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.

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

December 4

No schedule of meetings is posted for 2018.  Once again laws evidently don’t matter.  They do continue to get money from Bloomington.  $1,008.42 is transferred to them every month from the General Fund.  That amount is meant to match what Normal donates per year – $12,100.00.

I FOIA’d the General Ledger listing for all accounts with Sister Cities in the name.  The list I received covers the current fiscal year – May 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018 and part of April.   Sister Cities General Leadger activity as of April 12, 2018

As of March 31st, the totals show the Sister Cities program has spent $69,089.91 more than it received.  Add back Normal’s contribution of $12,100.00 and Bloomington’s year-to-date contribution of  $11,092.62, and this program has cost $92,282.53 through March 31st.

I have to go back to the previous year however to try to get close to the actual cost.  The Sister Cities program began collecting money for last year’s Japan trip in March of 2017.  See this story the recaps last fiscal year:

Donations (other than government) were received in March and April 2017 of $119,087.84.  The same two months showed expenses of $58,735.87.  That’s a net of $60,351.97.

Since revenue and expenses cross two years, this is the closest I can come to what the Sister Cities program costs:  $92,282.53 – $60,351.97 = $31,930.56 through March 31, 2018.

Part of the expenses is $140.00 a month paid to the exchange student from Japan.

Expenses and donations for this year’s trip will still be coming in.  The questions remain the same as last year:  Since paying for their own trip is called “donations”, are the travelers taking a tax deduction for the expense?  The IRS would not approve.

Since the Sister Cities organization can’t post actual agendas and minutes of meetings, this is something can be easily cut.  The program affects very few people and should be handled privately.




17 thoughts on “Cut Sister Cities

  1. This is a political junket and excuse to travel in the name of “culture”. If a cut were proposed, the lefties will claim that we have no compassion for other cultures, we’re not good citizens of the world, and (of course) we’re xenophobic. This program is going now where! I wonder if the minutes aren’t posted because they’re writing in Margot as an attendee or member but “unavailable” for every single meeting. Pick a lie, any lie.


  2. Maybe this was a good idea decades ago to normalize relations between the two countries… but now it is just a massive waste of taxpayers money so the connected government royalty can party at the taxpayers expense. To every member who goes, it is a slap in the face along with an extra spit in your eye to every Bloomington-Normal taxpayer.
    And don’t forget Tari playing the ugly American to a hilt with his drunken encounter.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A country that came HERE and took advantage of OUR tax laws for 10 years-then LEFT. Mistreated Chinese in Manchuria in WW II. Marched OUR own solders to their death at Bataan. And themselves commit suicide when “dishonored” and WE want to study that culture? Maybe WE need to be studied? Of course, we can just send over some mayors and sake!


  4. You’d think they’d all be too embarrassed to show their faces in that country again after Tari made such an ass of himself last year!


    1. The trips to Japan occur every 10 years. During the years between, a lot of money is spent hosting the exchange students and providing dinner parties at restaurants for the Sister City Committee members, students and host families.


  5. And let us not forget that Bloomington and Normal are both part of the less than 2 dozen “Looney Left” towns the US that have Sister City Relationships with places in the Communist Dictatorship of Cuba. Until we stopped it 20 years ago, Bob Malito, then Unit 5 Superintendent, proudly described plans to bring Communist Cuban teachers into the schools. Point being….the Twin Cities have be radicalized and screwed up for years, it is just now getting so bad everybody is noticing it.

    Liked by 1 person

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