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 […]

Did the City of Bloomington make a campaign contribution?

By: Diane Benjamin Tax dollars, actually fake money that doesn’t really exist, was given out for this: I appreciate the local democrats publicly saying they got improvements with tax dollars. Your landlord invested in the PARTY? Taxpayers did but they never agreed! I hope the rent went up substantially. Do democrats know the Feds spent […]

Comptroller’s office finally tells the truth

By: Diane Benjamin More on these two stories: As I stated in one of the stories above, government employees would rather talk to me over the phone instead of in writing. That eliminates the paper trail, the email below proves it: On November 9, 2023, at 3:41 PM, “Pallasch, Abdon” <a[email protected]> wrote: Hmmm… […]

Comptroller’s office responded, just not with an explanation

By: Diane Benjamin Follow-up to this story: I didn’t send that story to them, somebody must have or they found the “tag”. I received an email yesterday: . I didn’t use an email address because the on-line contact form doesn’t have one. See it here: I rarely make phone calls because I want […]

Illinois Comptroller must have decided to void transparency

By: Diane Benjamin The purpose of the Local Government Data on the Comptroller’s website is to present finances in a way citizens can understand. When the data isn’t available it should make everyone wonder why! Normal’s year end was last March 31st. The “landing page” for Normal has been updated to reflect the FY 2023 […]

Darin Lahood supports sending more money to Ukraine

The “war” has been going on for more than 1 year. Biden has prevented peace talks. Meanwhile, we are funding salaries and pensions for people in Ukraine – I believe the total is up to $130 billion with no accountability or transparency on who’s pocket our money ended up in. Ukraine is a corrupt […]

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. […]

A couple of things to know:

By: Diane Benjamin The National League of Cities created a searchable database showing where the Infrastructure Bill money is being spent. Look at Illinois – lots of money went to Public Transportation and electric buses. I wonder how many were bought from the bankrupt Proterra? Keep in mind all this money was printed and increased […]

Fitch proved why credit ratings are a joke

By: Diane Benjamin Fitch downgraded the US credit yesterday: 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 […]

New use for the Coliseum

By: Diane Benjamin FYI: The Council that hired Tim Gleason and that mayor are long gone. Gleason was hired to revitalize downtown because he revitalized Decatur’s (sort of). After 5:00 very little happens in the closed up downtown businesses. It is nothing like Bloomington’s downtown that exists for lawyers, people accused of crimes, homeless people, […]

WGLT wants Unit 5 referendum to pass and are paying to scare you

By: Diane Benjamin WGLT employee RC McBride chaired the Vote YES for Unit 5 group that failed to get the referendum passed in November. That should convince you WGLT actively tried to convince you to vote YES, RC is the General Manager. On January 19th WGLT did a story detailing draconian cuts that would happen […]

Bloomington raised your property taxes last night

By: Diane Benjamin I looked at the City website last night and no agenda was posted for the “special meeting”. It did announce the Committee of the Whole meeting was cancelled. No wonder nobody showed up for Public Comment! The “Special Meeting” agenda is posted now. Meetings that just happened are erased only to reappear […]

Public-Private Partnership Fail: Coliseum

By: Diane Benjamin The Arena was renamed in 2017 when Grossinger Motors agreed to pay naming rights. See this story: The naming rights expired June 30, 2022. Grossinger Motors doesn’t even exist anymore so obviously they didn’t renew the naming rights. I would have to file a FOIA to see if they even paid […]

Unit 5 Vote YES group using fuzzy math

By: Diane Benjamin See Unit 5’s state report card here: 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, use Search if you want more information. A. Normal ignored the rights of citizens in […]

1 Uptown Circle finally has a restaurant

By: Diane Benjamin The new restaurant was announced on Facebook: How much is Normal rebating? Since nothing happens in Uptown without incentives look for food and beverage tax rebates and maybe some free parking for customers in the garage. Review this story for details of what Normal wanted in this space back in 2016: […]

Facts Matter, just not to everybody

By: Diane Benjamin EDC director Patrick Hoban showed up at the Bloomington City Council meeting to push for the $750,000 downtown study. He claimed downtown is the heart of the City (heard that before?) and he has studies that claim the Return on Investment is between 100 and 500%. He also claimed we don’t need […]

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: 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 […]

Bloomington: What you need to know from Monday

By: Diane Benjamin Note to Jamie Mathy: Future Councils are not bound by actions of past Councils. The Tari Renner “ramp” pension funding plan means zero if it can’t be afforded. Tari knew he wouldn’t be around to find at least $10 million more a year in the future. Renner already locked the Council into […]

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, […]

Normal: Want to know how much Leah Marlene cost?

By: Diane Benjamin It would be nice if a Trustee asked if the Town was reimbursed by the show: It would also be nice if a Trustee asked why Uptown Circle wasn’t built ADA compliant the first time: This one is on the Omnibus Agenda, unless somebody pulls it questions won’t be asked. Gala […]

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 […]

A Water Park was shoved through, Is the Library next?

By: Diane Benjamin Last week I was at the Tri-Valley High School. They recently finished a renovation that included a new library. I was shocked to see what was missing: BOOKS. The library had some books but not shelf-covered walls normally associated with a library. My tour guide told me the kids don’t read books […]

Monday bills: Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin I finally got tired of waiting for the BCPA to publish event reports. I filed a FOIA for them today. From Bills and Payroll: BCPA shows: What is the Coliseum still costing you? Only INTEREST is being paid on Monday. Maybe the financial statements will have more details. Below are bond […]

Normal: You get an underpass whether you want it or not

By: Diane Benjamin Most of what you need to know about the passage of accepting all the grant money is in the underpass vote. Koos, McCarthy, Smith, and Cummings were enthusiastic Yes votes. Nord voted No, Preston and Lorenz squeaked out Yes votes after uncomfortable pauses. Watch just the vote here: What else you need […]

No Stan you aren’t allowed to represent voters

By: Diane Benjamin Every municipality is required by law to have an ethics ordinance, Normal doesn’t have one. Details in this story: Of course, in Illinois laws are immaterial. Last night Normal held a Special Meeting to accuse Stan Nord of disrespecting Pam Reece because he stands up for citizens. Unfortunately Stan has no […]

Riveting assemblage tonight in Normal?

By: Diane Benjamin Keep in mind many of Normal’s professional staff don’t live in Normal: 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 […]