Update: Remember the Executive Session Stan Nord wasn’t allowed to attend by phone?

Update: PDF page 87 got fixed. Everything else still applies however: By: Diane Benjamin Review this story for details: https://blnnews.com/2022/09/09/village-of-normal-discriminates-against-stan-nord/ And this story: https://blnnews.com/2022/09/20/breaking-news-the-truth-about-stan-nord-and-the-executive-session/ Below is the original notice of this meeting – it was held on a Friday, not after a regular meeting like usual. https://www.normalil.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4416 Jump to the documents for Monday’s meeting: https://www.normalil.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4557 […]

Is Normal getting sued? Suing?

By: Diane Benjamin Executive Sessions (secret meetings) are usually held after a regular Council meeting. Normal called a special meeting for today with no Council meeting: Even though there isn’t a law that says Council members can’t talk about what is going on after this meeting they probably won’t. They like secrets. Whatever is going […]

Tari Renner and Council still guilty

By: Diane Benjamin Remember when the Attorney General’s Public Access office found Bloomington guilty of violating the Open Meetings Act concerning the Metro-Zone agreement with Normal? https://blnnews.com/2017/06/07/laws-are-immaterial/ That was in 2017. The City of Bloomington appealed the decision, the Circuit Court ruled in their favor, but the Appellate Court just reversed that decision: See the […]

Parting gift: Tari guilty of another OMA violation

By: Diane Benjamin WGLT reported yesterday Bloomington was found guilty of violating the Open Meetings Act in 2017 for discussing ending the Metro Zone agreement with Normal in secret. The Attorney General had previously ruled it illegal, according to the article the current ruling reversed a lower court ruling. https://www.wglt.org/post/appeals-court-bloomington-violated-open-meetings-act Besides the fact Justice Delayed […]

Only in Normal – Part 2

By: Diane Benjamin Part 1: https://wordpress.com/post/blnnews.com/87480 The biggest problem in Normal is: Who is running the Town. The Council has been told them can’t discuss payments because all of them are in the budget. Slush funds, like the City Manager’s, aren’t listed individually in the budget but still can’t be discussed when they appear on […]

Bloomington Council: Transparency joke PLUS cannabis Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin The Council held an Executive Session on December 9th to review minutes of previous Executive Sessions.  Review is required by the Open Meetings Act.  The cabal then votes on what minutes no longer need to be kept confidential. See PDF page 46:  http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1052&Inline=True The Council voted to keep minutes that are 24 […]

Liars lie – More lack of Transparency

By:  Diane Benjamin I really hope the Bloomington City Council realizes how foolish they were tolerating David Hales management of the City for over 8 years.  Keep in mind they heaped praise on him and lavish raises while Council meetings dragged on and on with little being accomplished. Last night’s Council meeting was 45 minutes […]

Bloomington: Tonight’s Council

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 […]

Court: No justice

By:  Diane Benjamin In January I told you I had filed a lawsuit against the Town of Normal for a 3 1/2 hour Executive Session.  A check had been written to a consultants for more than $5000 labeled “planning session”.  Details here:  https://blnnews.com/2018/01/31/normal-investigated-and-sued/ Thursday was the first court date, Judge Foley dismissed the case.  Even though […]

Who is the leaker?

By:  Diane Benjamin On January 23rd WGLT had an intriguing story.  I was hoping some other media cared or WGLT would do a followup because it left too many questions unanswered. See the story here:  http://wglt.org/post/emails-prosecutors-declined-citys-request-closed-session-coliseum-case According to the story, WGLT got their hands on some emails between Bloomington attorney Jeff Jurgens and the State’s Attorney office.  […]

Normal: Investigated and sued

By:  Diane Benjamin The Attorney General’s Public Access office is investigating the Town of Normal for a meeting they held on January 18th.  No agenda was posted for this meeting.  That is a violation of the Open Meetings Act because the public was not notified this meeting was going to take place. The only information […]

Unit 5 – story corrections

By:  Diane Benjamin The spontaneous Executive Session was not held on November 13th, it was held on November 8th at the end of a regular meeting.  It was held in response to some disgruntled parents. The Board briefly recessed, hopefully not to discuss whether to hold an Executive Session.  Holding any discussions outside of a […]

Unit 5: You work for those paying the bills!

By:  Diane Benjamin The next School Board meeting is January 10th, 7:00 pm at Chiddix Junior High, 300 S Walnut St, in Normal.   Website See the Unit 5 Public Comment policy HERE Public Comment at every meeting of a Public Body is LAW.  It’s called the Open Meetings Act.  If you read Unit 5’s Public Comment policy […]

Fleece, but be Transparent

By:  Diane Benjamin The taxpayers of Bloomington have been abused by their chicken government.  I’m talking about pension spiking.  It’s bad enough taxpayers with no pensions are forced to pay for the retirements of highly paid city employees.  It’s worse when they are allowed to increase their retirements at your expense when it’s easily avoidable. […]

Normal: Your government is FIXED

By:  Diane Benjamin The citizens of Normal probably already knew “outsiders” aren’t allowed to participate in their government, how many Trustees have quit during their term so the Mayor could appoint a replacement?  The last Mayor did the same thing so incumbents have an edge in the next election.  I expect Chris Koos to do […]

What David Hales never checked-CIAM

By:  Diane Benjamin The 10 year agreement with CIAM to manage the Coliseum contained numerous paragraphs granting the City rights to everything happening at the Coliseum.  Tari Renner, David Hales, and the Council either never read the agreement or are lying because they failed to protect taxpayers from John Butler and company. See the agreement […]

Hilarious Jason Chambers

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday’s paper had a front-page story concerning a filing by Jason Chamber’s office with the Attorney General for Open Meeting Act violations.  He has been waiting 17 months for a determination.  The story claims his office can only prosecute violations for 18 months. First, Welcome to our world Jason!  The request filed […]

Normal meets for THIRTEEN MINUTES!

By:  Diane Benjamin Actually the City Council meeting lasted 13:26 minutes, that included 2 public comments – Ron Ulmer and Marc Tiritilli. Guess what got about SEVEN SECONDS before a vote was taken? Normal has such severe financial issues they are offering early retirements to cut expenses and there is no discussion?  Start watching the […]

Liar Liar

By:  Diane Benjamin We have an A+ rating from the Illinois Policy Institute for transparency. – Tari Renner Did is more applicable Tari. Proof:  The Attorney General found Renner and the WHOLE Council guilty of violating the Open Meetings Act by discussing Metrozone in secret.  They were ordered to release the audio of the meeting […]

Zero Transparency, ISU, and more

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bills and Payroll the Council approved for payment last night have never been posted on the City website:  http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-500 I wonder if the council was given a paper version or if they just approved spending without knowing what the voted on?  Keep in mind – these are the same people who […]

Laws are immaterial

By:  Diane Benjamin The ruling by the Attorney General’s Public Access office against the City of Bloomington is completely meaningless.  Read the entire ruling here:  17-004 The only penalty for the Bloomington City Council violating the Open Meetings Act by holding an illegal Executive Session is: The tape of the meeting must be released The […]

Do laws matter? Who knows

By:  Diane Benjamin I filed yet another Request for Review with the Attorney General’s office asking them to investigated the Executive Session where the Council decided to disband Metro Zone.  The conversations should have taken place in public, not behind closed doors.  The City claimed “Probably Litigation” as the excuse for holding a secret meeting […]

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, […]

Renner’s Big Mouth

By:  Diane Benjamin Is the Metro Zone fight between Bloomington and Normal REAL, or a campaign stunt? I’m leaning toward real. Side Note: Normal’s budget for 2016-2017 was more than $120 MILLION.  The estimated $1.2 million Normal would lose from Metro Zone represents 1% of their total budget.  The Normal Town Council had no problem […]

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 […]

Why the Bloomington Council needs DUMPED!

By:  Diane Benjamin A few meetings ago the Council voted to release some Executive Session minutes.  I FOIA’d what they agreed to release.  See what I received here:  foia-exec-sessions Executive Sessions are their very frequent SECRET meetings to discuss the City Manager’s Salary, land purchases, lawsuits, and contract negotiations. Discussions pertaining to TOM HAMILTON who […]

Small things should matter!

By:  Diane Benjamin Government dreams big, of course with your money.  They don’t have to be responsible, thanks to the media who covers for them. Diana Hauman filed to run for mayor yesterday, but didn’t attend the Council meeting.  You can see all the petitions filed here:   http://www.becvote.org/wordpress/electiondatesandoffices/petitions-filed/ Do details matter?  Diana Hauman turned […]

Pre-meeting food fest and more

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight’s festivities of the Bloomington City Council start with feeding themselves.  3 meetings are scheduled so the main event at 7:00 doesn’t waste time discussing the issues.  It’s much easier to pass the new tax levy when the discussion already took place earlier. Meeting #1 – Executive Session (secret meeting) The City […]


UPDATE:   Another agenda for a 5:00 meeting was posted sometime yesterday.  Releasing the transcript may be approved then.     By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night will make the SEVENTH Council Meeting since the Attorney General requested release of the transcript and audio from the illegal Executive Session (Secret meeting) that violated the Open Meetings […]

It’s always the cover up (James & Renner)

By:  Diane Benjamin Mayor Mike James of Downs has a lot in common with Bloomington’s Mayor, Tari Renner. Both had a chance to not have situations explodes, but both chose to pretend nothing happened. Mary Goveia set up a meeting with James to discuss Adkissons liquor problems, he never showed.  He must have thought Mary […]

Stearns response to Renner – Part 2

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I posted the 2nd email Tari Renner sent to Judy Stearns, but I didn’t post Judy’s response.  See this post:  https://blnnews.com/2016/07/13/renner-emails-judy-again/ The original email exchange started here:  https://blnnews.com/2016/07/13/renner-hauman-running-scared/ As a review, here is Tari’s 2nd email: Here is Judy’s response: The next Council meeting could get interesting! Maybe Tari can explain […]

Renner emails Judy AGAIN!

Tomorrow I will print Judy’s response!   By:  Diane Benjamin Tari is a slow learner!  See previous post:  https://blnnews.com/2016/07/13/renner-hauman-running-scared/ Below is his latest email to Judy: Let me help you Tari: REDACTED 201606131459-1 Below are pages 2,3 and 4 with a lot of BLACK AREAS. That’s what has been kept from the public! There’s a […]

Renner & Hauman running scared!

This story has two updates: https://blnnews.com/2016/07/13/renner-emails-judy-again/ https://blnnews.com/2016/07/14/stearns-response-to-renner-part-2/   By:  Diane Benjamin After Judy Stearns reamed out most of the Council Monday night, Alderman Hauman and Mayor Renner had to attack her via email. Note:  When Judy was on the Council she refused to give me emails under some belief that she shouldn’t.  Now she’s free […]

Mayor – Judy Stearns face off again

By:  Diane Benjamin Former Alderwoman Judy Stearns spoke during public comment last night.  Mayor Renner broke HIS own rules and responded to her comments.  Since he responded, so do she, at which time he called her out-of-order. Stearns was there to talk about the majority of the Council not representing the citizens of Bloomington.  She […]

Tonight: Bloomington City Council

By:  Diane Benjamin Mr. Tompkins resigned from the Liquor Commission several months ago.  A number of citizens have documented numerous violations of the Open Meetings Act by the three members during the time Tompkins served.  The other two members are Renner and James Jordan.  Until these violations are resolved, we feel Tompkins isn’t qualified to […]

Friday special meeting:

By:  Diane Benjamin The agenda screw-up from last Monday will be fixed Friday at a special meeting of the Bloomington City Council.  They aren’t approving just one liquor license, they are approving two! Of course, approving the release of the verbatim audio and written account of the illegal Executive Session isn’t on the agenda. On […]

UPDATE: Not transparent Tari

  A special 3 minute meeting was just called for later this week.  Put approval on that agenda Tari! By: Diane Benjamin The last time the City Council looked at their Secret Meeting minutes, as required by law, they refused to release the old City Manager Tom Hamilton’s performance reviews.  In other words, people still […]

Dear Award-Winning Mayor Transparency

Tari, It’s wonderful that the Illinois Policy Institute rated Bloomington’s website 100% on their 10 point scale.   It’s great that citizens can see information without filing FOIA requests. But that’s just a website Tari, and only 10 things IPI thinks are important. You now have the opportunity to prove you are really transparent.  (Of course, […]

Renner is GUILTY

Re-posted only to change how it was originally posted. By:  Diane Benjamin The Attorney General finally ruled on the Open Meetings Act Violation filed in 2013 by then Alderwoman Judy Stearns! A couple of weeks I wrote about Madigan’s failure to rule and asked readers to call.  https://blnnews.com/2016/05/19/madigan-too-busy/ I know at least a few of […]