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 […]

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 […]

$2,559,595!

By:  Diane Benjamin Below is what the failure by the Bloomington City Council to change the Sick Leave Buy Back policy has cost you.  Penalties began to be charged in 2012, they are assessed for allowing employees to spike their pensions with pay for unused days off. Received by FOIA from IMRF:  (the final cost […]

Trust Lesson for Tim Gleason

By:  Diane Benjamin The new Bloomington City Manager seems to be launching a campaign to make citizens trust their government.  No Tim, spending money on signs when a few roads get fixed isn’t going to cut it.  The people paying more for gas will see that as just another waste of their dollars. Since Tim […]

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 […]

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 […]

Bloomington’s fun last night

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council held a Committee of the Whole meeting last night.  Scott Black was absent this time, David Sage and Diana Hauman were absent at the last meeting.  Getting the whole gang to show up must be difficult. Part of the meeting was dedicated to next years budget. As as […]

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 […]

The CIAM Grand Jury

By:  Diane Benjamin Some local media have reported on the grand jury testimony which laid out the case against the 5 former Coliseum Managers. The City of Bloomington continues to claim they did not know about improprieties at the Coliseum until VenuWorks took over in July of 2016. The local media continues to let them […]

Coliseum trials not close

By:  Diane Benjamin The reason the courts move so slow is lawyers.  The attorney for Kelly Klein filed a motion to dismiss yesterday, but he didn’t sound optimistic when he filed it.  The State’s Attorney has 14 days to respond, then another 14 days for rebuttal by the defense, and 7 more for another reply […]

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 […]

Pantagraph fails again

By:  Diane Benjamin John Butler wants his trial moved out of McLean County because of remarks made by David Hales and Tari Renner.  I was also mentioned as a reason because my lawsuit made him look guilty!  Yes it did!   Since MANY readers are new, this story recaps the information I was able to obtain:  […]

Jim Karch: Class Act

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night at the Council meeting this was presented: It’s a huge award! I know there is tension between Jim and his employees.  They need to see the response I received from Jim when I congratulated him: Jim has always responded promptly to any questions I’ve asked.  I’ve emailed him on weekends […]

Soccer facts plus update on David Hales

By:  Diane Benjamin Thanks to a reader who sent me this story from the New York Times – dateline CHICAGO:  Maybe this is why the presenter Monday night said the sports complex has to be for more than soccer.     David Hales is acting just like he did in Bloomington!  He spent $1875 attending […]

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 […]

Council Recap

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council only had ONE meeting last night instead of 2 or 3.  It didn’t help them not spend your money, but at least they only contemplated how to shovel out more.  Of course, it was on downtown.  More later. Jamie Mathy did not attend, so Ward 1 had no […]

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 […]

Threw a party, few came

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday a Meet and Greet was held for the three remaining Bloomington City Manager candidates.  The paper failed to report a crowd was expected but didn’t show up.  The below is from reports by two people who did attend.  Citizens can vote for their choice at a link below. People who did […]

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 […]

Karma for David Hales!

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington’s former City Manager, who never found time to look at reports from the Coliseum, has moved on to Joliet.  Hales will always be known as the guy who the City Council heaped praise and huge raises on while theft of taxpayer dollars was happening right under his nose.  I know many […]

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 […]

You will never know the truth

By:  Diane Benjamin According to this Pantagraph story, the charges in the Coliseum case have been dropped against one of the 5 defendants and three others are in negotiations for a plea deal: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/arena-defendants-involved-in-talks-with-state/article_db37d3a5-218c-5fb4-8d6a-812671ec0118.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-2 Can anybody guess why comments aren’t allowed to this story? The LAST thing any level of government in McLean County wants is […]

WGLT finally sees the light?

By:  Diane Benjamin See this recent WGLT story:  http://wglt.org/post/new-documents-link-vague-coliseum-contract-criminal-charges The former Coliseum management could get greatly reduced sentences because the documents WGLT presented prove the City didn’t care – as in David Hales didn’t care.  Hales was paid huge bucks to manage the City, he failed.  I really hope he is called as a witness to […]

Government for the employees

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington changed the pension spiking policy for all new hires after they became liable for the increased cost – that was in 2012. The policy has not been changed for existing employees.  Why should any person be entitled to a pension they didn’t earn? Employees are getting paid months before they retire for […]