Council oblivious or just Renner?

By:  Diane Benjamin Documentation for the 7:00 pm meeting is 648 pages:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16030 The 5:00 pm meeting is only 35 pages:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16026 This item is on the agenda for discussion at the 5:00 meeting: Another City employee complete with benefits and pension! Then it gets funny because approval is on the Consent Agenda for the 7:00 […]

No major cuts!

By:  Diane Benjamin Questions for the Council:  Last November you held a retreat.  EVERY program the City is forcing people to pay for was presented. See PDF page 34 and following:   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14932 There are 15 pages of programs ranked from HIGH priority to Low priority. It looks like cutting programs died the day they were […]

Normal – crashing!

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2899 Besides the final payments for Koos, Reece, and Aldrich to party in Washington DC at One Voice, questionable frivolous spending is down for Monday’s meeting. These items are contracted, so Normal can’t say now they made bad decisions: Why is Normal handing out down payment assistance?  Vote buying?   Now this […]

How bad are Normal’s finances?

By: Diane Benjamin What we do know: The freshman class this year at ISU was down 9.3%     https://blnnews.com/2017/09/07/numbers-lie/ State Farm has cut employees and is cutting more Normal has a budget deficit (local media reports) The Normal Library has decided not to build new – the library WAS the centerpiece of Uptown 2.0  (local […]

Why your roads will not be fixed

By:  Diane Benjamin Both Bloomington and Normal have been governed for many years by people who want to build monuments to themselves and call it Quality of Life. Roads are too boring to fund, so are pensions.  Valuable tax dollars can’t be used for what isn’t their priority.  Instead they raise taxes to fund them […]

Bloomington attacks the poor AGAIN

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington will NEVER have enough of your money.  Complete control of the local economy means your money is theirs and they are free to take it at will.  Monday night they will discuss taking more for their vision.     http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15904 Want your roads fixed? Even though Tari Renner and […]

When Aldermen are absent

By:  Diane Benjamin Aldermen Diana Hauman and Kimberly Bray were both absent Monday night.  Bray participated by phone, Hauman wasn’t allowed because she was supposedly on vacation.  The City Code says absent alderman can only participate if sick or on business travel. I believe, based on the last time the Towanda-Barnes/ Ireland Grove intersection was […]

Normal Monday spending

By:  Diane Benjamin Source: http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2882 (click any pics to enlarge) Plans and spending to replace the library continue: (If your income was down, would you continue with plans to build a new luxury house just because you want it?) Apparently Normal is sending 4 people to DC for One Voice – $1600 each.  These are […]

Connect Transit Lunacy

By:  Diane Benjamin https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OZVoMyplMDjMqjukW6YmbB7_BGsi_x2S/view Connect Transit did not meet in December, so the January report includes data from November and December.  Your wealth was redistributed in November to the tune of $921,258 – December was better, a mere $821,259.  Just two months of empty buses cost you $1,742,517.  Yes, that’s the tax subsidy needed to […]

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 […]

Yes, they lied

By:  Diane Benjamin First the news:  Pepsi is not paying the Ice Center anymore for naming rights ($50,000 a year), the Coliseum is no longer receiving $125,000 from Pepsi as a sponsor there!  Both deals expired 3/31/2016.  I bet you didn’t know that!  total lost:  $175,000 Nothing is clearer than the lies told by Arena […]

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 […]

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 […]

Normal’s agenda for Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin Agenda and Bills:   http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2821 If you want to know why local government isn’t run for citizens, check out where they go to learn how to do their job. NLC is National League of Cities:  http://citysummit.nlc.org/schedule/schedule-by-day/ One Voice is the biggest fleece of all!  Big group goes to Washington DC to beg for money […]

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 […]

Normal Tossing Money (Yours!)

By: Diane Benjamin Normal bills for Monday night: http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/279242  When your property taxes go up Monday: You will be told the cost of other people’s retirements went up: The real reason is the debt Normal has incurred building utopia. . Look at all the INTEREST payments below in Monday’s packet.  They total  $1,628,761.92. It gets […]

Library – the FACTS

By:  Diane Benjamin Back when the City Manager did real Monthly Reports, the library traffic was easier to understand.  It always included year-to-year comparisons.  The summary now doesn’t. See this graph from October 2015:  PDF page 43  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=9452 This is what was reported for October 2017: PDF page 11    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15324 Several items are noteworthy: a large […]

Downtown Loons

By:  Diane Benjamin TIF districts are like Greek to most citizens.  If you don’t understand them, government will continue to redistribute money and call it Economic Development. TIF’s made easy:  Government sets a Tax Increment Finance area.  All government bodies in the area have to agree to forgo tax increases due to increasing property values.  […]

Past Due TIF Reports?

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I did two stories on past due Tax Increment Financing reports: https://blnnews.com/2017/11/03/is-normal-hiding-tif-data/ https://blnnews.com/2017/11/03/bloomington-plays-the-same-tif-game/ First:  It is ridiculous the citizens have to wait over 6 months after a year-end for financial information. Second:  If you look under Finance on both the Bloomington and Normal websites, there are NO links to TIF reports.  […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

UPDATE: State Farm Exodus

A reader sent me this:  https://atlanta.curbed.com/2017/9/7/16264644/state-farm-atlanta-perimeter-dunwoody-development-construction He added this:  It looks like we are headed for a chalk outline of BN taxpayer… See this story too:  From a SF Employee ________________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin State Farm announced to their employees they will be moving 7% of IT out of Bloomington and cutting management company wide […]

Numbers Lie

By:  Diane Benjamin Media is reporting a slight drop in enrollment at ISU.  Here’s the proof that numbers lie and liars use numbers. Incoming freshman – down 342 students (9.3%) Transfer students – down 239 students (11.7%) Those are huge percentage drops, the source is WGLT which happens to be part of ISU:  http://wglt.org/post/freshman-enrollment-falls-illinois-state-university#stream/0 Incoming […]

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 […]

Update: Illegals welcome, police questionable

Ask Tari to explain the contribution illegals make verses the cost:  https://www.nationaleconomicseditorial.com/2017/07/04/illegal-immigration-cost-illinois/ _______________________________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin Mayor Tari Renner wanted to lump 3 controversial items together at Monday night’s Council, but one got derailed.  The Council will consider: Bike Lanes on E. Washington to create congestion Welcoming ordinance for illegals The Citizens Advisory Board to […]

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 […]

More conspiring against citizens

By:  Diane Benjamin Follow-up to this story:  https://blnnews.com/2017/06/02/b-n-is-getting-the-delphi-treatment/ (It won’t be the only one!) The Bloomington Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is trying to get out of complying with the Open Meetings Act.  What does the Open Meetings Act say? OMA applies to all “public bodies”:  http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=84&ChapterID=2 I’d love to know what grounds they […]

B-N Sports Complex-Delphi

By:  Diane Benjamin The local area has THREE agencies coordinating economic development:  B-N Convention and Visitors Bureau, BN Advantage, and the Economic Development Council. There is MUCH more to this story – but not today. The Bloomington Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has another committee nobody has ever heard of: Sports Commission Board The Board […]

$20-$30 million for low wage jobs

By:  Diane Benjamin Mark Peterson – Normal’s City Manager – talked to WGLT yesterday:  http://wglt.org/post/public-private-partnership-lacking-establish-sports-complex#stream/0 Peterson thinks taxpayers should pony up $20-$30 million for a sports complex! The total cost will be $50 million, but it’s not a Public-Private partnership.  He doesn’t say where the rest of the money will come from or who will […]

TWO Americas

By:  Diane Benjamin On this Memorial Day weekend, we remember those who have fought and died for us.  America began with a war for freedom and many wars have been fought since to protect it.  We would not enjoy this legacy today without the sacrifices of those willing to lose their life in our defense. […]

The media must have left early

By:  Diane Benjamin The media did leave the Committee of the Whole meeting early.  I didn’t see any reporting on the most important item on the agenda:  Burying you in taxes and/or debt! Here’s the plan:  PDF page 65  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12980 The City wants to spend $285.82 million over the next 5 years with only $59.78 […]

Guest Writer:

“I’m mad as hell and I’m NOT going to take it anymore!”  This is a quote from the movie, Newsroom.  When did the use of the word NO become unacceptable in civilized society? The norms of our society include NO lying, stealing or cheating.  NO infringement on the rights of others.  Police D.A.R.E. officers tell […]

Fly on the Wall: Soccer Fields

Who is telling the truth? Buzzing around I saw plans for a huge complex on the west side.  It wasn’t only soccer fields. Some people think if they get elected it’s their ticket to do whatever they want, some don’t. Pick wrong tomorrow and you have Coliseum 2.0 . . .  

Ward 1 choices

By:  Diane Benjamin The ballot will say Sue Feldkamp or Jamie Mathy for Bloomington’s Ward 1. Mathy owns two businesses downtown, but I’ve heard he claims Bloomington’s attorney Jeff Jurgens doesn’t see a problem with him voting on downtown issues.  I bet the taxpayers will have a problem with him voting to enrich himself!  Conflict […]

4 more years of Koos?

By:  Diane Benjamin Chris Koos was on WJBC this morning.  Hear the interview HERE Did you know that Uptown is NEVER going to be finished?  Yep, Koos said that. He is running for a 4th term because he isn’t done with his vision. Bloomington-Normal will be paying for a new sports facility if Koos and […]

Complete Insanity!

By:  Diane Benjamin Connect Transit is the biggest FRAUD ever perpetrated on the citizens forced to pay their bills! Before I show you the offensive February financial statements, see these notes included in the packet:  http://www.connect-transit.com/documents/March%2021,%202017%20Regular%20Board%20Meeting%20Binder1.pdf See PDF page 17 of the link above.  The General Manager can spend up to $50,000 without Board approval. […]

Facts Mr. Koos

By:  Diane Benjamin This morning I attended the GOP breakfast because it featured the candidates for the Normal Town Council and Normal Township. Chris Koos made a comment about Uptown 2.0 I find hard to believe.  He claims there isn’t enough retail and office space in Uptown now, so Uptown 2.0 is to provide more. […]

Normal’s follies

By:  Diane Benjamin Bill’s and Payroll for Monday night:  http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2581 I don’t know what arrangement Normal made to get Home Depot to build here, but this is the perfect example of why Sales Tax receipts are declining: Menards isn’t getting rebates, so they are at an unfair advantage.  It’s called crony capitalism, picking winners and […]

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