Mohr traffic charges

By:  Diane Benjamin’ What are the charges against Mitchel Mohr?  (See this story:    https://blnnews.com/2018/06/08/sonetz-mohr-accident-video/) The accident report states: A charge for not wearing a seat belt is not posted on the County website: http://webapp.mcleancountyil.gov/WebApps/PublicAccess/PubAC_Court_CasesCriminal.aspx 71 miles per hour in a 55 miles per hour zone is 16 miles per hour over the speed limit, not […]

Update: 2nd Amendment: Where’s McLean County?

County Board member Jim Soeldner sent a resolution the Board passed in 2008.  It needs updated!  See it here:   2008 McLean County Resolution _________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin Does the Constitution matter or not?   The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. (Militia meant every person capable of using a […]

Devaluing Bloomington

A reader was concerned about these properties and how they are devaluing the area around them.  Are maintenance codes enforced?  The captions were written by the reader. Recently closed Heartland Printing on IAA drive. Should owner of commercial property be allowed to walk away and leave ugly property. Owner should be required to at least […]

Bloomington Public Works-Council should be asking questions

By:  Diane Benjamin Public Works employees aren’t happy, especially with Jim Karch.  The feeling I get from discussions with some of them is that they don’t trust him and how the department is run. Start with the new garbage trucks and cans purchased some years ago.  It was supposed to save money and the backs of […]

Weekend Fun

Tari REALLY wants sued

By:  Diane Benjamin The Liquor Commission before Tari had (if I remember right) 7 members.  The King wanted to make all the decisions himself, so he now has two assistants, one of which is going to vote with Tari every time.  Only 3 members means Tari thinks and acts like he alone is the moral […]

Normal’s Monday bills

By:  Diane Benjamin Link to the Monday packet:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2990 Another 10 minute meeting with not much on the agenda.  None of these items will get discussed. At the June 4th meeting $25,000 of Harmon Grants were approved – PDF page 27    http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2973 Monday night they are paying the grants, but the total is $26,500 – PDF […]

Front and Main

A reader sent this pic of the “test” changes going on downtown: Comments? . . . . . . . /

Update: No Dem on the ballot for County District 10

An independent has until June 25th to file.  That person would need 549 signatures, and at least 1000 to survive a challenge.  I’ve heard a name floated – it would make the race FUN! ______________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin Filing paperwork to run for office isn’t an easy job.  Evidently the new Democrat Party Chair, Erik […]

More on Downs TIF problems

By:  Diane Benjamin Continuation of this story:    https://blnnews.com/2018/05/10/downs-tif-tensions/ Roger Reynolds has a property that isn’t in usable condition.  See the pics in the above story.  He never authorized anyone to leave his property in the condition it is today.  I also heard Downs is planning on using his property for access to the park Corn […]

Pantagraph’s Home Delivery Manager

By:  Diane Benjamin Kat (Kathleen) Cantrell (Wilson) is the person in charge of making sure subscribers get delivery of the Pantagraph.  She has access to the database of subscribers and likely payment information, how else could she verify whether a customer deserves delivery?  Does her access include credit card numbers? The following is from the […]

Atlanta Library ruling

From the Edgar County Watchdogs:   http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2018/06/illinois-sec-of-state-publishes-order-on-atlanta-library-district-atlanta-taxpayers-saved-200k/ Excerpts: Bottom line? The Secretary of State declined to make the Library repay the Live and Learn Grant, but it did acknowledge everything we wrote about the grant application and the process surrounding its receipt. Additionally, the Atlanta Public Library District taxpayers saved $200,000 during this process, and we […]

Supporting Downtown Neighborhoods +

By:  Diane Benjamin With the change to twice yearly bulk waste pickup, areas around downtown now look like this: The owner could call the City for pickup and pay $25 per bucket, or they can wait to be tagged by the City.  The tagged mess still won’t be picked up immediately because the City is […]

Illinois’ neighbors scrapped Prevailing Wage

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I wrote about Bloomington approving a prevailing wage ordinance:     https://blnnews.com/2018/06/12/without-the-king-not-much-business-to-do/ Since Illinois is run by unions, the demise of Illinois will continue.  Government isn’t for the citizens, it’s for buying votes and getting campaign contributions in exchange. The Illinois Policy Institute reported a few days ago that Michigan is the […]

Guest Editorial – Report on candidates

Note:  The search firm used by Bloomington, GovHR, also found David Hales for Joliet.  They neglected to tell the Joliet Council about the pending Coliseum prosecutions that happened under Hales’ watch.  What are they not telling Bloomington about the two candidates they presented? _____________________________________________________________________ A quick review: Citizens were given the opportunity to meet the […]

Update: Facts matter Nikita

By:  Diane Benjamin The Supreme Court did rule yesterday on Ohio’s procedures for keeping the voting roles clean.  Purging non-active voters is essential to fair elections.  Some counties in Illinois and some states have more people on the voting roles than citizens.  McLean County isn’t one of them. That didn’t stop Nikita Richards from putting […]

Without the king not much business to do

By:  Diane Benjamin The agenda for last night’s Bloomington City Council meeting was extremely light, Tari hadn’t planned to make it back in time from the US Conference of Mayors.  Serious issues couldn’t happen without his presence. Judy Stearns returned to Public Comment last night, only four people spoke.  Three of the four represented what […]

ISP – the written accident report

By:  Diane Benjamin As I reported last week, my FOIA for the accident reconstruction report included only video and pictures.   https://blnnews.com/2018/06/08/sonetz-mohr-accident-video/ I assumed a written report had to exist, this morning I received it.  I’m not going to post the entire report because it contains graphic pictures of the vehicles.  I will send it to […]

College – best values in Illinois

By:  Diane Benjamin Many students are making the decision for technical/trade schools instead of 4 year universities and colleges.  High paying jobs are going unfilled because college was deemed mandatory for success for many years.  It isn’t, not everybody is meant for college.  The cost isn’t worth the debt anymore. Forbes just came out with […]

Continuing “Right Fit” While Ignoring Needs

By:  Diane Benjamin Local governments in both Bloomington and Normal forgot a long time ago it isn’t their job to entertain you.  Raising taxes to pay for their folly costs everybody.  Want to know why Bloomington-Normal is becoming un-affordable?  Government tyranny!  They know better than you how to spend your money.  Worse, capitalism is murdered […]

Pics from TODAY

By:  Diane Benjamin I thought it would be fun this morning to see how long it took to find bulk garbage on the curb in Bloomington.  Remember, residents only get pickups twice a year now.  Instead of going near downtown (where I heard the garbage piles are everywhere) I went just a few blocks west […]

Weekend Fun

Sonetz – Mohr accident video

By:  Diane Benjamin The only reason I am posting this information is because so many people have questioned the conclusions drawn by prosecutors.  When the son of a government employee is involved everyone wants to make sure justice was done.  It should happen with every accident, but I can understand being suspicious. I filed two […]

How is the local housing market?

By:  Diane Benjamin The house pics below are from Zillow.  Some of the addresses are not in the County database, I’m sure if I asked the Assessor’s office they would find them for me, I’m not that interested. Zillow:    https://www.zillow.com/homes/recently_sold/Bloomington-IL/23742_rid/1_pnd/40.650168,-88.687134,40.319064,-89.272843_rect/10_zm/ The property histories can all be looked up on the County website:    http://mcleanil.devnetwedge.com/ ReMax Rising […]

A Can’t miss story:

By:  Diane Benjamin The same search firm, GovHR, that found Bloomington’s 3 City Manager candidates also recommended David Hales to Joliet. A reporter in Joliet wrote on June 3rd about Hales’ first 6 months.  It’s not going well.  This story was on Facebook last night.  If you didn’t see it there, read it here: https://patch.com/illinois/joliet/joliets-city-manager-david-hales-may-be-bad-fit-ferak […]

Day of Reckoning Soon?

By:  Diane Benjamin We might know by the end of the month if Tari Renner is going to be charged with illegal use of government funds pertaining to the Japan trip and possibly more. Just to recap: Jason Chambers passed possible legal action off to the Appellate Court Prosecutor. The State Police did the investigation, […]

More spiking and other bills

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll for 6/11/2018   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=18004 More Pension Spiking! 1200 hours of paid time @ $44.85 per hour.  The second one doesn’t list the hours. More vote-buying with your money.  They call it Community Relations to sound nice. Is Code Enforcement being outsourced now?  Anybody want to FOIA? Huge Petty Cash at the BCPA has […]

Decatur’s City Manager? Really?

By:  Diane Benjamin Tim Gleason has only been Decatur’s City Manager since March of 2015. In May of 2017 Gleason fired the Decatur Police Chief Sweeney.  Sweeney sued the City for wrongful termination.  After lots of legal expense, the Chief was allowed to retire instead of being fired and he received $60,000 is Sick Leave Pay.  […]

Threw a party, few came

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday a Meet and Greet was held for the three remaining Bloomington City Manager candidates.  The paper failed to report a crowd was expected but didn’t show up.  The below is from reports by two people who did attend.  Citizens can vote for their choice at a link below. People who did […]

Mayors traveling – at your expense

By:  Diane Benjamin According to this website:  https://www.statista.com/statistics/241695/number-of-us-cities-towns-villages-by-population-size/ there were 19,505 communities in the United States in 2015. 16,470 have a population under 10,000.  That leaves 3,035 larger cities. The US Conference of Mayors claims to represent 1,409 communities.  Since tiny cities don’t attend, 1409 of 3035 is only 46.4%.   http://mayorsagenda.com/about-us/ The next meeting is June […]

6 things you need to know

By:  Diane Benjamin 1) RC McBride asked to be excused from voting on payments to WGLT at last night’s Normal Council meeting since he is the General Manager.  He did vote on the Harmon Grants, 3 of which went to ISU, also his employer since WGLT is the campus NPR station. ISU, McBride, and the […]

Congrats Mackinaw!

By:  Diane Benjamin Most of the story of fake police officer Robert Davies: https://blnnews.com/2018/03/13/mackinaw-impersonating-an-officer/ https://blnnews.com/2018/03/24/where-is-the-prosecutor/ https://blnnews.com/2018/03/14/mackinaw-do-laws-matter/ https://blnnews.com/2018/04/11/mackinaw-more-problems/ https://blnnews.com/2018/05/04/the-latest-in-laws-dont-matter/ The Tazewell County State’s Attorney, Stewart J. Umholtz, is evidently not going to prosecute Davies for impersonating a police officer for many years.  We are in Illinois after all, laws for government employees don’t really matter.  State’s […]

Update: Party at Public Works

I just received another response from the City they neglected to include in the previous FOIA response: Nice of them to totally change the story two days later!  Why aren’t vending machine profits City money?  More FOIA’s —————————————————————————————————- By:  Diane Benjamin I heard a rumor that morale at Bloomington’s Public Works was so low, Jim […]

$909.00 cookies

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington and the Town of Normal gets by with throwing away your money because they are HOME RULE.  They both need their HOME RULE status revoked!  All it takes is a referendum. Yes, these are $909.00 cookies for City employees for St Patrick’s Day!         See […]

Arena losses – fiction

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve been writing about the Coliseum (Grossinger Motors Arena) for YEARS.  This “White Elephant” has been a constant drain on taxpayers since it was conceived.  The losses are huge, theft is being prosecuted, the City failed to oversee operations, economic impact numbers are made up, and new management is doing little to […]

Normal giving away your money

By:  Diane Benjamin Running out of other people’s money has caused Normal to give away less of your money this year.  I wonder how many votes were bought through Harmon Grants? Last year’s list shows $50,000 was given away:  https://blnnews.com/2018/04/30/normal-harmon-grants/ This year’s list: The YWCA got more of your money, I’m betting they bought tickets for […]

RC McBride – an obvious conflict of interest

By:  Diane Benjamin This guy is the General Manager WGLT:   http://wglt.org/people/category/6 McBride is also on the Town of Normal Council:    http://www.normal.org/1135/Meet-the-Council If you don’t already see a conflict of interest with media helping to run government, I’m not done. Monday night the Normal Council is writing some checks to WGLT, an NPR station that […]

Like Debt?

By:  Diane Benjamin See this story from December 2, 2017   https://blnnews.com/2017/12/02/normal-tossing-money-yours/ Bond payments look like they are made twice a year. On the agenda for Monday night:  Interest payments of $1,541,388.73     http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2973 In December the interest payments totaled $1,628,761.92 That’s a decrease of $87,373.19 Total debt is decreasing slowly – it was $92,320,992 at […]

Weekend Fun!

One more Downtown Pic

When the City of Bloomington decided to hire the Downtown Bloomington Association staff because they could support themselves: They created ANOTHER empty space downtown: (read the awning)

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