Before you believe John Butler:

By: Diane Benjamin John Butler and his lawyers have been telling media John didn’t know his employees were stealing concession money. Evidently he’s such a great guy he agreed to a misdemeanor and paid $450,000 in restitution just because. That of course was after spending who knows how many thousands (hundreds of thousands?) on attorneys […]

John Butler – the Rest of the case

By: Diane Benjamin State’s Attorney Don Knapp just sent me the final documents. The City of Bloomington is getting $430,230. The Illinois Department of Revenue is getting $19,770. That’s where the $450,000 previously reported came from. Butler plead guilty to a Class A misdemeanor for manipulating concessions sales. BMI Concessions, operated by John Butler plead […]

Bloomington: Did the Council just screw you?

By: Diane Benjamin Tari Renner attended the Township meeting held before the Council met at 6:00, but then left claiming he had an appointment. Maybe he didn’t want to discuss a mandatory mask ordinance. Several on the Council would jump at the chance to enforce draconian rules when we know where all the new cases […]

Bloomington Tonight

By: Diane Benjamin Remember: the Coliseum the citizens didn’t want? the first manager and some staff were arrested for stealing your money? the second management company couldn’t meet expectations? the disaster it has been for taxpayers? I hear it has a new manager: Jim Karch. (Demoted Former head of Public Works) Maybe the City Manager […]

Bloomington Payments tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and payroll 7-13-2020 A total of $12,599,344.25 will be approved tonight.  Unlike Normal, payroll is actually listed.  $5,216,642.14 of that amount is employees.  $1,633,607.61 is Wire transfers listed at the end, not enough details is available to know what most of them are.  I don’t remember the last time somebody asked about […]

What about the money Bloomington owes VenuWorks?

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington has been paying VenuWorks $4,999.98 sporadically since 2016, payments are marked loan principle.  This story says why:   https://blnnews.com/2016/10/06/so-bloomington-claims/ The short version:  VenuWorks paid John Butler (CIAM) for equipment at the Coliseum.  The City is reimbursing them for that purchase.  The total was $299,999, no interest, payments over 5 […]

Bloomington – Monday Payments

By:  Diane Benjamin A little history: A lot of department spending at the City of Bloomington is done by PCard.  Since December isn’t a month with conferences to attend and employees are more likely to take time off, it shouldn’t be a surprise PCard spending is lower than usual: https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=23757 https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=23995 January: https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=24210 February: So […]

Coliseum: Embarrassing!

By:  Diane Benjamin If you haven’t heard, the trial for John Butler as a result from his time managing the Coliseum got delayed again.  It will supposedly happen on August 10th. More event reports have been posted, all show a profit.  See if you can figure out what is embarrassing about this one: VenuWorks is […]

Arena Events – all profits!

By:  Diane Benjamin https://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-1817 4 ISU hockey events are also posted.  Even with dismal attendance the profits were:  $1,727.26, $2,269.16, $2,458.26, and $1,997.42.  Most of the profit is from charging $2000 to play there. This year the City projected Arena: revenues of $4,883,795 expenses of $5,219,846  –  for a loss of $336,051. For the year […]

Coliseum and Hockey

By:  Diane Benjamin VenuWorks finally posted 2 hockey reports for the new league playing at the Coliseum.  (Grossinger Motors Arena is too long folks) The memo states these are the top two teams in the League, a new one from here will be playing next year.  I do not know why these two games were […]

VenuWorks and the Farmers Market

By:  Diane Benjamin The Coliseum didn’t come close to making the projected profit before it was built.  Now it is being recreated as a community asset. At more than one City Council meeting it has been announced that around 1000 people attend the indoor Farmers Markets held at the Coliseum.  Note:  Nobody ever claims these […]

Bloomington Council: Transparency joke PLUS cannabis Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin The Council held an Executive Session on December 9th to review minutes of previous Executive Sessions.  Review is required by the Open Meetings Act.  The cabal then votes on what minutes no longer need to be kept confidential. See PDF page 46:  http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1052&Inline=True The Council voted to keep minutes that are 24 […]

Trolls Live Scores, attendance dismal

By:  Diane Benjamin Unlike the BCPA who think event reports aren’t important, VenuWorks posts theirs.  This proves the difference between a company that can be fired and City employees who know nobody cares if they do their job.  The BCPA hasn’t posted any event reports since the last time I FOID’d them.  Thanks for the […]

Hockey AGAIN?

By:  Diane Benjamin Here’s my take on today’s hockey announcement: Hockey can show a profit for VenuWorks if they are smarter than in the past. ISU is only charged $2000 to play at the Coliseum, the ticket sales are dismal so they might not break even.  At least they aren’t bleeding for the privilege of […]

Connect Transit: Empty Buses and Brains

By:  Diane Benjamin After NOT posting the Agenda for today’s meeting 48 hours in advance as required by the Open Meetings Act (LAW!), yesterday Connect moved the meeting and thought people would magically know:    https://www.connect-transit.com/about/trustees/cttf_working_group/agendas.asp No surprise, they didn’t have enough people for a quorum, some members of the public went to the wrong […]

How much the ARENA really lost

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember the celebrations when VenuWorks announced they ONLY lost $276,367? They budgeted a loss of $495,514, so everybody happily reported they lost less than expected.  See PDF page 27:  https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=23151 Long time readers won’t be surprised to learn the auditors didn’t agree with the  VenuWorks accounting. The audited financial report has appeared […]

Surprise, surprise – event report posted

By:  Diane Benjamin Update to this story from yesterday:  https://blnnews.com/2019/10/16/tari-on-wjbc-3/ Usually when there is good news people like to report it quickly.  The Luke Combs concert profit is good news, why it wasn’t posted as required by the arena contract is a mystery. https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=23305 Country music concerts always do well.  If VenuWorks had self-promoted this […]

Flashback: May 11, 2016 Renner

By:  Diane Benjamin WJBC has reported Tari Renner wants to end the moratorium on new video gaming  machines: http://www.wjbc.com/2019/07/29/renner-sides-with-businesses-seeking-to-end-bloomingtons-video-gaming-freeze/ I remember when the moratorium was put in place, Tari was outraged that $50 million a year went into the machines.  It sounds like he changed his mind. Back in 2016 Tari was on WJBC talking […]

Capitalism defeats government

By:  Diane Benjamin Definition of capitalism: Making your life better by providing goods or services other people want at a price they will pay. It is a simple concept that has improved the lives of millions around the globe.  It is color blind and doesn’t care who you sleep with.  It is what made America […]

Get ready for VenuWorks fiction

By:  Diane Benjamin Below are the Quarterly losses VenuWorks has previously reported for this fiscal year: 5/1/2018 – 7/31/2018  -130,634.54   PDF page 5 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=20022 8/1/2018 – 10/31/2018  -96,333.02    PDF page 5 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=20795 11/1/2018 – 1/31/19    -68,108.47      PDF page 5 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=21235 Year to date for THREE quarters shows a loss of $295,076.03. The 4th […]

VenuWorks fail

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve heard numerous times about the lack of people working Coliseum events.  Last night was no exception. I believe the final hockey game to ever be played at the arena took place last night.  A local business sponsored suites and handed out free tickets. According to an attendee, there was only 1 […]

Arena Events finally posted

By: Diane Benjamin The missing event reports from Grossinger Motors Arena have finally been posted. Details here: https://blnnews.com/2019/03/11/more-venuworks-city-fail/ Last year the Bacon and Beer Fest made a profit of $ 12,230.53. 1319 people attended. http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15976 This year the event was held earlier in the day, attendance dropped to 1166, profit dropped to $ 8,037.07. http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=21322 […]

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, […]