Tari: The windows are closed

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari’s campaign speech is probably memorized by everybody now.  Repeat things often enough some people might believe them. No, transparency doesn’t exist at City Hall.  I dare anybody to file a FOIA request and actually get the information they filed for. The windows are NOT “wide open” as Tari claims. Here is […]

Dawson + County elections

By:  Diane Benjamin No matter where you live, voting Tuesday is essential.  Even if you don’t live in Bloomington or Normal – there are OTHER elections to vote in. See complete County list here:  http://mcleancountyil.gov/index.aspx?NID=692 I live in Dawson Township. Four years ago out of 447 registered voters, only 75 voted:  http://mcleancountyil.gov/DocumentCenter/View/8115 The people elected […]

Normal, Rivian, Easter eggs

By:  Diane Benjamin Spending for the Town of Normal Monday night:  http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2589 There is nothing wrong with honoring MLK, but why are tax dollars used?  I wonder how much Bloomington paid considering the Council and employees are invited to come and eat for free, and bring a friend. The Rivian agreement with Normal says you […]

Ward 1 choices

By:  Diane Benjamin The ballot will say Sue Feldkamp or Jamie Mathy for Bloomington’s Ward 1. Mathy owns two businesses downtown, but I’ve heard he claims Bloomington’s attorney Jeff Jurgens doesn’t see a problem with him voting on downtown issues.  I bet the taxpayers will have a problem with him voting to enrich himself!  Conflict […]

4 more years of Koos?

By:  Diane Benjamin Chris Koos was on WJBC this morning.  Hear the interview HERE Did you know that Uptown is NEVER going to be finished?  Yep, Koos said that. He is running for a 4th term because he isn’t done with his vision. Bloomington-Normal will be paying for a new sports facility if Koos and […]

Sorry BLM, it wasn’t a “peaceful” protest

By:  Diane Benjamin Tuesday night Uptown Galleries knew protestors were gathering outside.  I didn’t count the group but at least 20 people lined both sides of the doors as people left. I saw NO police. Previous debates did have officers present.  Why would the Town of Normal allow this group to gather outside the debate […]

Satan Tari?

By:  Diane Benjamin For months Tari Renner supporters have attacked Kevin Lower and me with vile tweets and posts on Facebook.  They claim they aren’t doing anything in support of Tari Renner.  This comment left on my site proves they are lying: I doubt the media will report the facts, but how depraved do Tari […]

Pantagraph: Quit pretending

By:  Diane Benjamin Unlike the Chamber of Commerce who cancelled their interview with Kevin Lower (according to Kevin), the Pantagraph got their Editorial Board together to listen to both Renner and Lower. It was all for show.  http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/government-and-politics/renner-lower-spar-over-street-resurfacing/article_207506eb-1e52-5c45-a670-1b129fb76763.html The Pantagraph will endorse Tari Renner because they are progressives (Big government is great!) folks, just like […]

Tiritilli, Lower, Renner

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday Marc Tiritilli was interviewed on WJBC:  https://audioboom.com/posts/5751341-marc-tiritilli-candidate-for-normal-mayor-3-27-17 Listen to the next mayor of Normal.  Besides the massive debt, the Portillos debacle and Koos’s stand against allowing the public to speak freely is enough to throw him out of office. Tonight: The final debate between Tari Renner and Kevin Lower. ISU’s University […]

More on “Councils Don’t Listen”

By:  Diane Benjamin See this story from yesterday:  Why City Councils Don’t Listen After writing more than 4000 stories, I had forgotten I wrote about the Julie Crowe case when she won the lawsuit:  Julie Crowe Defeats the City of Bloomington That story contains a link to the original Council vote denying her the Vehicle-For-Hire […]

Why City Councils don’t listen

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight Bloomington is holding a public hearing on the budget for the year that starts May 1st. All you need to know is Bloomington is planning on hiring 4 more employees which will make the pension liability even higher and, to balance the budget, they are robbing the Enterprise Funds: I guess […]

Complete Insanity!

By:  Diane Benjamin Connect Transit is the biggest FRAUD ever perpetrated on the citizens forced to pay their bills! Before I show you the offensive February financial statements, see these notes included in the packet:  http://www.connect-transit.com/documents/March%2021,%202017%20Regular%20Board%20Meeting%20Binder1.pdf See PDF page 17 of the link above.  The General Manager can spend up to $50,000 without Board approval. […]

Giving away your money!

By:  Diane Benjamin On the agenda for Monday night: Packet PDF page 124   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12448 The City is planning to donate a van to the YWCA – value is between  $3,414 -$5,115 What State statute gives the City the right to give away a taxpayer owned asset to a non-profit?  Aren’t they discriminating against every other […]

Laws don’t apply to government

By:  Diane Benjamin Illinois Open Meetings Act Law: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=84&ChapterID=2 Monday night the Bloomington City Council is approving minutes dated between 1998 and 2009.  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12450 Not approving minutes as required by law isn’t just something the City did a long time ago.  Here is another example from April 11, 2016: September 21, 2015 just happens to […]

Tari Renner: 2002

By:  Diane Benjamin See PDF page 85 and following:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12448 These minutes have been missing January 2, 2002 when Tari Renner presented his polling results on the Arena to the City Council. Excerpts: Here is who was on the Council at the time: See more Coliseum discussion minutes PDF page 93  August 20, 2001. Obviously […]

More on the “Missing” Minutes

By:  Diane Benjamin First:  A question: How can Tari campaign on increasing diversity on the Boards and Commissions when for the 2nd meeting in a row he is re-appointing the same people?  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12448 Monday night the current Bloomington City Council is being asked to approved ancient minutes from when most of them were not members […]

Weekend Fun – sort of

Monday’s Bloomington agenda

By:  Diane Benjamin From the Packet:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12448 The minutes from the last Council meeting are up for approval.  This statement is included.  I hope it’s just worded poorly because an investigation happening is the ONLY public information. The minutes from the Budget Workshop are also up for approval.  Remember, the meeting was held at the […]

Another Spiked Pension

By:  Diane Benjamin From Monday’s Bills and Payroll:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12446 Employees are still allowed to SPIKE their pensions by getting paid for accumulated sick and vacation days. TWO courts have recently ruled that employers do not have to allow this, of course the rules haven’t been changed.  It just cost you another $32,106.66.  The City is […]

April 2nd

By:  Diane Benjamin I need at least 5 volunteers for a special project on April 2nd.  Time is flexible. It involves a lot of walking and possibly a driver or two. Email me if you want to help dump Tari Renner:  blnnews@yahoo.com   Kevin Lower wants volunteers to walk for him on April 1st.  Contact […]

Retiring rich – taxpayers pay

Originally posted on BLNNews:
By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington allows ALL employees to accumulate sick days and get paid for them when they retire – up to 1800 hours.  It doesn’t matter their salary might have been much lower when the hours were earned, they get paid at the rate of their salary…

The MISSING Minutes

Were these minutes ever approved by the Council?  By:  Diane Benjamin On February 20, 2015, the Bloomington City Council held a special meeting to CENSURE Tari Renner for his vile comments made on this site. The minutes have been missing ever since, a Freedom of Information Request had to be sent to obtain them.  Luckily, […]

Avoid Normal candidate Chemberly Cummings

By:  Diane Benjamin I would have loved to post comments from the forums held for the Council of both Bloomington and Normal, but there wasn’t any insight gained.  Spending an hour listening the questions and answers doesn’t give the candidates much time to reveal themselves.  Some are purposely hiding their agenda to get elected. The […]

Election on Issues or Attacks?

By:  Diane Benjamin The local press needs to decide if they are media or propaganda machines for Tari Renner. The people behind the Facebook page attacking Kevin Lower are Renner supporters.  This is a tweet from one of them proving the connection to Renner: Justin Boyd is Renner’s campaign chairman.  The vile people behind the […]

Question Tari’s character!

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner LIED to me the first time I met him.  I knew he had been a speaker at “Camp Obama” in Normal, so I asked him about it.  He told me he was asked to tell the attendees what happens during the Iowa Caucuses.  Considering contrary information was on-line, I knew […]

UPDATE: Despicable WJBC

I found this while looking for something else and just had to add it:   By:  Diane Benjamin Why a “legitimate” news agency would follow the loathsome people behind “Citizens Deserve better Than Kevin Lower” is beyond comprehension.  These are the same people who accused the Bloomington police of harassing them at a local park […]

Koos, Council: Shut up citizens!

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night the Normal Town Council defied the Attorney General’s letter and made only minor changes to their Public Comment Policy.  They relied on the opinion of their City Attorney Brian Day who formerly worked for the Illinois Municipal League. First, you need to understand what the IML is.  See this story:  […]

Facts Mr. Koos

By:  Diane Benjamin This morning I attended the GOP breakfast because it featured the candidates for the Normal Town Council and Normal Township. Chris Koos made a comment about Uptown 2.0 I find hard to believe.  He claims there isn’t enough retail and office space in Uptown now, so Uptown 2.0 is to provide more. […]

Chamber makes themselves immaterial

By:  Diane Benjamin The McLean County Chamber of Commerce is proving again they do not represent voters and taxpayers – they represent government. Chris Koos announced on Facebook that he was endorsed by them for reelection.  The Chamber website doesn’t say anything about the current election endorsements. Just in the last few months Koos threw […]

Normal’s follies

By:  Diane Benjamin Bill’s and Payroll for Monday night:  http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2581 I don’t know what arrangement Normal made to get Home Depot to build here, but this is the perfect example of why Sales Tax receipts are declining: Menards isn’t getting rebates, so they are at an unfair advantage.  It’s called crony capitalism, picking winners and […]

Another Pantagraph reject letter

By:  Diane Benjamin This time the writer didn’t get a response from the Pantagraph after submitting this letter, it was just never printed. The writer sent it BEFORE the primary, and since it still applies there was no reason it wasn’t printed, except it doesn’t reflect the views of the paper.  The name has been […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

Normal: What the media is missing!

By:  Diane Benjamin Evidently the media can’t read or they have a short attention span and can’t make it through the 7 page Attorney General letter declaring Normal’s Public Comment Policy illegal. It is MUCH more than the 45 day rule.  That one was a no brainer! See the changes Normal is planning to make […]

Wrong Track? Obviously

By:  Diane Benjamin Unemployment numbers for January 2017 are now available on the Illinois Department of Employment Security website: http://www.ides.illinois.gov/LMI/Pages/Current_Monthly_Unemployment_Rates.aspx Unemployment is on the way up in Bloomington-Normal.  The first column is Jan-17 – then Dec-16 the Jan-16. Of course the closing of Mitsubishi has hurt the local economy, but local governments still hasn’t figured […]

Koos, Media – you can quit pretending now

By:  Diane Benjamin For months Normal Mayor Chris Koos has been pretending with the help of media that changing the Town’s Public Comment Policy is his idea. It wasn’t! Today the Attorney General’s Office issued an opinion that slaps him around on numerous counts. (Did the AG suddenly start doing their job?  Maybe!) Craig Stimpert […]

Debates, BS, and Facts

By:  Diane Benjamin Cities 92.9 held a debate last night between mayoral candidates Kevin Lower and Tari Renner.  Listen to it HERE The picture below is the back side of a mailer sent by Tari Renner.  I’ve been holding it for a couple of days because I knew he would use these talking points during […]

No Public Discussion!

By:  Diane Benjamin Everything is scripted in the City of Bloomington to make sure citizens only know what the City wants them to know.  Unlike Tari Renner’s claims of transparency, very little exists.  Try filing a FOIA request and see how long it takes, what is denied, and how much is redacted.  It has gotten […]

Where are Dan Brady and Keith Sommer?

By:  Diane Benjamin Every ONCE in awhile Springfield does something right.  Bill HR3626 is on its seconding reading (it take 3 before a vote) to clarify the text of the Open Meetings Act.  Illinois law is always written vague, seemingly on purpose. HR3626 states that citizens can not be limited to speaking (Public Comment) only […]

Bloomington Pensions

By:  Diane Benjamin Citizens need to know why there is no money for government to do their job without constantly raising taxes. Retired employee PENSIONS, in addition to Social Security and Medicare, and spiked pensions are the problem. Below are just some of the Monthly pensions payments retired City employees are currently receiving.  Note, it […]

Bloomington Debt

By: Diane Benjamin A reader asked me yesterday what the debt for the City of Bloomington looks like since Tari Renner became mayor.  Another reader did the research for me.  Below are two tables he sent to me: Source: PDF page 36 http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=12330 . Source:  PDF page 33  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=7479 The biggest difference between the two […]

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