Did the City of Bloomington make a campaign contribution?

By: Diane Benjamin Tax dollars, actually fake money that doesn’t really exist, was given out for this: I appreciate the local democrats publicly saying they got improvements with tax dollars. Your landlord invested in the PARTY? Taxpayers did but they never agreed! I hope the rent went up substantially. Do democrats know the Feds spent […]

Property tax increases explained

By: Diane Benjamin Why are many local governments holding tax hearings? Here’s the legal reason: (35 ILCS 200/18-56)    Sec. 18-56. Legislative purpose. The purpose of this Law is to require taxing districts to disclose by publication and to hold a public hearing on their intention to adopt an aggregate levy in amounts more than 105% of the amount […]

Bloomington Tax Hearing tonight!

By: Diane Benjamin PDF page 4 https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/28699/638052450340400000 Bloomington is projecting General Fund Reserves at the end of the year (4-30-2023) of: $34,494,213 PDF page 469: http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1108&Inline=True In case that number shows up too small to read, the projected General Fund Balance less than a year ago (4-30-2022) was: $24,296,676 That represents an increase in Reserves […]

City of Bloomington and the jab

By: Diane Benjamin Why would any organization willing comply with tyranny? Follow the money! We used to be a country where individuals were allowed to make decisions for themselves, government is using COVID to forever change that to: Do What I Say. The City of Bloomington issued the below: When were HIPAA Laws repealed? Why […]

Top local MONTHLY pensions

By: Diane Benjamin All Illinois government salaries and pensions can be found from this link: https://www.openthebooks.com/illinois/#School%20District Every time a unit of government hires additional staff or provides lavish salaries, the pension costs go up. They know it doesn’t matter because YOU will be forced to pay by law. Your “public servants”. This one is interesting, […]

Bloomington does comedy – AGAIN

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington likes to pretend they are transparent.  They even have a transparency portal on their website:  http://www.cityblm.org/government/transparency One of the items listed is: As I’ve written before, the BCPA documents are mostly non-existent unless I FOIA them.  https://blnnews.com/2019/02/14/it-a-secret-bcpa-creativity-center/ These are the event reports currently on the City website, there […]

Part 3 – Nikita Richards

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Code has a section on ethics for employees, it is patterned after the State Ethics Act:   http://www.cityblm.org/government/codes-ordinances/city-code Excerpt: To find out what activities are prohibited, see the State Ethics law:     http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2529&ChapterID=2 This is the definition of Prohibited Political Activities from that link: There is more, but that’s enough […]

Please explain why Nikita Richards has a job!

By:  Diane Benjamin Part 1 See Part 2 here:   https://blnnews.com/2018/08/30/part-2-nikita-richards/ See Part 3 here:  https://blnnews.com/2018/08/30/part-3-nikita-richards/ This was the job Nikita used to have, maybe still does: Nikita’s LinkedIn page shows NDR and Running for McLean County Clerk, but doesn’t mention she works for the City of Bloomington:   There is a description of what NDR Communications does […]

City Vending Machines – Is it party money?

By:  Diane Benjamin Earlier this month the City of Bloomington claimed the Public Works party was financed with employee money from vending machine profits:   https://blnnews.com/2018/06/04/party-at-public-works/ I FOIA’d the City vending machine contracts, of course my FOIA was extended.  Yesterday I received two contracts dated in 2004. This one is for vending machine products other than […]

Guest Editorial – Report on candidates

Note:  The search firm used by Bloomington, GovHR, also found David Hales for Joliet.  They neglected to tell the Joliet Council about the pending Coliseum prosecutions that happened under Hales’ watch.  What are they not telling Bloomington about the two candidates they presented? _____________________________________________________________________ A quick review: Citizens were given the opportunity to meet the […]

Bloomington’s Monday Food, Travel, and more

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll for 5/29/2018  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17800 See page 86-93.  All the NEGATIVE numbers mean they spent more than was budgeted for that area. It’s illegal to spend what isn’t budgeted without Council approval.  If I have time I may investigate further. Note:  Remember all Tari’s free lunches he claimed were for City business?  […]

Tossing Money – Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington has done nothing to stop employees from “spiking” their pensions.  Besides collecting a higher pension for life at taxpayer expense, taxpayers are forced to pay penalties to cover the increased cost. The “spiking” comes from accumulating unused sick days.  Bloomington has changed the policy for new hires, but they refuse to […]

Normal Township’s fuzzy math

See the comments, they borrowed money.  More debt!   By:  Diane Benjamin Continuing this story from yesterday:    https://blnnews.com/2018/04/30/townships-the-hidden-government/ The WAREHOUSE was created by the Illinois Comptroller’s office to give citizens access to local government financial information.  It is much easier to read than whatever local units of government call financial statements.  It would be a […]

Surprises on Bloomington’s Agenda!

By:  Diane Benjamin The packet for Monday is 877 pages!  I’m sure the Council will read every word:   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16340 PDF page 294: Remember how Tari claimed he wasn’t interested in the west-side sports complex? Evidently Normal didn’t like paying the full cost of the study.  Since it won’t be downtown, maybe Tari wants the Council […]

What’s wrong with Bloomington?

By:  Diane Benjamin Everybody knows the streets aren’t being fixed.  Bloomington can’t even find money in the budget (that has skyrocketed under Tari Renner) to invest in infrastructure.   https://blnnews.com/2018/03/26/nice-pantagraph/ They will happily raise your taxes though to pay for a couple of roads.  Yesterday we learned there was a “disconnect” ordering tickets for the One […]

Why City employees cost so much (revised)

By:  Diane Benjamin At tonight’s City Council meeting ratification of a contract for Sergeant and Lieutenants is on the consent agenda. They will be getting retroactive raises back to May 1, 2017: PDF page 92:   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16030 PDF page 142 shows the previous contract wage increases were 1.5%. PDF page 149 still has Sick Leave Buy Back! […]

Bloomington Budget Workshop Saturday

By:  Diane Benjamin Source for below: https://blnnews.com/2017/03/11/the-budget-workshop-that-wasnt/ Tari Renner is the problem: Tari was elected in 2013.  That budget was already done. The Renner exploding budgets started in 2014. 2018 is the budget currently in place. Bloomington shows NO sign of understanding the local economy is declining.  They are planning to keep spending and fleecing. […]

Can the Council finally do their job?

By:  Diane Benjamin Five aldermen stopped the welcoming ordinance meeting for next week.  More important are the names of the aldermen who didn’t sign the request to stop the waste of time and money:  Scott Black, Amelia Buragas, Diana Hauman, and Jamie Mathy Maybe now the Council’s full attention can be working on the budget.  […]

Bloomington (questionable) spending

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday’s Bills and Payroll:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15550 More spiked pension expense: More Interest-Free loans? I don’t care how great the cause is, what statute allows the City to hand out your money to people they chose?  Most people call this vote-buying: More handouts:  I’m guessing the City if buying tickets to a Chamber event for […]

Fun Facts (or not so fun facts)

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington population:  78,005 Normal Population:  54,264 Bloomington Total Budget:  $214,126,710 PDF Page 2:  http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=13155 Normal Total Budget:  $107,133,177 PDF Page 15   http://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/11571 Normal has 30% fewer citizens. Normal budgets 50% of what Bloomington does. Bloomington spends $2,745 for every citizens Normal spends $1,974 for every citizen Bloomington total debt 4/30/16:  270,629,828 http://warehouse.illinoiscomptroller.com/ProcessSearchResults.cfm?DisplayMode=GETAFR&AFRDesiredData=Indebtedness&Code=064/025/30&CFY=2016&Menu=Yes&PrintIt=No 4/30/17 information […]

More on Bloomington Roads

By:  Diane Benjamin If I hadn’t been out of town this weekend, I would have written A LOT more on the Pantagraph story that attempted to make you believe the Bloomington roads are getting better.  It’s really difficult to compose story on a cell phone, so I left a lot of details to readers:  https://blnnews.com/2017/09/24/more-pantagraph-conspires-with-city/ […]

More Pantagraph conspires with City

By. Diane Benjamin Today the Pantagraph lauded the $3.8 million Bloomington is spending on streets.  Seems like rewriting history so people think the streets are getting better is the goal of both Bloomington and the so called press. Why?  Because both want downtown spending, not silly things citizens want like the roads fixed! See their […]

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 […]

It keeps getting funnier!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                             September 13, 2017 Contact:         Katie Simpson, City of Bloomington Planner, 309-434-2341                         Tricia Stiller, Downtown Bloomington, 309-829-9599       PARKING DAY COMES TO DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON   BLOOMINGTON, IL– On Friday, September 15, in cities around the globe including right here in Downtown Bloomington, artists, activists and citizens will transform parking spaces into temporary public parks […]

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 […]

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) […]

Lack of Transparency continues

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington can’t legally withhold documents that existed before the State Police announced their investigation, but they are trying to keep me from finding the truth anyway.  Did they really think I wouldn’t write about it? I filed a FOIA request for the all General Ledger Accounts pertaining to Sister […]