We know what Sage is up to

By:  Diane Benjamin At last Monday’s Bloomington City Council meeting, David Sage was adamant that an agenda item signed by 6 Council members be on this Monday’s Committee of the Whole agenda.  Tari Renner attempted to stall, but it is on the agenda:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15300   Instead of bringing it up Monday, it has played out in […]

Downtown Task Force gets slapped

By:  Diane Benjamin The “Special” meeting before the 7:00 Council meeting has discussions about the library and the City property tax rate. The Library Board wants a tax increase but they don’t know what it is for.  Either they are going to continue plans to expand where they are or they are going to use […]

Normal’s Economic Development Exposed

By:  Diane Benjamin Chris Koos recently spoke at a “State of McLean County” event.    See the newspaper story HERE Koos thinks his job is reducing economic inequity, delivering opportunity, social equity and sustainability. If his claims were true, the Council wouldn’t be set to raise property taxes to fill holes in their budget. Stealing more […]

Retreat: Part 2

By:  Diane Benjamin The second session of the retreat was 3 hours and 33 minutes.  I DID NOT LISTEN TO EVERY SECOND!  I jumped around and listened to more than half.  It was obvious Quality of Life is not going to be in proposed cuts.  The discussion involved real spending for the first time in […]

Normal Taxpayers got SCAMMED!

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night Trustees RC McBride and Kevin McCarthy went out of their way to thanks the 5 citizens who spoke at Public Comment.  They needed to because 3 out of the 5 were plants. Normal illegally requires citizens who want to speak to sign up hours in advance.  That gives Koos and […]

Irony of the Day!

By:  Diane Benjamin The below is what the City of Bloomington has in this year’s budget for Public Transportation: Bloomington has more than doubled what they give Connect Transit.  Yes, that structural deficit is the Council’s fault.  Even with more of your money, CT continues to lose between $800,000 and $900,000 every month. Tomorrow the […]

Retreat! Yep, but it’s a secret

By:  Diane Benjamin Tax receipts are flat.  The City of Bloomington is facing more “structural deficits” they created.   What to do, what to do? Let’s hold a retreat Saturday at the Den where it can’t be video taped!  The citizens have no right to know we are going to raise property taxes: Packet PDF page […]

Legal: Employee Investigations?

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve written before about the City spending resources to prosecute employees when arbitration reaches a different conclusion than the one the City wants.  Remember Scott Oglesby?   https://blnnews.com/2013/05/06/the-real-story-of-scott-oglesbys-firing/ Now they are doing it again.  This time it’s a fireman, Jon Caponi, who was arrested in 2016 for domestic violence.  See the newspaper story […]

Lunch with people who sue: Renner

By:  Diane Benjamin When the last Downtown Bloomington TIF ended, I hear David Bentley wasn’t happy with the money he got to rehab the CII East Building.  He sued the City in 2014. See the 2014 TIF report here:   ftp://ftp.illinoiscomptroller.com/LocGovTIF/FY2014/06402530/14TIF06402530Dwtwn_Cendistrict.pdf Since the TIF was pretty much over, expenses for legal fees were all that is […]

Connect Transit Travels!

By:  Diane Benjamin I filed a FOIA request for details from Connect Transit – Travel & Meetings:  $10,272.18.  Original story here:  https://blnnews.com/2017/10/23/connect-transit-september-fleece/ I received 106 pages:  Travel and Meetings Everyone that traveled must not have their own credit card, so the statements are a maze of charges on one card for someone without one.  The statements also contain […]

Downtown isn’t the City Core!

By:  Diane Benjamin Downtown businesses didn’t even support the Downtown Bloomington Association.  Now the DBA employees are happy City employees complete with higher salaries, benefits and pensions! The Coliseum and the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts (BCPA) were supposed to brings hoards of people downtown. The Visitor’s Center in the McLean County History Museum was […]

Connect Transit: September Fleece

By:  Diane Benjamin See the September report here:     https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4zAZemF_qQuX0JzckFHNFZJV1k/view Revenue from riders doesn’t come close to pay the wages of the employees:   The total operating loss appears to not be a red flag for anybody: Government can’t come up with a way to transport people without losing $833,895 in one month? The loss […]

Monday: Brick Streets

By:  Diane Benjamin Since a few people on the council think the remaining brick streets need to be saved, the Council will hear how much it will cost at the Special meeting.  This is the 10 year projection:  PDF page 76  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14866 I added the zeros the presentation conveniently leaves out. When the eventual ordinance hits […]

Can the Council READ?

By:  Diane Benjamin PDF Page 10:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12766 Last April the Council unanimously approved spending $114,999 to hire Greenplay to develop a Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts Master Plan. Keep in mind, the only reason for Master Plans is to bind the hands of future Councils because millions have been spent planning.  Even with this massive expense, […]

Dissolve the Bloomington Election Commission

By:  Diane Benjamin The State of Illinois has way too many units of government now.  Corruption is rampant because there aren’t enough watchdogs to watch every one of them.  (Hopefully news soon about another huge case)  Media decided it wasn’t their job either. The LAST thing McLean County needs is a separate Election office created […]

UPDATE: Downtown Signage voting

As of 5:15 pm 10/19/17 a WHOOPING 386 people have voted out of 78,000.  Impressive response! ________________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington has presented the latest versions of signage for downtown.  You can see the new offerings and vote here:  http://www.cityblm.org/government/boards-commissions/downtown-signage-committee/2017-downtown-bloomington-wayfinding The committee gave up on a logo after their last attempt failed miserably, […]

Did Hales change personalities?

By:  Diane Benjamin I thought for a minute somebody had kidnapped David Hales and replaced him with a conservative.  He actually said the Council must lean how to say NO.  He said the City can’t maintain what we have now, but people keep talking about building new things. Library David? Aquatics center?  Sports complex?  Public […]

Fun Facts (or not so fun facts)

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington population:  78,005 Normal Population:  54,264 Bloomington Total Budget:  $214,126,710 PDF Page 2:  http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=13155 Normal Total Budget:  $107,133,177 PDF Page 15   http://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/11571 Normal has 30% fewer citizens. Normal budgets 50% of what Bloomington does. Bloomington spends $2,745 for every citizens Normal spends $1,974 for every citizen Bloomington total debt 4/30/16:  270,629,828 http://warehouse.illinoiscomptroller.com/ProcessSearchResults.cfm?DisplayMode=GETAFR&AFRDesiredData=Indebtedness&Code=064/025/30&CFY=2016&Menu=Yes&PrintIt=No 4/30/17 information […]

Monday: Funding Gap! Ha Ha

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s way past time for adults to be running the City of Bloomington!  We are tired of the lies and the abuse of taxpayers by pretending the city doesn’t have enough money because taxpayers aren’t paying enough. End the charade.  Cancel the court jesters.  It’s OVER! They just don’t know it yet.  […]

Award Winning Aldermen comments

By:  Diane Benjamin From time to time even I am shocked by what comes out of the mouths of Aldermen during a City Council meeting.  I’m awarding TWO “Seriously?” awards from last night’s party.  Since the Special Meeting started at 5:00, I bet food was served.  It used to be announced, but it wasn’t listed […]

More Pantagraph conspires with City

By. Diane Benjamin Today the Pantagraph lauded the $3.8 million Bloomington is spending on streets.  Seems like rewriting history so people think the streets are getting better is the goal of both Bloomington and the so called press. Why?  Because both want downtown spending, not silly things citizens want like the roads fixed! See their […]

MONDAY: Let’s Tax

By:  Diane Benjamin Illinois increased income taxes again! The stack of unpaid bills increased! Since Illinois has “been there-done that”, and the unpaid stack still got bigger, that’s proof government doesn’t exist for anybody but itself. Monday Bloomington will do the same! PDF page 281.  The City needs $136 Million over the next 20 years […]

You can afford it!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Council is going to vote next Monday to raise your sewer and storm water rates much faster than originally presented.  After all, this Council is fixing what previous Councils ignored – essential services.  Even though voting on items not on the agenda isn’t allowed, the council took a “straw poll” on […]

The Real Legal Expenses

By:  Diane Benjamin When the Pantagraph appears to do a study of anything, it usually means Bloomington is up to something and using them to gauge public opinion.  Today it was legal expenses and justifying the outrageous amount the City sends to Springfield every month while telling you not to buy on the internet – […]

When you elect the wrong people . . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin It looks like Bloomington has to be destroyed by government spending before people realize local elections matter.  Or, maybe only the people who can’t move will be left paying the bills which are about to get much bigger. Monday night the Bloomington will see the results of doing “Wants” before Needs.  MANY […]

Hovering on a cliff

By:  Diane Benjamin Source:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14181 The 2017 year ended for the City of Bloomington last April 30th.  We are most likely MONTHS away from seeing real financial statements, late is what governments do and the private sector would never tolerate. I did find a glimpse into what they will say – see the link above. […]

How many LIES will you tolerate?

By:  Diane Benjamin “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.”  –Thomas Jefferson “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves.”  –William Pitt in the House of Commons November 18, 1783 Just this year the City of Bloomington created a Transportation Committee, a […]

You aren’t supposed to notice

By:  Diane Benjamin Whenever Bloomington and Normal “think” a spending item is beyond question they put it on the Consent Agenda.  In Normal they call it the Omnibus Vote.  The council is supposed to vote YES on lots of things at once.  An item can be pulled, but it usually gets passed anyway.  I enjoy […]

Begging for more taxes!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph filed this report from a meeting held last night between Parks officials and the public. http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/bloomington-residents-urge-city-to-develop-parks/article_1a548766-9440-56e6-8d33-ddbe9d47f045.html First a quote from the article: Evidently Master Plans are only non-binding when they are created.  Once approved they are thrown in the face of citizens who object. Think Bike Lanes and Complete Streets. […]

WJBC: Scott wrong again!

By:  Diane Benjamin Scott Laughlin clarified this morning on WJBC why the local media is useless.  The host hates people who think government should do nothing. Scottie doesn’t realize “those”  people don’t want government doing nothing, they want them doing only the things the population can’t do themselves.  Like fix the roads!  How are the Bloomington […]

Evacuate!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Illinois Senate needed one Republican to vote with the Democrats to override Gov Rauner’s veto of the income tax hike.  They got one:  Dale Righter. Madigan got MORE Republicans than he needed to pass the tax hike in the House – 15 of them.  (Including Bill Mitchell and Mike Unes from […]

Connect ONLY lost $890,029!

By:  Diane Benjamin From July 2016 through May 2017 they lost $9,428,569  (PDF Page 8  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4zAZemF_qQuZzVIekJtLTVTN28/view ) May 2017 ridership was up over last year, but year to date is still behind and they are way behind projections – See PDF page 11. Are rides up because Bloomington-Normal now has more poor people who can’t afford […]

Zero Transparency, ISU, and more

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bills and Payroll the Council approved for payment last night have never been posted on the City website:  http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-500 I wonder if the council was given a paper version or if they just approved spending without knowing what the voted on?  Keep in mind – these are the same people who […]

Bloomington CHANGES Locations

By:  Diane Benjamin The Council meeting to discuss forming a citizens review board to oversee the police will be held in the Council Chambers – starting at around 6:15.  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=13151 It had previously been schedules for the Osborn room in the Police Station where live streaming doesn’t exist. The joint meeting of the Council and […]

Council Fun – Part 2

By:  Diane Benjamin Renner didn’t ask to extend the time so everybody could speak, so everybody didn’t get to.  Tari did make sure Mike McCurdy of Bike Blono, WGLT radio, and Connect Transit got to speak though. To hear all of the public comment – just hit play below.  Then listen to the second Public […]

If demand mattered, the roads would get fixed!

By:  Diane Benjamin Only a tiny group of citizens want bike lanes.  Tari Renner ran for office twice pledging to fix the roads.  He obviously isn’t as serious as the people with damaged vehicles are. This is from 2015:  http://www.cityblm.org/government/departments/public-works/streets-sidewalks/street-resurfacing The table shows how much money per year is required just to have TERRIBLE STREETS. […]

Bike facts that don’t matter

Update:  The lady in the video reported Amelia stated her family won’t be using the bike lanes – too dangerous!  She is supporting the plan because Bike Blono wants it.   By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I attended Renner’s Open House for the first time.  I don’t attend because I already know what answers are going […]

Normal: What?!?

By:  Diane Benjamin On the Consent Agenda for tonight’s Normal Town council meeting: No other information on 404 W Locust is included.   Being on the Consent Agenda means there is no discussion unless one of the council members asks.  I’d be asking!  $892,327.48 with no questions? What Illinois statute allows the Town of Normal […]

Bloomington: website, Coliseum

By:  Diane Benjamin The new City website isn’t fine.  Last week the OLD website was back:  https://blnnews.com/2017/05/26/not-up-in-smoke-its-the-cloud/ This morning this is what I got at cityblm.org It has been like this for hours.  It can still be navigated, but is this what tax dollars paid for?  (I just checked again, it may now be fixed. […]

Zoo good news leaves this out:

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday news reports stated the zoo increased the number of visitors from last year and revenues were up around $21,000.  Good for them! One reason given was the new flamingo exhibit.  Left out of all the good news stories is how much it cost to increase revenue and attendance. Just construction – […]

. .

wordpress stats plugin