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 […]

Downtown Signage voting

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, the three versions now just have directions. It doesn’t matter the Council just conducted much hand-ringing over […]

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 […]

Wiping the smirk off Renner’s face!

By:  Diane Benjamin I will get to the rest of the Committee of the Whole meeting later.  For now enjoy the ONLY public comment last night:  Angela Scott – just hit play:    

Normal: Making the RICH RICHER

By:  Diane Benjamin Years ago I heard the developer of the Marriott felt he pulled off a legal robbery of the Town of Normal taxpayers courtesy of the hayseed Council hell-bent on a downtown hotel. The rich continued to get richer last night courtesy of the Normal Town Council.  Two citizens spoke during public comment.  […]

LWV ISN’t non-partisn

By:  Diane Benjamin If anybody thinks the League of Women Voters is non-partisan,  this will prove they aren’t: Reproductive Rights means the right to kill babies. In 1857 the Supreme Court ruled a former slave who had lived in  territories where slavery was prohibited was not entitled to be free.   http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/on-this-day/March/Supreme-Court-Rules-Against-Dred-Scott.html That Supreme Court decision […]

Normal: Revised Schedule + Spending

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal Town Council tonight:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2745 More proof the Chamber of Commerce is working AGAINST citizens: This is the trip to explore building a sports complex here.  Even if it brings tourism dollars to hotels, restaurants, and retail, these are LOW WAGE jobs.  Guess who is going to pay for it! One person can’t […]

Fun Facts (or not so fun facts)

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington population:  78,005 Normal Population:  54,264 Bloomington Total Budget:  $214,126,710 PDF Page 2:  http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=13155 Normal Total Budget:  $107,133,177 PDF Page 15   http://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/11571 Normal has 30% fewer citizens. Normal budgets 50% of what Bloomington does. Bloomington spends $2,745 for every citizens Normal spends $1,974 for every citizen Bloomington total debt 4/30/16:  270,629,828 http://warehouse.illinoiscomptroller.com/ProcessSearchResults.cfm?DisplayMode=GETAFR&AFRDesiredData=Indebtedness&Code=064/025/30&CFY=2016&Menu=Yes&PrintIt=No 4/30/17 information […]

Judy Stearns on WJBC

By:  Diane Benjamin I know some of you have seen this story on Facebook, but I kept running into people this weekend that didn’t.  That means I HAVE to print it. Here’s the back story according to Judy Stearns: Tari Renner was on WJBC this week.  Scott Laughlin asked him about Judy’s appearance Monday night […]

Guest Editorial!

By:  Angela Scott An open letter to Bloomington City Council and Mayor Renner. Here are a few quotes from the Mayor’s comments last week.Tari stated, “Frankly here at the local level and I’m talking about more than words” and goes on to imply there have been physical altercations. He also stated, “Frivolous complaints and multiple […]

Weekend fun – sort of

Monday: Funding Gap! Ha Ha

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s way past time for adults to be running the City of Bloomington!  We are tired of the lies and the abuse of taxpayers by pretending the city doesn’t have enough money because taxpayers aren’t paying enough. End the charade.  Cancel the court jesters.  It’s OVER! They just don’t know it yet.  […]

The CITIZENS of Atlanta saved themselves $200,000

By:  Diane Benjamin The ONLY reason the Atlanta Public Library is no longer paying Bill Thomas $1000 per month for leasing his building is because citizens stood up and demanded answers! Bill wanted to sell his building to the library for $200,000.  It is not assessed for tax purposes anywhere near that. From the June […]

Atlanta Library makes HUGE OMA violation

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night I made a road trip to Atlanta Il for their Library Board meeting.  This is a Board under investigation for numerous items including grant fraud, improper disposable of cooking oil in a sewer, and failure to perform audits and report financial information to the Comptroller.  The main offender is their […]

Normal’s priorities: What?

By:  Diane Benjamin Most people think the job of local government is Police, Fire, Water, Sewers, and Roads. Look at what Normal’s priorities are based on where they spending money:  PDF page 133  http://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/12750 Try to use and elitist accent here.  Repeat after me: Normal spent more on “Culture and Recreation” than they did on roads! […]

Town of Normal Debt

By:  Diane Benjamin As of 3/31/17 PDF page 41:  http://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/12750 Yes the citizens still owe $87,783,723 for Koos’s Uptown dreams. Police pensions are only 51.76% funded (PDF Page 129) Fire pensions are only 55.53% funded (PDF Page 130) That is why citizens are on the hook for $56,106.352 just for these two pension funds.  Obviously the guys […]

What David Hales never checked-CIAM

By:  Diane Benjamin The 10 year agreement with CIAM to manage the Coliseum contained numerous paragraphs granting the City rights to everything happening at the Coliseum.  Tari Renner, David Hales, and the Council either never read the agreement or are lying because they failed to protect taxpayers from John Butler and company. See the agreement […]

UPDATE: Why does media let Tari LIE?

WJBC posted the podcast:  https://audioboom.com/posts/6384179-tari-renner-bloomington-mayor-10-11-17 I forgot to mention he thinks the local acrimony is a bigger story than CIAM! He also claims he did everything possible to get information from CIAM AND he decided not to renew the contract.  Funny Tari – I remember you were shocked they pulled out of the negotiations.  I was […]

UPDATE: Prove it Tari!

Originally posted on BLNNews:
I received the first response to my FOIA request below.  The Bloomington staff under David Hales does not know Bloomington elections are not handled by McLean County.  Bloomington has it’s own election commission.  I only FOIA’d the City because Tari Renner specifically stated the ballot challenges cost the City money.  Here’s…

UPDATE: Pantagraph: Facts Matter

The on-line version has been corrected.  How are they going to correct all those printed copies?  Are there enough to worry about? ______________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin If anyone was expecting a hard-hitting editorial by the anonymous writers at the Pantagraph against Tari Renner for once again inflaming the local acrimony Monday night,  you will be […]

#2 – UPDATE: Prove it Tari!

I received yet another email from the City: ____________________________ I received the first response to my FOIA request below.  The Bloomington staff under David Hales does not know Bloomington elections are not handled by McLean County.  Bloomington has it’s own election commission.  I only FOIA’d the City because Tari Renner specifically stated the ballot challenges […]

Award Winning Aldermen comments

By:  Diane Benjamin From time to time even I am shocked by what comes out of the mouths of Aldermen during a City Council meeting.  I’m awarding TWO “Seriously?” awards from last night’s party.  Since the Special Meeting started at 5:00, I bet food was served.  It used to be announced, but it wasn’t listed […]

Is this what prompted Renner’s Rant?

By:  Diane Benjamin FOUR people mentioned me at Public Comment last night.  The camera really needs to pan to the Council paying ZERO attention to the speakers.  They are too busy looking down to acknowledge people who took the time to speak to them.  I hope future speakers stop and ask the Council to at […]

Should Renner be back?

By:  Diane Benjamin Hit play to hear Mayor Renner’s comments at the end of the meeting last night.  Is he fit to be mayor?  I want to see the police reports that have been filed in connection to his accusations.  

Magnificent Monday!

By:  Diane Benjamin The most interesting parts of tonight’s festivities by the Bloomington City Council won’t be the Council business at 7:00.  The pre-meeting David Sage led discussion of Renner’s PCard usage will be enlightening.  I wonder if anybody will ask why Tari still has a PCard? Will Sage ask Tari how this PCard lunch […]

Hilarious Jason Chambers

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday’s paper had a front-page story concerning a filing by Jason Chamber’s office with the Attorney General for Open Meeting Act violations.  He has been waiting 17 months for a determination.  The story claims his office can only prosecute violations for 18 months. First, Welcome to our world Jason!  The request filed […]

What is up with State Farm?

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve talked to numerous people about what is really going on at State Farm.  One felt Ed Rust protected Bloomington-Normal, but he is no longer there.  The new management has no reason to be loyal to Bloomington-Normal. Another person told me State Farm has serious internal problems that are making them un-competitive.  […]

Health Dept: Palms Grill’s Nasty Drain

By:  Diane Benjamin I heard some citizens of Atlanta Il have witnessed employees of the Palms Grill pouring grease down a drain behind the restaurant.  The last time the Edgar County Watchdogs and I were in Atlanta, we decided to check it out. The smell emanating from the drain was the vilest stench I’ve ever […]

Road design: Run by Idiots!

By:  Diane Benjamin Before the headline – a commercial: If you have never attended the annual Evergreen Cemetery Walk you have one last chance tomorrow This year all the actors are portraying characters from WWI and McLean County.  Details here:  http://www.mchistory.org/learn/programs/cemwalk.php After I went on the walk this morning, I had one stop to make.  I […]

Weekend Fun – sort of

No Vote? No Rush!

By:  Diane Benjamin Maybe some members of the Bloomington City Council finally realized their fearless leader has been abusing his government credit card.  We’ve listened to Mayor Renner spew his “there are no free lunches” for years in order to raise taxes while he was dining on the backs of taxpayers.  The Japan trip finally […]

Will someone tell the Newspaper?

Guest Editorial Hey Pravdagraph, News flash!  Skip Crawford and Mike Matejka have been off the Council for more than a decade!  The people voted them off after multiple terms because they were the ultimate insiders voting for a union agenda (Matejka, union official) and Crawford (pretend Republican) who loved dem Karen Schmidt (see campaign letter) […]

Open Meetings Act Violation #3

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington has been found guilty of more violations, but this makes 3 that I either filed or was closely involved in the filing. This time it’s the library: Of course there isn’t a penalty assessed even though law specifies penalties are available.  Laws only matter if us peons are […]

Monday: More Sick Leave Buy Back

By:  Diane Benjamin From Bills and Payroll for Monday night:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14766 Below are payments to employees labeled Sick Leave Buy Back (SLBB).  I don’t know what MO before the first one stands for.  We won’t know what penalties the City will be forced to pay (for not changing this policy that allows pension spiking) until they […]

WGLT does journalism – mostly

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday WGLT published a comprehensive story about the Coliseum.  Ryan Denham  proved journalism isn’t dead in Bloomington-Normal yet.  Read the story here:      http://wglt.org/post/how-coliseum-blind-spot-tripped-bloomington-city-leaders I do have some comments and things I would have written differently: To much emphasis was put on the “bad contract”.  The contract had plenty of statements allowing […]

Heartland’s Fleece

By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph reported today the Heartland Board passed an operating budget that is 7.8% higher than last year. The overall budget is 13.4% higher than last year. Heartland approved a huge tax increase last year.  When your property tax bill increased – much of it was Heartland! Below are the tax rates […]

2 Mths of Connect Transit

By:  Diane Benjamin Last month the Connect Transit Income Statement wasn’t available because they were wrapping up their year-end. See the report for both months HERE The ONE month loss for July was $811,295, the August loss was $848,133.     Why is budgeting a TWELVE MILLION Dollar loss okay? It’s your money!  Maybe we should […]

UPDATE: The Hales Coliseum coverup

Originally posted on BLNNews:
This is another story where Hales claims the Coliseum had CLEAN audits:  http://ilnews.org/9870/financial-probe-of-coliseums-former-manager-may-involve-concession-money/ They weren’t clean, concessions were NEVER audited, and Hales refused to protect taxpayer money. _____________________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin According to this September 12th Pantagraph article, City Manager David Hales claims the Coliseum audits have always received a clean…

Tari clamps down on Open House

By:  Diane Benjamin I hope we’ve heard the end of Tari’s pre-public comment speech he’s been using for over 4 years.  His new Open House policy ends the open and transparent Mayor persona. I wonder if the Mayor will close the fish pool doors for those making appointments? I wonder if the public can sit […]

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