All you need to know about last night:

By:  Diane Benjamin The meetings last night lasted until a little after 10:00 pm,  The first one started at 5:30 pm. Public Comment had a lady BEGGING the Council not to use asphalt on Jefferson street downtown.  She wants something fancy!  Maybe she can fork over the money to pay for it too.  See her […]

More from Bills and Payroll

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17440 How did Alderman Hauman travel to One Voice in Washington DC for half the cost of Renner?   https://blnnews.com/2018/04/03/remember-the-one-voice-air-fare/ Is your full service City planning to throw parties?  Note it’s an Admin expense. The Springfield Lawyers are running out of budgeted funds, only $33,175 is left for April.  (see […]

What they didn’t want you to see:

By:  Diane Benjamin I haven’t looked at the entire Bills and Payroll yet – it just got posted late this afternoon. See the very last page:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17440 They threw away $135,015 on spiked pensions: . . The City of Bloomington government exists only to scam YOU. . . . . .    

Update: FOIA filed

See what they were hiding here:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17440 By:  Diane Benjamin I wouldn’t have to file so many FOIA requests with Bloomington if the information actually got posted to their website.  Many are THEIR fault: This was filed today. I wonder if the Council knows what they are approving for payment tonight?  9 hours before the meeting, […]

More “Not The Right Fit”

By:  Diane Benjamin Back on February 26 approval of a Final Plat for a Circle K at the corner of GE Road and Hershey was sent back to the Planning Commission.  Alderman Painter didn’t want it in her Ward. This property has been a field for campaign signs for as long as I can remember: […]

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 […]

Miscellaneous:

By:  Diane Benjamin The next time you are present when Tari talks about his transparency award – please start laughing! Bills and Payroll for Monday night are not posted.  Normally delaying them means they are hiding something.   (as of 10:30 Saturday morning)    http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-1609 They know what they are paying because the total is on the […]

The Tari attack video

By:  Diane Benjamin The 2014 video of Tari Renner attacking Judy Stearns during a Council meeting because of cuts she proposed now has been viewed over 15,000 times.  13,000 of them have come in the last few months.  I have no idea why! A viewer left a comment last night that perfectly summed it up: […]

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 […]

Good News!

By:  Diane Benjamin One of the worst roads in Bloomington is getting fixed!  Clinton – if you didn’t know it’s a State road.  I hear they are moving fast.  You might want to avoid using it until it’s done however. . . . . .

Peoria: Private Garbage since 2010

Update:  They do charge something for recycling, I’m attempting to find out how much.  It depends on where you live in Peoria.  The City does have drop off locations. By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Peoria just approved a new 7 year contract with a possible 3 year extension for private garbage service that includes […]

Cut Sister Cities

By:  Diane Benjamin It looks like Sister Cities is planning another trip.  Their website doesn’t have any minutes posted since June 2017 however.    http://www.bnsistercities.org/about/#committee They have a general agenda posted which shows meetings in 2017 were scheduled for: August 7 (Moved to Aug. 14 due to 55th Anniversary Trip) September 11 October 2 November 6 […]

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 […]

UPDATE Downs Fire – heating up!

A meeting has been posted for April 19th at 6:00.  Agenda says introducing new trustee and discuss going to a 5 member board.   By:  Diane Benjamin This morning the County Board voted to re-appoint Mark Casada to the Fire Protection Board.  They also voted to put Jeff Clark on the Board even though no […]

Downtown Downtown Downtown!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Council thinks they can make downtown a destination.  The Coliseum and the BCPA were supposed to do the same thing. Since the Council spent close to two hours last night discussing beautification and streets, it proves the MILLIONS already spent have failed. There were some tiny shreds of fiscal responsibility when […]

Connect Transit fuzzy math?

By:  Diane Benjamin WGLT posted a story about Connect Transit a few days ago.  The author listed is a student along with Charlie Schlenker. See it here:  http://wglt.org/post/connect-transit-eyes-locations-downtown-transfer-center Connect still looking for places to build a downtown transfer station.  Isaac Thorne wants a place for 10 buses to park at the same time!  He claims the […]

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 […]

Are they really this clueless?

By: Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council is holding a Committee of the Whole Monday night.  Before Tari, the Council didn’t have 4 Council meetings a month and an additional meeting in between.  Think the endless hours of meetings have something to do with the spending being out of control – of course it does!  […]

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 […]

Who is more incompetent?

By:  Diane Benjamin http://wglt.org/post/charges-dismissed-former-coliseum-general-manager#stream/0 Charges were dismissed today against one of the main guys involved at the Coliseum, Bart Rogers.  He was John Butler’s main sidekick. The judge said the statute of limitations is three years, which means any theft or crimes that may have occurred prior to three years can no longer be prosecuted. […]

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! […]

Government’s Boot

By:  Diane Benjamin It isn’t possible to have verbal or email permission from government to do anything and expect it to be honored.  If boats on Lake Bloomington are so hazardous to the drinking water that supposed “illegal” docks must be removed, why are any boats allowed on the Lake? $250 fine per day?  Send […]

Downs Fire last night

See this story too:  https://blnnews.com/2018/04/10/downs-fire-another-side-to-the-story/ By:  Diane Benjamin Two of the three Trustees attended the meeting.  The chairman decided not to show up – Mark Casada.  Candidates for open positions were allowed to make their case and answer a few questions.  At least one candidate didn’t attend, his application letter was read by one of the […]

Funding roads? Ha Ha

By:  Diane Benjamin I asked Jim Karch to explain how much will be in the budget for roads.  This is his response:  (click to enlarge) Roads are Not a priority! This is what it looks like when politicians lie to you to win elections. Your Motor Fuel Tax will be raised 4/23 to add a […]

Another reason roads won’t get fixed:

By:  Diane Benjamin Below are the payments per year to the law firm in Springfield.  In 2013 they got NO tax dollars because Bloomington has an attorney on staff.  Normal still has their own attorney. Tari wanted an Administrative Court to squeeze the citizens into complying with his wishes.  Remember when Tari used to tell […]

Update: McIntyre – you don’t have that authority!

Update:  Don Knapp was the person from the States Attorney’s office I referenced below.  He used to be with that office, so he should know the law.  According to Samatha Walley in that  office: Don has not been a part of the State’s Attorney’s Office since late November/early December of last year. He was hired […]

MCCA’s Tax return

By:  Diane Benjamin Follow-up to yesterday’s story:    https://blnnews.com/2018/04/07/grant-handout-monday/ Want to know what Mid Central community Actions tax return looks like? The latest one I have is 2016:   https://tinyurl.com/MCCATax-Return It gets better: 33% salaries and benefits in 2016. At least it is better than PATH’s 75% salaries and benefits – see yesterday’s story. The tax return […]

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 […]

The roads can’t get fixed but . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington can’t find money anywhere in their budget to fix the roads.  They will raise your Motor Fuel Tax though! In the latest example of ridiculous priorities: http://www.cityblm.org/Home/Components/News/News/5867/ The City of Bloomington has completed a comprehensive inventory and assessment of 8,519 trees in parks, trails and public spaces as […]

FAA, CIRA, and Soccer

By:  Diane Benjamin I filed a FOIA request with the FAA pertaining to the soccer fields on January 31, 2018.  I received it today by mail.  It’s not that big, no word on why it had to be mailed. So, why does soccer need to leave the airport property? See this 1994 letter written by […]

Bloomington spending Monday:

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll Monday night:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16320 The report shows paying 461 Bi-Weekly employees and 361 Weekly.  That’s a total of 822 employees. January 2015:  458 Bi-Weekly and 335 Weekly Total 793  https://blnnews.com/2015/08/21/less-employees-at-the-city/ That’s an increase in employees of 29 in 2 years. SLBB:  Sick Leave Buy Back (Pension Spiking) Ashley Furniture: We have NO idea where […]

What’s wrong with Bloomington?

By:  Diane Benjamin Everybody knows the streets aren’t being fixed.  Bloomington can’t even find money in the budget (that has skyrocketed under Tari Renner) to invest in infrastructure.   https://blnnews.com/2018/03/26/nice-pantagraph/ They will happily raise your taxes though to pay for a couple of roads.  Yesterday we learned there was a “disconnect” ordering tickets for the One […]

How is Normal’s Uptown TIF?

By:  Diane Benjamin Note:  This information is now 1 year old.  The Illinois comptrollers office finally got around to setting up the structure to enter this data. Uptown TIF:   ftp://ftp.illinoiscomptroller.com/LocGovTIF/FY2017/06409531/17TIF06409531Downtown_volpment_1.pdf The TIF was organized in 2003.  The 2016 report showed positive cash flow of $2,967.  2015 showed a positive $44. TIF theory states increased property tax receipts […]

Just something interesting – CIAM

By:  Diane Benjamin Every once in a while I have to clean up some files.  I found a FOIA request I received in December of 2015. It clearly shows that John Butler and CIAM pretended they had no responsibility to the City of Bloomington and the taxpayers forced to cover their losses.  I remember filing […]

Bloomington Library facts

By:  Diane Benjamin The City Manager has issued a report for February.  The library stats posted for 2018 are not the same stats used in 2017, so I took the ones that can be compared and turned them into a chart. 2018 Library facts:   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16111 2017 Library facts:   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12434 The library wasn’t included in the […]

UPDATE: Remember the One Voice Air Fare?

I found this on the City website under Staff Responses:   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16236 By:  Diane Benjamin Update to this story:  https://blnnews.com/2018/03/23/bloomington-more-one-voice/ I FOIA’d the receipts to see why the cost was different for Black, Renner, and Rasmussen. Black drove himself to Chicago and flew from there to DC. Rasmussen left on a flight at 6:26 in the morning […]

Fazzini correction and more info

By:  Diane Benjamin I need to correct this story:  https://blnnews.com/2018/03/28/why-is-fazzini-signing-contracts/ Rob Fazzini signed a contract for the City of Bloomington dated 3/10/16.  He was not an alderman when he signed it.  He was also not authorized by the City Council to sign anything on behalf of the City of Bloomington.  All other contracts were signed by […]

Normal’s employee compensation

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal finally decided to post some employee compensation:     http://www.normal.org/documentcenter/view/7527 They only included salaries over $75,000, a little over 300 of them.  Since they don’t have many more employees than that, it’s close to everybody. I was looking around on OpenTheBooks.com and found some interesting numbers.  This information comes […]

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