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:

The three payments are for Tari Renner, Scott Black, and Steve Rasmussen to go on the One Voice trip to Washington DC:

The County and the Town of Normal will probably also be sending representatives too.  The purpose is to meet with local representatives in DC instead of calling them here for a meeting.

One full day and two nights for $1,600!

Some meals are included, not all.

I also filed a FOIA request for the expense report turned in by Tari Renner.

He had lunch at Biaggi’s with the Chairman of the Bloomington Housing Authority – Memuna Lee

LUNCH was $40.48, that doesn’t include the $8 tip:  Tari Expense Report

I also filed a FOIA with Connect Transit for credit card bills of $6,120.69 labeled Travel and Meetings.

Connect answered this request quickly, I appreciate the transparency.

Included in the receipts are $32.72 at Janet’s Cakes and $60.55 from Kelly’s Bakery, along with some small purchases from Jewel.

The big items are airfare, hotels, and meals for people traveling to Atlanta Ga for an annual conference.  Attendees included Issac Thorne, Mike McCurdy, Cassandra Mosier, Martin Glaze, David White, and Patrick Kuebrich.

Why did so many need to go?

Other charges are included for travel to Houston, Kansas City, and Oakbrook.

The travel took place in September and October of 2017.

See the documents here:  Response and Documents



21 thoughts on “More government travel (at your expense)

  1. Why are we sending three voices on a one voice trip? I’ll bet the swamp creatures in D.C. giggle and snicker when they see the Renner/Black duo together. What a couple of goofs!

    1. The One Voice trip is a fraud. The “one voice” is big government and big labor! (Your voice need not apply.) By the way, Congress runs every 2 years so they are constantly trekking back to their respective districts. Seems to me that a meeting or two at a local conference center/hotel/meeting hall would be much more economical. Not to mention drop some money into the local economy. C’mon EDC…make a change and stand for the people of Bloomington-Normal for once.

  2. I spent my entire life (working career) eating lunch from a lunch box. Our mayor eats a $40.08 + $8 tip – a $48 lunch paid for by the taxpayers? How many really poor people in this town are paying taxes and fees to the city, so Tari can eat $48 lunches? How many of the readers of this blog could afford a $48 lunch today? I can’t…I’m sorry but this is wrong and deeply offensive to me. Get a lunch box Tari… get up and pack your lunch like I did for 45 years. What is wrong with this people?

    1. Kind of ironic that Tari spends $48 for a lunch while meeting with the head of the Housing Authority. Let that synch in.

      1. Really-the housing authority? How many people living in their housing have lunches like this? Zero – They are at Aldi or Walmart trying to feed their families on next to nothing while these folks eat high on the hog on taxpayer money? Shameful!

    2. There there is the one that had a $15 burger & fries. They all seem to like to eat at the major airports, where the prices are outrageously expensive. What a waste of our money.

  3. 20% tips at the expense of the taxpayer? Prime rib for lunch? I’m not saying he didn’t receive excellent service, but at the rate Tari racks up “business meals,” perhaps Council should put a limit at 15%.

  4. Lets ALL start sending brown bags to city hall with a $5 Mc Donalds (or the restaurant of your choice) voucher in them, THEN he can SEE what the rest of us do for lunch, although I HOPE he don’t sit near me, as nobody I know likes the guy…

  5. Hah! If Renner and the council pass a “welcoming” ordnance next month, they can kiss any and all federal funding goodbye. Hear that Connect Transit?

  6. The meal reimbursement request from Renner is for $15.78. (see page 3 of 3). I believe the new ordinance only allows reimbursement for the elected official’s meal—the guest pays their own. This new procedure is a direct result of the mis-use of the PCard.

  7. At least this year only 3 people from Bloomington went to the One Voice trip—last year there were 5. The City is also “indirectly” paying for Kyle Ham from EDC to attend.

  8. Tarry, and ALL of them need a BIG dose of reality, but I don’t ever see that happening. This is how they live, and they don’t CARE that THEY are not really paying for it, it’s what they expect, what they feel they “deserve”… I see them as the sort of people who write horrific reviews on nice clean and adequate hotels and cheerful little cafes because they didn’t get personalized service and 5 star dining at the cafe and a free bottle of Dom Perignon in their room (or the equivalent) at the 40 bucks a night hotel.

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