Soccer facts plus update on David Hales

By:  Diane Benjamin Thanks to a reader who sent me this story from the New York Times – dateline CHICAGO:  Maybe this is why the presenter Monday night said the sports complex has to be for more than soccer.     David Hales is acting just like he did in Bloomington!  He spent $1875 attending […]

Water Department and Pension Spiking Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin These projects will be approved Monday:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=18366 Lake Bloomington Water Treatment plant roof:   $323,139.65 Water Main replacement:  $385,075 Professional Services to prepare for another water main replacement:  $30,876.50 If the Council claims the Water Department funds are diminishing and therefore they have to raise rates: In 2013 $400,000 was “borrowed” from the water fund for […]

Does Grossinger regret buying naming rights yet?

By:  Diane Benjamin Maybe the City can compensate Grossinger for all the bad publicity by giving them naming rights to the Ice Center.  Pepsi quit paying for it YEARS ago, but even in meeting documentation Parks and Rec still calls it Pepsi Ice Center.  I bet Pepsi loves it – free advertising!  Monday night this […]

$43 Million proposal is finally posted

By:  Diane Benjamin The book handed out to the Councils Monday night (and me) needed some corrections.  Maybe that’s the reason for the delay in posting the information. Normal has posted links to the presentation including video of the Monday meeting:    https://www.normal.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1796 The local paper today called for a binding referendum.  They called the complex […]

Normal’s credit rating

By:  Diane Benjamin Moodys doesn’t have Normal at a AAA credit rating.  Their rating is still really good – AA1.  (Bloomington is AA2).  I can’t post link because an account needs to be created, you can create on for free at moodys.com Fitch rating services have a different story – Their rating for Normal is […]

Why was Renner’s cost more than Koos?

By:  Diane Benjamin From Bills and Payroll for 7/23/2018  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=18360 PCard charge for Tari Renner –  Hotel only, US Conference of Mayors in Boston: Since Tari doesn’t have a PCard, it must have been booked with this card. 3 nights for Chris Koos including two charges at the hotel’s Champion Sports Bar was only $1209.99.    https://blnnews.com/2018/07/13/normal-we-must-entertain-and-more/ […]

Sports Complex MUST be Dead on Arrival

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night I actually asked the people around me if they heard the same things I did.  It was close to the end when Evan Eleff of Sports Facilities Advisory stated the complex will never pay for itself.  I asked him about it after the meeting ended.  He told me this is Parks […]

$ 43,585,074!

By:  Diane Benjamin That is the cost of building the proposed multi-sport complex. The best part is: It will NEVER pay for itself! If anybody supports this proposal they need mental health exams. More tomorrow!

Preaching Socialism

By:  Diane Benjamin Illinois People’s action was at the Sugar Creek Art Festival spreading socialism, note they target the young who don’t know that socialism kills: One item on the sign is 100% renewable energy.  Evidently they don’t know the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine.  Creating batteries to store energy […]

Normal’s pork tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight – two meetings:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3017 Don’t forget this one-the consult will present their findings on building a sports complex here: Misc money toss: Did you get your invite? This is only for printing: Normal allows pension spiking too: Unlike Bloomington where everything is a secret forever, Normal will be voting to release Executive […]

Guest Writer: Citizens Public Safety and Community Relations Board

By:  Karen Miller On July 12, WGLT posted an article entitled “Year later, Some Want More Distance between Civilian Board and Police”.     http://wglt.org/post/year-later-some-want-more-distance-between-civilian-board-and-police The Pubic Safety and Community Relations Board (PSCRB) was formed to serve as a citizen advisory committee to the Chief of Police and the City Manager, providing different perspectives on police […]

Pantagraph wrong again, but nothing new

By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph thanked Alderman Diana Hauman for serving and for publicly stating she is not running for reelection to the Bloomington City Council because she was not able to develop a cohesive Council. When Judy Stearns and Kevin Lower were members, the Council was very cohesive.  Everything they said was ignored. The […]

Normal: We must entertain! (and more)

By:  Diane Benjamin A reader asked me how much the Town of Normal contributes to the CornBellters, so I FOIA’d that information.  The Normal Cornbelters are another quasi-government organization with no transparency. Did you know for 20 years Normal is rebating all food and beverage taxes? I wonder if they audit sales?  How are cash […]

Update: Your wallet isn’t safe!

The Town of Normal still does not have this meeting properly posted.  They do have the 7:00 pm meeting posted.  Their lawyer needs to re-read the Open Meetings Act. By:  Diane Benjamin The notice below is not posted on the Town of Normal website under agendas or anywhere else I looked.  This was sent to […]

Chris Koos: Trump Derangement Syndrome

By:  Diane Benjamin At 9:26 last night Chris Koos posted this to Facebook: Why does the left always call us a democracy? We aren’t a democracy, that means mob rule.  Somebody wants your bike, the mob can vote to steal it from you.  That’s democracy. We are a Republic where we elect people to represent […]

Lesson in why government MUST be limited

By:  Diane Benjamin Government doesn’t have to be competent, especially when incompetent people are elected!  The City of Bloomington has proven over and over they know where to get more money. YOU! The naming rights for the Ice Center expired more than two years ago.  Pepsi is no longer paying to have their name on […]

What does “No Bids” tell you? (and more Council tonight)

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington City Council meeting tonight: http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=18264 Beginning on PDF page 380 Remember the Wayfinding signs? In August 2016 the Council hired a firm to design the signs for $62,190.  In December 2017 the Council approved spending another $28,095 for design after the original designs were nixed. They could have held a local contest […]

Bloomington’s spending priorities Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin If the new City Manager is able to sell his house in Decatur, maybe he can take David Hales’s house off his hands.  It is still for sale, reduced AGAIN to $245,000.  It started at $279,900 last November.    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/5-Conway-Cir-Bloomington-IL-61704/76972678_zpid/?fullpage=true Tari’s favorite non-profit, Illinois Policy Institute, wrote about Bloomington’s new City Manager, it’s […]

Who is going to sue Normal?

By:  Diane Benjamin I’m betting the Town of Normal has a problem:  Discrimination! Is it legal to pass an ordinance that tells some people they HAVE to do something while others people don’t have to? That is exactly what the Normal Town Council did last night.  They have a legal department, did anybody check to […]

ISU must not teach capitalism

By:  Diane Benjamin The Normal Town Council meeting lasted more than 10 minutes last night!  It actually went over an hour because of the mandatory recycling ordinance. ISU kids showed up to demand their right to recycle.  Some called it a necessity, one claimed she had to drive 5-10 minutes to drop hers off and […]

Attacking the poor in Normal

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2996 Tonight Normal may prove government destroys affordable housing. On the agenda is mandatory recycling for all multi-family housing.  Non-compliance fines are $100 per day!  Who MUST recycle: Attacking the poor is so easy when ideology rules over common sense.  Affordable housing will become even less affordable.  Where is the League of […]

Once again Nikita, facts matter

By:  Diane Benjamin Nikita Richards wants to be the next McLean County Clerk.  She has a problem with facts however.  See this post from her Facebook page and try to spot the problem: Spot it yet?  Should I wait? waiting . . . waiting . . . Nothing? She claims she met a guy in […]

Valente – the saga continues

By:  Diane Benjamin If you missed either of the first two stories, see them  HERE  and  HERE The new information comes from another FOIA request I filed to see if STATE EMPLOYEE (as in YOU pay her salary) Judy Valente actually followed through with her threats to file a complaint against the officers involved in her traffic […]

Tari’s antics continue

By:  Diane Benjamin According to the Pantagraph (I actually cite sources), Renner is calling a special meeting July 9th to discuss the welcoming ordinance. Of course, he will have to waste more money holding it at the BCPA.  Since threats of violence have been made (yes, you Jenn Carrillo), police officers will have to attend. […]

Connect Transit LOSS GROWS!

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s only a matter of time before Connect Transit makes at all the way to a $1,000,000 loss in one month.  They are trying really hard to get there. PDF page 8:    file:///C:/Users/Diane/Downloads/26Jun18%20Board%20Meeting%20Packet%20Final.pdf May income was: Income barely covered fuel expenses of $104,193.08 Total expenses: Total Operating Loss: This isn’t monopoly money!  This […]

Is Tari lying?

By:  Diane Benjamin Before the vote to neuter Tari’s agenda privileges, he gave a little speech.  He claimed an Alderwoman came to him 30 days after he was first elected with a list of over 100 items she wanted him to put on the agenda.  He claims that person has NEVER voted for a City budget.  […]

Council Recap

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council only had ONE meeting last night instead of 2 or 3.  It didn’t help them not spend your money, but at least they only contemplated how to shovel out more.  Of course, it was on downtown.  More later. Jamie Mathy did not attend, so Ward 1 had no […]

$225,000 unaccountable

By:  Diane Benjamin At tonight’s City Council meeting BN Advantage will get $125,000.  That is in addition to the $100,000 currently paid to the Economic Development Council which happens to be part of BN Advantage. Confused? It’s not going to get any clearer since both organizations can not be FOIA’d. PDF page 277  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=18156 This is […]

City Vending Machines – Is it party money?

By:  Diane Benjamin Earlier this month the City of Bloomington claimed the Public Works party was financed with employee money from vending machine profits:   https://blnnews.com/2018/06/04/party-at-public-works/ I FOIA’d the City vending machine contracts, of course my FOIA was extended.  Yesterday I received two contracts dated in 2004. This one is for vending machine products other than […]

Heartland is pricing kids out of college

By:  Diane Benjamin Budgets for Heartland Community College only go back to 2012 on their website.  Below are tuition increases starting in 2012: PDF page 11:   https://www.heartland.edu/documents/bo/budgetfy12.pdf Note tuition was increased $16 per credit hour in 2012.     2013: PDF page 11:  https://www.heartland.edu/documents/bo/budgetfy13.pdf Since 2012 didn’t mention a “Student Life Fee” and it’s only $1 per credit […]

Bloomington spending for 6/25/18

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=18132 More pension spiking: Connect Transit gets paid late for April: GreenTop got their tax rebate: Not sure about this one – City Sponsoring something at ISU? Springfield Legal got paid More of your money to non-profits: If referendum approves ending BEC, will this be compatible with County: Just the flight to […]

Heartland is deficit spending for BAD reasons

By:  Diane Benjamin According to this article (buried on their website), Heartland Community College is planning on not having a balanced budget until 2021.   https://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/education/heartland-board-approves-first-budget-with-deficit/article_a0c39e6e-4dca-5637-b1ba-749dc4cd88b1.html Do you deficit spend for 2 years or more?  Government does. The planned deficit is because they lost the authority to levy “equity property taxes” amounting to $3 million.  Of […]

Guest Editorial: Deep Disappointment

Bloomington City Council Members: At this point, I have to trust that during the search and decision process for a new City Manager, you all garnered significantly more knowledge and capability, than any single citizen has, linked to selecting the best candidate for City Manager. At this point your constituents can only hope that the future provides […]

Arena – Will Gleason shut it down?

By:  Diane Benjamin The local paper has an editorial declaring the new City Manager the right guy because Decatur re-did their downtown.  They think Normal did, so there is no reason Bloomington can’t. They forgot Normal was in ZERO debt before they spent around $100,000,000 on Uptown.  (Is that restaurant space on the Circle still […]

Decatur comments on Gleason + Council last night

By:  Diane Benjamin It sounds like both Unit 5 and District 87 are as tired of TIF Districts as the citizens.  Both Barry Reilly and Mark Daniel spoke about 23 years of diverted taxes being ridiculous.  The Council tabled any changes until better language agreeable to the school districts could be worked out.  Bloomington may […]

GOP: Eliminate the Bloomington Election Commission

By:  Diane Benjamin The GOP met tonight to hear presentations from Bloomington Election Commission head Paul Shannon and County Clerk Kathy Michael. The purpose was to determine if the GOP should support a referendum to combine BEC with the County Clerk’s office. After the presentations, the precinct committeemen voted unanimously to support the referendum.  I […]

An article Bloomington leaders won’t read

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight Bloomington is holding a special meeting to talk about TIF’s.  Again, they believe they can create prosperity with the “Right Fit”. Here’s the article they need to read:   https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2018/6/18/running-government-as-a-business Excerpts: If you’ve been here with Strong Towns for any amount of time, you know the suggestion that, “the object of a […]

Update: 2nd Amendment: Where’s McLean County?

County Board member Jim Soeldner sent a resolution the Board passed in 2008.  It needs updated!  See it here:   2008 McLean County Resolution _________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin Does the Constitution matter or not?   The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. (Militia meant every person capable of using a […]

Devaluing Bloomington

A reader was concerned about these properties and how they are devaluing the area around them.  Are maintenance codes enforced?  The captions were written by the reader. Recently closed Heartland Printing on IAA drive. Should owner of commercial property be allowed to walk away and leave ugly property. Owner should be required to at least […]

Bloomington Public Works-Council should be asking questions

By:  Diane Benjamin Public Works employees aren’t happy, especially with Jim Karch.  The feeling I get from discussions with some of them is that they don’t trust him and how the department is run. Start with the new garbage trucks and cans purchased some years ago.  It was supposed to save money and the backs of […]

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