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 […]

Bloomington Council last night

By: Diane Benjamin THREE of your representatives, a full one third, failed to attend this meeting. Mathy, Mwilambwe, and Bray were absent. Of course the ones that did attend acted like it was perfectly normal. Only a few items of note: A guy from Millennium Soccer spoke during Public Comment. (22:50) I was not aware […]

Three Blind Mice

Guest Editorial Now that Buragas is the 3rd rat to leave the ship (out of the 4 slated to run), let’s wish her goodbye with this ditty sung to the tune of Three Blind Mice. . Three Blind Mice Three Blind Mice See how they spend See how they spend . Planning and spending is […]

Tari is grooming candidates!

By:  Diane Benjamin Renner was on WGLT earlier this month talking about the Council changes that will happen next year since two alderman have announced they aren’t running for re-election.  The story says nothing about his comments, you have to listen to the 4 minute interview: http://www.wglt.org/post/sage-wont-seek-re-election-bloomington-city-council#stream/0 Tari is actively recruiting, grooming and supporting candidates […]

When it happens to you . . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council didn’t care when Tari attacked Judy Stearns over and over. They barely cared when Tari attacked numerous citizens, including me. It’s a different story when Tari attacks the Council! At the end of last night’s meeting Tari commented he was upset the five alderman sent their demand to […]

Quit calling it the Pepsi Ice Center

By:  Diane Benjamin Proving yet again that essential items slip through the cracks at City Hall, Pepsi did not renew the naming rights contract for the Ice Center.  Either nobody is looking for a replacement or nobody wants to buy the sponsorship. The naming rights expired the same time the Coliseum naming rights expired:  March […]

Rennerwitz and Burtejka

By:  Diane Benjamin I attended the Black-Sage-Schmidt Townhall meeting last night at the BCPA.  At most 30 citizens attended and many staff members.  The aldermen didn’t waste a lot of time going over what people already knew.  Most of the time was questions and answers, mostly about budget issues. One citizen asked why a NO […]

Last night’s greatest hits:

By:  Diane Benjamin Angela Scott continues to speak the truth the City doesn’t want to hear.  Note to Chief Heffner:  speaking truth isn’t a physical threat, people noticed. If you want to know what that last statement means, attend the next Council meeting and observe. Just hit play below to hear Angela. Fast forward to […]

Tari: H**l of a mess

By:  Diane Benjamin One more recap from Monday’s City Council meeting: VenuWorks recapped what they wanted to bring to the BCPA, including saving an estimated $200,000 a year in operations. VenuWorks has access to an email list of 409,000 people in Central Illinois to help promote shows VenuWorks has plans for new revenue including concessions […]

The 6 again

By:  Diane Benjamin During alderman comments at the end of last night’s Bloomington City Council meeting, Alderman Sage inquired about a request he submitted to put something on the agenda.  5 other alderman signed the request with him.  As the conversation progressed Sage became more emphatic, Renner attempted to dismiss  his request. Sage demanded a […]

Award Winning Aldermen comments

By:  Diane Benjamin From time to time even I am shocked by what comes out of the mouths of Aldermen during a City Council meeting.  I’m awarding TWO “Seriously?” awards from last night’s party.  Since the Special Meeting started at 5:00, I bet food was served.  It used to be announced, but it wasn’t listed […]

Magnificent Monday!

By:  Diane Benjamin The most interesting parts of tonight’s festivities by the Bloomington City Council won’t be the Council business at 7:00.  The pre-meeting David Sage led discussion of Renner’s PCard usage will be enlightening.  I wonder if anybody will ask why Tari still has a PCard? Will Sage ask Tari how this PCard lunch […]

Sage shows up, ’bout time

By:  Diane Benjamin David Sage decided to have an opinion last night, but the media probably missed it.  It didn’t happen during the regular meeting – it happened during aldermen comments before adjourning. What was Sage outraged about?  Moving the library!  He pulled the minutes of the joint Library/Council meeting in June (that wasn’t live […]

Why are structural deficits okay?

By:  Diane Benjamin Deficits are just fine with the Bloomington City Council  because they can tax you.  It doesn’t matter if you can’t afford it, they have needs – you have the money. Only David Sage realized that last night – years late, but better late than never.  He voted against hiring the Downtown Bloomington […]

Do laws matter?

By:  Diane Benjamin I’m not celebrating the State Police investigating Tari Renner’s use of a City PCard for a personal purchase.  Being investigated is not the same as being prosecuted.  We will find out if laws still matter, sometimes it’s hard to tell.  Illinois Constitution: Government officials and employees aren’t allowed to read the law […]

Council fun – Part 1

By:  Diane Benjamin New Alderman Jamison Mathy didn’t show up last night for the Bloomington City Council meeting.  As usual, nothing was said.  Everybody acted like it’s perfectly normal for an elected representative to be a no-show.  Unfortunately, his absence might have cost one family their property rights.  (stay tuned) Alderman Diana Hauman didn’t show […]

If demand mattered, the roads would get fixed!

By:  Diane Benjamin Only a tiny group of citizens want bike lanes.  Tari Renner ran for office twice pledging to fix the roads.  He obviously isn’t as serious as the people with damaged vehicles are. This is from 2015:  http://www.cityblm.org/government/departments/public-works/streets-sidewalks/street-resurfacing The table shows how much money per year is required just to have TERRIBLE STREETS. […]

Metro Zone – Normal is devastated

Note:  The meeting video is missing!  I will change the link when it’s available. Video is back – this time without Koos’ challenger on the opening screen.  Coincidence?   By:  Diane Benjamin Just hit play below to hear the Metro Zone discussion by the Normal Town Council last night.  Bloomington’s Mayor Tari Renner was there, […]

Boring predictable Council meeting

By:  Diane Benjamin Of course the TIF District passed last night 8-1.  Only Kevin Lower knows government doesn’t create economic development without taking your money to do it.  Free markets are dead in Bloomington.  I hear Giebelhausen is still planning a hotel for the Pantagraph building, not where the City wants one and not in […]

David Hales screw-ups

By:  Diane Benjamin Hales is frequently praised for pulling Bloomington back from the brink of disaster, but Tari Renner claimed he did it when he became mayor.  See his announcement for re-election.  Both believe taxing people to death creates prosperity.  For government it does, not so much for those not in or profiting from government.  […]

Must see slobber fest

By:  Diane Benjamin David Hales got his raise last night with only Alderman Lower voting no.  Lower stated Hales salary is not representative of the local economy and that other employees will expect the same raise.  Considering the Hales’ review took many Executive Sessions, I imagine Lower’s comments and probably more were expressed behind closed […]

More proof: Budget Task Force was a joke

By:  Diane Benjamin See Bills and Payroll for Monday night – the LAST page:  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=242&parent=9535 Remember how Bloomington was exposed in the Chicago Tribune paying massive penalties for allowing employees to SPIKE their pensions?  https://blnnews.com/2015/08/26/imrf-what-did-hales-know-and-when/ Remember when the Budget Task Force recommended fixing the problem but never did? Well, it just cost you another $122,735.32! […]

Gov employees too sweet to cut

By:  Diane Benjamin A long string of local golfers took the mic last night to sing the praises of the City employees managing the three Golf Course.  They urged the Council to pass the ordinance stating they were dropping any investigation of privatizing or selling any of the courses.  Yes, David Sage – the Budget […]

Where were Sage & Black

By:  Diane Benjamin The citizens elect Aldermen to represent them.  We could talk all day about who they really represent, but how can they represent the people when they don’t attend Council meetings? Last Monday Aldermen Sage and Black were absent.  No mention of the empty seats – 2 of 9.   The roll was […]

What do you choose?

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington held a Council work session last night to hear plans for downtown.  David Sage was absent.  Do you have a right to know why your elected representative wasn’t there?   9 people are going to decide the future of Bloomington, if any can’t attend a vital meeting, and you can’t hear […]

Joke: Budget Task Force

By:  Diane Benjamin Why is David Hales advising the Budget Task Force?  Didn’t he already have an opportunity to propose a budget that balanced, and he failed? Last night David Sage reported on how to squeeze taxpayers, sorry, I mean some of the recommendations of the committee. It’s more than obvious that Sage and Hales […]

Budget Task Force: Places to look

By:  Diane Benjamin Expecting Renner’s hand-picked budget task force to find cuts is laughable, so here’s some help for them:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=8482 Salaries make up the largest part of the budget, so obviously every job needs to be assessed for its contribution to the City.  Adding personnel in Administration just means employees discovering vital work to do that […]

Last night

By:  Diane Benjamin Thanks so much for the contributions!  My computer broke, now I can get it fixed.  It was a bad day yesterday made better by people who want information and are willing to stand up to the local abusive government.  For now I’m using an ancient laptop. It wasn’t a surprise that Alderman […]

They found the video!

By:  Diane Benjamin . Watch the public comment at the beginning of the meeting.  Deb Polzin was especially good, but some of the others were great too.  No wonder the video got lost for a while. The standing ovation for Judy Stearns and her comments after begin at 27:00.  See Sage sitting the entire time, […]

David Sage: Tax and spend, tax more

by:  Diane Benjamin Alderman David Sage was elected to the Bloomington City Council in 2007.  His job now is NOT to represent his Ward, it’s to run interference for Mayor Renner.  You wouldn’t know that unless you watch the Council meetings. How does he run interference?  He makes sure spending cuts can never be  discussed. […]

Bloomington: Who is hiding what?

by:  Diane Benjamin It was a dark Council that resumed open session last night after a much longer than scheduled Executive Session (Secret Meeting).  The air was tense, it wasn’t hard to read between the tenacious exchanges what was really happening.  David Hales lovers were playing CYA for him! I’ve reported before that employee morale […]

Follow-up to Truth Tari?

by:  Diane Benjamin The constituent involved in the email exchange with Tari Renner just sent me the entire email.  He did leave off some information at the top-but that information had nothing to do with the part I posted. Here’s the facts:   David Sage emailed Tari Renner and asked if the email on my […]

David Sage: So what are your cuts?

by:  Diane Benjamin Start watching the last Bloomington City Council meeting at 2:12:15.  Alderman David Sage says he has service cuts to propose, in fact he has been prepared all along to offer them.  What are they David?  Time is running out, the new budget has to be in place May 1st.  Send them to […]

Back when David Sage was a conservative . .

by:  Diane Benjamin 2008 is no longer on the City of Bloomington website, so this information is from a Pantagraph article dated 7/29/08. At the City Council meeting on the 28th, a vote was taken to hire Doug Farr Associates of Chicago to do a Downtown Bloomington plan.  One alderman was missing, so the vote […]

UN Flag Still an Issue

Update:  I’ve now learned the replacement flag was purchased by a citizen, not the City. by Diane Benjamin Numerous citizens have asked the Bloomington City Council to remove the UN Flag from the Council Chambers.  They have refused to openly discuss the issue, but privately they email each other. Here’s how they feel about the […]