Benjamin School and the Grove

By: Diane Benjamin h/t a reader Since Jamie Mathy hated sprawl and considered The Grove sprawl, (Ireland Grove Rd. east of Towanda Barnes) he didn’t want this subdivision expanded further. Houses there sell fast, so obviously people like living there. Maybe Jamie didn’t look at what 2 City Managers ago negotiated with the developer. The […]

Normal hands out your money:

By: Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal budget has $266,000 listed for employee retirement gifts. A reader FOIA’d the Town: Requested Record: “Please furnish receipts for gifts to employees retired or present from 1/1/21 to present.” This is what was received: The Town gave every employee who retired last year $500.00. Those employees of course […]

Part 3 Bloomington-Is BEC screwing up elections?

By: Diane Benjamin A Facebook friend asked why I didn’t include this in previous stories. Since I still don’t understand the ramifications of what attorney Jeff Jurgens stated Monday night, this just gives me another reason to say the Bloomington Election Commission needs abolished. The City is changing Ward maps to equalize population in the […]

Part 2 Bloomington Last Night

By: Diane Benjamin Alderman Sheila Montney asked about the condition of Holiday Pool during discussions last night. That pool has the reached the end of it’s life too, Parks & Rec keeps holding it together. That won’t work forever. Both pools could have easily been replaced for what Bloomington is spending on a water park. […]

Part 1 of Bloomington last night

By: Diane Benjamin One Public Comment was exceptional last night. Gary Lambert speaks pretty often, always showing lots of common sense. Gary responded to something Mayor Mboka wrote in the Pantagraph wanting the State to quite keeping more of the local tax money than they used to. Gary threw that letter back in his face […]

Bloomington over taxing?

By: Diane Benjamin Tonight’s packet: http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1162&Inline=True Take a trip down memory lane to 2017: https://www.cityblm.org/home/showpublisheddocument/9854/636130888246430000 That link is to the proposed 2017 budget. PDF page 19 shows the General Fund including the percent held in reserves. The City planned to collect and spend $104,794,506. The RESERVES percent of the General Fund was 12.87%. Jump to […]

The School Board Law they are ignoring:

By: Diane Benjamin School Board meetings operate under 2 different statutes in the Illinois code. First they must comply with the Open Meetings Act which requires agendas be posted 48 hours in advance of meetings. OMA also requires time allotted at every meeting for Public Comment. Most units of government do not respond to people […]

Hey Unit 5 – jackpot ahead

By: Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal has been hauling in money from the Uptown TIF. It isn’t nearly enough to pay off the debt they racked up with their vision, but their pot of gold ends in 2026 and Unit 5 will be a huge beneficiary. Unit 5 needs to know how much they […]

Local “Democrats” prove their intelligence

By: Diane Benjamin Only one guy filed petitions to run for Sheriff in November. The Democrats have no one running, but that doesn’t mean they can’t appoint someone to be on the November ballot. Libertarians could too. Meanwhile, the local leftists are challenging the petitions of some Republicans who filed for County Board. They aren’t […]

Schools Boards let their power disappear

By: Diane Benjamin School Boards exists because they are elected by THE PEOPLE to watch and control what happens in government run schools. In Illinois many elected school board members are told “Let the professionals handle running the schools”. Sound familiar, as in “professional staff”? New Board members are indoctrinated with a trip to Chicago […]

Celebrate Electric Buses!

By: Diane Benjamin Connect Transit Board meeting yesterday: https://www.connect-transit.com/file/556/03%2022%202022_Board%20of%20Trustees%20Meeting%20Packet.pdf Payment: $2,490,777 Add that to the $1,589,156 from this story: https://blnnews.com/2022/02/21/connect-transit-pays-proterra-for-electric-buses/ The total cost of 4 buses is $4,390,913. They still have $310,980 to go (unless that was sent as a deposit and I missed it) Next add $1,715,000 for solar panels. https://blnnews.com/2021/03/04/pulling-the-plug-on-electric-buses/ All this so […]

Kathleen Lorenz is running for re-election

By: Diane Benjamin Even though items on the Omnibus Agenda are rarely questioned by anyone other than Stan Nord, Kathleen Lorenz pulled 3 items last night. The reasons she gave didn’t make a lot of sense, it appears she now wants the public to know she isn’t a rubber-stamper. The meeting lasted slightly over an […]

Ted Cruz endorses Mary Miller, not Rodney Davis

Excerpt: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is endorsing Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL) for reelection in Illinois’ 15th district, highlighting her devotion to securing the border and protecting both life and the Second Amendment, Breitbart News has learned. Rep. Miller is facing off against fellow Republican Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) due to redistricting in the state, with portions […]

Democrat running as a Republican:

By: Diane Benjamin Two “Republicans” will be on the June primary ballot for 11th Judicial Circuit Judge. “Republicans” is in quotes because one has never been seen at a Republican event before deciding getting elected as a Democrat isn’t possible in McLean County. (more on that in a minute) One candidate filled out the statement […]

November’s Constitutional Amendment made easy

By: Diane Benjamin Democrats have put a Constitutional Amendment on the November ballot in Illinois. Reforming pensions (that are closing in on eating half of the State budget) isn’t on the ballot. Banning Right To Work that hands power to unions collecting those unaffordable pensions is on the ballot. Here is how you know your […]

Normal: Is Damery still employed?

By: Diane Benjamin After watching the Town of Normal for years, Doug Damery is probably still employed since ethics are immaterial in Normal. A reader received a FOIA from Normal with some interesting things: Skokie was smarter than Normal – they rejected the National Fitness Campaign equipment Normal fell for: This email proves Doug Damery […]

Denied FOIA – Normal

By: Diane Benjamin See update to this story here: https://blnnews.com/2022/03/18/more-on-the-foia-normal-denied/ This statement is in Normal’s just passed budget under “City Manager accomplishments FY 2021-2022”, PDF page 118: https://normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/19729/2022-23-Final-Budget A couple things to note from the above: Completion – normally means the report is complete Results will be used – infers there are results I FOIA’d […]

County Board: Interesting filings

By: Diane Benjamin Please read to the BOTTOM! County Board candidates who filed for office are listed below by District. Since redistricting you get to vote for two this year, a drawing will be held after the election to see who gets a 2 year term and who gets 4 years. District 2 will have […]

Bloomington Budget vrs Normal

By: Diane Benjamin Making budget cuts isn’t a matter of cutting BIG things. It a myriad of small things that add up to big bucks. Here’s one example: This pic is from Normal’s budget: Normal will be handing over $109,250 to the CVB and $100,000 to the EDC. Why is Bloomington also giving the EDC […]