Townships-the hidden government

By:  Diane Benjamin You may have received your property tax bill today, I did. If you live in either Bloomington Township or Normal Township you will see a separate line on the bill for them. I found it amusing that Normal Township has this on their website: Township government is the most basic unit of […]

Normal: Harmon Grants

By:  Diane Benjamin Last year the Town of Normal gave away $50,000 and called it Harmon Arts Grants.  They are currently taking applications for this year:   http://www.normal.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1739 The announcement says the decisions will be made by the Harmon Arts Grant Committee. There is nothing on the Town website saying who is on the committee, so […]

Congrats Chief Heffner, but . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin It is a huge deal for Chief Heffner to be confirmed by the Senate as the next US Marshal for the Central District of Illinois.  Bloomington is losing an exceptional leader.  He was also the main force blocking the “Welcoming Ordinance”.   When he stated it would tie the hands of the local […]

Green Top Grocery: Consultants were wrong!

By:  Diane Benjamin Consultants are always wrong.  Human behavior can not be predicted, too many decisions are made under unforeseen circumstances.  People and government keep wasting money on them anyway.  The sports complex consultants will be wrong too, especially if they think people will drive from the far east side to the far west side […]

Weekend Fun

Connect Transit – Problem identified

By:  Diane Benjamin New Orleans has a population over 391,000 people. See the minutes from January of this year – PDF page 4:    https://www.connect-transit.com/documents/Meetings/Minutes/Feb%2027%202018%20Regular%20Board%20Meeting%20Proceedings%20-FINAL%20V1.pdf Connect has a lady who moved here after Hurricane Katrina advising them on bus service.  She evidently thinks she should have the same level of service here she had in New Orleans.  […]

UPDATE: Comment Rules

If you comment and it doesn’t appear, occasionally some comments go to SPAM.  Email me and I will check it.  It happened this weekend to a frequent commenter. ___________________________________________   Lately a few people have claimed they have a RIGHT to comment on this site. So, here are the rules: It’s my site and I […]

Tax Tax Tax

By:  Diane Benjamin The horrific State policies that led to people fleeing Illinois are now local.  Government must have more and more of your money because they have more and more things they MUST do. Actually, those things don’t need to be done, but progressive Democrats need to control your life because they are so […]

Property tax bills done

By:  Diane Benjamin If you are so excited to see what your property taxes will be this year, the bills are now on-line:  http://mcleanil.devnetwedge.com/ No surprise they are going up! The only way to fight back is to protest your assessed value.  Maybe I will start a side business showing people how. When you look at […]

Rosie’s, Market Street Parking Gargage

By:  Diane Benjamin This is Rosie’s on Front Street.  Your thoughts? Have you seen cute downtown seating outside in other cities?   (without the corral?) These pics are of the Market Street garage the City wants torn down.  They were sent by a reader who doesn’t see what the problem is.  The City did spend money […]

Bloomington Does Comedy!

By:  Diane Benjamin Sister Cities is spending A LOT of money as I wrote in this story:   https://blnnews.com/2018/04/18/cut-sister-cities/ Following the law is too difficult for them however.  Sister Cities does not have a schedule of 2018 meetings posted and they have no minutes posted since last June.    http://www.bnsistercities.org/about/#committee I filed a FOIA request for all […]

Local Motor Fuel Tax Facts

By:  Diane Benjamin The current .04 a gallon Motor Fuel Tax was passed on April 21, 2014.    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=6667 The documentation for this meeting claimed it would generate around $1 Million for transportation infrastructure:   (PDF page 25) http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=6644 ____________________________ The very next year $2,400,000 was budgeted as expected receipts: PDF page 38 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=9706 Was the Council […]

March Library usage

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16412 Below are the library stats for March 2018: It would be nice to compare these numbers to March of 2017, but nothing is in the City Manager’s Report.     http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-543 It would have been nice to compare these numbers to March of 2016, but nothing is in the City Manager’s Report.  […]

Downs Fire: More information

By:  Diane Benjamin Below are awards given to members of the Downs Fire Department by fellow members.  They are mounted to the wall inside the station to the left.  These awards should prove that nepotism accusations aren’t true and any promotions have nothing to do with Travis Misch and John Bettisch being sons of Board […]

All you need to know about last night:

By:  Diane Benjamin The meetings last night lasted until a little after 10:00 pm,  The first one started at 5:30 pm. Public Comment had a lady BEGGING the Council not to use asphalt on Jefferson street downtown.  She wants something fancy!  Maybe she can fork over the money to pay for it too.  See her […]

More from Bills and Payroll

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17440 How did Alderman Hauman travel to One Voice in Washington DC for half the cost of Renner?   https://blnnews.com/2018/04/03/remember-the-one-voice-air-fare/ Is your full service City planning to throw parties?  Note it’s an Admin expense. The Springfield Lawyers are running out of budgeted funds, only $33,175 is left for April.  (see […]

What they didn’t want you to see:

By:  Diane Benjamin I haven’t looked at the entire Bills and Payroll yet – it just got posted late this afternoon. See the very last page:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17440 They threw away $135,015 on spiked pensions: . . The City of Bloomington government exists only to scam YOU. . . . . .    

Update: FOIA filed

See what they were hiding here:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17440 By:  Diane Benjamin I wouldn’t have to file so many FOIA requests with Bloomington if the information actually got posted to their website.  Many are THEIR fault: This was filed today. I wonder if the Council knows what they are approving for payment tonight?  9 hours before the meeting, […]

More “Not The Right Fit”

By:  Diane Benjamin Back on February 26 approval of a Final Plat for a Circle K at the corner of GE Road and Hershey was sent back to the Planning Commission.  Alderman Painter didn’t want it in her Ward. This property has been a field for campaign signs for as long as I can remember: […]

Normal did the right thing

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember when I reported Normal spending $12,393.20 for an engine?   https://blnnews.com/2018/04/13/normal-monday-10-minute-meeting/ I FOIA’d the maintenance records and had a guy in the industry look at them.  The truck is a heavy-duty Ford that probably hauled huge loads and may have a snow plow.  It’s a 2012, so replacing the engine extended the […]

Miscellaneous:

By:  Diane Benjamin The next time you are present when Tari talks about his transparency award – please start laughing! Bills and Payroll for Monday night are not posted.  Normally delaying them means they are hiding something.   (as of 10:30 Saturday morning)    http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-1609 They know what they are paying because the total is on the […]

Weekend Fun!

Downs Fire – the video

Below will be videos of the entire meeting held April 19, 2018.  Each video takes many hours to upload, there will be three posted here eventually.  The camera was only on the Board the entire time.  You will hear people from the crowd speaking, most identify themselves at some point.  I think around 20 people […]

Downs Fire: Clearing the air

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night a special meeting of the Downs Fire Protection District was held.  I attended and filmed the entire 1 1/2 hours. The meeting turned into a Public Comment session.  That wasn’t a bad thing, a dialogue took place that needed to take place. I am convinced the firing of the former […]

The Tari attack video

By:  Diane Benjamin The 2014 video of Tari Renner attacking Judy Stearns during a Council meeting because of cuts she proposed now has been viewed over 15,000 times.  13,000 of them have come in the last few months.  I have no idea why! A viewer left a comment last night that perfectly summed it up: […]

UPDATE: Pantagraph hides the truth!

Just like magic – the comments to the Pantagraph story are back.  Here’s one: By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph has a story about Beth Whisman stepping down from the Airport Authority Board:    http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/government-and-politics/whisman-resigns-from-airport-board-due-to-job-conflict/article_4a553dc2-2423-58b8-8d44-cdd535b1f6b6.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-2 Besides proving Chris Koos and Normal’s legal team didn’t bother to read the law (or they can’t read), the Pantagraph proved real […]

Your tax dollars at work

By:  Diane Benjamin Below is the group who traveled to see Rivian’s operations in Michigan.  On the couch are John McIntyre (County Board Chair), RJ Scaringe (Rivian), Kimberly Bray (Bloomington Council), and Barry Reilly (District 87).  Standing to the right is Kyle Ham (leaving the EDC at the end of April) and Don Knapp (County […]

He’s Back

Did he figure out nobody wants to meet him in private? http://www.cityblm.org/Home/Components/News/News/5881/

Good News!

By:  Diane Benjamin One of the worst roads in Bloomington is getting fixed!  Clinton – if you didn’t know it’s a State road.  I hear they are moving fast.  You might want to avoid using it until it’s done however. . . . . .

Peoria: Private Garbage since 2010

Update:  They do charge something for recycling, I’m attempting to find out how much.  It depends on where you live in Peoria.  The City does have drop off locations. By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Peoria just approved a new 7 year contract with a possible 3 year extension for private garbage service that includes […]

Update: Downs Fire – FYI

I received a legal opinion that “consideration” can allow for a vote.  Janice Bettisch should attend this meeting as a board member since her replacement’s term doesn’t start until May 1.   By: Diane Benjamin Below is the agenda for tomorrow night’s meeting:                   No votes can […]

Cut Sister Cities

By:  Diane Benjamin It looks like Sister Cities is planning another trip.  Their website doesn’t have any minutes posted since June 2017 however.    http://www.bnsistercities.org/about/#committee They have a general agenda posted which shows meetings in 2017 were scheduled for: August 7 (Moved to Aug. 14 due to 55th Anniversary Trip) September 11 October 2 November 6 […]

Happy Tax Day!

By:  Diane Benjamin I’m sure you have all filed your tax returns and are ecstatic about paying what is due.  If you got a refund you allowed the government to use your money interest free.  I’m sure they appreciate it. The State of Illinois stole even more this year and plans even more once JB […]

UPDATE Downs Fire – heating up!

A meeting has been posted for April 19th at 6:00.  Agenda says introducing new trustee and discuss going to a 5 member board.   By:  Diane Benjamin This morning the County Board voted to re-appoint Mark Casada to the Fire Protection Board.  They also voted to put Jeff Clark on the Board even though no […]

Downtown Downtown Downtown!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Council thinks they can make downtown a destination.  The Coliseum and the BCPA were supposed to do the same thing. Since the Council spent close to two hours last night discussing beautification and streets, it proves the MILLIONS already spent have failed. There were some tiny shreds of fiscal responsibility when […]

Connect Transit fuzzy math?

By:  Diane Benjamin WGLT posted a story about Connect Transit a few days ago.  The author listed is a student along with Charlie Schlenker. See it here:  http://wglt.org/post/connect-transit-eyes-locations-downtown-transfer-center Connect still looking for places to build a downtown transfer station.  Isaac Thorne wants a place for 10 buses to park at the same time!  He claims the […]

Sport complex is already decided

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.wjbc.com/2018/04/14/consultant-community-has-room-for-new-sports-venues/ According to the WJBC story. the decision has already been made by the consultants who were just hired:  we need a sports complex. The Pony League fields began in 1988 with no tax dollars.  Hundreds if not thousands of kids and adults play there every summer.  Have you noticed all the […]

Update: Beth Whisman must resign from airport

Whisman has resigned.  The Edgar County Watchdogs did a followup story – the last line is particularly good! http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2018/04/beth-whisman-resigned-as-commissioner-of-bloomington-normal-airport-authority/ ______________________________________ Original story: http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2018/04/beth-whisman-unqualified-to-serve-as-commissioner-of-bloomington-normal-airport-authority/

Are they really this clueless?

By: Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council is holding a Committee of the Whole Monday night.  Before Tari, the Council didn’t have 4 Council meetings a month and an additional meeting in between.  Think the endless hours of meetings have something to do with the spending being out of control – of course it does!  […]

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