Downtown: 100 miles per hour

By:  Diane Benjamin Tomorrow the stacked Downtown Committee is holding a listening session – public comment at 5:15 in the Council Chambers. In case you forgot who is on this committee:  https://blnnews.com/2017/05/03/taris-downtown-task-force/ Showing up and telling them downtown isn’t worth reinventing won’t help (The town moved east, but they haven’t noticed).  The Committee has three […]

It’s Official: Tari hates Capitalism

By:  Diane Benjamin Capitalism has lifted millions of people around the globe out of poverty.  It’s the perfect formula for success:  I have a widget that you want.  You give me something of value for the widget.  Both of us are happy.  With the Internet, exchanging things of value is possible across the globe. If […]

Slick Willy, Nonsense, and more

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-500 Bills and Payroll isn’t posted yet for Monday night: Hiding something? ________________________ Tari Renner and Chris Koos are in for a treat today at the US Conference of Mayors:  Former Present Bill Clinton spoke at the “City Livability Luncheon”.   I wonder if he will speak longer than scheduled?  I wonder […]

Pantagraph: Facts matter

By:  Diane Benjamin Today the local rag has a story extolling the greatness of the Heartland Turbine.  Maybe they got their info from Heartland, maybe they shouldn’t have.  Their story says 23,000 Megawatts have been generated – in 5 years.  That’s 4,600 MW a year.  Now convert that to Kilowatt hours so their story and […]

ISU: You taught this?

Note:  A reader commented on the ISU student – Wes Ward (not Wood) By:  Diane Benjamin I tried to watch the video of Monday’s Normal Town Council, but never made it past Public Comment. Marc Tiritilli is still the voice of reason and fiscal responsibility.  I dare you to watch his comments without standing and […]

UPDATE: Bloomington’s Finest

The writer of this comment continues to make comments – all too vulgar to post except the one where he claims the mayor pays him to harass his opponents on line.  It’s a good thing mental illness is becoming a priority, I know a guy who should be locked up. _______________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin In […]

Question:

By:  Diane Benjamin How many people urging the Council to approve a Citizens Advisory Board to police the police think: Hands Up Don’t Shoot really happened? How many people on the Council think it did? I saw this comment on Facebook today from a local lady – she made it to a story about Michael […]

Followup: Illegal meetings

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I did not receive a response from the State’s Attorney or the Sheriff.  The illegal joint meeting between the Council and the Library Board took place. Bloomington attorney Jeff Jurgens admitted in an email the two meetings now posted on the Library Board website were not posted 48 hours in advance. […]

Is David Sage lonely?

By:  Diane Benjamin The entire Council came to last night’s Committee of the Whole meeting with plans to put citizens in charge of the police force – except David Sage.  Maybe he didn’t get invited to the lunches and private meetings everybody on the Council obviously was treated to.  I wonder if Chief Heffner already […]

Erickson has killed the local GOP

By:  Diane Benjamin Chuck Erickson was elected GOP chair in 2014 and re-elected in 2016.  75-100 people used to attend the monthly breakfast meetings BC (before Chuck). Today the breakfast had less than 30, according to an attendee, and most of them were elected members of the County Board. Sue Feldkamp, who ran for the […]

Bloomington CHANGES Locations

By:  Diane Benjamin The Council meeting to discuss forming a citizens review board to oversee the police will be held in the Council Chambers – starting at around 6:15.  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=13151 It had previously been schedules for the Osborn room in the Police Station where live streaming doesn’t exist. The joint meeting of the Council and […]

Updated: YOU have the Power!

Update is at the end. By:  Diane Benjamin Thursday night I road tripped with the Edgar County Watchdogs (John Kraft and Kirk Allen) to Stark County.  We attended a “Special” County Board meeting which occurred because the meeting on Tuesday was adjourned after the citizens who showed couldn’t all fit in the room.  The chairperson […]

Since the Council didn’t ask questions . .

By:  Diane Benjamin The council never asks questions.  I wonder if they even look at the documentation! Bills and Payroll from last Monday:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=13099 The Coliseum cost more – architect: Did the City buy tickets for employees?  Feel free to FOIA! Why did the BCPA return so many deposits?     Why does the BCPA […]

Bike Blono runs Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington wouldn’t have a Bike Master Plan without Bike Blono.  Bloomington wouldn’t have a Complete Streets plan without Bike Blono.  Bike Blono had private meetings for months with Public Works to make lanes on Washington happen.  (as stated by Michael Gorman of Bike Blono) Bikes have always been allowed on the roads, […]

Council Fun – Part 2

By:  Diane Benjamin Renner didn’t ask to extend the time so everybody could speak, so everybody didn’t get to.  Tari did make sure Mike McCurdy of Bike Blono, WGLT radio, and Connect Transit got to speak though. To hear all of the public comment – just hit play below.  Then listen to the second Public […]

Council fun – Part 1

By:  Diane Benjamin New Alderman Jamison Mathy didn’t show up last night for the Bloomington City Council meeting.  As usual, nothing was said.  Everybody acted like it’s perfectly normal for an elected representative to be a no-show.  Unfortunately, his absence might have cost one family their property rights.  (stay tuned) Alderman Diana Hauman didn’t show […]

Trying to kill somebody?

by:  Diane Benjamin This is a Bloomington road that school buses travel on.  It’s also close to an apartment complex. (different section of the same road) The City budget only spends $3.8 million resurfacing roads when more than $9 million a year is needed just to keep the roads rated poor. Tonight the Council will […]

While you weren’t watching . . .

by:  Diane Benjamin 1) Mayor Transparency is now not listing the cost of items on the agenda.  See tonight’s agenda here:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=13109.  Go to page 114 to find out the Motor Fuel Tax is being raided to pay for street light electricity. This tax was passed as being for the streets – not lights:  (Page […]

If demand mattered, the roads would get fixed!

By:  Diane Benjamin Only a tiny group of citizens want bike lanes.  Tari Renner ran for office twice pledging to fix the roads.  He obviously isn’t as serious as the people with damaged vehicles are. This is from 2015:  http://www.cityblm.org/government/departments/public-works/streets-sidewalks/street-resurfacing The table shows how much money per year is required just to have TERRIBLE STREETS. […]

Bike facts that don’t matter

Update:  The lady in the video reported Amelia stated her family won’t be using the bike lanes – too dangerous!  She is supporting the plan because Bike Blono wants it.   By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I attended Renner’s Open House for the first time.  I don’t attend because I already know what answers are going […]

Common Sense: Bye Bye Bye

By:  Diane Benjamin Bike Blono wants all cars to drive slower.  TENS of THOUSANDS more cars than bikes is immaterial. Even kids understand that riding a bicycle in the road is dangerous, Bike Blono wants you to change your behavior.  If you don’t agree,  you are evil.  They have at most a couple hundred members, […]

More Bloomington Fail

By:  Diane Benjamin I saw this on the agenda for the Town of Normal last Monday:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2634 The document goes on to appoint the Deputy City Manager as representative to IMRF. The Town of Normal hasn’t paid the huge penalties Bloomington has from pension spiking.  Bloomington has paid  $1,877,252.40, in August of 2015 Normal had paid […]

Laws are immaterial

By:  Diane Benjamin The ruling by the Attorney General’s Public Access office against the City of Bloomington is completely meaningless.  Read the entire ruling here:  17-004 The only penalty for the Bloomington City Council violating the Open Meetings Act by holding an illegal Executive Session is: The tape of the meeting must be released The […]

Why is BN Advantage a secret group?

By:  Diane Benjamin BN Advantage was formed in 2015.  Their mission is to get all the players together for collaboration on economic development strategy. The Bloomington Council approved the formation in October 2015, see this doc:  BN Advantage  I’m sure other area governments passed the same type resolution. Temporarily forget the fact that government doesn’t […]

Tari’s latest attack

By:  Diane Benjamin I wonder when Renner is going to take his comedy show on the road! Source:  http://www.pantagraph.com/business/local/expert-communication-diversity-key-for-economic-development/article_145290bf-c5c5-50cd-9536-8b1b4c6e34bc.html Renner’s comments don’t deserve any respect. We know transparency is much less since Tari became mayor. We know anyone who challenges his beliefs are his enemy.  (“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”) […]

Hudson: Non-compliance

By:  Diane Benjamin The Village of Hudson failed to post the agenda for tonight’s meeting on their website 48 hours in advance.  It was finally posted to the website sometime yesterday. Problem: The Agenda that was posted on the door of the Water Departments is different than the one now posted on the Village website!. […]

Normal: What?!?

By:  Diane Benjamin On the Consent Agenda for tonight’s Normal Town council meeting: No other information on 404 W Locust is included.   Being on the Consent Agenda means there is no discussion unless one of the council members asks.  I’d be asking!  $892,327.48 with no questions? What Illinois statute allows the Town of Normal […]

More conspiring against citizens

By:  Diane Benjamin Follow-up to this story:  https://blnnews.com/2017/06/02/b-n-is-getting-the-delphi-treatment/ (It won’t be the only one!) The Bloomington Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is trying to get out of complying with the Open Meetings Act.  What does the Open Meetings Act say? OMA applies to all “public bodies”:  http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=84&ChapterID=2 I’d love to know what grounds they […]

Green isn’t really green

By:  Diane Benjamin The pictures below were all taken on June 2, 2017 east of Ellsworth, Il. In case you don’t know, wind turbines must have a backup system (FOSSIL FUELS!) because turbines aren’t capable of producing steady electricity.  The wind doesn’t always blow or it blows too hard.  Meanwhile, fossils fuels pollute more because […]

B-N Sports Complex-Delphi

By:  Diane Benjamin The local area has THREE agencies coordinating economic development:  B-N Convention and Visitors Bureau, BN Advantage, and the Economic Development Council. There is MUCH more to this story – but not today. The Bloomington Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has another committee nobody has ever heard of: Sports Commission Board The Board […]

$20-$30 million for low wage jobs

By:  Diane Benjamin Mark Peterson – Normal’s City Manager – talked to WGLT yesterday:  http://wglt.org/post/public-private-partnership-lacking-establish-sports-complex#stream/0 Peterson thinks taxpayers should pony up $20-$30 million for a sports complex! The total cost will be $50 million, but it’s not a Public-Private partnership.  He doesn’t say where the rest of the money will come from or who will […]

What really happened with Hudson mayor

By:  Diane Benjamin Evidently the media isn’t the least bit curious about Hudson’s mayor quitting right after he got elected.  Jason Collins said he was quitting for personal reasons. It wasn’t easy to get a copy of the letter Collins sent to the Board, but I did receive a redacted version. This is what Section […]

Route 66 Bike Trail: the Cost

By:  Diane Benjamin How much did the bike trail from Chenoa to Funks Grove cost? Good question – but I have no idea! Researching anything the County does is close to impossible.  The County took the lead, but Bloomington, Normal, Chenoa, Lexington, McLean and Towanda all contributed. All County work is done in committees and then […]

Connect Transit: Great News

By:  Diane Benjamin Source:  http://www.connect-transit.com/documents/05-30-2017%20Regular%20Board%20Meeting%20Binder1.pdf Tonight Connect Transit’s Board will discuss ending some unprofitable routes.  Sorry, they don’t mean all of them since NONE of the them are profitable.  They just want to get rid of the worst ones.  One would think Connect is trying to reduce the massive operating losses, sorry again – that […]

TWO Americas

By:  Diane Benjamin On this Memorial Day weekend, we remember those who have fought and died for us.  America began with a war for freedom and many wars have been fought since to protect it.  We would not enjoy this legacy today without the sacrifices of those willing to lose their life in our defense. […]

Connect the Dots

By:  Diane Benjamin You already know R.C McBride is the General Manager of WGLT radio and he is a Trustee on the Normal Town Council: http://wglt.org/people/category/6 http://www.normal.org/1135/Meet-the-Council , , , , , . If that isn’t enough to question the integrity of WGLT reporting, here’s more: http://www.mcleancountydemocrats.org/?zone=/unionactive/view_page.cfm&page=Other20counties McBride is also a precinct committeeman for the […]

Bray starts bad! (and other spending)

By:  Diane Benjamin Kimberly Bray was just elected to represent the 9th Ward.  Rumor has it she has never voted in a local election before this one. (If she did – she could easily prove it!)  Rumor also has it that Joni Painter and Tari Renner recruited her to run. She obviously doesn’t read BlnNews […]

Update to yesterday-Taxable Value

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I reported on a property that sold in March 2016 for $2,670,000, but it only had a taxable value of $1,789,289 by December 31st.  https://blnnews.com/2017/05/15/how-did-this-happen/ The McLean County Assessor’s office said I needed to contact the Township Assessor to find out why the taxable value is much less than the purchase price.  I […]

Bill Brady: Pay up Illinois

This article was just published by the Illinois Policy Institute:  https://www.illinoispolicy.org/grand-bargain-redux-brady-plan-the-next-in-a-long-list-of-failed-compromises-for-illinoisans/ Bill Brady proves once again why the IL GOP is useless: Only in Illinois could a budget deal that hits struggling Illinoisans with billions in new taxes be called a “grand bargain.” Excerpts: State Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, has proposed what he hopes may […]

Normal – Monday night

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal agenda and documentation for Monday night:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2628 Below are some items I found interesting – many others could be questioned.  This meeting will be short – nothing serious isn’t on the consent Agenda. 1) Town will reimburse emergency repairs. The documentation says a contractor caused the sewer back-up, there is nothing […]

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