Dueling Housing Data

By: Diane Benjamin Yesterday I was sent a Bloomington-Normal Housing Analysis that is dated April of 2022. Note: the source is NPR. You can see it here: https://npr.brightspotcdn.com/69/5d/501447894b7cb83e9117e436d098/bloomington-normal-housing-analysis-white-paper-april-2022.pdf I stopped reading it at PDF page 9 because there is a huge problem! Note the McLean County Regional Planning Commission is listed on PDF page 2 […]

Tiny Normal had more bond debt than Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin I’m sure this debt comparison is temporary since Bloomington is going on a spending spree (not to fix the roads). According to the Illinois Comptroller’s website – Bond Debt: Bloomington as of 4/30/2023: Normal as of 3/31/2023: The Uptown TIF ends in 2026 meaning Normal’s taxpayers will be paying off the debt […]

Bloomington tax 4 year history

By: Diane Benjamin Below are 2 charts from the Bloomington Financial Statements that show Revenue over 4 years. The first chart is on PDF page 25: https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/27129/637709284831130000 The second chart is on PDF page 24: https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showdocument?id=29768&t=638343020405529919 There is a lot of data on these charts, this is a recap of a few. Keep in mind […]

3 Things you need to know

By: Diane Benjamin 1) Don’t forget Tri-Valley is raising property taxes 5 days before Christmas: 2) Bloomington had planned to meet tonight and next Monday to avoid Christmas. Tonight’s meeting has been canceled. Maybe raising taxes 2 meetings in a row had the alderman’s phone ringing too much. I wonder if next Monday Gleason will […]

The email some Bloomington staff didn’t want you to see.

By: Diane Benjamin Before the Council voted to raise your property taxes, The City Clerk made a reference to an emailed Public Comment. Later in that meeting Alderman Sheila Montney referenced the same email. I FOIA’d that email. Staff tried to tell me it was exempt from disclosure. It isn’t. They obviously need training in […]

Why Bloomington?

By: Diane Benjamin Below are 3 charts from financial statements. The first one is BNWRD, then Bloomington, then Normal. All 3 show Per Capita Income obtained from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. If you’ve never heard of that office, it was founded by a Republican: Richard Nixon. Home page: https://www.bea.gov/ Look close at the reports. […]

Bloomington MIGHT take more than 1 story:

By: Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington is looking for Revenue Enhancements. Cute words that mean they need more of your money. It’s hilarious that government has their own language so you don’t notice what is being done to you. The same government that built a never used fire station and a never used water […]

Coliseum still isn’t paid for

By: Diane Benjamin The Coliseum opened April 1, 2006 – more than 17 years ago. It still isn’t paid for. https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/29854 The city just paid INTEREST only: $317,771.25. Of course all the interest paid in 17 years wasn’t included in the cost to build it. Just to be clear, the City of Bloomington expects you […]

Tax until nobody is left to tax

By: Diane Benjamin If you thought Unit 5 was bad, wait for the City of Bloomington! They are projecting ending the year with $51 million in reserves. Inflation has been devastating to citizens, credit card debt is record high. Government is fine, you aren’t. If Tim Gleason didn’t have the votes for this it wouldn’t […]

Bloomington’s Greed

By: Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington wants $1.1 million more from you, the library wants $309.4 thousand more all while your government is sitting on RECORD high reserves. Of course they use the same graphic as every other year to show they aren’t why property taxes chase people out of Illinois: It appears every […]

$51 million in reserves, raise taxes anyway

By: Diane Benjamin $51,000,000 is expected to be in the City coffers at year end. They have big plans to spend your money, none of that money can be used to pay for essential spending like Public Safety pensions. Your taxes are going up to fund them. The vote last night was temporary, the final […]

Mollie: Words do matter

By: Diane Benjamin Last night’s Bloomington City Council meeting will take more than one story. Did Mollie read the packet? The discussion was about the library levy – from the packet: A 4.93% increase is a tax increase. Alderman Mollie Ward wants you to know it isn’t. The library only captured part of the increased […]

Coliseum freeloaders

By: Diane Benjamin Pic H/T a reader Since I try to never cross Veterans Parkway, I didn’t know State Farm was on the sign at the “arena”. I FOIA’d the City for the sponsorship agreement with State Farm, Grossinger quit paying years ago:  https://blnnews.com/2023/03/14/grossinger-motors-arena-isnt-and-more/ The agreement with State Farm expired in May, the FOIA showed […]

Bloomington tonight: Property Taxes

By: Diane Benjamin Agenda for tonight: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/65c0e1b9-7cc2-11ee-852f-0050569183fa-d969cfc2-89f9-4a31-922c-c0ff80c0370c-1700256371.pdf Remember being told local government units don’t set the Tax Rate? They don’t, but the documentation proves they know what it is going to be. Start reading on PDF page 21. Your taxes are going up to fund police and fire pensions. The rate will go down because […]

Bloomington’s short meeting

By: Diane Benjamin The regular agenda had NOTHING on it, the Consent Agenda was passed without any discussion. Since the City doesn’t want controversy at meetings, the two on one meetings held before the Council meets are used to pacify objectors. The video of the meeting is slightly over an hour, half of that was […]

Congrats Bloomington, your property taxes will go up

By: Diane Benjamin City Manager Tim Gleason announced at last night’s meeting that next week’s Committee of the Whole is being turning into a special meeting to talk property taxes. He of course used the obligatory fallacy that the City portion of your tax bill is small, it’s the school districts that get the most […]

Bloomington: Laws don’t apply to us

By: Diane Benjamin There isn’t much on the agenda for tonight’s meeting, just one gem. PDF page 21: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/25a8ec96-7d4f-11ed-9024-0050569183fa-d854eb82-3702-4140-9de6-ac3a8e3f379d-1699838465.pdf The Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act (820 ILCS 192/1 et seq.) was signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker on March 13, 2023. Bloomington is using Home Rule as the reason for opting out […]

I’m not fighting YOUR fights – You have to

By: Diane Benjamin McLean County is already planning to massively raise your property taxes. Every other unit of government might be making the same plans, after all your property values increased substantially – you can afford it right? If you don’t stand up for yourself IN PERSON they will take more of your money. Emails […]

Comptroller’s office finally tells the truth

By: Diane Benjamin More on these two stories: https://blnnews.com/2023/11/07/illinois-comptroller-must-have-decided-to-void-transparency/ https://blnnews.com/2023/11/09/comptrollers-office-responded-just-not-with-an-explanation/ As I stated in one of the stories above, government employees would rather talk to me over the phone instead of in writing. That eliminates the paper trail, the email below proves it: On November 9, 2023, at 3:41 PM, “Pallasch, Abdon” <[email protected]> wrote: Hmmm… […]

Comptroller’s office responded, just not with an explanation

By: Diane Benjamin Follow-up to this story: https://blnnews.com/2023/11/07/illinois-comptroller-must-have-decided-to-void-transparency/ I didn’t send that story to them, somebody must have or they found the “tag”. I received an email yesterday: . I didn’t use an email address because the on-line contact form doesn’t have one. See it here: https://illinoiscomptroller.gov/about/contact-us/phone-mailing-addresses I rarely make phone calls because I want […]

Hear a sucking sound from the BCPA?

By: Diane Benjamin That is the sound of your tax dollars disappearing – $25,120. Figure out government isn’t capable of “business type” activities? Losses don’t matter because it isn’t their money. Loss: $5,423.36 Loss: $9,967.73 I hope that wasn’t paid twice – it is listed on page 145 and again on 151: https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/29818 Loss: $14,131.85 […]

Coliseum Reports finally posted

By: Diane Benjamin Evidently the Arena doesn’t have a name, the City just calls it “arena”. Does the building still have Grossinger signs? Link to reports: https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-2063#docan2735_6873_64 ISU rents the ice for hockey, the City actually makes a little money on those. Below is the report posted on line for the September 27th concert: Of […]

What happened to $10,000?

By: Diane Benjamin 2 pieces of information I received from the City of Bloomington about the Gun Buy Back event: The document showing what the Bloomington City Council approved is in this story: https://blnnews.com/2023/10/24/the-120000-waste/ It says $60,000. https://pantagraph.com/news/local/crime-courts/bloomington-police-gunbuyback/article_fe7fde22-7a61-11ee-b957-affb35824762.html Excerpt: According to BPD’s social media post, “There was a total of $50,000 allocated for the cash […]

Illinois Comptroller must have decided to void transparency

By: Diane Benjamin The purpose of the Local Government Data on the Comptroller’s website is to present finances in a way citizens can understand. When the data isn’t available it should make everyone wonder why! Normal’s year end was last March 31st. The “landing page” for Normal has been updated to reflect the FY 2023 […]

How many People has Communism killed?

By: Diane Benjamin Even a ridiculous source like Wikipedia has numbers ranging from a low of 10-20 million to as high as 148 million. MILLIONS of people, if you call yourself a communist you support murder. This was obvious on the campus of Illinois Wesleyan University. The below is a screen shot from a Live […]

Bloomington: Can’t afford housing and food? Better see what Gleason wants you to pay for:

By: Diane Benjamin 5 socialists sit on the Bloomington City Council. There aren’t have enough common sense votes to stop spending that increases the size and scope of local government. You better see the downtown vision: https://downtownforeveryone.com/renders/ Government never produces prosperity. Bloomington will try anyway since they know where to get money. I’m sure they […]

Strike TWO for Bloomington Police

By: Diane Benjamin The Gun Back Back event held Sunday was as much of a fiasco has the Gun Safe giveaway with safes that aren’t made for guns. The ordinance passed by the City Council allotted $60,000, reports from John Boch, Executive Director of Guns Save Life, said $50,000 was handed out to the first […]

Remember why the Bloomington Library said they HAD to build?

By: Diane Benjamin I remember statements like: “The library was built when the population was only 40,000 people.” Remember this chart from past stories? https://www.bloomingtonlibrary.org/sites/default/files/content/minutes/BPL%20June%202023%20Board%20Packet.pdf This chart is in the June 2023 packet. That is also the last month this chart is included in a packet. Did somebody decide to quit including it because it […]

Bloomington’s Short Meeting

By: Diane Benjamin Everyone but Tim Gleason managed to show at last night. Gleason might have been attending another meeting. Jenna Kearns: Just stay seated during the Pledge of Allegiance. You would look like less of a hypocrite: The upcoming presentation for downtown wasn’t mentioned, supposedly the room in the Government Center will be done. […]

Bloomington needs this:

By: Diane Benjamin Below is what Bloomington’s downtown needs: This is a man-made canal through the heart of downtown Indianapolis. It is complete with gondolas and singing gondoliers. Paddle boats are available for rent. There is very little retail on the wide walking paths but there is a lot of expensive condos. I think water […]

Truths we used to know, hook up the Uhaul

By: Diane Benjamin In case you missed this story in the media: https://www.thecentersquare.com/illinois/article_bc96b2e2-5338-11ee-a876-73caeb277433.html Clever Real Estate teamed up with moving company Allied Van Lines and found that Illinois has had more outbound moves than any other state in the past six months. Why would people continue to flee Illinois? The Bloomington City Council is encouraging out-migration. 5 of […]

New Alderman Jenna Kearns is Jenn Carrillo 2.0

By: Diane Benjamin Thanks to no one else running in Ward 1 last April a socialists walked on to the Bloomington City Council without a fight. Nice folks. You should know Jenna Kearns does not say the Pledge of Allegiance which means her oath of office to the Constitution of both the US and State […]


It is impossible for me to cover all local units of government myself, therefore I am going to quit covering Normal. If anyone actually cares about schools, I need help there too. Your part-time mayor driving a vehicle taxpayers paid almost $74,000 for and putting regular plates on it instead of government plates didn’t make […]

Affordable housing myths

By: Diane Benjamin Read this WGLT story: https://www.wglt.org/local-news/2023-09-12/group-looks-to-rally-support-for-a-community-land-trust-in-bloomington-normal-aimed-at-housing-affordability Local housing is a problem that the free market will self-correct. Interference in the process is why housing is unaffordable. One thing is certain: Additional housing can’t be created next month. It takes time and creating a Community Land Trust isn’t going to fix anything quickly. They […]