Want to know a secret?

By: Diane Benjamin You already know it if you read this story: https://blnnews.com/2023/11/29/connect-transit-wants-you-to-love-them/ The whole messaging campaign is supposed to be a secret until they develop some slogan EVERYONE can repeat over and over and over. They want a planned rollout. I bet you can’t wait to see how they counter all the “disinformation”. (like […]

Connect Transit wants you to love them

By: Diane Benjamin Remember yesterday’s story where I told you the next Bloomington City Manager and Council can take the extra “enhanced revenue” and use it for things this Council didn’t pass? In other words, new people ignore what previous people did. The Connect Transit Board meeting last night proved that. The new General Manager […]

Bloomington MIGHT take more than 1 story:

By: Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington is looking for Revenue Enhancements. Cute words that mean they need more of your money. It’s hilarious that government has their own language so you don’t notice what is being done to you. The same government that built a never used fire station and a never used water […]

Coliseum still isn’t paid for

By: Diane Benjamin The Coliseum opened April 1, 2006 – more than 17 years ago. It still isn’t paid for. https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/29854 The city just paid INTEREST only: $317,771.25. Of course all the interest paid in 17 years wasn’t included in the cost to build it. Just to be clear, the City of Bloomington expects you […]

Tax until nobody is left to tax

By: Diane Benjamin If you thought Unit 5 was bad, wait for the City of Bloomington! They are projecting ending the year with $51 million in reserves. Inflation has been devastating to citizens, credit card debt is record high. Government is fine, you aren’t. If Tim Gleason didn’t have the votes for this it wouldn’t […]

Here’s your answer from yesterday

By: Diane Benjamin Yesterday I found these two charts that are problematic: I cut the sources off the next one so I can make it bigger: (See them here: https://blnnews.com/2023/11/24/notice-anything-wrong-with-this-chart/) Both of these are from the documentation for the November 13, 2023 BNWARD meeting. You won’t find it on-line, they email it to me every […]

Connect Transit has secrets

By: Diane Benjamin The agenda for meetings has to be posted 48 hours in advance – Open Meetings Act. Maybe everyone is taking time off, but the agenda for the 11/28 meeting is posted now. That is at least a week early: https://connect-transit.com/file/1982/11%2028%202023_BoT%20Meeting%20Packet.pdf Here is just one of likely many secrets: The secret is the […]

Tri-Valley taxpayers: The Board is planning to steal your money

By: Diane Benjamin Don’t fall for “the rate is slightly lower”. Your assessed value is MUCH higher making a lower rate obvious. Can you afford another 8.66% added to what you already pay? Planning to show up? The room is small – force them to move to a larger space. When is enough enough? If […]

Bloomington’s Greed

By: Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington wants $1.1 million more from you, the library wants $309.4 thousand more all while your government is sitting on RECORD high reserves. Of course they use the same graphic as every other year to show they aren’t why property taxes chase people out of Illinois: It appears every […]

$51 million in reserves, raise taxes anyway

By: Diane Benjamin $51,000,000 is expected to be in the City coffers at year end. They have big plans to spend your money, none of that money can be used to pay for essential spending like Public Safety pensions. Your taxes are going up to fund them. The vote last night was temporary, the final […]

Mollie: Words do matter

By: Diane Benjamin Last night’s Bloomington City Council meeting will take more than one story. Did Mollie read the packet? The discussion was about the library levy – from the packet: A 4.93% increase is a tax increase. Alderman Mollie Ward wants you to know it isn’t. The library only captured part of the increased […]

Bloomington tonight: Property Taxes

By: Diane Benjamin Agenda for tonight: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/65c0e1b9-7cc2-11ee-852f-0050569183fa-d969cfc2-89f9-4a31-922c-c0ff80c0370c-1700256371.pdf Remember being told local government units don’t set the Tax Rate? They don’t, but the documentation proves they know what it is going to be. Start reading on PDF page 21. Your taxes are going up to fund police and fire pensions. The rate will go down because […]

Congrats Bloomington, your property taxes will go up

By: Diane Benjamin City Manager Tim Gleason announced at last night’s meeting that next week’s Committee of the Whole is being turning into a special meeting to talk property taxes. He of course used the obligatory fallacy that the City portion of your tax bill is small, it’s the school districts that get the most […]

What happened to $10,000?

By: Diane Benjamin 2 pieces of information I received from the City of Bloomington about the Gun Buy Back event: The document showing what the Bloomington City Council approved is in this story: https://blnnews.com/2023/10/24/the-120000-waste/ It says $60,000. https://pantagraph.com/news/local/crime-courts/bloomington-police-gunbuyback/article_fe7fde22-7a61-11ee-b957-affb35824762.html Excerpt: According to BPD’s social media post, “There was a total of $50,000 allocated for the cash […]

Unit 5 has lost 1,447 students since 2016

By: Diane Benjamin My FOIA for the current enrollment is due today. The highest enrollment in the last 13 years was in 2016: 13,751. Last school year enrollment was only 12,304 – that is a DECREASE of 1,447 students. If classrooms are overcrowded it has to be because Unit 5 refuses to use their resources […]

Strike TWO for Bloomington Police

By: Diane Benjamin The Gun Back Back event held Sunday was as much of a fiasco has the Gun Safe giveaway with safes that aren’t made for guns. The ordinance passed by the City Council allotted $60,000, reports from John Boch, Executive Director of Guns Save Life, said $50,000 was handed out to the first […]

Facts Connect Transit used to buy Proterra buses

By: Diane Benjamin At this week’s meeting it was mentioned that Champaign is trying hydrogen buses. It was mentioned Connect Transit might go that direction when they need more buses. Of course that would require different infrastructure. It would have been a lot easier to keep diesel buses and a lot faster to refuel them. […]

Bloomington’s Short Meeting

By: Diane Benjamin Everyone but Tim Gleason managed to show at last night. Gleason might have been attending another meeting. Jenna Kearns: Just stay seated during the Pledge of Allegiance. You would look like less of a hypocrite: The upcoming presentation for downtown wasn’t mentioned, supposedly the room in the Government Center will be done. […]

Bloomington needs this:

By: Diane Benjamin Below is what Bloomington’s downtown needs: This is a man-made canal through the heart of downtown Indianapolis. It is complete with gondolas and singing gondoliers. Paddle boats are available for rent. There is very little retail on the wide walking paths but there is a lot of expensive condos. I think water […]

Your tax money abused!

By: Diane Benjamin Connect transit is tired of people noticing the empty or close to empty buses roaming Bloomington-Normal so they fixed the problem. Check out of the new electric buses. h/t a reader They’ve gone from darkened windows to covering them completely. We still know the bus is mostly empty. CT didn’t have a […]

Did Connect Transit throw away $9 million?

By: Diane Benjamin I was shocked when Connect Transit picked Proterra as their electric bus supplier. It appears the Board members appointed by the mayors of Bloomington and Normal didn’t bother to do a simple Google search. Plenty of stories were easily available detailing the problems with these buses and cities that quit using them […]

Is the Safe-T Act causing police to militarize?

By: Diane Benjamin Maybe Bloomington can acquire a tank next. Tonight buying one of these is on the Consent Agenda: This is a link to the documentation for this purchase: https://d2kbkoa27fdvtw.cloudfront.net/cityblm/ce402438fb1c517ffdd971eb63e404010.pdf The cost is $249,229. Watch the first video at that link. It shows a military operation, the exact opposite of de-escalation. I know the […]

Fitch proved why credit ratings are a joke

By: Diane Benjamin Fitch downgraded the US credit yesterday: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/shock-u-s-credit-rating-downgrade-by-fitch-rings-alarm-bells-about-economy/ar-AA1eGOTE This is a quote from the story: According to the company, despite the fact that the debt ceiling standoff was resolved two months ago, “the repeated debt-limit political standoffs and last-minute resolutions have eroded confidence in fiscal management.“ Let me interpret: Fitch would rather see […]

Bloomington Tonight

By: Diane Benjamin City is handing out ARPA money tonight – American Rescue Plan money is a driver of inflation. Handing out money that has to be borrowed/printed increases the money supply and therefore inflation. There is nothing on the agenda for action other than the Consent Agenda. https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/2595281e-7d4f-11ed-9024-0050569183fa-791fe512-602c-4d20-98c8-ecdbbed39134-1688669950.pdf There is a Public Hearing on […]

Also at Bloomington tonight

By: Diane Benjamin Mollie Ward’s initiative is back: Anybody want to guess how many of these “experts” will be FOID card and gun owners? Definition of expert is: People who claim some hidden talent not available to normal people. The Council will approve it and it will develop zero solutions because morality can’t be forced […]

Bloomington 6/19/23 Part 2

By: Diane Benjamin Celebrate now Bloomington – your water bills will increase. The City did a study and you just aren’t paying enough as compared to other area municipalities. See 43:30 on the video below. Water rates haven’t increased since 2012, everything else the City charges on your bill goes up 3% automatically every year. […]

Bloomington dodged the communists – Part 1

By: Diane Benjamin Unlike Chris Koos in the Town of Normal, Mboka Mwilambwe asked the Council if they wanted to extend time for Public Comment. They all said yes so they could hear from two final citizens. Recently Koos used his tyrannical powers to end Public Comment, nobody on that Council objected: https://blnnews.com/2023/05/03/one-guy-stood-up-to-koos/ The actual […]

Is Public Works sending a message?

By: Diane Benjamin The streets and sidewalks presentation from Monday night is now online: https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/29386 PDF page 2 states Bloomington has 842 Lane Miles (streets). Below is the same graphic I posted earlier, except this one is readable – PDF page 12: From 1995 to 2022 Bloomington resurfaced a total of 359.6 lane miles. 27 […]

Inflation Is Good for Government!

By: Diane Benjamin A couple more things from Bloomington’s Monday meeting: Jeff Jurgen, who was promoted to the 2nd Assistant City Manager has a base pay of $186,134. With benefits the total is $234,297: https://bloomingtonil_redesign.prod.govaccess.org/home/showpublisheddocument/29259/638174076712770000 An employee now with the State’s Attorney’s office has been hired to replace Jurgens as Corporate Attorney – Christopher Spanos. […]

Also at Bloomington last night: Streets and Sidewalks

By: Diane Benjamin The report presented last night is supposed to be on-line, so far I don’t see it. Instead of posting reports before meetings, staff likes showing slides that are frequently barely readable on the screen. The presentation was very comprehensive! If you want to know about the roads and sidewalks, watch the whole […]

Recap of Bloomington last night

By: Diane Benjamin 33:10 – Mayor Mwilambwe recognized the 4 aldermen that are leaving office April 30th. Mboka gave a short speech and presented each with a plaque. (Remember when Normal totally ignored Stan Nord’s 4 years?) Public comment starts at 44:00. Two speakers thanked their outgoing aldermen. Gary Lambert is a can’t miss at […]

Another edition of: BCPA Event Reports

By: Diane Benjamin I had to file a FOIA request to get this reports posted. Some dates of performance fees don’t match any performance dates. Loss: $206.84 Loss: $7,932.72 Loss: $6,854.53 Here’s where report dates don’t match event reports: There wasn’t an event on 2/23/2023. https://www.artsblooming.org/events/calendar?cury=2023&curm=2&curd=28&curview=month Three performance fees are listed as 3/23/2023, there were […]

Update: $10 Million won’t fix much in Bloomington

Roads resurfacing scheduled: https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/Home/Components/News/News/9524/1394?backlist=%2fdepartments%2fpublic-works%2fbloomington-streets Oakland isn’t one of them. by: Diane Benjamin Oakland and Macarthur are major roads, they both become one way streets in West Bloomington. Oakland is a disgusting mess of holes and patches long before it becomes one way. I drove the whole thing today and heading back East on Macarthur. It […]

Spending $290.1 million: Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin The only reason to have TIME LIMITS for Council discussion is to limit discussion. It started under Tari Renner, Mboka is continuing it. Common Sense should tell your elected officials discussions should take as long as somebody has something to say. Instead they stop and have a vote to extend the time. […]

Bloomington’s tonight fun

By: Diane Benjamin Tonight’s Agenda: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/25885a08-7d4f-11ed-9024-0050569183fa-791fe512-602c-4d20-98c8-ecdbbed39134-1680815202.pdf PDF page 56: Police buying 3 drones. See this link recapping an early morning crime spree on 4/2/23: https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/Home/Components/News/News/9507/1394 At least drones are cheaper than a helicopter! PDF page 66: The Lake Bloomington Maintenance Facility burned down in March of 2019. Now 4 years later bids are being rejected […]