History Friday (local)

By: Diane Benjamin

Figure out LIMITED Government yet?

I remember posting about limited government years ago and getting comments like “you don’t want police and fire”. Obviously that isn’t what LIMITED Government means.

Government uses your money for their folly because they can. You would have much more money in your pocket if government only did essential services, like police, fire, water, sewers, and roads, instead of attempting to create utopia.

They fail every time!

But it gets worse. Government utopian flops have no penalty for those pushing them. City Managers retire with lavish pensions and staff can be long gone by the time the bottom falls out of their fleecing dreams. Aldermen or Trustees prance around pretending the destruction isn’t their fault.

Example: Mike Matejka. He’s still respected by the left even though he voted to build the Coliseum against the wishes of the citizens. He violated the public trust and has not paid any price for it.

Your sales taxes were increased to pay the bonds on the Coliseum after Judy Markowitz’s consultant said it would never cost your a dime. Five CIAM and one VenuWorks employee have been prosecuted for corruption managing it. It’s a useless eyesore that did nothing to revitalize downtown, it still isn’t paid for and it produces little value for taxpayers.

The Coliseum, the NEVER used #5 fire station, and the NEVER used water tower all happened when Tom Hamilton was City Manager. Did Tom Hamilton ever pay a price?

$12,175.91 is his MONTHLY pension check

That is the price he is paying for saddling the citizens of Bloomington with his folly. The roads are still horrible and pension funding is dismal but he is just fine.

Now look at Normal:

The citizens of Normal have a disaster approaching that will be blamed on the new Council and new staff when the current administration is tossed next April.

Get ready, the narrative will be Koos and company had the Town moving in the right direction and Marc Tiritilli ruined it.

That is a flat out lie. The bonds used to fund mostly Uptown are close to losing the source for payment because the TIF will expire around 2026. The bonds still have to be paid so the Town will be forced to refinance them and extend the terms.

Normal currently has bonds they haven’t started paying principal on. Jason Chambers, former Normal Trustee, once told me it’s all paid for. NO IT ISN’T. The citizens of Normal will be paying the bills. Sales, hotel, and Food and Beverage Taxes will not be paying back the amount Koos borrowed to build what he thinks is his legacy.

The MILLIONS of dollars wasted paying interest could have provided money for roads. Town leadership focused on yearly payments instead of the BIG picture. It will take decades to dig out of the Koos hole.

Will former City Mark Peterson pay a price since his name is on a plaque in Uptown?

Nope. His MONTHLY pensions for 2019 was:


Pension increase 3% every year. Both ex-City Managers pay no State Income Tax on those pensions. Pension numbers came from openthebooks.com

Staff in both Bloomington and Normal, led by City Managers who have no intention of limiting what government can do, add to their resumes and move to other cities or retire with their lavish pension.

The State of Illinois put the wrong amendment in the November ballot. Ridiculous pensions at your expense are just another example of government buying votes.

Also from OpenTheBooks – top salaries in both Bloomington and Normal:


Citizens are forced to pay for their own demise. The above are all future pensioners who won’t pay any price either for not limiting what government involves themselves with at your expense.

In case you were wondering, Mercy Davidson was farther down the list:

Taxpayer abuse is easy when few vote in local elections. It’s easy to swindle taxpayers when so few pay attention until they get the bills. All of the above citizens did to themselves.

Next April, do better.

8 thoughts on “History Friday (local)

  1. The payroll numbers are not the total compensation amounts. The staff receive FREE health care and other benefits that skyrocket the cost to taxpayers.

    Mark Derkeersgieter does not work for the Town of Normal. He works for an internet company. He just happens to be friends with the right elites who got him into the lifetime pension and lavish benefits founded by taxpayers. CIRBN is not overseen by Normal’s council yet taxpayers are forced to fund it. They are like a secret federal agency who receives funding but operates without any accountability to any elected official.

    It is corruption when the local officials and hired staff allow the fleecing to continue.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are exactly right. When the bills become due, those who created the financial nightmare will be out of office or retired and collecting a lavish taxpayer funded pension. No one wants to address the problems they created. Doing so would be an admission that their egos won’t allow. I believe it is immoral to “kick the can” to the generations who follow to deal with and pay for our selfish spending habits. The responses I hear are, “but it is legal” and “banks would not give us money if we were not using it responsibly”. I disagree with both excuses.

    Local government should stop making things financially worse on those in the future or the exodus and downward spiral will continue. Citizens need to elect people who will consider the impact of their decisions, or inactions, on the future instead of just what satisfies their immediate desires.

    Who you elect matters…there is no negotiation in Normal’s government…it is majority rules…PERIOD!!!

    If you agree with my perspective, realize I am regularly in the severe minority among the mayor and council.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. OMG! I work for one of the largest employers in Bloomington/Normal and have for over 30 years and I don’t make that kind of money. And I know I work harder and put in tons of extra time than I know they do because I’ve watched how hard government workers work and the poor service they provide. And don’t tell them you pay their salary cause then they remind you they are in a position that allows them to make things worse for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The old saw, “But..but…but, we have to pay more to attract the best talent” reverberates throughout both city halls. Anyone recall some city employees campaigning for political office on city time? Isn’t Peterson set up to double-dip on another taxpayer-funded pension by being named as “temporary” manager of our favorite albatross Connect Transit? These platinum parachute pensions, COLA issues, and legal only-by-a-nose practices will need to be addressed by the new councils. If the socialists are elected, nothing will change for the good.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beth Whisman is Director of the Children’s Discovery Museum and knocking down $124K a year. Doug Damery is knocking down over $135K per year. The museum has been closed since the pandemic started as well as many Parks and Rec programs. Since both have government jobs, they won’t suffer one bit due to closures or restrictions from COVID 19. Their salary keeps rolling in.

    Liked by 2 people

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