Local Republicans prove their worth

By: Diane Benjamin The McLean Country Board Executive Committee met Monday. Members: Every one of them is Republican except for Laurie Wollrab. Josh Barnett is questionable at best even though he claims to be Republican. I think one person were absent, I don’t know who since role wasn’t called. This group is capable of holding […]

Bloomington tonight

By: Diane Benjamin http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1136&Inline=True This could be a short meeting! Remember when the Council voted to join Welcoming America instead of declaring Bloomington a sanctuary city? This is on the agenda, after it passes apply here: https://cityblm.seamlessdocs.com/f/MayoralAppointmentApplication Other Boards and Commissions might have openings too. Apply! Private Sector Entertainment! They see a need and want […]

Normal Debt – VISUAL

By: Diane Benjamin So far I haven’t commented on the financial statements Normal released a few weeks ago. It is much easier to show you facts when the Illinois Comptroller gets around to posting the information in a way it is easier to understand. They finally did today. Debt: Look at the Original Issue Amount […]

Bloomington – Overhead sewers and more

By: Diane Benjamin Tonight Bloomington will increase funding to help defray the cost to residents for installing an overhead sewer system. Current funding is $40,000, it will increase to $250,000. Residents are eligible for up to $4,500 after navigating the bureaucracy: https://www.cityblm.org/government/departments/community-development/overhead-sewer-grant-program-application What is an overhead sewer? I found this article from a plumber in […]

Bill Flick: Trying to re-write history?

By: Diane Benjamin h/t a reader Since I don’t read the Pantagraph, a reader told me what Bill Flick wrote in a column last Sunday. https://pantagraph.com/opinion/columnists/flick-from-jimmy-fallon-to-jay-janssen-in-no-time/article_af765d10-bbb8-5b2a-8412-bf30d1fd8685.html Maybe Flick can be forgiven for not knowing the truth since his paper dutifully printed the bogus Profit/Loss numbers reported by the former managers and NEVER the audited numbers […]

Bloomington last night: Library

By: Diane Benjamin This meeting will take more than one story, it was another 2 hour assemblage. The expansion to the library has been taking shape for years, it will not be stopped by this Council. Tari Renner made sure the library stayed downtown, he appointed people to the Library Board who believed it should […]

Connect Transit Success (cough cough)

By: Diane Benjamin I never got around to reporting Connect Transit had a great year! Instead of losing the budgeted $12,825,000, they only lost $11,939,195. They saved taxpayers almost $886,000! Between regular buses and Connect Mobility ridership was down 12.4% from the previous fiscal year. Connect reports Congress is going to throw them more money […]

Trail East is Dead, now . . . .

By: Diane Benjamin Remember when the Normal Town Council told Pam Reece to make getting the Town out of the $36,000 a month lease for the 2nd story of 1 Uptown Circle a priority? Remember, that building would have never been built if the Town hadn’t agreed to rent an entire floor. Remember too the […]

The rest of Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin I wonder how many of the people with sewage in their basements bothered to vote in past local elections. I’m betting many didn’t because turnout is despicable. City Councils are the ones who destroy you the fastest, think Coliseum, BCPA, a never used fire station, and a water tower built to short […]

Bloomington last night – Part 1

By: Diane Benjamin Jenn Carrillo didn’t bother to attend. Other council members have forgotten how to talk INTO a microphone, at times voices were difficult to hear. A long line of people appeared again disappointed at the City’s reaction to the raw sewage in their basements. One thing is obvious: The City isn’t capable of […]

Governed by the clueless

By: Diane Benjamin One thing has been obvious for a long time: Kevin McCarthy gets activated by Chris Koos to call “Point of Order” when Stan Nord gets into topics the Town doesn’t want citizens to see discussed in public. It happens at almost every meeting, sometimes more than once. The Council voted to finance […]

Normal: Bait and Switch

By: Diane Benjamin While Bloomington is trying to pay cash for purchases instead of borrowing for capital expenses, Normal is running in the opposite direction. The Town of Normal stockpiles money in reserves, the applicable fund for this discussion is Vehicle and Equipment reserves. Obviously citizens in Normal are paying higher taxes so the Town […]

Claim denied!

By: Diane Benjamin Since Facebook will not allow truth, find me on Gab.com: BlnNews – Diane Benjamin. I will post stories on Facebook (when the ban is over) but I might not respond to comments. I am also on Parler since it is working again: Blnnews Most of the 500+ people who filed claims with […]

Bloomington Council tonight

By: Diane Benjamin http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1126&Inline=True On the Consent Agenda: Ordering a new ambulance ($284,444.00) upgrading the City’s Voice Over Internet Protocol (3 yr cost $117,266.71) receiving $70,000 to demolish abandoned properties from Il Housing Authority Zoo is proceeding with a South American Exhibit – all grant money $1,000,000 The Grove will get another 33 lots Didn’t […]

Spend it on sewers Bloomington!

By: Diane Benjamin Below are two screen shots from Monday’s Council video: All the free money awarded to Bloomington can be spent on separating sewer and storm water lines. The current project on East Washington cost around $4.2 million. Citizens with sewage in the homes need to demand it is only spent on health and […]

52 years of sewage

By: Diane Benjamin There was a time when Bloomington grew rapidly and had money to burn. Instead of investing in replacing ancient infrastructure the Council built a fire station that has never been used, the Coliseum, a water tower built too short to use, created give-a-ways to developers, and rehabbed the BCPA. The City Manager […]

Sewer flooding will be fixed by 2030

By: Diane Benjamin I asked Public Works Director Kevin Kothe if the work currently being done on East Washington would alleviate the sewer flooding in Eastgate. I’m not sure I got an answer to that question. Below is his response. Moving up the completion date from 2030 has numerous problems, the first being funding. Another […]

BCPA still closed

By: Diane Benjamin The event calendar for the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts is mostly blank. They do have one event scheduled for October. Unfortunately it is a fund raiser for themselves: https://www.artsblooming.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/13308/762 Remember the grand plans for the Creativity Center? Details here: https://blnnews.com/2019/01/26/what-no-one-in-bloomington-talks-about/ The City even hired a fundraiser for the Friends of […]

The Bloomington show last night

By: Diane Benjamin The start time of the meeting was changed to 6:30 because of scheduling problems now that the room is shared with the County. I hear it’s temporary. The video was not fun, the group wasn’t socially distanced but not together either. Toward the end of the meeting the audio was fine but […]

What did the sign cost?

By: Diane Benjamin Continuing yesterday’s story: https://blnnews.com/2021/06/29/whats-so-secret-bloomington/ You might have forgotten the story I did last December when a cardboard version of the sign appeared: https://blnnews.com/2020/12/08/where-did-this-come-from/ I don’t know how much the sample cost to construct, but I do know: Staff decided it needed to be much bigger than the sample version Staff decided it […]

Free Free Free: Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin Residents will be getting free disposal of all the rain and sewer soaked materials from last weekend’s storms. The City will create a map for dates but pickup won’t start until July 6th. The City Manager stated the start date is subject to change if assessments require it. Infrastructure that was under […]

Underpass: Too late to stop it

By: Diane Benjamin Underpass work session: So far Normal has authorized spending $1.5 million on Phase 1 of the underpass. Chris Koos stated it can not be stopped now because of all the staff time, grants received, and other agencies involved that wouldn’t like Normal backing out now. It almost sounded like Wayne Aldrich (Director […]

Riveting assemblage tonight in Normal?

By: Diane Benjamin Keep in mind many of Normal’s professional staff don’t live in Normal: https://blnnews.com/2020/12/14/guess-where-town-of-normal-employees-dont-live/ They have no reason to keep taxes low, make the roads drivable, or the water drinkable. The Council will be meeting at 5:15 to hear the status of the underpass project. Public opinion is immaterial. The fanciest properties will […]

Bloomington last night

By: Diane Benjamin Jamie Mathy reported Jenn Carrillo did not participate because she was experiencing internet problems. The City extended the Post Office lease in the Market Street parking garage for 18 months. Usually the lease is for 5 years, the City reduced it because they are planning to replace the garage. A contract was […]

Bloomington Monday night

By: Diane Benjamin The interim Police Chief, Greg Scott, presented the departments annual report as did Eric West the Fire Chief. Both the police and fire have trouble staffing their departments. Highlights from the Police report: Selling on Facebook Marketplace has resulted in robberies. Cameras film the parking lot in front of the Police Station. […]

Privatize Garbage Service!

By: Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington has been struggling with balancing the solid waste enterprise fund for many years. Don’t forget, until 2005 the taxes you already paid covered the service. The enterprise fund was established only to tax you more until the fund balances. Yearly 3% increases haven’t kept the fund in balance, […]

Just some points from Bloomington last night

By: Diane Benjamin If you thought brick streets were ever going to get a little money you’d be wrong. Mollie Ward objected to diverting the unused grants balance of $82,784 to repairs. She wants curbs made ADA compliant first. See 1:04:15. I didn’t hear an explanation from Mollie, but she amended the motion to spending […]