Bloomington Payments tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and payroll 7-13-2020 A total of $12,599,344.25 will be approved tonight.  Unlike Normal, payroll is actually listed.  $5,216,642.14 of that amount is employees.  $1,633,607.61 is Wire transfers listed at the end, not enough details is available to know what most of them are.  I don’t remember the last time somebody asked about […]

Today’s Silly and More

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington City Manger Tim Gleason didn’t answer my email from yesterday: The “Sorry, no hello” is an insider joke.  Tim Gleason has always been straight forward with me, this time I don’t see it. What the whole “parade” shenanigans amounts to is City employees do not understand your tax dollars aren’t their […]

Why isn’t Connect Transit shut down?

By:  Diane Benjamin Events all over Bloomington-Normal are cancelled because of the Wuhan Corona Virus.  The BCPA cancelled shows through August 12th.  Taxpayers are likely cheering that one, months of no money losing shows!  Are the employees going to be laid off until then? WEEK compiled a Bloomington list:  https://week.com/2020/03/12/bloomington-shuts-down-bcpa-calls-off-arena-events-due-to-covid-19/ Connect Transit still transports people […]

BCPA posts another event report!

By:  Diane Benjamin Source:  https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=23753 Looks impressive, RIGHT? Not so fast, see below. The artist fees are blank again! (see previous stories) https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=23691 Obviously this show lost money just like most of the others.   See the event as promoted here:  https://www.artsblooming.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/10963/710?curdate=12-13-2019&curm=12&cury=2019  

Peoria has Private Investors

By:  Diane Benjamin In Bloomington and Normal government believes they are required to spend your money to create economic development.  Peoria evidently doesn’t.  Maybe it’s because Peoria is too broke – they have made significant budget cuts.  Maybe broke government  is the key to allowing the private sector to flourish.   See this story:  https://www.pjstar.com/news/20191210/kim-blickenstaff-purchases-stake-in-peoria-armory-plans-renovation  Excerpts: […]

Bloomington Monday night 12/9/19

By:  Diane Benjamin Source:   http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1051&Inline=True Does the highlighted name look familiar?    https://blnnews.com/2019/11/04/bloomington-fireman-5-gets-off/ You might have missed the Edgar County Watchdogs version:  https://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2019/11/illinois-state-university-police-let-fireman-off-of-alleged-dui-due-to-his-employment/ The BCPA staff uses this building instead of the the BCPA offices.  No event reports have been posted for the BCPA since my last FOIA.  Citizens have no idea what happens in […]

Trolls Live Scores, attendance dismal

By:  Diane Benjamin Unlike the BCPA who think event reports aren’t important, VenuWorks posts theirs.  This proves the difference between a company that can be fired and City employees who know nobody cares if they do their job.  The BCPA hasn’t posted any event reports since the last time I FOID’d them.  Thanks for the […]

BCPA FREE show

By:  Diane Benjamin Obviously the mission of the BCPA is not to make money or even attempt to break even! No event reports have been posted since the last time I FOIA’d them.  The Carole King show was close to a month ago – still no report. It gets better! This show is FREE, I’m […]

Hiding BCPA numbers

See update:   https://blnnews.com/2019/10/31/update-to-hiding-bcpa-numbers/ By:  Diane Benjamin Read this one slow!  Lots of info to absorb. The ONLY mention of the BCPA in the just released financial statements is the number of employees – PDF page 194  https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=23337 First, note the BCPA is part of Parks and Recreation.  Second, celebrate the number of employees has decreased.  […]

What’s Bloomington paying Monday night?

By:  Diane Benjamin https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=23355 I’m not sure all these PCard purchases were reflect in event expenses.  Walking With My Ancestors doesn’t show any catering or concessions:  https://blnnews.com/2019/10/22/bcpa-as-predicted-foia-denied/ Of course the $1500 for the announcement party wasn’t included.  Why does government send “flowers” and pretend they are sympathetic?  Using taxpayer money to express condolences is fraud. […]

Bloomington bills for Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=22247 Tari and the employees had fun: Add the previous Hawaii expenses of $1,968.00, and Tari’s trip cost $3,892.50.  https://blnnews.com/2019/04/18/off-to-hawaii/ This is what the Pantagraph reported:    Pantagraph.com twin-city-mayors-focus-on-transit-climate-at-conference The cost of the CONFERENCE was $950.00.  The paper didn’t include that part.  What did taxpayers get?  The bill? Remember the FREE entertainment […]

Can you hear sucking sounds from the BCPA?

By:  Diane Benjamin That would be – sucking up your tax dollars! June event reports:    http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-1702 Read the Executive Director’s Comments.  Some shows were Free Free Free!  How did the “free” Gothic at Midnight show have revenues of exactly $10,000? Bloomington is now pretending to be Normal where people have to be lured downtown […]

What is Bloomington paying tonight?

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=21875 The BCPA has a show tomorrow night, they NEVER pay this much for an artist: https://itkt.choicecrm.net/templates/BLOM/?cts_legacy_app All the colored dots are tickets still available, the cheapest seats are $49, they go up to $64: Jamie Mathy went to a conference in Denver.  Room rates are normally $160-$180. Billy Tyus has a […]

Who’s on First?

By:  Diane Benjamin Nothing is more frustrating than government employees who can’t get their story straight. Here’s another example: See PDF page 4 of the February City Manger’s report:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=21477 According to the guy in charge, the BCPA held 6 events in February. How many do we have event reports for? http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-1702 TWO! Where are […]

125 Premium Red Roses!

By:  Diane Benjamin Sam’s Club payments show up frequently on Bloomington’s Bills and Payroll.  I filed a FOIA request for receipts on this one: This was the first response:  Sam’s Club invoice for FOIA 19-04-0403_Redacted The invoices show purchases of lots of food.  By looking up the person who placed the order, I can see […]

Illinois is #1

By:  Diane Benjamin WalletHub published a study of State taxation in March.  WallettHub is Tari Renner’s favorite study to quote since in the past they have rated Bloomington as a great place to live.  Those days should be over. https://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst-states-to-be-a-taxpayer/2416/#complete-rankings Including the District of Columbia, Illinois ranks #1 with highest tax burden! “Taxpayers in the […]

March losses at the BCPA

By:  Diane Benjamin Did the BCPA have only held 3 events during March?   Only 3 reports are listed on the City website.  All three lost money and had dismal attendance:  http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-1702 Other events took place according to the event calendar:  http://www.artsblooming.org/events/calendar?cury=2019&curm=3&curd=31&curview=month Zero transparency for those. The losses above do not include salaries and other operating […]

It a Secret! BCPA-Creativity Center

By:  Diane Benjamin Operations of the BCPA and the Creativity Center are looking a lot like a private club for the well-connected.  Zero transparency existed with shows until I FOIA’d the recaps, all of them have not been posted.  The last event report posted is from November.  Obviously unless I FOIA the information nobody will […]

What no one in Bloomington talks about

By:  Diane Benjamin The first thing that is NEVER discussed is what government should do verses what they are doing.  Budgeting requires making choices, Bloomington has decided roads aren’t that important.  What they want it more important.  You will probably be saddled with some type of water park and a sports complex this year. Let’s […]

BCPA: You deserve to know

By:  Diane Benjamin It wasn’t a smart move by the City of Bloomington to pretend to deny my FOIA request for the event recap of the Naked Magicians show because it was posted on the website. As I reported, no event reports between February 2018 and November 2018 have been posted – just the one […]

The budgeted BCPA loss and more

By:  Diane Benjamin I can see why the finance documents aren’t included in the packet on the Bloomington Council nights where the monthly recap is presented.  I’m sure it’s much more fun to claim everything is fine than show the proof.  See what was reported Monday night here:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=20321 When they talk about Sales Tax […]

Subsidized porn

By:  Diane Benjamin The BCPA was created for the local well off folks.  The entire City is taxed to subsidize entertainment for people with above average wealth. Remember these guys:     https://blnnews.com/2018/09/26/one-you-must-see-to-believe/ Ticket prices: How many people can afford this show? Evidently not many – there are still a lot of seats available:   https://itkt.choicecrm.net/templates/BLOM/?cts_legacy_app Maybe […]