5 Things you need to know

By: Diane Benjamin 1) Pantagraph article on the Normal Town Council meeting: https://pantagraph.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/watch-now-mural-controversy-raises-new-questions-about-disconnect-in-normal/article_9ea2ebcb-99b6-55e9-8798-76e5962bb873.html Excerpt: Did the reporter watch the meeting? A “number of people” were disrupting the meeting. Was the reporter told not to mention the only reason Public Comment was moved is because Stan Nord made a motion to let them speak? It wasn’t […]

Parting gift: Tari guilty of another OMA violation

By: Diane Benjamin WGLT reported yesterday Bloomington was found guilty of violating the Open Meetings Act in 2017 for discussing ending the Metro Zone agreement with Normal in secret. The Attorney General had previously ruled it illegal, according to the article the current ruling reversed a lower court ruling. https://www.wglt.org/post/appeals-court-bloomington-violated-open-meetings-act Besides the fact Justice Delayed […]

Trust Renner? Bloomington Monday

By: Diane Benjamin On Monday’s agenda: http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1102&Inline=True Renner won’t be Mayor in just over 3 months. Why is he trying to enshrine Gleason until 2025? If the socialists take over the Council April 6th Tim won’t be nearly radical enough for them. I’m sure Gleason has a huge buyout in his contract to leave, David […]

How much was wasted allowing employees to spike pensions?

By: Diane Benjamin The law was changed in 2012 to require additional contributions to IMRF retirement fund if employees received large payouts that increased their pension at retirement. (accelerated payments) That law was badly needed because cities and employees never contributed to the higher payouts. Since the spiking practice should now be over in Bloomington […]

Before you believe John Butler:

By: Diane Benjamin John Butler and his lawyers have been telling media John didn’t know his employees were stealing concession money. Evidently he’s such a great guy he agreed to a misdemeanor and paid $450,000 in restitution just because. That of course was after spending who knows how many thousands (hundreds of thousands?) on attorneys […]

Flashback 2014, what we don’t see anymore

By:  Diane Benjamin I was searching my site for one name mentioned in this 2014 story, sorry no hints. Maybe you too have forgotten how bad the PCard spending was in 2014.  Happily we don’t see this excessive eating at your expense anymore, just occasionally now. Relive the “free lunch” Tari used to claim didn’t […]

Fact Checking Tari

By:  Diane Benjamin At last Monday’s meeting Mayor Tari Renner mentioned for the thousandth time the City of Bloomington is down 100 employees.  He claims they are doing more with fewer employees. He never mentions that possibly Bloomington at one time had too many employees and couldn’t afford them! I compiled the below from what […]

Bloomington – Monday night

By:  Diane Benjamin https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=22419 There isn’t any new business on the agenda – everything is on the Consent Agenda.  Unless some item is pulled, the meeting will last 10 minutes. The former Gypsy Room, now Mystic Kitchen and Tasting Room is up for a Liquor License.  It includes package liquor.  To start they will only […]

Tari’s Racist comment isn’t going away

Link to WEEK TV story: https://week.com/news/bloomington-normal-news/2019/06/24/black-chamber-of-commerce-member-addressed-bloomington-mayors-racial-comments-at-council-meeting/   By:  Diane Benjamin Public Comment during the Bloomington City Council meeting featured two speakers from outside of Bloomington who felt they had to travel area to confront the mayor.  The first guy was Cornel Darden representing the South Suburban Region Black Chamber of Commerce.  Hear his comments at […]

UPDATE #2: HUGE Bloomington Error

Jim Karch just informed me the letter was sent to around 1200 businesses. Doing rough calculations, this cost the Water Department about the same amount they lost when the City diverted $2.4 million to the Coliseum from their Fund – and then wrote off the loss. https://blnnews.com/2015/12/13/2400000-disappears-at-coliseum/ On the bright side, this money stayed in […]

Where is Mark Peterson?

By: Diane Benjamin The former Normal City Manager isn’t sitting back enjoying retirement on his fat pension, he has a new job: https://www.govhrusa.com/associates/mark-peterson/ Mark is a Vice President for GovHR! Click the link above to see his glowing resume. Quotes: Mark doesn’t mention the still empty first floor of 1 Uptown Circle. He also doesn’t […]

Bloomington Bills for Monday night

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=20987 More pensions spiking:  (the penalties will come late)           Coliseum continues to fleece:     Employee partying, but called Community Relations.  Were you invited?     Springfield Law firm MONTHLY charges:     I have no idea what this is, but Nov-Jan wasn’t paid until February?  Is […]

Last night – Finally some financial transparency

By:  Diane Benjamin I hope your furnace is doing better than mine, it’s down again for the second time in 2 weeks!  At least this time we didn’t have to wait 24 hours for our road to be plowed so the repair guy could get here. Every Ward had their representative show up last night!  The […]

Liars lie – More lack of Transparency

By:  Diane Benjamin I really hope the Bloomington City Council realizes how foolish they were tolerating David Hales management of the City for over 8 years.  Keep in mind they heaped praise on him and lavish raises while Council meetings dragged on and on with little being accomplished. Last night’s Council meeting was 45 minutes […]

Updated: Bloomington Bills for Monday

Check out the speaker list at the US Conference of Mayors.  It was a party for leftists. By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=20847 I wonder if Jenn Carrillo and Jeff Crabill know the City already does lots of wealth redistribution? All of the below are low or no interest loans and grants just in this one check […]

Tari needs reigned in AGAIN

By:  Diane Benjamin The Council held a retreat on November 4, 2017.  The minutes from the meeting show just how bad a City Manager David Hales was.  See them here, rarely do the minutes reflect contentious discussions – you can see some of it here even if they don’t reflect how bad it was:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16276 […]

Tuesday: More Master Plans

By:  Diane Benjamin Faulty planning forced the citizens of Bloomington to pay for a Fire Station that has NEVER been used.  Tom Hamilton thought Mitsubishi would bring another 10-12000 people to the southwest side of town.  He guessed wrong and wasted millions of dollars! From Wikipedia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_planning The most notable critique of economic planning came from […]

Coliseum – one guilty

By:  Diane Benjamin One of the 5 charged in connection with the Coliseum pleaded guilty yesterday.  See this Pantagraph story:   https://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/guilty-former-bloomington-arena-official-gets-fine-probation-after-plea/article_00b6cb16-2aeb-5558-9614-2a50e543d503.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-2 One part of the story doesn’t make any sense: ________________________ I hope these numbers aren’t what the entire case against the five is based on.  The commissions don’t make any sense either. According to […]

Future of Joliet city manager said to be uncertain

That would be David Hales – looks like Joliet is way smarter than Bloomington was! https://www.theherald-news.com/2018/10/05/future-of-joliet-city-manager-said-to-be-uncertain/a2qxw45/ City Manager David Hales’ future in Joliet may be up in the air. Sources said that the City Council has begun to consider the prospect of Hales leaving before the end of his contract and possibly before the end […]

Bloomington Taxpayers Deserve a Trial

By:  Diane Benjamin Five people involved with running the Coliseum have been charged with felonies.  The failure by the City of Bloomington to protect taxpayer dollars deserves to be exposed in open court. The citizens didn’t want it built, there was a non-binding referendum stating it.  It was built anyway and has been a constant […]

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 […]

Bloomington’s spending priorities Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin If the new City Manager is able to sell his house in Decatur, maybe he can take David Hales’s house off his hands.  It is still for sale, reduced AGAIN to $245,000.  It started at $279,900 last November.    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/5-Conway-Cir-Bloomington-IL-61704/76972678_zpid/?fullpage=true Tari’s favorite non-profit, Illinois Policy Institute, wrote about Bloomington’s new City Manager, it’s […]

Arena – Will Gleason shut it down?

By:  Diane Benjamin The local paper has an editorial declaring the new City Manager the right guy because Decatur re-did their downtown.  They think Normal did, so there is no reason Bloomington can’t. They forgot Normal was in ZERO debt before they spent around $100,000,000 on Uptown.  (Is that restaurant space on the Circle still […]

A Can’t miss story:

By:  Diane Benjamin The same search firm, GovHR, that found Bloomington’s 3 City Manager candidates also recommended David Hales to Joliet. A reporter in Joliet wrote on June 3rd about Hales’ first 6 months.  It’s not going well.  This story was on Facebook last night.  If you didn’t see it there, read it here: https://patch.com/illinois/joliet/joliets-city-manager-david-hales-may-be-bad-fit-ferak […]

Arena losses – fiction

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve been writing about the Coliseum (Grossinger Motors Arena) for YEARS.  This “White Elephant” has been a constant drain on taxpayers since it was conceived.  The losses are huge, theft is being prosecuted, the City failed to oversee operations, economic impact numbers are made up, and new management is doing little to […]

Who destroyed downtown?

By:  Diane Benjamin According to Wikipedia: Back in 1967 virtually nothing existed where Eastland Mall is today.  Locals tell me the City Council cheered the new mall without understanding moving anchor stores from downtown would result in today’s conditions. How many employees did the Pantagraph formerly have downtown?  They recently created another empty large building […]

Another one bites the dust

By:  Diane Benjamin YMCA, State Farm, and now Specs Around Town are just some businesses who have or will be leaving downtown Bloomington. City of Bloomington:  Whatever you are doing is causing flight from downtown. Downtown is for bars, restaurants, lawyers, and government.  Until Bloomington quits trying to make downtown something it isn’t, the few businesses […]