If you leave your doors unlocked, is it legal . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s David Hales fault! That is John Butler’s claim to justify the missing bucks.  I blame David Hales too, and the Council, and the Mayor who all shut their eyes and pretended nothing nefarious was happening with taxpayer money.  The joint was audited!  Except concessions never were.  Johnny Butler made sure of […]

More Unit 5 emails

By:  Diane Benjamin I filed this FOIA request: Copies of all complaints filed in any form against all coaches employed or volunteering in the Unit 5 school district for the last three years – 2015, 2016, 2017. Copies of all responses to the above complaints. I’m only going to post what is applicable to the […]

Nope, Laws don’t matter!

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.normal.org/Archive.aspx?AMID=47 Anybody see an agenda posted for yesterday’s meeting? According to the dead tree the Normal Town Council held a budget workshop yesterday.  In the TWO stories they did, 5 of the 7 Council members are mentioned.  Five is more than half, meaning it was a meeting.  Open Meetings Act violation #6345.  […]

Monday’s bills – FOIA’s filed!

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll for 1/22/2018  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15632 Tari finally filed an expense report – 1st one since his PCard was yanked: _________________________________________ Council and staff weren’t eating at your expense in December.  I wonder what event is 1/27?  There is nothing on the City Calendar.  Buy local?  Ha. _________________________________________ This guy is getting an […]

“Yes” shows trust in Council

By:  Diane Benjamin Editorial in the Pantagraph March 3, 2004:  (available at the library) Does anybody trust the Council?  Poll below↓ . . . .  

False Flag

By:  Diane Benjamin The contemporary term false flag describes covert operations that are designed to deceive in such a way that activities appear as though they are being carried out by individual entities, groups, or nations other than those who actually planned and executed them. This statement perfectly describes the meeting Tuesday night held by […]

Yes, they lied

By:  Diane Benjamin First the news:  Pepsi is not paying the Ice Center anymore for naming rights ($50,000 a year), the Coliseum is no longer receiving $125,000 from Pepsi as a sponsor there!  Both deals expired 3/31/2016.  I bet you didn’t know that!  total lost:  $175,000 Nothing is clearer than the lies told by Arena […]

Cummings: Who do you represent?

By:  Diane Benjamin During public comment many first time speakers almost begged the Council to save the historic buildings at 104, 106, and 108 Beaufort Street.  From the Council discussion, that is not going to happen. City Manager Peterson claimed all they were doing was picking a developer.  Oh they will see what they can […]

Your future because of 5 RINO’s

By:  Diane Benjamin See this story from yesterday:    https://blnnews.com/2018/01/16/these-are-republicans/ The McLean County Board has an unwritten policy.  All work is done in committee and the Board members rubber stamp whatever comes out of committee.  I was told issues will not be re-heard before the entire Board, that’s why they have committees.  (My beef was with […]

The Cost of Bloomington’s Recycle FAILURE

By:  Diane Benjamin I love my readers because frequently we collaborate to find information.  See this story from yesterday which included documents for the IEPA showing the City of Bloomington illegally dumped materials at Lake Bloomington:    https://blnnews.com/2018/01/16/bloomington-failed-to-recycle/ The reader found the bids from April of 2017 for cleanup.  I found the Council Action this morning.  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12738 […]

UPDATE: Bloomington failed to recycle!

See the cost in this story:  https://blnnews.com/2018/01/17/the-cost-of-bloomingtons-recycle-failure/ __________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin I received a tip months ago about the City of Bloomington illegally dumping contaminated dirt, concrete, and other materials they dig up from water main breaks at Lake Bloomington. I did a FOIA request with the IEPA for documents, I received 14.  Since this was […]

(Not Pepsi) Ice Center profit

By:  Diane Benjamin I filed a FOIA request for the profit and loss at the Ice Center.  Note – it isn’t “Pepsi” anymore because they chose not to renew the sponsorship almost two years ago:    https://blnnews.com/2018/01/10/quit-calling-it-the-pepsi-ice-center/ The Ice Center did show Revenues of $990,556.60 and Expenses of $853,498.89 for a profit of $137,057.71. This is […]

Bond NOT being paid from road funds

By:  Diane Benjamin It has taken weeks to get an answer from the City, but we finally know the $10,000,000 bond payments for roads are not coming out of the Motor Fuel Tax or 1/4% Sales Tax that is dedicated to roads.  Payments are made from the General Fund: It doesn’t change the fact that […]

County: Mandatory Recycling TOMORROW

By:  Diane Benjamin Tomorrow we will find out who the real Republicans are on the County Board.  I can assure you that some of them do not believe in limited government.  Mandating recycling is not only impossible to enforce, it attacks the poor the most.  If landlords and businesses are FORCED to recycle, rents will […]

ROADS aren’t a priority in Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin The video below is from the cell phone video by Angela Scott of the Black-Sage-Schmidt Town hall held January 9, 2018 at the BCPA.  I go to meetings to listen, but I ended up talking anyway. The City of Bloomington claims to be doing priority based budgeting, but their priorities aren’t the […]

TUESDAY Normal spending

By: Diane Benjamin From the packet for the Normal Town Council meeting on 1/16/2018:   http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2871 Normal made the same payment in the 1/2/2018 packet.  Proof Here    A FOIA has been filed.  According to the Secretary of State LLC filing, the address is a strip mall in Plano Texas and the LLC was revoked.  See https://www.ilsos.gov/corporatellc/ Just […]

Dixon residents were mad, why aren’t you?

By:  Diane Benjamin I just got back from seeing All the Queen’s Horses at the Normal Theater.  It’s the story of the $53.7 million theft by a City employee in Dixon Il. The movie is fabulous, you have one more chance to see it tomorrow night at 7:00.  Buy tickets on-line, the theater was close […]

Unit 5: Nobody is going away without answers

The below is a comment left on a previous Unit 5 story.  It states clearly what questions need to be answered.  A reader posted the picture in a comment yesterday. I have been following this story in the media for the past almost month now, and have been reading the many stories and comments that […]

Unit 5 – Still not making sense

By:  Diane Benjamin According to the newspaper, Unit 5’s payments to coaches violated IHSA rules.  Unit 5 still won’t connect the dots and say why Coach Hess resigned and if they told him to resign or be fired because of these payments. Unanswered questions still circle back to the disgruntled parents secretly meeting with the […]

Update: Tari, Tari, Tari – WJBC

I reported on December 28th State Farm was leaving downtown!  Nice to see SF finally admitted it.  https://blnnews.com/2017/12/28/state-farm-is-leaving-downtown/   By:  Diane Benjamin Mayor Renner appeared on WJBC yesterday – hear him HERE Couple of notes: He called a special meeting for next Tuesday because he thinks the people who volunteered to be on his downtown task force […]

Usually people aren’t this stupid

By:  Diane Benjamin This comment was made to my story about Republicans on the County Board possibly caving and making recycling mandatory.   https://blnnews.com/2018/01/10/county-board-just-might-attack-your-wallet/ It’s hilarious that anti-freedom lovers resort to name calling when they disagree.  People who don’t think government has a right to run your life are Nazis? The writer obviously has no grasp […]

Unit 5 – story corrections

By:  Diane Benjamin The spontaneous Executive Session was not held on November 13th, it was held on November 8th at the end of a regular meeting.  It was held in response to some disgruntled parents. The Board briefly recessed, hopefully not to discuss whether to hold an Executive Session.  Holding any discussions outside of a […]

Quit calling it the Pepsi Ice Center

By:  Diane Benjamin Proving yet again that essential items slip through the cracks at City Hall, Pepsi did not renew the naming rights contract for the Ice Center.  Either nobody is looking for a replacement or nobody wants to buy the sponsorship. The naming rights expired the same time the Coliseum naming rights expired:  March […]

Lexington: Fight Invenergy

By:  Diane Benjamin The speaker at this event is Ted Hartke.  His family was forced to abandon their dream country home because turbines prevented his family from sleeping! Ted is a Civil Engineer for Foth and Associates in Champaign Urbana. More on Invenergy: https://blnnews.com/2016/11/28/mclean-county-beware-of-invenergy/ More on Wind: https://blnnews.com/2016/06/07/proposed-wind-farms-part-1/ (Part 2 was never printed because of […]

Rennerwitz and Burtejka

By:  Diane Benjamin I attended the Black-Sage-Schmidt Townhall meeting last night at the BCPA.  At most 30 citizens attended and many staff members.  The aldermen didn’t waste a lot of time going over what people already knew.  Most of the time was questions and answers, mostly about budget issues. One citizen asked why a NO […]

Unit 5 – Board meeting tomorrow!

Details 7:00 at Chiddix Junior High Unless you demand answers, you won’t get any. 30 Minutes for Public Comment will not be enough time.  I think a lot of people plan to attend and many will want to speak. The School Board can not interrupt speakers.  During Public Comment citizens have the floor, stopping free […]

More from last night, must see video

By:  Diane Benjamin Must see video is below the Council video! Even though “Friends of the BCPA” showed up at Public Comment to urge the Council to approve hiring their fundraiser, Karen Schmidt got the agreement tabled.  She claimed not enough discussion has taken place about the future of the Creativity Center.  Or, maybe she […]

Council shift-last night

By:  Diane Benjamin Is the Bloomington City Council finally waking up?  Do they realize they have no wide-spread support for their downtown spending when the roads are still crap? Alderman Bray pulled a revised Council schedule from the Consent Agenda in order to cancel next Monday’s Committee of the Whole session.  Renner doesn’t understand that […]

Coliseum – FOIA denied

By:  Diane Benjamin While I was reading a mountain of stories from before the Coliseum was built, I saw mention of the City obtaining insurance to protect them from fraud or theft involving the management company. I filed this FOIA request: My request was denied in full. The interesting part is the reason given for […]

Ecology Action Center is livid

By:  Diane Benjamin The local environmental activists thought they had their plan to force EVERYONE to recycle in the bag.  They spent two years meeting with people they call “stakeholders”.  Even if you did hear about one of their public meetings or hearings, I bet you didn’t go. Details here:  https://blnnews.com/2018/01/06/robustelli-wrong-scritchlow-right/ Their plans to use force […]

Another City employee!

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight Bloomington City Council:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15546 PDF page 55. This item is on the Consent Agenda.  That means it won’t be discussed unless an alderman pulls it. The documentation doesn’t say what this person will do, what the job description is, what the salary will be, or what happens if the “Friends” don’t have […]

The SAD Coliseum history

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve been reading a TON of media stories from before and after the Bloomington City Council voted to build the Coliseum. Judy Markowitz didn’t care what people thought.  She was going to build it and nothing was going to stop her.  She really believed she was saving downtown.  Mike Matejka and former […]

Sweet deal for Koos buddy!

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember when the Town of Normal bought the former Sprague’s Service Station, 305 Pine St? Taxpayers paid off Terri Ryburn’s mortgage – $229,000. The taxpayers paid Terri $5,000. Taxpayers bought the lot next door for $24,000. Taxpayers replaced the parking lot – $148,000 The total so far is $406,000! Then add the $9,633 reported on […]

Another one bites the dust

By:  Diane Benjamin Downtown Bloomington is dead.  The only people who don’t understand that were elected by the people who didn’t bother to vote last April.  The Coliseum and the Cultural District failed to revitalize downtown.  When will the Council quit throwing money away?  When you change who is on the Council!

Robustelli wrong, Scritchlow right!

By:  Diane Benjamin This week the McLean County Land Use committee rejected forcing people to recycle.  An amendment was brought to the committee by newly appointed member Ryan Scritchlow.  Even though Board member Carlo Robustelli is not a member of the Land Use Committee, it didn’t stop him from making this comment on Facebook: Carlo, […]

Important Dates!

Town Hall Meeting:    Website Hosted by Aldermen Sage, Schmidt, & Black Three City of Bloomington Aldermen, Ward 2 Alderman David Sage, Ward 6 Alderman Karen Schmidt, and Ward 7 Alderman Scott Black, will host a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 from 6:30-8 pm in the BCPA Ballroom, 600 N. East St. The […]

History: People smarter than government!

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve always been a huge fan of history.  People who don’t know history repeat the same mistakes over and over.  The current crop of Council members are doing just that because they don’t know Bloomington’s history – especially of downtown. Judy Markowitz didn’t want to wait for the results of the non-binding […]

Bloomington (questionable) spending

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday’s Bills and Payroll:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15550 More spiked pension expense: More Interest-Free loans? I don’t care how great the cause is, what statute allows the City to hand out your money to people they chose?  Most people call this vote-buying: More handouts:  I’m guessing the City if buying tickets to a Chamber event for […]

Normal: This one is for you!

By:  Diane Benjamin The story below appeared in the Pantagraph on October 21, 2003.  It is available on microfiche at the Bloomington Public Library. Normal raised your property taxes this year by blaming pensions. They used the same excuse in 2003 and every year since. Instead of budgeting for expenses they have to pay, they […]

Comedy via the elected

By:  Diane Benjamin Coliseum history: The below was printed in the Pantagraph on September 3, 2003.  It is available on microfiche at the Bloomington Public Library. Tom Hamilton, former City Manager now collecting $11,350 a month in retirement, is quoted in the same edition saying the city’s risk is very low because of the numbers […]

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