MY Coliseum timeline

By:  Diane Benjamin

Below are some of the stories I’ve written about the Coliseum.   Some are opinions, some questions, and some proven facts.  This isn’t everything, but it’s enough to prove the 5 Coliseum employees would NOT be under indictment of I hadn’t started investigating in 2013!

Each link has a quote from the story below it.

https://blnnews.com/2013/06/27/fly-on-the-wall-citizens-of-bloomington-beware/

Meanwhile, the Coliseum is managed by a private company, taxpayers can’t see their books.  At least one of those owners is also a part owner of the hockey team.  So, the private company is the landlord, hockey team the tenant.  Do you think there is any chance the taxpayers are getting a fair deal?  Everything is private-you don’t have right to know.

https://blnnews.com/2013/12/04/mayor-tansparency-renner-wants-subsidies-ended/

If he (Renner) was serious, the management contract for the Coliseum would not be renewed.  The City is deeply in debt because of the Coliseum and they have no idea how much the management company is making off the City owned asset.  The City doesn’t get any cut of concessions, in other words, there is no accountability.

https://blnnews.com/2014/03/26/more-on-the-hockey-spin/

It looks like City Manager David Hales is not going to break the contract with Rodgers and Butler:

“The new arrangement will return them to focusing primarily on operation and management of the Coliseum and allow new ownership to take over the hockey team,” said Hales.

I wonder if Hales will finally start providing oversight for the taxpayers?  What percent of the money coming in are Rogers and Butler going to record as their commission?

https://blnnews.com/2014/04/01/bloomington-you-need-to-see-this/

These  numbers do not include concessions, which are completely un-audited.  Who is looking out for taxpayers?  When the Coliseum management and David Hales think they already have a deal, why does Bloomington even have a City Council?  Why is the Coliseum a cash cow for management at the taxpayers expense?

https://blnnews.com/2014/04/14/transparency-in-bloomington-dont-make-me-laugh/

I am requesting the following information under the Freedom of Information Act:

               All letters, statements and reports written to the Bloomington City Council by auditors of the City and the auditors of the Coliseum.  These are a separate report from the comments made in the CAFR.  I am requesting reports for the last 5 years.
.

NOTE: June 2014↓

  • Concessions at the Coliseum must be audited.  The City paid for the Point-of-Sale equipment, start using it
  • It’s not okay that CIAM (Coliseum management) is taking 14% of items clearly spelled out in the contract at 10% (Club Seats, Suites, Sponsorships, Naming Rights)
  • It’s not okay that CIAM is taking a 4% Commission on Sales Tax collected and gross Merchandise Sales
  • It’s not okay to bury this information until the contract is renegotiated!
  • It’s not okay to renegotiate the contract in private and then ask the Council to rubber stamp it.

https://blnnews.com/2014/06/29/why-is-the-coliseum-allowed-to-mislead-taxpayers/

One more note:  CIAM paid themselves a commission based on their version of income.  Did the City require them to pay it back based on the Auditor’s report?

https://blnnews.com/2014/07/10/i-got-my-flamingo-now-the-war/

Hales has failed to supervise the Coliseum.

https://blnnews.com/2014/08/11/what-the-pantagraph-said-in-2004/

I found this while looking for something else.  Before the Coliseum opened, an editorial in the Pantagraph questioned why Coliseum management wasn’t put out for bid.  They even called the Council action “a bad practice”.

https://blnnews.com/2014/08/29/tari-transparency-renner-ya-right/

  • Why has CIAM issued no Coliseum statements since October 2013?
  • Why has the promised review of the Coliseum, dog ordinance, etc never taken place?

https://blnnews.com/2014/09/09/coliseum-sit-down-shut-up/

The City of Bloomington management now wants YOU to know nothing about the Coliseum.

https://blnnews.com/2014/09/10/renner-and-hales-obviously-hiding-the-truth/

Stearns did NOT receive the review promised by Renner and Hales before amending the CIAM contract.  You are supposed to forget promises, video tape bites every time!

https://blnnews.com/2014/09/11/tari-is-it-really-hard-to-tell-the-truth/

Do you (Renner) realize you would have more respect from the citizens if you admitted David Hales screwed up supervising the Coliseum?  Is the Council going to admit the guy they keep giving big raises to isn’t doing his job?

https://blnnews.com/2015/06/12/lap-dog-media-falls-for-coliseum-report/

As I have reported many times, what CIAM reports is pure fiction.

https://blnnews.com/2015/06/13/city-attempts-to-deceive/

Yesterday we all learned the Coliseum lost a lot of money.

https://blnnews.com/2015/06/22/is-bloomington-finally-fighting-fraud/

Since Hales claimed today the private sector has INTERNAL auditors-this proves he does too!

Or, maybe they will continue to ignore those reports (David Hales not doing his job) and hear from these guys instead:

https://blnnews.com/2015/09/24/how-much-did-the-lawsuit-cost/

__________________________

Lawsuit filed 9/21/15

Results of the lawsuit:  https://blnnews.com/2016/08/26/bombshell-sit-down-before-reading/

I predicted theft of:   $447,317.77

Since my fingers hurt, instead of posting anymore links – here is a pic of my documents from the lawsuit.

The case was dismissed in November 2016 without the judge awarding me reimbursement for expenses.  Judge Foley ruled that taxpayers don’t have a right to know who CIAM had on their payroll and how much they were getting paid.

 

 

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Comments

  1. This cultural practice of city managers managing what is shared with the public has been how they control US and the councils for decades. We can only make decisions on the knowledge they shared. Clearly, with the lawsuit and Diane’s dog with a bone approach has unearthed the core issue. That we need to hire LOCALLY and not some one from more or less a union that forces us to have a set contract language for city managers. The International City Management Association. We need end the contract to find a City Manager and the COUNCIL write up job description since we have some real life human resources knowledge base on the COUNCIL. Save money hire the right person for the job that is really dedicated to US. Did you know that one of the first questions David asked was how long till fully vested…. For him it is 2018? That is why ranting Renner who took many of us in the first campaign he was going to fire David Hales which was a smoke screen for him taking a poll. So he could choose the have’s and have not’s.
    Hope ISP sees your time line and expands into City Hall as soon as possible even into some ex-aldermen that are minons now for ranting Renner.

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  2. MAYBE judge Foley has a part in ALL the cover-up. Possibly with Hales, Renner, and the council. Wonder WHAT Joliet is thinking about now?
    Maybe THESE folks should ALSO be “looked into”!

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  3. What always floors me is how they don’t seem to do much research on these reptiles they hire, of course, maybe they do, and a reptile is JUST what they are looking for – there’s always that quite likely possibility. I also really want to commend you (Diane) for this persistent research – you KNEW the place was shady (as did many of us) but YOU did the work to prove it is/was. I will NEVER forget how someone tried to sell me on that place before they built it cooing about how important it was for the Hockey team to have “home ice” and how there were TONS of hockey fans in this town and it would pay for itself in NO time, what with the Hockey and the possibility of being able to bring in top name bands and the like. I told them they were nuts and that there wasn’t enough hockey fans in this town to support a local ice rink and they already had Braden and Hancock in this area and that the place would become a HUGE liability – I was the one with no foresight however…

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  4. Matt Nichols says:

    Rescind home rule in Bloomington!

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  5. I think even Diane’s many enemies and detractors in this town will admit… she has done a great service to the community by not letting go of an issue that everyone in city government was sweeping under the rug. Tax payers worked hard for the money that was stolen… they deserve to know where it goes and why. They certainly need to know when hundreds of thousands of dollars of their money is stolen by hired thieves and charlatans.

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  6. TariLovesTaxes says:

    Great job with pushing this story and staying on it!!!

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  7. JELivingston says:

    I am so tired of our city being run as though it is the mayors private pocketbook. I have lived here all but eleven of my 68 years. When we lived away I couldnt wait to get home! Now, between the city and the State of Illinois, I am considering leaving. My garbage container was stolen and when I reported it I was told by a city employee that I could look for it myself but it would cost 60.00 to replace it. I remember when our city fathers decided we had a bird problem downtown so all the trees were cut down within a certain radius, now we are planting trees downtown. I remember my parents being told that BJHS needed to be closed because children ” couldn’t possibly learn anything there”. In reality, someone just wanted a different school. I remember when children could walk to school and come home for lunch, but someone, somewhere decided we needed to have a lunch program. Then we closed grade schools, changed the districts and started bussing these children all over the city. A beautiful piece of history and architecture was torn down (Withers Library) and a new library built and we have “outgrown” it. But wait, as much as I hate to say it, how much longer will libraries be relevant? Now we have the great Albatross , also known as the Colliseum, hanging around our necks! As I recall, the citizens voted against it, but Mayor Judy wanted it, so the rest of us are paying for it. This latest round of ne’er do wells have stolen the money out of our pockets and I would suppose they will get away with it! The whole bunch should should be prosecuted, including our fine Mayor Renner and tbe even finer Mr. Hales. I hope Joliet is paying attention and an attorney there is figuring out a way to get out of the contract. If not, keep that attorney just especially to keep an eye on Mr. Hales!! One more thing…if Margot whatever was an invited guest on the trip to Japan, why didn’t the City pay for her ticket anyway? There are myriad examples of crime and misdemeanors, but mostly plain stupidity, against the citizens of Bloomington, but my head hurts from thinking about it.

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