Bloomington tonight: Want to avoid lawsuits?

By: Diane Benjamin Packet: The State of Illinois and local governments violated the Illinois Constitution by closing businesses and depriving landlords of income. Bloomington made it worse by sending unpaid water bills to landlords after telling renters they don’t have to pay. Illinois Constitution-Bill of Rights https://www.ilga.gov/commission/lrb/con1.htm Government told renters they don’t have to pay […]

Tim Gleason wasn’t at the Council meeting, I bet I know why

By: Diane Benjamin I bet Tim is in Columbus Ohio attending the International City/County Management Association (ICMA)¬†Annual Conference. “With four days of learning, inspiration, and connection, attendees leave equipped with the tools and support they need to make their communities a better place to live, work, and play.” https://conference.icma.org/about/ In other words, learn new ways […]

Bloomington tonight: How big will Gleason’s raise be?

By: Diane Benjamin Packet for tonight: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/5a26b16f-a62d-11ec-8a90-0050569183fa-d854eb82-3702-4140-9de6-ac3a8e3f379d-1662676309.pdf Public Comment and Recognitions might take longer than the actual business part of the meeting. Everything is on the Consent Agenda and won’t be discussed unless an alderman pulls it. The longest part of the meeting won’t be public: I doubt releasing the minutes of Executive Sessions from […]

Remember the giveaways to redevelop CII East?

By: Diane Benjamin See this story is you forgot: https://blnnews.com/2022/04/24/69-million-for-water-projects-so-you-wont-notice-the-cii-east-giveaways/ That story is from last April. I was in Downtown Bloomington yesterday. Many of the roads are new, the flowers pots are gorgeous, and the raised beds have actually been taken care of. I don’t see why downtown needs a streetscape plan since by day […]

Bloomington fails at transparency

By: Diane Benjamin See agenda for the committee of the Whole Monday: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/f77ad2e4-b41c-11ec-a5da-0050569183fa-36dc0a47-f3e1-4a7f-ab53-55227cac04fe-1660245682.pdf Nothing from the presentation is included in the packet. It’s all a secret until it can be presented without inference from mere taxpayers. Roads are way underfunded, but you get a revamped library, a water park for a couple of months a […]

Did Bloomington create a new way to spike pensions?

By: Diane Benjamin On the 7/25/2022 Bloomington Bills and Payroll report was an Accelerated Payment to IMRF for $5,568.15. Since the Sick Leave Buy Back policy was FINALLY phased out, I FOIA’d information on this payment. This is the explanation I received from the City of Bloomington: Their note doesn’t explain what I received from […]

Bloomington: priorities other than roads

By: Diane Benjamin The actual meeting was only around an hour. The Council was in Executive Session for the rest of the video. Gary Lambert lambasted the City for the cash reserve levels during Public Comment, this is a must listen: Hit play below to hear the City is only spending around $9 million on […]

Tim Gleason needs some history

By: Diane Benjamin The longer a City Manager hangs around their progressive ideology become more apparent. Tim Gleason was evidently hired from Decatur because he spearheaded redevelopment there. Decatur’s is busy during the day because people work downtown. It dies at night, they don’t have the bars Bloomington has. Progressives think government creates prosperity and […]

Couple more things from Bloomington last Monday

By: Diane Benjamin Donna Boelen wanted this on the record, unless you see her Council comment at the end of the meeting it is only on the record for staff. Donna asked again about the updated Intergovernmental Agreement with Connect Transit. Supposedly Bloomington has done their work and it’s sitting in Normal stalled. She shouldn’t […]

New Ward Map Approved in Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin The Council meeting last night was relatively tame. The most friction came from which Ward Map to approve. It will go into effect immediately since petition packets will be distributed at the end of August for the LOCAL election early next year. Map number 2 was chosen 6-3 with Jeff Crabill, Mollie […]

Transparency lacking in Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin Taxpayers OWN Bloomington government, they work for you! Why is it so difficult to get information? Instead of fixing the functionality of the City website, they just redesign it. They have many useless tabs that aren’t used, nobody is cleaning them up or making SEARCHING for information easier. It’s almost like hiding […]

Huge Transparency problem in Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin Did you know some Bloomington officials SEARCH on this website because it is impossible to find what you are looking for on the City of Bloomington website? Instead of concentrating on function, the City is changing the look of the Bloomington website and providing LESS vital information. Example: https://www.cityblm.org/government/city-council/meetings-and-agendas Details from this […]

Did Julie Emig violate City Code ethics?

By: Diane Benjamin At Monday’s Bloomington Council meeting approving money for the Ecology Action Center was on the Consent Agent. Everything on it was passed with one unanimously vote including this to the Ecology Action Center: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/5a1a631e-a62d-11ec-8a90-0050569183fa-36dc0a47-f3e1-4a7f-ab53-55227cac04fe-1654897109.pdf One problem – h/t a reader: Julie Emig is listed on the Ecology Action Center website as a […]

Bloomington: Mboka doesn’t like change

By: Diane Benjamin http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1170&Inline=True Tari Renner stacked all the Board and Commission. Mboka continues to just reappoint the same people. No Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Mboka? This item shouldn’t be on the Consent Agenda, it should be pulled for further discussion. Does the City want to risk an abandoned property if the owners can’t use […]

Bloomington Roads History and the American Rescue Plan money

By: Diane Benjamin I probably have at least 100 stories since 2012 on road conditions. Tari Renner ran for office promising to fix them – twice. https://blnnews.com/2018/01/24/its-the-roads-stupid/ In 2012 the City passed an Action Plan that included “smooth rides on quality well-maintained street”. https://blnnews.com/2015/02/26/if-you-like-your-roads-you-can-keep-your-roads/ In late 2013 or early 2014 the City borrowed $10,000,000 for […]

Public Comment from Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin There is MUCH more to cover from last night’s meeting, stay tuned. How many people did this guy speak for last night? Just hit play: Donna Boelen had one of the many “comments of the night”. Tim Gleason stated again only Rowe Construction bids on road work. Donna thinks out of town […]

Part 1 of Bloomington last night

By: Diane Benjamin One Public Comment was exceptional last night. Gary Lambert speaks pretty often, always showing lots of common sense. Gary responded to something Mayor Mboka wrote in the Pantagraph wanting the State to quite keeping more of the local tax money than they used to. Gary threw that letter back in his face […]

Bloomington over taxing?

By: Diane Benjamin Tonight’s packet: http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1162&Inline=True Take a trip down memory lane to 2017: https://www.cityblm.org/home/showpublisheddocument/9854/636130888246430000 That link is to the proposed 2017 budget. PDF page 19 shows the General Fund including the percent held in reserves. The City planned to collect and spend $104,794,506. The RESERVES percent of the General Fund was 12.87%. Jump to […]

Bloomington Budget vrs Normal

By: Diane Benjamin Making budget cuts isn’t a matter of cutting BIG things. It a myriad of small things that add up to big bucks. Here’s one example: This pic is from Normal’s budget: Normal will be handing over $109,250 to the CVB and $100,000 to the EDC. Why is Bloomington also giving the EDC […]

Bloomington: You deserve reports!

By: Diane Benjamin’ I think the Grossinger Motors naming rights expire next year. It was a 5 year agreement in June of 2017. Expect something really original like Bloomington Arena to replace it. Of course that means new signage. Maybe the City can just paint the name on the building instead (don’t hold your breath). […]

Bloomington Tonight: could be long

By: Diane Benjamin http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1158&Inline=True Honoring Judy Markowitz didn’t make the agenda for tonight, did they get the message? https://blnnews.com/2022/02/22/slap-in-the-face-to-the-citizens-of-bloomington/ Lots of other things did make the agenda, it could be a long meeting: Presentation by Heartland College President Grant awards for John M Scott Healthcare Trust 2023 Budget Update Presentation of Bloomington Police 2022-2024 Strategic […]

The rest of Bloomington from Monday

By: Diane Benjamim From the capital spending plans: Jamie Mathy signaled he is opposed to new subdivisions east of Towanda Barnes Rd and will oppose the spending that allows The Grove to expand when it officially comes to Council. There is a housing shortage but Mathy wants to tell people where they can’t live. Maybe […]