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 […]

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 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.  […]

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 […]

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 […]

Normal meets for THIRTEEN MINUTES!

By:  Diane Benjamin Actually the City Council meeting lasted 13:26 minutes, that included 2 public comments – Ron Ulmer and Marc Tiritilli. Guess what got about SEVEN SECONDS before a vote was taken? Normal has such severe financial issues they are offering early retirements to cut expenses and there is no discussion?  Start watching the […]

Bed Blitz – Press Release

The deadline to apply for a child’s bed is the 21st!  Volunteers are needed for the build!

You can afford it!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Council is going to vote next Monday to raise your sewer and storm water rates much faster than originally presented.  After all, this Council is fixing what previous Councils ignored – essential services.  Even though voting on items not on the agenda isn’t allowed, the council took a “straw poll” on […]

Normal’s bankruptcy

By:  Diane Benjamin I find it hilarious Normal must offer early retirement to employees because Bloomington broke the MetroZone agreement costing them $1.2 million.  The total budget is $107,133,177.   (Tiny percentage of the total!) I wonder if the Soccer Complex is now dead? $1,400,000 was spent on yet another underpass study!  Normal should be […]

Implosion – Downtown Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari’s Downtown Task Force mostly consists of people who had their hand out for your money and Council people dying to give them more.  The entire rest of Bloomington has no representation.  Maybe that’s why moving the library and adding a bus transfer point got shredded at the meeting Monday night.  See […]

From a SF employee:

By:  Diane Benjamin Below are excerpts from an email I received yesterday from a current State Farm employee: So…the story about State Farm. There are a lot of management level employees in our IT shop.  Percentages of people whose jobs will move or be eliminated range from about 20% to 50% depending on the area […]

UPDATE: State Farm Exodus

A reader sent me this:  https://atlanta.curbed.com/2017/9/7/16264644/state-farm-atlanta-perimeter-dunwoody-development-construction He added this:  It looks like we are headed for a chalk outline of BN taxpayer… See this story too:  From a SF Employee ________________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin State Farm announced to their employees they will be moving 7% of IT out of Bloomington and cutting management company wide […]

Sorensen jail, but still questions

By:  Diane Benjamin I wonder if the judge who sentenced Matt Sorensen to only 1 year in jail knows he is still telling everyone (but the judge) he is innocent? There is another question that still hasn’t been answered: Who is the 3rd person? Remember the un-named co-schemer? http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2016/01/05/393755.htm   Two pled guilty meaning #3 […]

More JOKES from Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve written MANY times about the joke that is Bloomington’s Enterprise Funds: Garbage, Water, Sewer, Storm Water, and Grossinger Motors Arena.  All of these funds are expected to have positive balances, except the Arena of course that probably never will.  If the others don’t have enough money in them – your taxes […]

Sick? We are too

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember when Tari thought he was going to be attacked at his Open House and sent out a call for help? Note the name – David Parker is running for McLean County Board District 9. David Parker is another Biss for Governor- supporter.  You remember Biss – the guy who picked a […]

Normal’s (Funny)Business Tuesday

By:  Diane Benjamin Tuesday night the Normal Council will accept the audited financial statements.  Once again, required disclosures are not included  See page 82:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2708. The Government Accounting Standards Board issued a statement in June of 2015 requiring the disclosure of future liabilities for post-employment benefits (healthcare).  Since the financial statements being released are as […]

Normal: Blatant illegal meeting(s)

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s getting harder and harder to see that ANY laws matter, at least for government.  Officials can twist facts, feign illness, and violate the law knowing nobody is going to prosecute.   The Town of Normal Council is doing their part Tuesday night: I don’t know if this “planning session” has taken […]

UPDATE: In America, we don’t have to . . .

Read this story – then read what WGLT wrote about the sermon:  http://wglt.org/post/eastview-pastors-sex-sermon-called-offensive#stream/0 _____________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin At the very end of last Monday’s Council meeting Alderman Scott Black made some comments about an “event” he found offensive.  He never said the event was a sermon. Evidently this sermon was advertised.  It took place at […]

Why is Normal playing the race card?

By:  Diane Benjamin Just weeks ago City Manager Mark Peterson declared everybody racist – but he is determined to fix it:  https://blnnews.com/2017/08/23/we-are-all-racist/ Normal is so racist in April they elected a black council member –  Chemberly  Cummings.  According to a Pantagraph story, she thinks rural white teachers have never seen black kids before.  I wonder what […]

Update #2: Update: Hate is very alive in Normal!

I attended this event – Nick Adams has an amazing love for America AND Americans.  He has a non-profit call FLAG.  From their website:  http://www.flagusa.org/ Its principal purpose is to educationally proclaim the greatness of America, and ensure that the next generation of American leaders understands what it means to be an American. Several members […]

Fake News: WGLT

By:  Diane Benjamin See WGLT’s latest on Sister Cities/Tari Renner:  http://wglt.org/post/caught-middle-sister-cities-chair-defends-programs-work#stream/0 One would think as Public Radio and part of ISU, real journalists would be writing the stories.  Evidently not.  I hope future employers of journalism students take that into account if their degree is from ISU! The story has problems determining fact from fiction. […]

ISU: Allow HATE speech on campus?

By:  Diane Benjamin A conservative speaker was invited to speak at Illinois State University by the College Republicans.  Yesterday I heard EVERY flyer they posted around campus has been defaced, destroyed, or removed. President Dietz: Is ISU now Berkley Ca? Is Antifa going to protest American values? Are your campus snowflakes embarrassed by their country? […]

UPDATE: 2%!

Update:  The Income Statement was not available for Board approval because an audit of last year (ending June 30th) was underway.  Both July and August will be approved in September.  Something else the private sector would never tolerate, but Connect isn’t private. By:  Diane Benjamin Connect Transit meeting yesterday:  http://www.connect-transit.com/documents/8-22-2017%20Regular%20Board%20Meeting%20Binder1.pdf No Income Statement was included […]

We are all racist

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night the Normal Town Council met for over the usual 10-20 minutes.  Most of the time was the discussion of community policing. Judging people on the content of their character and not the color of the skin is officially dead.  RIP Martin Luther King. Police must now enforce social equity, not […]

No faith in local government

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council meeting last night was conducted without the mayor and without any accusations against citizens like “crazy”, “nasty”, and “small vocal minority”.  Renner did hold another edition of his media blitz earlier in the day, but Karen Schmidt only announced he wasn’t there.  According to media reports of the […]

Normal’s Spectacular Spending!

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight – Normal Town Council:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2695 Click on any of the pics to enlarge. No idea who is appreciated – file a FOIA request if you want to know: More Japan Spending How does buying flowers for a funeral qualify as “using public money for public purposes”? Does every resident of Normal […]

Is Sister Cities a Tax scam?

By:  Diane Benjamin From the bottom of the Sister Cities website:   http://www.bnsistercities.org/ When I FOIA’d the names of people who went on the trip, I got a list of names.  Hand written on the sheet is: Since I didn’t FOIA donations, I wondered why they would give me that list and why these people would […]

Welcome Tyranny to Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal came really close to ending their tyranny when Chris Koos was almost defeated in April.  Renner didn’t get Modified Wards, but now that he’s reelected, nothing is going to stand in his way.  The Council certainly won’t – gee they approved his girlfriend’s ticket to Japan! No, nobody is looking out […]

Normal’s Tyranny

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal used to have their tax history on their website, they no longer do.  Luckily I copied it back in 2012:  https://blnnews.com/2012/05/30/normal-il-what-is-up-with-the-debt/   Rates were raised last Monday:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2689 To translate their Greek: April 1, 2017 – $1.27 per 1,000 gal, plus $2.50 per month August 7, 2017 – […]

It’s still illegal Tari

By:  Diane Benjamin Not only illegal, it’s breaks the City PCard policy.  AND – more than one City employee (which Tari is) broke the policy. Note the date – May 12th.  From documents obtained by FOIA, this purchase was on the PCard held by Beth Oakley, Executive Assistant to somebody. She violated State law and […]

The silence is deafening

By:  Anonymous All over Bloomington-Normal, no one is talking about the worst kept secret. It seems almost everyone knows, but no one is talking. State Farm is planning to downsize, likely before year-end. This is no secret. In fact, it’s echoing throughout the halls of the insurance giant, as well as the local business community […]

Weekend Fun – sort of

Normal raising taxes on Monday!

By:  Diane Benjamin Of course, Normal is calling it “fee increases” or “user fee increases”.  Regardless of the terminology, Normal needs money and you have it until they take more of it. Standard procedure for sailing these past the Council is: Comparing rates with surrounding cities  (PDF page 167) Burying the Council docs with technical […]

Imagine how many Lifeguards . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin Would you prefer an adequate number of Lifeguards on duty when you take your kids to the pool, or a historic building benefiting one lady? If the taxpayers in Normal knew all the facts concerning the “historic” property at 305 Pine St, they might consider it a waste of their money.  Let’s […]

Normal Pools: The rest of the story

By:  Diane Benjamin I knew there was more to the pool story than Mark Peterson reported.  My source tells me Peterson might not even know since he is probably relying on Angela Malone, head of aquatics.  See Peterson’s version in this story:  https://blnnews.com/2017/08/01/4-things-one-story/ I received an email from someone with intimate knowledge of the situation, […]

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