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 a success anyway.

Taypayers were forced to pay MCRPC to do Bring It On Bloomington where only 1.5% of the population participated.

Now the City is celebrating an award.

Think about this:

Is there anything worse than traveling a thousand miles to another part of the country and seeing all the same stores?

City planning is no different.  This award was given by the American Planning Association.  Evidently City staff has to be trained in City Planning.  Homogeneous planning is taught, ever notice many cities are taking the same bad approaches to governing?  How many cities are facing un-affordable public transportation?  Bad streets because money has been diverted for years to other projects?  Large pension deficits for the same reason?  The list of unfunded citizen priorities is endless, local governments have a totally different list of priorities!

Why do they all have the same problems?

I’d have a hard time listing all the conferences city employees attend.  SHORT list: US Conference of Mayors, Illinois Municipal League, International City/County Managers Assoc.  HR personnel go to conferences, so does Finance, and pretty much every other department.

They are trained in “Best Practices” that have zero to do with what’s best for taxpayers.  Ever wonder why their plans don’t include fixing the roads until an election year?  Ever wonder why citizens are treated like they don’t understand while government employees spew propaganda to prove their point?

Back to Bring It on Bloomington and the American Planning Association.  Below are some expenses just from this year that Bloomington taxpayers funded.  The City even advertised a job opening with APA.  Ever notice all the out of State people the City has hired?  They advertise where they can get employees who believe the same as they do.

April 25, 2016


July 25, 2016


March 28, 2016

apa2Grand Total:  $2,244.34

Phoenix was probably beautiful in March!

Taxpayers in Bloomington have a choice to make.  The current administration thinks they have the right to implement top down control as they are taught in their travels.

The alternative is local control based on the priorities citizens have stated over and over.  A fortune could be saved by banning travel.  “Best Practices” is what’s best for the citizens, not what is taught at some conference.  Necessary adjustments required by changing laws can be learned on the internet.  A more responsive government is possible when staff isn’t being indoctrinated with utopian UN-achievable visions at your expense.

Start talking to your neighbors, which government do you want?






10 thoughts on “Bloomington’s Award Good?

  1. This is really all about 20th Century antiquated hierarchical control systems of cities all across the country. Just like a corporation that is controlled this way, their employees have little or no real input into decisions. The control is top down. Very little from the bottom reaches the decision makers. Good ideas are not even presented because the bottom dwellers know they either will go nowhere or will be mutated into unrecognizable forms. So the very structure of our city governments marginalizes and alienates the very people they are elected to serve.


    1. The analysis voiced here is one of the best that matches all three local governmental entities Normal, Bloomington, and Mc Lean county. They are planning on keeping as described: “So the very structure of our city governments marginalizes and alienates the very people they are elected to serve.”
      They talked of culture change for Bloomington but not structural changes for better bottom up citizen input. That input cannot ever happen till more people vote, voice informed opinions and we have mores citizens for citizens elected and not those seeking to take care of their donors.
      But getting more citizens to get involved is a huge hill to climb. With the governing bodies still controlling what we know and when we know it. (i.e. Hales micromanaging of council agendas and releasing information months later after a council meeting)
      Majority of the population that live in our not a metropolitan city just do not have the time or energy with there focus on family (kids and aging parents), keeping their job and the time most citizen input meeting are. (i. e. 4:00 weekday and at noon)
      Those that the voters elected do not want to fight for structural change not one member of the Bloomington council has lead the way up the hill for real change.
      Real change is not making plans but getting things done. They all are as was said many years ago rubber stamps. Even with those one or two that vote things down and then say very little in the media are part of the problem also. Silence contributes to no changes also.
      The reality is that Illinois is not going to change and with that neither will the Twin Cities.
      Time for everyone and every business to liquidate what they do not need to move and leave the twin cities and the State of Illinois. Rauner has taken a stand he is the last line in drawn in the rich soil of Illinois to force a change. Anyone hurt by his taking a stand for the citizens and future of Illinois needs to contact Madigan and all the unions that have a choke hold on the rest of us. Give me a break constitutional amendment for union pensions. How is that not unconstitutional in discriminating against the rest of the citizens.
      We can thank Mr. Daley for this occurring in 1970.

      Time to hitch my wagon to another state and city this one sucks a big one.


  2. Bring It On Bloomington in reality should have been named “Shove It Bloomington” because the United Nations Agenda 21 already knows how their program is going to proceed. The online survey was biased towards the results they wanted. Those questioning the protocol would be categorized out of any meaningful input. The committees were loaded with government, useful idiots, and other biased “stakeholders” to squelch any opposition. The MCRPC director experienced in facilitation would manipulate the outcome. It was nothing more than another dog and pony show to scam the public.


      1. This is what was on Wikipedia… It appears to be about encouraging sustainability. We should of course encourage sustainability. Now, if something like this is driving boondoggles like Transit Connect then it should be ignored by city officials. But the real problem is the hierarchical control systems that are no longer able to deal with the complexities of the 21st Century and the need for citizens to have input/engagement in the decision making process. The Age of Information is allowing everyone to have the world’s information and knowledge at their fingertips. Transparency and accountability are being demanded by the (common people) everywhere in the world. We can now talk back to companies and governments in a way that was never possible before. Now that we have access to information, we want a say in what is going on. Before we didn’t know… what they wanted to tell us is what we knew. It is a different world now.

        Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development. It is a product of the Earth Summit (UN Conference on Environment and Development) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. It is an action agenda for the UN, other multilateral organizations, and individual governments around the world that can be executed at local, national, and global levels. The “21” in Agenda 21 refers to the 21st Century. It has been affirmed and had a few modifications at subsequent UN conferences.

        The United States is a signatory country to Agenda 21, but because Agenda 21 is a legally non-binding statement of intent and not a treaty, the United States Senate did not hold a formal debate or vote on it. It is therefore not considered to be law under Article Six of the United States Constitution. President George H. W. Bush was one of the 178 heads of government who signed the final text of the agreement at the Earth Summit in 1992,[14][15] and in the same year Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Eliot Engel and William Broomfield spoke in support of United States House of Representatives Concurrent Resolution 353, supporting implementation of Agenda 21 in the United States.[13][16] Created by a 1993 Executive Order, the President’s Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) is explicitly charged with recommending a national action plan for sustainable development to the President. The PCSD is composed of leaders from government and industry, as well as from environmental, labor and civil rights organizations. The PCSD submitted its report, “Sustainable America: A New Consensus”, to the President in early 1996. In the absence of a multi-sectoral consensus on how to achieve sustainable development in the United States, the PCSD was conceived to formulate recommendations for the implementation of Agenda 21.

        In the United States, over 528 cities are members of ICLEI, an international sustainability organization that helps to implement the Agenda 21 and Local Agenda 21 concepts across the world. The United States has nearly half of the ICLEI’s global membership of 1,200 cities promoting sustainable development at a local level. The United States also has one of the most comprehensively documented Agenda 21 status reports.[17] In response to the opposition, Don Knapp, U.S. spokesman for the ICLEI, has said “Sustainable development is not a top-down conspiracy from the U.N., but a bottom-up push from local governments”.

        The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry successfully lobbied against an anti-sustainable development bill in 2012, arguing “It would be bad for business” as it could drive away corporations that have embraced sustainable development.


        1. It’s their idea of sustainability that includes packing people into cities and mass transit. Note the new building in Normal and their ICLEI membership. Then see the US map of where people aren’t allowed to ever be. Compare that to the Feds seizing more land in the west. It’s not law, it’s policy. These are just a small part of the total picture. It’s UN dominance and enslavement for everybody else in the name of sustainability.


  3. It appears this award is part of a pilot program for those who are members of the APA. The criteria for receiving the award is narrow in scope similar to the Transparency award. If membership in the APA is required to receive the award, then it is similar to financial reporting award given for the CARF.
    Sustainability is one of the metrics. The multi-modal Connect Transit losing $1M/month is far from sustainable. Spewing diesel fuel is not environmentally friendly, nor is the combined sewer system which dumps raw sewage into the local water shed during heavy rains. There is little variety of employment opportunities–insurance, health care and government are the major employers. The service/retail/restaurant sector makes up the remainder of jobs. The liquor commission and Scott Black didn’t bother to consider the comprehensive plan before voting in favor of giving the banquet owners a liquor license. For these (and other) reasons, the award is basically meaningless.


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