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 […]

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 […]

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: Number SEVEN

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 & 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, […]

Madigan too busy

By:  Diane Benjamin Some points of law are never settled because government refused to act.  Lisa Madigan’s Public Access office is doing just that. Remember many years ago when Judy Stearns filed a complaint against Tari Renner for violating the Open Meetings Act?  It was right after he got elected.  He decided winning an election […]

Bloomington got lucky – for now (kidding)

No – you aren’t safe.  Evidently everybody can’t attend, so they changed the meeting from Committee of the Whole to Special Meeting.   By:  Diane Benjamin Mayor-Developer Renner just can’t stop creating his version of utopia in Bloomington.  He’s the king of paying people (with your money) to create economic development.  The local, state, and […]

David Hales gets a raise!

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night: That’s a 2.3% increase. Yep, the structural deficit worsens because government employees get what the people paying the bills don’t. Last year Hales earned $239,274.54 when benefits are added to his base pay.  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=21&parent=5443 I wonder what the vote was.  Considering many recent Closed Sessions (Secret Meetings) have featured “personal” […]

Yep, It was a joke

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember the Budget Task Force?  Remember how they were looking for places to cut? GOLF won’t be one of them.  On the Agenda for Monday night it this: There was a Citizen’s Summit.  A Budget Task Force.  Budget hearings. What did citizens get? A proposed budget that spends another $20,560,849, only an […]