More problems: Statement of Economic Interest

By:  Diane Benjamin I filed a FOIA request for all Statements of Economic Interests filed by candidates in 2017 with the County Clerk’s office. This is the file I received:  candidates SEI 2017 filings I compared the people who filed the SEI with the candidate list on the County Clerk’s website: Only one candidate is missing:  Rebecca […]

Enough Games-Part TWO

By:  Diane Benjamin Part 1 with corrections: This statement is right above where the person filing signs their Statement of Economic Interest: It is a crime to file a false statement. See a blank form HERE Note:  The form includes lines to file for all required offices at the same time. Don’t get excited about prosecutions […]

Start the New Year right!

I wish I was independently wealthy, but since I’m not  . . . . I need reader support to continue bringing you news the rest of the media ignores: If you appreciate the truth, please contribute! If you would rather send a check, see this link for address: . Any help is much appreciated!  […]

State Farm is leaving downtown

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve heard from a reliable source that State Farm is not  remodeling their downtown Bloomington building.  It will be empty in mid January. Grand Cafe is not going to re-open. Maybe you can help compile a list of businesses no longer downtown. Lancasters Chocolatier Mueller, Reece & Hinch Attorneys Who else? Anybody open  […]

More on the Welcoming Ordinance

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council appears to want illegal immigrants and undocumented people welcomed here.  Most weren’t fazed by Chief Heffner’s statement that passage would make it less safe for legal citizens. I’ve wondered ever since how these people are supporting themselves.  It’s illegal to hire anyone who is undocumented, the welcoming ordinance […]

Unit 5: You work for those paying the bills!

By:  Diane Benjamin The next School Board meeting is January 10th, 7:00 pm at Chiddix Junior High, 300 S Walnut St, in Normal.   Website See the Unit 5 Public Comment policy HERE Public Comment at every meeting of a Public Body is LAW.  It’s called the Open Meetings Act.  If you read Unit 5’s Public Comment policy […]

History through their eyes

I haven’t posted more Auschwitz stories lately, so with news being slow, today is a great day to print more.  These young scholars experienced what most of us never will.  History through their eyes is worth hearing.  I hope you read and share their stories. Find out more about the McLean County Diversity Project here: […]

Facade Grants to WHO?

By:  Diane Benjamin Continuation of: I don’t know why Fuller Facade Grants are included on the TIF report.  Usually they are on Bills and Payroll.  The grants are named after Harriett Fuller, but paid for in the budget.  See more information about these grants here: These grants are just another way to funnel […]

Who got TIF money?

By:  Diane Benjamin Continuation from this story: Who got money to improve their properties: 215 E Douglas – E Douglas Apartments.  The owner of 215 E Douglas is listed in the County Assessor’s office as Mike Manna. Illinois House – 201-213 W. Jefferson Ralph Turner, partner in the Darrell Hartweg Law firm 408 W Washington […]

Updates: Miller Park, Normal West

By:  Diane Benjamin About this story: A few people are trying to convince me that food won’t be banned at Miller Park, but I can’t get them to explain what Jay Tetzloff meant when he aid: “Once we have a concession stand you won’t be able to bring your food in” I’m told that when […]

Food ban at Miller Park!

Update: By:  Diane Benjamin I could write volumes about last Monday’s 7:00 pm Council meeting at the BCPA.  For now, just listen to a comment made by Jay Tetzloff during his presentation to the Council about the zoo. Jay is all excited about having food available both inside and outside of the zoo for […]

Center Street bridge closing?!?

By:  Diane Benjamin Back in June of 2015 I took pictures under the Center Street bridge for this story: It appeared then to be failing apart. Last Monday a guy named Rick Phillipi (sp?) spoke during Public Comment at the 7:00 Council meeting.  He has been tracking this bridge for many years, he is […]

Video posted! Who doesn’t care about your safety?

By:  Diane Benjamin The video from last Monday’s Council meetings are finally posted.  If you want to listen to all the public comments about the “welcoming ordinance”, start at the beginning.  I know many of you watched the comments made by Chief Heffner.  His biggest point was:  This ordinance jeopardizes public safety! His comments were […]

Why are Bloomington salaries $6,196,593 higher?

By:  Diane Benjamin Since the biggest expense the City of Bloomington has is employees, I took a look at the employees in 2012 and four years later – 2016. The payroll was $6,196,593 higher in 2016 than 2012.  But why? Total compensation per year is on the City website: 2017 is really for the […]

#2 Update-Update: Normal West: I need some help

I received this comment by email and permission to print it: Thank you!!!  Thank you for digging into this story. Don’t give up.  You don’t know how happy this makes me to see somebody trying to get to the bottom of this and find the truth!!  Is it coincidental that this is happening right before […]

Chili Cook-off: the pics!

By:  Diane Benjamin See previous stories: When I was reading the volumes of emails the City of Bloomington employees sent to each other, I noticed some referred to pictures posted on the City’s intranet.  I FOIA’d the pics. I received 31, here’s a few of them.  Keep in mind, this is a party they threw […]

Kimberly Bray did file – Update

Update: Candidates have to file a Statement of Economic to run for office.  If they are elected they are required to re-file.  Bray may not have re-filed and that’s why the County doesn’t have it.   By:  Diane Benjamin A confirmation that Kimberly Bray’s Statement of Economic Interest was filed was found by Bruce Meeks.  […]

County loses FOIA denial!

By:  Diane Benjamin The County not only has a difficult website to use, the committee structure makes their actions difficult to track.  It’s hard enough keeping track of the meetings held just by Bloomington and Normal, I can’t track all the committee meetings and agendas too.  The County Board meetings are mostly jut rubber stamp […]

City should have sued their consultants

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington paid consultants before building the white elephant.  They predicted revenues of $7,000,000 a year and net income of  $2,319,000 a year. The City has now gifted the financial statements from almost a year ago – 4/30/2017.  The Coliseum audited statements are included: Revenue for the year was […]

Missing: Required Documents!

By:  Diane Benjamin SOURCE Seems pretty clear that every elected official MUST file. Diana Hauman has not filed as a Bloomington Alderman.  She did file as a Township Trustee, a position she wasn’t elected to.  This is what she filed in May of 2017: Kimberly Bray does not have a statement on file Mboka […]

Is cash missing from the Palms Grill?

By:  Diane Benjamin Atlanta Illinois Is cash missing or are Sales Taxes just underpaid? An investigation was done by an Atlanta resident based on information she received under the Freedom of Information Act. From April 2016 through October 2017 she found Cash Register Sales were higher by $36,646 than what was reported to the State […]

Christmas: Downtown vrs Uptown

by:  Diane Benjamin Both Bloomington and Normal are bankrupting their towns and citizens with Utopian dreams.  The difference is Normal spent taxpayer money where people can see it, Bloomington threw money away on a failing Coliseum and heavily subsidized BCPA. The difference is obvious when you look at the Christmas decorations the towns put up.  […]

Welcoming Ordinance-tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin I attended the meeting.  Public comment was extended to an hour, everyone who signed up before the meeting got to speak. The people who showed up were overwhelmingly supportive of the ordinance.  I found it amusing that separation of Church and State doesn’t apply to illegal immigration.  Many quoted Bible verses.  I […]

Did Bloomington hire a Temp City Manager?

Update:  “Bob”s position isn’t clear, maybe he will be Steve’s assistant.  Two interims! By:  Diane Benjamin A good source tells me that  Robert “Bob” Mahrt has been hired as interim City Manager for Bloomington.  He was the interim City Administrator in Lincoln.  He quit today with one day notice saying Bloomington needs him NOW. No word […]

More Council Christmas presents

By:  Diane Benjamin Correction – approving Bills and payroll isn’t on the agenda, so they have nothing to pay! Surprise! Bills and Payroll is not posted for tonight’s meeting.  The last time the City failed to post this days in advance of the meeting, a plane ticket for the mayor’s girlfriend was included. What […]

Hack off everybody Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin If the “welcoming ordinance” discussion isn’t divisive enough, the Downtown Task Force plan will also be presented.  Most of the crowd will be gone when the previous discussion ends.  The mob will only be there for the “No Justice No Peace” part.  The Council should have held a special session only for […]