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 […]

UPDATE: David Hales needs fired today!

Listen to the interview here:  http://www.wjbc.com/2017/09/26/bloomington-officials-react-to-alleged-arena-fraud/ ________________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin Of course the Council will do nothing to David Hales for extreme S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g of the truth this morning on WJBC. Of course Scott Laughlin didn’t know enough facts to confront him. When a podcast is created I will add it to this story. Hales wasted […]

Hales leaves, nothing will change

By:  Diane Benjamin The City Manager is the only employee of the City Council.  When David Hales leaves, another guy just like him will magically appear.  The voters elected a progressive left-wing mayor and compliant Council, so citizens shouldn’t expect a sudden lurch to fiscal responsibility.  Your taxes will continue to rise because  the guy […]

The Real Legal Expenses

By:  Diane Benjamin When the Pantagraph appears to do a study of anything, it usually means Bloomington is up to something and using them to gauge public opinion.  Today it was legal expenses and justifying the outrageous amount the City sends to Springfield every month while telling you not to buy on the internet – […]

When you elect the wrong people . . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin It looks like Bloomington has to be destroyed by government spending before people realize local elections matter.  Or, maybe only the people who can’t move will be left paying the bills which are about to get much bigger. Monday night the Bloomington will see the results of doing “Wants” before Needs.  MANY […]

Twenty-Three Minutes

By:  Diane Benjamin Watching the Council spin themselves into the ground felt a lot longer than 23 minutes!  Most of the conversation was on whether to build a metal retaining wall or concrete so the City Hall annex can be demolished.  The difference in price was around $61,000.  The Council  was handed some revised numbers […]

No faith in local government

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council meeting last night was conducted without the mayor and without any accusations against citizens like “crazy”, “nasty”, and “small vocal minority”.  Renner did hold another edition of his media blitz earlier in the day, but Karen Schmidt only announced he wasn’t there.  According to media reports of the […]

Proof Bloomington taxpayers fleeced

By:  Diane Benjamin I was just checking media reports from Topeka Kansas to see if the Council had picked a City Manager yet.  Nothing so far. Something else interesting did pop up though:  They paid their last City Manager $175.134. The population is 126,808 Supposedly the population of Bloomington in 2016 was 78,005 Note: one […]

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 […]

The Scam

By:  Diane Benjamin The old type Bloomington City Manager reports with real usable information ceased to exist when Alderman Diana Hauman called their “printing” a waste of money.  The last REAL report was April 2016.  City manager David Hales still does a City Manager report on-line, but it has little useful data. The old reports […]

Bray starts bad! (and other spending)

By:  Diane Benjamin Kimberly Bray was just elected to represent the 9th Ward.  Rumor has it she has never voted in a local election before this one. (If she did – she could easily prove it!)  Rumor also has it that Joni Painter and Tari Renner recruited her to run. She obviously doesn’t read BlnNews […]

Last night’s CIRCUS

By:  Diane Benjamin I will be on Cities 92.9 today at 3:30 with Ben Yount to discuss the future of BlnNews. Now for last night’s Bloomington City Council meeting: Bring in the CLOWNS! Oops, they were already there! Starting at 1:05, and ending 45 minutes later, the Council droned on about spending $300,000 at The […]

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 […]

More on “Councils Don’t Listen”

By:  Diane Benjamin See this story from yesterday:  Why City Councils Don’t Listen After writing more than 4000 stories, I had forgotten I wrote about the Julie Crowe case when she won the lawsuit:  Julie Crowe Defeats the City of Bloomington That story contains a link to the original Council vote denying her the Vehicle-For-Hire […]

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 […]

The Budget Workshop that wasn’t

By:  Diane Benjamin Thanks to Steve Vogel who today mentioned in his weekly column that Bloomington is in a recession.  Moody’s Analytics  reported that in January (and so did I), but the media has been ignoring it. Anyone who attended the Bloomington “Budget Workshop” today would have seen Bloomington is also ignoring that fact.  If […]

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 […]

Excuses OVER Renner!

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner’s claims to now be protecting the taxpayers of Bloomington in the Metro Zone flap are a joke. Why? Besides the fact that 5 Aldermen put Metro Zone on the agenda, not Renner – what happened to the letters Tari received at Rosie’s from citizens about their health insurance costs?  We […]

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 […]

Hershey Rd-Your money wasted

By:  Diane Benjamin Thank Alderman Joni Painter and Mayor Tari Renner for the 30 MPH speed limit.  The citizens of Bloomington paid for TWO studies of Hershey Road and BOTH were ignored. The speed limit was lowered to 30 because of 100 signatures on a petition.  The petition to change it back now has close […]

December Library usage

By:  Diane Benjamin From Page 10 – City Manager’s December report:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=11954 From page 44 of the December 2015 City Manager’s report:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=9706 Information for December 2015 isn’t available.  Library information is missing from many of the new jumbled City Manager reports.  David Hales is DONE winning awards for delivering information to citizens! The transparency […]

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 […]

Remember when Judy Stearns walked out . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin It was way back in November of 2013 when Judy Stearns walked out of what she called an illegal Executive Session (Secret Meeting). She filed a Request for Review with Lisa Madigan’s Public Access office – they didn’t bother doing much with the filing until Judy was long out of office.  She […]

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 […]

You are the CENTER of the target

By:  Diane Benjamin The assault on Bloomington taxpayers continues at Monday’s City Council meeting.  The target isn’t on citizen’s backs – it’s on their wallet and their Quality of Life.  Other people need your money more than you do – the City Council will gladly hand it over and claim Economic Development! Is Kroger really […]

Surprise! You are the last to know

By:  Diane Benjamin I hear David Hales and Patti-Lynn Silva will be talking about raising property taxes!  This meeting is open to the public. Detroit Drive is off Towanda Barnes Road just north of the theater. I can tell you how they decide your taxes.  They need X dollars, they go to the Assessor and […]

Prosecution? You decide

By:  Diane Benjamin This FOIA request was filed by a citizen: USCC = US Cellular Coliseum Note:  Denied in full Now see the reason the City of Bloomington used to deny the request: Law enforcement doesn’t mean “court case”.  So, what is the City saying? Note:  The request was for information from 2014 and 2015.  […]

David Hales thinks you are stupid

By:  Diane Benjamin Hales has posted his September City Managers report. http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=11567 This is on page 2: Open the page and try the link! Where does it take you? ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ NO monthly financial reports, just old data from 4/30/16. Celebrate now:  The City of Bloomington is hiding tax receipt information! Remember […]

Dear Jim Fruin,

(Jim announced last night he is not running for reelection.  Petitions are due 11/21 – info here:  http://www.becvote.org/wordpress/) Dear Jim, Here’s the problem:  The citizens feel like their government is stalking them like a famished predator. They have good reasons:  Amusement Tax, Utilities tax, Gas Tax, Sales Tax, Garbage fee increases, Liquor fee increases More […]

Bloomington Library FACTS

By:  Diane Benjamin Information is harder to compare now that the Hales’ City Manager Reports are history.  Instead of transparency, he posts bits and piece of data and I have to put it together.  I imagine soon the bits and pieces will disappear because tax increases are much easier when government claims they need more […]

Coliseum Concessions: More proof

By:  Diane Benjamin When I filed the lawsuit for concession information from the Coliseum I expected to receive a report PER EVENT like the one below.  This is an actual report from the Coliseum that I received from a whistle-blower.  No, am I not saying who – so don’t ask. This is a tough report […]

UPDATE: The Hales Coliseum coverup

This is another story where Hales claims the Coliseum had CLEAN audits:  http://ilnews.org/9870/financial-probe-of-coliseums-former-manager-may-involve-concession-money/ They weren’t clean, concessions were NEVER audited, and Hales refused to protect taxpayer money. _____________________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin According to this September 12th Pantagraph article, City Manager David Hales claims the Coliseum audits have always received a clean opinion:  http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/government-and-politics/state-police-city-investigating-coliseum-operations/article_6e1ae325-da35-5573-845a-454e9b4c8031.html David Hales […]

More: Coliseum Investigation

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I obtain an email address for an officer with the State Police who has knowledge of the Coliseum investigation.  I sent him an email stating not only concession commissions were an issue, but the CITY employees who allowed the problems to happen.  It’s unconscionable that David Hales allowed CIAM to operate […]