Too Funny Normal

By:  Diane Benjamin When a Request for Review is filed, the Attorney General’s office sends the complaint to the government body and lets them respond. I just received Normal’s response to what I filed concerning their workshop that wasn’t posted. They claimed it wasn’t a real meeting and no decisions were made.  It was supposedly […]

ZBA failed country people

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night the Zoning Board of Appeals, with slight modifications. approved yet another wind farm. This is what the ZBA is charged with doing according to the County website:  (B) under Procedures    https://www.ecode360.com/13415648#13415648 The ZBA failed to protect the people living close to where this field will be built.  They had 8 […]

Normal: Investigated and sued

By:  Diane Benjamin The Attorney General’s Public Access office is investigating the Town of Normal for a meeting they held on January 18th.  No agenda was posted for this meeting.  That is a violation of the Open Meetings Act because the public was not notified this meeting was going to take place. The only information […]

UPDATE – Soccer: You had FIVE years

Normal wants a study for between $40,000 and $60,000 to see if a sports complex makes sense. Seriously? ____________________ By:  Diane Benjamin The local soccer people held a press conference in August 2013 to demand taxpayer funding for their complex.  It was complete with cute little kids in their soccer uniforms.  The group handed out […]

2003 Letter to the Editor

By:  Diane Benjamin I heard this from TWO sources when I started posting old articles from when the Coliseum vote was taken. Evidently Mayor Markowitz wanted the arena built, at least in part, because her son loved hockey and she wanted him to move back to town. My sources heard her say after the vote:  […]

Holocaust – Never forget

By:  Diane Benjamin World-wide Holocaust remembrance day was last Saturday.  This short video from a survivor proves why we can’t ever forget what happened. Below are two more of the essays from the kids who went to Auschwitz last summer with the local Diversity project.  This is the fifth story I’ve printed with their essays.  […]

December Library Stats

By:  Diane Benjamin It is no surprise the City no longer compares years for the library in the City Managers Report.  When the number are decreasing, it’s hard to convince people you need to more space. 2017 Source – PDF page 11:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15648 2016 Source – PDF page 10:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=11954 2015 was not included in the City […]

REALLY believe in Term Limits?

By:  Diane Benjamin Why do voters have to hold their noses when they vote in November? Why are the same people on the ballot election after election after election? Because you really don’t believe in term limits! Primary elections are where term limits happen.  Yes, you need to pick which party to vote for.  Voting […]

Tri-Valley: Referendum

By:  Diane Benjamin If you live in the Tri-Valley School District you should have received information about the Referendum on the March 20th ballot.  The referendum, if passed, will result in no increase in property taxes.  That means if it fails your property taxes will decrease.  The decrease would be between .69 and .70. Last […]

Government thinks you are REALLY stupid

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington and Normal are the only cities doing their own garbage pickup in the area.  According to the Pantagraph, Normal did their own investigation of rates. They declared NO money could be saved by privatizing garbage pickup. See the chart here:  http://www.pantagraph.com/graphic-waste-collection-fees-services/pdf_a5d93a81-e7db-537c-b830-c5fafd8a34bc.html The Pantagraph must not have noticed some of those other cities […]

Update: Media Bias

See what the Wall Street Journal headline was:    http://www.morningstar.com/news/dow-jones/TDJNDN_201801261459/caterpillar-breaks-losing-streak-wsj.htm   By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph claims to pay big bucks for Associated Press stories.  Below is why they need to knock it off! This headline appeared on January 25th, the story is by Associated Press: Caterpillar posts 4Q loss on tax charge, but adjusted EPS […]

Weekend Fun!

In my mail! ROADS!

By:  Diane Benjamin Sometimes I ignore things I receive anonymously, sometimes I don’t.  It all depends on how credible the information sounds.  Sometimes it’s just people wanting me to know they support me.  I really appreciate those! Cities 92.9 and BlnNews launched a roads campaign yesterday to give you a voice because local governments are […]

More government travel (at your expense)

By:  Diane Benjamin On January 19th I reported three payments of $1,600 to the Blooming-Normal Economic Development Council:    https://blnnews.com/2018/01/19/mondays-bills-foias-filed/ The three payments are for Tari Renner, Scott Black, and Steve Rasmussen to go on the One Voice trip to Washington DC:     https://www.bnbiz.org/programs/one-voice/ The County and the Town of Normal will probably also be […]

District 87 spends YOUR money!

By:  Diane Benjamin From Illinois News Network:  https://www.ilnews.org/news/schools/bloomington-taxpayers-shell-out-thousands-for-school-board-hotels-food/article_03e0ef4c-0078-11e8-9c76-03e07cf01e22.html Taxpayers in Bloomington paid thousands of dollars for District 87 school officials to enjoy a weekend of high-end hotels and restaurants in downtown Chicago. In doing this, it appears that they broke their own rules on spending. Twelve district officials spent approximately $18,511.39 while attending the Illinois Association of […]

Tari: Want to be on this list?

By:  Diane Benjamin At last Monday’s Council meeting Tari announced the “Welcoming Ordinance” is coming back in February. Tari must not have noticed the Democrats LOST the shutdown battle because citizens saw them standing with people not legally here instead of them. Since he is a slow learner, he wants to try the same thing.  He’s […]

Some PICS! – Pothole Hall of Shame

By:  Diane Benjamin Cities 92.9 and BlnNews are launching a Pothole Hall of Shame. The City is never going to fixed the roads until citizens force them to! Feel free to “decorate” potholes with chalk.  Draw a big arrow pointing to the pothole so other drivers see it before they blow tire, break shocks, or […]

Is the ZBA paying attention?

By:  Diane Benjamin The testimony before the Zoning Board of Appeals on a new Wind Farm in McLean County is very technical. It isn’t just that people don’t want monstrous turbines by their house.  If you didn’t know, the ones being proposed are MUCH bigger than the turbines east of Bloomington. Much more is now […]

They paid it twice

By:  Diane Benjamin As I reported in this story:  https://blnnews.com/2018/01/14/tuesday-normal-spending/ the Town of Normal made TWO payments of $217,078.24 during January to MCP Uptown Owner LLC. I wasn’t kidding when I said a FOIA was filed! I received 66 pages. As part of the Uptown TIF, increases in property taxes paid are kept by Normal.  The […]

It’s the Roads Stupid

By:  Diane Benjamin Number ONE priority of citizens: Fix the roads! The budget being considered by the Bloomington City Council has no money for roads except taxes they already increased to pay for repairs: .04 a gallon gas tax 1/4% Sales tax The Council will be happy to double the gas tax to fix roads. […]

Admitting Guilt?

By:  Diane Benjamin All elected and appointed officials are required by law to file a Statement of Economic Interest.  They all have to file by May 1st of EVERY year.   Filing is not only required by law, it’s vital so citizens can see the people supposedly working for them don’t have undisclosed conflicts of interest. […]

Normal spent $20,000 anyway

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal picked their assistant City Manager to replace Mark Peterson.  Evidently the search firm they hired couldn’t find anybody better than Pamela Reece.  They throw away $20,000 to find that out though.  Is Bloomington going to throw away money too?  Steve Rasmussen is right there in front of them! […]

Bloomington Meeting Recap

By:  Diane Benjamin All you need to know about what happened at last nights extremely long Council meeting: Your gas tax is going to double to .08 per gallon because you want the roads fixed and they can’t find any money You will get an estimated $10 million aquatics center, no word whether it will […]

Update: Council is selling out taxpayers tonight

No discussion!  Passed 9-0 along with the rest of the consent agenda.   By:  Diane Benjamin Citizens are OUTRAGED that City employees have been allowed to spike their pensions by accumulating sick days.  The costs to taxpayers is close to $2 million. Tonight the Council will approve a new union contract, with a $200 signing […]

The Dead Tree Chronicles.

By:  Diane Benjamin Saturday the Pantagraph cried in an editorial wanting to be relevant.  Today they printed the City talking points.  They don’t understand that regurgitating what government buddies want you to say doesn’t drive people to read!   See: http://www.pantagraph.com/opinion/columnists/bechtel-daily-newspapers-worth-the-price/article_a10766c7-c709-5c81-b62f-519f8800ec01.html http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/government-and-politics/city-staff-to-give-council-options-for-m-deficit/article_5e8cdbfc-3bf5-508b-9d97-f0307f5331e2.html The packet for tonight has very little information on the new budget – See […]

Connect Transit Lunacy

By:  Diane Benjamin https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OZVoMyplMDjMqjukW6YmbB7_BGsi_x2S/view Connect Transit did not meet in December, so the January report includes data from November and December.  Your wealth was redistributed in November to the tune of $921,258 – December was better, a mere $821,259.  Just two months of empty buses cost you $1,742,517.  Yes, that’s the tax subsidy needed to […]

Quit giving your address!

By:  Diane Benjamin Some public bodies still ask you to state your address before speaking during Public Comment.  You are not required to according to the law. See this 2014 opinion from the Illinois Attorney General’s office:    http://foia.ilattorneygeneral.net/pdf/opinions/2014/14-009.pdf This paragraph sums up the decision: The Town of Normal and the Unit 5 School Board need […]

If you leave your doors unlocked, is it legal . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s David Hales fault! That is John Butler’s claim to justify the missing bucks.  I blame David Hales too, and the Council, and the Mayor who all shut their eyes and pretended nothing nefarious was happening with taxpayer money.  The joint was audited!  Except concessions never were.  Johnny Butler made sure of […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

More Unit 5 emails

By:  Diane Benjamin I filed this FOIA request: Copies of all complaints filed in any form against all coaches employed or volunteering in the Unit 5 school district for the last three years – 2015, 2016, 2017. Copies of all responses to the above complaints. I’m only going to post what is applicable to the […]

Nope, Laws don’t matter!

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.normal.org/Archive.aspx?AMID=47 Anybody see an agenda posted for yesterday’s meeting? According to the dead tree the Normal Town Council held a budget workshop yesterday.  In the TWO stories they did, 5 of the 7 Council members are mentioned.  Five is more than half, meaning it was a meeting.  Open Meetings Act violation #6345.  […]

Unit 5: Not good enough

By:  Diane Benjamin We are expected to believe a dedicated 15 year football coach suddenly decided he needed to spend more time with his family. It’s a great idea, but it’s difficult to believe he wouldn’t have planned his departure and made sure a great coach was in place so the program wouldn’t suffer. That […]

Monday’s bills – FOIA’s filed!

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll for 1/22/2018  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15632 Tari finally filed an expense report – 1st one since his PCard was yanked: _________________________________________ Council and staff weren’t eating at your expense in December.  I wonder what event is 1/27?  There is nothing on the City Calendar.  Buy local?  Ha. _________________________________________ This guy is getting an […]

“Yes” shows trust in Council

By:  Diane Benjamin Editorial in the Pantagraph March 3, 2004:  (available at the library) Does anybody trust the Council?  Poll below↓ . . . .  

False Flag

By:  Diane Benjamin The contemporary term false flag describes covert operations that are designed to deceive in such a way that activities appear as though they are being carried out by individual entities, groups, or nations other than those who actually planned and executed them. This statement perfectly describes the meeting Tuesday night held by […]

Yes, they lied

By:  Diane Benjamin First the news:  Pepsi is not paying the Ice Center anymore for naming rights ($50,000 a year), the Coliseum is no longer receiving $125,000 from Pepsi as a sponsor there!  Both deals expired 3/31/2016.  I bet you didn’t know that!  total lost:  $175,000 Nothing is clearer than the lies told by Arena […]

Cummings: Who do you represent?

By:  Diane Benjamin During public comment many first time speakers almost begged the Council to save the historic buildings at 104, 106, and 108 Beaufort Street.  From the Council discussion, that is not going to happen. City Manager Peterson claimed all they were doing was picking a developer.  Oh they will see what they can […]

Your future because of 5 RINO’s

By:  Diane Benjamin See this story from yesterday:    https://blnnews.com/2018/01/16/these-are-republicans/ The McLean County Board has an unwritten policy.  All work is done in committee and the Board members rubber stamp whatever comes out of committee.  I was told issues will not be re-heard before the entire Board, that’s why they have committees.  (My beef was with […]

The Cost of Bloomington’s Recycle FAILURE

By:  Diane Benjamin I love my readers because frequently we collaborate to find information.  See this story from yesterday which included documents for the IEPA showing the City of Bloomington illegally dumped materials at Lake Bloomington:    https://blnnews.com/2018/01/16/bloomington-failed-to-recycle/ The reader found the bids from April of 2017 for cleanup.  I found the Council Action this morning.  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12738 […]

UPDATE: Bloomington failed to recycle!

See the cost in this story:  https://blnnews.com/2018/01/17/the-cost-of-bloomingtons-recycle-failure/ __________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin I received a tip months ago about the City of Bloomington illegally dumping contaminated dirt, concrete, and other materials they dig up from water main breaks at Lake Bloomington. I did a FOIA request with the IEPA for documents, I received 14.  Since this was […]

. .

wordpress stats plugin