Town of Normal Pension reports don’t match

By: Diane Benjamin Last September the Financial Trends Report was presented at a Council meeting. See it here: https://www.normalil.gov/DocumentCenter/View/20653/2021-2022-Financial-Trend-and-Condition-Report IMRF funding was reported on PDF page 45 at 106.2%. IMRF funds all pensions except Police and Fire. Fire Pension Funding was reported at 56.15% funded – PDF page 44. Police Pension Funding was reported at […]

Unit 5: Need another reason to vote NO?

By: Diane Benjamin Unit 5 has gone woke. The Superintendent uses pronouns on emails. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion permeates the curriculum because Unit 5 hired Dr. Shelvin to indoctrinate the staff and students. Teaching a color blind society has been shelved in favor of the Marxist ideology of division. Human Resources offered counseling to all […]

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: 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 […]

Unit 5 Vote YES group using fuzzy math

By: Diane Benjamin See Unit 5’s state report card here: https://www.illinoisreportcard.com/District.aspx?source=trends&Districtid=17064005026 Graduation rate is 90% 35% need Community College remediation 30% of 8th Graders pass Algebra 1 26% are chronically truant (90% graduate?) Unit 5 is currently spending $12,000 per student. Unit 5 now wants a tax increase expected to raise $20,000,000. h/t a reader: […]

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 […]

Before you vote:

By: Diane Benjamin 3 HUGE issues you need to consider before you vote: (other issues later) 1) The SAFE-T act is a pro-criminal bill passed by Illinois Democrats and signed by Gov. Pritzker. It will increase crime across Illinois. Any candidates that don’t REJECT this bill don’t need your vote. A DEMOCRAT State’s Attorney has […]

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 […]

Of course I wasn’t done with Normal!

By: Diane Benjamin Normal has money for everything except microphones that work. Kevin McCarthy had to hold his when he spoke, the sound still wasn’t clear. Brian Day had a large hand-held microphone because he is always hard to hear from his perch, his did work. Chemberly Cummings is now Chemberly Harris, no explanation. Scott […]

Quick hit from Normal

By: Diane Benjamin Today seems like the perfect time to post this email again, note Pam Reece didn’t send this to the Council: The underpass isn’t $23 million anymore, it is at least $27 million. (to save 50 feet) Worse, if all the shiny bells and whistles can’t be afforded during initial construction those can […]

Quick hit from Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin The majority of the Committee of the Whole meeting last night was justifying hiring consultants at $750,000 to create a downtown streetscape. Of course Tim Tilton showed up, also appearing at public comment was former alderman Jamie Mathy. (both downtown business owners) Mathy claimed former City Manager David Hales cut 189 and […]

Bloomington: priorities other than roads

By: Diane Benjamin The actual meeting was only around an hour. The Council was in Executive Session for the rest of the video. Gary Lambert lambasted the City for the cash reserve levels during Public Comment, this is a must listen: Hit play below to hear the City is only spending around $9 million on […]

New Ward Map Approved in Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin The Council meeting last night was relatively tame. The most friction came from which Ward Map to approve. It will go into effect immediately since petition packets will be distributed at the end of August for the LOCAL election early next year. Map number 2 was chosen 6-3 with Jeff Crabill, Mollie […]

Bloomington Tonight

By: Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll: https://www.cityblm.org/home/showpublisheddocument/28152/637939229937530000 If using accumulated sick time to spike a pension was eliminated, what is this? This is spiking pension(s). Why the Bloomington Election Commission needs eliminated, the elected County Clerk should run all elections instead of unelected bureaucrats: Packet: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/5a20b9c4-a62d-11ec-8a90-0050569183fa-36dc0a47-f3e1-4a7f-ab53-55227cac04fe-1658440789.pdf PDF page 95: Looks like a Public Hearing on […]

More on Normal’s MICA problem

By: Diane Benjamin If you missed these two stories, read them now: https://blnnews.com/2022/07/07/normal-and-the-mica-fleece/ and https://blnnews.com/2022/07/14/normals-mica-vrs-bloomingtons-gallagher/ Brief recap: Normal has purchased comprehensive insurance through MICA for decades, they don’t bid this insurance because they claim MICA does Normal’s Finance director is on MICA’s Executive Committee Normal does accounting work for MICA The cost for Normal’s insurance […]

5 Things you need to know

By: Diane Benjamin 1) I’m collecting signs gas stations have on their pumps to comply with Pritzker’s demand people know he delayed the $.02 increase until after the election. Thorton’s at Route 9 and Hershey just has the Pritzker verbiage. Correction: This is at the Exxon Mobile station off 74 in Downs. The reader who […]

Normal: How much debt do you still have?

By: Diane Benjamin At last night’s Council meeting the Kevin McCarthy had to point out the Town paid off an $8 million bond from 2012. Wonderful, but how much debt is left? As of 3/31/2021 the Town reported $81,345,000 to the Comptroller’s Office: We won’t know the exact number until the 3/31/2022 reports are released, […]

Normal’s MICA vrs Bloomington’s Gallagher

By: Diane Benjamin Follow-up to these two stories: https://blnnews.com/2022/06/14/need-accounting-services-hire-the-town-of-normal/ and https://blnnews.com/2022/07/07/normal-and-the-mica-fleece/ What we know: Normal has purchased comprehensive insurance through MICA for decades, they don’t bid this insurance because they claim MICA does Normal’s Finance director is on MICA’s Executive Committee Normal does accounting work for MICA The cost for Normal this year is $1,945,934 […]

Bloomington council Sanity

By: Diane Benjamin The Council proved they are capable of sane discussions last night, maybe because one person was absent. Can Bloomington get the names right? Donna Boelen was acting mayor last night since Mboka is out of the country because of his father’s passing. Nice job Donna for the first time being thrust into […]

Dying to know what Bloomington is doing tonight?

By: Diane Benjamin If you want to see what bills are being paid they are no longer under City Council, probably because the Council never questions them at a meeting. They are now under Finance. The report still shows 970 employees: https://www.cityblm.org/home/showpublisheddocument/28098 Did you know this what your tax dollars pay every month? (Connect Transit) Green Top […]

Normal on the Gas Tax Lockbox

By: Diane Benjamin At the end of Normal’s meeting last Monday Pam Reece and Brian Day weighed in on Stan Nord’s mention of the recent Illinois Supreme court ruling on use of gas taxes. Pam Reece is willing to sit down with anyone for details on how gas taxes are spent. (anybody willing?) Brian Day […]

Normal and the MICA Fleece

By: Diane Benjamin Remember this story? https://blnnews.com/2022/06/14/need-accounting-services-hire-the-town-of-normal/ MICA is Municipal Insurance Cooperative Agency. Normal’s Finance Director Andrew Huhn is on the Executive Committee. Normal is also doing their accounting while not bidding insurance purchased through them. The MICA website at best is lame, it doesn’t say if MICA is a non-profit or a corporation: https://affinity.marsh.com/mica/home.html. […]

Connect Transit May report

By: Diane Benjamin Ridership was down in May – PDF page 8 PDF page 7 – the May loss was slightly less than $1 million. You can’t make this stuff up: The appropriations bill for Transportation is named: THUD See PDF page 14. It stands for Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. Also on the […]

Town of Normal last night

By: Diane Benjamin There was 1 Public Comment at the beginning of the meeting – Karl Sila. 1:45. Another person was prevented from speaking by Normal’s tyrannical policy until the end of the meeting. When it was finally her turn she wasn’t there. Liz Burton was called at 1:34:35. Normal should be ashamed of themselves […]

Money from Pot

by: Diane Benjamin Evidently the City Council was told they can’t discuss approving the second pot dispensary or they might get sued. The State legalized it, the State handed a license to guys who mostly (if not all) live in California , the Zoning Board of Appeals approved the location, so the Council was expected […]

5 things you need to know

By: Diane Benjamin 1) The special meeting Normal called at 5:45 last night was a waste of time. The promised PASER report is still not done, supposedly it will be by the end of June. Chris Koos wasn’t there, neither was Scott Preston or Karyn Smith. The license plate reading camera presentation will have to […]