Hack off everybody Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin If the “welcoming ordinance” discussion isn’t divisive enough, the Downtown Task Force plan will also be presented.  Most of the crowd will be gone when the previous discussion ends.  The mob will only be there for the “No Justice No Peace” part.  The Council should have held a special session only for […]

Mob rule at Council Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin This will be an anti-Trump event: No peace if they don’t their way? . . . . . . . . Only supporters are welcome: The Trump haters will be there demanding laws be ignored. I wonder why illegals and those who have over-stayed their visas want to stay in a country […]

Take Alinsky and leave Tari

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night is when the “Welcoming Ordinance will be discussed – 5:00pm at the BCPA. Renner will claim the “moral authority” because he cares about all people, not just legal citizens.  Anybody who disagrees will at some point be called a racists, homophobic, and sexist and accused of not caring about other […]

They built it – nobody came

By:  Diane Benjamin Old story, but the Coliseum was built against the wishes of the people, bigger venues already existed in Peoria and Champaign.  The Coliseum isn’t big enough to draw big name acts, the sports teams have lousy attendance at games. The economic impact of the Coliseum is a made-up number with no actual […]

Morale cratering at State Farm

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s not hard to find someone at State Farm willing to talk.  The employees have no idea whether they will have a job tomorrow, 3 months from now, or 6 months from now.  I’m told 2018 is going to be worse for downsizing than 2017 was. Keep your eyes on this site:  https://www.thelayoff.com/state-farm […]

More Partying emails

By:  Diane Benjamin I wonder if the City thought I wouldn’t read the massive amount of emails they sent me.  Well, I did.  I filed one more FOIA request today for the pictures they posted on the City’s Intranet.  Correction:  EAC stands for Employee Activities Committee.  If the City is short on employees, ending this […]

Government for votes

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington does not act in the best interests of the citizens paying the bills.  They act in the best interest of whatever votes can be bought, especially employees. The City will not be ending pension spiking any time soon because Tari doesn’t want to.  In 2012 they ended the […]

How do they get any work done?

By:  Diane Benjamin How did the City of Bloomington employees get any work done when they spent 3 months planning the Chili Cook Off that only employees attended?  Worse, they were already working on the next party – this month – before the October one was even held.  It sounds like all the departments decorate […]

Hoping you don’t notice . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin You are focusing on Christmas, so not only is Tari holding Town Hall meetings now, the City is holding a Public Meeting FOUR days before Christmas!  All are hoping you don’t show up! http://www.cityblm.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/7657/17 The City wants to redesign the intersection of Fairway Drive and Empire to include BIKE LANES and a […]

Next Lawsuit

By:  Diane Benjamin Freedom of Information lawsuits are very easy to win.  Documents belong to the people, not government.  When government refuses to hand over complete information without explanation, they lose every time. The “extremely transparent” City of Bloomington is not producing the information I requested.  This FOIA request clearly shows TIF dollars are nothing […]

Down 9,000 in seven years

By:  Diane Benjamin WGLT interviewed an economist from the Economic Development Council.  Mike Doherty is the one that reported Bloomington-Normal has lost 9000 jobs in the last 7 years. He claims government has shrunk.  (Not Bloomington!)  He also attributed the decline to State Farm ending consulting contracts and Mitsubishi closing.  Then he blamed my personal favorite:  […]

Have some fun HERE

By:  Diane Benjamin I reported yesterday about the Comptroller’s Warehouse website.  The Bloomington information from last year is available there when the City hasn’t bothered to release it to you yet. I found a fun page that recaps all expenditures in a succinct format that’s easy to understand.  Want to know where your money goes?  […]

Party On!

By:  Diane Benjamin Toward the end of last night’s City Council meeting David Sage again discussed getting aldermen on board before something is brought to the Council.  He claims it is to save staff time when in reality it is to keep Renner from putting silly things on the agenda. David Sage: Here’s how staff […]

Clerk’s guilt, to Tari it’s a joke

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari pretended he didn’t know what language was missing from the oath of office he took May 1st.  Funny since he supposedly took the correct vote before Monday’s meetings.  Did he not understand why he was given a new oath, or maybe he didn’t take it?  Nice try Mayor.  Just hit Play! […]

It’s a secret!

By:  Diane Benjamin On May 1st when the newly elected Council members were sworn into office the City threw a party. It didn’t matter the oath they took was illegal. I received this email this morning from the City Attorney: Yes, I told him I want copies of the new oaths WITHOUT the signatures redacted! […]

Comptroller BEAT Bloomington!

By:  Diane Benjamin On Saturday I reported the 4/30/17 financial statements for the City of Bloomington still haven’t been released, but the City did submit them to the Comptroller’s office last October:    https://blnnews.com/2017/12/09/transparent-illegal-all-of-the-above/ The Comptroller’s office now has them posted:  See them HERE Tons of interesting easy to read info is available, including comparisons for 3 […]

Transparent? Illegal? All of the Above?

By:  Diane Benjamin When the new and re-elected members of the City Council were sworn it last May 1st, no agenda was posted:  http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-499/-npage-5 If you watch the video, Tari called the meeting to order anyway, see it here:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfeOZOEU6xs This is the meeting where an illegal oath of office was given.  Now that the City […]

Monday PCard and bills

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll for Monday night:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15410 This one is easy Patti Lynn – no need to belong to anything!  111 felony counts could have easily been prevented!   With Tari now PCardless and David Hales gone, money saved.  The City Council still ate at your expense: Why did Public Works need pizza […]

Did Renner’s mouth kill potential?

By:  Diane Benjamin I received a tip that Tari Renner was under a non-disclosure agreement on the deal he revealed during his Town Hall meeting earlier this week. Renner proclaimed City leaders and the Economic Development Council are talking to a prosthetic limbs manufacturer about a factory here.  He also mentioned the jobs would pay […]

Flashback: 3/29/2014 Tari Renner

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember when Tari Renner verbally attacked Judy Stearns at a City Council meeting? What the citizens of Bloomington need to hear again are Tari’s pre-attack comments. He claims local politics is not about ideology and philosophy.    Local government is about “Protecting citizens and delivering services to them at a reasonable cost”. […]

New Oaths Forthcoming!

By:  Diane Benjamin The “Welcoming Ordinance” meeting is December 18th at the BCPA. This morning I emailed the City Attorney, Jeff Jurgens about the oaths of office.  I just received a response: Keep in mind Tari Renner, Mboka Mwilambwe, Joni Painter, and Scott Black have taken the oath of office before. Ask them why they […]

Illegal Oath of Office?

By:  Diane Benjamin I thought I had read in the Municipal Code that oaths of office for local elected officials weren’t defined. This morning I found this:   SOURCE The elected officials from the April election did NOT take this oath.    https://blnnews.com/2017/12/06/two-foia-fails-in-two-weeks/ Those people are Tari Renner, Jamie Mathy, Mboka Mwilambwe, Joni Painter, Scott Black, and Kimberly Bray. […]

Stacking the deck

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner has been seen shuffling the Public Comment cards at past meetings, likely resulting in “his” people being allowed to speak first. The last time the “welcoming ordinance” crowd showed up to pressure the Council, the majority of the speakers were for the ordinance.  One lady had a problem with the […]

Now we know why the OATH was changed

Also see this story:  https://blnnews.com/2017/12/07/illegal-oath-of-office/   By:  Diane Benjamin Both City Council meetings on Monday 12/18 have been moved to the BCPA to accommodate the crowd expected because the Council will be discussing the “Welcoming Ordinance”.  The agendas and packets are not yet available, but according to the City website it will be discussed at the […]

Tari’s Town Hall

By:  Diane Benjamin I almost feel sorry for Tari.  Citizens who disagree with actions of the City and Tari were pretty furious last night.  I’m sure by the end Tari was ready for it to be over.  I expect his next event to be stacked with a lot more supporters. Schedule:   12/12 – 5:30 – […]

TWO FOIA fails in two weeks

By:  Diane Benjamin Almost every FOIA I file gets extended.  The law says they have to comply within 5 business days, but they can request a 5 day extension.  When 10 business days are given, it should be enough time to get it right. Eventually it isn’t. On November 20th I made this request: I […]

Democrat In-Fighting!

By:  Diane Benjamin Paul Segobiano has a Democrat opponent! Shayna Watchinski is the pink haired far left Tari Renner supporter and the force behind attacks on Kevin Lower and Kathy Michael.  Suddenly the “ReSisterhood” Facebook page is missing!  That was her too. The debates should prove interesting! Left vrs FAR left!      

Rivian: One year later

By:  Diane Benjamin A reader sent this story to me from one year ago:     http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/columnists/ct-rivian-mitsubishi-robert-reed-1214-biz-20161214-column.html The title of the story is: Who is the mysterious auto startup that wants to bring jobs back to a shuttered Mitsubishi plant in Normal? . We don’t know any more today than we knew a year ago even […]

Why is the Chamber running ads?

By:  Diane Benjamin The local Chamber of Commerce is running radio ads claiming they help local businesses. What does it take to make a business successful? It’s pretty easy, businesses needs products people want and people with the money to buy them.  It also needs government not hindering the ability of both parties to make […]

QUIT paying for Economic Development!

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington, Normal, and the County have been handing out your tax dollars to unaccountable agencies who claim they promote economic development and business retention. Peoria has their own version:  http://greaterpeoriaedc.org/ When Logan County de-funded local economic development they kept this group.    https://blnnews.com/2017/11/22/de-funding-economic-development-2/ When I first looked at their website I found minutes of […]

What “Welcoming Ordinance” people want it to say

The below is from the website of one of the groups supporting a “Welcoming Ordinance”. Click this link to see the rest of the website:    http://www.illinoispeoplesaction.org/welcoming-cities.html (Click to enlarge) This is an old picture from my archives: . . . .

Get It Right!

By:  Diane Benjamin The 111 felony count indictment against CIAM employees was returned by the Grand Jury on September 20, 2017. In case you forgot, CIAM formerly managed the Coliseum. Every story the Pantagraph has written since has mentioned the Illinois State Police investigated for 18 months. Since it takes time to put together a […]

“Welcoming Ordinance” Glitch

By:  Diane Benjamin Not In Our Town didn’t care when the mayor of Bloomington abused numerous citizens with vile comments.  They didn’t care when he attacked an elected alderman.  He used his position to intimidate people with different opinions.  How is that any different than Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, and Harvey Weinstein?  Because sex isn’t […]

Tari’s scream for love

By:  Diane Benjamin I’m sure you’ve heard Tari has 3 Town Hall meetings scheduled for December.  The only questions now are: How many police will be at each event to protect him? How many of “his” people will attend to applaud his every word? Will anybody be able to have opinions other than his? Will […]

Celebrate or Cry?

By:  Diane Benjamin From Connect Transit’s October report:    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1anF4rCMlP7zqbGQ3vM1EE6PhNz-FaJ9x/view PDF page 14 Ridership Increasing! Problem? Those 225,646 generated less than $100,000.  The first chart only reflects Fixed Routes, not Connect Mobility. Of course there is more to the story: See this link for October 2016:  PDF page 20   https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4zAZemF_qQuZEhveVl3aVMzakE/view Total Operating Revenue with fewer riders […]

Tari’s buddies

By:  Diane Benjamin With all the heat Tari Renner has been feeling now for months, was last night’s packed chamber wanting a “Welcoming Ordinance” his way to get some love? Or was it a way to divide people based on ideology?  Is the real goal to unravel the threads of a civilized society by turning […]

The rumor is . . .

People who don’t care about laws are going to pack the Council chamber tonight to demand a welcoming ordinance! It doesn’t matter that Rauner already declared Illinois a sanctuary state.  Nothing is ever good enough for the people who want America destroyed. Congrats Bloomington! Now we know why the law says felons can’t serve on […]

BRICK streets + parking

By:  Diane Benjamin Couple more things on tonight’s agenda: 1) The parking ordinance downtown will be modified to keep City employees from just moving their car every couple of hours in the Government Center lot so they get free parking. 2) A brand new Brick Street Master plan will be adopted including: The next Council […]

$910,155.73 – but one question unanswered

By:  Diane Benjamin Another item on the agenda tonight is spending $910,155.73 for new automated parking equipment at 3 garages:  Market, Lincoln & Pepsi Ice Center The Pepsi Ice Center garage is in its 11th year of operation and the Downtown Task Force wants to tear down the Market Street garage, but those are just minor details. […]

Crushing Properity

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15356 PDF page 147 Bloomington sealed its own fate last April.  When the people elected believe they can create economic growth by stealing your money, the future is bleak.  Essential services aren’t funded because things like fixing roads aren’t sexy.  Building a legacy is.   Tari Renner lost his self-defined economic development role […]

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