Renner Flashback

By:  Diane Benjamin Watch this REALLY short video: . HyVee is in a strip mall . Renner created a TIF for the old K-Mart Plaza strip mall . GreenTop Grocery is in a strip mall. . The old GE Plant may be turned into a strip mall . Eastland Mall is dying But, Renner learned […]

How much money have the Huff’s received?

By:  Diane Benjamin The Huff’s own various properties in downtown Bloomington, including Ensenberger’s and the Front and Center building. I filed a FOIA request for how much downtown TIF money was paid to the Huff’s or for their benefit. This is what I received: $728,000 paid to CEFCU $1,500,000 paid to Ensenbergers Condominiums LLC That’s […]

Mathy or Feldkamp for Ward 1?

By:  Diane Benjamin Flashback to February 2013.  Consolidated elections were coming up in April.  Kevin Lower was the only candidate on the ballot for Ward 1 because Alderman Bernie Anderson had resigned and decided not to run for reelection. Steve Stockton was mayor.  At the February 11th regular City Council meeting, Stockton wanted to appoint […]

Vote early? Why you shouldn’t

By:  Diane Benjamin If you attended the last mayoral debate at the Doubletree, you know the large room was packed.  Unfortunately, the League of Women Voters and WGLT are holding another debate in Uptown.  Yes, it makes perfect sense to hold a Bloomington mayoral debate in Normal!  (Sure) It’s being held at the ISU Galleries.  […]

December Library usage

By:  Diane Benjamin From Page 10 – City Manager’s December report:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=11954 From page 44 of the December 2015 City Manager’s report:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=9706 Information for December 2015 isn’t available.  Library information is missing from many of the new jumbled City Manager reports.  David Hales is DONE winning awards for delivering information to citizens! The transparency […]

Coliseum: Who to blame

By:  Diane Benjamin All the way back in October of 2000, Tari Renner had his students do a survey of Bloomington residents about building an arena on the EAST side. 63% opposed a tax increase to build it.  The estimate to build it was only $25 million.  Renner lamented the questions asked were worded negatively. […]

Pravdagraph writes fiction?

Note: The original version stated Doug Fansler is running for Normal Town Council, he isn’t. By: Diane Benjamin The new name for the local newspaper was coined by a resident of Normal with experience in the FAKE NEWS they report.  Since other media outlets get their news from the paper, it’s easy in Bloomington-Normal to […]

County Public Comment STILL illegal

By:  Diane Benjamin The County Public Comment policy is hard to find on their website – so below is the entire text.  The first thing it stresses is non-members should be speaking in Committee Meetings instead of in front of the whole Board.  If Public Comment policy exists for Committee meetings, I can’t find it.  […]

ISU’s Illegal Public Comment policy

By:  Diane Benjamin Complying with the law doesn’t matter when citizens “interfere” with government’s ability to do whatever they want! Normal is the perfect example.  The entire Council, Mayor, and City Manager are pretending they asked the Attorney General to rule on their policy.  They didn’t.  TWO citizens want Lisa Madigan’s Public Access office to […]

Tari Renner Fact Check

By:  Diane Benjamin Yes Facts do matter. Tari Renner campaigns using his own: What’s the truth? Comparisons between Normal and Bloomington are not available, but the other cities are. City property tax rates are meaningless to compare because a City with higher Assessed Values doesn’t need a tax rate as high as cities with lower […]

Connect Transit News

By:  Diane Benjamin The Connect Transit Board met yesterday.  They skipped meeting in December, so this meeting covered November and December’s activity. See the Board Packet here:  http://www.connect-transit.com/documents/January%2024,%202017%20Regular%20Board%20Meeting%20Binder2.pdf The Board did a couple of things right: Page 20:   Page 27: This travel expense law was passed to control spending in non-Home Rule units of […]

Scott Laughlin and Renner: risking FCC license?

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner appeared with Scott Laughlin this morning on WJBC.  The interview was mostly a campaign commercial!  Listen to it HERE Somebody at WJBC frequently reads stories on BlnNews – especially before interviews.  This morning was no exception: Did Scott Laughlin ask Tari Renner about this Moody’s report which clearly states Bloomington […]

More from last night

By:  Diane Benjamin Joni Painter proved she isn’t fit to serve on the Council.  During alderman comments she read a statement about changing the speed limits on Hershey Road.  Hit play below.  Painter said she started talking about the speed issue in May 2014.  It took her almost three years to get a Council vote […]

Representative Republic – NOT Democracy

By:  Diane Benjamin I hope the Political Science Professor Mayor of Bloomington isn’t teaching the kids at IWU that we live in a democracy.  He and others mentioned “democracy” numerous times at the City Council meeting last night.  Democracy is mob rule, if we were a democracy the Council wouldn’t have voted to approve the […]

Redistributing your wealth!

By:  Diane Benjamin Taxes are theft! Public officials who don’t understand this need to be kicked out of office.  Your wallet is not their playground! Cities created a social compact with citizens to do what citizens can’t do on their own.  Think streets, sewer, fire protection, and police.  Citizens volunteered part of their wealth for […]

Soccer waited too long

By:  Diane Benjamin According to Moody’s, Bloomington-Normal is now in a recession.   See yesterday’s story Here A recession is at least 6 months of stagnant wages, fall in retail sales, contraction of GDP, and high unemployment.  Here it could also mean people have left because opportunities are limited. I wonder if this is why Bloomington […]

Bloomington is in recession

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s not me saying Bloomington is in a recession, it’s: . The report doesn’t go into details about Bloomington – just this statement on page 4: . See the entire report HERE Next month’s primary election just got serious.  Liberal progressives think they need to keep spending money in a recession, conservatives […]

ISU avoids a lawsuit

By:  Diane Benjamin First ISU refused to give me a document I requested by FOIA claiming it was exempt. See this story Next they gave me the document but redacted the part I wanted:  See THIS story Some light finally went on at ISU and they decided the document in the story above is NOT exempt […]

Black Lives Matter makes local demands

By:  Diane Benjamin Citizens deserve to know what’s happening in their city.  This post is meant to inform voters.  Is BLM trying to run the Bloomington police force themselves?  You decide.  Why Bloomington and not Normal? The proposals below were created by the local Black Lives Matter movement.  You can see the entire document that […]

Setting the record straight:

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday the Pantagraph did a story about County union employee salary increases:  http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/mclean-county-highway-workers-get-raises/article_e1a807b1-6dcc-535b-83dd-f39b4b00079f.html This paragraph is in the story: Two problems:  The City of Bloomington has been hit by at least 24 penalties amounting to around $1.6 million. (it could be more by now) That’s not “several”. Second, the County negotiated with […]

ISU is embarrassing . . NIOT?

By:  Diane Benjamin Martin Luther King Day was last Monday, but ISU won’t be holding their annual dinner until Friday.  Maybe even ISU knows this event should not be held on MLK Day since King would never approve of the speakers they bring in. King was a minister.  King was a Republican.  King knew the […]

Another chance for Watchdog training!

By:  Diane Benjamin If you missed the Edgar County Watchdog Citizen Training in Bloomington – you have another chance this Saturday: Date and Time Sat, January 21, 2017 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM Location Hilton Garden Inn Champaign/Urbana 1501 S. Neil Street Champaign, IL 61820 Click HERE  to register! It will be the fastest 4 […]

FRAUD!

By:  Diane Benjamin All of the information below is from the Illinois Comptroller’s website.  See it HERE Would you invest in a company that fails to issue Financial Reports? Why would anybody invest in Bloomington – they haven’t issued last year’s statements yet.  Tonight there will be a presentation on how this year is going […]