What is the Library Board thinking?

By:  Diane Benjamin I could be talking about the Bloomington Library Board that thinks moving or adding on is the fiscally responsible thing to do when the only way to get more money for either project is debt and/or tax increases.  It must be immaterial that tax receipts are dropping – progress to bankruptcy must […]

Transparent? Illegal? All of the Above?

By:  Diane Benjamin When the new and re-elected members of the City Council were sworn it last May 1st, no agenda was posted:  http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-499/-npage-5 If you watch the video, Tari called the meeting to order anyway, see it here:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfeOZOEU6xs This is the meeting where an illegal oath of office was given.  Now that the City […]

Monday PCard and bills

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll for Monday night:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15410 This one is easy Patti Lynn – no need to belong to anything!  111 felony counts could have easily been prevented!   With Tari now PCardless and David Hales gone, money saved.  The City Council still ate at your expense: Why did Public Works need pizza […]

New Oaths Forthcoming!

By:  Diane Benjamin The “Welcoming Ordinance” meeting is December 18th at the BCPA. This morning I emailed the City Attorney, Jeff Jurgens about the oaths of office.  I just received a response: Keep in mind Tari Renner, Mboka Mwilambwe, Joni Painter, and Scott Black have taken the oath of office before. Ask them why they […]

Illegal Oath of Office?

By:  Diane Benjamin I thought I had read in the Municipal Code that oaths of office for local elected officials weren’t defined. This morning I found this:   SOURCE The elected officials from the April election did NOT take this oath.    https://blnnews.com/2017/12/06/two-foia-fails-in-two-weeks/ Those people are Tari Renner, Jamie Mathy, Mboka Mwilambwe, Joni Painter, Scott Black, and Kimberly Bray. […]

Stacking the deck

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner has been seen shuffling the Public Comment cards at past meetings, likely resulting in “his” people being allowed to speak first. The last time the “welcoming ordinance” crowd showed up to pressure the Council, the majority of the speakers were for the ordinance.  One lady had a problem with the […]

Now we know why the OATH was changed

Also see this story:  https://blnnews.com/2017/12/07/illegal-oath-of-office/   By:  Diane Benjamin Both City Council meetings on Monday 12/18 have been moved to the BCPA to accommodate the crowd expected because the Council will be discussing the “Welcoming Ordinance”.  The agendas and packets are not yet available, but according to the City website it will be discussed at the […]

Tari’s Town Hall

By:  Diane Benjamin I almost feel sorry for Tari.  Citizens who disagree with actions of the City and Tari were pretty furious last night.  I’m sure by the end Tari was ready for it to be over.  I expect his next event to be stacked with a lot more supporters. Schedule:   12/12 – 5:30 – […]

TWO FOIA fails in two weeks

By:  Diane Benjamin Almost every FOIA I file gets extended.  The law says they have to comply within 5 business days, but they can request a 5 day extension.  When 10 business days are given, it should be enough time to get it right. Eventually it isn’t. On November 20th I made this request: I […]

FACT: Normal’s pensions

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal has to cover all these pensions every month.  How much money would you have to pay into retirement to get these monthly benefits? This is only the first 50.  As of 2016 124 former employees of the Town of Normal are collecting pensions.  https://www.openthebooks.com/search/?PensionCode=1000&F_fiscalyear=2016&F_employernm=Town%20Of%20Normal&F_employeenm= MONTHLY!

Cries from the unaccountable

By:  Diane Benjamin The citizens of Normal need to understand they do not have accountable representatives on the Town Council.  Since Normal does not have a WARD system, all trustees are elected “at-large” and therefore do not have to represent you.  Trustees McCarthy, Cummings, and Preston were elected with between 3012 and 3668 votes last […]

Koos and Fritzen: OPEN MIC!

By:  Diane Benjamin Chris Koos had to call for a break after all the Trustee babbling, a story I am going to get to. Fritzen and Koos forgot the mic was still open: Listen for 30-45 seconds to around 2:24:52.  Fritzen walks behind Koos and says something about Rich Buchanan Truth or Fiction website.  Since […]

ELEVEN! Citizens fight back

By:  Diane Benjamin Maybe the citizens of Normal have finally decided enough is enough.  11 citizens (one from Bloomington) spoke against the property tax increase during the public hearing before the Normal Town Council.  They came armed with facts which the council later tried to refute.  That story will be next.  Meanwhile, just hit play […]

Democrat In-Fighting!

By:  Diane Benjamin Paul Segobiano has a Democrat opponent! Shayna Watchinski is the pink haired far left Tari Renner supporter and the force behind attacks on Kevin Lower and Kathy Michael.  Suddenly the “ReSisterhood” Facebook page is missing!  That was her too. The debates should prove interesting! Left vrs FAR left!      

Everybody in Normal must be rich!

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight:  Town of Normal 7:00 p.m. Public Hearing on a proposed Property Tax Levy . I expect few citizens will show up to express outrage that their government is not capable of living within their means.  The Council and the Mayor are counting on it. This hearing is required because the Town […]

Rivian: One year later

By:  Diane Benjamin A reader sent this story to me from one year ago:     http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/columnists/ct-rivian-mitsubishi-robert-reed-1214-biz-20161214-column.html The title of the story is: Who is the mysterious auto startup that wants to bring jobs back to a shuttered Mitsubishi plant in Normal? . We don’t know any more today than we knew a year ago even […]

Why is the Chamber running ads?

By:  Diane Benjamin The local Chamber of Commerce is running radio ads claiming they help local businesses. What does it take to make a business successful? It’s pretty easy, businesses needs products people want and people with the money to buy them.  It also needs government not hindering the ability of both parties to make […]

Normal Tossing Money (Yours!)

By: Diane Benjamin Normal bills for Monday night: http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/279242  When your property taxes go up Monday: You will be told the cost of other people’s retirements went up: The real reason is the debt Normal has incurred building utopia. . Look at all the INTEREST payments below in Monday’s packet.  They total  $1,628,761.92. It gets […]

QUIT paying for Economic Development!

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington, Normal, and the County have been handing out your tax dollars to unaccountable agencies who claim they promote economic development and business retention. Peoria has their own version:  http://greaterpeoriaedc.org/ When Logan County de-funded local economic development they kept this group.    https://blnnews.com/2017/11/22/de-funding-economic-development-2/ When I first looked at their website I found minutes of […]

BREAK Normal’s Attitude!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal doesn’t want citizens showing up at meetings like they do in Bloomington.  That is the reason their Public Comment policy requires citizens to sign up 2 hours before a meeting, not just walk in a fill out a card. Remember the November 6, 2017 meeting where your property […]

“Welcoming Ordinance” Glitch

By:  Diane Benjamin Not In Our Town didn’t care when the mayor of Bloomington abused numerous citizens with vile comments.  They didn’t care when he attacked an elected alderman.  He used his position to intimidate people with different opinions.  How is that any different than Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, and Harvey Weinstein?  Because sex isn’t […]

Tari’s scream for love

By:  Diane Benjamin I’m sure you’ve heard Tari has 3 Town Hall meetings scheduled for December.  The only questions now are: How many police will be at each event to protect him? How many of “his” people will attend to applaud his every word? Will anybody be able to have opinions other than his? Will […]

Celebrate or Cry?

By:  Diane Benjamin From Connect Transit’s October report:    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1anF4rCMlP7zqbGQ3vM1EE6PhNz-FaJ9x/view PDF page 14 Ridership Increasing! Problem? Those 225,646 generated less than $100,000.  The first chart only reflects Fixed Routes, not Connect Mobility. Of course there is more to the story: See this link for October 2016:  PDF page 20   https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4zAZemF_qQuZEhveVl3aVMzakE/view Total Operating Revenue with fewer riders […]

Normal throws money at employees

By:  Diane Benjamin When the citizens aren’t paying attention to what their government is doing, you get the below.  If you thought $100,000,000 was ridiculous for Uptown, be prepared for more folly. PDF page 59:   http://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/7440 This statement is in the Town of Normal’s Annual Report: There is a good reason people want to work […]

It’s confirmed: Laws Don’t Matter!

By:  Diane Benjamin Laws most likely broken by the Town of Normal Council don’t matter because prosecutions need a prosecutor.  The citizens of Normal don’t have one! In case you forgot the facts, see this story:  https://blnnews.com/2017/11/16/normal-your-government-is-fixed/ Basics: The Town held a Secret meeting (Executive Session) on August 11th at 9:30 in the morning. The meeting […]

Tari’s buddies

By:  Diane Benjamin With all the heat Tari Renner has been feeling now for months, was last night’s packed chamber wanting a “Welcoming Ordinance” his way to get some love? Or was it a way to divide people based on ideology?  Is the real goal to unravel the threads of a civilized society by turning […]

The rumor is . . .

People who don’t care about laws are going to pack the Council chamber tonight to demand a welcoming ordinance! It doesn’t matter that Rauner already declared Illinois a sanctuary state.  Nothing is ever good enough for the people who want America destroyed. Congrats Bloomington! Now we know why the law says felons can’t serve on […]

BRICK streets + parking

By:  Diane Benjamin Couple more things on tonight’s agenda: 1) The parking ordinance downtown will be modified to keep City employees from just moving their car every couple of hours in the Government Center lot so they get free parking. 2) A brand new Brick Street Master plan will be adopted including: The next Council […]

$910,155.73 – but one question unanswered

By:  Diane Benjamin Another item on the agenda tonight is spending $910,155.73 for new automated parking equipment at 3 garages:  Market, Lincoln & Pepsi Ice Center The Pepsi Ice Center garage is in its 11th year of operation and the Downtown Task Force wants to tear down the Market Street garage, but those are just minor details. […]

Crushing Properity

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15356 PDF page 147 Bloomington sealed its own fate last April.  When the people elected believe they can create economic growth by stealing your money, the future is bleak.  Essential services aren’t funded because things like fixing roads aren’t sexy.  Building a legacy is.   Tari Renner lost his self-defined economic development role […]

Another thing Bill Thomas needs to explain

By:  Diane Benjamin Bill Thomas is the Treasurer for the Atlanta Il Public Library.  He writes the checks and pays all the bills for the Library and the Palms Grill.  He is also the guy who requested the $25,000 grant the State now wants back.   https://blnnews.com/2017/11/17/atlanta-library-get-a-free-building/ On November 6th I sent a FOIA request for […]

Fleece, but be Transparent

By:  Diane Benjamin The taxpayers of Bloomington have been abused by their chicken government.  I’m talking about pension spiking.  It’s bad enough taxpayers with no pensions are forced to pay for the retirements of highly paid city employees.  It’s worse when they are allowed to increase their retirements at your expense when it’s easily avoidable. […]

Library – the FACTS

By:  Diane Benjamin Back when the City Manager did real Monthly Reports, the library traffic was easier to understand.  It always included year-to-year comparisons.  The summary now doesn’t. See this graph from October 2015:  PDF page 43  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=9452 This is what was reported for October 2017: PDF page 11    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15324 Several items are noteworthy: a large […]

De-funding Economic Development

By:  Diane Benjamin It wasn’t that long ago the people in government in Logan County thought Bill Thomas was doing a great job with Economic Development.  The Logan County State’s Attorney refused to act even with definitive proof of criminal activity – including grant fraud that led to the Atlanta Library being ordered to repay […]

Sustainable? nope

By:  Diane Benjamin Government help frequently makes the problem worse. There is no clearer case than Connect Transit! Keep in mind the Federal Government is funding this lunacy at your expense across the country. The below was an addendum to last month’s agenda:  PDF page 3    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4zAZemF_qQubmxRRUsxaHZicFU/view   65% funding is the same as 2017.  […]

Last night’s greatest hits:

By:  Diane Benjamin Angela Scott continues to speak the truth the City doesn’t want to hear.  Note to Chief Heffner:  speaking truth isn’t a physical threat, people noticed. If you want to know what that last statement means, attend the next Council meeting and observe. Just hit play below to hear Angela. Fast forward to […]

Bloomington is #1! (oops)

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington was recently named the number one City in Illinois for:  http://247wallst.com/special-report/2017/11/20/drunkest-city-in-every-state/4/ The title of the article is: The Drunkest City in Every State This isn’t the kids downtown because Champaign has more of them than Bloomington. Hum, maybe Judy Stearns and Kevin Lower were right to vote against a liquor license for Ovation […]

Government creates jobs

By:  Diane Benjamin According to Kyle Ham (Economic Development Council) at last night’s Bloomington Council meeting: McLean County lost 2000 jobs between 2015 and 2016 K-12 schools are down 1100 students in the last 5 years which affects aid from the State New housing starts are down 56% from 2000 to today 8 out of […]

Sit down Normal

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2784 Town of Normal payments for tonight:  (Click on any pics to enlarge) Would you take your kids Trick-Or-Treating in Uptown if you knew you paid for the candy? The ICMA conference was in Texas, looks like a FOIA for all credit card charges is needed. Sit down if you aren’t already: […]

We know what Sage is up to

By:  Diane Benjamin At last Monday’s Bloomington City Council meeting, David Sage was adamant that an agenda item signed by 6 Council members be on this Monday’s Committee of the Whole agenda.  Tari Renner attempted to stall, but it is on the agenda:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15300   Instead of bringing it up Monday, it has played out in […]

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