More conspiring against citizens

By:  Diane Benjamin

Follow-up to this story:

(It won’t be the only one!)

The Bloomington Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is trying to get out of complying with the Open Meetings Act.  What does the Open Meetings Act say?

OMA applies to all “public bodies”:

I’d love to know what grounds they have to change the law!

It helps to know who is on the Board of the CVB.  At least some are people who think laws don’t apply to them:

9 members and 6 of them are elected to city or county government.

Keep the names in mind when they later discuss this project in open meetings and act like they aren’t 100% on board.


Because these 9 people passed a Position Statement fully supporting a sports complex.  Conspiracy to deceive?

See the position statement below.  It almost seems like they were in a different meeting with the Kim Group than their sports subcommittee as reported in the previous story.

Claims made to promote building the Coliseum were just as reckless and useless.  The projections have never been close to reality.

Note all the new low wage jobs they are touting!  Yep, quality of life.

Also referenced is the Rockford sports complex.  That complex is indoor and downtown.  It is drawing fewer people than projected, but that fact isn’t mentioned.

ECONOMIC IMPACT is also mentioned – another meaningless number which just sounds good.  Again, actual projected tax receipts are never presented.

They also ignore the fact that most residents live on the east side of town.  The proposed complex will be built on the far west side.

Will crappy roads through questionable areas of town make you want to drive west?

Should roads be the first priority or more Quality of Life?  Read the statement – then look again at the Board who approved it.  This document was obtained by FOIA – one that didn’t need to be filed with anybody on the Board, I received it in less than 24 hours.  (Doesn’t happen with Bloomington or Normal)

How many other “groups” should be complying with OMA but aren’t?  Stay tuned.




17 thoughts on “More conspiring against citizens

  1. Per the feasibility study done by the noted Economic Research Associates:
    Year 1, more than 800, hotel rooms generate $1.35 million.
    Year 10, more than 10,000, hotel rooms generate $6.00 million.
    Is it just me Diane or is this math completely whack-o?
    Besides being the typical crony la-la land projections the simple math failure from above should be recognized by an 8 year old. I’m thinking that if the relationship of 800/10,000 is an indication perhaps the 10 year should generate 1.35 x 12.5 = $16.875 million. Not that I believe any of their projections, just sayin’. * Well at least maybe Connect Transit will herd up all those liberal east siders and their kids (as they share their winter colds and influenza) and their sports gear and truck ’em over to the sports complex. Also I can’t wait to see ’em gear up and get on their bikes and ride to the west si-eed! What great exercise and fun it will be!


    1. The tax revenue from the “economic impact” of $1.3M for year one is about $120,000 additional revenue provided the money spent is from outside the county. The complex is projected to cost $30-$50M. I wonder how much the county is willing to invest.
      Any bonds would probably be for 30 years with high interest rates. Tax revenue (increases) will be required to issue bonds. All of the risk falls on the taxpayers while the landowner and Peoria based real estate developer will reap the benefits.
      The chairman of the Sports commission is associated with B-N Laber and Trades. He’s probably drooling at the prospect. No wonder the unions backed Renner. They knew about this commitment.
      The Library will be asking for $26-$30M too. Quality of life is expensive.


      1. The taxes earmarked for roads are supposed to generate about $5M. $8M worth of work could be done per season. FY2018 budget for road resurfacing is $3.8M. Priorities?? Roads 2.0?? Lies–Yes!!


      2. Sometimes I wonder if the union members have brains. There is SO MUCH MORE WORK FOR THEM in repair to infrastructure than these petty projects. Housing booms are over fellas. The developers and contractors are making a killing at your expense. In the future just nod your heads so you don’t have to sit on the bench but when you get in the voting booth you better start voting for conservative candidates that understand basic economics if you ever want to see this area, this country get back to putting you guys back to work long term.


  2. And what happens to all those wonderful fuzzy math numbers if we suffer a recession? Can you say down the toilet!!


  3. The concern I have is when members of these commissions or the BNCVB point to one “success” somewhere across the country where a facility has become a big attraction in hosting youth soccer tournaments or baseball/softball tournaments. They don’t point out the many failures where these complexes get built and are sorely underutilized.

    I’m not quite sure the numbers on how well Champion Fields does in generating revenue versus the costs to operate. Those fields are used nightly for softball and host many tournaments every single weekend of the summer. Every few years, they bring in a national tournament which does draw huge. However, I would have to see the metrics what they actually bring into town in terms of hotel rooms, people actually going out to eat versus bringing their own coolers of food, etc.

    There is no guarantee that this soccer complex, which will cost a lot of money will do the same. They point to “estimates” that don’t appear to be based on much fact. They “assume” that people will spend a certain amount on hotels and going out to eat.

    Why not start small, like a business, and buy land to develop four fields, with options for more? Use these fields for local league games and host some smaller tournaments to see if they can actually attract people to town. Bring in local food trucks to do some concession work, set up temporary stands/trailer office area versus building new buildings to start.


  4. The Rockford Sports Complex is composed of two locations, one on the west side and one on the east side. It is not the BMO Harris Bank Arena that is downtown, and is the home of the Rockford Icehogs. That facility, just like the Coliseum in Bloomington was bleeding losses until it was turned over to a private management company that manages several such facilities around the country.

    The Rockford Sports Core 1, and Sports Core 2 include multiple facilities.
    Built in 1983 on 105 acres adjacent to the Rock River in northwest Rockford, this is the original Sportscore complex. Sportscore One has eight lighted softball diamonds, eight regulation soccer fields, nine soccer fields (Atwood Soccer Center), two permanent concessions on the softball side with restrooms, two playgrounds, a soccer center building with concessions and locker facilities, boat ramps, and a recreation path.

    Read more at:

    Mercyhealth Sportscore Two, a 124-acre site, has 19 regulation soccer fields and 14 practice fields outdoors, and four sand volleyball courts.

    Mercyhealth Sportscore Two is home to Wedgbury Stadium, which seats 2,000 spectators, and has hosted IHSA State High School Soccer Finals, pro football games, National Rugby Finals, college rugby championships, professional soccer games with international teams, and USSL W. League Soccer Finals.

    Mercyhealth Sportscore Two hosts many local, regional, and national soccer tournaments.

    Recreational activities include: soccer, sand volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee®, football, walking, and running.

    The complex also includes the Mercyhealth Indoor Sports Center, which contains three multi-sport indoor fields for indoor soccer, five volleyball/basketball courts, locker rooms, sports equipment store and SkyBox, a family friendly casual restaurant and sports bar.

    Recreational activities include: indoor soccer, volleyball, indoor softball, dodgeball, pickleball, and basketball.

    The facility is completely wheelchair accessible and adaptive equipment is available.

    On most weekends in the summer, you have to wait in line at east side restaurants to get a table because of all of the out-of-town folks at the soccer and baseball tournaments at Sports Core 2, in addition to those coming back to the city (Chicago) from visiting the other side of the Cheddar Curtain for the weekend.

    Just to clarify, these are not part of the downtown Metro Center.


    1. Comparing Rockford to Bloomington is ridiculous. Rockford’s Metro Area has 300,000 people. it is about 1.5 hours from Madison, WI. Milwaukee, WI, and Chicago Metro Area. Their first Sports complex was built in 1983 so they have quite a head start as far as reputation to attract tournaments. Just like the competition to attract performers to the Coliseum, attracting tournaments is difficult. Rockford also located on the Rock River which in itself is a tourist attraction. Bloomington has little or nothing to attract tourists. Tournaments will be sporadic at best and mainly local. The CVB and elected officials need to get over themselves.,_Illinois

      It was reported in a recent article in the Pantagraph that the CVB wants to be exempt from the OMA because of the sensitivity of contracts for recruitment–whatever that means. I believe the decision on that will be made in the courts.


  5. Bloomington built the coliseum after there were coliseums everywhere, even here with ISU and IWU facilities. Concerts etc. have been held here for decades before! So everybody has one, add bad management with no oversight and bingo, loss and loss billed to the taxpayer via higher taxes and therefore a lower quality of life of stealing by transferring wealth. So we’re to expect something different with a sports complex. ~ B-N and IL will be in my rearview mirror soon. It’s too expensive to live here as a retired person.


  6. I thought we ALREADY have streets 2.0! That’s what I’d rate them on a scale of 1-10. And Someone tell me, IF it’s me or is the TWO curves area on Hershey (That JOHNEE made 30 mph) like sailing on rough seas when you drive down it?
    and WHO did that road?? Maybe the CITY MANAGER should have them rebuild it?? At THEIR cost!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s