Bloomington is in recession

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s not me saying Bloomington is in a recession, it’s: . The report doesn’t go into details about Bloomington – just this statement on page 4: . See the entire report HERE Next month’s primary election just got serious.  Liberal progressives think they need to keep spending money in a recession, conservatives […]

Tari’s re-election bid

By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph reported around 50 people showed up yesterday for Tari’s big announcement.  I hear 25 of them were media.  If you can read the Pantagraph on-line, the comments aren’t promising for his 2nd run: Tari claimed he stabilized Bloomington’s finances.  I thought David Hales did that in 2008 and 2009 […]

Trouble in Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin I found this story today about personal income from 2014. Personal income in Bloomington went down in 2014 3.2%, but Illinois was up a very slow 1%.  When did Illinois ever perform better than Bloomington?  In this national survey Bloomington was second among metropolitan areas with the greatest decline: What happened […]

Bloomington made the Huffington Post

By:  Diane Benjamin The title of the HuffPo story is:  11 Amazing Cities You’ve Never Thought To Live In, But Should See it here: The story claims Bloomington has “affordable rent”. Didn’t the League of Women Voters just do an analysis that claimed rent wasn’t affordable?  Isn’t there a lot of talk about needing […]

Better ARM yourself

By:  Diane Benjamin See this survey of the safest cities in Illinois with a population over 5000: 291 cities included.  Bloomington was a dismal 226 out of 291, Normal wasn’t a lot better at 189.  The survey is from 2014.   How’s that for  Quality of Life!  The meaning of rank out of 291 […]

April 26th, still no February

By:  Diane Benjamin The award-winning City Manger monthly reports won’t be winning any more awards of they don’t exist. See the link above, nothing has been posted since January.  David Hales doesn’t do these reports.  The departments compile the information and hand it to Administration.  Administration either: hasn’t put it all in a PDF […]

Brave citizens

By:  Diane Benjamin In America citizens should be able to speak out against their government.  Since “We The People” is rapidly disappearing as government grows bigger and bigger and the media fails to hold government accountable, it’s rare to see citizens with something to lose stand up against oppression. A group of Bloomington business owners […]

I know you are sick of the Pantagraph, but . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin The ONLY reason I started this site IS the Pantagraph.  I watched years of their misreporting that turned to lack of reporting.   They messed with the WRONG person!  Citizens deserve news, the Pantagraph doesn’t report it unless it fits their purpose.  They are completely in bed with local government, Steve Vogel’s daughter was […]

How many properties does Bloomington Own? Update

Pin Number 08-07-300-015 is a house on Lake Bloomington.  A picture is on the County website. I may have to FOIA the information, but I hear the City owns houses and then does long term leases on them. By:  Diane Benjamin According to the McLean County Assessor:   350 That is how many properties appear […]

I thought Tari said Bloomington was LOW crime!

by:  Diane Benjamin Not so fast Tari.  Maybe you didn’t know about this report.  Or maybe you did and decided to pretend it didn’t exist.  Maybe you will explain. The below is from CBS Chicago in a report dated December 16, 2014 Not including Chicago, here are the 10 Illinois cities with the most violent […]

Bloomington has a food desert!

By:  Diane Benjamin According to the McLean County Regional Planning Commission report made to the Bloomington City Council on July 14th, much of the west side is a food desert.  Evidently Walmart and Jewel don’t count. I guess this is a chance for an entrepreneur!   Got food? Page 347 . . . . […]

Springfield looks at privatizing golf

by:  Diane Benjamin Contrary to the City talking points, the three golf courses in Bloomington do not pay for themselves. Maybe they should try something else. Springfield Park District Considers Privatizing Golf Courses The Springfield Park District’s maintenance staff says they’re worried about the future of their jobs. This is after district officials met with […]

Burying bailouts in “Quality of Life”?

by:  Diane Benjamin On Monday a presentation will be made to the Bloomington City Council pertaining to the proposed Community Center and Soccer Complex.  The group behind the project wants 1/4% Sales Tax for 8 years which they say will completely pay for both projects.  The group is called Citizens Advocating for Area Youth (CAAY). […]

Bloomington: Employee benefits compared

by:  Diane Benjamin Being a CPA, I like numbers.  Frequently they reveal interesting things.  Here’s my latest: The information listed about employees is now really good on both the Champaign and Bloomington websites – thanks to the Illinois Policy Institute.  All expenses per employee are listed, so I decided to see how much Bloomington pays […]

Fly on the Wall: Snow removal for some

Drive in downtown Bloomington and by Wesleyan University and the streets are in great shape! Meanwhile, residents can’t drive in their neighborhoods because the roads are solid ice.  One resident, finally fed up with calls to the city, posted a video on Facebook of the City truck finally arriving and being unable to make it […]

Urbana rejected At-Large seats on the Council!

by:  Ben Gosser You did it!  Urbana voted “NO” to at-large by a resounding margin — 63% to 37%. In fact, we defeated at-large in 20 out of 23 Urbana precincts. This is very similar to the last at-large referendum in Urbana, when the voters overwhelmingly converted the school board from at-large to districts. That vote […]

Letter from a citizen:

When did the paradigm shift that took societies from individual communities that grew and were developed based on interests, needs and demand of its hometown citizens to self-contained communes built according to a universal governmental standard that housed and accommodated residents based on limited means and  restricted availability of resources?   Such is the transition we see taking place across the spectrum […]

More on Bloomington – Champaign – Peoria

by:  Diane Benjamin Champaign City bond rating:  Moody’s 12/6/13  Aaa Peoria City bond rating:  Moody’s    3/18/13  Aa2 Bloomington City bond rating  Moody’s  10/28/13  Aa2 What does the bond rating mean? Champaign is perfect. Peoria and Bloomington are both less than perfect. Aaa is perfect, Aa1 is one step down, Aa2 is 2 steps down. […]

What is Mayor Transparency’s definition?

by:  Diane Benjamin Here’s what the Mayor’s version of transparency was during the campaign: Published on Mar 21, 2013 Since the beginning of his campaign, Tari Renner has continually stressed transparency. Tari believes it is ludicrous that you can’t see how your hard earned tax dollars are spent! As mayor Tari would throw open the doors […]

Mayor Transparency Exposed

by:  Diane Benjamin Mayor Transparency Renner’s problems started when the Council held an Executive Session on November 15th.  Executive sessions are defined by law and can only be used for very specific purposes.   This post from yesterday has the details: The Mayor wants people to believe Alderwoman Judy Stearns walked out of a […]

Bloomington’s Ward History (and the power hungry)

Various forms of city governance have been experienced by the City of Bloomington since its incorporation in 1850. Let me share a synopsis of the history of the City of Bloomington governance as described in a paper authored by local historian and Executive Director of the McLean County Museum of History , Greg Koos. In 1850 until 1914 the […]

Mayor Tansparency Renner wants subsidies ended

by:  Diane Benjamin According to the Pantagraph, Mayor Renner wants garbage rates raised to bring them closer to the actual costs.  I guess Renner doesn’t realize that virtually everything Bloomington does is a subsidy, the ole Quality of Life crap the Council has been pushing for decades.  If he was serious, the management contract for […]

Fly on the Wall – Steve Stockton AGAIN!

It appears that Stockton, so unhappy Bernie Anderson won’t be a lap dog any longer for David Hales, is determined not to let a guy that might oppose frivolousness spending like Kevin Lower get appointed to fill the Ward 1 seat. Even though Mr. Lower will be the only guy on the ballot because nobody else cared […]

City of Bloomington-Finances

by Diane Benjamin From the Financial Statements – finally issued – 4/31/2012 Page 5: The City is governed by a City Council elected on a non-partisan basis composed of nine Council members and a Mayor. The City Council is responsible to enact ordinances, resolutions, and regulations which govern the City, adopt the annual budget, as […]

Fly on the Wall – City Councils

Isn’t it amazing how the City Council of both Bloomington and Normal are suddenly conservative?  Members who never met a tax increase they didn’t like, are suddenly looking for cuts to balance their budgets – you know the ole’ property values are down, incomes are down, citizens are suffering . . . Can’t possibly have […]

Bloomington Has Failed to Publish Its Comprehensive Financial Report

Bloomington Mayor and City Manager announced to the Council that the CAFR (Financial Statement)  would NOT be released as required by law on 10/31/2012.  This is a  misdemeanor offense.   Cities do not have the ability to set their own rules! Shouldn’t rules be applied equally to all citizens?  Shouldn’t the entire city council and the city manager be […]

UN Flag Still an Issue

Update:  I’ve now learned the replacement flag was purchased by a citizen, not the City. by Diane Benjamin Numerous citizens have asked the Bloomington City Council to remove the UN Flag from the Council Chambers.  They have refused to openly discuss the issue, but privately they email each other. Here’s how they feel about the […]

Miller Park Zoo and YOU

by Diane Benjamin Citizens and Politicians alike need a RESET!  Any tax dollars government has they STOLE from YOU. Radical statement?  YES.  But what is the role of government?  A Coliseum?  A Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts?  Total re-build of downtown Normal? Isn’t the REAL purpose of government to protect our rights?  Anybody read […]

Fly on the Wall – Bloomington

When buzzing in my ear is too great to ignore – I must report! Buzzing around the Bloomington Council chambers, I heard Mayor Stockton wants committees!  For what – who knows. I’d bet a committee on Form Based Code would be a Big Hit.  Pack it with council members and like minded citizens who compile a […]