Why is Normal playing the race card?

By:  Diane Benjamin Just weeks ago City Manager Mark Peterson declared everybody racist – but he is determined to fix it:  https://blnnews.com/2017/08/23/we-are-all-racist/ Normal is so racist in April they elected a black council member –  Chemberly  Cummings.  According to a Pantagraph story, she thinks rural white teachers have never seen black kids before.  I wonder what […]

UPDATE: TODAY at 3:30!

The Watchdogs and I did a video yesterday recapping the Renner case facts: Listen to the Watchdogs on 92.9 here: http://www.cities929.com/portal.asp?pid=9156862&sid=3309 _______________ The Edgar County Watchdogs – John Kraft and Kirk Allen – will be on 92.9 FM with Ben Yount The topic will most likely be Bloomington’s missing mayor. If you miss it, a […]

NOW the City is worried about trees

By:  Diane Benjamin Last Monday the Council was worried about old trees growing on City property that residents want gone. I wish they had cared before they planted trees on East College. They looked adorably cute when they were first planted – right below power lines.  Not so cute anymore after getting chopped to keep […]

Why are structural deficits okay?

By:  Diane Benjamin Deficits are just fine with the Bloomington City Council  because they can tax you.  It doesn’t matter if you can’t afford it, they have needs – you have the money. Only David Sage realized that last night – years late, but better late than never.  He voted against hiring the Downtown Bloomington […]

No Liquor Commissioner!

By:  Diane Benjamin Wasn’t it only a few weeks ago Tari Renner was so overworked as mayor he wanted a full-time assistant?  He must have been exaggerating since now he thinks he can take a leave of absence for some “medical related” reason for an indeterminate time. Since the Council did nothing when Tari Renner […]

RENNER: Leave of Absence

IWU website says Renner is on sabbatical https://php.iwu.edu/directory/employees.php?netid=trenner   This Press release was just issued: From: Nora Dukowitz <ndukowitz@cityblm.org> Date: Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 3:51 PM Subject: Press Statement from Mayor Renner To: Media, Please see below for a press statement issued by Mayor Tari Renner: “I have informed the City Manager and the Mayor Pro-tem […]

Abusing Citizens gets the Council’s OKAY

By:  Diane Benjamin Since the Council has been deadly silent over holding Tari Renner accountable for his latest antics, we can only assume they think Renner’s behavior and ethics is very much becoming of local public servants. Will they start calling people “nasty” and “liars” next? I guess that’s what we can expect. It’s been […]

Dumping Dollars Downtown

By:  Diane Benjamin Downtown Bloomington is going to get more of your money tonight: Just at this one meeting the History Museum gets $145,000 (https://blnnews.com/2017/08/27/bloomington-supports-friends-with-your-money/ ) and the DBA doesn’t need to support itself.  You get 2 new employees with gold-plated benefits and pensions! Another $289,305 sucked out of your wallet!   See the DBA […]

Remember the Connect cameras?

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember Connect Transit spending $10,853.31 on security cameras?  https://blnnews.com/2017/08/23/2/ What are the cameras watching? The riders or you? See this Pantagraph article:  http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/rape-charges-filed-against-murder-suspect/article_a9cb15ea-9a5a-522c-bdb2-4852b3f2e5bd.html Remember the guy who stabbed a woman to death in a hotel room? How did a City bus get video of the guy riding away from the scene?  Are […]

Bloomington supports friends-with your money

By:  Diane Benjamin From Monday’s bills and Payroll:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14534 Some of the more interesting spending: 1) Every non-profit in Bloomington needs to get their share of the free taxpayer money Bloomington hands out to their friends – this time the McLean County History Museum.  It helps if you can claim you create Economic Activity: 2) […]

Weekend Fun – sort of

Update #2: Update: Hate is very alive in Normal!

I attended this event – Nick Adams has an amazing love for America AND Americans.  He has a non-profit call FLAG.  From their website:  http://www.flagusa.org/ Its principal purpose is to educationally proclaim the greatness of America, and ensure that the next generation of American leaders understands what it means to be an American. Several members […]

Fake News: WGLT

By:  Diane Benjamin See WGLT’s latest on Sister Cities/Tari Renner:  http://wglt.org/post/caught-middle-sister-cities-chair-defends-programs-work#stream/0 One would think as Public Radio and part of ISU, real journalists would be writing the stories.  Evidently not.  I hope future employers of journalism students take that into account if their degree is from ISU! The story has problems determining fact from fiction. […]

John Butler back at GMA?

By:  Diane Benjamin Former Central Illinois Arena Management (CIAM) head, John Butler, might be back at the former Coliseum with the Bloomington Thunder hockey team. Even though the State Police investigation hasn’t wrapped up yet (as far as we know), an investor in the Thunder has purchased a majority interest in the Peoria Rivermen where […]

ISU: Allow HATE speech on campus?

By:  Diane Benjamin A conservative speaker was invited to speak at Illinois State University by the College Republicans.  Yesterday I heard EVERY flyer they posted around campus has been defaced, destroyed, or removed. President Dietz: Is ISU now Berkley Ca? Is Antifa going to protest American values? Are your campus snowflakes embarrassed by their country? […]

When Lawyers Don’t Care About the Law

By:  Diane Benjamin Long time readers know finding a prosecutor is almost impossible.  Public corruption prosecutions must be demanded by many people before equal justice under the law actually exists. Then there is McGrath Law Office in Mackinaw.  These guys represent many small units of government who evidently aren’t capable of reading the Open Meetings […]

UPDATE: 2%!

Update:  The Income Statement was not available for Board approval because an audit of last year (ending June 30th) was underway.  Both July and August will be approved in September.  Something else the private sector would never tolerate, but Connect isn’t private. By:  Diane Benjamin Connect Transit meeting yesterday:  http://www.connect-transit.com/documents/8-22-2017%20Regular%20Board%20Meeting%20Binder1.pdf No Income Statement was included […]

We are all racist

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night the Normal Town Council met for over the usual 10-20 minutes.  Most of the time was the discussion of community policing. Judging people on the content of their character and not the color of the skin is officially dead.  RIP Martin Luther King. Police must now enforce social equity, not […]

Hovering on a cliff

By:  Diane Benjamin Source:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14181 The 2017 year ended for the City of Bloomington last April 30th.  We are most likely MONTHS away from seeing real financial statements, late is what governments do and the private sector would never tolerate. I did find a glimpse into what they will say – see the link above. […]

No faith in local government

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council meeting last night was conducted without the mayor and without any accusations against citizens like “crazy”, “nasty”, and “small vocal minority”.  Renner did hold another edition of his media blitz earlier in the day, but Karen Schmidt only announced he wasn’t there.  According to media reports of the […]

Council indifference

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council is meeting tonight, but nothing is on the agenda about the Renner media blitz spreading misinformation. The only people discussing enforcement  of the law will be citizens – should they choose to make public comment.  The meeting begins tonight at 5:30. If the City Council wants to hold […]

No violation

By:  Diane Benjamin Even though inspectors seem to be scrutinizing the homes of Renner critics looking for violations (sometimes on the wrong street), Tari wasn’t fined for this violation: This is the document the citizen who filed the complaint was told to pick up in person.  It was emailed after protest: UNFOUNDED DOC The name […]

Normal’s Spectacular Spending!

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight – Normal Town Council:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2695 Click on any of the pics to enlarge. No idea who is appreciated – file a FOIA request if you want to know: More Japan Spending How does buying flowers for a funeral qualify as “using public money for public purposes”? Does every resident of Normal […]

Little of this and a little of that

By:  Diane Benjamin Gas in Decatur today $2.11.  Gas in Bloomington today $2.25. _____________________________ A complaint was filed against Tari Renner for violating the garbage can ordinance:  https://blnnews.com/2017/08/06/do-laws-codes-regulations-matter/ It was filed by a Bloomington resident who has recently been hassled by the City.  The resident filed a FOIA request for the letter sent to Renner’s address, […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

Lack of Transparency continues

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington can’t legally withhold documents that existed before the State Police announced their investigation, but they are trying to keep me from finding the truth anyway.  Did they really think I wouldn’t write about it? I filed a FOIA request for the all General Ledger Accounts pertaining to Sister […]

Ethics!

By:  Diane Benjamin Illinois Law requires every level of government adopt an Ethics Ordinance.  Even though it has been brought to Bloomington’s attention, they do not have an ethic ordinance on their website.  When asked who the Ethics Officer is – I believe we were told David Hales.  I did find this on the City […]

Is Sister Cities a Tax scam?

By:  Diane Benjamin From the bottom of the Sister Cities website:   http://www.bnsistercities.org/ When I FOIA’d the names of people who went on the trip, I got a list of names.  Hand written on the sheet is: Since I didn’t FOIA donations, I wondered why they would give me that list and why these people would […]

FOIA Failures

By:  Diane Benjamin No, transparency doesn’t exist in Bloomington! This FOIA request was made on July 31st.  I did receive the information on the dinner at Lucca Grill, I have not received the names of the people money was paid to IACE Travel for.  A second request on August 10th and a third request on […]

Do laws matter?

By:  Diane Benjamin I’m not celebrating the State Police investigating Tari Renner’s use of a City PCard for a personal purchase.  Being investigated is not the same as being prosecuted.  We will find out if laws still matter, sometimes it’s hard to tell.  Illinois Constitution: Government officials and employees aren’t allowed to read the law […]

Visual: Eating at your expense

By:  Diane Benjamin From last Monday night at City Hall: The Bloomington City Council wouldn’t need to meet at 5:00 pm if they weren’t trying to control every aspect of your life.  Meetings would be a lot shorter! You wouldn’t need to feed them either.  Monday was pizza, I wonder where the leftovers went?  Does […]

More Media fail

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner has been making the media tour to justify the use of government funds on his girlfriend’s plane ticket to Japan. It’s amazing how WJBC and WGLT can let Renner spout anything and never challenge his statements. This morning Tari was on WJBC.  He claimed his girlfriend’s ticket was bought as […]

Preston investigated, but not Renner?

By:  Diane Benjamin Proving once again the law is a weapon in the hands of those in power who choose to use it: Jason Chambers referred the Town of Normal’s case against Scott Preston for expense reports he turned in, and Normal paid – to  the Appellate Prosecutors Office. Normal failed to enforce policies of turning […]

More Lies Tari?

By:  Diane Benjamin Since last night Tari called comments made by citizens about the Japan trip lies, I have no problem calling his statement lies. Just hit play below to hear him. First, he claims the Chief Legal Officer said he did nothing wrong.  Who is the Chief Legal Officer Tari?  Jeff Jurgens or somebody […]

Ideology means no choices for you

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council spent almost an hour discussing why citizens shouldn’t be allowed to choose the lowest cost electricity under Municipal Aggregation.  The final vote was 7-2 with Aldermen Sage and Mathy against limiting your rights.  The rest of the Council voted with one finger pointed directly at you. Even with […]

Bloomington: Your Mayor

By:  Diane Benjamin If you question Mayor Renner or publicly disagree with his actions on any subject – YOU will get attacked. I’m sure you remember when he attacked me:  https://blnnews.com/2015/02/11/tari-attacks-me-again-not-in-our-town/ I talked to a reporter tonight who told me about another vile email Tari sent a couple of weeks ago, but he didn’t know […]

More CONTROL

By:  Diane Benjamin Of course this is on the Consent Agenda – No discussion required! The Council is being asked to codify discrimination in the City Code.  It will be legal to prosecute anyone that isn’t a non-profit and government-funded. In other words, Connect Transit can have electronic signs, but only them.  Nobody else can […]

How many LIES will you tolerate?

By:  Diane Benjamin “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.”  –Thomas Jefferson “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves.”  –William Pitt in the House of Commons November 18, 1783 Just this year the City of Bloomington created a Transportation Committee, a […]

More Travel-did Margot ride? pay it?

By:  Diane Benjamin If you’ve been following the Japan Sister Cities saga, you already know about this expense: That was only a partial payment! That’s a total of $5,365.00.  Tari hasn’t said a word about this one, but at the Open House last night he and Margot floated that she should get a refund because […]

MONDAY: Come support the POLICE!

The first Bloomington City Council meeting starts at 5:00  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14456 Public comment will start a little after 5:00. The Council is then holding a secret meeting (Executive Session), so come outside and show your support for the Bloomington police: Link to Facebook Event

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