Spending Spree!

By:  Diane Benjamin Maybe the below will tell you why the public is encouraged to watch this meeting on-line instead of showing up.  In an “emergency”, keep citizens from speaking. WEEK is the only media I’ve seen saying the virus has likely been here for some time:  https://week.com/2020/03/20/mclean-county-reports-3-new-confirmed-cases-of-covid-19/?fbclid=IwAR0txyysl-6hw6DFVEnpzQ_g8xkdJh7ESaf0Re0UoDVIsLaSu2wYe3l0ukg Packet for Bloomington Monday night:  http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1067&Inline=True Hey […]

As Seen on Facebook:

By:  Diane Benjamin h/t a reader Defining what it means to be Progressive is Nikita Richard, failed candidate for McLean County Clerk: Nikita “tagged” McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael and McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage apparently to embarrassed them into allowing prisoners here to vote. Sheriff Sandage responded: Next, Kathy Michael responded, these comments appear […]

Why is Mike Matejka involved?

By:  Diane Benjamin Need proof Normal’s spending is to provide union jobs?   Keep reading.  When the private sector isn’t providing jobs, government is the only alternative. Mike Matejka is the Governmental Affairs Director, Great Plains Laborers District Council representing LiUNA locals in central Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. Why is Mike Matejka arranging official […]

Koos: Citizen Derangement Syndrome?

By:  Diane Benjamin Chris Koos posted this on Facebook: Other than bad grammer, this statement proves he is clueless.  He has not been paying attention to citizens because he doesn’t want to! Facts Chris: 1 Uptown Circle is a failure because of the ridiculous lease your previous Council approved to get the building built 1 […]

Pension Debt: Reserve the UHaul now

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington has finally posted the 4/30/19 financial statement. OPEB = Other Post Employment Benefits Both Bloomington and Normal are in more debt now because of pensions and OPEB. Bloomington has almost $231,000,000 in long term debt and growing Normal has more than $186,000,000 in long term debt and growing. Illinois isn’t even […]

Normal: Financial Trends

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve heard from numerous sources State Farm is not done downsizing their workforce.  If local governments don’t tighten their belts, the flight of residents will do it for them. These numbers were complied from what Normal reported to the Comptroller’s office:  Source: Normal – Warehouse   Note the number of employees.  Remember […]

Sports Complex?

By:  Diane Benjamin Why did the Sports Complex come back?  It looks like it’s being pushed by the Convention and Visitors Bureau:  (CVB) That email was included in one of the FOIA request I received. Another email shows the Normal City Manager’s response to a citizens opposed to the complex. I redacted he name: Meanwhile, […]

Failure to serve

By:  Diane Benjamin The local politicians have forgotten: Likely most didn’t run to serve, they ran to rule.   The people are sick of: excessive taxation handouts to government “friends” rotten roads sole focus on downtowns interference in free markets government pensions and lavish benefits laws being ignored citizens being ignored redistribution of the people’s wealth […]

The Cost to LEAVE Illinois goes up!

By:  Diane Benjamin We know people are leaving Illinois.  We also know the people in charge think they can fix everything with higher taxes.  Illinois is spiraling out of control while those who can take steps to reverse the course have their heads buried deep in propaganda.  Never forget what party is in complete control […]

Per Tari: Budgets are a figment of your imagination

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari did an interview with WGLT two days ago:  listen to the 2nd link starting around 10:30   https://www.wglt.org/post/aldermen-pass-budget-struggle-new-spending-designation-0?fbclid=IwAR2Jx7sTc9iwMkVidRvhpYMO1qW6fVsAusw2AvgTqosU6rvBSisBhLRyK84#stream/0 None of the below got covered in the WGLT story. If the current Council thought they were setting a path for spending next year, according to Tari, they are wrong.  He claimed budgets are […]

Roads hilarity

By: Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council held a Committee of the Whole meeting last night. The first topic was roads. City Manager Tim Gleason did a nice summary – just hit Play below. Points made during the discussion: 1) The ratings chart for streets has changed, the City thought they were too conservative for […]

Tired of being lied to?

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve been writing about the Coliseum and the lies media repeats for years! CIAM and VenuWorks created their own financial statements.  Every local media uses their numbers and repeats them like gospel.  Both can say anything they want in those statements – they create them. Numbers reported by both are not accurate, […]

Remember when Bloomington was broke?

By:  Diane Benjamin All Tari’s structural deficits put forth only to raise taxes have disappeared.  Bloomington is now on a spending spree! Proposed budget for next year:  http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=18372 Page 349 and following Remember when Bloomington wasn’t interested because they had too many other expenses? According to the last finance report, next years budget only spends […]

Normal tonight + History

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight the Normal Council will be meeting for just a few minutes.  The only highlight is selling 2 garbage trucks to the City of Kewanee for $260,000.  Normal already bought replacements. It is really tough to keep track of all the Uptown History and how much taxpayers money has been invested, so […]

What no one in Bloomington talks about

By:  Diane Benjamin The first thing that is NEVER discussed is what government should do verses what they are doing.  Budgeting requires making choices, Bloomington has decided roads aren’t that important.  What they want it more important.  You will probably be saddled with some type of water park and a sports complex this year. Let’s […]

Citizens of Normal need to see this one!

By:  Diane Benjamin Town Council meeting TUESDAY   http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3172  (delayed for MLK Day) Misc spending:  CDM is Children Discovery Museum.  It’s easy to give your money as a memorial! This is what you need to see: (yes it’s complicated) The Town of Normal owns the building at 104 W. North.  It is currently rented to Dan Brady […]

Bloomington Spiking, VenuWorks, and More

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll for Monday:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=20735 Two more employees are spiking their pensions – this is the penalty charged to taxpayers         When VenuWorks took over management of the Coliseum they wanted to remodel at taxpayer expense.  The City borrowed the money from them for the remodel.  These are […]

Debt: Normal vrs Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin As of 3/31/18 Normal had total debt of $89,823,286.  $88,125,000 won’t be paid off until 2041.  Interest rates range from 2.00% to 6.30%. Source As of 4/30/18 Bloomington had total debt of $242,010,034.  $57,095,000 won’t be paid off until 2035.  The interest rates aren’t listed.  $173,646,119 is liabilities for pensions and associated […]

Is this your wish for 2019?

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council has until April 1st to fire VenuWorks:  PDF page 2    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=10901 The Coliseum (Grossinger Motors Arena) continues to fleece taxpayers. The audited loss for last year was $2,168,534. https://blnnews.com/2018/11/18/the-media-wont-report-this/ Taxpayers were deceived by the consultants before it was built – against the wishes of citizens.  They predicted revenues […]

Non-Partisan?

By:  Diane Benjamin History Review: Obama won the October 2009 Noble Peace Prize.  He had been in office less than 9 months. During his 8 years (a short list): Russia seized Crimea Russia threatened Ukraine and shot down a passenger plane killing everyone on board North Korea developed long-range missiles China built islands for bases […]

More Council Fails last night

By:  Diane Benjamin City Manager Tim Gleason was on WJBC this morning.  The latest example of “leading from behind” is the new pension spiking policy.  Non-union employee policy will change AFTER all the union contracts are changed – if they are changed.  Those non-union employees are likely management.  Instead of setting an example of putting taxpayers […]

Bloomington Assaults Business tonight!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council will approve the “business license” at tonight’s meeting:       The City claims the $50 is a one-time fee.  It won’t be.  Businesses are required to re-register every year.  That means next year the City Manager will want “cost-recovery” again.  Gleason will suddenly realize staff needs to […]

What does the BCPA cost you?

By:  Diane Benjamin The budget for the BCPA is buried in the Parks and Rec.  I FOIA’d a detailed Parks and Rec budget to see exactly what it costs. The budget predicts Revenue of $3,073,270. It predicts Expenses of $3,349,098. That is a loss of $275,828. But that’s not the story! $1,700,000 of that $3 […]

Do you get TWO cost of living raises a year?

By:  Diane Benjamin Maybe some companies do give cost of living wage increases, I’ve just never heard of any.  Of course government exists for government employees, so the Town of Normal has it written in the City Code – twice a year revisions.  Wage increases are separate. Tonight the Council has to approve a $51,000 […]

Normal’s credit rating

By:  Diane Benjamin Moodys doesn’t have Normal at a AAA credit rating.  Their rating is still really good – AA1.  (Bloomington is AA2).  I can’t post link because an account needs to be created, you can create on for free at moodys.com Fitch rating services have a different story – Their rating for Normal is […]

Preaching Socialism

By:  Diane Benjamin Illinois People’s action was at the Sugar Creek Art Festival spreading socialism, note they target the young who don’t know that socialism kills: One item on the sign is 100% renewable energy.  Evidently they don’t know the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine.  Creating batteries to store energy […]

Pantagraph wrong again, but nothing new

By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph thanked Alderman Diana Hauman for serving and for publicly stating she is not running for reelection to the Bloomington City Council because she was not able to develop a cohesive Council. When Judy Stearns and Kevin Lower were members, the Council was very cohesive.  Everything they said was ignored. The […]

College – best values in Illinois

By:  Diane Benjamin Many students are making the decision for technical/trade schools instead of 4 year universities and colleges.  High paying jobs are going unfilled because college was deemed mandatory for success for many years.  It isn’t, not everybody is meant for college.  The cost isn’t worth the debt anymore. Forbes just came out with […]

Continuing “Right Fit” While Ignoring Needs

By:  Diane Benjamin Local governments in both Bloomington and Normal forgot a long time ago it isn’t their job to entertain you.  Raising taxes to pay for their folly costs everybody.  Want to know why Bloomington-Normal is becoming un-affordable?  Government tyranny!  They know better than you how to spend your money.  Worse, capitalism is murdered […]

Wrong side of the tracks

By:  Diane Benjamin In March I posted a story concerning the “luxury” apartments in the new building on Uptown Circle:     https://blnnews.com/2018/03/17/more-on-uptown-circle/ At that time Zillow showed 16 apartments for rent.  It now shows 14 ranging from $1650 and month to $4200:     https://www.zillow.com/b/1-uptown-circle-normal-il-9J8XNH/ Public Comment on items other than the Welcoming Ordinance was at […]

Normal’s Pension Problem (and Bloomington)

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal has to pay into three pension funds:  IMRF, Police, and Fire. The funding for IMRF isn’t horrible, Police and Fire are.  What does that say about who the Town management and Council respect and who they don’t? I’m sure you remember property taxes being raised year after year […]