Bloomington’s new employees

By:  Diane Benjamin

I FOIA’d Bloomington for information on all new hires in the last three months.  These are the full time employees hired:

new employees

The reason I submitted the FOIA was because of a tip.  Some of these people replace employees who retired, I don’t know how many.  We already knew about the two hires that brought legal back inside.  The civil engineer replaced one that left.

One appears to be a newly created position:  Artistic Manager

This is Jonghun Kim’s resume:  Kim_Redacted

Kim has a Ph.D. in Music Education earning $55,480 a year.  The tip I received was Kim had been a contract employee but needed something more permanent with benefits.

Maybe somebody can explain what an Artistic Director is.   Next I hope someone explains why Bloomington needs an Artistic Director.

This is the description included with the FOIA:  Artistic Manager

reports to




26 thoughts on “Bloomington’s new employees

  1. Artistic Manager for the BCPA? He has joined the list of staff at the BCPA for a total of 13 employees. The staff list is here:

    I don’t know what the total wage and benefits are for these people is but it would probably blow everyone’s mind. Needless to say, these jobs are on the total city GRAVY TRAIN (with mashed potatoes).

    Considering the kind of events, the frequency of events and the BCPA’s inability to even break even (let alone make money) these people are either worthless or they are doing nothing and getting paid for it.

    How many people would an operation like this need if it was in the private sector?

    I know of another theater in Galesburg Illinois (not city owned non-profit) that is larger than the BCPA, has 5 times the events, makes money and has a total of 4 employees. Yes I said that right….4 employees – see their staff list here:

    So here is the solution: Attention staff of the BCPA – you have 6 months to start having lots of events that people will attend (see what he Orpheum does in Galesburg) and show a sizable profit or most of you will be looking for new jobs soon.

  2. You realize that theater survives on a 2% tax from the city every year right? This is from their website:

    “Galesburg City Council lifts $100,000 cap on Orpheum Theatre’s hotel/motel tax proceeds. Orpheum granted full 2% of tax annually”

  3. Hey cyclone1 or maybe you meant cyclop 1 eye,,,anyway read the article, try understanding or making some sense out of the article. Oh, never mind.

  4. I understand perfectly Stanky – and I don’t resort to name calling. I just like to operate under the same set of facts. The Orpheum depends on public tax dollars just like the BCPA and any insinuation that it doesn’t is dishonest. As far as the new employee at the BCPA, why not ask someone that actually works their rather than slinging rumor and speculation based on a “tip”.

  5. The BCPA has 13 employees but needs one just to provide coordination between these people? Sounds like the general manager has communications issues with staff. The notes about communicating with “artistic” people on the outside sounds like covering for somebody else who doesn’t know how to do their job. Basically paying for someone to cover incompetence. No doubt this employee is also a fluffer when Naked Magicians are in town on Feb 21. The waste of money goes on. On a another note. If this person is to communicate with outside world, those BCPA event reports should be delivered on a much more timely schedule. —Oh I made a funny!

    1. Really?! A fluffer? Interesting! Please explain what fluffer means and explain how you gained that knowledge. Perhaps, you know it because of your personal experience. You did not have to be mean to me this way. You can make your point without making fun of a person who did not do anything wrong to you. I am standing up for myself. If you think I am wrong, please come to me in person and say it in my face. If you are not adult enough to do so, don’t do it on here, either. Okay?! You need to apologize to me.

  6. Hello, everyone,

    This is JongHun Kim: the blogger misspelled my name. To honor Korean Culture, I politely ask to edit with correct spell. I would like to ask another correction. I do not have Ph.D., yet. I am still in the process to earning it which is applied in my resume that you attached. I am not sure how much of time you spent looking at my resume, but it was not good enough time. Blog should be written after careful examination of true facts. It shouldn’t be questioning half known truth. I will tell you who I am as the true fact. I am a first generation immigrant from South Korea, who is married to a gay Hungarian Jew. English is my second language, so when I read or examine any information, I spend good enough time to find the truth unlikely some of very privileged people, who do not appreciate the knowledge of English.

    I love what I do, and I love this city who has very rich history. When I was working for SUNY (State University of New York) in Plattsburgh with great benefit, I always talked about how grateful I was that I walked same street, currently known as Market St., that Lincoln used to walk; I did not only walk on the street, I used to live at the one of properties on this street when I was a college student.

    My study of not only the field of music education but also the field of arts management. You may notice if you carefully read my resume. My salary is good, and being a professor does starts with same range of salary or even lower. There is a problem in this irony, don’t you agree? People earn Ph.D. to achieve their life goals instead of making lots of money. Please research about this fact before you personally attact any one. I have passion in enlightening people through arts activities. I am a true believer this statement, “people learn how to be logical in classrooms, yet, they learn how to be whole human being through arts experiences”. It seems some of you never experienced to be humble and good to each other like arts activities emphasize.

    Dear, blogger, do you understand what it feels like when you feel welcomed to the community? That is when I first moved back here. On 2012, when my spouse and I were having last meal at Golden Dragon right before we moved to East Coast, even the owner of the restaurant gave blessing on new journey and gave us free meals. This is the reason why I am back here to work for the city. This is why I felt so compelled to be back here. SO PLEASE DO NOT TAKE AWAY MY BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES OF THIS CITY WITH YOUR FAKE NEWS BLOG. I strongly recommend you to study and examine deep enough before you write anything on this blog. Otherwise, you will continuously have this kind of reply from a person who identifies as a first generation immigrant, Asian, English as Second language, and gay man who is married to a descendant of Hungarian Jew.


    JongHun Kim

    1. Two things:

      The BCPA can not continue to cost taxpayers money. People who will never attend events shouldn’t be forced to subsidize entertainment.

      Get the event reports posted within 10 days, if the Coliseum can do it so can you.

      The rest I will let the readers handle.

    2. “… I am a first generation immigrant from South Korea, who is married to a gay Hungarian Jew.”

      I don’t understand what this has to do with one’s employment. I mean, maybe it’s now OK to take all of that into account when evaluating someone’s professional qualifications and accomplishments. Things are changing so fast that it’s hard to keep up.

  7. Okay bait taken Cyclone1, you clearly did not respond as though you understood the article. The article referred to questioning what an artistic director was and why did Bloomington need one that you did not respond to. Referring to you as Cyclop1 was my opinion as to your lack of understanding as if you were reading the article with 1 eye closed, metaphorically of course, not necessarily name calling. Basic liberal cheap shot of victimhoood on your part.
    Was-sa-matter? Library still got you locked out?

  8. My response was to the first comment, not the original post, which I though was pretty obvious. I get annoyed when comments on this blog at not factually accurate or try and paint something one way when reality is different. We all do it, I am sure I do it too. Any time someone tries to engage in a dialogue on this blog, they get ridiculed, called names, told they are stupid or that their opinion doesn’t matter, or outright insulted. These are the same tactics you complain about the other side employing. No victimhood here, just asking for civility in your discourse. My comment on the original post – the city has hired some new employees, one of which works at the BCPA. It was implied that this position was created as some sort of favor for an individual who was a contract employee that needed benefits. This conclusion was based on the list above? What other information backs that up? I did not chose to comment on the post because there is nothing relevant to say – we don’t have all the information. No baiting intended.

      1. Diane, did you realize your tip was wrong? This is JongHun Kim again. Perhaps, the person with intimate knowledge is not credible source of facts for your blog. If you are keep publishing with FAKE or ASSUMED facts, what is the reason to read your blog? I would consider this. I am trying to help you here so you could become a better journalist. Good luck with this blog! I truly believe all the opinions matter; not only one side story. I also recommend that you should tell your followers to act like adult and civil people. Calling names and making fun of someone are another way of bullying. We are all too mature and experienced for that. Don’t you agree? If you want to blog, don’t you want your blog to be one of the highest quality blogs? Just letting you know it is very entertaining to read all these adults degrading themselves in the name of “FREEDOM OF SPEECH”. I suggest all the followers of this blog, “Love your country and learn your all constitutions first before you act like you know everything. Otherwise, you will corner yourself that you will never able to get out of on your own”.

  9. I would rather have the $50,000 annually go to street repair. Or maybe you like the music of tires over potholes. There is a Ph.D in tires over potholes study at the u of i.

    1. Really?! So immature! Are you happy that you degrade yourself in this way? Do you even know what your ID name means? If so, please explain. I do know what it stands for. If you do not know how explain the meaning of your own ID, you just proved that your words are credible either. Why?! Because a person who identifies as a first generation immigrant, Asian, English as Second language, and gay man who is married to a descendant of Hungarian Jew, has more knowledge about you than yourself. Come on!

  10. More money down the BCPA rathole. The last line of the job summary states that the Artistic Manager will “…serve as a consistent public face…” of the BCPA. If I worked for the BCPA, I wouldn’t feel comfortable showing my face in public. Taxpayers now have someone to direct their pointed questions about the BCPA’s mismanagement, lack of transparency, and outright waste of taxpayer money. How much you wanna bet a fluff piece fawning over the Artistic Manager has been dropped off at…I mean, written by the local media?

  11. There used to be an “artistic manager” a few years ago….can’t remember her name. She suddenly died at a young age…in her 40’s.
    Funding for the BCPA is from 0.25% of total sales tax…$1.7M. There is an additional subsidy from Parks & Rec.

  12. Funny how the artistic director insists on reminding us that he checks all the appropriate boxes. As if taxpayers care…

  13. Like I’ve said before, the political activists hit town and need a job. Magically the City of Bloomington finds a place for them. Never mind the fact that they are unnecessary jobs which cannot possibly keep someone busy for 40 hours a week. Furthermore, Bloomington is in debt, and going further in debt by continuing to do the same thing. The Coliseum and BCPA are black holes that suck up our hard earned tax dollars, and for what? As far as I’m concerned, both places should be sold to someone in the private sector who can actually run a business AND make a profit. Most importantly our tax dollars will no longer be wasted on either place.

  14. Classified gracie? Are these people spies? The purpose of a FOIA request is information not the “sorry its classified crap listed here” Now what is Bloomington trying to hide?

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