By: Diane Benjamin The meeting lasted a little of an hour. Tari wasn’t there because the internet was out at his house. Mboka Mwilambwe acted as mayor. Tim Gleason was also absent, nobody said why. Maybe he didn’t want to be present when they voted on his contract extension and raise – without any discussion. […]
By: Diane Benjamin Part 1: https://blnnews.com/2020/07/14/bloomington-last-night-3/ Tari wanted the Council to reappoint Ryan Whitehouse to the Connect Transit Board. Jenn Carrillo and Jeff Crabill were opposed because that wanted someone more closely aligned with their ideology. They lost. Whitehouse has now replaced Mike McCurdy as chair. The budget process this year is going to be […]
By: Diane Benjamin 5:05 – Jon Reed was the only public comment. Others emailed the Council. I believe public comment isn’t for the Council – it is for the public. Citizens will never know what other citizens said by emailing. Get on the phone people! Jon did a great job taking down Jenn Carrillo (while […]
h/t a reader – taken today:
By: Diane Benjamin Committee of Whole meeting 5/18 http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1076&Inline=True Alderman Mathy doesn’t understand people don’t want to pay for parking. That is why strip malls and other shopping options are where people go – not downtown. Mathy has 3 Council initiatives for the Council. They will vote Yes they want to hear more or NO […]
By: Diane Benjamin On the front page of the City of Bloomington website is a link to the Downtown Bloomington website: cityblm.org The first time I clicked on it I got an error message, the second time the website came up: http://downtownbloomington.org/ Next I clicked on Explore Downtown – then Shop. The site has directory […]
Caption this: Downtown Bloomington yesterday in front of the vacant Commerce Bank.
Tale of two cities, of course you know which one is which. How much did each cost? I hope both know! . . . . . . .
The buzz is CVS in downtown Bloomington is closing. Millions later, new roads, and downtown Bloomington continues to decline. What exactly is this person paid to do?
A reader sent this link: https://hibid.com/catalog/182487/102-s-east-st–bloomington–il/ An auction is underway until 9/23. The listing claims it is gutting and cleaned inside. By: Diane Benjamin Lovely “Welcome to Downtown Bloomington”. 102 S East. I can’t find the listing, but the property taxes will be sold for the second year on November 1st. Last year the taxes […]
By: Diane Benjamin Had enough of “Right Fit” yet? I remember Tari telling the Council they HAD to buy the Sugar Creek Packing property to keep anybody else from buying it. (Like anybody else was interested) $245,000 subverting capitalism. Tari bought the old Mennonite Hospital property so he could control who built there. When the […]
By: Diane Benjamin h/t a reader I hear the owners of the new restaurant downtown have renamed it from The Gypsy Room to The Mystic Kitchen & Tasting Room. If you remember, Jenn Carrillo took to social media demanding a name change because Gypsy is a racial slur. Leftist are always changing the meaning of […]
By: Diane Benjamin h/t a Reader I’ve been trying not to respond to the NUMEROUS comments on line about Bloomington parks not being mowed. We’ve had a lot of rain, but evidently a couple blocks downtown takes priority. The City has been busy reclassifying employees, many will get raises. They should be hiring public works […]
By: Diane Benjamin h/t a reader Remember the song by Cher: Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves? Remember the TLC show: My Big Fat American Gypsy wedding? Suddenly the far left has decided gypsy isn’t an acceptable word. It’s RACIST! This is on the Facebook page for Bloomington Normal Restaurant Scene announcing a new eatery downtown: It […]
This is a copy of an email from the company hired to lease space in the former State Farm building in downtown Bloomington: Brochure: 112Washington Mkt So who leased three floors? Somebody knows! (Just not me)
By: Diane Benjamin This picture was taken today. The event being advertised was 3 days ago. Worse, it looks like Illinois State University paid for it! Nobody in the private sector wants their name on a bus? So far only Downtown Bloomington, WGLT, and ISU want their names associated with Connect Transit!
By: Diane Benjamin In the latest show of support for the socialist Connect Transit redistribution of wealth, WGLT public radio has been joined by another government entity: At least one person is on the bus! Can we assume no private sector businesses want their name attached to this fleece of taxpayers? Speaking of public radio […]
By: Diane Benjamin Monday night the City Council got a long report from multiple City employees on what is happening downtown this summer. Your large garbage pickup got changed to twice a year, downtown will see garbage and recycling picked up 7 days a week. The streets will be swept twice a week. The Way […]
By: Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council is holding a Committee of the Whole meeting Monday. On the Agenda is: http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=21582 The circus continues with this next: This Board has heard ONE case since it was created, they found the police did nothing wrong. (Their investigation is a secret however) Do the residents around Orchard […]
By: Diane Benjamin Yesterday I took a road trip to downtown Decatur. Since Tim Gleason was hired to make Bloomington’s downtown like Decatur’s, I wanted to see what has been done there. Have you heard comments about matching awnings? Below are on two sides of office space. The windows are covered with closed blinds. Have […]
By: Diane Benjamin Taxing Tari has mentioned more than once that Tim Gleason has some “creative financing” ideas. This morning I think I figured out their game – at least part of it. We know they want to double the gas tax. We also know the entire amount raised won’t be spent on roads – […]
by: Diane Benjamin According to the City mouthpiece, Bloomington will double the local gas tax to $.08 for every gallon: https://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/road-weary-city-officials-eye-doubling-local-motor-fuel-tax/article_258321e6-928b-57d7-a1c0-ad250fb8e18b.html#tracking-source=home-breaking Another prediction: Somebody will say it’s only a few bucks. Quote: Here is what the mouthpiece forgot to add to the story: The $.04 a gallon Motor Fuel Tax was passed […]
By: Diane Benjamin 8 of the 9 aldermen heard an hour and a half recap of the proposed zoning changes last night. David Sage was absent, of course with no explanation. Most people don’t need to listen to 1 1/2 hours, it got much more interesting when the alderman got to ask questions. To hear […]
By: Diane Benjamin The proposed Zoning changes cover a lot of ground, but let’s start with downtown. Obviously everything the City does revolves around putting lipstick on this pig. This map is included in the documentation: http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=19954 The Purple proposed to be D2. The Green proposed to be D1 Light Blue proposed to be […]
By: Diane Benjamin The VenuWorks report is not the audited version, it is therefore immaterial. Time allowed for the presentation is 5 minutes, included will be the fictional economic impact of the arena. See PDF page 40: http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=19928 Financial information is on PDF page 39. The loss does not include depreciation on the building which […]
By: Diane Benjamin The short answer is because of the McLean County Regional Planning Commission. The MCRPC is an organization most citizens know nothing about. In 2013 a new executive director was hired: Vasudha P. Gadhiraju. The formerly conservative Commission took a hard turn to the left immediately after. According to the MCRPC website, 2013 is […]
By: Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council only had ONE meeting last night instead of 2 or 3. It didn’t help them not spend your money, but at least they only contemplated how to shovel out more. Of course, it was on downtown. More later. Jamie Mathy did not attend, so Ward 1 had no […]
By: Diane Benjamin Tonight Bloomington is holding a special meeting to talk about TIF’s. Again, they believe they can create prosperity with the “Right Fit”. Here’s the article they need to read: https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2018/6/18/running-government-as-a-business Excerpts: If you’ve been here with Strong Towns for any amount of time, you know the suggestion that, “the object of a […]
A reader sent this pic of the “test” changes going on downtown: Comments? . . . . . . . /
By: Diane Benjamin With the change to twice yearly bulk waste pickup, areas around downtown now look like this: The owner could call the City for pickup and pay $25 per bucket, or they can wait to be tagged by the City. The tagged mess still won’t be picked up immediately because the City is […]
When the City of Bloomington decided to hire the Downtown Bloomington Association staff because they could support themselves: They created ANOTHER empty space downtown: (read the awning)
By: Diane Benjamin Yesterday I toured the downtown core with a friend. If the pics below have spots blurred, it because a reflection was caught in the pic. My partner wishes to remain anonymous. The Core area is bordered by Front, East, Market, and Madison. It’s 12 square blocks. First, I was surprised by the […]
By: Diane Benjamin When taxpayer abuse is this blatant, it’s easy to see. Most abuse is much harder to find. This picture is from Google maps. Note the sidewalk is perfectly flat – this is along Front Street in front of Rosie’s. Now see this picture – again look at the sidewalk. TWO concrete planter […]
By: Diane Benjamin Tuesday night the Bloomington City Council is going to talk about TIF districts: http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17858 PDF page 209 Bloomington has a long history of projects that aren’t the “Right Fit”. Start with the Coliseum and the BCPA, both catalyst project that did nothing to revitalize downtown. Between the two, around $100,000,000 has been […]
By: Diane Benjamin The building below used to be the piano and music store: It has been vacant for quite a while even though the rent is cheap for such a large space. http://www.cityfeet.com/cont/listing/retail-space-for-lease/417-n-main-st-bloomington-il-61701/cs11356072 According to the County website, taxes on this building are $1,511.88 a year. http://mcleanil.devnetwedge.com/view/RE/21-04-189-003/2017 The building is owned by ZCV3 LLC. The […]
By: Diane Benjamin https://www.point2homes.com/US/Commercial-For-Sale/IL/Bloomington/Downtown-Bloomington/602604-N-Main/51134568.html The building is owned by downtown supporter Mike Manna. Is he fleeing? One caveat: The taxes listed are on a much lower Assessed Value: $93,787 http://mcleanil.devnetwedge.com/view/RE/21-04-178-016/2017 Multiply that by 3.33 and it is supposedly the value of the building. That would be $281,361. Is the asking price too high or the […]
When does the first person trip and sue? If the City doesn’t want to pay for stop lights, why aren’t they out-doing Normal with TWO roundabouts? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundabout Did a planter used to be in front of Rosie’s too? I heard one was there briefly! Can anyone confirm? .
By: Diane Benjamin Only you can stop the welcoming ordinance! . Show up or it will pass in the future! . . . . . _____________________________________ .http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17702 The Council is meeting at 5:00 only for an Executive Session (Secret Meeting): I’m betting the collective bargaining contract won’t ban pension spiking. The City needs to lead […]
By: Diane Benjamin YMCA, State Farm, and now Specs Around Town are just some businesses who have or will be leaving downtown Bloomington. City of Bloomington: Whatever you are doing is causing flight from downtown. Downtown is for bars, restaurants, lawyers, and government. Until Bloomington quits trying to make downtown something it isn’t, the few businesses […]