LWV ISN’t non-partisn

By:  Diane Benjamin If anybody thinks the League of Women Voters is non-partisan,  this will prove they aren’t: Reproductive Rights means the right to kill babies. In 1857 the Supreme Court ruled a former slave who had lived in  territories where slavery was prohibited was not entitled to be free.   http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/on-this-day/March/Supreme-Court-Rules-Against-Dred-Scott.html That Supreme Court decision […]

Normal: Revised Schedule + Spending

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal Town Council tonight:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2745 More proof the Chamber of Commerce is working AGAINST citizens: This is the trip to explore building a sports complex here.  Even if it brings tourism dollars to hotels, restaurants, and retail, these are LOW WAGE jobs.  Guess who is going to pay for it! One person can’t […]

Fun Facts (or not so fun facts)

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington population:  78,005 Normal Population:  54,264 Bloomington Total Budget:  $214,126,710 PDF Page 2:  http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=13155 Normal Total Budget:  $107,133,177 PDF Page 15   http://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/11571 Normal has 30% fewer citizens. Normal budgets 50% of what Bloomington does. Bloomington spends $2,745 for every citizens Normal spends $1,974 for every citizen Bloomington total debt 4/30/16:  270,629,828 http://warehouse.illinoiscomptroller.com/ProcessSearchResults.cfm?DisplayMode=GETAFR&AFRDesiredData=Indebtedness&Code=064/025/30&CFY=2016&Menu=Yes&PrintIt=No 4/30/17 information […]

Judy Stearns on WJBC

By:  Diane Benjamin I know some of you have seen this story on Facebook, but I kept running into people this weekend that didn’t.  That means I HAVE to print it. Here’s the back story according to Judy Stearns: Tari Renner was on WJBC this week.  Scott Laughlin asked him about Judy’s appearance Monday night […]

Guest Editorial!

By:  Angela Scott An open letter to Bloomington City Council and Mayor Renner. Here are a few quotes from the Mayor’s comments last week.Tari stated, “Frankly here at the local level and I’m talking about more than words” and goes on to imply there have been physical altercations. He also stated, “Frivolous complaints and multiple […]

Monday: Funding Gap! Ha Ha

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s way past time for adults to be running the City of Bloomington!  We are tired of the lies and the abuse of taxpayers by pretending the city doesn’t have enough money because taxpayers aren’t paying enough. End the charade.  Cancel the court jesters.  It’s OVER! They just don’t know it yet.  […]

The CITIZENS of Atlanta saved themselves $200,000

By:  Diane Benjamin The ONLY reason the Atlanta Public Library is no longer paying Bill Thomas $1000 per month for leasing his building is because citizens stood up and demanded answers! Bill wanted to sell his building to the library for $200,000.  It is not assessed for tax purposes anywhere near that. From the June […]

Atlanta Library makes HUGE OMA violation

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night I made a road trip to Atlanta Il for their Library Board meeting.  This is a Board under investigation for numerous items including grant fraud, improper disposable of cooking oil in a sewer, and failure to perform audits and report financial information to the Comptroller.  The main offender is their […]

Normal’s priorities: What?

By:  Diane Benjamin Most people think the job of local government is Police, Fire, Water, Sewers, and Roads. Look at what Normal’s priorities are based on where they spending money:  PDF page 133  http://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/12750 Try to use and elitist accent here.  Repeat after me: Normal spent more on “Culture and Recreation” than they did on roads! […]

Town of Normal Debt

By:  Diane Benjamin As of 3/31/17 PDF page 41:  http://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/12750 Yes the citizens still owe $87,783,723 for Koos’s Uptown dreams. Police pensions are only 51.76% funded (PDF Page 129) Fire pensions are only 55.53% funded (PDF Page 130) That is why citizens are on the hook for $56,106.352 just for these two pension funds.  Obviously the guys […]

What David Hales never checked-CIAM

By:  Diane Benjamin The 10 year agreement with CIAM to manage the Coliseum contained numerous paragraphs granting the City rights to everything happening at the Coliseum.  Tari Renner, David Hales, and the Council either never read the agreement or are lying because they failed to protect taxpayers from John Butler and company. See the agreement […]

UPDATE: Why does media let Tari LIE?

WJBC posted the podcast:  https://audioboom.com/posts/6384179-tari-renner-bloomington-mayor-10-11-17 I forgot to mention he thinks the local acrimony is a bigger story than CIAM! He also claims he did everything possible to get information from CIAM AND he decided not to renew the contract.  Funny Tari – I remember you were shocked they pulled out of the negotiations.  I was […]

UPDATE: Pantagraph: Facts Matter

The on-line version has been corrected.  How are they going to correct all those printed copies?  Are there enough to worry about? ______________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin If anyone was expecting a hard-hitting editorial by the anonymous writers at the Pantagraph against Tari Renner for once again inflaming the local acrimony Monday night,  you will be […]

#2 – UPDATE: Prove it Tari!

I received yet another email from the City: ____________________________ I received the first response to my FOIA request below.  The Bloomington staff under David Hales does not know Bloomington elections are not handled by McLean County.  Bloomington has it’s own election commission.  I only FOIA’d the City because Tari Renner specifically stated the ballot challenges […]

Award Winning Aldermen comments

By:  Diane Benjamin From time to time even I am shocked by what comes out of the mouths of Aldermen during a City Council meeting.  I’m awarding TWO “Seriously?” awards from last night’s party.  Since the Special Meeting started at 5:00, I bet food was served.  It used to be announced, but it wasn’t listed […]

Is this what prompted Renner’s Rant?

By:  Diane Benjamin FOUR people mentioned me at Public Comment last night.  The camera really needs to pan to the Council paying ZERO attention to the speakers.  They are too busy looking down to acknowledge people who took the time to speak to them.  I hope future speakers stop and ask the Council to at […]

Should Renner be back?

By:  Diane Benjamin Hit play to hear Mayor Renner’s comments at the end of the meeting last night.  Is he fit to be mayor?  I want to see the police reports that have been filed in connection to his accusations.  

Magnificent Monday!

By:  Diane Benjamin The most interesting parts of tonight’s festivities by the Bloomington City Council won’t be the Council business at 7:00.  The pre-meeting David Sage led discussion of Renner’s PCard usage will be enlightening.  I wonder if anybody will ask why Tari still has a PCard? Will Sage ask Tari how this PCard lunch […]

Hilarious Jason Chambers

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday’s paper had a front-page story concerning a filing by Jason Chamber’s office with the Attorney General for Open Meeting Act violations.  He has been waiting 17 months for a determination.  The story claims his office can only prosecute violations for 18 months. First, Welcome to our world Jason!  The request filed […]

What is up with State Farm?

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve talked to numerous people about what is really going on at State Farm.  One felt Ed Rust protected Bloomington-Normal, but he is no longer there.  The new management has no reason to be loyal to Bloomington-Normal. Another person told me State Farm has serious internal problems that are making them un-competitive.  […]

Road design: Run by Idiots!

By:  Diane Benjamin Before the headline – a commercial: If you have never attended the annual Evergreen Cemetery Walk you have one last chance tomorrow This year all the actors are portraying characters from WWI and McLean County.  Details here:  http://www.mchistory.org/learn/programs/cemwalk.php After I went on the walk this morning, I had one stop to make.  I […]

No Vote? No Rush!

By:  Diane Benjamin Maybe some members of the Bloomington City Council finally realized their fearless leader has been abusing his government credit card.  We’ve listened to Mayor Renner spew his “there are no free lunches” for years in order to raise taxes while he was dining on the backs of taxpayers.  The Japan trip finally […]

Will someone tell the Newspaper?

Guest Editorial Hey Pravdagraph, News flash!  Skip Crawford and Mike Matejka have been off the Council for more than a decade!  The people voted them off after multiple terms because they were the ultimate insiders voting for a union agenda (Matejka, union official) and Crawford (pretend Republican) who loved dem Karen Schmidt (see campaign letter) […]

Open Meetings Act Violation #3

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington has been found guilty of more violations, but this makes 3 that I either filed or was closely involved in the filing. This time it’s the library: Of course there isn’t a penalty assessed even though law specifies penalties are available.  Laws only matter if us peons are […]

Monday: More Sick Leave Buy Back

By:  Diane Benjamin From Bills and Payroll for Monday night:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14766 Below are payments to employees labeled Sick Leave Buy Back (SLBB).  I don’t know what MO before the first one stands for.  We won’t know what penalties the City will be forced to pay (for not changing this policy that allows pension spiking) until they […]

WGLT does journalism – mostly

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday WGLT published a comprehensive story about the Coliseum.  Ryan Denham  proved journalism isn’t dead in Bloomington-Normal yet.  Read the story here:      http://wglt.org/post/how-coliseum-blind-spot-tripped-bloomington-city-leaders I do have some comments and things I would have written differently: To much emphasis was put on the “bad contract”.  The contract had plenty of statements allowing […]

Heartland’s Fleece

By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph reported today the Heartland Board passed an operating budget that is 7.8% higher than last year. The overall budget is 13.4% higher than last year. Heartland approved a huge tax increase last year.  When your property tax bill increased – much of it was Heartland! Below are the tax rates […]

2 Mths of Connect Transit

By:  Diane Benjamin Last month the Connect Transit Income Statement wasn’t available because they were wrapping up their year-end. See the report for both months HERE The ONE month loss for July was $811,295, the August loss was $848,133.     Why is budgeting a TWELVE MILLION Dollar loss okay? It’s your money!  Maybe we should […]

Tari clamps down on Open House

By:  Diane Benjamin I hope we’ve heard the end of Tari’s pre-public comment speech he’s been using for over 4 years.  His new Open House policy ends the open and transparent Mayor persona. I wonder if the Mayor will close the fish pool doors for those making appointments? I wonder if the public can sit […]

Joliet reports while the Pantagraph refuses!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Joliet Herald News was attacked by the City of Joliet for reporting the truth about their new City Manager:  David Hales. The Herald isn’t cowering in a corner, they are putting the facts in front of the citizens.  They are probably getting a tons of reads, people want real news – […]

The day CIAM quit

By:  Diane Benjamin This is the Pantagraph story announcing CIAM (John Butler) would not be renewing the contract to manage the Coliseum:  http://www.pantagraph.com/entertainment/u-s-cellular-coliseum-to-receive-new-management/article_194a2f7c-d482-5d82-8885-7e5eafddb2b4.html That was March 8, 2016.  Tari Renner is quoted saying CIAM might get a short-term contract to help with the transition – maybe 30-60-or 90 days.  Obviously Renner had no urgency to remove […]

VenuWorks and the BCPA

By:  Diane Benjamin These are a few of the past payments to VenuWorks for managing the BCPA after Tina died: See anything strange? I’ll wait. Still waiting . . . . Okay, according to the dead tree, the City wants to contract with VenuWorks to manage the BCPA for a flat fee of $3000 a […]

Using YOUR money: Town of Normal

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal’s Bills and Payroll for tonight:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2730 You work hard for a paycheck.  The CornBelters are failing, as evidenced by a league change, because people aren’t attending games.  They attempt to make money from concerts, Normal helped them out with your money: More entertainment: Grounds maintenance at Rivian: Consultants must get a cut: […]

Yes, a bus hit the hydrant

By:  Diane Benjamin Rich:  I am waiting your apology! See this story and the clueless comment Rich made:  https://blnnews.com/2017/09/23/did-anybody-see/ I don’t print stories without a reliable source! The bus was one of the newer ones – a 2016.  I received this information under the Freedom of Information Act.  I was told a repair estimate isn’t available […]

Coliseum: Smoking Gun

By:  Diane Benjamin Official Misconduct? Flash back to April 14, 2014 The meeting minutes provide a little information, the video below provides much more.  Minutes 4/14/14 Alderwoman Judy Stearns knew concessions were not audited at the Coliseum.  She knew other problems existed and she wanted answers.  Changing hockey from professional to junior was the perfect time […]

Remember McGrath filing false documents?

By:  Diane Benjamin See this Edgar County Watchdogs story for background: http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2017/09/stanford-village-attorney-falsified-original-easement/ Click on any images below to enlarge. Short recap: A homeowner in Stanford signed a temporary easement for drainage work on his property in 2010.  In 2015 the Village of Stanford attorney, McGrath, filed a document changing the status from temporary to permanent […]

What REAL Journalism looks like

By:  Diane Benjamin Real journalism isn’t dead yet!  The Joliet Herald News just proved it with this story:  http://www.theherald-news.com/lists/2017/09/29/da82d31d3ccc4697970889c2a58349a5/index.xml?page=1 This paper isn’t done writing because my interview is not in this story! See this story for context if you missed it this morning:  https://blnnews.com/2017/09/29/hales-if-a-perfect-fit-for-joliet/ Some tasty bits: “That’s the guy you want,” Regis said. “If somebody commits […]

Update: Arraignment Day!

I was asked by the Sheriff’s department to take the pictures down because they have rules!  Media must be credentialed through a lady at the Pantagraph.  Of course the Pantagraph doesn’t consider me real media, so I was never informed of this credentialing process.   A report is being written and sent to the State’s Attorney […]

Know something about CIAM or Coliseum?

The Illinois State Police are still investigating! If you have information applicable to the case call them. 815-844-1500 Follow the prompts to Investigations – Leave a message I’m posting this at their request! . . .  

Hales if a perfect fit for Joliet!

By:  Diane Benjamin I didn’t think it was possible to find people with even less desire to serve the people they are supposed to represent than the local propagandists.  But, they do exist – in Joliet. Speaking with no facts is acceptable operating procedure. Believing every word uttered by people playing CYA is required.  Then, […]

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