( $899,191.05 )

By:  Diane Benjamin It should come as no surprise by now the Title of this story is how much Connect Transit lost in just the month of April. Let that sink in for a minute. Source:   https://drive.google.com/file/d/1w_NfO02u72tKHxv6ZdTJY8wbMLepDP7J/view April had 30 days.  That means the empty buses were burning $29,973 in tax dollars EVERY DAY in […]

Normal’s short meeting Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2969 Besides the usual subsidies to Connect Transit, and the Economic Development Council, and payments to the National League of Cities and International City/County Management Assoc, Rivian got their grounds taken care of by you: Other business: PDF page 77 and following: Coming to Uptown as requested by Stave (I’ve never heard […]

Where “Welcoming Ordinances” are leading

By:  Diane Benjamin We have a blueprint for the future.  Just look at Sanctuary State California. The Trust Act made Illinois a sanctuary state, Chicago declared itself a sanctuary city.  The “Welcoming Ordinance” Normal passed is just short of that, but the local open borders activists aren’t going to stop there.  Progressives never stop. Did […]

UPDATE: What about Dale?

I spoke to Dale’s mom.  Dale was registered at Normal West but he was killed in August 21st and never got to attend.  No one from West contacted her.  Many people are talking about ways to make sure he isn’t forgotten.  His mom suggested a memorial bench at Miller Park or at the Cornbelters field […]

The cost of “Full Service” in Normal

By:  Diane Benjamin The numbers below are from the Illinois Comptroller’s website:    http://warehouse.illinoiscomptroller.com/ Normal’s budget has increased 33% in 6 years.  5.5% per year is much higher than the inflation rate.  Last year Normal spent almost $36 million more than it did in 2012. Where is it?  Roads? Population is estimated at 54,264.  That spending […]

FOIA fail – again and again

By:  Diane Benjamin A reader told me at the end of April the Bloomington Public Library was running ads on a Peoria TV station.  On April 30th I filed a FOIA request for the ad and what they are spending on advertising. Keep in mind the City of Bloomington spends a fortune on IT and […]

Accident Investigation

By:  Diane Benjamin The only reason I FOIAd’s the State Police report for the accident involving the Normal West student who died earlier this year was because of a tip from a reader. If you didn’t know, the driver of the vehicle who hit her was the son of Bloomington’s Fire Chief, Brian Mohr.  Mitchel […]

No money in it: Recycling

By:  Diane Benjamin If money could be made from recycling, Normal wouldn’t have stopping funding drop off locations.. Midwest Fiber wouldn’t let the drop off boxes get stuffed to capacity creating a mess when people just leave the junk outside the bins. I have been dropping of recycling for years behind Walmart in Normal.  These […]

Update: Mother’s Day Bail

She wasn’t allowed to be released without bail because she had an arrest in Springfield for retail theft that will go to trial in June.  It wasn’t because she was black.  See that arrest information here:   http://records.sangamoncountycircuitclerk.org/sccc/DisplayDocket.sc By:  Diane Benjamin Black Lives Matter Blono has been raising money to bail a mother out of jail […]

College Free Speech Lawsuit

By:  Diane Benjamin I just found a story proving people are tired of University tactics to silence free speech.  A lawsuit was filed against the University of Michigan Tuesday: The lawsuit, filed by the nonprofit civil rights group Speech First, alleges that the university’s apparatus to investigate incidents reported as bias and enforce disciplinary measures creates […]

ISU: Teaching Tribalism

By:  Diane Benjamin Why is it impossible to talk to each other these days?  Many times it’s because people retreat to their corner and refuse to listen to any points of view that conflict with what they were taught or what they think they believe.  Common sense and rational thoughts must be attacked if doesn’t […]

Wrong side of the tracks

By:  Diane Benjamin In March I posted a story concerning the “luxury” apartments in the new building on Uptown Circle:     https://blnnews.com/2018/03/17/more-on-uptown-circle/ At that time Zillow showed 16 apartments for rent.  It now shows 14 ranging from $1650 and month to $4200:     https://www.zillow.com/b/1-uptown-circle-normal-il-9J8XNH/ Public Comment on items other than the Welcoming Ordinance was at […]

Participation Trophy

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal passed the “Welcoming Ordinance” last night that does nothing.  Scott Preston and Jeff Fritzen voted against it.  The supporters declared victory anyway, they got the Town to kneel before them even if only for one night.  The radical pep rally lasted for over 3 hours so everyone who wanted to speak […]

When Radicals run your Town:

By:  Diane Benjamin If Normal passes the Welcoming Ordinance tonight, they are empowering leftist radicals. Bloomington and Normal are chasing people out of town by giving into radicals.  It started with citizens second guessing the actions of the police.  It continues with laws ignored via a Welcoming Ordinance.  Now they think they should pick the next […]

10 Minute Investigation

By:  Diane Benjamin Today’s paper has an article listing every organization that will receive a grant from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation.  They are handing out $157,347 to 73 programs. http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/foundation-awards-k-in-community-grants/article_15fc82c0-e843-5927-b376-ed42c1b68707.html Since the Pantagraph has a policy against investigative journalism, I did it for them. The Illinois Prairie Community Foundation tax return for the year ended […]

Normal’s handouts tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills for approval tonight:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2958 This is the guy running Normal: On 4/16 he was paid $20,658.49   https://blnnews.com/2018/04/13/normal-monday-10-minute-meeting/ These payments total $24,994.08 More non-profit give-ways: (website:  https://forbettertomorrow.org/ ) Even more give-away (You pay taxes to Normal so they can give it to Heartland who also taxes you) So you don’t forget how much rent […]

UPDATE: Normal: Don’t do it!

  It passed with 2 no votes by Scott Preston and Jeff Fritzen.  Video you won’t want to miss tomorrow! By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night Normal will consider a “Welcoming Ordinance” for people who have no legal right to be in this country. We pass laws to protect law breakers? We pass law for specific […]

No bid, Uptown TIF, Welcoming Ordinance

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night Normal is spending $ 1,271,428 on 4 garbage trucks and waiving the bids.  How do they know the cost is competitive without bids: They will get $420,000 for the four trucks they are trading in. The Welcoming Ordinance does nothing: The open border crowd wanted an ordinance making it illegal for […]

The Rumors are:

By:  Diane Benjamin Just rumors – some based in a lot of facts Bloomington’s Water department director resigned – Bob Yehl OSHA regulations were violated at Lake Bloomington yesterday as City employees destroyed a boat dock, If you are a buying a house at Lake Bloomington that has a boat dock, get a copy of […]

Normal’s Pension Problem (and Bloomington)

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal has to pay into three pension funds:  IMRF, Police, and Fire. The funding for IMRF isn’t horrible, Police and Fire are.  What does that say about who the Town management and Council respect and who they don’t? I’m sure you remember property taxes being raised year after year […]

Update: Normal to codify: Laws don’t matter

The resident radical attempting to throw Karen Schmidt off the Bloomington Council will be leading the charge in Normal: By:  Diane Benjamin According to WGLT, Normal will consider a “Welcoming Ordinance” Monday night:    http://wglt.org/post/normal-consider-welcoming-ordinance-monday Considering RC McBride is WGLT’s General Manager and he’s on the Normal Town Council, they would know.  It must be nice […]

Fly on the Wall: Vuteq

Does a helicopter and men is suits mean the plant has been sold? . . . . . . . . .

Normal Township’s fuzzy math

See the comments, they borrowed money.  More debt!   By:  Diane Benjamin Continuing this story from yesterday:    https://blnnews.com/2018/04/30/townships-the-hidden-government/ The WAREHOUSE was created by the Illinois Comptroller’s office to give citizens access to local government financial information.  It is much easier to read than whatever local units of government call financial statements.  It would be a […]

Townships-the hidden government

By:  Diane Benjamin You may have received your property tax bill today, I did. If you live in either Bloomington Township or Normal Township you will see a separate line on the bill for them. I found it amusing that Normal Township has this on their website: Township government is the most basic unit of […]

Normal: Harmon Grants

By:  Diane Benjamin Last year the Town of Normal gave away $50,000 and called it Harmon Arts Grants.  They are currently taking applications for this year:   http://www.normal.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1739 The announcement says the decisions will be made by the Harmon Arts Grant Committee. There is nothing on the Town website saying who is on the committee, so […]

Connect Transit – Problem identified

By:  Diane Benjamin New Orleans has a population over 391,000 people. See the minutes from January of this year – PDF page 4:    https://www.connect-transit.com/documents/Meetings/Minutes/Feb%2027%202018%20Regular%20Board%20Meeting%20Proceedings%20-FINAL%20V1.pdf Connect has a lady who moved here after Hurricane Katrina advising them on bus service.  She evidently thinks she should have the same level of service here she had in New Orleans.  […]

UPDATE: Comment Rules

If you comment and it doesn’t appear, occasionally some comments go to SPAM.  Email me and I will check it.  It happened this weekend to a frequent commenter. ___________________________________________   Lately a few people have claimed they have a RIGHT to comment on this site. So, here are the rules: It’s my site and I […]

Property tax bills done

By:  Diane Benjamin If you are so excited to see what your property taxes will be this year, the bills are now on-line:  http://mcleanil.devnetwedge.com/ No surprise they are going up! The only way to fight back is to protest your assessed value.  Maybe I will start a side business showing people how. When you look at […]

Normal did the right thing

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember when I reported Normal spending $12,393.20 for an engine?   https://blnnews.com/2018/04/13/normal-monday-10-minute-meeting/ I FOIA’d the maintenance records and had a guy in the industry look at them.  The truck is a heavy-duty Ford that probably hauled huge loads and may have a snow plow.  It’s a 2012, so replacing the engine extended the […]

UPDATE: Pantagraph hides the truth!

Just like magic – the comments to the Pantagraph story are back.  Here’s one: By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph has a story about Beth Whisman stepping down from the Airport Authority Board:    http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/government-and-politics/whisman-resigns-from-airport-board-due-to-job-conflict/article_4a553dc2-2423-58b8-8d44-cdd535b1f6b6.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-2 Besides proving Chris Koos and Normal’s legal team didn’t bother to read the law (or they can’t read), the Pantagraph proved real […]

Your tax dollars at work

By:  Diane Benjamin Below is the group who traveled to see Rivian’s operations in Michigan.  On the couch are John McIntyre (County Board Chair), RJ Scaringe (Rivian), Kimberly Bray (Bloomington Council), and Barry Reilly (District 87).  Standing to the right is Kyle Ham (leaving the EDC at the end of April) and Don Knapp (County […]

Happy Tax Day!

By:  Diane Benjamin I’m sure you have all filed your tax returns and are ecstatic about paying what is due.  If you got a refund you allowed the government to use your money interest free.  I’m sure they appreciate it. The State of Illinois stole even more this year and plans even more once JB […]

Sport complex is already decided

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.wjbc.com/2018/04/14/consultant-community-has-room-for-new-sports-venues/ According to the WJBC story. the decision has already been made by the consultants who were just hired:  we need a sports complex. The Pony League fields began in 1988 with no tax dollars.  Hundreds if not thousands of kids and adults play there every summer.  Have you noticed all the […]

Update: Beth Whisman must resign from airport

Whisman has resigned.  The Edgar County Watchdogs did a followup story – the last line is particularly good! http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2018/04/beth-whisman-resigned-as-commissioner-of-bloomington-normal-airport-authority/ ______________________________________ Original story: http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2018/04/beth-whisman-unqualified-to-serve-as-commissioner-of-bloomington-normal-airport-authority/

Recycling: Government FAIL!

By:  Diane Benjamin McLean County, Bloomington, and Normal all passed a recycling ordinance that could lead to MANDATORY recycling, shortly after Normal decided they don’t have the money to pay for drop off sites:   https://blnnews.com/2018/03/02/normal-crashing/ Midwest Fiber supposedly agreed to operate these drop off sites: It looks like there is NO profit in recycling because […]

Normal Monday: 10 minute meeting

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday 4/16:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2946 Nothing that will take time to discuss is on the agenda.  They should discuss spending, but won’t.  Below are items I found interesting. The last time Lyle Sumek “consulted” with Normal the Town offered buyouts to employees.  What will be cut next? No expense was spared for a retirement dinner! […]

Grant handout Monday!

By:  Diane Benjamin On the agenda for Monday night – Bloomington City Council:   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16340 PDF page 56 So, Federal Tax money is funneled down to the City to distribute.  Mid Central Community Action is getting a piece of it for Rental Assistance at Mayor’s Manor. MCCA manages Mayors Manor.  Here’s where is gets fun:   http://www.mccainc.org/clarion_rocket/programs/mayors-manor/ […]

Surprises on Bloomington’s Agenda!

By:  Diane Benjamin The packet for Monday is 877 pages!  I’m sure the Council will read every word:   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16340 PDF page 294: Remember how Tari claimed he wasn’t interested in the west-side sports complex? Evidently Normal didn’t like paying the full cost of the study.  Since it won’t be downtown, maybe Tari wants the Council […]

ACLU: This was a test

By:  Diane Benjamin Below is the header for the ACLU of Central Illinois’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ACLUofCI/I I couldn’t help but wonder if the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights is important to the ACLU. Their page has stories about the students “rights” to protest gun violence but nothing about the citizens rights to defend […]

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