Free is mostly worthless

By: Diane Benjamin Think of anything you have ever received free. Advertising magnets? Pencils? Ink pens? How much value did they have? Probably not much. JB wants to give away college education Who is going to pay these salaries? That would be every taxpayer in Illinois who already paid for their college education or never […]

Dear Illinois taxpayers:

From Truth in Accounting – each of you owes $49,500 because the wrong Constitutional Amendment is on the ballot. Fixing unfunded pension liability isn’t as important as giving unions more taxing power. Vote NO to Amendment 1 and NO to the people who did this to you:

Unit 5 Vote YES group using fuzzy math

By: Diane Benjamin See Unit 5’s state report card here: https://www.illinoisreportcard.com/District.aspx?source=trends&Districtid=17064005026 Graduation rate is 90% 35% need Community College remediation 30% of 8th Graders pass Algebra 1 26% are chronically truant (90% graduate?) Unit 5 is currently spending $12,000 per student. Unit 5 now wants a tax increase expected to raise $20,000,000. h/t a reader: […]

Have the citizens of Normal noticed?

By: Diane Benjamin Nothing is new here. Normal has a long record of disregarding the wishes of citizens. I can’t possibly remember everything, but start with the most recent and work back. All of the below have stories on BlnNews.com, use Search if you want more information. A. Normal ignored the rights of citizens in […]

Bloomington tonight 8-22-2022

By: Diane Benjamin FYI: Committee of the Whole meeting information from 8/15/2022 is missing from the City website. Tonight: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/5a24c4d2-a62d-11ec-8a90-0050569183fa-36dc0a47-f3e1-4a7f-ab53-55227cac04fe-1660859356.pdf The mayor continues to reappoint the same people to Boards and Commissions, tonight the Transportation Commission. As a comment here stated – Renner is still running the City. Spending more of the free money that […]

5 Things you need to know

By: Diane Benjamin 1) I’m collecting signs gas stations have on their pumps to comply with Pritzker’s demand people know he delayed the $.02 increase until after the election. Thorton’s at Route 9 and Hershey just has the Pritzker verbiage. Correction: This is at the Exxon Mobile station off 74 in Downs. The reader who […]

Normal: How much debt do you still have?

By: Diane Benjamin At last night’s Council meeting the Kevin McCarthy had to point out the Town paid off an $8 million bond from 2012. Wonderful, but how much debt is left? As of 3/31/2021 the Town reported $81,345,000 to the Comptroller’s Office: We won’t know the exact number until the 3/31/2022 reports are released, […]

Part 1 of Bloomington last night

By: Diane Benjamin One Public Comment was exceptional last night. Gary Lambert speaks pretty often, always showing lots of common sense. Gary responded to something Mayor Mboka wrote in the Pantagraph wanting the State to quite keeping more of the local tax money than they used to. Gary threw that letter back in his face […]

Uptown: We will take two please

By: Diane Benjamin Is Uptown a success? The successful buildings on the circle so far are government owned, Children’s Discovery Museum and Amtrak/Town offices. The third building still has an empty first floor and the taxpayers are renting the entire second floor for the Town. (Remember when the Council told Pam it was a high […]

Amy Roser – Unit 5 needs trained too

By: Diane Benjamin Roser is the chair of the Unit 5 School Board. Before Public comment she read HER list of rules which is immaterial since the law provides citizens Free Speech. Hear her rules at 1:23:00. Next review this story, Urbana wouldn’t have settled the case before going to court if they thought they […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

Update: Inflation? Obviously

A reader just emailed this information: Nicor natural gas: Price per therm: May 2020 – .26 May 2021 – .53 By: Diane Benjamin If you heat your house with propane: For the 2019-2020 heating season the price per gallon was $1.399 For the 2020-2021 heating season the price per gallon was $1.259 Of course that […]

Normal is even worse

By: Diane Benjamin h/t a reader I wonder if Kathleen Lorenz thinks this makes the “professional staff” that can’t be questioned look good? That “professional staff” creates the budget, did they skip funding pensions? I wonder what will happen if Stan Nord mentions this at a meeting! I can predict: Link to the Bloomington data: […]

Looking bad Bloomington!

By: Diane Benjamin h/t a reader Stay tuned, Normal is next. Wirepoints.org analyzed the pensions funding for 175 Illinois communities. Lots of other information is also included. Bloomington received a “D” rating. The results prove how much government has grown in 19 years and how the increased revenue wasn’t used for essential items like funding […]

Amenity not Economic Development

By: Diane Benjamin Last night’s Bloomington council meeting: Tari Renner and the Clerk had to be reminded Public Comment was skipped. I hope the next mayor can read and follow an agenda, Tari can’t (numerous examples from recent meetings). See around 49:00. There was only one Public Comment. Ward 3 candidate Willie Holton Halbert took […]

Shoving through O’Neil

By: Diane Benjamin After years of discussing what to do with O’Neil pool City Manager Gleason wants to have a vote next Monday to proceed with the plan presented last night. Even though the two west side aldermen didn’t bother to show up to hear about the project, full steam ahead! The current skate park […]

Proof of the Koos debt

By: Diane Benjamin I could write MANY stories about last night’s Bloomington Council meeting. I might write more, I might not. I didn’t want you to miss this graphic: Every citizen of Normal is in twice as much debt as those who live in Bloomington. That is why the end of the Uptown TIF is […]

Tari Flashback, Monday’s agenda

By: Diane Benajmin Something I found while looking for something else, this is dated in December of 2017: https://www.wjbc.com/2017/12/13/renner-bloomington-wont-be-sanctuary-city-mayor-sees-need-to-cut-personnel-costs-to-reduce-spending/ Excerpt: Monday night Jenn Carrillo’s Welcoming City Ordinance is on the agenda: Are you going to tell the Council not to approve this Tari? Change your mind? You now want Bloomington to be a sanctuary City […]

Message from Koos buddy Dave Shields

By: Diane Benjamin h/t a reader Dave Shields must still be hurting from losing to Stan Nord 2 years ago: Sorry Dave, but it appears your opinion doesn’t carry a lot of weight. That doesn’t stop Dave from working for his good buddy Chris Koos however. Does Davie know Town elections are supposedly non-partisan? Sure […]

Local hypocrisy

By: Diane Benjamin WGLT and the League of Women Voters are teaming up for mayoral debates: https://lwvmclean.org/about-us Board of Directors for the League of Women Voters: Remember these names if you read the Letters to the Editor in the Pantagraph. h/t a reader: https://www.pantagraph.com/opinion/letters/letter-incumbents-will-keep-future-strong/article_9ed48258-dbbf-58fa-ac54-2fa91d8f1cc8.html Laurie Bergner, Community Education Chair for the League, wrote to extoll […]