( $899,191.05 )

By:  Diane Benjamin It should come as no surprise by now the Title of this story is how much Connect Transit lost in just the month of April. Let that sink in for a minute. Source:   https://drive.google.com/file/d/1w_NfO02u72tKHxv6ZdTJY8wbMLepDP7J/view April had 30 days.  That means the empty buses were burning $29,973 in tax dollars EVERY DAY in […]

Missing Minutes is a pattern

By:  Diane Benjamin In the past month I had to file a FOIA request for the missing Sister Cities Committee minutes:    https://blnnews.com/2018/04/18/cut-sister-cities/ I also had to file for the minutes missing from the Police Safety and Community Relations Board (PSCRB):    https://blnnews.com/2018/05/17/pscrb-update-police-review-board/ The March and April Liquor Commission minutes are also missing: Tari needs to tell […]

Where “Welcoming Ordinances” are leading

By:  Diane Benjamin We have a blueprint for the future.  Just look at Sanctuary State California. The Trust Act made Illinois a sanctuary state, Chicago declared itself a sanctuary city.  The “Welcoming Ordinance” Normal passed is just short of that, but the local open borders activists aren’t going to stop there.  Progressives never stop. Did […]

Update to: Public Servant

By:  Diane Benjamin See the original story:  https://blnnews.com/2018/05/16/true-public-servant-cough-cough/ A reader emailed this comment to the library along with a link to the story: ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ . The writer received this response: ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ Every City employee needs the same message.  Thanks Jeanne Hamilton. . . . . . .  

PSCRB Update (Police Review Board)

By:  Diane Benjamin Follow-up to this story:  https://blnnews.com/2018/05/09/setting-wedges/ The majority of the minutes are now listed on the website for the Police Safety and Community Relations Board.  They first met in December 2017, no minutes are available from that meeting.  If you want to see the January 2018 minutes, you have to read the February packet. […]

Thank you Tari – Library FOIA

By:  Diane Benjamin Follow-up to this story from two days ago:  https://blnnews.com/2018/05/15/foia-fail-again-and-again/ I emailed both the City Clerk and Tari about the ridiculous .50 (fifty cents) charge and use of a disk since previous large FOIA requests have been delivered via Hightail.  Yesterday afternoon I received the request digitally.  Since the Clerk probably would have ignored […]

True Public Servant (cough cough)

By:  Diane Benjamin Being a government employee living off money stolen from hard-working taxpayers must not come with a course in what shouldn’t ever be said in public.  I’m sure some laugh with each other about the sweet benefits they get and the life long spiked pension they will collect that increases automatically every year.  […]

Is Renner delusional?

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner was on WJBC this morning with Scott Laughlin.  Scott asked Tari about pension funding. Tari had to mention the pension funding award he accepted several years ago.  Pension funding was neglected for many years so Bloomington could do fun stuff like the BCPA and the Coliseum.  When Tari was elected […]

FOIA fail – again and again

By:  Diane Benjamin A reader told me at the end of April the Bloomington Public Library was running ads on a Peoria TV station.  On April 30th I filed a FOIA request for the ad and what they are spending on advertising. Keep in mind the City of Bloomington spends a fortune on IT and […]

Epidemic of at risk kids

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington Council meeting last night did not produce much to report.  We did learn from a lady during public comment that Bloomington has an epidemic of at risk kids.  Holly (didn’t catch the last name) volunteers many hours at the Boys and Girls Club.  They currently serve almost 1000 kids and […]

No money in it: Recycling

By:  Diane Benjamin If money could be made from recycling, Normal wouldn’t have stopping funding drop off locations.. Midwest Fiber wouldn’t let the drop off boxes get stuffed to capacity creating a mess when people just leave the junk outside the bins. I have been dropping of recycling for years behind Walmart in Normal.  These […]

Bloomington: Tonight’s Council

By:  Diane Benjamin Only you can stop the welcoming ordinance! . Show up or it will pass in the future! . . . . . _____________________________________ .http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17702 The Council is meeting at 5:00 only for an Executive Session (Secret Meeting): I’m betting the collective bargaining contract won’t ban pension spiking. The City needs to lead […]

Update: Mother’s Day Bail

She wasn’t allowed to be released without bail because she had an arrest in Springfield for retail theft that will go to trial in June.  It wasn’t because she was black.  See that arrest information here:   http://records.sangamoncountycircuitclerk.org/sccc/DisplayDocket.sc By:  Diane Benjamin Black Lives Matter Blono has been raising money to bail a mother out of jail […]

College Free Speech Lawsuit

By:  Diane Benjamin I just found a story proving people are tired of University tactics to silence free speech.  A lawsuit was filed against the University of Michigan Tuesday: The lawsuit, filed by the nonprofit civil rights group Speech First, alleges that the university’s apparatus to investigate incidents reported as bias and enforce disciplinary measures creates […]

ISU: Teaching Tribalism

By:  Diane Benjamin Why is it impossible to talk to each other these days?  Many times it’s because people retreat to their corner and refuse to listen to any points of view that conflict with what they were taught or what they think they believe.  Common sense and rational thoughts must be attacked if doesn’t […]

Bloomington-Overtime, Pension Spiking, etc

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll Monday night:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17676 Bi-Weekly Overtime!  (hours/payment – PDF page 6) Weekly employees Overtime: Two entries for Sick Leave Buy Back. Pension Spiking: More expenses for the Coliseum? They haven’t gotten to the elevator yet. Consultants – Administration How many downtown properties aren’t paying taxes because Bloomington bought them?  Maybe […]

Another one bites the dust

By:  Diane Benjamin YMCA, State Farm, and now Specs Around Town are just some businesses who have or will be leaving downtown Bloomington. City of Bloomington:  Whatever you are doing is causing flight from downtown. Downtown is for bars, restaurants, lawyers, and government.  Until Bloomington quits trying to make downtown something it isn’t, the few businesses […]

UPDATE: Setting Wedges

See bottom of story for update. By:  Diane Benjamin Remember when City hall was packed with people wanting citizens to oversee the Police?  Remember this new Board supposedly only had the power to review cases after all other remedy within the Police Department was exhausted? The Public Safety Community Review Board was the first wedge […]

Will Bloomington pass a Welcoming Ordinance?

By:  Diane Benjamin Social media is full of outrage over Normal passing the “Welcoming Ordinance”.  The Pantagraph turned off comments to their story. Is Bloomington next? Will LEGAL immigrant Alderman Mboka Mwilambwe cave?  Will Alderman Karen Schmidt approve an ordinance like Normal’s that does nothing other than empower the radicals? We know the supporters will […]

The Garbage Spring

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington posted a link yesterday so citizens can track the progress of The Great Garbage Spring:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/Components/News/News/6899/ I’ve heard potholes aren’t being filled, 2 additional trucks have been rented, and it might take a month to remove all the curb junk.  Scrappers and curb shoppers are removing some and […]

When Radicals run your Town:

By:  Diane Benjamin If Normal passes the Welcoming Ordinance tonight, they are empowering leftist radicals. Bloomington and Normal are chasing people out of town by giving into radicals.  It started with citizens second guessing the actions of the police.  It continues with laws ignored via a Welcoming Ordinance.  Now they think they should pick the next […]

10 Minute Investigation

By:  Diane Benjamin Today’s paper has an article listing every organization that will receive a grant from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation.  They are handing out $157,347 to 73 programs. http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/foundation-awards-k-in-community-grants/article_15fc82c0-e843-5927-b376-ed42c1b68707.html Since the Pantagraph has a policy against investigative journalism, I did it for them. The Illinois Prairie Community Foundation tax return for the year ended […]

Anonymous tip results

By:  Diane Benjamin Every so often I receive anonymous tips in the mail.  In order for me to investigate I have to believe the allegations are credible and have enough information to confirm the allegations. A couple of weeks ago I received one of these.  It concerned a former County employee named Jody Cooper who […]

The Rumors are:

By:  Diane Benjamin Just rumors – some based in a lot of facts Bloomington’s Water department director resigned – Bob Yehl OSHA regulations were violated at Lake Bloomington yesterday as City employees destroyed a boat dock, If you are a buying a house at Lake Bloomington that has a boat dock, get a copy of […]

You will never know the truth

By:  Diane Benjamin According to this Pantagraph story, the charges in the Coliseum case have been dropped against one of the 5 defendants and three others are in negotiations for a plea deal: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/arena-defendants-involved-in-talks-with-state/article_db37d3a5-218c-5fb4-8d6a-812671ec0118.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-2 Can anybody guess why comments aren’t allowed to this story? The LAST thing any level of government in McLean County wants is […]

Normal’s Pension Problem (and Bloomington)

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal has to pay into three pension funds:  IMRF, Police, and Fire. The funding for IMRF isn’t horrible, Police and Fire are.  What does that say about who the Town management and Council respect and who they don’t? I’m sure you remember property taxes being raised year after year […]

Fly on the Wall: Vuteq

Does a helicopter and men is suits mean the plant has been sold? . . . . . . . . .

Yes there are free lunches!

By:  Diane Benjamin In yet another attempt  to turn the library into something it was never meant to be:     http://www.bloomingtonlibrary.org/Assets/files/SRPprogramguide.pdf I wonder where the tables and chairs will be set up?  How are they going to keep the jelly fingers off the books?  Will the library staff have to wash kids hands after lunch? […]

Tossing Money – Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington has done nothing to stop employees from “spiking” their pensions.  Besides collecting a higher pension for life at taxpayer expense, taxpayers are forced to pay penalties to cover the increased cost. The “spiking” comes from accumulating unused sick days.  Bloomington has changed the policy for new hires, but they refuse to […]

Townships-the hidden government

By:  Diane Benjamin You may have received your property tax bill today, I did. If you live in either Bloomington Township or Normal Township you will see a separate line on the bill for them. I found it amusing that Normal Township has this on their website: Township government is the most basic unit of […]

Congrats Chief Heffner, but . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin It is a huge deal for Chief Heffner to be confirmed by the Senate as the next US Marshal for the Central District of Illinois.  Bloomington is losing an exceptional leader.  He was also the main force blocking the “Welcoming Ordinance”.   When he stated it would tie the hands of the local […]

Green Top Grocery: Consultants were wrong!

By:  Diane Benjamin Consultants are always wrong.  Human behavior can not be predicted, too many decisions are made under unforeseen circumstances.  People and government keep wasting money on them anyway.  The sports complex consultants will be wrong too, especially if they think people will drive from the far east side to the far west side […]

Connect Transit – Problem identified

By:  Diane Benjamin New Orleans has a population over 391,000 people. See the minutes from January of this year – PDF page 4:    https://www.connect-transit.com/documents/Meetings/Minutes/Feb%2027%202018%20Regular%20Board%20Meeting%20Proceedings%20-FINAL%20V1.pdf Connect has a lady who moved here after Hurricane Katrina advising them on bus service.  She evidently thinks she should have the same level of service here she had in New Orleans.  […]

UPDATE: Comment Rules

If you comment and it doesn’t appear, occasionally some comments go to SPAM.  Email me and I will check it.  It happened this weekend to a frequent commenter. ___________________________________________   Lately a few people have claimed they have a RIGHT to comment on this site. So, here are the rules: It’s my site and I […]

Tax Tax Tax

By:  Diane Benjamin The horrific State policies that led to people fleeing Illinois are now local.  Government must have more and more of your money because they have more and more things they MUST do. Actually, those things don’t need to be done, but progressive Democrats need to control your life because they are so […]

Property tax bills done

By:  Diane Benjamin If you are so excited to see what your property taxes will be this year, the bills are now on-line:  http://mcleanil.devnetwedge.com/ No surprise they are going up! The only way to fight back is to protest your assessed value.  Maybe I will start a side business showing people how. When you look at […]

Rosie’s, Market Street Parking Gargage

By:  Diane Benjamin This is Rosie’s on Front Street.  Your thoughts? Have you seen cute downtown seating outside in other cities?   (without the corral?) These pics are of the Market Street garage the City wants torn down.  They were sent by a reader who doesn’t see what the problem is.  The City did spend money […]

Bloomington Does Comedy!

By:  Diane Benjamin Sister Cities is spending A LOT of money as I wrote in this story:   https://blnnews.com/2018/04/18/cut-sister-cities/ Following the law is too difficult for them however.  Sister Cities does not have a schedule of 2018 meetings posted and they have no minutes posted since last June.    http://www.bnsistercities.org/about/#committee I filed a FOIA request for all […]

Local Motor Fuel Tax Facts

By:  Diane Benjamin The current .04 a gallon Motor Fuel Tax was passed on April 21, 2014.    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=6667 The documentation for this meeting claimed it would generate around $1 Million for transportation infrastructure:   (PDF page 25) http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=6644 ____________________________ The very next year $2,400,000 was budgeted as expected receipts: PDF page 38 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=9706 Was the Council […]

March Library usage

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16412 Below are the library stats for March 2018: It would be nice to compare these numbers to March of 2017, but nothing is in the City Manager’s Report.     http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-543 It would have been nice to compare these numbers to March of 2016, but nothing is in the City Manager’s Report.  […]

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