Giving away your money!

By:  Diane Benjamin On the agenda for Monday night: Packet PDF page 124   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12448 The City is planning to donate a van to the YWCA – value is between  $3,414 -$5,115 What State statute gives the City the right to give away a taxpayer owned asset to a non-profit?  Aren’t they discriminating against every other […]

Laws don’t apply to government

By:  Diane Benjamin Illinois Open Meetings Act Law: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=84&ChapterID=2 Monday night the Bloomington City Council is approving minutes dated between 1998 and 2009.  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12450 Not approving minutes as required by law isn’t just something the City did a long time ago.  Here is another example from April 11, 2016: September 21, 2015 just happens to […]

Tari Renner: 2002

By:  Diane Benjamin See PDF page 85 and following:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12448 These minutes have been missing January 2, 2002 when Tari Renner presented his polling results on the Arena to the City Council. Excerpts: Here is who was on the Council at the time: See more Coliseum discussion minutes PDF page 93  August 20, 2001. Obviously […]

More on the “Missing” Minutes

By:  Diane Benjamin First:  A question: How can Tari campaign on increasing diversity on the Boards and Commissions when for the 2nd meeting in a row he is re-appointing the same people?  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12448 Monday night the current Bloomington City Council is being asked to approved ancient minutes from when most of them were not members […]

Weekend Fun – sort of

Monday’s Bloomington agenda

By:  Diane Benjamin From the Packet:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12448 The minutes from the last Council meeting are up for approval.  This statement is included.  I hope it’s just worded poorly because an investigation happening is the ONLY public information. The minutes from the Budget Workshop are also up for approval.  Remember, the meeting was held at the […]

Another Spiked Pension

By:  Diane Benjamin From Monday’s Bills and Payroll:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12446 Employees are still allowed to SPIKE their pensions by getting paid for accumulated sick and vacation days. TWO courts have recently ruled that employers do not have to allow this, of course the rules haven’t been changed.  It just cost you another $32,106.66.  The City is […]

April 2nd

By:  Diane Benjamin I need at least 5 volunteers for a special project on April 2nd.  Time is flexible. It involves a lot of walking and possibly a driver or two. Email me if you want to help dump Tari Renner:  blnnews@yahoo.com   Kevin Lower wants volunteers to walk for him on April 1st.  Contact […]

Retiring rich – taxpayers pay

Originally posted on BLNNews:
By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington allows ALL employees to accumulate sick days and get paid for them when they retire – up to 1800 hours.  It doesn’t matter their salary might have been much lower when the hours were earned, they get paid at the rate of their salary…

The MISSING Minutes

Were these minutes ever approved by the Council?  By:  Diane Benjamin On February 20, 2015, the Bloomington City Council held a special meeting to CENSURE Tari Renner for his vile comments made on this site. The minutes have been missing ever since, a Freedom of Information Request had to be sent to obtain them.  Luckily, […]

Avoid Normal candidate Chemberly Cummings

By:  Diane Benjamin I would have loved to post comments from the forums held for the Council of both Bloomington and Normal, but there wasn’t any insight gained.  Spending an hour listening the questions and answers doesn’t give the candidates much time to reveal themselves.  Some are purposely hiding their agenda to get elected. The […]

Election on Issues or Attacks?

By:  Diane Benjamin The local press needs to decide if they are media or propaganda machines for Tari Renner. The people behind the Facebook page attacking Kevin Lower are Renner supporters.  This is a tweet from one of them proving the connection to Renner: Justin Boyd is Renner’s campaign chairman.  The vile people behind the […]

Question Tari’s character!

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner LIED to me the first time I met him.  I knew he had been a speaker at “Camp Obama” in Normal, so I asked him about it.  He told me he was asked to tell the attendees what happens during the Iowa Caucuses.  Considering contrary information was on-line, I knew […]

UPDATE: Despicable WJBC

I found this while looking for something else and just had to add it:   By:  Diane Benjamin Why a “legitimate” news agency would follow the loathsome people behind “Citizens Deserve better Than Kevin Lower” is beyond comprehension.  These are the same people who accused the Bloomington police of harassing them at a local park […]

Koos, Council: Shut up citizens!

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night the Normal Town Council defied the Attorney General’s letter and made only minor changes to their Public Comment Policy.  They relied on the opinion of their City Attorney Brian Day who formerly worked for the Illinois Municipal League. First, you need to understand what the IML is.  See this story:  […]

Facts Mr. Koos

By:  Diane Benjamin This morning I attended the GOP breakfast because it featured the candidates for the Normal Town Council and Normal Township. Chris Koos made a comment about Uptown 2.0 I find hard to believe.  He claims there isn’t enough retail and office space in Uptown now, so Uptown 2.0 is to provide more. […]

Chamber makes themselves immaterial

By:  Diane Benjamin The McLean County Chamber of Commerce is proving again they do not represent voters and taxpayers – they represent government. Chris Koos announced on Facebook that he was endorsed by them for reelection.  The Chamber website doesn’t say anything about the current election endorsements. Just in the last few months Koos threw […]

Normal’s follies

By:  Diane Benjamin Bill’s and Payroll for Monday night:  http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2581 I don’t know what arrangement Normal made to get Home Depot to build here, but this is the perfect example of why Sales Tax receipts are declining: Menards isn’t getting rebates, so they are at an unfair advantage.  It’s called crony capitalism, picking winners and […]

Another Pantagraph reject letter

By:  Diane Benjamin This time the writer didn’t get a response from the Pantagraph after submitting this letter, it was just never printed. The writer sent it BEFORE the primary, and since it still applies there was no reason it wasn’t printed, except it doesn’t reflect the views of the paper.  The name has been […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

Normal: What the media is missing!

By:  Diane Benjamin Evidently the media can’t read or they have a short attention span and can’t make it through the 7 page Attorney General letter declaring Normal’s Public Comment Policy illegal. It is MUCH more than the 45 day rule.  That one was a no brainer! See the changes Normal is planning to make […]

Wrong Track? Obviously

By:  Diane Benjamin Unemployment numbers for January 2017 are now available on the Illinois Department of Employment Security website: http://www.ides.illinois.gov/LMI/Pages/Current_Monthly_Unemployment_Rates.aspx Unemployment is on the way up in Bloomington-Normal.  The first column is Jan-17 – then Dec-16 the Jan-16. Of course the closing of Mitsubishi has hurt the local economy, but local governments still hasn’t figured […]

Koos, Media – you can quit pretending now

By:  Diane Benjamin For months Normal Mayor Chris Koos has been pretending with the help of media that changing the Town’s Public Comment Policy is his idea. It wasn’t! Today the Attorney General’s Office issued an opinion that slaps him around on numerous counts. (Did the AG suddenly start doing their job?  Maybe!) Craig Stimpert […]

Debates, BS, and Facts

By:  Diane Benjamin Cities 92.9 held a debate last night between mayoral candidates Kevin Lower and Tari Renner.  Listen to it HERE The picture below is the back side of a mailer sent by Tari Renner.  I’ve been holding it for a couple of days because I knew he would use these talking points during […]

No Public Discussion!

By:  Diane Benjamin Everything is scripted in the City of Bloomington to make sure citizens only know what the City wants them to know.  Unlike Tari Renner’s claims of transparency, very little exists.  Try filing a FOIA request and see how long it takes, what is denied, and how much is redacted.  It has gotten […]

Where are Dan Brady and Keith Sommer?

By:  Diane Benjamin Every ONCE in awhile Springfield does something right.  Bill HR3626 is on its seconding reading (it take 3 before a vote) to clarify the text of the Open Meetings Act.  Illinois law is always written vague, seemingly on purpose. HR3626 states that citizens can not be limited to speaking (Public Comment) only […]

Bloomington Pensions

By:  Diane Benjamin Citizens need to know why there is no money for government to do their job without constantly raising taxes. Retired employee PENSIONS, in addition to Social Security and Medicare, and spiked pensions are the problem. Below are just some of the Monthly pensions payments retired City employees are currently receiving.  Note, it […]

Bloomington Debt

By: Diane Benjamin A reader asked me yesterday what the debt for the City of Bloomington looks like since Tari Renner became mayor.  Another reader did the research for me.  Below are two tables he sent to me: Source: PDF page 36 http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=12330 . Source:  PDF page 33  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=7479 The biggest difference between the two […]

Like paying for this?

By:  Diane Benjamin The below is from last years financial statements.  It is reflected on two pages (197 and 198) making it impossible to read, so I retyped the info.   Original link:  http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=12330 The financial statements were from 4/30/2016, so the 2016 data won’t be available for a LONG time. Traffic at the library is […]

2 emails to government you need to see

By:  Diane Benjamin Local CPA Carl Woodward injects himself occasionally in local government when he sees something everyone is missing.  You should know he supported and funded Tari Renner 4 years ago, he no longer supports him.  (I tried to talk sense to him, he didn’t listen) Within the past week or two he has […]

Bloomington’s Compensation

By:  Diane Benjamin Obviously nothing happened at the Bloomington City Council meeting last night to change the pension spiking policies that have cost taxpayer’s millions.  Policies can’t be changed close to an election, so the gravy train for government employees continues. According to the nearly year old financial statements that were just released, employees can […]

Do laws matter? Who knows

By:  Diane Benjamin I filed yet another Request for Review with the Attorney General’s office asking them to investigated the Executive Session where the Council decided to disband Metro Zone.  The conversations should have taken place in public, not behind closed doors.  The City claimed “Probably Litigation” as the excuse for holding a secret meeting […]

Pravdagraph propaganda

By:  Diane Benjamin CLEAN audits mean nothing! Dixon Illinois got taken for $50,000,000 with CLEAN audits.  Forensic Audits find fraud, regular yearly audits only mean the numbers are in the right columns. Thanks Pantagraph for printing what you were told. Why were the Bloomington financial statements released REALLY late?  Tonight the Council will hear information […]

Send a local message to Springfield:

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal spent $100,000,000+ on Uptown and they aren’t done spending money.  See this story:  http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/illinois/small-town-downtowns-il/ 9 Small Towns In Illinois Where Downtown Is The Place To Be Normal isn’t on the list and it isn’t a downtown destination, unless you like the taxpayer-funded free events.  These 9 cities used existing buildings.  Quaint […]

The Budget Workshop that wasn’t

By:  Diane Benjamin Thanks to Steve Vogel who today mentioned in his weekly column that Bloomington is in a recession.  Moody’s Analytics  reported that in January (and so did I), but the media has been ignoring it. Anyone who attended the Bloomington “Budget Workshop” today would have seen Bloomington is also ignoring that fact.  If […]

Weekend Fun – Sort of

Tari proves again why he isn’t right for Mayor

By:  Diane Benjamin See the Council agenda for Monday night here:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12388 In case he loses the election, Tari is making sure all the Boards and Commissions are stacked with his people.  (He may not realize a few of those aren’t – but I’m not going to tell him which ones) Everything he has planned […]

Pantagraph accidentally prints the truth

By:  Diane Benjamin Stories about millennials NOT wanting to live downtown have been circulating on the Internet since 2015.  The PLANNERS were wrong. Tari can’t be happy. I wonder if his weekly meetings with the City reporter will be cancelled! Tari’s theory of downtown being Bloomington’s future just took a blow.  He can build a […]

Budget Cuts made easy

By:  Diane Benjamin Cuts could be easy, but nobody at the City wants to cut! It is impossible to suggest specific budget cuts for Bloomington because the data isn’t available.  The City issued hundreds of pages saying where the money is being spent without any details. Was there a line item last year for the […]

Coliseum expenses continue to destroy

By:  Diane Benjamin The Coliseum audited financial statement from April 30, 2016 is still not available. The local media and candidates are pretending the ongoing State Police investigation of Coliseum operations isn’t happening. Naming rights expired close to a year ago, obviously nobody wants their name on the Coliseum if they have to pay for […]

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