Month: March 2019
News: State Farm Downtown building
By: Diane Benjamin H/T a Reader Rental space is being marketed by a CHAMPAIGN COMPANY. Still no word on who is in the process of buying the building. The rent is a lot cheaper than Uptown! (click to enlarge) The real estate brokerage company is Guth and Associates. Their website only lists one broker – […]
How much debt is Decatur in?
By: Diane Benjamin Follow-up to this story: https://blnnews.com/2019/03/29/the-tale-of-two-downtowns/ How much does a pretty downtown cost? I find it hilarious that RC McBride is running radio ads asking for your vote claiming they have paid off $10 million of debt. They may have, but he doesn’t mention how much debt they still have left to pay. […]
The tale of Two Downtowns
By: Diane Benjamin Yesterday I took a road trip to downtown Decatur. Since Tim Gleason was hired to make Bloomington’s downtown like Decatur’s, I wanted to see what has been done there. Have you heard comments about matching awnings? Below are on two sides of office space. The windows are covered with closed blinds. Have […]
Quality of Life Fail
By: Diane Benjamin When Quality of Life is built without funds to maintain it, this is what you get: This is the golf cart path at the Den. In January the City used their credit card (capital lease) to buy new carts $153,274.35 https://blnnews.com/2019/01/28/fox-creek-gets-new-golf-carts-tonight/ Shouldn’t the path be fixed BEFORE the new carts? Remember the […]
Decatur’s 7 TIF’s
By: Diane Benjamin Decatur is on a calendar year. Information for 2018 has not been filed with the Comptroller’s office. The information below is from what was filed as of 12/31/2017. Decatur has 7 TIF districts. It does not appear any of them were started when Tim Gleason was City Manager. The dates below show […]
Renner and Gun Violence
By: Diane Benjamin This is one of those stories I meant to write days ago but didn’t get to it. Since yesterday was Illinois Gun Lobby Day in Springfield, today I got to it. Thousands of people were in Springfield: https://www.ilnews.org/news/state_politics/thousands-of-gun-owners-turn-out-for-lobbying-day-in/article_ed1c396a-50d5-11e9-b951-dfdb2efccee9.html?fbclid=IwAR3AfotxEgqUQ8WjZ30146IZdbBimEozGIk5d77gUK16Lbzq3CpfwvUJZOs There is one thing Democrats don’t get: Criminals don’t care about laws Last […]
Lent and Economic Development
By: Diane Benjamin Wednesday nights used to be off limits for school and government activities because many people attended church activities. “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to […]
UPDATE: Justin Barr Arrested again!
The below was received from Livingston County: Livingston County arrested Justin Barr outside of Pontiac today. The video isn’t great, but he is being led away in handcuffs. More details will be added when available. I bet this isn’t his last arrest! He still owes the County for an unpaid traffic ticket, maybe they […]
Water Fund: $27,831,465
By: Diane Benjamin Almost $28 million is sitting in the Water Fund. This is the same Fund that lost out on MILLIONS of Dollars because the City neglected for a decade to charge the right Fire Protection fee. Doesn’t this prove that fee isn’t needed? The fund balances were presented at Monday’s Bloomington City Council […]
More Connect Transit – Socialism!
By: Diane Benjamin More on this story from yesterday: https://blnnews.com/2019/03/26/connect-transit-destroys-infrastructure/ Yesterday’s story had a short recent video showing the destruction Connect Transit buses have caused to the Portillos corner. The video below is what it looked like last year – much worse. That means Normal fixed it and Connect is in the process of breaking […]
State Gas Tax means Bloomington jumped too soon
By: Diane Benjamin The State of Illinois is likely raising the gas tax .19 per gallon. The total tax will be .38 cents for every gallon you pump. This will chase even more people out of the state and cause travelers and citizens who can fill up outside of Illinois to do so. Democrats never […]
Enablers passed the gas tax
By: Diane Benjamin Tim Gleason said something humorous last night. He stated to $500 license fee for every video gaming terminal will go into the General Fund and help fund capital projects for police and fire. Tim, capital projects don’t come out of the General Fund. The GF is where all taxes go to be […]
Connect Transit Destroys Infrastructure!
By: Diane Benjamin While the Councils in both Bloomington and Normal cheer Connect Transit as a great community asset – the streets citizens are forced to pay more for are being destroyed. They weren’t built for huge buses. Imagine how much worse the damage would be if more than 3 people were on them! Remember […]
Witness Slip needed today!
By: Diane Benjamin The movie Unplanned will be coming to Galaxy 14 Cine, the date has not been posted yet. It is rated “R” only because it has a 20 second sonogram video of a baby fighting for it’s life. Take your teenage kids, we can end the slaughter of children with facts. […]
Trust Lesson for Tim Gleason
By: Diane Benjamin The new Bloomington City Manager seems to be launching a campaign to make citizens trust their government. No Tim, spending money on signs when a few roads get fixed isn’t going to cut it. The people paying more for gas will see that as just another waste of their dollars. Since Tim […]
Crabill, Carrillo, and Connect Transit
By: Diane Benjamin In February, Connect Transit had a whooping $115,785.44 in revenue. That revenue didn’t cover 25% of the wages they paid to employees. ($470,076.10) Total expenses for February were $1,025,579.65. Drum roll please – they only lost $909,794.21! PDF page 10: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1f2onCQqMAcgBJYz2K8wJRQemNshaqk2T/view Both Bloomington and Normal give your tax dollars to this […]
Letter to the Editor #2
I asked WGLT to include me on their candidate page and got zero response. No big surprise there. WGLT Voter Guide 2019 . But in looking over the other Normal Town Council candidates’ responses I found something very interesting… . If you start at the top and click on RC, it contains his answers to a […]
Yellow Vest night folks!
By: Diane Benjamin The petition against the gas tax now has over 500 signers. Signing a petition does little – making them vote while staring you in the face does! The Bloomington City Council meeting starts at 6:00. Since the meetings rarely start at 6:00 and Tari has two police officers that have passed probation, […]
Fire Protection Charge Stealing money
By: Diane Benjamin We know the City or Bloomington seriously screwed up: first by ridiculous fees to businesses who were required to install fire suppression equipment when their buildings were built second by failing to charge the fees the Council stupidly enacted way back in 2008. https://blnnews.com/2019/03/20/huge-bloomington-error/ This proves how incompetent government can be – […]
Bloomington Fleeces Monday night:
By: Diane Benjamin Agenda and Documentation for Council 3/25/19 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=21396 PDF page 33 authorizes $69,467.22 for repairs to the City’s only working Water Tower. Notice how nobody ever mentions the other one in Normal that was built too short? It was only used briefly. Add that to the never used fire station, pensions spiking, Quality […]
Crabill is worried
By: Diane Benjamin Maybe the voters in Ward 8 are wondering why the Council needs another State Farm lawyer on the Council when Bloomington already has a State Farm lawyer Kimberly Bray. That’s diversity? Maybe the Ward 8 voters can’t figure out why Crabill hangs out with the radicals in Dwight. https://blnnews.com/2019/03/13/guess-who-else-was-in-dwight/ Maybe they can’t figure […]
Proving yet again why the Pantagraph doesn’t do investigative reporting . . . .
By: Diane Benjamin The Agenda for Monday’s City Council meeting was posted at 4:39. The Pantagraph could at least pretend they read the agenda and then asked Tim Gleason for comments. They didn’t. The Pantagraph posted a story at least 20 minutes before the City bother to fill in the public. Obviously the Pantagraph colluded with […]
Council needs to re-vote Monday!
By: Diane Benjamin More follow-up to this story: https://blnnews.com/2019/03/20/huge-bloomington-error/ According to the letter the City of Bloomington sent, the original fee for “fire protection” went into effect on January 1, 2009. That means the Council vote was sometime in 2008. Documentation on the City website only goes back to 2009. That means I have […]
Looks like Bloomington is Cleaning House
By: Diane Benjamin The Fire Protection billing fiasco earlier this week will likely not be the only problem uncovered at the City of Bloomington. It appears somebody is cleaning house and finding lots of problems. Somebody found a long list of payments that were made but never approved by the Council. Since I don’t remember […]
Want to know how radical the League of Women Voters is?
By: Diane Benjamin There is a bill in the Illinois Senate right now that would remove the Parental Notification requirements for minors to have an abortion: (SB 1594) Witness slips were filed on this bill, 1703 supported allowing your minor daughter to get an abortion without your knowledge. 7752 signed in opposition. The usual suspects […]
Bloomington travels – One Voice
By: Diane Benjamin Last year Tari Renner, Scott Black, Steve Rasmussen, and Diana Hauman got the free trip to DC for One Voice. Participants are normally elected officials or the City Manager/Assistant. This year Tari took his good buddy Justin Boyd. It looks like he replaced Amelia Buragas. Justin is the guy who posted the […]
Update to yesterday’s “Error” story
By: Diane Benjamin Link to the original story: https://blnnews.com/2019/03/20/huge-bloomington-error/ The loss to the Water Department is likely much greater than I estimated. The charge to businesses is based on the size of the line. The $6.80 per month that should have increase to $27.20 a month is for a 1 inch line. Automatic increases mean […]
WGLT Manipulating voters?
By: Diane Benjamin Is WGLT attempting to deceive voters? Is their General Manager, who is on the ballot, behind it? It’s corrupt enough WGLT controlled the debate with the Normal candidates, since RC McBride works for them, they should have recused themselves. It gets worse! Karl Sila was not allowed to participate in the debate […]
Bloomington Debate last night
By: Diane Benjamin Obviously many of the candidates last night believe what they are told instead of facts. The Coliseum doesn’t lose $500,000 a year, $1,000,000+ is MUCH closer to the truth. The City pays a lot of money for auditors, they shouldn’t be burying the results. https://blnnews.com/2019/03/07/dont-want-to-be-fake-news-quit-acting-like-it/ Jenn Carrillo was playing with a ball […]
UPDATE #2: HUGE Bloomington Error
Jim Karch just informed me the letter was sent to around 1200 businesses. Doing rough calculations, this cost the Water Department about the same amount they lost when the City diverted $2.4 million to the Coliseum from their Fund – and then wrote off the loss. https://blnnews.com/2015/12/13/2400000-disappears-at-coliseum/ On the bright side, this money stayed in […]
Sent by a reader: IAA Drive looks much better now except for the road markings. Does this mean you can take a shortcut to Veterans Parkway? (I don’t suggest it!)
Funniest moment last Monday
By: Diane Benjamin After the roads discussion at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting for the Bloomington City Council, the Finance Director (Scott Rathbun) did a short presentation. Rathbun mentioned the City may need the excess reserves if a lot of employees decide to retire. They not only have to pay employees for all the […]
By: Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council held a Committee of the Whole meeting last night. The first topic was roads. City Manager Tim Gleason did a nice summary – just hit Play below. Points made during the discussion: 1) The ratings chart for streets has changed, the City thought they were too conservative for […]
How bills get passed in Illinois (slimy)
By: Diane Benjamin Both the House and Senate do this. Deliberation and discussion are too difficult when leadership wants something slammed through. None of this is new. There are likely many more examples than those listed below. It’s called SHELL bills. The bill below was introduced by the Senate President Democrat John Cullerton. New bills […]
Wrong Track Normal
By: Diane Benjamin If you don’t like the direction Normal is taking change the people taking it there. RC Bride seems to be touting Normal’s AAA credit rating as one of the reasons he should be reelected. He doesn’t say Normal has that credit rating because they aren’t afraid to pass tax increases. If you […]