More on Connect Transit

By:  Diane Benjamin I talked to a friend Sunday who has a son driving for Connect Transit.  The drivers are expecting to receive notices this week of a January shutdown. The minutes to the meeting held September 27, 2016 have been posted: These minutes show what was said during Public Comment.  Eleven people wanted […]

The Search for Charlie

This story was re-printed with permission from The Lexingtonian Newspaper  on Facebook.  I know everybody isn’t on Facebook, but this IS a story for everybody!   This is who Americans are! The Search for Charlie By Cammie Quinn A most incredible thing happened in small-town Lexington, Illinois on an otherwise uneventful Sunday in late October. […]

Connect Transit TOTALS!

By:  Diane Benjamin See this previous post: I made the list in that story quickly this morning – chances are good I missed some!  The list was to make a point, not get exact numbers.  I saw many other items I could have added, like THOUSANDS spent on HVAC.  Isn’t the facility pretty new? […]

Connect Transit tears

See this story for the totals: By:  Diane Benjamin I didn’t attend the Connect Transit meeting last night, but I have reports from people who did. Of course people spoke that rely on buses, but people also spoke about BUDGETING a $12,000,000 loss when the country and the State of Illinois both have no […]

If you haven’t seen “Madigan: Power, privilege, politics”

Democrats running for election should have to state why they aren’t a Madigan puppet!  Watch for more info. . Northwest Herald, Joliet Herald-News and DeKalb Daily Chronicle to host online screening of “Madigan: Power, privilege, politics” Full-length documentary will be available to watch online at newspapers’ websites starting at 7 p.m. tonight through 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26 . […]

Is Connect Transit hiding info?

By:  Diane Benjamin This month’s Connect Transit Board meeting was moved from October 25th to October 17th.  NO financial information is available in the Board Packet.  Normally the packet shows income and expenses for the previous month. Keep in mind, Connect Transit is claiming they will shut down on January 1st because the State hasn’t […]

Boring predictable Council meeting

By:  Diane Benjamin Of course the TIF District passed last night 8-1.  Only Kevin Lower knows government doesn’t create economic development without taking your money to do it.  Free markets are dead in Bloomington.  I hear Giebelhausen is still planning a hotel for the Pantagraph building, not where the City wants one and not in […]

Dear Jim Fruin,

(Jim announced last night he is not running for reelection.  Petitions are due 11/21 – info here: Dear Jim, Here’s the problem:  The citizens feel like their government is stalking them like a famished predator. They have good reasons:  Amusement Tax, Utilities tax, Gas Tax, Sales Tax, Garbage fee increases, Liquor fee increases More […]

Bikers have rights (and a death wish)

By:  Diane Benjamin On January 1st bicycles in Illinois will be considered vehicles under a new law: House Bill 5912 amends the state’s vehicle code to assign the same right-of-way privileges to cyclists that car drivers have. In essence, it clarifies that bicycles are vehicles. Saturday I saw three bikers on Route 9 about eight […]

Bloomington’s Taxing & Spending History:

By:  Diane Benjamin Budget numbers for 2016 and 2017 are from the City website: All other numbers are from the Illinois Comptroller’s office at the link below. If your assessed value just increased significantly – look at the EAV (Equalized Assessed Valuation) The housing market crashed in 2008, in Bloomington it crashed in 2013.  […]

Can downtown mental illness be treated?

By:  Diane Benjamin The downtown Bloomington TIF is back on the agenda for Monday night.  See the project in the packet here: The TIF discussion begins on PDF page 181. A list of included parcels is on pages 265-266.  The picture below is on page 267: Property “5” is owned by the City of […]

Renner belongs in Cuba

By:  Diane Benjamin Sometimes my stories just write themselves.  This is one of them. See today’s article in the Pantagraph about Tari Renner’s trip to Cuba: The article ends with this quote from Tari: Free Enterprise?  Here? Let’s look at what the Bloomington City Council will be considering Monday night: See PDF page […]

Fly on the Wall: Mitsubishi plant buzz

Buzzing around I’ve heard some interesting stories.  The owners of the former Mitsubishi plant are negotiating a deal with Tesla and parts builder American General.  Both had to put down a substantial amount of money to prevent the sale at auction. Tesla wants to start mass producing vehicles and doesn’t have the space in California.  […]

Watch out after dark downtown!

By:  Diane Benjamin The email below was written by the now fired VenuWorks Executive Director.  It was received under the Freedom of Information Act. The City of Bloomington heavily redacted tons of other emails, so this is all the information available. If walking at night from the Coliseum is dangerous for female employees, how safe […]

Food, Travel, Misc PCard

By: Diane Benjamin PCard spending for Bloomington: Starts on Page 103.   I wonder if the “role of government” was covered: City Council Exp National League Of $ 150.00 9/2/2016 NLC Budgeting Basics Session D Haumann Feeding themselves: City Coun Exp Biaggi’s $ 38.75 9/1/2016 Business lunch meeting T Renner & Normal Mayor Chris […]

East Side Bypass-Highway-Freeway

By:  Diane Benjamin I attended part of the Public Hearing last night at Central Catholic High school. Side note:  I wonder how much they spend per student in their lovely facility?  I bet it isn’t close to what Unit 5/District 87 spend.  Somebody should really study that angle. I did a quick Internet search yesterday […]

UPDATE: Normal and Scott Preston

I received the following email from Jason Chambers: Ms. Benjamin, I was contacted by someone asking about the prosecutor in the Preston matter and the possible cost. They indicated they had heard there was an expense in that regard from you.  Just for information purposes, I wanted to let you know that there is no […]

Way too busy again

By:  Diane Benjamin I won’t have time for a while to work for free, so here’s some stories you might not have seen: 1) FBI agents say the bureau is alarmed over Director James Comey’s decision to not suggest that the Justice Department prosecute Hillary Clinton over her mishandling of classified information. According to an interview […]

Bloomington needs to know what transparency is

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington included a newsletter with October Water/Sewer/Garbage bills.  You can see it here:  HERE There are a number of problems with the newsletter.  I wonder whose job it is to put it together and include it with the bills.  The Communications Director? First, the newsletter sent in October is […]

More Coliseum Fraud

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s old news now that VenuWorks fired the Coliseum Manager.  VenuWorks found the fraud, the City of Bloomington never would have.  They completely ignored the old management and never blinked when the audited financial statements showed MUCH bigger loses than CIAM ever did. Of course, the City never checked to see if […]

Attn: Farmers – EPA is after you

By:  Diane Benjamin The EPA is now out to regulate how farmers treat their land.  Did you know plowing creates mini-mountain ranges?  Did you know those mini ranges create disturbed wetlands? The whole report is 38 pages, see it at this link: This excerpt is from page two.  While we all thought we lived […]

You thought the East Side Highway was dead?

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s not unless the County Board KILLS it.  There is a public hearing Wednesday October 19, 2016  at 6:00pm – Central Catholic High School.  I don’t know why, but it is scheduled until 9:00pm.  The last plan I remember is a 4 lane divided highway with divided bike paths.  If you ever […]

UPDATE: Jamie Snow – Exoneration Project

By:  Diane Benjamin Jamie Snow has been in prison 17 years for a Bloomignton murder he claims he didn’t commit. William Little was shot in 1991 during a robbery at a gas station where he worked.  Snow wasn’t convicted until 2001. This week Snow made national news when the story aired on a show called […]

Malak: Union Bosses Trying To BUY The 110th ?

By:  Diane Benjamin Nearly 96% of all donations to Dennis Malak for his bid on the 110th Illinois State Representative seat came from outside the 110th District and from Unions, some from Indiana and Maryland.  Is this what the voters of the 110th need in Springfield?  More union representation means more taxes and more pension […]

Know anybody is SE Illinois? (110th House District)

By:  Diane Benjamin The 110th House District includes Mattoon and Charleston.  See a complete map here: There is a guy running for the Illinois House in this district who looks to be misrepresenting himself: Dennis Malak, Candidate for the 110th District in Illinois claims “the system failed him” – and that is one of […]

Bloomington’s Award Good?

By: Diane Benjamin Bloomington recently announced they won an award for excellence in comprehensive planning: The award was for Bring It On Bloomington It doesn’t matter that Bring It On Bloomignton was a flop! The McLean County Regional Planning Commission wanted 7,660 people to complete the survey.  They got 1,160.  It was declared […]