Downtown: 100 miles per hour

By:  Diane Benjamin Tomorrow the stacked Downtown Committee is holding a listening session – public comment at 5:15 in the Council Chambers. In case you forgot who is on this committee:  https://blnnews.com/2017/05/03/taris-downtown-task-force/ Showing up and telling them downtown isn’t worth reinventing won’t help (The town moved east, but they haven’t noticed).  The Committee has three […]

Downtown smells

By:  Diane Benjamin Last week I received this email from a patron of a downtown Bloomington business: When I drove down Main Street today, I noticed that several businesses had their doors wide open.  I made a comment to an employee at the locale where I was conducting my business about the nice weather outside.  […]

Why planners shouldn’t plan!

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington has Master Plans for everything – instead of fixing the roads, they spent MILLIONS of dollars on plans that are now out of date. Gee, maybe they should just do the essential services citizens want and quit trying to create demand where none exists!  (Limited Government – figure […]

Lawyer Comedy!

By:  Diane Benjamin Jeff Jurgens needs to take his show on the road.  The City of Bloomington has BOUGHT the Springfield law firm now, so any opinions he offers are obviously going to be the answer the City wants to hear.  Keep in mind the City sends Sorling Northup Hanna around $60,000 every month.  A […]

Tari’s Downtown Task Force

By:  Diane Benjamin The Budget Task Force was ignored, so I have no idea why Tari is organizing another task force for downtown. More interesting is who he appointed: Justin Boyd – Tari’s campaign chairman Tricia Stiller – head of the Downtown Business Association (DBA) that was supposed to be self-sufficient years ago.  They still […]

Bloomington dying under Renner

By:  Diane Benjamin The real story of Bloomington is it is in a steep decline.  We felt it, Moody’s confirmed months ago that Bloomington-Normal is in a recession. Here’s more proof:  http://247wallst.com/special-report/2016/09/22/cities-with-the-fastest-growing-and-shrinking-economies-2/7/ Bloomington was named the NUMBER ONE city in the country with a shrinking economy! Note: this is 2015 – 2016 was worse! Also […]

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 […]

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 […]

More on “Councils Don’t Listen”

By:  Diane Benjamin See this story from yesterday:  Why City Councils Don’t Listen After writing more than 4000 stories, I had forgotten I wrote about the Julie Crowe case when she won the lawsuit:  Julie Crowe Defeats the City of Bloomington That story contains a link to the original Council vote denying her the Vehicle-For-Hire […]

Why City Councils don’t listen

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight Bloomington is holding a public hearing on the budget for the year that starts May 1st. All you need to know is Bloomington is planning on hiring 4 more employees which will make the pension liability even higher and, to balance the budget, they are robbing the Enterprise Funds: I guess […]

Pantagraph accidentally prints the truth

By:  Diane Benjamin Stories about millennials NOT wanting to live downtown have been circulating on the Internet since 2015.  The PLANNERS were wrong. Tari can’t be happy. I wonder if his weekly meetings with the City reporter will be cancelled! Tari’s theory of downtown being Bloomington’s future just took a blow.  He can build a […]

Show this to Tari supporters!

By:  Diane Benjamin The budget Tari Renner inherited when he became mayor was $167 million.  (2014)  Page 3 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=5104 2015 budget was $180.4 million  Page 3 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=7075 This took 13.4 million out of the local economy 2016 budget was 186.3 million  Page 15 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=9210 This took another 6.3 out of the local economy for a […]

WJBC – broadcasting through tin cans?

By:  Diane Benjamin From 5-7 pm last night WJBC had a round table discussion with 4 of the 5 mayoral candidates.  Unfortunately, the sound was awful!  As soon as the news director started talking, the sound quality went far south.  It’s a shame the broadcast quality wasn’t better. Ian Bayne did not show up for […]

Bloomington: $20 Million in cuts?

By:  Diane Benjamin Can $20 million be cut from Bloomington’s budget?  David Hales thinks disaster would strike Bloomington if the tax increases were rolled back.  (The media happily reports it!) Here’s a better question: The 2012 TOTAL budget was $165.3 million (Pre Tari) The 2013 TOTAL budget was $167 million (Pre Tari) That 2017 TOTAL […]

Tari Renner needs to explain:

By:  Diane Benjamin From today’s rennerformayor Twitter: What risk? I thought local elections were called non-partisan because everybody runs to make Bloomington better! Obviously Renner thinks something is at risk!   What would that be and who are these amazing residents you talked to Tari? Does this mean residents who don’t support your agenda aren’t amazing […]

Renner Flashback

By:  Diane Benjamin Watch this REALLY short video: . HyVee is in a strip mall . Renner created a TIF for the old K-Mart Plaza strip mall . GreenTop Grocery is in a strip mall. . The old GE Plant may be turned into a strip mall . Eastland Mall is dying But, Renner learned […]

Bloomington is in recession

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s not me saying Bloomington is in a recession, it’s: . The report doesn’t go into details about Bloomington – just this statement on page 4: . See the entire report HERE Next month’s primary election just got serious.  Liberal progressives think they need to keep spending money in a recession, conservatives […]

Maybe Hauman and Renner can split the vote!

By:  Diane Benjamin There are people in Bloomington who don’t care what high taxes under Tari Renner are doing to the poor.  How many Bloomington residents know the City DOUBLED the amount landlords pay to register properties?  Who is hurt?  Renters – the poor.  If any members of the Council complain about high rents so […]

The Debate!

By:  Diane Benjamin It was WONDERFUL only having 3 of the 5 candidates show up last night, the audience got much more information from the candidates than would have been possible with all 5 there.  The room was packed with people wanting to hear what the candidates had to say. If you didn’t attend or […]

Can the bought media legally campaign?

By:  Diane Benjamin This story is a follow-up to:  https://blnnews.com/2017/01/04/does-media-violate-campaign-laws/ Prior to the Coliseum, the BCPA, and Uptown events the local media didn’t reap huge profits from government advertising. Should it be legal for the Pantagraph to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars from government and then print editorials supporting their benefactors? If the Pantagraph […]

Local elections CAN’T be non-partisan

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight there is a mayoral debate at the Doubletree – 7:00pm.  Come early, at least some candidates will be there early. Two candidates won’t be there:  Diana Hauman and Robert Fike Either they aren’t serious candidates or they are afraid to answer questions, the debate is being held by Cities 92.9. Tari […]

Bloomington found the whole video!

By:  Diane Benjamin This morning the archived video of last night Council meeting was still missing the first 35 minutes.  At some point today the entire video was located! So who screwed up? (you will never know) One Public Comment you don’t want to miss is a dad who has coached his kid’s soccer team […]

What Bloomington is paying Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin The agenda for Monday’s meeting was posted on Thursday.  The agenda lists the total to be approved for payment in Bills and Payroll.  Somehow, even though the City knew what the list was, it wasn’t posted until after 4:30 Friday.  Anybody think they are hiding something?  See the list HERE Actually a […]

Elect Hauman? WHY?

By:  Diane Benjamin Below is a brief recap of things I’ve written about previously: Comprehensive City Manger reports are no longer issued because Hauman thinks they are a waste of money.  Now citizens have no idea how tax receipts are trending.  See email HERE  This email also sounds like she doesn’t care about speakers at […]

Government media isn’t going to tell you

By:  Diane Benjamin When the local media is bought and paid for with government advertising dollars, you will never hear the truth.  (Local Media Is Fake News) Did they ever tell you Connect Transit budgets a $12,000,000 loss per year so empty buses can drive all over Bloomington-Normal? I missed the bus fire at the […]

Macy’s: Why they are closing

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington Macy’s store is closing while the Champaign store isn’t.  The Internet is NOT the reason. If the Bloomington store was profitable, it wouldn’t be closing. Champaign is a lot like Bloomington (Champaign is a little bigger), but they don’t have a zoo, 3 golf courses, a Coliseum, a Pepsi Ice […]

Why local media is FAKE NEWS

By:  Diane Benjamin Every major news source in Bloomington-Normal is supported by thousands of your tax dollars.  In less than two years your tax dollars went to: Pantagraph:  $338,493.91 WJBC etc:   $148,965.78 Cities 92.9 etc:  $30,474.30 City governments send regular payouts to these entities for thousands of dollars in what they call advertising.  Not limiting themselves […]

Tari admits subverting capitalism

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner believes in the top down approach to government.  He wants total control of local economic development.  Think about his hotel plans in downtown Bloomington that will steal business from existing hotels.  HE wants to decide who succeeds and who fails.   Understand now why he didn’t sign the loyalty oath […]

Election Day

By:  Diane Benjamin Tomorrow will be a disastrous day for our country.  Close to 50% of the population will despise whoever is elected. The results are immaterial. We are powerless to do anything about it. Quit stressing about things you have no control over! The D.C. and Springfield clowns all came from local government. You […]

Boring predictable Council meeting

By:  Diane Benjamin Of course the TIF District passed last night 8-1.  Only Kevin Lower knows government doesn’t create economic development without taking your money to do it.  Free markets are dead in Bloomington.  I hear Giebelhausen is still planning a hotel for the Pantagraph building, not where the City wants one and not in […]

About that last Downtown TIF

By:  Diane Benjamin The lovers of all things downtown like to claim the last TIF was a huge success. How about some facts? 212 N Center – the address of the Ensenberger condos – shows 31 units on the County website.  Only 8 of the 31 are now owned by someone other than the Huffs.  […]

Council last night

By:  Diane Benjamin Mayor Renner was in Cuba, so Karen Schmidt conducted the meeting. The Coliseum got more of your money and it sounds like much more to come: Evidently the design of the Coliseum is REALLY bad – Hales plans to budget more changes to the building in coming years.  Watch the video starting […]

Coliseum: Just THIS year’s costs

By: Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph has a ridiculous editorial today urging the City to spend spend spend on downtown.  They must not realize with building the Coliseum and covering the losses, rehabbing the BCPA, and with the TIF dollars from the past – Bloomington is probably close to spending $100,000,000.  Don’t forget to add the […]

“Planners” destroying Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin Nothing citizens said at the Citizen’s Summit mattered. Nothing Bring It On Bloomington said mattered either. The Budget Task Force was a joke. The Downtown Stakeholders meeting held last night was equally for show, except the City most likely bought the food that was served. The stakeholders nixed a downtown hotel!  Therefore, […]

UPDATE: Anybody see a problem:

There is yet another meeting tonight – again not on the City Calendar.  It is on the Home page of the City website:  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=18&recordid=3777&returnURL=%2findex.aspx It is about Hamilton Road.  Interested parties should attend.  This one starts at 5:00 at Prairie Vista.  The only meeting on the calendar is Citizens Beautification. By:  Diane Benjamin This meeting […]