Bunch of updates

By: Diane Benjamin’ Update to your electric bills skyrocketing: https://blnnews.com/2022/04/27/expect-painful-bills/ The Ecology Action Center put out more than Bloomington did about the increase: https://ecologyactioncenter.org/aggregation2022/ The shortened version is government shut down coal fired power plants with no way to replace the electricity they generated and what is replaced is more expensive. Government declared war on […]

Did Central Catholic go CRT?

By: Diane Benjamin h/t a reader (I can’t find everything myself!) Central Catholic High School will have a new principal: https://pantagraph.com/news/local/education/mcgraw-named-principal-at-central-catholic-high-school/article_1a2cc2ca-c749-11ec-99f0-9309f7f83754.html The article states Chris McGraw works for Unit 5 now. It doesn’t say what else he does at Unit 5. https://www.unit5.org/domain/3645 Page down, his name is there. He’s part of the District EQUITY team […]

Bobbleheads vote to raise Pam Reece’s salary

By: Diane Benjamin Documentation for Normal Monday night: https://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4283 Start on PDF page 40. Is Pam Reece going to take another job and relocate if Normal doesn’t give her a raise? Doubtful since her husband is a local lawyer. Since staff prepares the budget, Reece budgeted her own raise: PDF page 41 claims Reece’s salary […]

Pandemic OVER

By: Diane Benjamin The McLean County Health Department hasn’t updated their cases page since 4/22/2020: They probably will now: https://health.mcleancountyil.gov/708/CORONAVIRUS-COVID-19 Note: Total cases: 50,506 Total deaths: 366 In other words, people in McLean County that caught COVID had less than a 1% chance of dying. Start listing the ramifications now.

So Connect isn’t going to use the old Pantagraph building?

By: Diane Benjamin Don’t feel sorry for the Pantagraph if Connect Transit decides to use Bloomington’s parking garage on West Market for their new downtown transfer station. They sold it in 2016. Feel sorry for Oak LLC, they own it: From the Recorder’s website: Bloomington is tired of repairing the Market Street garage and they […]

Did Commerce Bank go Woke and Broke or is Uptown not the place to be?

By: Diane Benjamin The Commerce Bank location at 104 Broadway in Uptown Normal is closing in just a few days. If you have never heard of ESG scores, it is here and detrimental to everything American. Start getting informed here: https://marketbusinessnews.com/financial-glossary/esg-definition-meaning/ Large corporations are being forced to adopt ESG. Commerce Bank is all in: https://www.commercebank.com/about-us/corporate-social-responsibility/esg […]

The effects of SB 818 – sexualizing your kids

By: Diane Benjamin In case you forgot, the State of Illinois passed and Pritzker signed SB 818 last summer. This bill enshrines in law the sexualization of your children: https://blnnews.com/2021/06/15/sb-818-sexualizing-your-kids/ Schools are ordered to teach and groom your kids with information that should be between parents and their children. If your neighbors were caught with […]

Expect painful bills

By: Diane Benjamin https://www.cityblm.org/government/city-council/municipal-electric-aggregation I’m only posting this section of the Bloomington website because it will soon disappear. It shows the electricity rate residents are paying now if they didn’t opt out of municipal aggregation: Remember .0433 (4.33 cents) Since this agreement expires in June the City negotiated a new 3 year contract: https://www.cityblm.org/Home/Components/News/News/8945/18 The […]

2 more things from Bloomington last night

By: Diane Benjamin Mboka should be ashamed of himself for re-appointments made last night. Instead interviewing candidates that I know applied to fill expiring terms, he re-appointed Tari Renner’s picks. It’s a sad day for Bloomington when people who haven’t been involved aren’t allowed to even meet with the mayor. How about some people that […]

Unit 5’s Community Engagement

By: Diane Benjamin Unit 5 has held 2 events with citizens because they want a tax increase. The last one is virtual tonight: Question that needs answered: Why did salaries increase in 2020: https://blnnews.com/2022/04/01/unit-5-did-esser-funds-inflate-salaries/ The number of employees and students decreased from 2019 but salaries increased over 7%. Was that a planned increase to push […]

Connect Transit: meeting tomorrow

By: Diane Benjamin March reports for tomorrow’s meeting: https://www.connect-transit.com/file/571/04%2026%202022_Board%20of%20Trustees%20Meeting%20Packet.pdf . Revenue: $115,067.82 Expenses: $1,131,101.01 Operating loss: $1,016,033.19 .Revenue Revenue didn’t even cover Group Health Insurance for the month: $123,949.81 Fixed Route: We don’t know how many people were counted twice because they had to change buses. Connect Mobility: Remember when I reported on “microtransit” from […]

$69 million for water projects so you won’t notice the CII East giveaways

By: Diane Benjamin http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1166&Inline=True Bloomington has elevated water storage that has never been used: https://blnnews.com/2015/08/04/more-ineptness/ Maybe in December it can at least be decorated for Christmas. It stands as a monument to incompetency by the designer/engineer and the failure of City officials to hold whoever did it accountable. Monday night the Council will approve just […]

Local GOP nixes accountability

By: Diane Benjamin Local GOP leadership: Remember when this group voted FOR a Candidate Assessment and Accountability Review Committee? https://blnnews.com/2022/02/08/gop-accountability-your-questions-are-needed/ That new committee was flooded with volunteers because grassroot Republicans are tired of democrats running as Republicans. See the ILGOP, at a Lincoln dinner in Sangamon County the only representative allowed to speak was Richard […]

The EDC’s shocking Cost of Living calculator:

By: Diane Benjamin The BN Economic Development Council should be using their own tools to improve Bloomington-Normal instead of supporting taxpayer subsidized housing in Normal. A calculator to compare the Cost of Living is right on their website: https://www.bnbiz.org/coli Did you know the Cost of Living is higher in Bloomington-Normal than other cities? Both Bloomington […]

Normal’s Conga line of miss-truths

By: Diane Benjamin Every time Normal wants something big they recruit local elites for Public Comment to praise the project. Last Monday was no exception. Former mayor Paul Harmon spoke both at the beginning of the meeting and the end. Patrick Hoban, the President and CEO of the local Economic Development Council was first up. […]

District 87 and Panorama

By: Diane Benjamin In 2020 District 87 spent $21,700 on: Social-Emotional Learning is now law in Illinois. The Illinois State Board of Education keeps changing the standards, see this link for the current plan from Kindergarten through 12th grade: https://www.isbe.net/Documents/sel-stds.pdf#search=social%20emotional See the bottom right-hand corner of page 1. These standards don’t expect teachers to be […]

Green believers on Bloomington council

By: Diane Benjamin Local election are early next year. Those who think you should pay for the below need replaced: The slide below was shown during presentation at Bloomington Council on Regeneration/Preservation of older neighborhoods. It was part of the staff presentation: Since Hawthorne Hills doesn’t need Regeneration/Preservation, what area of the City are they […]

Both Bloomington and Normal meet tonight

By: Diane Benjamin http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1164&Inline=True Bloomington will hear from Connect Transit tonight concerning their budget. You will hear it’s essential to lose at least $1 million a month. Next the Council will contemplate 4 Council initiatives. Brought by Jamie Mathy who is no longer on the Council. He wanted incentives from the City (your money) to […]

Pam Reece really misses those 10 minute meetings!

By: Diane Benjamin In a representative government elected officials represent the people, not the organization they are elected to. Pam Reece wants meetings fixed in advance which is why 2 on 1 meetings are held. It’s embarrassing for her to actually have Trustees do what they were elected to do – represent the people paying […]

Unit 5 coming for your money

By: Diane Benjamin Community meetings by Unit 5: https://blnnews.com/2022/04/14/unit-5-community-meetings/ Board President Amy Roser tearfully explains why the District needs more of your money in this video. She claims they have deficits of $13 million which will grow to $26 million in 5 years. She doesn’t mention how it will double in a short time. Things […]

Public Schools aren’t teaching what your kid needs to thrive, they teach this:

By: Diane Benjamin 63% of District 87 students need remedial education at Community College after spending $12,000 per student per year: https://www.illinoisreportcard.com/district.aspx?districtid=17064087025&source=trends&source2=postsecondaryremediation 35% of Unit 5 students also need it after spending $12,000 per student: https://www.illinoisreportcard.com/district.aspx?districtid=17064005026&source=trends&source2=postsecondaryremediation Note: Those are the percentages for students who choose to go to college, not every student. Covid is the […]

Park Hill Cemetery – one experience

By: Diane Benjamin I received numerous responses to this story: https://blnnews.com/2022/04/10/anybody-have-a-problem-with-park-hill-cemetery/ Since many stories like the below are on-line in reviews, this should come as no surprise to those who research Park Hill. Short of a group lawsuit it appears these people will not care about service. Reviews show a pattern of Park Hill not […]

Bloomington last night, comments to see

By: Diane Benjamin Both Bloomington and Normal will be honoring Gold Star Families with banners along Main Street from Memorial Day through Veterans Day. This link has information about honoring your loved one who gave the ultimate sacrifice for freedom: https://www.americasgoldstarfamilies.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/AGSF-Order-Form-Artwork-2022_compressed.pdf See 5:50 on the video below for more details and the proclamation at the […]

Ruffling Normal’s feathers 😁

By: Diane Benjamin Normal’s brand new budget: https://normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/19729/2022-23-Final-Budget PDF page 122: How much is on Line Item 19-90? Flip to PDF page 95: Temporary Detour: Hey Normal: It isn’t difficult to believe you would spend that kind of money for retirements when you bought 1.69 acres $450,000 to build a new fire station! You have […]

Bloomington: Questions that won’t be asked tonight

By: Diane Benjamin Bloomington could have a short meeting tonight: http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1163&Inline=True Some highlights: Is anyone going to ask why businesses keep leaving downtown for the East side? Is anyone going to admit the City Core is Veterans Parkway not downtown? Sick Leave Buy Back is still being paid, it just can’t be used to spike […]

Public Comment rules made legal where nobody ever comments

By: Diane Benjamin BNWRD (Bloomington Normal Water Reclamation District) is holding a meeting on Monday. They send their packet to me every month since documents aren’t on line. I have NEVER seen mention in the minutes of a citizen making Public Comment. That isn’t stopping them from making their policy legal however. Maybe McLean County […]

That free electricity wasn’t supposed to be free

By: Diane Benjamin h/t to Doug Fansler again! Follow-up to this story from a few days ago: https://blnnews.com/2022/04/07/making-evs-affordable-free-electricity/ Tesla owners might have to pay to get out of the Uptown Parking Garage, but they don’t pay for electricity. So, people can spend about as much as we paid for our first house for a car […]