Flashback 2014 Election – 1% Sales tax for schools

By: Diane Benjamin I didn’t remember this so I bet you don’t either. A question was on the 2014 PRIMARY ballot to add a 1% Sales tax to be used only for McLean County school facilities. I did this story about the tax: https://blnnews.com/2014/03/13/just-how-desperate-is-unit-5/ Voters were promised property taxes would go down if the tax […]

The Rivian disinformation

By: Diane Benjamin Asking the Council to approve buying TWO Rivian vehicles was on the Omnibus Agenda without a cost in the documentation: https://www.normalil.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4451 The only reason to put this on the Omnibus was to get a blank check vote without any discussion. That didn’t happen. Just hit PLAY to hear Chris Koos say both […]

Veterans Home For the Holidays fundraiser rescheduled to Thursday night

This event had been scheduled for last Thursday: Casper Brewing Company: Located in SE Bloomington IL. next to the Pony Fields, across from the soccer fields. 3807 Ballybunion Learn more about Veterans Maintenance Solutions here: https://servingvets.net/ These are the good guys folks! . .

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 […]

County Clerk’s office damaged by water pipe break

By: Diane Benjamin Kathy Michael was notified over the weekend of water damage to her office. The office is open today, the front part and vital records did not sustain damage. Most of the damage is confined to election rooms toward the rear. Crews are in the offices now assessing the damage. Desktop computers are […]

Did taxpayers buy Koos a Christmas present?

By: Diane Benjamin Take a trip down memory lane: Chris Koos had been driving a 2012 Mitsubishi owned by the Town of Normal. Of course that means taxpayers owned it: https://blnnews.com/2021/03/10/koos-car/ Instead of putting government plates on it that only require one payment, the Town paid for plates every year just like you do. Read […]

Michael Kasper should resign now

By: Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal’s hired attorney thinks he decides who gets on the ballot and who doesn’t. Remember when Mike Madigan’s attorney sent letters to the 3 who filed petitions to run for Clerk, Supervisor, and Collector? Michael Kasper thought he decided who was on the ballot all by himself. If Stan […]

Tri-Valley taxpayers: Proof of no transparency

By: Diane Benjamin At this week meeting the minutes from the November meeting were approved and are now on the school website: https://www.tri-valley3.org/documents/board-meeting-agenda—minutes/399692 NO copies of these minutes were available at the meeting or I would have asked questions. Here’s a big one: What are they buying and why? On the agenda for at least […]

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 […]

Normal looking for new tenant selling food

By: Diane Benjamin https://www.normalil.gov/bids.aspx?bidID=372 The Subway in the Amtrak Station closed in October. The Town of Normal now thinks they need a new tenant. Subway closed because they didn’t have enough foot traffic to sell food in the volume needed. FYI, I know one of the former owners. I was in the parking garage 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 […]

Normal’s Other Four TIFs

By: Diane Benjamin 1) TIF report for 1 Normal Plaza: https://files.illinoiscomptroller.gov/LocGovTIF/FY2022/06409531/22TIF06409531One_Normal_Place_1.pdf All of the revenue generated is going to reimburse the General Fund for demolition costs. Last year that amounts to $48,087. The TIF is doing little to cover the $3,588,982 Normal spent so far. This TIF began in 2009. As of 4/30/2022 it has […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tri-Valley continues to hide information

By: Diane Benjamin Start with this link: https://www.tri-valley3.org/page/board-of-education Petitions to run for School Board are due Monday. 3 seats on the Tri-Valley Board will be on the April ballot. These people’s terms are expiring: Jill Messamore, Lori Stickling, Jessica Alt. I don’t know if any are running for re-election. I have requested access to the […]

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 […]

Unit 5 meeting tomorrow – they are raising property taxes

By: Diane Benjamin https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Agenda/1482?meeting=559216 The Unit 5 School Board will be raising your taxes over 5%, how much over isn’t in the tax documentation. A Public Hearing is being held before the vote, of course very few of you will show up and tell them what you think. You voted down the referendum so they […]

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 […]