Two things you need to know

By: Diane Benjamin 1) BN Advantage is back after mostly disappearing for years and a lot of tax dollars. The website is much better than years ago, contact information takes you to the EDC. Just Bloomington threw BN Advantage $423,867. Search BlnNews for more stories on BN Advantage. You might want to explore […]

Normal: What happened next

By: Diane Benjamin You have to watch the Kathleen Lorenz video in this story to understand Chris Koos wasn’t listening: Directly after Lorenz called for unity and better leadership Stan Nord made a Trustee comment. I hope Kathleen was paying attention to Chris Koos’ snide remark when Stan was finished. Kathleen: You saw first […]

The EDC’s shocking Cost of Living calculator:

By: Diane Benjamin The BN Economic Development Council should be using their own tools to improve Bloomington-Normal instead of supporting taxpayer subsidized housing in Normal. A calculator to compare the Cost of Living is right on their website: Did you know the Cost of Living is higher in Bloomington-Normal than other cities? Both Bloomington […]

Normal’s Conga line of miss-truths

By: Diane Benjamin Every time Normal wants something big they recruit local elites for Public Comment to praise the project. Last Monday was no exception. Former mayor Paul Harmon spoke both at the beginning of the meeting and the end. Patrick Hoban, the President and CEO of the local Economic Development Council was first up. […]

Renner will be gone, Koos MUST follow

By: Diane Benjamin Anybody remember BN Advantage? It was a huge collaboration of the unelected who got your money to operate. This story explains who: It would take a lot of research to figure out how much of your money was thrown to this group. This story shows $423,867 just from Bloomington: Where […]

Bloomington: Solid Waste 2.0 tonight

By: Diane Benjamin Committee of the Whole: Businesses are flocking to low tax states with limited regulations. Proving yet again companies have to be paid to locate in Illinois: Illinois is perfectly located to successful promote economic development without incentives. Standing in the way is Illinois government and the massive debt and unfunded liabilities. […]

What is up with the EDC?

By:  Diane Benjamin EDC is the Bloomington Normal Economic Development Council.  They get your tax money but are not subject to FOIA.  Bloomington cut their subsidy because of accountability. The President/CEO, Patrick Hoban, spoke at the joint the meeting of Bloomington, Normal, and McLean County held September 30, 2019. On this video at 5:40 Patrick […]

Elected representatives are immaterial

By:  Diane Benjamin At least they are in Normal! Remember how Mayor Koos shut down Stan Nord over expenses because bills listed have already been paid? Auditors make sure the numbers are in the right columns and the required footnotes and disclosures are included in financial statements. The don’t look for fraud and they certainly […]

EDC has a new director

By:  Diane Benjamin How many former Decatur people are going to recruited?  Tim Gleason, Billy Tyus, and now the new director of the Economic Development Council: Patrick Hoban gets the job.  At least he didn’t come directly from Decatur: Hoban has served as the economic development manager for the Village of Tinley Park since […]

What’s Bloomington paying for Monday?

By:  Diane Benjamin I hear public comment will be worth watching at this meeting.  Bring your own camera if you attend.  Film the Council instead of the speaker. Note this is ONLY for the hotel: What is BEDC?  BASIC Economic Development courses.  Was there a course on government getting out of the way to create […]

Lent and Economic Development

By:  Diane Benjamin Wednesday nights used to be off limits for school and government activities because many people attended church activities. “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to […]

$225,000 unaccountable

By:  Diane Benjamin At tonight’s City Council meeting BN Advantage will get $125,000.  That is in addition to the $100,000 currently paid to the Economic Development Council which happens to be part of BN Advantage. Confused? It’s not going to get any clearer since both organizations can not be FOIA’d. PDF page 277 This is […]

Your tax dollars at work

By:  Diane Benjamin Below is the group who traveled to see Rivian’s operations in Michigan.  On the couch are John McIntyre (County Board Chair), RJ Scaringe (Rivian), Kimberly Bray (Bloomington Council), and Barry Reilly (District 87).  Standing to the right is Kyle Ham (leaving the EDC at the end of April) and Don Knapp (County […]


By:  Diane Benjamin Pre Tari Renner the City of Bloomington didn’t have any staff doing economic development.   See the 2012 job titles HERE For the year ended 4/30/12, the Economic Development Council received $65,610.04 BN Advantage didn’t exist. Was Bloomington better or worse? Post Tari Renner – 2017 The City now has a full time […]

Down 9,000 in seven years

By:  Diane Benjamin WGLT interviewed an economist from the Economic Development Council.  Mike Doherty is the one that reported Bloomington-Normal has lost 9000 jobs in the last 7 years. He claims government has shrunk.  (Not Bloomington!)  He also attributed the decline to State Farm ending consulting contracts and Mitsubishi closing.  Then he blamed my personal favorite:  […]

Did Renner’s mouth kill potential?

By:  Diane Benjamin I received a tip that Tari Renner was under a non-disclosure agreement on the deal he revealed during his Town Hall meeting earlier this week. Renner proclaimed City leaders and the Economic Development Council are talking to a prosthetic limbs manufacturer about a factory here.  He also mentioned the jobs would pay […]

QUIT paying for Economic Development!

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington, Normal, and the County have been handing out your tax dollars to unaccountable agencies who claim they promote economic development and business retention. Peoria has their own version: When Logan County de-funded local economic development they kept this group. When I first looked at their website I found minutes of […]

De-funding Economic Development

By:  Diane Benjamin Woodford County is dropping how economic development has been funded: The Logan County Board will decide soon whether to cut all funding for their economic development council. Monday night Bloomington wants to go in the opposite direction. The council will hear presentation about funding BN Advantage and a Small Business […]

County should Defund the EDC

By:  Diane Benjamin What does the Economic Development Council do? Here’s their website: They have dinners and lunches, organize the One Voice trips to DC to beg for federal funds, and soak up a lot of money from both Bloomington and Normal. Last year McLean County budgeted $100,000 for the EDC.  For 2018 they dropped […]

What is Normal buying?

By:  Diane Benjamin Recap of spending Normal will approve tomorrow night: Normal agreed to pay for their employees to ride the bus, evidently those employees don’t want to ride the bus any more than the rest of the population does. What does the Economic Development Council do for $8000+ a month?  Don’t forget, they […]

Connect Transit tears

See this story for the totals: By:  Diane Benjamin I didn’t attend the Connect Transit meeting last night, but I have reports from people who did. Of course people spoke that rely on buses, but people also spoke about BUDGETING a $12,000,000 loss when the country and the State of Illinois both have no […]

Seriously Kyle Ham?

By:  Diane Benjamin The local (don’t question) paper is reporting the Enterprise Zone for parts of Bloomington, Normal, McLean County, Ford County and Gibson City has been approved by the State of Illinois. This will allow for a variety of tax breaks for businesses in the zone and those wanting to locate there.  Mitsubishi closing […]

One more One Voice DC pic

By:  Diane Benjamin 39 people from Bloomington-Normal went to DC to get money. THIRTY-NINE! 2016 Annual Washington D.C. Fly-In Details Date: Tuesday, March 1 – Thursday, March 3 Cost: $1550 per person. This includes hotel (2 nights), receptions, most cab fares and most meals. Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel Washington D.C. There are three projects we […]

One Voice DC trip pics

By:  Diane Benjamin The One Voice trip has a lot of local people in Washington DC this week begging for money. Here’s a pic of the group with Mark Kirk: Then listening to Dick Durbin: The next one is the most interesting! Who is Julie Hile? See this story: Hile was a speaker at […]