Welcoming Ordinance-tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin I attended the meeting.  Public comment was extended to an hour, everyone who signed up before the meeting got to speak. The people who showed up were overwhelmingly supportive of the ordinance.  I found it amusing that separation of Church and State doesn’t apply to illegal immigration.  Many quoted Bible verses.  I […]

Stacking the deck

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner has been seen shuffling the Public Comment cards at past meetings, likely resulting in “his” people being allowed to speak first. The last time the “welcoming ordinance” crowd showed up to pressure the Council, the majority of the speakers were for the ordinance.  One lady had a problem with the […]

Now we know why the OATH was changed

Also see this story:  https://blnnews.com/2017/12/07/illegal-oath-of-office/   By:  Diane Benjamin Both City Council meetings on Monday 12/18 have been moved to the BCPA to accommodate the crowd expected because the Council will be discussing the “Welcoming Ordinance”.  The agendas and packets are not yet available, but according to the City website it will be discussed at the […]

TWO FOIA fails in two weeks

By:  Diane Benjamin Almost every FOIA I file gets extended.  The law says they have to comply within 5 business days, but they can request a 5 day extension.  When 10 business days are given, it should be enough time to get it right. Eventually it isn’t. On November 20th I made this request: I […]

Tari’s buddies

By:  Diane Benjamin With all the heat Tari Renner has been feeling now for months, was last night’s packed chamber wanting a “Welcoming Ordinance” his way to get some love? Or was it a way to divide people based on ideology?  Is the real goal to unravel the threads of a civilized society by turning […]

Library – the FACTS

By:  Diane Benjamin Back when the City Manager did real Monthly Reports, the library traffic was easier to understand.  It always included year-to-year comparisons.  The summary now doesn’t. See this graph from October 2015:  PDF page 43  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=9452 This is what was reported for October 2017: PDF page 11    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15324 Several items are noteworthy: a large […]

CIAM hilarity continues

By:  Diane Benjamin The newspaper is reporting CIAM (of 111 felony counts fame) is suing the City for commissions they are owed. . . . . . . . . .   Sorry, I couldn’t help it. Maybe the City could counter sue them to recover the costs of the auditors trying to figure out […]

De-funding Economic Development

By:  Diane Benjamin Woodford County is dropping how economic development has been funded:    http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/woodford-county-dropping-membership-in-economic-development-groups/article_5ca02933-c093-5916-87b4-d68cf5891b78.html The Logan County Board will decide soon whether to cut all funding for their economic development council. Monday night Bloomington wants to go in the opposite direction. http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15302 The council will hear presentation about funding BN Advantage and a Small Business […]

Even State Farm doesn’t want to be downtown?

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve received several reports from citizens about State Farm leaving their building in downtown Bloomington.  One person just commented they are in the process of moving out the last group now. When did the evacuation start? Why isn’t that public knowledge? Did the Bloomington City Council know? Is the City of Bloomington  […]

The 6 again

By:  Diane Benjamin During alderman comments at the end of last night’s Bloomington City Council meeting, Alderman Sage inquired about a request he submitted to put something on the agenda.  5 other alderman signed the request with him.  As the conversation progressed Sage became more emphatic, Renner attempted to dismiss  his request. Sage demanded a […]

Guest Letter to the Council and Mayor

Dear Council Members and Mayor, If you are not able to answer the below questions, please refer me to the correct staff members. On August 28, 2017 members of the Bloomington City Council (or at least 5 of you) voted to turn the Downtown Business Association into a government entity. The DBA was given $850K […]

Irony of the Day!

By:  Diane Benjamin The below is what the City of Bloomington has in this year’s budget for Public Transportation: Bloomington has more than doubled what they give Connect Transit.  Yes, that structural deficit is the Council’s fault.  Even with more of your money, CT continues to lose between $800,000 and $900,000 every month. Tomorrow the […]

Flashback: The last Renner rebuke

By:  Diane Benjamin February 20, 2015 The Council issued a Resolution, they did not censure Tari Renner for his remarks made on BlnNews.com.  The entire video of the meeting is below, it doesn’t officially start until 8:49.  Most of the meeting is Public Comment. (starts at 19:00).  A copy of the Resolution they passed can […]

Guest Editorial!

By:  Angela Scott An open letter to Bloomington City Council and Mayor Renner. Here are a few quotes from the Mayor’s comments last week.Tari stated, “Frankly here at the local level and I’m talking about more than words” and goes on to imply there have been physical altercations. He also stated, “Frivolous complaints and multiple […]

Monday: Funding Gap! Ha Ha

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s way past time for adults to be running the City of Bloomington!  We are tired of the lies and the abuse of taxpayers by pretending the city doesn’t have enough money because taxpayers aren’t paying enough. End the charade.  Cancel the court jesters.  It’s OVER! They just don’t know it yet.  […]

Magnificent Monday!

By:  Diane Benjamin The most interesting parts of tonight’s festivities by the Bloomington City Council won’t be the Council business at 7:00.  The pre-meeting David Sage led discussion of Renner’s PCard usage will be enlightening.  I wonder if anybody will ask why Tari still has a PCard? Will Sage ask Tari how this PCard lunch […]

No Vote? No Rush!

By:  Diane Benjamin Maybe some members of the Bloomington City Council finally realized their fearless leader has been abusing his government credit card.  We’ve listened to Mayor Renner spew his “there are no free lunches” for years in order to raise taxes while he was dining on the backs of taxpayers.  The Japan trip finally […]

Hales leaves, nothing will change

By:  Diane Benjamin The City Manager is the only employee of the City Council.  When David Hales leaves, another guy just like him will magically appear.  The voters elected a progressive left-wing mayor and compliant Council, so citizens shouldn’t expect a sudden lurch to fiscal responsibility.  Your taxes will continue to rise because  the guy […]

“Creating congestion” is working!

By:  Diane Benjamin Jim Karch knew. The Planning Commission knew. The Council knew. Putting bike lanes on E Washington was going to create congestion.  All of the above wanted congestion because you drive too fast. Yes – your government attacked your ability to drive safely because they wanted to. From a reader: Don’t know if […]

You can afford it!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Council is going to vote next Monday to raise your sewer and storm water rates much faster than originally presented.  After all, this Council is fixing what previous Councils ignored – essential services.  Even though voting on items not on the agenda isn’t allowed, the council took a “straw poll” on […]

Twenty-Three Minutes

By:  Diane Benjamin Watching the Council spin themselves into the ground felt a lot longer than 23 minutes!  Most of the conversation was on whether to build a metal retaining wall or concrete so the City Hall annex can be demolished.  The difference in price was around $61,000.  The Council  was handed some revised numbers […]

More JOKES from Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve written MANY times about the joke that is Bloomington’s Enterprise Funds: Garbage, Water, Sewer, Storm Water, and Grossinger Motors Arena.  All of these funds are expected to have positive balances, except the Arena of course that probably never will.  If the others don’t have enough money in them – your taxes […]

Is Tari on Time Out?

A Facebook poster reported seeing Tari at Target Sunday moving along quite briskly. _____________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin The story broke on July 30th of Renner’s personal use of a government Purchasing Card.  https://blnnews.com/2017/07/30/do-we-have-a-prosecutor/ On August 16th WGLT did this story of the Council being concerned about Renner’s erratic behavior.  Reading the story though shows them […]

The Tree

By:  Diane Benjamin Thanks to a reader, the tree the Bloomington City Council is fretting over is this one: The property owner wants it cut down. The Council spent over 15 minutes last Monday discussing changes to the “Shade Tree” ordinance.  A vote on the changes will take place at a future meeting.    

Abusing Citizens gets the Council’s OKAY

By:  Diane Benjamin Since the Council has been deadly silent over holding Tari Renner accountable for his latest antics, we can only assume they think Renner’s behavior and ethics is very much becoming of local public servants. Will they start calling people “nasty” and “liars” next? I guess that’s what we can expect. It’s been […]

Bloomington supports friends-with your money

By:  Diane Benjamin From Monday’s bills and Payroll:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14534 Some of the more interesting spending: 1) Every non-profit in Bloomington needs to get their share of the free taxpayer money Bloomington hands out to their friends – this time the McLean County History Museum.  It helps if you can claim you create Economic Activity: 2) […]

Council indifference

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council is meeting tonight, but nothing is on the agenda about the Renner media blitz spreading misinformation. The only people discussing enforcement  of the law will be citizens – should they choose to make public comment.  The meeting begins tonight at 5:30. If the City Council wants to hold […]

Do laws matter?

By:  Diane Benjamin I’m not celebrating the State Police investigating Tari Renner’s use of a City PCard for a personal purchase.  Being investigated is not the same as being prosecuted.  We will find out if laws still matter, sometimes it’s hard to tell.  Illinois Constitution: Government officials and employees aren’t allowed to read the law […]

Visual: Eating at your expense

By:  Diane Benjamin From last Monday night at City Hall: The Bloomington City Council wouldn’t need to meet at 5:00 pm if they weren’t trying to control every aspect of your life.  Meetings would be a lot shorter! You wouldn’t need to feed them either.  Monday was pizza, I wonder where the leftovers went?  Does […]

More Lies Tari?

By:  Diane Benjamin Since last night Tari called comments made by citizens about the Japan trip lies, I have no problem calling his statement lies. Just hit play below to hear him. First, he claims the Chief Legal Officer said he did nothing wrong.  Who is the Chief Legal Officer Tari?  Jeff Jurgens or somebody […]

More CONTROL

By:  Diane Benjamin Of course this is on the Consent Agenda – No discussion required! The Council is being asked to codify discrimination in the City Code.  It will be legal to prosecute anyone that isn’t a non-profit and government-funded. In other words, Connect Transit can have electronic signs, but only them.  Nobody else can […]

Welcome Tyranny to Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal came really close to ending their tyranny when Chris Koos was almost defeated in April.  Renner didn’t get Modified Wards, but now that he’s reelected, nothing is going to stand in his way.  The Council certainly won’t – gee they approved his girlfriend’s ticket to Japan! No, nobody is looking out […]

Failed Downtown Bloomington Assoc

By:  Diane Benjamin I hope Tari’s handpicked stacked Downtown Bloomington Committee is having fun dreaming of how to spend your money.  At the end of this month they will enlighten the public with ideas for getting people downtown.  Just because somebody builds it, it doesn’t mean anybody will come.  How many decades has taxpayer money […]

Proof Bloomington taxpayers fleeced

By:  Diane Benjamin I was just checking media reports from Topeka Kansas to see if the Council had picked a City Manager yet.  Nothing so far. Something else interesting did pop up though:  They paid their last City Manager $175.134. The population is 126,808 Supposedly the population of Bloomington in 2016 was 78,005 Note: one […]