Bloomington tonight – short meeting

By: Diane Benjamin If nothing gets pulled from the Consent Agenda the only item remaining is the Finance Director’s Report and comments. On the Consent Agenda: The gift that can’t stop giving – Coliseum, it isn’t Grossinger Motors Arena anymore: Looks like the Market Street Garage isn’t going anywhere soon: $10.52 a square foot. Normal […]

Fly on the wall: BEC

I heard the Bloomington Election Commission can’t tell candidates in revised wards how many signatures they need to run! I also hear candidates are told to consult a lawyer – sure, for a job that pays $2,300 a year. Brilliant. (You have ONE job) I wonder if they know the law?  (10 ILCS 5/29-4) (from Ch. […]

Why Bloomington needs more money:

By: Diane Benjamin Source: Illinois Comptroller as of 4/30/2022      as of 4/30/2021 as of 4/30/2020 This is the information the CITY of BLOOMINGTON reported to the Illinois Comptroller. Population decreased by 1,548 in 2022, 2021 was just speculation. Note 2022 is even down from 2020. Assessed values increased by almost $4 million in […]

Bloomington Pensions and more

By: Diane Benjamin 3 people spoke at Public Comment. The first two complained about noise effecting their homes. Neither was completely coherent, I have no idea what area of the city they were talking about. The third raved about Bloomington 101. The comments start at 3:36 is you want to interpret for me. Another guy […]

Local Taxes Fun

By: Diane Benjamin Remember when the Local Sales Tax Rate increased back on 1/1/2016? This is what Bloomington residents were told it was for: https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/9197/636130888246430000 PDF Page 2: This year the City of Bloomington budgeted $7.2 million for streets and sidewalks: https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/26008/637508827017530000 The Local Motor Fuel Tax projected revenue this year is $4.1 million. https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/28561/638022024003730000 […]

Bloomington needs to explain this:

By: Diane Benjamin Yes, I received this list by FOIA. Below is a list of properties where water appears to be shut off because there aren’t any current bills, at least that’s the policy. They all show past due amounts over 120 days. If even the first 10 pages (49 per page) have water shut […]

Bloomington: Here’s what you need to know

By: Diane Benjamin Bloomington spends a fortune on Information Technology: PDF page 165 https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/27976/637892645121170000 . Spending MILLIONS of dollars every year should mean first class access to data. It doesn’t! Bloomington doesn’t know how many landlords were forced to pay bills for tenants a previous City Council said they didn’t have to pay. Bloomington doesn’t […]

Bloomington: Show some compassion

By: Diane Benjamin Jelani Day’s mom spoke at Public Comment last night via phone. Carmen Bolden-Day still has no answers more than a year after her son disappeared and was later found in the Illinois River. Carmen claimed she hasn’t been able to talk to investigators since February. She also talked about the handling of […]

Bloomington: So much for short meetings

By: Diane Benjamin The meeting length will be determined by what is pulled from the Consent Agenda – it’s long. It’s difficult to understand why some Enterprise Funds have to balance or you get tax increases to make up the difference, but Capital Funds can be used to buy 3 new movers for the golf […]

New BCPA reports, you expected better?

By: Diane Benjamin For a change I didn’t have to FOIA the reports. https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-2027 New reports have been posted to the City website, these represent the beginning of a new season. They aren’t off to a good start if you believe entertainment shouldn’t be subsidized by people who can’t afford to attend: Loss: $13,792.88 Performance […]

Bloomington: MESSY website!

By: Diane Benjamin Monday’s Bloomington City Council meeting was SHORT. The video is only 33 minutes and 21 seconds. The stated purpose of the Committee of the Whole meeting was reviewing the Council Retreat. Mboka showed some slides, evidently the video is the only place to see them. The City website has a Documents tab: […]

Did Julie Emig quit Council?

By: Diane Benjamin Julie Emig hasn’t showed up now for two meetings in a row. Ward 4 had no representation last night or on September 26. Maybe that’s why the minutes from 9/26/2022 were not on the agenda for approval. Yes, the meeting had to be a record for SHORT. The Clerk continued to not […]

Bloomington tonight: No celebrating the national holiday

By: Diane Benjamin Packet: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/5a2b2632-a62d-11ec-8a90-0050569183fa-d969cfc2-89f9-4a31-922c-c0ff80c0370c-1665092714.pdf Very light agenda even though the packet is 884 pages. If you are looking for the new contract with workers at the Coliseum and BCPA it is buried on page 848. The pages after go back to water treatment plant chemical systems treatment improvements – $1,510,850. The council will approve […]

FANCY UNDERPASS for Normal

By: Diane Benjamin Two topics were discussed during Normal’s 5:00 pm Work Session: the Underpass lighting and north side aesthetics plus this one: Funding a Housing Navigator Bloomington heard the details awhile back and hasn’t voted, Monday it was Normal’s turn. It was stated by Kathleen Lorenz that Bloomington-Normal is currently short 4300 places to […]

Donna Boelen is running for re-election

PRESS RELEASE: September 28, 2022 This is to announce my intention to run for re-election in the 2023 ConsolidatedElection as Alderman representing Ward 2, located in the Southwest region of theCity of Bloomington. My focus is and has been fiscal responsibly and sensible stewardship of taxpayer dollars. I acknowledge that the role of municipal government […]

Bloomington tonight: Want to avoid lawsuits?

By: Diane Benjamin Packet: The State of Illinois and local governments violated the Illinois Constitution by closing businesses and depriving landlords of income. Bloomington made it worse by sending unpaid water bills to landlords after telling renters they don’t have to pay. Illinois Constitution-Bill of Rights https://www.ilga.gov/commission/lrb/con1.htm Government told renters they don’t have to pay […]

Tim Gleason wasn’t at the Council meeting, I bet I know why

By: Diane Benjamin I bet Tim is in Columbus Ohio attending the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Annual Conference. “With four days of learning, inspiration, and connection, attendees leave equipped with the tools and support they need to make their communities a better place to live, work, and play.” https://conference.icma.org/about/ In other words, learn new ways […]

Bloomington tonight: How big will Gleason’s raise be?

By: Diane Benjamin Packet for tonight: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/5a26b16f-a62d-11ec-8a90-0050569183fa-d854eb82-3702-4140-9de6-ac3a8e3f379d-1662676309.pdf Public Comment and Recognitions might take longer than the actual business part of the meeting. Everything is on the Consent Agenda and won’t be discussed unless an alderman pulls it. The longest part of the meeting won’t be public: I doubt releasing the minutes of Executive Sessions from […]

2023 Local Elections: April 4

By: Diane Benjamin I am convinced Illinois has local elections so close to national elections to discourage voting. It works! Turnout is dismal. In Bloomington only 21.89% of voters showed up for the 4/6/2021 election. That was higher than usual because a mayor was being elected. The rest of the County turnout was 20.32%. Both […]

Year End: Connect Transit

By: Diane Benjamin See what CT spent on solar panels in June: $654,088.77 Year end numbers for 6/30/2022: Look at the amount of local dollars you are forced to pay for the privilege of having empty buses wreck the roads. $760,000 + $423,333 = $1,183,333. All of those other numbers are taxes too. Those numbers […]

Remember the giveaways to redevelop CII East?

By: Diane Benjamin See this story is you forgot: https://blnnews.com/2022/04/24/69-million-for-water-projects-so-you-wont-notice-the-cii-east-giveaways/ That story is from last April. I was in Downtown Bloomington yesterday. Many of the roads are new, the flowers pots are gorgeous, and the raised beds have actually been taken care of. I don’t see why downtown needs a streetscape plan since by day […]

Bloomington tonight 8-22-2022

By: Diane Benjamin FYI: Committee of the Whole meeting information from 8/15/2022 is missing from the City website. Tonight: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/5a24c4d2-a62d-11ec-8a90-0050569183fa-36dc0a47-f3e1-4a7f-ab53-55227cac04fe-1660859356.pdf The mayor continues to reappoint the same people to Boards and Commissions, tonight the Transportation Commission. As a comment here stated – Renner is still running the City. Spending more of the free money that […]