Did Chris Koos Lie? Part 2

By:  Diane Benjamin See Part 1:  https://blnnews.com/2019/07/31/did-chris-koos-lie/ The second issue in Koos’ letter pertained to fire stations. Stan Nord had been looking at why Bloomington and Normal couldn’t have a joint east side fire station since both want one: Pam Reece’s reply: See the document here:  Fire Department Study The real question should have been:  Why […]

Did Chris Koos LIE?

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember when the media did a story Chris Koos evidently fed to them about Stan Nord going rogue?  Koos wrote a letter to Tari Renner and the media ended up with it. https://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/koos-nord-acted-alone-to-poach-bloomington-business/article_aeff8b7c-78a3-5e32-b1ef-f65e4e81f812.html Let’s start with Koos’ first claim:  a Normal Council member went “lone wolf” to recruit across borders. I had […]

Rodney Davis needs some Connect Transit FACTS

By:  Diane Benjamin I found this article yesterday:    U S Representatives Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Increase Funding For Small Community Transit Systems Note:  “Small community”.  Tari Renner and Chris Koos don’t understand they are a SMALL Community, not Chicago. Also Note:  They are spending YOUR money. Excerpts: Currently, the STIC provides funds to those […]

More on the Hyatt

By:  Diane Benjamin Follow-up to this story:  https://blnnews.com/2019/07/30/hyatt-is-up-for-sale/ I’m sure any potential buyers of the Hyatt would know it hasn’t performed up to expectations. Since this is public record, it’s fit to print.  PDF page 159:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2672 The Hyatt wanted a tax rebate from Normal, but withdrew it before the meeting.  Maybe since JB was […]

Flashback: May 11, 2016 Renner

By:  Diane Benjamin WJBC has reported Tari Renner wants to end the moratorium on new video gaming  machines: http://www.wjbc.com/2019/07/29/renner-sides-with-businesses-seeking-to-end-bloomingtons-video-gaming-freeze/ I remember when the moratorium was put in place, Tari was outraged that $50 million a year went into the machines.  It sounds like he changed his mind. Back in 2016 Tari was on WJBC talking […]

Hyatt is up for sale

By:  Diane Benjamin The Hyatt hotel in Uptown Normal is up for sale. See this link:  https://my.rcm1.com/handler/brochure.aspx?pv=mRNXWt0RlmCk-j7gcPvd37dCBFTPr5wAhNU4BWC3X1NtpYZRdxrTlcvS4Qct5ijT See page 5 for claims about the local economy:  Rivian will have 1000 employees next year and Trail East Development will have 830 employees.  It also lists AFNI (who is moving to Trail East when it is built) […]

Comments Closed – What the media didn’t show

I’ve seen enough foul language from supporters of the event.  Lots of great character out their folks.  All comments will be deleted from now on. By:  Diane Benjamin The below are pictures from the daytime family show at the Bloomington Pride event.  I wonder what happened at the 8:00 pm show if this is family […]

Possessed with saving the State Farm building

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari thinks a Public-Private partnership can save the State Farm building in downtown Bloomington.  Jenn Carrillo must think she can bully State Farm the way she did the Gypsy Room. If you don’t understand the hazards to your wallet, keep reading.  If you do, a petition to “Let It Go” is on-line […]

Is Illinois going to violate religious freedom

By:  Diane Benjamin This is from the Illinois Constitution: http://www.ilga.gov/commission/lrb/con1.htm That sure sounds like government can’t tell you want to believe.  Until just a few years ago almost everybody believed that. Now see this article:  https://prairiestatewire.com/stories/512782685-illinois-christian-home-educators-director-fears-repercussions-of-bill-to-add-lgbt-curricula Actually read it folks!  (hint:  I can tell how many people do) Illinois wants to make sure kids hear […]

911 response

By:  Diane Benjamin In 2014 the Bloomington City Council heard the results of a study they commissioned to exam the 911 system.  See the report here: PDF page 17:  https://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=7555 The purpose of the report: The report is extensive and may or may not still reflect reality.  Recommendations for future updates are included, I don’t […]

Does Bloomington care about Vets?

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember this story from a year ago?  https://blnnews.com/2018/07/11/not-the-right-fit-tari/ The City of Bloomington was accused of ignoring attempts to locate an outpatient clinic in Bloomington to serve Veterans. Yesterday there was a VERY high level meeting in Bloomington.  Here is a list of who attended.  The DC reps would have been here themselves […]

Three things you didn’t know

By:  Diane Benjamin The picture below is from the Facebook page of the downtown Bloomington business that holds Drag Queen story hour for kids.   Can anybody honestly say this is not an attempt to sexualize children?  Note the names of books they are reading to the kids.  There aren’t other life lessons as told […]

TWO State Farm Lawyers on Council

By:  Diane Benjamin Interfering in the private sector is what local government does best.  Evidently Jenn thinks she can save the State Farm building: Meanwhile other buildings in downtown have been sitting empty for years.  The CII East building is an eyesore Jenn evidently isn’t working on.  The Front and Center building is boarded up.  […]

Is Ford regretting investing in Rivian?

By:  Diane Benjamin I love reading a site called Michigan Capital Confidential.  It isn’t run-of-the-mill boring news, these guy actually investigate.  Most of their investigations pertain to Michigan, but a lot of what they find applies to politics in Illinois too. A story today mentions Rivian and Ford’s investment.  The bottom line is:  Unless government […]

Employers lose rights, but this is Illinois

By:  Diane Benjamin It isn’t a surprise Illinois government wants to tell employers how to run their businesses.  Illinois is not participating in the prosperity much of the rest of the country is experiencing because of Illinois government. Now with the legalization of cannabis, drug testing employees could get them sued.  Employees have rights to […]

How is an application lost?

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington City Council last night: See 12:17. A 30 year employee of the Illinois State Police spoke at Public Comment,  He applied for the Police Chief position.  His application was submitted on time and he received a confirmation email saying his application was received.  He followed up with Nicole Albertson, head of […]

Liquor License Denied to Park Pantry

By:  Diane Benjamin By a vote of 5-4 the Liquor License recommended by Tari Renner’s Liquor Commission was denied. 4 members of the council supported the license:  Scott Black, Jamie Mathy, Julie Emig, and Jeff Crawbill.  Reasons given were to support a large investment on the west side and a review of the license after […]

Can you shower at work?

By:  Diane Benjamin connect-transit.com July 23   This is item is on the Connect Transit agenda for tomorrow’s meeting.  Every dime was stolen from a hard working taxpayer.  $184,660!   A HOUSE could be built for that much!   PDF page 89 Will employees start showing up in their PJ’s?   Will breakfast be served too?  How do […]

What’s Bloomington doing Monday?

by:  Diane Benjamin http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=22287 Reports to me from people who attended last year:  Don’t take your kids: The documentation doesn’t name the Parkview Inn, but this ordinance is so they can get back in the gaming business.  It’s generic in case another establishment with video gaming now is destroyed and rebuilt: Tari Renner and Jenn […]

Does twice a year bulk pickup save money?

By:  Diane Benjamin There are a lot of factors involved in determining whether twice a year bulk waste pickup saves money. We know two knuckleboom trucks were purchased and so far haven’t been used much: https://blnnews.com/2019/06/21/coliseum-garbage-service/ Total cost: $308,819.96 We know while bulk is being picked up, employees don’t have time for things like patching […]

Bloomington bills for Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=22247 Tari and the employees had fun: Add the previous Hawaii expenses of $1,968.00, and Tari’s trip cost $3,892.50.  https://blnnews.com/2019/04/18/off-to-hawaii/ This is what the Pantagraph reported:    Pantagraph.com twin-city-mayors-focus-on-transit-climate-at-conference The cost of the CONFERENCE was $950.00.  The paper didn’t include that part.  What did taxpayers get?  The bill? Remember the FREE entertainment […]

Update: Town of Normal employee compensation

Since a couple readers questioned this post, how about this: There are 318 people on the list.  With benefits the total compensation is $35,905,792 $35,905,792 / 318 = $112,911 per person.  Happy now? By:  Diane Benjamin According to City Manager Pam Reece at the last meeting, the financial statements for the year ending March 31, […]

The funniest thing you will read today

By:  Diane Benjamin A website called SmartAsset just published a new list of: The Least-Stressed Cities in America – 2019 Edition https://smartasset.com/financial-advisor/least-stressed-cities-in-america-2019 Bloomington made the list! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the real unemployment rate is:    https://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.il_bloomington_msa.htm Since the survey claims they are using 2017 data, see the REAL unemployment rates in […]

Four B’s and an R (Gas Tax)

By:  Diane Benjamin Dan Brady, Bill Brady, Jason Barickman, Tom Bennett, and Chapin Rose I bet the gas prices are killing your budget.  Lawmakers never understand you have to cut your budget in other places to pay their tax increases.  You have less money to spend, therefore tax revenue, like sales tax, will decrease.  You […]

Feeling okay Koos?

By. Diane Benjamin This sage started with a planted story at WGLT, it needed 3 reporters to write it:    koos-says-nord-went-lone-wolf-fire-department-merger-uptown-recruitment Then it got funnier when the Pantagraph decided it was news:  koos-nord-acted-alone-to-poach-bloomington-business Somebody please check on Chris.  Make sure he isn’t suicidal or buying a gun.  He’s obviously lost his mind over Stan Nord. […]

Tari got clipped, then talked to death

By:  Diane Benjamin At last night’s Bloomington Committee of the Whole meeting Tari lost his ability to appoint anyone he wants to Boards and Commissions without review by the Council before a name is put on the agenda.  The Council didn’t vote, but the consensus was the Council needs to know names before notice is […]

Koos thinks Trustees merely Rubber Stamp

By:  Diane Benjamin In the past elected Trustees were just rubber stamps.  Since the election, Koos is losing control. Has Chris Koos ever read Illinois law?  Read the last line Mr. Mayor: At last night’s meeting Koos stated (15:32) the bills listed with the agenda have already been paid.  He expects the Trustees to just […]

Marc Tiritilli proves Working Group is a farce

By:  Diane Benjamin We already knew the Connect Transit Working Group was not formed to fix problems.  Koos and company can’t allow mere mortals to upset their transportation plans to force all plebes on buses.  Marc Tiritilli proved the group was a setup from the beginning – it was only created to pacify those not […]

Normal Finance reports plus Connect Transit

By:  Diane Benjamin http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3362 The Town is holding a meeting tonight. Below are a few expenses: Who gets these? Monthly fleece: Why is taxpayer money used to sponsor anything?  Why is government picking winners and losers by sponsoring who they choose? The financial statements from March 31, 2019 are likely done, the auditor is being […]

Bloomington talks cannabis tonight?

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington is holding a Committee of the Whole meeting tonight.  On the Agenda: The last time appointments to Boards and Commission were discussed it got contentious.  Renner wanted an appointment many on the Council objected to.  The entire process was tabled until tonight for more discussion. Video Gaming licenses […]

Why I asked about high school

By:  Diane Benjamin Followup to this story:  https://blnnews.com/2019/07/11/question-for-parents-of-high-school-kids-or-recent-grads/ The Federal deficit is closing in on $22.5 Trillion.  That debt is unsustainable and will destroy future generations.  With that in mind, besides providing funding for empty buses, here’s another questionable program from the Feds. The Unit 5 FOIA officer told me the Feds reimburse expenses for […]