School Indoctrination on full display last night

By:  Diane Benjamin 1:36:15 – Tim Gleason reports he held a retreat with around 40 department leaders.  The theme was: Servant Leadership.  Ever heard that from anyone with the City before?  I believe Tim Gleason really believes this.  Nice. Public Comment at the Bloomington City Council meeting started at 16:00 and received a 20 minute […]

Unit 5 indoctrinating kids with CNN

By:  Diane Benjamin I haven’t FOIA’d other school districts yet, but I’m betting this is widespread. I was contacted weeks ago by a person who’s grandson was unable to study during STUDY HALL because the teacher always had CNN10 on instead of allowing quiet time.  This was at Kingsley Junior High.  This person has watched […]

Integrity in Normal? (stop laughing)

By:  Diane Benjamin Below is another page from the workbook compiled by Lyle Sumek for the Normal Town Council: Start with: Integrity The Normal Town Council can’t come up with 4 votes to force changes to the illegal public comment policy? That’s integrity? How about the years of 5-10 minute meetings that used to happen […]

Update: Connect Transit’s other vehicles

I have been told the Chevrolet Braun should have been a 2018 Dodge Caravan.  The cost wasn’t included, just this: By:  Diane Benjamin Besides the 39 fixed route buses and 18 Mobility buses, Connect Transit owns other vehicles.  I received this information by FOIA. Fleet info: The 4 vehicles they bought this year replaced […]

The Workbook for Normal Council shows the problem

By:  Diane Benjamin During the recent 2 day Normal Council meeting with Lyle Sumek they used a workbook.  I FOIA’d this year’s and last years.  So far I haven’t made it past page 12 of the current one.  (It’s 334 pages long!) Section 1 Normal – A Championship Team (Lyle’s name, not mine) This section […]

Federal Holidays

By:  Diane Benjamin Columbus Day was a Federal Holiday, the Bloomington City Council met anyway in violation of City Code:  Tomorrow is Veterans Day, the Council meeting will be held on Tuesday instead. If Federal Holidays and City Code are now optional, what else is optional?  Laws?  Truth?  Transparency?

Bloomington’s debt ISN’T the Coliseum!

By:  Diane Benjamin Yes, I know I posted this yesterday.  I wouldn’t be re-posting this picture if it wasn’t vital to understanding what is happening to Illinois. Government across Illinois exists for government employees. It does not exist to handle problems citizens can not handle themselves.  This is the proof: An overwhelming percent of the […]

Bloomington Property Taxes not going up

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday’s packet: If the assessed value of your home increased you will pay more, but the proposed rate will keep property taxes level if it didn’t. Don’t get too excited, Tari knows people notice property taxes.  He knows other taxes are easier to hide,  That’s how you got an amusement tax, […]

Why Bloomington can’t fix the roads

By:  Diane Benjamin The financial statements for Bloomington’s year ended 4/30/19 are finally being presented at Council Monday night: The chart below shows the long term debt.   Why can’t the roads be fixed?  Because retired employees need paid.  OPEB is Other Post Employment Benefits.  Look closely at these numbers! PDF page 31 This chart […]

Bloomington’s Monday Payments

By:  Diane Benjamin A few of them that stood out: Bloomington taxpayers:  If you had voted to abolish the Bloomington Election Commission you wouldn’t be paying this now: Community Relations?  Is the tweet from the same Candacy Taylor? Payment #3 for improvements to the Coliseum.  How many in total? How many more years does […]

This one is for Tari – EC Watchdogs score justice again!

By:  Diane Benjamin Since Tari Renner thinks “bloggers” lie and their findings should therefore be ignored, this story is for him.  The rest of you sick of elected/appointed officials who scam the system will enjoy it too. The criminal conduct found by the Edgar County Watchdogs was reported by a local CBS affiliate.  Both John […]

What is up with the EDC?

By:  Diane Benjamin EDC is the Bloomington Normal Economic Development Council.  They get your tax money but are not subject to FOIA.  Bloomington cut their subsidy because of accountability. The President/CEO, Patrick Hoban, spoke at the joint the meeting of Bloomington, Normal, and McLean County held September 30, 2019. On this video at 5:40 Patrick […]

Pantagraph left a few details out of the Underpass story

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal got a $13,000,000 federal grant to build their underpass: The last I heard the town had requested $16 million, Normal taxpayers were suppose to cough up $7,000,000. Since Normal only got $13,000,000 – Normal now needs $10,000,000! Do they have that tucked away in a drawer somewhere (meaning they have […]

See the Pension Problem Here:

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal has 136 retired employees collecting a pension.  The information below is from At Monday’s Council meeting Karyn Smith asked the Finance Director how much employees contribute.  Police and Fire contribute between 9.8 and 9.9%.  Other employees contribute 4.5%.  All will also receive Social Security.  See the video at […]

New Uptown Building delayed

By:  Diane Benjamin WGLT reported yesterday Trail East construction has been delayed until spring: Note:  The last time a new building in Uptown had “financing” issues, the Town agreed to rent an entire floor at above market rates and the main floor is STILL empty. Demolition of the old buildings on Beaufort may start […]

Update: Stan Nord makes a GREAT point

A little of what Craig Stimpert and Ron Ulmer said at public comment is on this WHOI news report: By:  Diane Benjamin Since there is no video of Public Comment from Monday’s Council meeting, there is no permanent record of what was said. Stan Nord left this comment this morning: In case the above […]

Solar panels?

By:  Diane Benjamin Today I received an email from Habitat for Humanity with this included: Did you know all the people in California who invested their money in solar panels still didn’t have power when PG&E shut off power?  No Tesla charging, no lights, nothing! Might be worth asking questions before you spend a […]

No surprise – Normal’s Public Comment didn’t make the Video

By:  Diane Benjamin The video and Live Stream from Normal’s Council meeting last night didn’t start until the last speaker at Public Comment was almost finished. Here’s the problem:  Speakers must sign up at least 15 minutes in advance, Koos and company know pretty much what is going to be said based on that information.  […]

Anybody see a problem here?

By:  Diane Benjamin Problem 1 The property the Town of Normal owns at 1217 S. Adelaide still shows as taxable. See this story, the Town has known since Stan Nord was elected they don’t owe the taxes: Is it that hard to fix problems? Problem 2 These is a screen shot of video […]

Normal Council Shamed into NOT Raising Property Taxes

By:  Diane Benjamin By a vote of 4-3 the property tax increase was defeated.  The Council voted to fund pensions on a 90% projection instead of 100% by 2040 in hopes changes the State will.make this year ease required contributions. They also voted to keep the tax rate level after a long discussion.  Kathleen Lorenz […]

Bloomington Fireman #5 gets off

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington firemen just can’t seem to stay out of trouble.  See numbers 1-4 here: A bigger problem is how infractions are handled at the City.  Last I heard #5 hasn’t been disciplined.  David Hall from the 2&3 article hasn’t either. Number 5 is Michael Maines.  He was stopped by the ISU […]

What’s Mark Peterson up to?

Tari Renner goes to Streator  to tell them how to run their City: Where did Mark Peterson go? Pekin In case you forgot already, Peterson is the retired City Manager of Normal. He went there to teach them how to set goals: There is a huge difference between the goals people have for […]

Normal’s tax and fee History – comprehensive

By:  Diane Benjamin Recap of Normal’s tax history: This story has screen shots from the Normal website on May 30, 2012: All current rates can be found from this site: What is the rate now?  8.75%   3.5% going to the Town of Normal What is the rate now?   What is the rate now? […]

Policies: GOP vrs Democrats

By:  Diane Benjamin Why was the Obama economy awful while the Trump economy is booming? Policies! I don’t know why the Pantagraph allows Justin Boyd to write editorials, but today I am glad they did. Justin thinks starting a business in Bloomington is really hard because of all the paperwork the City requires.  So […]

Normal’s Property Tax History

By:  Diane Benjamin This WGLT article is pretty accurate in describing the contentious all day Council meeting Friday. The bottom line is the elites on the Council don’t appreciate Stan Nord and Karyn Smith actually doing what they campaigned to do! (sound familiar?) Isn’t that what voters expect politicians to do? (How many actually […]

Normal: Yes, increasing your property taxes is on the agenda

By:  Diane Benjamin PDF page 50: Normal under this Council is not capable of living within their means. I bet you didn’t know about this two day meeting of the council with Lyle Sumek: Sumek is the guy really running Normal.  I bet this meeting isn’t going as well as last year’s!  Celebrate they […]

Does the Local GOP stand for anything?

By:  Diane Benjamin Two readers contacted me yesterday about the candidate who announced for County Auditor as a Republican.  Her name is Trisha Malott.  She voted Democrat in the last two primary elections.  Voting in a Democrat primary used to make people ineligible to run on the GOP ticket – it sure does in reverse.  […]

Flawed Tax Assessments

By:  Diane Benjamin It gets harder and harder to see any fairness in how properties are assessed for property tax purposes.  If some properties are under assessed, your bills are higher to compensate.  Every property owner should protest if their assessment isn’t right. Evidently we need a way to protest the assessment of other people’s […]