McBride proves why he shouldn’t be a Trustee

By:  Diane Benjamin The WGLT story about last night’s Normal Town Council meeting doesn’t mention RC McBride voted for the water rate increase:    http://www.wglt.org/post/water-fee-increase-solar-group-buy-making-repeat-appearances-normal Readers are left to surmise he did. This one is worse: I reported this story back on February 28:    https://blnnews.com/2019/02/28/ag-investigating-town-of-normal-again/ WJBC reported it on March 4:    http://www.wjbc.com/2019/03/04/normal-mayor-probed-for-alleged-open-meetings-act-violations/?fbclid=IwAR0mVvQsAVBRPrRVSWllpx_YPGc2YvMk0iHXYXWS0AWvxrBG0FXLxYbmvCg The […]

Now that the Internet is back . . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin All day with no Internet!   It’s finally back. 1) The link below is a Letter to the Editor written by Jim Simeone: http://www.pantagraph.com/opinion/letters/we-must-vote-and-then-move-on/article_ce3cb8dc-b6e8-5a4d-b335-da1b262df3e6.html The letter attempts to counter the letter written by Guy Fraker titled Renner’s Actions are Disgraceful:   https://blnnews.com/2018/02/17/if-you-dont-get-the-paper/ The letter fails miserably at defending Renner, it mostly claims his antics […]

Too Funny Normal

By:  Diane Benjamin When a Request for Review is filed, the Attorney General’s office sends the complaint to the government body and lets them respond. I just received Normal’s response to what I filed concerning their workshop that wasn’t posted. They claimed it wasn’t a real meeting and no decisions were made.  It was supposedly […]

BREAK Normal’s Attitude!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal doesn’t want citizens showing up at meetings like they do in Bloomington.  That is the reason their Public Comment policy requires citizens to sign up 2 hours before a meeting, not just walk in a fill out a card. Remember the November 6, 2017 meeting where your property […]

It’s confirmed: Laws Don’t Matter!

By:  Diane Benjamin Laws most likely broken by the Town of Normal Council don’t matter because prosecutions need a prosecutor.  The citizens of Normal don’t have one! In case you forgot the facts, see this story:  https://blnnews.com/2017/11/16/normal-your-government-is-fixed/ Basics: The Town held a Secret meeting (Executive Session) on August 11th at 9:30 in the morning. The meeting […]

What David Hales never checked-CIAM

By:  Diane Benjamin The 10 year agreement with CIAM to manage the Coliseum contained numerous paragraphs granting the City rights to everything happening at the Coliseum.  Tari Renner, David Hales, and the Council either never read the agreement or are lying because they failed to protect taxpayers from John Butler and company. See the agreement […]

Hilarious Jason Chambers

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday’s paper had a front-page story concerning a filing by Jason Chamber’s office with the Attorney General for Open Meeting Act violations.  He has been waiting 17 months for a determination.  The story claims his office can only prosecute violations for 18 months. First, Welcome to our world Jason!  The request filed […]

Open Meetings Act Violation #3

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington has been found guilty of more violations, but this makes 3 that I either filed or was closely involved in the filing. This time it’s the library: Of course there isn’t a penalty assessed even though law specifies penalties are available.  Laws only matter if us peons are […]

When Lawyers Don’t Care About the Law

By:  Diane Benjamin Long time readers know finding a prosecutor is almost impossible.  Public corruption prosecutions must be demanded by many people before equal justice under the law actually exists. Then there is McGrath Law Office in Mackinaw.  These guys represent many small units of government who evidently aren’t capable of reading the Open Meetings […]

Library investigated for OMA

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember the two illegal meetings held by the library board because they weren’t posted 48 hours in advance?  https://blnnews.com/2017/06/20/followup-illegal-meetings/ Keep in mind I notified both the Sheriff and the State’s Attorney’s office prior to the meetings, they did nothing to stop the crime of violating the Open Meetings Act.  Law for government […]

Laws are immaterial

By:  Diane Benjamin The ruling by the Attorney General’s Public Access office against the City of Bloomington is completely meaningless.  Read the entire ruling here:  17-004 The only penalty for the Bloomington City Council violating the Open Meetings Act by holding an illegal Executive Session is: The tape of the meeting must be released The […]

Followup to a previous story

By:  Diane Benjamin I’m only writing because I received a ruling from the Attorney General yesterday regarding the Bloomington Election Commission’s violation of the Open Meetings Act. It still stands that I am not going to work for mostly free.  If everything I have exposed the last five years isn’t worth $5 or $10 a […]

Koos, Council: Shut up citizens!

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night the Normal Town Council defied the Attorney General’s letter and made only minor changes to their Public Comment Policy.  They relied on the opinion of their City Attorney Brian Day who formerly worked for the Illinois Municipal League. First, you need to understand what the IML is.  See this story:  […]

Normal: What the media is missing!

By:  Diane Benjamin Evidently the media can’t read or they have a short attention span and can’t make it through the 7 page Attorney General letter declaring Normal’s Public Comment Policy illegal. It is MUCH more than the 45 day rule.  That one was a no brainer! See the changes Normal is planning to make […]

Do laws matter? Who knows

By:  Diane Benjamin I filed yet another Request for Review with the Attorney General’s office asking them to investigated the Executive Session where the Council decided to disband Metro Zone.  The conversations should have taken place in public, not behind closed doors.  The City claimed “Probably Litigation” as the excuse for holding a secret meeting […]

Normal’s Debt and Public Comment Policy

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve heard that one guy running for re-election on the Normal Town Council is telling people as he campaigns door to door the debt isn’t a problem.  I believe he is actually calling other candidates liars for questioning the debt. Hit play on the video below from last Monday’s meeting.  The speaker […]

Renner’s Big Mouth

By:  Diane Benjamin Is the Metro Zone fight between Bloomington and Normal REAL, or a campaign stunt? I’m leaning toward real. Side Note: Normal’s budget for 2016-2017 was more than $120 MILLION.  The estimated $1.2 million Normal would lose from Metro Zone represents 1% of their total budget.  The Normal Town Council had no problem […]

Since Lisa Madigan failed in 2014 . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin A few weeks ago I wrote about an Open Meeting Act violation Lisa Madigan’s Public Access office was asked to review.  It was filed in 2014 against the Bloomington Election Commission and evidently lost because no ruling was made until I asked for the resolution.  First they claimed the number I provided […]

Stand up to Lisa Madigan

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington resident April Huber isn’t sitting by and letting Illinois Attorney General get by with not doing her job.  She asked me to post this information. I would not have been forced to file a lawsuit against the City of Bloomington concerning the Coliseum if Lisa Madigan’s office had done their job.  […]

More Miscellaneous

By:  Diane Benjamin 1) Tari Renner was on WJBC earlier this week with Scott Laughlin.  One of the topics was public comment.  Scott wondered why they bother or why they don’t set ridiculous rules like Normal and the County.  Tari played along.  What Tari should have said is the County and Normal’s public comment policies […]

Tari on WJBC (wiggling)

By:  Diane Benjamin If Tari isn’t doing anything wrong with the Liquor Commission, like violating the Open Meetings Act, why did he fire the other commissioners and declare himself Liquor King? Remember when former Alderwoman Judy Stearns filed an Open Meetings Act violation against the City for Renner and Hales actions in an Executive Session?  […]

Secret meeting: the transcript

By:  Diane Benjamin I won’t have to file another lawsuit for the transcript of the Executive Session that Judy Stearns walked out of.  I now have it, parts are redacted.  A link is at the end of this article.  The meeting was held November 15, 2013. First, everybody in this meeting, except facilitator Lynn Montei, […]

AG: Pending cases against Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin The Public Access division of the Attorney General’s office was designed to hold government accountable and give citizens a voice. As with Judy Stearns’ case against the City for violating the Open Meetings Act, justice can take years of mostly no action. I lost count of how many Request for Reviews have […]

The downtown dance

  I need reader support to continue bringing you news the rest of the media ignores: Contribute Now If you appreciate the truth, please contribute!     By:  Diane Benjamin Last night’s Committee of the Whole had a missing alderman:  Scott Black. Two citizens spoke during public comment.  In an attempt to limit free speech, […]

Is Tari declaring himself KING?

By:  Diane Benjamin The Liquor Commission under Steve Stockton had 5 members.  Under Tari Renner it only has three people, including himself.  Tari controls the commission with one compliant person on the board who agrees with anything Tari wants. Rumors abound that Tari is going to BE the Liquor Commission from now on, nobody else […]

Start at the beginning: Tari & Judy

By:  Diane Benjamin The Executive Session that Judy Stearns walked out of was held during a RETREAT held 11/15/2013 and 11/16/2013.  Tari had been Mayor since May 1st. The retreat was held at the Den at Fox Creek – so NO video exists because the retreat room isn’t equipped for live stream. On the 15th, […]

Stearns response to Renner – Part 2

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I posted the 2nd email Tari Renner sent to Judy Stearns, but I didn’t post Judy’s response.  See this post:  https://blnnews.com/2016/07/13/renner-emails-judy-again/ The original email exchange started here:  https://blnnews.com/2016/07/13/renner-hauman-running-scared/ As a review, here is Tari’s 2nd email: Here is Judy’s response: The next Council meeting could get interesting! Maybe Tari can explain […]

Bloomington: Contempt for Transparency

By:  Diane Benjamin My next lawsuit is going to be for the AUDIO of the Executive Session where the Attorney General ruled the Open Meetings Act was violated.  I will demand the judge listen to the entire audio to insure the City doesn’t redact items that shouldn’t be redacted. Why? Stay with me: See the […]

More Renner violations

By:  Diane Benjamin Why are Minutes missing from Liquor Commission meetings?  The LAW requires approval within 30 days or the next meeting.  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=21&parent=9530 Citizen Bruce Meeks filed a Request for Review with the Attorney General and they agreed to investigate:  42623 FI Let Meeks alleges: The 5/24/16 meeting did not have a quorum The only […]

Mayor – Judy Stearns face off again

By:  Diane Benjamin Former Alderwoman Judy Stearns spoke during public comment last night.  Mayor Renner broke HIS own rules and responded to her comments.  Since he responded, so do she, at which time he called her out-of-order. Stearns was there to talk about the majority of the Council not representing the citizens of Bloomington.  She […]

When “public servants” aren’t

By:  Diane Benjamin I’m reading a great book called Anatomy of the State.  Shock:  “We The People” aren’t the government and government is not for “We The People”. Look no farther than the State of Illinois, now close to its second year of no budget.  Mike Madigan is threatening 4 years of no budget because […]

Friday special meeting:

By:  Diane Benjamin The agenda screw-up from last Monday will be fixed Friday at a special meeting of the Bloomington City Council.  They aren’t approving just one liquor license, they are approving two! Of course, approving the release of the verbatim audio and written account of the illegal Executive Session isn’t on the agenda. On […]

Pantagraph Collusion

By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph needs to explain why an alleged Open Meetings Act violation against the McLean County Health Department is so much more important than the one they also reported this week against the City of Bloomington.  That story was quickly buried on their website – comments were NEVER allowed.  Comments ARE allowed […]

Dear Award-Winning Mayor Transparency

Tari, It’s wonderful that the Illinois Policy Institute rated Bloomington’s website 100% on their 10 point scale.   It’s great that citizens can see information without filing FOIA requests. But that’s just a website Tari, and only 10 things IPI thinks are important. You now have the opportunity to prove you are really transparent.  (Of course, […]