Koos and his Rivian

By: Diane Benjamin I’m betting Chris Koos won’t be installing a super-charger at his house to charge the Rivian. He can charge it for free in the parking garage next to his Town office. If necessary he can leave it there and walk to his bike shop. This story has a list of other FREE […]

How much did McLean County spend on Christmas gifts?

By: Diane Benjamin McLean County handed out presents to their employees, picture here: https://blnnews.com/2022/12/22/county-present-to-employees/ Government only exists because of money it takes from taxpayers. Government doesn’t create or manufacture goods and services. It taxes and spends the money collected. That is why the Illinois Constitution states: , What public purpose did Christmas gifts to employees […]

The GOP way

By: Diane Benjamin Not only did Jason Barickman win his election last November and then quit, so did Keith Sommers. Sommers isn’t sticking around long enough to finish his term. GOP Chairs from McLean and Tazwell County are picking his replacement. They met on December 22nd to review applications. GOP chairs from all of these […]

Town of Normal Trustee candidates

By: Diane Benjamin Normal turned in their certified ballet yesterday, 6 people are running for 3 seats: Lorenz and Byars claim to be Republicans. Byars is on the Planning Commission, appointed by Chris Koos. He was previously an intern for Jason Barickman but he didn’t recuse himself from the vote on Wintergreen Subdivision: https://blnnews.com/2022/08/05/planning-commissioner-byars-should-have-recused-himself/ A […]

Follow-up to THREE stories

By: Diane Benjamin 1) Follow-up to Chris Koos’ nomination to the Amtrak Board: https://blnnews.com/2022/09/08/koos-finally-got-a-hearing-in-the-senate/ The Senate will run out of time to get Koos on the Amtrak Board. See this story: https://www.railpassengers.org/happening-now/news/blog/amtrak-board-nominees-left-in-limbo/ Excerpt, this happened 12/7/2022: Dickie Durbin has nominated Koos twice and failed both times to put him on the Amtrak Board. I’d either […]

Tri-Valley, Zero Transparency

By: Diane Benjamin I attended most of the School Board meeting last night. Parents need to pay attention to the changes they are making. In my opinion they are dumbing down education. If your child doesn’t turn in an assignment and gets a ZERO, it won’t affect their grade. There was much discussion about “mastery” […]

Bloomington’s 3 TIFs

By: Diane Benjamin In case you forgot what a TIF is or never knew: Tax Increment Financing is meant to provide money for developers or reimburse government for investments in a blighted area. Money is generated by the increase in property values after the redevelopment. Government gets to keep the increase for 23 years – […]

Tri-Valley tonight

By: Diane Benjamin Agenda: https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/487/District/2640088/Board_Agenda_12.19.2022.docx.pdf Since they aren’t planning on anyone showing up to oppose the Tax Levy, the vote is right after the Public Hearing: Tri-Valley does not post any supporting documents for Board action. Obviously transparency and pesky taxpayers need to be avoided. The only way to know what the District is doing […]

Lahood & Durbin requests earmarks for Normal

By: Diane Benjamin Earmarks were abolished for awhile by Republicans because they explode the budget. Evidently both parties no longer care about the debt your grandchildren and beyond will be paying off. From Adam Andrzejewski of Open the Books: “Earmarks are member pet projects doled out to legally bribe congressmen for their votes on large […]

Three things you need to know

By: Diane Benjamin Town of Normal cancelled Monday’s meeting: No reason given. Maybe they are afraid of Public Comment after the last meeting’s staged lunacy! In case you missed it: https://blnnews.com/2022/12/06/normal-really-doesnt-want-citizens-interfering-in-their-playground/ FYI: Town offices will be closed on the 23rd and the 26th for Christmas. See the calendar here: https://www.normalil.gov/calendar.aspx?view=list&year=2022&month=12&day=23 Remember how Connect Transit buses […]

Want to Know How Illinois loses Your Money?

By: Diane Benjamin We hear all the time things like the State of Illinois paying unemployment benefits to scammers. We hear people getting put on Medicaid that aren’t eligible. This proves the State of Illinois is incompetent. I got this in the mail today, postage was .49. Nobody knows how much the people who sent […]

Update: Campaign Cash-the rules for using it when not in office

See update below By: Diane Benjamin At the end of September Dan Brady was sitting on $438,947.66. https://www.illinoissunshine.org/committees/7645/ Jason Barickman was sitting on $835,282.52. https://www.illinoissunshine.org/committees/23150/ We won’t know the actual balances now until both file 4th Quarter reports. Both will no longer hold elected office in January. Many states require closing campaign accounts 60 days […]

Yet again laws are immaterial in Normal

By: Diane Benjamin h/t a reader Obviously Normal is aware they have to comply with the Open Meetings Act because they have it right in the announcement of the Electoral Board meeting held on 12/9/22: The Open Meetings Act requires notice 48 hours in advance. This meeting was not posted by 11:00 two days before […]

Property tax increases explained

By: Diane Benjamin Why are many local governments holding tax hearings? Here’s the legal reason: (35 ILCS 200/18-56)    Sec. 18-56. Legislative purpose. The purpose of this Law is to require taxing districts to disclose by publication and to hold a public hearing on their intention to adopt an aggregate levy in amounts more than 105% of the amount […]

Ask Unit 5 about this:

By: Diane Benjamin This sign is in a bathroom at NCHS: This organization wants to radicalize your children to demand an abortion law legalizing it across the nation. They want your kids in the streets demanding a law to legally killing their children. Activism forced on impressionable children has no place in schools. Forced motherhood […]

District 87 raising taxes tonight too-not spending ESSER money?

By: Diane Benjamin Tis the season to steal your money! Unit 5 will raise property taxes tonight. So will District 87. The District 87 levy is expected to increase 8.24% according to the Public Hearing notice: https://go.boarddocs.com/il/district87/Board.nsf/files/CLPP386222AD/$file/Notice%20of%20Public%20Hearing%202022%20Tax%20Levy.pdf Illinois school districts have received more than $7 billion in Elementary and Secondary School Relief Funds (ESSER) to […]

Normal’s Uptown TIF report, finally

By: Diane Benjamin The Uptown TIF report was not published with the other 4 TIF reports on the Comptroller’s website because it had errors and was returned to Normal for corrections. That information comes directly from an employee at the Comptroller’s office, she didn’t tell me what errors. You can see the report here: https://files.illinoiscomptroller.gov/LocGovTIF/FY2022/06409531/22TIF06409531Downtown_volpment_1.pdf […]

Bloomington recap

By: Diane Benjamin Julie Emig was absent again. Proving Covid is now no big deal, Tim Gleason attended by zoom from the other side of the wall. He stated he had direct exposure to Covid and didn’t want to sit next to other council members and possibly expose them. Remember when people were required to […]