Message to readers:

Although the number of readers is WAY up, contributions aren’t. Because of that I am considering switching to a subscription website.  The cost would be minimal, maybe $5-$10 a month.  Stories would not be posted to Facebook, Twitter, and other sites like they are now. Another option is to have a premium site for people […]

Bloomington debt

By:  Diane Benjamin The charts below are from the Illinois Comptroller’s office – this is information Bloomington reported to them. Government Activity is the column to look at, especially liabilities due beyond one year.  Since it is hard to read:   Source:  Liabilities 2018 – $221,260,896 2017 – $198,984,845 2016 – $216,297,608 What is this HUGE […]

Bloomington’s other two TIF’s

By:  Diane Benjamin Downtown Southwest 19TIF06402530Downtown_outhwest_1 This TIF was started in 2016. It shows it’s first income of $1,552.  Expenses to date charged to the TIF have produced a negative fund balance of 119,273. Since only $21,713 has been spent according to the report – sidewalks – the negative balance is likely caused by something […]

Bloomington’s Empire Corridor TIF

By:  Diane Benjamin Empire Street Corridor 19TIF06402530Empire_StCorridor_1 This TIF had income last year of $388,527 from increasing property values and $7,091 in interest.   Total income since the inception in 2016 is $425,624. The theory of TIF’s is development wouldn’t happen unless developers and taxpayers share in the cost.  So where did this year’s income go? […]

Bloomington Taxes 2015 vrs 2020

By:  Diane Benjamin It would be nice if Bloomington showed the same charts year-to-year, but they don’t. These charts are available here: Budgeted numbers: The 1% Sales tax increase went into effect January 1st 2016 after being passed in 2015. The budget for Food and Beverage tax is lower in 2019 than 2015.  The […]

Normal’s other 3 TIF’s

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal has a total of 5 TIF districts. See One Normal Place recap here: See Uptown recap here: Main/I55 TIF report:    19TIF06409531Main_I-55_1 This TIF originated in 2008.  Last year it generated it’s first property tax increment – $10,190. PDF page 8 shows unpaid project costs of  $8,550,000.  The TIF […]

One Normal Plaza TIF

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal has 5 TIF (Tax Increment Financing) districts.  The theory is economic development can be spurred by government investing money and then using the increased tax receipts to repay bonds.  It’s gambling with your money because if development doesn’t happen at high enough rates to repay what is borrowed, taxpayers get the […]

Who’s playing with the City Code?

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Code doesn’t look anything like it used to: While looking for something else I ran across this: Isn’t there 70 or 80 genders?  I wonder how anybody can comply when the rules keep changing!  (Another thing that happens when the majority doesn’t vote) I was actually […]

Normal: Giving away your money

By:  Diane Benjamin Don’t get excited, Illinois doesn’t have prosecutors – nothing will happen. Email received by FOIA: Obviously this is a gift to every employee, they don’t have to earn the $60.  The employees don’t have contracts requiring the Town to give them Christmas presents. How much did the Town give away? That is […]

More Normal emails – Wild Country

By:  Diane Benjamin City Manager Pam Reece sends emails to the Council advising them on various issues.  The Trustees can not respond to Pam and the entire Council without violating the Open Meetings Act.  All deliberations and discussions are required to be in public. Pam does hold 2 on 1 meetings with Trustees to get […]

The Koos Chronicles

By:  Diane Benjamin All emails received by FOIA. This comment appeared in a December 4th article – Mayor Koos: The Mayor was talking about the Citizens Summitt.  He wanted only “invitees” to participate.  Stan Nord invited the Town from his Facebook page.   Koos and Pam Reece  were annoyed at the December 2nd council meeting:  […]

Sports complex isn’t dead, Normal won’t let it die

By:  Diane Benjamin Received by FOIA: Below is part of an email City Manager Pam Reece sent to the Normal Town Council on November 21st: Yes, they are spending your money with consultants.   Below is Stan Nord’s response on November 22nd,  I’m not posting the entire email because it covers 4 other things too. Once […]

Carlock Mayor responds

By:  Diane Benjamin Instead of approving the acting Mayor’s comment, I decided it needs it’s own story: The Illinois Department of Labor is immaterial when giving away taxpayers dollars.  Where in the law does it say you CAN give away taxpayer dollars?  If your employees are underpaid, why didn’t you give them $1000 each?  Why […]

VenuWorks and the Farmers Market

By:  Diane Benjamin The Coliseum didn’t come close to making the projected profit before it was built.  Now it is being recreated as a community asset. At more than one City Council meeting it has been announced that around 1000 people attend the indoor Farmers Markets held at the Coliseum.  Note:  Nobody ever claims these […]

Carlock: Illegal employee Christmas?

By:  Diane Benjamin Illinois Constitution – Article VIII What “public purpose” do Christmas bonuses serve?  Will the employees leave if they don’t get one?  Do the bonuses effect who the employees vote for?   From the Carlock November minutes:  Carlock November minutes Carlock only has part-time employees.  Received by FOIA: Also received by FOIA: Just because […]

This is what happens when locals don’t vote

By:  Diane Benjamin Only 9.42% of registered voters bothered to cast their ballot in last April’s local election. It is going to be very easy for more Jenn Carrillos and Jeff Crabills to get elected in 2021.    If the City Council only represents small special interest groups, citizens have no one but themselves […]

Press Release on Impeachment

​PRESS RELEASE:   EFFECTIVE UPON RELEASE 12/18/19  7:45pm RE:  Impeachment Proceedings against President Trump Connie Beard, Chairman of the McLean County Republicans released the following statement: “The impeachment process, as conducted by the House Democrats, has been abused and diminished. The framers of our constitution did not design it to be used as a weapon by […]

The Cannabis Campaign

By:  Diane Benjamin One candidate for State office showed up at both the Bloomington City Council meeting and the County Board meeting this week.  Evidently she is running her campaign on cannabis: The Council sign says:  Support on-site consumption.  She must be going for the Jenn Carrillo vote! She is running in the 88th.  Her […]

Want to Buy some Property?

By:  Diane Benjamin One of the properties Normal owns they shouldn’t be paying property taxes for is up for sale.  Stan Nord specifically mentioned this property, the Town hasn’t taken the time to change it to exempt. The Town is taking bids on 1404 Ft Jesse until January 15th.  Evidently they can’t find anybody […]

The property Normal SHOULD be paying property taxes on

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal owns a building at 102 W. North.  ISU used it for awhile, the front is now rented to Ohmfit.  You might not know the back is rented to Friends of Dan Brady for a campaign office. Since the building is being rented, property taxes should be paid, the […]

Jenn becomes immaterial by choice

By:  Diane Benjamin Jenn Carrillo is giving taxpayers a close up look at what tyranny looks like.  If you don’t agree with her agenda, she will call out her minions.  Her buddies at Black Lives Matter called the Council racist:  BLM statement Quote:    And when you knowingly and continuously pass policies that perpetuate harm […]

Bloomington: Jenn and Jeff were immaterial last night

By:  Diane Benjamin Public Comment started at 20:30.  The citizens were mostly the same people who spoke before, some against cannabis – many for.  Only one lady spoke on a different topic – see 24:00.  She talked about the importance of street light. Many of the speakers wanted on-site consumption approved.  They lost. When the […]

The VA Clinic and Connect Transit

By:  Diane Benjamin Veterans with any difficulty walking can not take the bus to the new Veterans Clinic in south Bloomington.  Since Connect Transit’s huge buses can not drop them at the door, disabled veterans won’t be able to navigate the snow packed sidewalk to get there. The people willing to die to defend this […]

Koos: Elections don’t matter in Normal

By:  Diane Benjamin Public comment: 6:15 Doug Fansler asks why the Town can find $25,000 off budget but couldn’t find the $96,000 to keep from raising property taxes – Pam answered it later.  The $25,000 will be taken from stockpiled savings, the $96,000 is next year’s property taxes. 7:30:  Karl Sila talked about Wild Country […]

Jenn is out of order!

Brief recap of tonight’s cannabis discussion: The city radicals lost on everything but dispensaries.  No on-site consumption, no other type of businesses for now. Jenn Carrillo constantly spoke when not being recognized and then attempted to insult the other aldermen who didn’t agree with her social justice agenda.  Crabill was right with her. Crabill.quoted studies.that […]

CIRBN continues – questions aren’t allowed + Normal tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin The Wild Country lease will automatically renew in January, the operators just pay taxes, maintenance, and insurance.  Taxpayers make nothing.  No council vote required. I haven’t seen anything saying the sweet deal Terri Ryburn got for the Pine St gas station ever has to be renewed either. There are more – […]

One More Item for Bloomington tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin See PDF page 56: This is on the Consent Agenda: I wonder if the “applicant” requested the Special Use Permit or the City found out about the track and instigated it. The track is already built.  See PDF page 67, the race cars aren’t for people to ride in, they are […]

Uptown TIF: Facts

By:  Diane Benjamin This is the Uptown TIF report Normal filed with the Illinois Comptroller’s office:  19TIF06409531Downtown_volpment_1 The TIF was started in 2003 – most of it lasts for 23 years.  Part was recently extended 12 years because building isn’t finished yet.  The original TIF expires May 3, 2026. See PDF page 3: The Town […]

Bloomington Council: Transparency joke PLUS cannabis Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin The Council held an Executive Session on December 9th to review minutes of previous Executive Sessions.  Review is required by the Open Meetings Act.  The cabal then votes on what minutes no longer need to be kept confidential. See PDF page 46: The Council voted to keep minutes that are 24 […]