Atlanta Library: Return the Grant!

By:  Diane Benjamin The dominoes are now starting to fall in Atlanta Il. On October 23rd the Illinois  Secretary of State’s State Library General Counsel issued a letter to the Atlanta Public Library District which included an intent to recover grant funds under the Illinois Grant Funds Recovery Act (“IGFRA”), 30 ILCS 705. The demand letter cites […]

County should Defund the EDC

By:  Diane Benjamin What does the Economic Development Council do? Here’s their website:  https://www.bnbiz.org/ They have dinners and lunches, organize the One Voice trips to DC to beg for federal funds, and soak up a lot of money from both Bloomington and Normal. Last year McLean County budgeted $100,000 for the EDC.  For 2018 they dropped […]

Kathy Michael Press Release: Customer Satisfaction

By:  Diane Benjamin I was one of the people against dissolving the Recorder’s Office.  The only reason was because property rights are vital to securing freedom and the right to own property.  Other countries do not protect private property like this one.  I do know before Lee Newcom (the late Recorder of Deeds) spent many […]

What’s a “bona fide plan holder”?

By:  Diane Benjamin Nobody checked into why David Hales left Bend Oregon after only 2 years and all the records were sealed.  See this story:  https://blnnews.com/2013/09/17/who-is-city-manager-david-hales/ Obviously nobody in Joliet did any independent research of David Hales either since the Council had no idea 5 people were charged with 111 felony counts while he was in […]

Lunch with people who sue: Renner

By:  Diane Benjamin When the last Downtown Bloomington TIF ended, I hear David Bentley wasn’t happy with the money he got to rehab the CII East Building.  He sued the City in 2014. See the 2014 TIF report here:   ftp://ftp.illinoiscomptroller.com/LocGovTIF/FY2014/06402530/14TIF06402530Dwtwn_Cendistrict.pdf Since the TIF was pretty much over, expenses for legal fees were all that is […]

PLEASE run Rob!

By:  Diane Benjamin Former Bloomington alderman Rob Fazzini announced to WGLT he is thinking of running as an independent for the County Board:  http://wglt.org/post/ex-alderman-fazzini-considers-run-mclean-county-board Fazzini thinks the Board elections should be non-partisan.  It’s easy to see why since Bloomington and Normal Council elections are non-partisan.  Big spenders, who think everything needs managed and regulated, find it […]

Connect Transit Travels!

By:  Diane Benjamin I filed a FOIA request for details from Connect Transit – Travel & Meetings:  $10,272.18.  Original story here:  https://blnnews.com/2017/10/23/connect-transit-september-fleece/ I received 106 pages:  Travel and Meetings Everyone that traveled must not have their own credit card, so the statements are a maze of charges on one card for someone without one.  The statements also contain […]

Official Misconduct: Gov Credit Card Use

By:  Diane Benjamin I hope the Illinois State Police investigation doesn’t take two years in the Bloomington case, but charges were filed against a former Champaign County official in September for personal use of a government credit card in 2015: Former Champaign County Supervisor of Assessments Joseph Meents, 44, of Fisher, charged in September 2017 […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

1st Student, Unit 5, and the safety of YOUR kids

By:  Diane Benjamin The email below was sent to the entire Unit 5 School Board.  If your kids ride Unit 5 buses, you need to know the facts and ask questions. From: David Bradley <Redacted> Date: 10/12/2017 1:04 PM (GMT-06:00) To: clearyj@unit5.org, dwfortner@unit5.org, hayekj@unit5.org, hitchinsb@unit5.org, lefflet@unit5.org, mickensm@unit5.org, traskm@unit5.org Cc:  letters@pantagraph.com Subject: Staffing Issues at First Student . Good Afternoon Unit 5 Board Members. […]

What Tari used to say:

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner is a master at campaigning, it’s the governing part the citizens have a problem with.  When he ran for reelection he repeated the same talking points over and over and never varied from the script.  Truth didn’t matter, only the talking points.  The uniformed fell for it. The first time […]

Attn: WALDO

I occasionally get anonymous tips in the mail.  If they are rambling diatribes with no proof, I don’t pay any attention to them. Lately I’ve been getting some good ones with documented proof of the claims. Since the latest is anonymous, this is a message to the sender: The time isn’t right yet! It will […]

Pantagraph: Explain why Tari is scared

By:  Diane Benjamin The local paper has an article about the Cease and Desist email Bruce Meeks sent to the mayor.  See it HERE I don’t know what the writer means saying Meeks is “raising questions” about the airline ticket to Japan, but I wonder why Renner chose to go after Bruce Meeks when I was […]

Downtown isn’t the City Core!

By:  Diane Benjamin Downtown businesses didn’t even support the Downtown Bloomington Association.  Now the DBA employees are happy City employees complete with higher salaries, benefits and pensions! The Coliseum and the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts (BCPA) were supposed to brings hoards of people downtown. The Visitor’s Center in the McLean County History Museum was […]

Another Victory!

By:  Diane Benjamin Laws don’t seem to matter to our Public Servants unless they are forced to follow them.  Maybe that’s human nature, kind of like everybody is speeding so I might as well too. But this offense meant there was no written record of what happened at meetings.  The offender was the McLean County […]

Fed up with the Renner Lies: Bruce Meeks

By: Diane Benjamin Bruce Meeks has had enough of the lies the Mayor of Bloomington is spreading.  Today this email was sent to the Mayor. _____________________________ October 25, 2017 VIA EMAIL RE: CEASE AND DESIST – DEFAMATION Tari Renner 2 Sable Oaks Court Bloomington, IL 61701 Dear Mr. Renner It has come to my attention […]

UPDATE WJBC: Going to ever ask questions?

Originally posted on BLNNews:
WJBC has posted the audio and a story:  http://www.wjbc.com/2017/10/25/renner-council-spat-shouldnt-impact-city-manager-search/ Tari:   Maybe the Aldermen who won’t return your phone calls understand the public business is required to be done in public.  See the Open Meeting Act you frequently violate.  Of course it could be they don’t want to hear more lies any more…

Pantagraph Editorial

By:  Diane Benjamin Anonymous Editorial writer published one today against Tari Renner:   http://www.pantagraph.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-mayor-needs-to-change-his-ways-and-fast/article_5de7dedd-4ac6-5590-8ebe-f5c1c1f95d2b.html You can decide for yourself why they wrote it. Even though a comment by Bruce Meeks stating he had never sued the City was published in THEIR paper, the writer allowed Renner to claim yet again Bruce has been suing for 5 […]

Flashback: The last Renner rebuke

By:  Diane Benjamin February 20, 2015 The Council issued a Resolution, they did not censure Tari Renner for his remarks made on BlnNews.com.  The entire video of the meeting is below, it doesn’t officially start until 8:49.  Most of the meeting is Public Comment. (starts at 19:00).  A copy of the Resolution they passed can […]

UPDATE WJBC: Going to ever ask questions?

WJBC has posted the audio and a story:  http://www.wjbc.com/2017/10/25/renner-council-spat-shouldnt-impact-city-manager-search/ Tari:   Maybe the Aldermen who won’t return your phone calls understand the public business is required to be done in public.  See the Open Meeting Act you frequently violate.  Of course it could be they don’t want to hear more lies any more than citizens do. Did […]

The Letter

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari has thought he is god’s gift to Bloomington since the day he got elected the first time.  He planned to RULE, not serve.  Every action he has taken from his first day on the job proves that.  He has no concept of what most people think a mayor should be. The […]

County isn’t getting the money

By:  Diane Benjamin I could have predicted what would happen last night with sharing expenses to redesign the Towanda-Barnes/Ireland Grove intersection.  $900,000 is a lot of money, but I bet this Council won’t even approve spending far less.  The proposal was for the County to pay half and the City half. That intersection is: Not […]

Where to start, where to start, where . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin Unpacking last night’s Bloomington City Council meeting will take more than one story! Let’s start with Tari Renner getting his PCard taken away.  Just hit play below to hear his comments. Tari claimed Finance Director Patti-Lynn Silva runs a great shop, there are no abuses of the PCard policy. Tari must not […]

Remember when Tari claimed officials had been assaulted?

By:  Diane Benjamin See the VIDEO in this story:  https://blnnews.com/2017/10/10/should-renner-be-back/ What Tari claims has happened is a FELONY.  Were police reports filed? NO! Why was it denied? I originally tried to file for a longer time frame, but they told me it was too long.  Then the City lost my response to a request to narrow […]

Tari needs to give Bruce Meeks an award!

By:  Diane Benjamin Last Saturday a guy mowing grass for one of Bruce’s neighbors fell in a hole near his house: Bruce grabbed a ladder and climbed in the hole.  The mower had landed on the guy, luckily it didn’t cut him. Bruce got the mower off of him and waiting in the hole with […]

Connect Transit: September Fleece

By:  Diane Benjamin See the September report here:     https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4zAZemF_qQuX0JzckFHNFZJV1k/view Revenue from riders doesn’t come close to pay the wages of the employees:   The total operating loss appears to not be a red flag for anybody: Government can’t come up with a way to transport people without losing $833,895 in one month? The loss […]

Monday: Brick Streets

By:  Diane Benjamin Since a few people on the council think the remaining brick streets need to be saved, the Council will hear how much it will cost at the Special meeting.  This is the 10 year projection:  PDF page 76  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14866 I added the zeros the presentation conveniently leaves out. When the eventual ordinance hits […]

Can the Council READ?

By:  Diane Benjamin PDF Page 10:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12766 Last April the Council unanimously approved spending $114,999 to hire Greenplay to develop a Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts Master Plan. Keep in mind, the only reason for Master Plans is to bind the hands of future Councils because millions have been spent planning.  Even with this massive expense, […]

Atlanta: Where is $161,238?

By:  Diane Benjamin On 4/12/2016, the City of Atlanta took out a loan at the Atlanta National Bank for $495,000 to buy FIFTEEN ACRES – $33,000 an acre for undeveloped land with no water, sewer,  roads or infrastructure. See the loan document here – PDF page 15  HERE That link is what the City of Atlanta […]

Weekend Fun – sort of

UPDATE: Mayor Renner had fun, fun fun

Verse added (Guest Editorial) You must sing this to the tune of the Beach Boys:  Fun Fun Fun Well he took his P card and he treated all his buddies to lunch now  He forgot all about the taxpayers ’cause he just had a hunch now That no one would see all the charges on […]

Monday should be Bye Bye PCard

By: Diane Benjamin According to the paper, Tari paid $30 back to the City for his $28 charge while on “medical related leave”.  He claims he didn’t want it to be an issue.  Is it too difficult to not whip out the card to pay Tari?  The controversy is YOUR fault. If the Council approves […]

Secret Meeting Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14866 Once again Monday the Council has TWO meetings scheduled instead of just one regular meeting.  Besides discussing more Master Plans meant to bind the hands of future Councils and bankrupt citizens, they will convene another secret meeting for which the minutes will NEVER be released: Why the Council would want to […]

Citizens Fight Back: Logan County

By:  Diane Benjamin Logan County has more than it’s share of problems.  I’ve written a few stories about the Atlanta Public Library: https://blnnews.com/2017/10/13/the-citizens-of-atlanta-saved-themselves-200000/ https://blnnews.com/2017/10/13/atlanta-library-makes-huge-oma-violation/ https://blnnews.com/2017/07/13/atlanta-more-small-town-shenanigans/ These stories barely touch the surface of the problems in not only Atlanta, but now Lincoln. All the controversy revolves around one guy:  Bill Thomas. If the name sounds familiar, […]

September PCard + Bills

By: Diane Benjamin Even on sick leave, Tari can hold a business meeting at a bar and use the City PCard:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14856 The rest of the council still has no problem feeding themselves at your expense. Looks like the Chamber of Commerce is behind “Quality of Life” Monarch Group is Real Estate Development.  Funny how WHO […]

Blatant Taxpayer Abuse

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington knew the law had changed on pension spiking in 2012.  They changed the policy for NEW hires, but not for existing employees. Here’s the recap: The IMRF retirement fund was tired of paying for spiked pensions because of Sick Leave Buy Back payments that inflated ending salaries. Since […]

Dissolve the Bloomington Election Commission

By:  Diane Benjamin The State of Illinois has way too many units of government now.  Corruption is rampant because there aren’t enough watchdogs to watch every one of them.  (Hopefully news soon about another huge case)  Media decided it wasn’t their job either. The LAST thing McLean County needs is a separate Election office created […]

UPDATE: Downtown Signage voting

As of 5:15 pm 10/19/17 a WHOOPING 386 people have voted out of 78,000.  Impressive response! ________________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington has presented the latest versions of signage for downtown.  You can see the new offerings and vote here:  http://www.cityblm.org/government/boards-commissions/downtown-signage-committee/2017-downtown-bloomington-wayfinding The committee gave up on a logo after their last attempt failed miserably, […]

No No No Mr. Fritzen

By:  Diane Benjamin Trustee Jeff Fritzen went on and on and on and on last night and finally proved he doesn’t know as much about Normal as I do. He claimed earlier in the video below that the shopping center he handed future tax revenue to is VERY important to Normal. Maybe he should visit […]

Did Hales change personalities?

By:  Diane Benjamin I thought for a minute somebody had kidnapped David Hales and replaced him with a conservative.  He actually said the Council must lean how to say NO.  He said the City can’t maintain what we have now, but people keep talking about building new things. Library David? Aquatics center?  Sports complex?  Public […]

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