Fly on the Wall: Tim Gleason

Overheard while flying around: Bloomington City Manager Tim Gleason really wants the lobbyist the Council voted 5-4 not to hire. Money, money, money – never enough! Gleason wants a re-vote. The aldermen didn’t fall in line! Who is going to flip and change their vote? Does Deputy City Manager Billy Tyus still have a job? […]

Bloomington dumps Thorn Run Partners!

By: Diane Benjamin Sheila Montney pulled hiring the lobbying firm from the Consent Agenda. I don’t remember the last time something was voted down after being placed on the agenda. Administration knows where everyone stands before it’s placed for a vote – 3 on 1 meetings usually clear the path. Tim Gleason didn’t attend the […]

Bloomington: $31.5 Trillion in debt is immaterial

By: Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll: https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/28905/638096498401870000 806 Employees, remember when the City had 650? Maybe shows aren’t booked because you have to pay up first? Your cost for empty buses: Agenda: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/257b0a83-7d4f-11ed-9024-0050569183fa-a809f54d-d2d4-4538-9941-6f673252daac-1674252308.pdf National debt is now $31.5 trillion. That doesn’t include all the unfunded liabilities that can never be paid. Our national security is […]

NO response to FOIA – Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin H/T a reader This picture is of the NEVER used Fire Station #5 on Six Points Rd in Bloomington: I filed a FOIA request on January 4, 2023 for any documents stating why public safety vehicles are parked in this fire station when it has never been used as a fire station. […]

Bloomington tonight

By: Diane Benjamin Will someone ask Bloomington why they had 904 employees in mid December? https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/28863/638084456490870000 Bloomington ended the year with 820 employees, still way over the previous numbers! COUNTY taxpayers are forced to fund the Bloomington Election Commission while having no oversight! This is taxation without representation because BEC doesn’t answer to anyone. Green […]

Bloomington’s 3 TIFs

By: Diane Benjamin In case you forgot what a TIF is or never knew: Tax Increment Financing is meant to provide money for developers or reimburse government for investments in a blighted area. Money is generated by the increase in property values after the redevelopment. Government gets to keep the increase for 23 years – […]

Bloomington recap

By: Diane Benjamin Julie Emig was absent again. Proving Covid is now no big deal, Tim Gleason attended by zoom from the other side of the wall. He stated he had direct exposure to Covid and didn’t want to sit next to other council members and possibly expose them. Remember when people were required to […]

Finally sort of getting to Bloomington

by: Diane Benjamin Ward 4 Alderman Julie Emig was on sick leave until the end of November. She still wasn’t back Monday night. She hasn’t attended a meeting since September, her Ward has been un-represented for over 2 months. It’s funny to watch the Council continue to conduct business with 8 alderman instead of 9. […]

Bloomington Tax Hearing tonight!

By: Diane Benjamin PDF page 4 https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/28699/638052450340400000 Bloomington is projecting General Fund Reserves at the end of the year (4-30-2023) of: $34,494,213 PDF page 469: http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1108&Inline=True In case that number shows up too small to read, the projected General Fund Balance less than a year ago (4-30-2022) was: $24,296,676 That represents an increase in Reserves […]

Bloomington Pensions and more

By: Diane Benjamin 3 people spoke at Public Comment. The first two complained about noise effecting their homes. Neither was completely coherent, I have no idea what area of the city they were talking about. The third raved about Bloomington 101. The comments start at 3:36 is you want to interpret for me. Another guy […]

Local Taxes Fun

By: Diane Benjamin Remember when the Local Sales Tax Rate increased back on 1/1/2016? This is what Bloomington residents were told it was for: https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/9197/636130888246430000 PDF Page 2: This year the City of Bloomington budgeted $7.2 million for streets and sidewalks: https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/26008/637508827017530000 The Local Motor Fuel Tax projected revenue this year is $4.1 million. https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/28561/638022024003730000 […]

Bloomington needs to explain this:

By: Diane Benjamin Yes, I received this list by FOIA. Below is a list of properties where water appears to be shut off because there aren’t any current bills, at least that’s the policy. They all show past due amounts over 120 days. If even the first 10 pages (49 per page) have water shut […]

Bloomington: Here’s what you need to know

By: Diane Benjamin Bloomington spends a fortune on Information Technology: PDF page 165 https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/27976/637892645121170000 . Spending MILLIONS of dollars every year should mean first class access to data. It doesn’t! Bloomington doesn’t know how many landlords were forced to pay bills for tenants a previous City Council said they didn’t have to pay. Bloomington doesn’t […]

Bloomington: So much for short meetings

By: Diane Benjamin The meeting length will be determined by what is pulled from the Consent Agenda – it’s long. It’s difficult to understand why some Enterprise Funds have to balance or you get tax increases to make up the difference, but Capital Funds can be used to buy 3 new movers for the golf […]

New BCPA reports, you expected better?

By: Diane Benjamin For a change I didn’t have to FOIA the reports. https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-2027 New reports have been posted to the City website, these represent the beginning of a new season. They aren’t off to a good start if you believe entertainment shouldn’t be subsidized by people who can’t afford to attend: Loss: $13,792.88 Performance […]

Bloomington: MESSY website!

By: Diane Benjamin Monday’s Bloomington City Council meeting was SHORT. The video is only 33 minutes and 21 seconds. The stated purpose of the Committee of the Whole meeting was reviewing the Council Retreat. Mboka showed some slides, evidently the video is the only place to see them. The City website has a Documents tab: […]

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 […]