UPDATE: Not up in smoke – it’s the cloud

The newer website is now back.  The Council approved the website back in March of 2016:  http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=10583 ________________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin I came across the name of the company I think the City of Bloomington hired to do their new website.  I went to cityblm.org to research payments. Surprise – the new website was gone and […]

Tari’s stacked appointments and more

By:  Diane Benjamin At every recent Council meeting Mayor Renner has appointed people to various boards and commissions.  He is obviously transferring his agenda to every part of Bloomington and anywhere he can in the County.  How many people didn’t want to stop serving, but were forced to? Monday night Renner has two appointments and […]

Downtown smells

By:  Diane Benjamin Last week I received this email from a patron of a downtown Bloomington business: When I drove down Main Street today, I noticed that several businesses had their doors wide open.  I made a comment to an employee at the locale where I was conducting my business about the nice weather outside.  […]

Sheep or Wolf?

By:  Diane Benjamin A few days ago a saw a biker on Veterans Parkway, he constantly looked over his shoulder to see if he was going to get hit.  Yesterday a lady on a bike made a left hand turn in front of me without any signals.  Remember when we were kids – left arm […]

Controlling Costs is a LIE

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight’s Bloomington Council packet contains this statement on PDF page 4:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12802 Now jump to the Bills and Payroll for tonight: http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12794 PDF page 107 The City if THROWING away money by allowing employees to spike their pensions! This payment of $64,859.95 brings the total to $1,877,252.40 since the law was changed in […]

Spending Spree Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin First a medical update:  Prayer does work!  My husband has had people all over the globe praying for his recovery.  Today he woke up, opened his eyes and responded to our voices and commands from the medical staff.  He had a brain aneurysm that burst on Good Friday.  The ICU neurology staff […]

Updated Pension SPIKING cost

By:  Diane Benjamin All the City of Bloomington had to do to prevent paying the penalties below was change when accumulated sick and vacation got paid to employees. David Hales, Steve Stockton, and  Tari Renner refused to change their policies, so the below was paid as a penalty.  These employees were allowed to spike their […]

Laws don’t apply to government

By:  Diane Benjamin Illinois Open Meetings Act Law: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=84&ChapterID=2 Monday night the Bloomington City Council is approving minutes dated between 1998 and 2009.  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12450 Not approving minutes as required by law isn’t just something the City did a long time ago.  Here is another example from April 11, 2016: September 21, 2015 just happens to […]

No Public Discussion!

By:  Diane Benjamin Everything is scripted in the City of Bloomington to make sure citizens only know what the City wants them to know.  Unlike Tari Renner’s claims of transparency, very little exists.  Try filing a FOIA request and see how long it takes, what is denied, and how much is redacted.  It has gotten […]

Bloomington Pensions

By:  Diane Benjamin Citizens need to know why there is no money for government to do their job without constantly raising taxes. Retired employee PENSIONS, in addition to Social Security and Medicare, and spiked pensions are the problem. Below are just some of the Monthly pensions payments retired City employees are currently receiving.  Note, it […]

Budget Cuts made easy

By:  Diane Benjamin Cuts could be easy, but nobody at the City wants to cut! It is impossible to suggest specific budget cuts for Bloomington because the data isn’t available.  The City issued hundreds of pages saying where the money is being spent without any details. Was there a line item last year for the […]

WOW! YEAR-OLD financial statements

By: Diane Benjamin Bloomington finally released the financial statements for April 30, 2016. The TIF report still hasn’t been released and neither has a separate audited statement on the Coliseum. Maybe another year? Two? At this point, what difference does it make? It’s much easier to read the information from the Comptroller’s site. Total Full […]

Like empty buses?

By:  Diane Benjamin I really hope you enjoy seeing huge empty or almost empty buses running all over Bloomington-Normal because you are paying for them! The January finances are on online:  http://www.connect-transit.com/documents/February%2028,%202017%20Regular%20Board%20Meeting%20Binder1.pdf Income in January was a whooping $110, 632. Expenses were $1,052,685. Anybody see a problem? Anybody see the same problem connect Transit has […]

About the election . .

By:  Diane Benjamin I can’t believe the comments on Facebook from people saying they never vote in primaries because they don’t want to say what party they are voting for. Aside from the FACT yesterdays primary didn’t have parties, that is the lamest excuse possible.  The GREAT candidates lose in the primaries because of that […]

Fascinating Stuff!

By:  Diane Benjamin I get delicious free water from a well.  You folks in town have to pay for it.  I bet you think your government priced that water according to what it cost them to bring it to your house.  You might even be okay if they added a little to the price to […]

Administration and Robbing Enterprise Funds

By:  Diane Benjamin I started this project to show how much David Hales has increased spending on Administration.  The 2017 budget numbers could be immaterial since spending over budget could be happening.  The 4/30/2016 financial statements are still a secret, the 2017 statements won’t be available until at least October.  All of the page numbers […]

City Code: Those “welcome” signs

By:  Diane Benjamin By now readers know sometimes laws matter, sometimes they don’t.  It all depends on how the people who are charged with enforcing them “feel”. Remember these signs popping up in yards and schools? (Do the schools still have them?) What does the Bloomington City Code say about signs in yards? (The website […]

Black Lives Matter makes local demands

By:  Diane Benjamin Citizens deserve to know what’s happening in their city.  This post is meant to inform voters.  Is BLM trying to run the Bloomington police force themselves?  You decide.  Why Bloomington and not Normal? The proposals below were created by the local Black Lives Matter movement.  You can see the entire document that […]

Setting the record straight:

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday the Pantagraph did a story about County union employee salary increases:  http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/mclean-county-highway-workers-get-raises/article_e1a807b1-6dcc-535b-83dd-f39b4b00079f.html This paragraph is in the story: Two problems:  The City of Bloomington has been hit by at least 24 penalties amounting to around $1.6 million. (it could be more by now) That’s not “several”. Second, the County negotiated with […]

FRAUD!

By:  Diane Benjamin All of the information below is from the Illinois Comptroller’s website.  See it HERE Would you invest in a company that fails to issue Financial Reports? Why would anybody invest in Bloomington – they haven’t issued last year’s statements yet.  Tonight there will be a presentation on how this year is going […]

Bloomington: La La Land

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night Mayor Renner is giving his “State of the City” address.  I bet everything is wonderful and under his leadership Bloomington is making great progress toward bankruptcy, oops – I mean prosperity for all! I wonder if he will inform the people paying the bills why the financial reports from almost […]

241 days and counting

By:  Diane Benjamin The taxpayers of Bloomington have no idea how much the Coliseum LOST last year because the City doesn’t want you to know.  The year-end for the Coliseum was April 30th, no income and expense information has been released.  (normally it is released in October) The Coliseum was a mess, so the City […]

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 was trying to be nice . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin I have no idea why Bloomington needed a new website.  The one they had worked far better than others in the area – especially the McLean County website. They built a new one anyway.  Since I am a programmer, I know it’s very difficult to find all the problems when launching extensive […]

Bloomington Council tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin PCard Spending for approval tonight: Why are taxpayers forced to fund holiday gifts for a Museum? Anybody know where these Christmas lights are? The Fire Department did the traveling this time: The minutes from the November Council retreat are included in the packet: HERE  They start on PDF page 38.  EVERY retreat […]

How Normal can get their money back

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal threw away up to $2.5 million last week to get Portillos to locate in Normal.  The Normal Town Council was told Portillos would be a destination – people would drive from 100’s of miles away. Meanwhile, Champaign got one for free. Who is at fault? Listen to Kyle Ham, CEO of […]