More on the VA story from yesterday

By:  Diane Benjamin

This is an update to yesterday’s story:

This morning I spoke to the Marine veteran who was the subject of the Facebook post by Danny Leifel.  He wants to remain anonymous because of the large number of phone calls he received yesterday.

One phone call he never received was from Tari Renner.  Before the Council meeting Monday, he spoke for a few minutes with Tari.  Instead of staying for Public Comment, Tari took the card he filled out that included his phone number.  Tari promised to call him Tuesday before noon.  That call never happened.

The Marine contacted me last night by Messenger because he was outraged by a Facebook post from Jamie Mathy.  I have a copy of Mathy’s entire post which I hear is now deleted, but this is the part that outraged the Marine:

If Mathy was told by someone the Marine has PTSD he was lied to.  The Marine called him last night and asked him who told him that, Jamie couldn’t remember.

Here’s what you don’t know:

Last March a meeting was held at the VFW with the HEAD of Illiana Healthcare for the VA.  At least 150 people attended including representatives from both Sen Tammy Duckworth’s and Sen Dick Durbin’s offices.  Even though the Marine contacted the offices of Dan Brady, Bill Brady, Jason Barickman, and Bloomington City Hall – none of them sent representatives to this meeting.  The meeting was a huge deal since the area head of VA healthcare has a large territory and is difficult to schedule meetings with.  The purpose of the meeting was to guarantee local veterans that an out-patient facility was going to be established here.  Funding is available.  Locally there are 3000 veterans with a VA card which is more than enough to locate here.  They won’t have to travel to Danville or Peoria once it is open.

The reason he attended the Council meeting Monday night is because he spoke to the receptionist at City Hall that morning.  She suggested he attend one of Tari’s Open Houses or Council.  His only purpose was to make the Council aware the VA was looking for 20,000 square feet and having difficulty finding it.  He told me Steve Rasmussen has been aware of this for 3 months but never informed the Council or the Mayor.  His information came from the VA in Danville.

His only reason for dogging this issue is, in his own words: “Marines take care of Marines”.

He did speak with Alderman Joni Painter yesterday.  She has this same information.  He was very complimentary of her.  Good job Joni!

Since both cities pay the Economic Development Council and BN Advantage a lot of money, maybe they can assist in finding a location.  Evidently the government paperwork is extensive, but he thinks the 10 year lease would become permanent since the government doesn’t want to build.

This needs to get done!  This Marine is 100% disabled due to injuries he sustained in Afghanistan.  He was in the Marine Corps from 1984-1993 and then returned after 9/11.   He left in 2014.  Since he grew up in Bloomington he came home.  According to him he doesn’t recognize his hometown anymore.

He doesn’t want to be called a hero.  I will anyway.



28 thoughts on “More on the VA story from yesterday

  1. That’s one kind of stupid politician to be pissing of the veterans. Lots of votes to be lost there.

  2. This is one more example of Renner’s lack of empathy and poor management skills. i stopped attending his Mayoral Open House. He claims he will do something to solve an issue “in real time” but he doesn’t.
    I am appalled at the handling of this situation by the city but I have come to expect it. Sad.

  3. Jamie covering for his pal, Tari. No surprise there. Tari messed up big and wants to keep this out of the news cycle and out of sight from voters. Huge political black eye.

    1. Jamie Mathy lies about lots of things. He calls everyone who questions his authority a conspiracy theorist…at least that’s what he told the Pantagraph reporter while I was sitting at my 2nd Council Meeting last fall.

      1. Mathy is a [email protected]. He’s a Tari supporter and is for anything Downtown, especially taxpayer dollars. They use the same playbook. Attack and impugn the credibility of anyone that dares to have a difference of opinion, then claim the moral high ground. People buy it. The Pantagraph won’t do anything, they’re the press mill for Renner.

  4. Jamie Mathy is an arrogant liar. How despicable to deliberately lie about one of our veterans. He should be ashamed of himself but I’m certain that’s not possible. And for the city of Bloomington so called leadership to ignore this desire to establish a VA facility here. I cannot express in strong enough terms how loathesome these people are. They are something, but they are not leaders. And that includes Dan “glad hand” Brady and Bill “place warmer” Brady. Contact everyone connected with this situation. Rasmussen, renner, brady, brady, Mathy (decorators grocery), buragus, black, mboka, Schmidt, sage, hauman, and anyone else not listed who would be pertinent.

    1. Mathy should have reached out to the Veteran to learn the facts instead of repeating “hear-say.” Shame on you Mr. Mathy.

    1. Good point. I wonder if Tari is worried that a VA site would interfere with his plans to centrally plan and manage existing property. Think about it. If hypothetically the VA said we recommend this site or that site which Tari has plans for in his head, then, of course, he’d ignore them or brush it off. This seems to be more about Tari controlling property and central planning than a stance against veterans. That doesn’t mean his actions are not without hurt.

    1. Same here – I came back here after many years away, (long story) and I am going to be leaving again prolly in about 2-4 years, (if I can wait that long which means it may be closer to 2) I don’t think it’s totally a lost cause yet, but as more and more Tarrys, more Jenns, more Nikitas, more Jamies etc etc continue to push their way into power the worse it becomes – Will the REAL Bloomington PLEASE stand up? Oh and Vote too, it’s not that hard, seriously, and it does matter. Aas to vets – ya’all know as well as I do “they” have NO love for the military, the “troops” are only election time props now and then for them to SAY how much they support the troops – they don’t, end of, they defile the military to this day the same as they and their ilk during Vietnam. They sneer that they are “not smart enough for college so they choose military” they call them examples of toxic masculinity and they do their level best to try and weaken the military as much as possible through social engineering experiments and the like, as well as de-funding them at every opportunity. It is NO surprise to me at all that VA matters here in BloNo just happen to slip their busy busy little minds…

    2. They are all run by Republicans, they have the majority and always have in the downstate.

  5. Just for the Record; After this announcement I reached out to the VA Officials and discussed what they were looking for in our Community. I provided a dozen options for them and they made it clear, They were only Interested with teaming up with OSF or Advocate and they must be on their Campus., no other options would be considered.

      1. Yes Bobby, you are not in your little leftist echo chamber now, in the real world, often proof is required of any claims you make, it is not just accepted as truth simply because you SAY it. If you can provide SOME actual evidence of your claim such as an e-mail, real mail or similar then we will be willing to believe you. We would even gladly accept a copy of something put out by the VA saying that they are only considering locating in BloNo on the OSF/St. Joe or Advocate properties. Now, off you go – try and provide us with evidence of your claims.

      2. Ask them, I pitched several great properties. In fact one location was ideal for the Veteran’s and they would have loved the proposal if they only knew.

        P.S., I’ve been working and then Golfing….I cannot just sit here waiting for Diane to say something.

    1. It doesn’t make sense Bobby. If they want to partner on site with OSF or Advocate, they wouldn’t need either city’s involvement. Just do it. Now perhaps the city could donate space at one of their empty buildings provided the VA incur all costs for building out to meet their needs an the VA would be responsible for al building maintence costs. Maybe that fire station that never was opened can be donated on a long term lease for $1.00 and the VA picks up the two costs I mentioned. I’d like to know if it’s true that all those politicians knew about the meeting but ignored it They owe us an explanation.

      1. That was understood Diane. Explanations are needed as to why no one attended. Either the politician or their representative. This is something they should be placing a high priority on as many of VETs would not have to travel as far for basic health care services. Instead they value gaining aid and comfort to criminal tresspassers, gangsters, murderers, drug suppliers, you name it! While some maybe good people we don’t owe them citizenship. Renner is accountable for not knowing. If he truely didn’t know, then he is incompetent and should be removed if he does not step down.

    2. @Bobby–the VA Healthcare System is totally separate from other healthcare providers. Notice in the link below, the VA clinics are not located on OSF or Advocate campuses in the other central Illinois communities. The VA healthcare provider is Illiana VA Systems with a hospital located in Danville. They are wanting to locate an outpatient clinic in Bloomington.

      1. Skunky……of course they are separate……OSF is “separate” from Advocate also.

        I don’t understand why you folks get so upset and make this a Political talking point.

        It is a simple fact, I called, I offered assistance, I suggested a GREAT location. They said they must be next to one of the Hospitals for emergencies? Don’t kill the messenger.

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