Select info from the FOIA

By:  Diane Benjamin I finally made it through all 924 pages of the latest FOIA from Normal. Marc Tiritilli addressed the Council in person before they voted to continue electric aggregation.  Prior to that he sent this email: I suggest you compare Ameren prices to your bills if you haven’t opted-out.  Marc knows what he […]

Emergency Landing – the rest of the story

By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph did this story about a flight from Columbia Mo. to Chicago made an emergency landing in Bloomington last night:  https://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/public_safety/chicago-bound-regional-jet-makes-emergency-landing-in-bloomington/article_390f574d-ce47-5824-874c-ce4d6f1731f6.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-1 That story might make you think it was no big deal.  Other media has a different story.  Evidently the Pantagraph didn’t send a reporter to the airport to talk to […]

UPDATE: Pantagraph hides the truth!

Just like magic – the comments to the Pantagraph story are back.  Here’s one: By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph has a story about Beth Whisman stepping down from the Airport Authority Board:    http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/government-and-politics/whisman-resigns-from-airport-board-due-to-job-conflict/article_4a553dc2-2423-58b8-8d44-cdd535b1f6b6.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-2 Besides proving Chris Koos and Normal’s legal team didn’t bother to read the law (or they can’t read), the Pantagraph proved real […]

Update: Beth Whisman must resign from airport

Whisman has resigned.  The Edgar County Watchdogs did a followup story – the last line is particularly good! http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2018/04/beth-whisman-resigned-as-commissioner-of-bloomington-normal-airport-authority/ ______________________________________ Original story: http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2018/04/beth-whisman-unqualified-to-serve-as-commissioner-of-bloomington-normal-airport-authority/

FAA, CIRA, and Soccer

By:  Diane Benjamin I filed a FOIA request with the FAA pertaining to the soccer fields on January 31, 2018.  I received it today by mail.  It’s not that big, no word on why it had to be mailed. So, why does soccer need to leave the airport property? See this 1994 letter written by […]

CIRA needs money too

By:  Diane Benjamin Illinois is in a death spiral and now it’s local.  Every level of government refuses to live within their means and adjust to changing conditions.  They think they can pick your pocket whenever they want. Central Illinois Regional Airport is the latest. CIRA has found a state legislator in Bellville to sponsor […]

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 […]

Moving out?

By:  Diane Benjamin I recently had some time to read through the minutes of CIRA Board meetings and other information on their website. Discussion about extending the soccer lease took place in March:  http://cira.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/March-14-2017-minutes.pdf Normal has every intention of forcing its citizens to pay for the proposed complex: I found another item that is even […]

News from CIRA’s minutes + Soccer

By:  Diane Benjamin The Central Illinois Regional Airport has their new website:  CIRA.com Meeting dates, agenda’s, minutes etc can be found under “About the Airport” and then “Airport Authority”. Since I haven’t had time to follow them lately, I clicked on the November minutes and found this under Public Comments: The address is Bloomington.  It’s […]

I couldn’t decide . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin I couldn’t decide which story to do, so I’m throwing THREE into one story. 1) Are employees fleeing?  THREE Manager openings at once!  http://www.mcleancochamber.org/chamber/job-openings 2) This one is funny!  The Title in the printed version of the Pantagraph was “Visitors center a strain on museum” The on-line version got changed:  http://www.pantagraph.com/news/national/government-and-politics/museum-seeks-help-for-route-center/article_97cecedb-3e91-5734-8da3-246c1fa238d6.html “Museum […]

CIRA – still violating?

By:  Diane Benjamin The next meeting of the CIRA (Central Illinois Regional Airport) Board of Commissioners is May 10th.  Since the April meeting, Minutes for January-March have been posted on their website:  http://www.cira.com/   See the bottom of “About CIRA” If you missed previous stories, CIRA was violating the Open Meetings Act by not posting meeting […]

CIRA complies

By:  Diane Benjamin I wonder why nobody ever noticed CIRA was violating the Open Meetings Act? Illinois has a HUGE problem with too many units of government, the Central Illinois Regional Airport being just one.  Since I didn’t want to FOIA them every month for information or just be on their email list, I filed […]

Airport Grants

By:  Diane Benjamin See the 2017 Airport proposed budget here:  FY2017 Draft budget-1 The far right column below is part of the budgeted revenue for 2017. State grants:  $132,024 Federal grants:  $5,895,954 Note – the Feds are paying $2,500,000 or the $3,500,000 interior rehab mentioned in the last article.  The Feds are also paying for […]

Let’s see if CIRA gets it

By:  Diane Benjamin The Central Illinois Regional Airport is owned by taxpayers.  It isn’t a private company doing whatever it wants – it just acts like it. The meeting minutes aren’t posted on their website.  No agendas and no meeting dates either. That means they are violation of the Open Meetings Act! I thought CIRA […]

More CIRA stuff

By:  Diane Benjamin TAXPAYERS own the Central Illinois Regional Airport, but you know very little about the management or financial position. See the CIRA website here:  http://www.cira.com/  (Under “City Information” – Mitsubishi is still listed) It has ZERO transparency!  There are no links to financial information, agendas, minutes of meetings, or who is on the […]

I despise flying

By:  Diane Benjamin The last time I traveled by air it took 2 hours to get to Washington DC.  Considering I’d driven there twice, each time taking around 13 hours, it was great! It took two days to get home though, Delta stranded me in Atlanta Ga. with no luggage. Last week my daughter flew […]

CIRA: Part 1

By:  Diane Benjamin The information below was obtained through by the Freedom of Information Act.  The Central Illinois Regional Airport auditors released this information in their report for the year ended 4/30/15. Source:  BNAA – FINAL – Audit Report – 8.20.2015 The airport doesn’t rely on taxes and subsidies nearly as much as Connect Transit […]

CIRA: Explain please

By:  Diane Benjamin According to this Pantagraph article:  http://www.pantagraph.com/business/local/olson-gets-contract-extension/article_c3a51735-c4ad-5cda-853b-7704ebcffb8a.html – the Executive Director of the airport (Carl Olson) just got a 2.5% raise.  It also states he was earning $172,365 per year.  The article is a glowing endorsement of the great job he is doing.  Funny, because in January the Pantagraph also reported traffic was down […]

Airport: If we build it . . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin Add CIRA to the list of projects government created firmly believing it would create economic activity, benefit citizens, and not be a tax burden.  CIRA now joins the ranks of other local boondoggles like the Coliseum and the BPCA. If we build it, they will come. For awhile they did come.  CIRA […]

Fly on the Wall: Pantagraph says it’s YOUR fault

According to an anonymous Editorial: It’s your fault Central Illinois Regional Airport (CIRA) keeps losing airlines.  Quit driving to Springfield, Peoria, or Chicago to fly – you are hurting the local airport. Here’s the plan: 1)  You need to fly somewhere that currently isn’t a destination from Bloomington. 2)  Book a flight out of Bloomington […]

Fly on the Wall: CIRA

The soccer kids are getting kicked off airport land.  The airport is spending money to study what businesses would be a good fit on their land. Wasn’t the reason given for kicking the soccer kids out was that it was too dangerous?  After all, they use the facility on weekends for 12 weeks a year! […]