Coliseum – FOIA denied

By:  Diane Benjamin While I was reading a mountain of stories from before the Coliseum was built, I saw mention of the City obtaining insurance to protect them from fraud or theft involving the management company. I filed this FOIA request: My request was denied in full. The interesting part is the reason given for […]

Atlanta Library: FOIA exposure

By:  Diane Benjamin The Freedom of Information Act clearly states the personal information can be redacted.  Employees have a right to not have their Social Security thrown around the Internet! The Atlanta Public Library doesn’t understand that simple concept.  The following was sent to a citizen who FOIA’d wages paid.  That citizen partially redacted the […]

UPDATED: MUST see video

By:  Diane Benjamin The media used to be the government watchdogs.  They no longer are.  It is now the job of citizens to hold their government accountable.  If we don’t, government will destroy us with taxes, regulations, and tyranny. The video below is from the Village of Wheeling.  One resident has taken it upon herself […]

Why is BN Advantage a secret group?

By:  Diane Benjamin BN Advantage was formed in 2015.  Their mission is to get all the players together for collaboration on economic development strategy. The Bloomington Council approved the formation in October 2015, see this doc:  BN Advantage  I’m sure other area governments passed the same type resolution. Temporarily forget the fact that government doesn’t […]

UPDATE: Another Bloomington FOIA failure

Today I got this response: Obviously there is no reason why this lame response couldn’t have been given within the 5 days allowed by law. The Grove information came from this document dated February 2015:  http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=12052 Since many more houses have been built at the Grove since 2015 – Tari is relying on old information. […]

Carol Stream government employee!

By:  Diane Benjamin The first person to be banned from commenting on this site is a lady named Regina Boe.  She is employed by the Carol Stream Library, she’s far from local.  Regina was banned because she has no interest in having a conversation , she simply spouts left-wing talking points.  If she is proved […]

Bloomington Fails FOIA

By:  Diane Benjamin This isn’t the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last for the City of Bloomington employees to not care about the law.  Lavish salary and benefits frequently make people think they aren’t answerable to the people who make both happen.  Bloomington employees feel entitled to secrecy and therefore do […]

Open letter to the Bloomington Council

By:  Diane Benjamin Go ahead and pretend you have a mandate. 4644 people voted AGAINST Tari Renner Jamie Mathy only won by 319 votes, more than that voted against him. Close to half the people in Ward 3 voted AGAINST Mboka Mwilambwe Joni Painter only won by 97 votes The guy ineligible to serve from […]

VenuWorks under investigation?

By:  Diane Benjamin I filed this Freedom of Information request with the City of Bloomington: I saw reference to this report in the last batch of emails I FOIA’d. Note:  This request was denied. This is the reason given for the denial: So, one of these is true: The City is so used to denying […]

Bloomington needs to know what transparency is

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington included a newsletter with October Water/Sewer/Garbage bills.  You can see it here:  HERE There are a number of problems with the newsletter.  I wonder whose job it is to put it together and include it with the bills.  The Communications Director? First, the newsletter sent in October is […]

More Coliseum Fraud

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s old news now that VenuWorks fired the Coliseum Manager.  VenuWorks found the fraud, the City of Bloomington never would have.  They completely ignored the old management and never blinked when the audited financial statements showed MUCH bigger loses than CIAM ever did. Of course, the City never checked to see if […]

Bloomington finally gets it

By:  Diane Benjamin Scrolling through the documentation for tonight’s Bloomington City Council meeting, I found this on Page 47:   http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=11280 This section is included on a contract to purchase water purification chemicals.  Yes, the Freedom of Information law applies to contractors! My lawsuit against the City was based on this statement. The City is now […]

AG: Pending cases against Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin The Public Access division of the Attorney General’s office was designed to hold government accountable and give citizens a voice. As with Judy Stearns’ case against the City for violating the Open Meetings Act, justice can take years of mostly no action. I lost count of how many Request for Reviews have […]

Now for the Court Update!

By:  Diane Benjamin Ever heard of lawyers dragging on a case hoping you quit? I dragged it on long enough for CIAM quit! Brief recap: I filed the lawsuit when it became obvious the City NEVER checked to see if concession revenue at the Coliseum was paid according to the contract.  It was also apparent […]

Court update

By:  Diane Benjamin Come back tomorrow.  I REALLY don’t feel like writing now.  It’s complicated. (that doesn’t mean bad) Tomorrow will also have a totally unrelated surprise.  

ANOTHER Court update

By:  Diane Benjamin The next court date is Monday, April 25 – 9:30 am.  Same courtroom as last time if you want to attend – 5D Judge Lawrence will decide whether the amended motion I filed is enough to proceed to a hearing.  If he rules against me the citizens of Bloomington will never know […]

Big Project

By:  Diane Benjamin I haven’t been writing much because I am working on a BIG project.  It will take filing Freedom of Information requests, so don’t expect the result very soon.  Losing power for many hours yesterday didn’t help! Meanwhile, my research has led to other questions.  I could use some help.  Anybody have some […]

Bloomington: Your Budget Task Force

By:  Diane Benjamin City Manager David Hales isn’t capable of producing a balanced budget.  (Maybe he needs more than $200,000+ a year) The Council that you elected isn’t allowed to produce a balanced budget. Instead, Mayor Transparency hand-picked people he wanted to write a balanced budget:   http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=607  Position Name Term Exp    Member – Alderman Sage, David 9/30/2015 […]

More throwing YOUR money around

By:  Diane Benjamin I’d love to know what this is, but last Monday I hear some Council members wanted the legislators to change the Freedom of Information Act Law so staff doesn’t have to answer them.  I hear Bill Brady told them to be more transparent if they didn’t want FOIA requests, that probably died […]

Court tomorrow 9:00 am UPDATE

The judge ruled the City of Bloomington has to pay my court costs – $271.  She did not make them pay all the incidental costs I incurred. Botton Line:  The City of Bloomington was found guilty of violating the Freedom of Information Act.   _____________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin If you are downtown tomorrow morning, come […]

Need comedy? Read the Pantagraph!

By:  Diane Benjamin Editorials written by un-named Pantagraph staff continue to be a source for giggles.  Everything written in today’s could pertain to the City of Bloomington, but the writer fails to make the connection.  Since critical thinking about local elected officials is foreign to their staff, they missed the obvious. Today the anonymous writer […]

Lawsuit filed

You want the potted plants to make a decision Tari?

by:  Diane Benjamin From an article in today’s Pantagraph – Professor Mayor Tari Renner: You do attend the Council meeting Tari, right?  Have you noticed that any Council member who questions what is presented is vilified, or at least cut off?  Did you notice the empty pots vote for whatever they are told to vote […]

Explanation of strange letter

by:  Diane Benjamin More than a few of you noticed something strange with the following letter I received from the City of Bloomington.  Note who was COPIED – bottom left corner.  I asked the City for an explanation, their email is below. Diane: I received your inquiry regarding this FOIA (emails Mayor/Council from Dec. 25 […]

Health department to pay $1,000 to watchdog group, admit FOIA violations

Thu, 09/19/2013 – 5:03pm | Will Brumleve WATSEKA — The Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department will be required to pay more than $1,000 to a nonprofit watchdog group — and acknowledge that two officials violated the Freedom of Information Act — as conditions of settling two lawsuits filed by the group over the agency’s denial of requests for […]

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