Money from Pot

by: Diane Benjamin Evidently the City Council was told they can’t discuss approving the second pot dispensary or they might get sued. The State legalized it, the State handed a license to guys who mostly (if not all) live in California , the Zoning Board of Appeals approved the location, so the Council was expected […]

Transparency lacking in Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin Taxpayers OWN Bloomington government, they work for you! Why is it so difficult to get information? Instead of fixing the functionality of the City website, they just redesign it. They have many useless tabs that aren’t used, nobody is cleaning them up or making SEARCHING for information easier. It’s almost like hiding […]

Dying to know what Bloomington is doing tonight?

By: Diane Benjamin FYI: While your retirement savings are being hit hard, so are the Defined Benefit Plans for Public Sector employees. You will get the bill since no one is willing to amend the Illinois Constitution. Redesigning the City website means Bills and Payroll have to be searched for now, somebody forgot to add […]

UPDATE: Is the Bloomington Library Safe for Kids?

See another book the library had on display on May below. H/t a reader. By: Diane Benjamin Maybe this is why Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe refused to consider appointing new people to the Library Board who applied, he reappointed Renner’s people instead. See this 2019 story about a conference some library personnel attended: https://blnnews.com/2019/07/20/drag-queens-at-the-library/ This national […]

Huge Transparency problem in Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin Did you know some Bloomington officials SEARCH on this website because it is impossible to find what you are looking for on the City of Bloomington website? Instead of concentrating on function, the City is changing the look of the Bloomington website and providing LESS vital information. Example: https://www.cityblm.org/government/city-council/meetings-and-agendas Details from this […]

Did Julie Emig violate City Code ethics?

By: Diane Benjamin At Monday’s Bloomington Council meeting approving money for the Ecology Action Center was on the Consent Agent. Everything on it was passed with one unanimously vote including this to the Ecology Action Center: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/5a1a631e-a62d-11ec-8a90-0050569183fa-36dc0a47-f3e1-4a7f-ab53-55227cac04fe-1654897109.pdf One problem – h/t a reader: Julie Emig is listed on the Ecology Action Center website as a […]

Bloomington minus 2 aldermen

By: Diane Benjamin Bloomington managed a 44 minute meeting last night. Only 7 of the 9 Alderman were present: If you listened to the roll call you wouldn’t know who was missing because the Clerk only called the names of those present! (That’s not a roll call) If you can’t tell, Sheila Montney and Mollie […]

Bloomington: Mboka doesn’t like change

By: Diane Benjamin http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1170&Inline=True Tari Renner stacked all the Board and Commission. Mboka continues to just reappoint the same people. No Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Mboka? This item shouldn’t be on the Consent Agenda, it should be pulled for further discussion. Does the City want to risk an abandoned property if the owners can’t use […]

Bloomington Roads History and the American Rescue Plan money

By: Diane Benjamin I probably have at least 100 stories since 2012 on road conditions. Tari Renner ran for office promising to fix them – twice. https://blnnews.com/2018/01/24/its-the-roads-stupid/ In 2012 the City passed an Action Plan that included “smooth rides on quality well-maintained street”. https://blnnews.com/2015/02/26/if-you-like-your-roads-you-can-keep-your-roads/ In late 2013 or early 2014 the City borrowed $10,000,000 for […]

Public Comment from Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin There is MUCH more to cover from last night’s meeting, stay tuned. How many people did this guy speak for last night? Just hit play: Donna Boelen had one of the many “comments of the night”. Tim Gleason stated again only Rowe Construction bids on road work. Donna thinks out of town […]

Monday: American Rescue Plan Bucks

By: Diane Benjamin If you don’t know inflation is caused by the printing of money the Feds handed out across the country, see if Heartland offers a basic economics course. (Too much money chasing too few goods) Both Bloomington and Normal are meeting on Monday. Bloomington is holding a Committee of the Whole Meeting to […]

Bloomington 5-9-2022

By: Diane Benjamin Recap: Grant Walch was appointed Ward 1 Alderman – Jeff Crabill and Julie Emig voted against him. Evidently they didn’t like replacing a self-identified progressive alderman with a more conservative one. Road funding isn’t close to what it needs to be. The $7 million was increased to $9 million, factor in inflation […]

Bloomington tonight

By: Diane Benjamin I don’t plan to watch this meeting live tonight. I will be here instead: https://blnnews.com/2022/05/06/monday-night-a-must-for-parents/ See the packet, it’s going to be a long meeting: https://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1167&Inline=True A few highlights: Ward 1 gets a replacement alderman – Grant Walch. I know zero about him. Bloomington is finally getting around to replacing the building […]

Guest Editorial

“For God Works all things together f or good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 Let me begin by saying, I do not want women to have to go to back alleys or do dangerous things.   I don’t want women to be hurt or to die.  […]

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 […]

4 hours I won’t get back

By: Diane Benjamin Yes folks, the Bloomington Council meeting was 4 hours last night. I heard a radio person say something astounding yesterday: We have never been a nation of laws, we are a nation of wills. That explains why some people get away with crimes the rest of us would get life sentences or […]

$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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Why Bloomington will have a Water Park instead of just a pool

By: Diane Benjamin Flash back to October 16, 2018 – Committee of the Whole meeting. Funny how expanding the library and O’Neil Park were both discussed at this meeting. Minutes: https://www.cityblm.org/home/showpublisheddocument/21017/636854797697530000 The library didn’t get Council support. Building a Water Park instead of just replacing the pool did. When easily less than 20% of registered […]

Part 3 Bloomington-Is BEC screwing up elections?

By: Diane Benjamin A Facebook friend asked why I didn’t include this in previous stories. Since I still don’t understand the ramifications of what attorney Jeff Jurgens stated Monday night, this just gives me another reason to say the Bloomington Election Commission needs abolished. The City is changing Ward maps to equalize population in the […]

Part 2 Bloomington Last Night

By: Diane Benjamin Alderman Sheila Montney asked about the condition of Holiday Pool during discussions last night. That pool has the reached the end of it’s life too, Parks & Rec keeps holding it together. That won’t work forever. Both pools could have easily been replaced for what Bloomington is spending on a water park. […]

Part 1 of Bloomington last night

By: Diane Benjamin One Public Comment was exceptional last night. Gary Lambert speaks pretty often, always showing lots of common sense. Gary responded to something Mayor Mboka wrote in the Pantagraph wanting the State to quite keeping more of the local tax money than they used to. Gary threw that letter back in his face […]

Bloomington over taxing?

By: Diane Benjamin Tonight’s packet: http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1162&Inline=True Take a trip down memory lane to 2017: https://www.cityblm.org/home/showpublisheddocument/9854/636130888246430000 That link is to the proposed 2017 budget. PDF page 19 shows the General Fund including the percent held in reserves. The City planned to collect and spend $104,794,506. The RESERVES percent of the General Fund was 12.87%. Jump to […]