All you need to know about last night:

By:  Diane Benjamin The meetings last night lasted until a little after 10:00 pm,  The first one started at 5:30 pm. Public Comment had a lady BEGGING the Council not to use asphalt on Jefferson street downtown.  She wants something fancy!  Maybe she can fork over the money to pay for it too.  See her […]

More from Bills and Payroll

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17440 How did Alderman Hauman travel to One Voice in Washington DC for half the cost of Renner?   https://blnnews.com/2018/04/03/remember-the-one-voice-air-fare/ Is your full service City planning to throw parties?  Note it’s an Admin expense. The Springfield Lawyers are running out of budgeted funds, only $33,175 is left for April.  (see […]

Update: FOIA filed

See what they were hiding here:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17440 By:  Diane Benjamin I wouldn’t have to file so many FOIA requests with Bloomington if the information actually got posted to their website.  Many are THEIR fault: This was filed today. I wonder if the Council knows what they are approving for payment tonight?  9 hours before the meeting, […]

The Tari attack video

By:  Diane Benjamin The 2014 video of Tari Renner attacking Judy Stearns during a Council meeting because of cuts she proposed now has been viewed over 15,000 times.  13,000 of them have come in the last few months.  I have no idea why! A viewer left a comment last night that perfectly summed it up: […]

Peoria: Private Garbage since 2010

Update:  They do charge something for recycling, I’m attempting to find out how much.  It depends on where you live in Peoria.  The City does have drop off locations. By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Peoria just approved a new 7 year contract with a possible 3 year extension for private garbage service that includes […]

UPDATE Downs Fire – heating up!

A meeting has been posted for April 19th at 6:00.  Agenda says introducing new trustee and discuss going to a 5 member board.   By:  Diane Benjamin This morning the County Board voted to re-appoint Mark Casada to the Fire Protection Board.  They also voted to put Jeff Clark on the Board even though no […]

Downtown Downtown Downtown!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Council thinks they can make downtown a destination.  The Coliseum and the BCPA were supposed to do the same thing. Since the Council spent close to two hours last night discussing beautification and streets, it proves the MILLIONS already spent have failed. There were some tiny shreds of fiscal responsibility when […]

Connect Transit fuzzy math?

By:  Diane Benjamin WGLT posted a story about Connect Transit a few days ago.  The author listed is a student along with Charlie Schlenker. See it here:  http://wglt.org/post/connect-transit-eyes-locations-downtown-transfer-center Connect still looking for places to build a downtown transfer station.  Isaac Thorne wants a place for 10 buses to park at the same time!  He claims the […]

Sport complex is already decided

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.wjbc.com/2018/04/14/consultant-community-has-room-for-new-sports-venues/ According to the WJBC story. the decision has already been made by the consultants who were just hired:  we need a sports complex. The Pony League fields began in 1988 with no tax dollars.  Hundreds if not thousands of kids and adults play there every summer.  Have you noticed all the […]

Are they really this clueless?

By: Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council is holding a Committee of the Whole Monday night.  Before Tari, the Council didn’t have 4 Council meetings a month and an additional meeting in between.  Think the endless hours of meetings have something to do with the spending being out of control – of course it does!  […]

Government’s Boot

By:  Diane Benjamin It isn’t possible to have verbal or email permission from government to do anything and expect it to be honored.  If boats on Lake Bloomington are so hazardous to the drinking water that supposed “illegal” docks must be removed, why are any boats allowed on the Lake? $250 fine per day?  Send […]

Funding roads? Ha Ha

By:  Diane Benjamin I asked Jim Karch to explain how much will be in the budget for roads.  This is his response:  (click to enlarge) Roads are Not a priority! This is what it looks like when politicians lie to you to win elections. Your Motor Fuel Tax will be raised 4/23 to add a […]

Another reason roads won’t get fixed:

By:  Diane Benjamin Below are the payments per year to the law firm in Springfield.  In 2013 they got NO tax dollars because Bloomington has an attorney on staff.  Normal still has their own attorney. Tari wanted an Administrative Court to squeeze the citizens into complying with his wishes.  Remember when Tari used to tell […]

Surprises on Bloomington’s Agenda!

By:  Diane Benjamin The packet for Monday is 877 pages!  I’m sure the Council will read every word:   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16340 PDF page 294: Remember how Tari claimed he wasn’t interested in the west-side sports complex? Evidently Normal didn’t like paying the full cost of the study.  Since it won’t be downtown, maybe Tari wants the Council […]

The roads can’t get fixed but . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington can’t find money anywhere in their budget to fix the roads.  They will raise your Motor Fuel Tax though! In the latest example of ridiculous priorities: http://www.cityblm.org/Home/Components/News/News/5867/ The City of Bloomington has completed a comprehensive inventory and assessment of 8,519 trees in parks, trails and public spaces as […]

Bloomington spending Monday:

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll Monday night:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16320 The report shows paying 461 Bi-Weekly employees and 361 Weekly.  That’s a total of 822 employees. January 2015:  458 Bi-Weekly and 335 Weekly Total 793  https://blnnews.com/2015/08/21/less-employees-at-the-city/ That’s an increase in employees of 29 in 2 years. SLBB:  Sick Leave Buy Back (Pension Spiking) Ashley Furniture: We have NO idea where […]

What’s wrong with Bloomington?

By:  Diane Benjamin Everybody knows the streets aren’t being fixed.  Bloomington can’t even find money in the budget (that has skyrocketed under Tari Renner) to invest in infrastructure.   https://blnnews.com/2018/03/26/nice-pantagraph/ They will happily raise your taxes though to pay for a couple of roads.  Yesterday we learned there was a “disconnect” ordering tickets for the One […]

How is Normal’s Uptown TIF?

By:  Diane Benjamin Note:  This information is now 1 year old.  The Illinois comptrollers office finally got around to setting up the structure to enter this data. Uptown TIF:   ftp://ftp.illinoiscomptroller.com/LocGovTIF/FY2017/06409531/17TIF06409531Downtown_volpment_1.pdf The TIF was organized in 2003.  The 2016 report showed positive cash flow of $2,967.  2015 showed a positive $44. TIF theory states increased property tax receipts […]

Normal’s employee compensation

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal finally decided to post some employee compensation:     http://www.normal.org/documentcenter/view/7527 They only included salaries over $75,000, a little over 300 of them.  Since they don’t have many more employees than that, it’s close to everybody. I was looking around on OpenTheBooks.com and found some interesting numbers.  This information comes […]

Tari speaks in the Pravdagraph

By:  Diane Benjamin It looks like the Pantagraph is now allowing Tari to write about himself, from March 23rd: http://www.pantagraph.com/special-section/bloomington-a-leader-in-open-government-communication/article_6376ee0b-1adf-58cd-ab19-55d71d5eccfd.html#tncms-source=infinity-scroll-summary-siderail-latest I wonder what section they ran this in? The article/editorial has some problems.  Tari must have forgotten he changed the rules for his “Open Houses”.  They aren’t open, citizens have to make an appointment.  The […]

Bloomington, the rest of the meeting

By:  Diane Benjamin (Something isn’t right about the Habitat solar panels, I’m waiting to hear back from an expert.) The $135,000 sales tax rebate to Habitat got tabled.  Austin Grammer stated the City asked Habitat how they could help them with their project.  In other words, the City volunteered to give them money.  Solar panels […]

Nice Pantagraph

By:  Diane Benjamin Today the paper has a cool graph showing City of Bloomington budgets for the last 10 years.  I recapped the same info here:     https://blnnews.com/2018/03/08/bloomington-budget-workshop-saturday/ See the Pantagraph graph here – bottom of the story: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/government-and-politics/council-eyes-business-fees-overdue-parking-fines-to-balance-budget/article_b1dd3a23-7b7c-50aa-8f9e-30046a7375a9.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-1 Instead of pretending spending is up over 10 years, they should have marked on the graph […]

Why people flee: Tari

By:  Diane Benjamin Forbes magazine printed the latest addition of what states people are fleeing based on data from United Van Lines data. Illinois is #1 https://tinyurl.com/Forbes-United-Van-Lines While McLean County and Normal were smart enough to cut spending, Bloomington is looking for more revenue tonight. Tari Renner is quoted in the paper saying City budgets […]

Bloomington: More One Voice

By:  Diane Benjamin Bill and Payroll for Monday:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16156 One Voice is an annual trip to Washington DC to beg for money.  Instead of meeting with Illinois representatives IN Illinois, taxpayers are forced to pay for this farce. Just for Bloomington – 4 people went to Washington DC.  Each was charged $1600 by Economic Development Council […]

Update: Fly on the Wall: State Farm

Update:  4/2/18 Company video this morning with no Tipsword and no mention of him either.  Hum __________________________________ Flying around, chatter was heard about Ed Rust returning to State Farm briefly to confront Tipsword and Senior Management on how they are handling things.  Word on the street is Rust was escorted out of the building. Lots […]

EDC 2016 Tax Return

By:  Diane Benjamin How did the Economic Development Council lose $298.319 in 2015 and another $326,863 in 2016?  Spending more than they take in! From the 2016 tax return: With losses like their’s, what kind of help did they provide? We now know how much Kyle Ham was being paid in 2016:   PDF page 10 […]

Council fails again

By:  Diane Benjamin The majority of the Council thinks government creates prosperity.   The failure of the State of Illinois should be instructive, to them Illinois just isn’t doing it right. Congrats – you are getting another City employee with salary and benefits.  That makes 3 new downtown employees.  The Council failed to understand that past […]

Budget Scam

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight’s Bloomington City Council meeting contains a legally required Public Hearing on the budget. The FY 2019 Proposed Budget for all City funds is $207,894,653. The proposed budget is available for review here:    http://www.cityblm.org/government/departments/finance/annual-budget I’m sure everybody has had time to read both books! I can tell you that roads have ZERO […]

Why City employees cost so much (revised)

By:  Diane Benjamin At tonight’s City Council meeting ratification of a contract for Sergeant and Lieutenants is on the consent agenda. They will be getting retroactive raises back to May 1, 2017: PDF page 92:   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16030 PDF page 142 shows the previous contract wage increases were 1.5%. PDF page 149 still has Sick Leave Buy Back! […]

Council oblivious or just Renner?

By:  Diane Benjamin Documentation for the 7:00 pm meeting is 648 pages:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16030 The 5:00 pm meeting is only 35 pages:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16026 This item is on the agenda for discussion at the 5:00 meeting: Another City employee complete with benefits and pension! Then it gets funny because approval is on the Consent Agenda for the 7:00 […]

No major cuts!

By:  Diane Benjamin Questions for the Council:  Last November you held a retreat.  EVERY program the City is forcing people to pay for was presented. See PDF page 34 and following:   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14932 There are 15 pages of programs ranked from HIGH priority to Low priority. It looks like cutting programs died the day they were […]

Anybody smell Ham?

By:  Diane Benjamin So yesterday Kyle Ham’s resignation from the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council was announced. Of course he went on the junket to DC, paid by taxpayers:  https://blnnews.com/2018/03/09/your-tax-dollars-at-work/ It looks like him on the far left. The EDC gets their money from government, that would be your taxes.  They are totally unaccountable to you for […]

Remember the pothole video?

By:  Diane Benjamin On February 20th, I filmed City employees dumping something in potholes on E Oakland and not tamping it down. See the video in this story:  https://blnnews.com/2018/02/20/pothole-fail/ On March 2nd I filmed the same area looks – a mere 10 days later.  Obviously a pothole fail. Don’t forget:  The Bloomington City Council wants you […]

Bloomington Budget Workshop Saturday

By:  Diane Benjamin Source for below: https://blnnews.com/2017/03/11/the-budget-workshop-that-wasnt/ Tari Renner is the problem: Tari was elected in 2013.  That budget was already done. The Renner exploding budgets started in 2014. 2018 is the budget currently in place. Bloomington shows NO sign of understanding the local economy is declining.  They are planning to keep spending and fleecing. […]

Normal vrs Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal’s budget: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/government-and-politics/budget-cuts-fee-hikes-monthly-water-bills-coming-to-normal/article_5a6c2b16-486f-5010-9330-9caafd2ebcc9.html   Bloomington’s proposed budget: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/government-and-politics/city-hikes-garbage-fee-reduces-bulky-waste-pickups/article_98969c25-05f0-5009-966f-737908b06f3d.html   Normal is spending $1879.70 per resident. Bloomington is spending $2743.41 per resident Bloomington also has around twice as many employees with benefits and pensions that have to be funded. Which city will be filing for bankruptcy first? . . .    

If LA can’t get people on the bus, we can’t either

By:  Diane Benjamin While our city “leaders” are out in DC begging for money for Connect Transit they are ignoring facts. Tax dollars are being used by government to change YOUR behavior, in Los Angeles it’s not working and it won’t work here either. Source:   Connecting Dots Transit – Los Angeles Excerpts: Over the past […]

VenuWorks = CIAM 2.0

By:  Diane Benjamin February events – net profit on each event is listed Bacon a Beer Fest – 12,230.53     http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15976 8 tickets were comp’d, I wonder to who? Hockey 2/17 – 6,231.53   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15978 452 tickets Comp Hockey 2/7 – 1,109.92   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15928 384 tickets Comp Guns and Hoses – 2,799.53     http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15926 0 Comp IHSA Cheerleading – 46,391.53   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15830 302 […]

CIRA needs money too

By:  Diane Benjamin Illinois is in a death spiral and now it’s local.  Every level of government refuses to live within their means and adjust to changing conditions.  They think they can pick your pocket whenever they want. Central Illinois Regional Airport is the latest. CIRA has found a state legislator in Bellville to sponsor […]

Normal’s Enterprise Fleece

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal has done the same thing with Enterprise Funds that Bloomington did.  Segregate funds, like water, and then insist the fund pays for itself.  These essential services were formally funded by taxes you already paid.  You continue to pay all the old taxes, but new taxes are levied for the […]

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