Kathleen Lorenz: Facts do matter

By: Diane Benjamin Problem identified: Kathleen’s facts are right, Stan Nord’s aren’t. Did Kathleen read this story? Her facts were WAY OFF! https://blnnews.com/2020/12/10/lorenz-how-about-not-believing-everything-you-are-told/ Kathy didn’t do any better in an interview with Cities 92.9. She was there to counter an interview Stan Nord did previously. You can listen to it here: https://www.cities929.com/david-paul-blumenshine/ The first topic […]

Debt: Normal vrs Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin As of 3/31/18 Normal had total debt of $89,823,286.  $88,125,000 won’t be paid off until 2041.  Interest rates range from 2.00% to 6.30%. Source As of 4/30/18 Bloomington had total debt of $242,010,034.  $57,095,000 won’t be paid off until 2035.  The interest rates aren’t listed.  $173,646,119 is liabilities for pensions and associated […]

Where does the Pantagraph get their numbers?

By:  Diane Benjamin https://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/years-after-debt-free-milestone-normal-stands-by-uptown-spending/article_3fc56076-8d9b-5367-9899-4af94445ed20.html#tracking-source=home-top-story The Pantagraph ran this cute story about Normal on Tuesday.  Quote from the article: Question: Does Normal not know how much debt they are in, or is the Pantagraph making up numbers? Town of Normal – Comptroller This is the debt reported as of March 31, 2018 to the Illinois Comptroller’s […]

Like Debt?

By:  Diane Benjamin See this story from December 2, 2017   https://blnnews.com/2017/12/02/normal-tossing-money-yours/ Bond payments look like they are made twice a year. On the agenda for Monday night:  Interest payments of $1,541,388.73     http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2973 In December the interest payments totaled $1,628,761.92 That’s a decrease of $87,373.19 Total debt is decreasing slowly – it was $92,320,992 at […]

How bad are Normal’s finances?

By: Diane Benjamin What we do know: The freshman class this year at ISU was down 9.3%     https://blnnews.com/2017/09/07/numbers-lie/ State Farm has cut employees and is cutting more Normal has a budget deficit (local media reports) The Normal Library has decided not to build new – the library WAS the centerpiece of Uptown 2.0  (local […]

Normal: Found in the financial statements

By:  Diane Benjamin If the Comptroller’s office ever does their job, comprehensive TIF reports will be available.  So far they don’t have the software completed to allow entry of information.  Information from 3/13/17 for Normal and 4/30/17 for Bloomington isn’t complete. Normal’s 3/31/17 financial statements: http://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/12750 PDF page 30: The Uptown TIF Fund reported a […]

Normal: It’s the Council’s fault!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal is pretending pension expenses are mandated by the State and they can’t afford them without raising Property Taxes. Somehow the Police and Fire pensions have been seriously underfunded for years.  IMRF retirements have been funded above the 80% level since 2013, think Mark Peterson’s retirement, while in 2016 […]

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 […]

Town of Normal Debt

By:  Diane Benjamin As of 3/31/17 PDF page 41:  http://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/12750 Yes the citizens still owe $87,783,723 for Koos’s Uptown dreams. Police pensions are only 51.76% funded (PDF Page 129) Fire pensions are only 55.53% funded (PDF Page 130) That is why citizens are on the hook for $56,106.352 just for these two pension funds.  Obviously the guys […]

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 […]

Normal: Less than 18 years ago

By:  Diane Benjamin Chris Koos has been mayor of Normal since 2003.  Voters claim to want term limits – isn’t 14 years enough time to enact one? More reasons exist to dump Koos though.  At the end of FY 2016, the Town was $99,974,191 in debt!  Almost $100 MILLION!  The population reported to the State […]

Normal: QUIT sleeping!

By:  Diane Benjamin Chris Koos CAN’T stop spending your money.  A new library is on the way, not for books – he’s creating a social and fun club and expecting all of you to participate.  Think Uptown events.  Government controls your life – you aren’t allowed to make independent decisions because he is abolishing capitalism.  […]

Normal’s DEBT!

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night Normal voted to waste more taxpayer money on consultants.  They already know they want an expensive underpass, but they are spending $1.4 million+ on another study anyway. As of March 31, 2016:  http://warehouse.illinoiscomptroller.com/LandingPage.cfm?code=064/095/31&searchtype=allunits&originalSearchString=Normal%20-%20a%20Town%20in%20Mclean%20County%20-%20064/095/31&CFID=11824458&CFTOKEN=2f4040be3c789a16-9F1393A4-5056-93B5-5E7A726C9A88D866 From the link above – click View Data – Indebtedness 2014 Total Debt:  $86,788,630 2015 Total Debt:  […]

Normal: Sleeping into Slavery

By:  Diane Benjamin Some regimes hold their populations hostage at gun point, other do it with debt.  Normal is using debt for your entertainment. The Town must not appreciate their public safety personnel.  If you missed it, police and fire pensions are seriously underfunded while the staff has plenty of room to collect their retirements.  […]

Tonight’s debt explosion

By:  Diane Benjamin The only Regular Agenda item tonight for the Bloomington City Council is the race to debt.  (Capital Improvement Plan) For decades essential spending on roads, sewers, pensions, and maintenance have been neglected for “Quality of Life” items. Now, in an obvious election year proposal, the Council will debate borrowing money to fix […]

Coliseum BLEEDING Bloomington taxpayers

by:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington issued a Press Release stating the Coliseum has an Operating Loss for the first 6 months of the fiscal year of $300,848.  The great news is they expected $43,603 more!  Remember, the building isn’t paid for.  that’s another $2,000,000 a year. Does Mayor Renner or the rubber stamp […]

HUD doesn’t pay it’s bills in McLean County

by:  Diane Benjamin The second installment of Real Estate Taxes was due in September, so don’t blame the shutdown. McLean County has 10 tax delinquent properties in McLean County where the bill is sent to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.  So much for that AAA credit rating.  The bills total $23,373.87. Luckily, the […]

City of Bloomington: Finances

From page 179 of the Annual Financial Report: Debt per Capita (Citizen) 2012   $1,307.07 2011   $ 1,214.69 2010  $ 1,276.32 Finances getting better?  Yes, but at who’s expense? From page 180: General Bond Debt In 2003 bond Debt Outstanding per Capita  $ 325.60 In 2012 bond Debt Outstanding per Capita   $ 887.16 It […]

Debt WILL destroy the country

by:  Diane Benjamin Below is the amount of interest paid per year by the federal government-per the Treasury Department website: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/ir/ir_expense.htm Debt figures are inflation adjusted: http://home.adelphi.edu/sbloch/deficits.html The Interest Rate paid (APR) was estimated based on the amount paid and total debt.          Interest paid         Total Debt     […]

Go Off the Cliff

by:  Diane Benjamin No matter what happens, the GOP is going to be blamed.  What they do is immaterial to the truth.  Harry Reid today said they have no conscience.  Reid fails to mention the bills he has on his desk the House passed, but he fails to bring up for debate.  I thought the country […]

More on Thompson Prison

by Diane Benjamin Conveniently, now that the Feds own an empty prison, Sen. Barbara Boxer is lamenting the lack of space in current Federal prisons to house the Gitmo detainees.  Even though there is currently a law against bringing the prisoners here, a second Obama administration will surely turn Illinois into Gitmo north. Source:  http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/05/24/boxer-worried-about-transferring-gitmo-detainees/ That isn’t […]

IL: State’s debt equals $55K for every private-sector worker, report says

By Jayette Bolinski | Illinois Watchdog http://watchdog.org/57850/il-states-debt-equals-55k-for-every-private-sector-worker-report-says/ SPRINGFIELD — Every private-sector employee in Illinois would have to pony up more than $55,000 each to pay for all of the state’s accrued debt, according to a new analysis. Illinois has $271.1 billion worth of debt, among the worst states in terms of total debt, according to a report […]

What Hath Government Wrought?

Biggest problems facing the country: (in no particular order) massive debt illegal immigration high unemployment high energy prices housing crisis healthcare costs What do they all have in common? Government CAUSED them! massive debt – obvious, we are adding over $1 Trillion of debt a year illegal immigration – Federal government has failed it’s duty […]

You Didn’t Build That!

by C Steven Tucker For those of you who STILL do not UNDERSTAND why EVERY American Small Business owner, Entrepreneur and tax PAYER should be OFFENDED by the comments Barack Obama made in the video below. Let me see if I can rectify your delusions. Ready? Here we go. Barack Obama is a Marxist. He […]