking points are they didn’t know what was going on at the Coliseum until VenuWorks took over.  They should have known! Keep in mind the City was negotiating a new contract with CIAM – it was CIAM that backed out.  The City […]

Coliseum: David Hales failed taxpayers!

See part #2 here:  https://blnnews.com/2016/09/19/more-on-the-contract-hales-failed-to-enforce/ By:  Diane Benjamin Mayor Renner claims the Management Agreement the City had with CIAM was bad.  It was bad, but it was made worse by the David Hales NOT enforcing parts of the contract he easily could have, but choose not to.  The complicit Mayor and Council contributed to a […]

Reviewing the past:

By:  Diane Benjamin A reader found this story from 2005 in Peoria Magazine:  http://www.peoriamagazines.com/aa/2005/jun/silhouette It’s an interview with former Mayor Judy Markowitz when she left office. Quotes from the article: Are both running successfully yet? The BCPA is a big money loser, you already know about the Coliseum.  (Another Coliseum story:  http://ilnews.org/9870/financial-probe-of-coliseums-former-manager-may-involve-concession-money/) Every mayor since […]

Hauman in Renner out!?!

By:  Diane Benjamin Scott Laughlin did a reasonably good interview with Diana Hauman this morning about her run for mayor. Listen to it here:  https://audioboom.com/boos/5051767-diana-hauman-bloomington-alderwoman-9-15-16 Hauman is Tari Renner.  Downtown is all that matters, the roads will take decades to fix.  Diana really never said what makes her a better choice, only that she’s not […]

UPDATE: The Hales Coliseum coverup

This is another story where Hales claims the Coliseum had CLEAN audits:  http://ilnews.org/9870/financial-probe-of-coliseums-former-manager-may-involve-concession-money/ They weren’t clean, concessions were NEVER audited, and Hales refused to protect taxpayer money. _____________________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin According to this September 12th Pantagraph article, City Manager David Hales claims the Coliseum audits have always received a clean opinion:  http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/government-and-politics/state-police-city-investigating-coliseum-operations/article_6e1ae325-da35-5573-845a-454e9b4c8031.html David Hales […]

County Board wants to avoid bids

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday the Executive Committee of the County Board passed a resolution for emergency replacement of the Board sound system.  It’s $108,000, but the reference material is written so poorly it’s hard to prove that’s what they are buying.  Here’s the agenda item: The packet information isn’t any more clear:  http://www.mcleancountyil.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4804 See page […]

Defeat the media!

By:  Diane Benjamin The local media is NEVER going to hold government accountable.  It’s up to us. Watchdog training is September 24th Register for free here:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/afp-foundation-il-citizen-watchdog-training-tickets-27552883416 Registration isn’t required, but they would like to have an idea of how many are coming. It’s FREE FREE FREE! I can’t possibly investigate all the local government […]