Nope, Laws don’t matter!

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.normal.org/Archive.aspx?AMID=47 Anybody see an agenda posted for yesterday’s meeting? According to the dead tree the Normal Town Council held a budget workshop yesterday.  In the TWO stories they did, 5 of the 7 Council members are mentioned.  Five is more than half, meaning it was a meeting.  Open Meetings Act violation #6345.  […]

False Flag

By:  Diane Benjamin The contemporary term false flag describes covert operations that are designed to deceive in such a way that activities appear as though they are being carried out by individual entities, groups, or nations other than those who actually planned and executed them. This statement perfectly describes the meeting Tuesday night held by […]

(Not Pepsi) Ice Center profit

By:  Diane Benjamin I filed a FOIA request for the profit and loss at the Ice Center.  Note – it isn’t “Pepsi” anymore because they chose not to renew the sponsorship almost two years ago:    https://blnnews.com/2018/01/10/quit-calling-it-the-pepsi-ice-center/ The Ice Center did show Revenues of $990,556.60 and Expenses of $853,498.89 for a profit of $137,057.71. This is […]

ROADS aren’t a priority in Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin The video below is from the cell phone video by Angela Scott of the Black-Sage-Schmidt Town hall held January 9, 2018 at the BCPA.  I go to meetings to listen, but I ended up talking anyway. The City of Bloomington claims to be doing priority based budgeting, but their priorities aren’t the […]

Quit calling it the Pepsi Ice Center

By:  Diane Benjamin Proving yet again that essential items slip through the cracks at City Hall, Pepsi did not renew the naming rights contract for the Ice Center.  Either nobody is looking for a replacement or nobody wants to buy the sponsorship. The naming rights expired the same time the Coliseum naming rights expired:  March […]

Comedy via the elected

By:  Diane Benjamin Coliseum history: The below was printed in the Pantagraph on September 3, 2003.  It is available on microfiche at the Bloomington Public Library. Tom Hamilton, former City Manager now collecting $11,350 a month in retirement, is quoted in the same edition saying the city’s risk is very low because of the numbers […]

Insider Payoffs – Chamber of Commerce

By:  Diane Benjamin The McLean County Chamber of Commerce is the poster child for insider payoffs.  They have their own Political Action Committee to aggressively get the candidates elected they want.  The candidates they want elected are the big spenders, therefore the Chamber is the ENEMY of taxpayers. The 2018 Bloomington Budget shows why they […]

Remember that budget meeting?

By:  Diane Benjamin On December 20th, during the day and at the BCPA, the City of Bloomington held a budget meeting.  The camera angle didn’t allow the charts on the wall to be seen, but a person who was there sent me some of them. If you forgot this meeting – see this story:  https://blnnews.com/2017/12/22/budget-meeting-the-video/ The […]

Bloomington PDF page 13:

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=15344 This statement is in a letter to Mayor Renner delivering the completed financial statements as of April 30, 2017: The letter is signed by David Hales and Patti-Lynn Silva. Director of Finance. Since Hales is gone, Patti-Lynn needs to explain why the financial statements weren’t released until December – 8 months […]

Budget meeting – the video

By:  Diane Benjamin The video of the December 20th budget meeting at the BCPA has been posted.  The camera angle does not allow viewers to see the data the crowd got to see. One thing is clear:  Council members like Scott Black believe government is the answer to every problem, they just need to spend […]

More Council Christmas presents

By:  Diane Benjamin Correction – approving Bills and payroll isn’t on the agenda, so they have nothing to pay! Surprise! http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-500 Bills and Payroll is not posted for tonight’s meeting.  The last time the City failed to post this days in advance of the meeting, a plane ticket for the mayor’s girlfriend was included. What […]

Hack off everybody Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin If the “welcoming ordinance” discussion isn’t divisive enough, the Downtown Task Force plan will also be presented.  Most of the crowd will be gone when the previous discussion ends.  The mob will only be there for the “No Justice No Peace” part.  The Council should have held a special session only for […]

How do they get any work done?

By:  Diane Benjamin How did the City of Bloomington employees get any work done when they spent 3 months planning the Chili Cook Off that only employees attended?  Worse, they were already working on the next party – this month – before the October one was even held.  It sounds like all the departments decorate […]

Comptroller BEAT Bloomington!

By:  Diane Benjamin On Saturday I reported the 4/30/17 financial statements for the City of Bloomington still haven’t been released, but the City did submit them to the Comptroller’s office last October:    https://blnnews.com/2017/12/09/transparent-illegal-all-of-the-above/ The Comptroller’s office now has them posted:  See them HERE Tons of interesting easy to read info is available, including comparisons for 3 […]

Celebrate or Cry?

By:  Diane Benjamin From Connect Transit’s October report:    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1anF4rCMlP7zqbGQ3vM1EE6PhNz-FaJ9x/view PDF page 14 Ridership Increasing! Problem? Those 225,646 generated less than $100,000.  The first chart only reflects Fixed Routes, not Connect Mobility. Of course there is more to the story: See this link for October 2016:  PDF page 20   https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4zAZemF_qQuZEhveVl3aVMzakE/view Total Operating Revenue with fewer riders […]

Normal throws money at employees

By:  Diane Benjamin When the citizens aren’t paying attention to what their government is doing, you get the below.  If you thought $100,000,000 was ridiculous for Uptown, be prepared for more folly. PDF page 59:   http://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/7440 This statement is in the Town of Normal’s Annual Report: There is a good reason people want to work […]

BRICK streets + parking

By:  Diane Benjamin Couple more things on tonight’s agenda: 1) The parking ordinance downtown will be modified to keep City employees from just moving their car every couple of hours in the Government Center lot so they get free parking. 2) A brand new Brick Street Master plan will be adopted including: The next Council […]

De-funding Economic Development

By:  Diane Benjamin It wasn’t that long ago the people in government in Logan County thought Bill Thomas was doing a great job with Economic Development.  The Logan County State’s Attorney refused to act even with definitive proof of criminal activity – including grant fraud that led to the Atlanta Library being ordered to repay […]

Sustainable? nope

By:  Diane Benjamin Government help frequently makes the problem worse. There is no clearer case than Connect Transit! Keep in mind the Federal Government is funding this lunacy at your expense across the country. The below was an addendum to last month’s agenda:  PDF page 3    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4zAZemF_qQubmxRRUsxaHZicFU/view   65% funding is the same as 2017.  […]

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 […]

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