Incompetence! ISU

By:  Diane Benjamin It really isn’t difficult to stop employees from pocketing your money.  The City of Bloomington leaders buried their heads underground when they were repeatedly told about CIAM, evidently ISU did the same thing at Bone Student Center. Pantagaph article: https://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/woman-accused-of-stealing-from-isu/article_e6587ca4-0cf7-531b-b17d-1b3b4ec87c73.html#tracking-source=home-breaking A woman is accused of stealing $161,000 going ll the way to […]

Trust Lesson for Tim Gleason

By:  Diane Benjamin The new Bloomington City Manager seems to be launching a campaign to make citizens trust their government.  No Tim, spending money on signs when a few roads get fixed isn’t going to cut it.  The people paying more for gas will see that as just another waste of their dollars. Since Tim […]

Tired of being lied to?

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve been writing about the Coliseum and the lies media repeats for years! CIAM and VenuWorks created their own financial statements.  Every local media uses their numbers and repeats them like gospel.  Both can say anything they want in those statements – they create them. Numbers reported by both are not accurate, […]

The media won’t report this!

By:  Diane Benjamin Long time readers know the former Coliseum managers would issue their financial statements, and then the auditor would issue theirs.  The media always reported the CIAM numbers but never the audited numbers. Audited losses were much higher! The media is continuing to report fake news because the audited number from VenuWorks aren’t […]

Coliseum – one guilty

By:  Diane Benjamin One of the 5 charged in connection with the Coliseum pleaded guilty yesterday.  See this Pantagraph story:   https://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/guilty-former-bloomington-arena-official-gets-fine-probation-after-plea/article_00b6cb16-2aeb-5558-9614-2a50e543d503.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-2 One part of the story doesn’t make any sense: ________________________ I hope these numbers aren’t what the entire case against the five is based on.  The commissions don’t make any sense either. According to […]

Pantagraph fails again

By:  Diane Benjamin John Butler wants his trial moved out of McLean County because of remarks made by David Hales and Tari Renner.  I was also mentioned as a reason because my lawsuit made him look guilty!  Yes it did!   Since MANY readers are new, this story recaps the information I was able to obtain:  […]

You will never know the truth

By:  Diane Benjamin According to this Pantagraph story, the charges in the Coliseum case have been dropped against one of the 5 defendants and three others are in negotiations for a plea deal: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/arena-defendants-involved-in-talks-with-state/article_db37d3a5-218c-5fb4-8d6a-812671ec0118.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-2 Can anybody guess why comments aren’t allowed to this story? The LAST thing any level of government in McLean County wants is […]

Miscellaneous:

By:  Diane Benjamin The next time you are present when Tari talks about his transparency award – please start laughing! Bills and Payroll for Monday night are not posted.  Normally delaying them means they are hiding something.   (as of 10:30 Saturday morning)    http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-1609 They know what they are paying because the total is on the […]

Just something interesting – CIAM

By:  Diane Benjamin Every once in a while I have to clean up some files.  I found a FOIA request I received in December of 2015. It clearly shows that John Butler and CIAM pretended they had no responsibility to the City of Bloomington and the taxpayers forced to cover their losses.  I remember filing […]

WGLT finally sees the light?

By:  Diane Benjamin See this recent WGLT story:  http://wglt.org/post/new-documents-link-vague-coliseum-contract-criminal-charges The former Coliseum management could get greatly reduced sentences because the documents WGLT presented prove the City didn’t care – as in David Hales didn’t care.  Hales was paid huge bucks to manage the City, he failed.  I really hope he is called as a witness to […]

VenuWorks = CIAM 2.0

By:  Diane Benjamin February events – net profit on each event is listed Bacon a Beer Fest – 12,230.53     http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15976 8 tickets were comp’d, I wonder to who? Hockey 2/17 – 6,231.53   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15978 452 tickets Comp Hockey 2/7 – 1,109.92   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15928 384 tickets Comp Guns and Hoses – 2,799.53     http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15926 0 Comp IHSA Cheerleading – 46,391.53   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15830 302 […]

Coliseum – FOIA denied

By:  Diane Benjamin While I was reading a mountain of stories from before the Coliseum was built, I saw mention of the City obtaining insurance to protect them from fraud or theft involving the management company. I filed this FOIA request: My request was denied in full. The interesting part is the reason given for […]

The SAD Coliseum history

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve been reading a TON of media stories from before and after the Bloomington City Council voted to build the Coliseum. Judy Markowitz didn’t care what people thought.  She was going to build it and nothing was going to stop her.  She really believed she was saving downtown.  Mike Matejka and former […]

Get It Right!

By:  Diane Benjamin The 111 felony count indictment against CIAM employees was returned by the Grand Jury on September 20, 2017. In case you forgot, CIAM formerly managed the Coliseum. Every story the Pantagraph has written since has mentioned the Illinois State Police investigated for 18 months. Since it takes time to put together a […]

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 […]

Tari: H**l of a mess

By:  Diane Benjamin One more recap from Monday’s City Council meeting: VenuWorks recapped what they wanted to bring to the BCPA, including saving an estimated $200,000 a year in operations. VenuWorks has access to an email list of 409,000 people in Central Illinois to help promote shows VenuWorks has plans for new revenue including concessions […]

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 […]

WGLT does journalism – mostly

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday WGLT published a comprehensive story about the Coliseum.  Ryan Denham  proved journalism isn’t dead in Bloomington-Normal yet.  Read the story here:      http://wglt.org/post/how-coliseum-blind-spot-tripped-bloomington-city-leaders I do have some comments and things I would have written differently: To much emphasis was put on the “bad contract”.  The contract had plenty of statements allowing […]

Joliet reports while the Pantagraph refuses!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Joliet Herald News was attacked by the City of Joliet for reporting the truth about their new City Manager:  David Hales. The Herald isn’t cowering in a corner, they are putting the facts in front of the citizens.  They are probably getting a tons of reads, people want real news – […]

The day CIAM quit

By:  Diane Benjamin This is the Pantagraph story announcing CIAM (John Butler) would not be renewing the contract to manage the Coliseum:  http://www.pantagraph.com/entertainment/u-s-cellular-coliseum-to-receive-new-management/article_194a2f7c-d482-5d82-8885-7e5eafddb2b4.html That was March 8, 2016.  Tari Renner is quoted saying CIAM might get a short-term contract to help with the transition – maybe 30-60-or 90 days.  Obviously Renner had no urgency to remove […]

Coliseum: Smoking Gun

By:  Diane Benjamin Official Misconduct? Flash back to April 14, 2014 The meeting minutes provide a little information, the video below provides much more.  Minutes 4/14/14 Alderwoman Judy Stearns knew concessions were not audited at the Coliseum.  She knew other problems existed and she wanted answers.  Changing hockey from professional to junior was the perfect time […]

Update: Arraignment Day!

I was asked by the Sheriff’s department to take the pictures down because they have rules!  Media must be credentialed through a lady at the Pantagraph.  Of course the Pantagraph doesn’t consider me real media, so I was never informed of this credentialing process.   A report is being written and sent to the State’s Attorney […]

The CLUELESS are ruling!

By:  Diane Benjamin Attn:  Council If your information on ANY topic, especially the Coliseum, is from David Hales or Tari Renner you are getting “Fake News”. Jamie Mathy is quoted in today’s paper saying the Management Agreement with CIAM “literally forbid the city from having access to the raw numbers”.  SOURCE Jamie, why did the City […]

It takes guts!

By:  Diane Benjamin Your elected aldermen in Bloomington really have guts!  On the same day they found out at least $1 Million was stolen from you – they voted to slap higher sewer and storm water rates on the victims of their ineptness!  Yes, that would be Bloomington taxpayers. The conversation was really amusing.  Scott […]

MY Coliseum timeline

By:  Diane Benjamin Below are some of the stories I’ve written about the Coliseum.   Some are opinions, some questions, and some proven facts.  This isn’t everything, but it’s enough to prove the 5 Coliseum employees would NOT be under indictment of I hadn’t started investigating in 2013! Each link has a quote from the […]

Spin machine is spinning!

By:  Diane Benjamin Celebrate!  Tari is returning from his “medical related” leave October 1st.  Just like everything the City of Bloomington does, his return will have NO Transparency.  Does he still have his government credit card?  If he does, Freedom of Information Act requests are about to spike! Remember the citizen survey a few weeks […]

Audits? The Coliseum was audited!

By:  Diane Benjamin The oldest story I wrote about the Coliseum is from December 2013:  https://blnnews.com/2013/12/11/coliseum-bleeding-bloomington-taxpayers/ But, look at this story from February 2014:  https://blnnews.com/2014/02/06/is-coliseum-management-giving-bloomington-their-share/ First lines of the story: Operations of the Coliseum are extremely complicated.  Management hired by the City is operating some functions without any over-sight or accountability.  The taxpayers deserve to […]

Local FAKE NEWS: The Pantagraph

By:  Diane Benjamin Thank God Steve Vogel is retiring for good!  His column today doesn’t merit commenting on and I sure didn’t read the whole thing.  If I hadn’t jumped to the comments I would have missed that he is walking off into the sunset – keep walking Steve!  I wonder what left winger will […]

Update: Coliseum: Promises, Promises

Update:  The management announced today the naming rights have been sold – and for the same amount US Cellular was paying: $175,000 a year.  It will be name Grossinger Motors Arena for at least 5 years.  I haven’t heard who is paying for the new signs, letterhead, business cards, menus, etc. _____________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin […]