Council Recap

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council only had ONE meeting last night instead of 2 or 3.  It didn’t help them not spend your money, but at least they only contemplated how to shovel out more.  Of course, it was on downtown.  More later. Jamie Mathy did not attend, so Ward 1 had no […]

$225,000 unaccountable

By:  Diane Benjamin At tonight’s City Council meeting BN Advantage will get $125,000.  That is in addition to the $100,000 currently paid to the Economic Development Council which happens to be part of BN Advantage. Confused? It’s not going to get any clearer since both organizations can not be FOIA’d. PDF page 277  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=18156 This is […]

Bloomington spending Monday:

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll Monday night:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16320 The report shows paying 461 Bi-Weekly employees and 361 Weekly.  That’s a total of 822 employees. January 2015:  458 Bi-Weekly and 335 Weekly Total 793  https://blnnews.com/2015/08/21/less-employees-at-the-city/ That’s an increase in employees of 29 in 2 years. SLBB:  Sick Leave Buy Back (Pension Spiking) Ashley Furniture: We have NO idea where […]

Bills for Monday night

By:  Diane Benjamin Somebody finally got around to posting the Bills and Payroll:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15822 Diane Hauman is now going on the One Voice trip with Renner, Black, and Rasmussen ( https://blnnews.com/2018/01/26/more-government-travel-at-your-expense/) $1600 x 4 = $6,400 to visit the DC swamp instead of demanding in-district meetings with representatives.  That number is before other expenses.   Does […]

Cummings: Who do you represent?

By:  Diane Benjamin During public comment many first time speakers almost begged the Council to save the historic buildings at 104, 106, and 108 Beaufort Street.  From the Council discussion, that is not going to happen. City Manager Peterson claimed all they were doing was picking a developer.  Oh they will see what they can […]

Knuckleheads

By:  Diane Benjamin Pre Tari Renner the City of Bloomington didn’t have any staff doing economic development.   See the 2012 job titles HERE For the year ended 4/30/12, the Economic Development Council received $65,610.04   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=6242 BN Advantage didn’t exist. Was Bloomington better or worse? Post Tari Renner – 2017 The City now has a full time […]

More Council Christmas presents

By:  Diane Benjamin Correction – approving Bills and payroll isn’t on the agenda, so they have nothing to pay! Surprise! http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-500 Bills and Payroll is not posted for tonight’s meeting.  The last time the City failed to post this days in advance of the meeting, a plane ticket for the mayor’s girlfriend was included. What […]

QUIT paying for Economic Development!

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington, Normal, and the County have been handing out your tax dollars to unaccountable agencies who claim they promote economic development and business retention. Peoria has their own version:  http://greaterpeoriaedc.org/ When Logan County de-funded local economic development they kept this group.    https://blnnews.com/2017/11/22/de-funding-economic-development-2/ When I first looked at their website I found minutes of […]

Government creates jobs

By:  Diane Benjamin According to Kyle Ham (Economic Development Council) at last night’s Bloomington Council meeting: McLean County lost 2000 jobs between 2015 and 2016 K-12 schools are down 1100 students in the last 5 years which affects aid from the State New housing starts are down 56% from 2000 to today 8 out of […]

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 […]

Why is BN Advantage a secret group?

By:  Diane Benjamin BN Advantage was formed in 2015.  Their mission is to get all the players together for collaboration on economic development strategy. The Bloomington Council approved the formation in October 2015, see this doc:  BN Advantage  I’m sure other area governments passed the same type resolution. Temporarily forget the fact that government doesn’t […]

B-N Sports Complex-Delphi

By:  Diane Benjamin The local area has THREE agencies coordinating economic development:  B-N Convention and Visitors Bureau, BN Advantage, and the Economic Development Council. There is MUCH more to this story – but not today. The Bloomington Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has another committee nobody has ever heard of: Sports Commission Board The Board […]

Untraceable spending – because they can

By:  Diane Benjamin Did you know Bloomington didn’t have an Economic Development person until 2012?  Are things better or worse now? From 2016 Total Compensation report:  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=21&parent=5443 GRAMMERAUSTIN   ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COORD Salary and benefits:  $94,583.89 . Where do some of your tax dollars go?  UN-accountable government agencies! The EDC (Economic Development Council) is getting $490,000 […]

Sharing Sales Tax is a DONE deal

By:  Diane Benjamin Congrats Bloomington!  Every one of your elected representatives managed to attend the unscheduled Council meeting last night! Normal wasn’t happy when Bloomington announced Kroger was moving down the road and across the street.  The story I’ve heard from numerous sources is that David Hales kept it a secret.  Normal had NO IDEA […]

Thoughts on sharing Sales Tax

By:  Diane Benjamin If you don’t pay attention to how Normal and Bloomington operate, once they start talking publicly about anything it’s already a done deal.  Both Councils are stacked, so Renner and Koos can easily talk them into the latest declared “best practice”.  Independent thoughts are too rare matter.  Have some lunch. Here’s what […]

Round 2: BN Advantage

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night the City Council approved: Consideration of adopting a Resolution endorsing BN Advantage: A collaborative economic development strategy for the Bloomington-Normal-McLean County Region The Vote was 8-1, Alderman Lower was the NO vote.  . BN Advantage is composed of: EDC – Economic Development Council McLean County Chamber of Commerce Bloomington-Normal Convention […]