Normal, Fritzen, and 2%

By:  Diane Benjamin The government gods in Normal are upset a lowly citizen challenged them.  LONG time (too long) Council member Jeff Fritzen doesn’t want people looking at the facts, he wants to explain them himself.  I heard a news report saying Fritzen thinks trust in government has been broken without cause. That what every […]

Destination: Champaign

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember when Normal’s Town Council was giddy over handing money to a developer for a Portillos?  Normal was going to be a destination – people would drive to Normal from all over Central Illinois!  People traveling the interstates would go out of their way for a Portillos hot dog! Champaign is going […]

No, you don’t!

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s ELECTION DAY! If the only race you want to vote is MAYOR:  only vote Mayor. You aren’t required to vote in every race. Yes, you can same day register! Today is the day to send your message to City Hall. Either spending and taxes will continue to increase or you can […]

Fly on the Wall: Soccer Fields

Who is telling the truth? Buzzing around I saw plans for a huge complex on the west side.  It wasn’t only soccer fields. Some people think if they get elected it’s their ticket to do whatever they want, some don’t. Pick wrong tomorrow and you have Coliseum 2.0 . . .  

Tomorrow-you win or lose

By:  Diane Benjamin Tomorrow either big government people will dominate Bloomington-Normal for the next 4 years, or citizens will.  Will the Pantagraph and the Chamber of Commerce get their picks, or will the people forced to pay for the vision of Big Spenders finally throw them out? You get the government you deserve by not […]

Shame Day

By:   Diane Benjamin Four years ago only 9,719 voted for mayor in Bloomington http://results.enr.clarityelections.com/IL/Bloomington/46028/116387/en/summary.html Four years ago only 4,403 voted for mayor in Normal http://il-mcleancounty.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/8074 Bloomington had 46,740 registered voters Normal had 57,279 registered voters Besides the obvious question about Normal having more registered voters with a smaller population, where were the voters? Local elections […]

Normal, Rivian, Easter eggs

By:  Diane Benjamin Spending for the Town of Normal Monday night:  http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2589 There is nothing wrong with honoring MLK, but why are tax dollars used?  I wonder how much Bloomington paid considering the Council and employees are invited to come and eat for free, and bring a friend. The Rivian agreement with Normal says you […]

4 more years of Koos?

By:  Diane Benjamin Chris Koos was on WJBC this morning.  Hear the interview HERE Did you know that Uptown is NEVER going to be finished?  Yep, Koos said that. He is running for a 4th term because he isn’t done with his vision. Bloomington-Normal will be paying for a new sports facility if Koos and […]

Sorry BLM, it wasn’t a “peaceful” protest

By:  Diane Benjamin Tuesday night Uptown Galleries knew protestors were gathering outside.  I didn’t count the group but at least 20 people lined both sides of the doors as people left. I saw NO police. Previous debates did have officers present.  Why would the Town of Normal allow this group to gather outside the debate […]

Satan Tari?

By:  Diane Benjamin For months Tari Renner supporters have attacked Kevin Lower and me with vile tweets and posts on Facebook.  They claim they aren’t doing anything in support of Tari Renner.  This comment left on my site proves they are lying: I doubt the media will report the facts, but how depraved do Tari […]

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 […]

Complete Insanity!

By:  Diane Benjamin Connect Transit is the biggest FRAUD ever perpetrated on the citizens forced to pay their bills! Before I show you the offensive February financial statements, see these notes included in the packet:  http://www.connect-transit.com/documents/March%2021,%202017%20Regular%20Board%20Meeting%20Binder1.pdf See PDF page 17 of the link above.  The General Manager can spend up to $50,000 without Board approval. […]

Avoid Normal candidate Chemberly Cummings

By:  Diane Benjamin I would have loved to post comments from the forums held for the Council of both Bloomington and Normal, but there wasn’t any insight gained.  Spending an hour listening the questions and answers doesn’t give the candidates much time to reveal themselves.  Some are purposely hiding their agenda to get elected. The […]

Koos, Council: Shut up citizens!

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night the Normal Town Council defied the Attorney General’s letter and made only minor changes to their Public Comment Policy.  They relied on the opinion of their City Attorney Brian Day who formerly worked for the Illinois Municipal League. First, you need to understand what the IML is.  See this story:  […]

Facts Mr. Koos

By:  Diane Benjamin This morning I attended the GOP breakfast because it featured the candidates for the Normal Town Council and Normal Township. Chris Koos made a comment about Uptown 2.0 I find hard to believe.  He claims there isn’t enough retail and office space in Uptown now, so Uptown 2.0 is to provide more. […]

Chamber makes themselves immaterial

By:  Diane Benjamin The McLean County Chamber of Commerce is proving again they do not represent voters and taxpayers – they represent government. Chris Koos announced on Facebook that he was endorsed by them for reelection.  The Chamber website doesn’t say anything about the current election endorsements. Just in the last few months Koos threw […]

Normal’s follies

By:  Diane Benjamin Bill’s and Payroll for Monday night:  http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2581 I don’t know what arrangement Normal made to get Home Depot to build here, but this is the perfect example of why Sales Tax receipts are declining: Menards isn’t getting rebates, so they are at an unfair advantage.  It’s called crony capitalism, picking winners and […]

Another Pantagraph reject letter

By:  Diane Benjamin This time the writer didn’t get a response from the Pantagraph after submitting this letter, it was just never printed. The writer sent it BEFORE the primary, and since it still applies there was no reason it wasn’t printed, except it doesn’t reflect the views of the paper.  The name has been […]

Normal: What the media is missing!

By:  Diane Benjamin Evidently the media can’t read or they have a short attention span and can’t make it through the 7 page Attorney General letter declaring Normal’s Public Comment Policy illegal. It is MUCH more than the 45 day rule.  That one was a no brainer! See the changes Normal is planning to make […]

Wrong Track? Obviously

By:  Diane Benjamin Unemployment numbers for January 2017 are now available on the Illinois Department of Employment Security website: http://www.ides.illinois.gov/LMI/Pages/Current_Monthly_Unemployment_Rates.aspx Unemployment is on the way up in Bloomington-Normal.  The first column is Jan-17 – then Dec-16 the Jan-16. Of course the closing of Mitsubishi has hurt the local economy, but local governments still hasn’t figured […]

Koos, Media – you can quit pretending now

By:  Diane Benjamin For months Normal Mayor Chris Koos has been pretending with the help of media that changing the Town’s Public Comment Policy is his idea. It wasn’t! Today the Attorney General’s Office issued an opinion that slaps him around on numerous counts. (Did the AG suddenly start doing their job?  Maybe!) Craig Stimpert […]

Where are Dan Brady and Keith Sommer?

By:  Diane Benjamin Every ONCE in awhile Springfield does something right.  Bill HR3626 is on its seconding reading (it take 3 before a vote) to clarify the text of the Open Meetings Act.  Illinois law is always written vague, seemingly on purpose. HR3626 states that citizens can not be limited to speaking (Public Comment) only […]

2 emails to government you need to see

By:  Diane Benjamin Local CPA Carl Woodward injects himself occasionally in local government when he sees something everyone is missing.  You should know he supported and funded Tari Renner 4 years ago, he no longer supports him.  (I tried to talk sense to him, he didn’t listen) Within the past week or two he has […]

Send a local message to Springfield:

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal spent $100,000,000+ on Uptown and they aren’t done spending money.  See this story:  http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/illinois/small-town-downtowns-il/ 9 Small Towns In Illinois Where Downtown Is The Place To Be Normal isn’t on the list and it isn’t a downtown destination, unless you like the taxpayer-funded free events.  These 9 cities used existing buildings.  Quaint […]

Rivian-What they got from Illinois

By:  Diane Benjamin I sent a FOIA request to the State of Illinois on February 6th for information on the Rivian incentives.  I finally received it today. Rivian received NO money up front, the story is not going to be repeated in Illinois that happened in other states. The entire deal is based on the […]

Normal’s Debt and Public Comment Policy

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve heard that one guy running for re-election on the Normal Town Council is telling people as he campaigns door to door the debt isn’t a problem.  I believe he is actually calling other candidates liars for questioning the debt. Hit play on the video below from last Monday’s meeting.  The speaker […]

Metro Zone – Normal is devastated

Note:  The meeting video is missing!  I will change the link when it’s available. Video is back – this time without Koos’ challenger on the opening screen.  Coincidence?   By:  Diane Benjamin Just hit play below to hear the Metro Zone discussion by the Normal Town Council last night.  Bloomington’s Mayor Tari Renner was there, […]

The local Fascists

Note:  The meeting video is missing!  I will change the link when it’s available. Video is back, maybe Koos didn’t like Marc Tiritilli on the opening screen! By:  Diane Benjamin The Normal Town Council met last night to approve the budget and talk about Metro Zone. The ruling proletariat is feeling the election heat.  They […]

Remember Melanie Spellmeyer, ISU, and Central Catholic?

By:  Diane Benjamin When the Central Catholic girls were playing basketball at Red Bird Arena for the State Championship, an ISU employee violated their fans free speech rights.  She told them they were not allowed to wear anything related to the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. In case you missed the story, see it here:  […]

Miscellaneous!

By:  Diane Benjamin 1) State Farm is expanding again – in Atlanta.  They are building an office for up to 10,000 employees:  http://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt–politics/watch-crews-implode-dunwoody-office-building/iZnPJmTxmPswgoj4gJwEeL/ 2) Cities 92.9 is holding a Bloomington mayoral debate next Wednesday.  They showed total disregard for church activities that normally happen on Wednesday evenings, but worse – Wednesday evening services during the […]

Renner’s Big Mouth

By:  Diane Benjamin Is the Metro Zone fight between Bloomington and Normal REAL, or a campaign stunt? I’m leaning toward real. Side Note: Normal’s budget for 2016-2017 was more than $120 MILLION.  The estimated $1.2 million Normal would lose from Metro Zone represents 1% of their total budget.  The Normal Town Council had no problem […]

Like empty buses?

By:  Diane Benjamin I really hope you enjoy seeing huge empty or almost empty buses running all over Bloomington-Normal because you are paying for them! The January finances are on online:  http://www.connect-transit.com/documents/February%2028,%202017%20Regular%20Board%20Meeting%20Binder1.pdf Income in January was a whooping $110, 632. Expenses were $1,052,685. Anybody see a problem? Anybody see the same problem connect Transit has […]

Koos needs term limits!

By:  Diane Benjamin Charlie Schlenker did a great job moderating the forum last night between Chris Koos and Marc Tiritilli.  Listen to the one hour broadcast HERE Both the Pantagraph and WGLT coverage called Tiritilli a District 87 teacher.  Both failed to mention he teaches PHYSICS.  Marc obviously needs exceptional intelligence for that job and […]

What is the local media thinking?

By:  Diane Benjamin A fake Twitter account was created only to defeat Ian Bayne.  Twitter is a sewer where people hide behind fake names they think nobody can trace back to them.  Twitter allows almost anything, so these local leftists are allowed to spew as much hate and false information as they want. What should […]

Normal: Debate TONIGHT

By:  Diane Benjamin There is an easy fix for the relationship now spinning out of control between Bloomington and Normal: Dump Both Mayors Tari Renner and Chris Koos will never have enough of your money to achieve their versions of Utopia.  Bloomington stole Dick’s Sporting Goods and Kroger’s from Normal by handing taxpayer money to […]

UPDATE: What’s the penalty for HATE speech?

No one at ISU has responded to my requests for a comment.  They are hoping this blows over if they pretend nothing happened. By:  Diane Benjamin Saturday – Redbird Arena, Illinois State University – Central Catholic High School girls basketball team is playing for the State Championship. Many Central kids arrived at the game wearing […]

Why have Metro-Zone talks been in secret?

By:  Diane Benjamin Citizens have a right to know what their government is doing.  Obviously both local governments don’t think you have that right – just look at the North Main Property the City of Bloomington has $1.4 million tied up in.  The City purchased the land a year ago without ever saying why. Now […]

Normal’s Lavish Lunacy

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve talked to some residents of Normal who don’t understand Normal’s desire for an underpass at the Amtrak station.  WJBC has a nice picture of where they want to put it – between the Amtrak station and the Children’s Discovery Museum.  http://www.wjbc.com/2017/02/06/normal-taking-next-step-toward-possible-uptown-pedestrian-underpass/ Last October Normal spent another $1.4 million to “study” the […]

Victory! ISU’s Public Comment Policy

By:  Diane Benjamin Illinois State University’s Public Comment policy used to be even worse than the Town of Normal.  Not any more! See the new policy here:  http://illinoisstate.edu/trustees/comment.php The policy is: Sign up before the meeting Public Comment lasts up to 30 minutes Speakers get 5 minutes There is no 45 day rule before you […]

County Drug Deaths

By:  Diane Benjamin Chalk this story up to I just wanted to know the facts. I sent a FOIA to the County for the number of drug deaths and type of drug used for 2016 and so far this year.  I received the information today: All I can add is:   If you use one […]

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