Bloomington Library No longer Publishes Facts

By:  Diane Benjamin It wasn’t that long ago the data pertaining to City functions was available.  We used to know what the tax receipts were – now we don’t.  We used to know traffic at the library has been declining – now we have no idea.  Traffic isn’t included in Library Board reports either. The […]

The Story of Dale and the Rock

By:  Diane Benjamin Update to this story:   https://blnnews.com/2018/05/17/what-about-dale/ Dale Nelson was riding his bike with two friends when he was hit by a drunk driver.  August 21st is the first anniversary of his death. Dale’s eyes were donated to a blind boy in Michigan. Dale’s kidneys were donated to two people, a true gift of […]

Campaigning at the Pride Event

By:  Diane Benjamin The first annual Pride event turned into a campaign stop.  Featured speakers were:  Tari Renner, Jenn Carrillo, Shayna Watchinski, Nikita Richards, and Julie Blair. This is the best the Democrat Party has to offer? Obviously Renner has Trump Derangement Syndrome.  He sported his sash from the gay pride parade he and Chris Koos […]

McLean County Poverty Increasing

By:  Diane Benjamin See this article posted on the WGLT website:  New-Poverty-Report-Puts-Mclean-County-Watch-List The article doesn’t cover everything in the report by Heartland Alliance.  See the complete report   HERE Did you ever think McLean County would make a Well-Being Watch List? The reason is obvious – except to local government: Sales Tax was increased 1% in 2015.  […]

Protest your property tax assessment!

By:  Diane Benjamin You can’t protest yet, but sometime early next year you will get a new assessment in the mail.  Property values are dropping all over Bloomington-Normal.  Keep track of comparable house around you.  Both Bloomington and Normal are in for a huge budget shock if the local assessors are fair. See this story […]

Report from the Renner-Koos-ISU meeting today

A reporter who wishes to remain anonymous filed this report, see yesterday’s story:  https://blnnews.com/2018/07/26/things-that-dont-fit-anywhere-else-2/ Mayoral Presentations Koos spent his time praising ISU and the excellent relationship with the Univ.   Then a little about historic preservation.   (Short and concise) Reporter Comments:  Although the first 3 historic building east of the NE corner of the circle (In Normal […]

Did the Pantagraph comply?

By:  Diane Benjamin Below is the email (printed with permission) from the attorney for Michael Cadena to the Pantagraph reporter who included #FakeNews in her article: I redacted her email address because it isn’t important. The only reason I got involved in this case is because of the reporting by the Pantagraph.  Michael Cadena was […]

Chicago Politics is now local

By:  Diane Benjamin Mclean County used to be insulated from the nonsense going on in the rest of Illinois.  The only reason was State Farm.  Those days are long gone thanks to the exodus of State Farm and big spending Chris Koos and Tari Renner.  Both are Mike Madigan wanna-be’s who think you aren’t entitled […]

Bloomington hides, Normal doesn’t

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council doesn’t think they owe citizens anything.  They can have their “secret meetings” (Executive Sessions) and vote to never release the minutes.  Evaluations from Tom Hamilton are still a secret, of course the David Hales evaluations are a secret too. At the last meeting of the Normal Town Council […]

Today’s hearing for Mikey Cadena

By:  Diane Benjamin One thing everyone must realize is the Cadena-Buck case is not about custody.  It’s about protecting Mikey. Mikey’s dad alleges the McLean County courts have not given the safety of Mikey a fair hearing.  His mom went from being charged with 5 Class X felonies and endangering a child to probation and […]

Non-partisan doesn’t exist Tari!

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner was on WJBC this morning.  He stated elections should be taken away from the County Clerk’s office and put in the hands of a non-partisan election commission. City elections are supposedly non-partisan.  What were the first words uttered by Tari Renner when he was first elected? He announced is was […]

Empty buses! Buy more.

By:  Diane Benjamin The Year End for Connect Transit was June 30th.  Instead of presenting an un-audited statement of revenue and expenses for June, they skipped it. The packet does show total expenses, but that’s only because the Board had to approve payments.   https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TiC87VqRCaB2wpLhup39CgrsDb2u9SmX/view Payments include:       Income in June of the previous […]

Jim Karch: Class Act

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night at the Council meeting this was presented: It’s a huge award! I know there is tension between Jim and his employees.  They need to see the response I received from Jim when I congratulated him: Jim has always responded promptly to any questions I’ve asked.  I’ve emailed him on weekends […]

Pension Spiking: incredible waste of money

By:  Diane Benjamin Spiking pensions in Bloomington has cost taxpayers over $2,000,000 since 2012. Spiking a pension means collecting more in retirement than employees are entitled to.  Your government “gifts” them more retirement at taxpayer expense.  The IMRF retirement system started charging for spiking when they realized the pension funds would not remain viable if […]

Progressive Tari shows his true colors

By:  Diane Benjamin This item was added to the agenda last night:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=18408 Yes, Bloomington taxpayers paid for the official proclamation. Does the City of Bloomington have awards for every local business that celebrates a 25th anniversary, or is it just for campaign supporters?  Jan Lancaster, owner of the Bistro, is a huge Tari supporter. […]

UPDATE: Mikey is staying where he is!

The next hearing is TODAY – Courtroom 3A _________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin A judge in Massachusetts issued a stay on June 22, 2018 but the parties were not notified. Michael Cadena’s lawyer here had to file a response by 9:00 am this morning to the mom asking for direct criminal contempt charges.  Meanwhile his lawyer […]

How is the local Real Estate Market?

By:  Diane Benjamin Are property values dropping in Bloomington-Normal? These are random samples of recent home sales.  This data was taken from either the County website or Zillow if those records were listed as Public Record.   Bloomington: 4 Timbers Court   Sold in 2008 for $295,000; sold in April 2018 for $295,000  (first listed in […]

Guest Writer: Saving Mikey

So many facts are being ignored in the case of Mikey Cardena.  This editorial outlines many of them.  The best interests of the child are being ignored.  Links to two court documents are below By Lisa M. Boudreau Privileged Probation? I’m trying to understand how a mother would request to have the father of her […]

Soccer facts plus update on David Hales

By:  Diane Benjamin Thanks to a reader who sent me this story from the New York Times – dateline CHICAGO:  Maybe this is why the presenter Monday night said the sports complex has to be for more than soccer.     David Hales is acting just like he did in Bloomington!  He spent $1875 attending […]

Water Department and Pension Spiking Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin These projects will be approved Monday:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=18366 Lake Bloomington Water Treatment plant roof:   $323,139.65 Water Main replacement:  $385,075 Professional Services to prepare for another water main replacement:  $30,876.50 If the Council claims the Water Department funds are diminishing and therefore they have to raise rates: In 2013 $400,000 was “borrowed” from the water fund for […]

Does Grossinger regret buying naming rights yet?

By:  Diane Benjamin Maybe the City can compensate Grossinger for all the bad publicity by giving them naming rights to the Ice Center.  Pepsi quit paying for it YEARS ago, but even in meeting documentation Parks and Rec still calls it Pepsi Ice Center.  I bet Pepsi loves it – free advertising!  Monday night this […]

$43 Million proposal is finally posted

By:  Diane Benjamin The book handed out to the Councils Monday night (and me) needed some corrections.  Maybe that’s the reason for the delay in posting the information. Normal has posted links to the presentation including video of the Monday meeting:    https://www.normal.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1796 The local paper today called for a binding referendum.  They called the complex […]

Normal’s credit rating

By:  Diane Benjamin Moodys doesn’t have Normal at a AAA credit rating.  Their rating is still really good – AA1.  (Bloomington is AA2).  I can’t post link because an account needs to be created, you can create on for free at moodys.com Fitch rating services have a different story – Their rating for Normal is […]

Why was Renner’s cost more than Koos?

By:  Diane Benjamin From Bills and Payroll for 7/23/2018  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=18360 PCard charge for Tari Renner –  Hotel only, US Conference of Mayors in Boston: Since Tari doesn’t have a PCard, it must have been booked with this card. 3 nights for Chris Koos including two charges at the hotel’s Champion Sports Bar was only $1209.99.    https://blnnews.com/2018/07/13/normal-we-must-entertain-and-more/ […]

Break time!

By:  Diane Benjamin The stories I’ve researched lately have been exhausting!  I need a break today, everything I’ve been researching is too depressing to ruin this lovely day. I’m taking time off to play outside! Meanwhile, the proposed sports complex must already be dead.  Chris Koos promised to have the presentation on Normal’s website yesterday, […]

Sports Complex MUST be Dead on Arrival

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night I actually asked the people around me if they heard the same things I did.  It was close to the end when Evan Eleff of Sports Facilities Advisory stated the complex will never pay for itself.  I asked him about it after the meeting ended.  He told me this is Parks […]

$ 43,585,074!

By:  Diane Benjamin That is the cost of building the proposed multi-sport complex. The best part is: It will NEVER pay for itself! If anybody supports this proposal they need mental health exams. More tomorrow!

Court hearing over Mikey

By:  Diane Benjamin If you missed the original story, read it HERE I was in court to see what would happen today.  The Attorney for Amber Buck filed something this morning and expected the judge to rule on it.  Evidently Mr. Billington doesn’t understand how the court works.  The judge gave the attorney for Michael Cardena […]

Preaching Socialism

By:  Diane Benjamin Illinois People’s action was at the Sugar Creek Art Festival spreading socialism, note they target the young who don’t know that socialism kills: One item on the sign is 100% renewable energy.  Evidently they don’t know the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine.  Creating batteries to store energy […]

Normal’s pork tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight – two meetings:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3017 Don’t forget this one-the consult will present their findings on building a sports complex here: Misc money toss: Did you get your invite? This is only for printing: Normal allows pension spiking too: Unlike Bloomington where everything is a secret forever, Normal will be voting to release Executive […]

Mikey’s Story

By:  Diane Benjamin Mikey Cardena was an abused child, I have the pictures and police reports to prove it.  On Monday a McLean County judge will likely give custody back to the mom even though the abuse happened in her custody.  This is the case the media has reported as the father took the boy […]

Guest Writer: Citizens Public Safety and Community Relations Board

By:  Karen Miller On July 12, WGLT posted an article entitled “Year later, Some Want More Distance between Civilian Board and Police”.     http://wglt.org/post/year-later-some-want-more-distance-between-civilian-board-and-police The Pubic Safety and Community Relations Board (PSCRB) was formed to serve as a citizen advisory committee to the Chief of Police and the City Manager, providing different perspectives on police […]