Pantagraph prints propaganda

By:  Diane Benjamin The local purveyor of government propaganda has reported VenuWorks lost $674,000 in the 7 months since they took over. The only reason this story is out now is because Tuesday night the Coliseum Executive Director will make a presentation to the Council. _______________________________________________________________________ Side note:  This is also Tuesday’s agenda: 2017 ends […]

What is Bloomington paying tonight?

By:  Diane Benjamin Eating at your expense and more: City Council Exp Arkansas Flag And Bann $ 100.96 8/15/2016 Banner pole for use by City Council City Council Exp Station 220 Inc $ 46.00 8/1/2016 Business lunch T.Renner & C.Koos City Council Exp Chipotle $ 14.95 8/2/2016 Business lunch T.Renner & M.Mwilambwe City Council Exp […]

For the Pantagraph:

By:  Diane Benjamin Back on December 20, 2013, the Pantagraph thought a sitting Alderwoman filing a complaint against Tari Renner, David Hales, and the rest of the Council was a big story:  http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/alderman-stearns-alleges-open-meetings-act-violation/article_5b8974e2-6916-11e3-986a-001a4bcf887a.html How about reporting on what happened? Start by hammering Lisa Madigan for taking more than two years to issue a determination!  The […]

Internet Back – Sad for the City!

By:  Diane Benjamin I remember listening to David Hales on WJBC talking about Bloomington’s budget.  He lamented everything possible had already been cut.  Any more cuts wouldn’t be fat or meat – it would be bone. Well, a citizen took it on himself to get a DETAILED line item budget.  Thanks Bruce Meeks.  The Council […]

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 […]

Bloomington Taxpayers liable

By:  Diane Benjamin Of course the Bloomington City Council passed everything Tari Renner wanted last night.  It’s all going to be great.  Public Comment was stacked with former officials and friends of government who proclaimed the $1,400,000 land purchase brilliant, the east side TIF brilliant, and the downtown hotel brilliant.  Except for the one guy […]

2015 eating & traveling on YOU

By: Diane Benjamin Last night David Hales revealed his proposed budget with HUGE increases in spending.  If the Council has a death wish they will pass it as proposed.  History says the Council will tell David Hales to cut it.   Hales already has the cuts lined up, citizens are being played.  The Council just […]

Hales confirmed it

By:  Diane Benjamin David Hales confirmed last night the City will be extending the Coliseum Management Contract with the failures managing it now. Revenue is millions away from what citizens were told to expect.  Profits don’t pay any of the bond payments – citizens do with higher Sales Taxes.  Reports from before the Coliseum was […]

$$$$Hales$$$$Tari$$$$

By:  Diane Benjamin David Hales is bemoaning taking $1.4 million from the General Fund to cover services because the fees charged aren’t high enough to cover the costs. News Flash:  You weren’t fooling anybody when you hired yet another consultant to exam the City’s fees! $1,400,000 The General Fund is $94,553,780.  That $1.4 mil is […]

The saddest taxpayer moment from last night

By:  Diane Benjamin Besides the two aldermen who didn’t care enough about their constituents (Painter/Hauman) to actually attend the Bloomington City Council meetings, one other moment proved the complete incompetence of government.  Government uses your money, so logic, common sense, and fiscal responsibility don’t need to be deployed. Back in July of 2014 the Council […]

Pantagraph: Research YOURSELF!

By:  Diane Benjamin Oh, I forgot the Pantagraph doesn’t do investigative reporting.  Printing ridiculous statements from Tari Renner and David Hales is better?  For who?  Your bottom line?  The story today proves the Pantagraph is the last place to get news! David Hales claims to have investigated the accelerated payments problem for Sick Leave Buy […]

Make them look you in the eye!

Note:  Share this post with your friends.  The media isn’t going to tell them the truth! By:  Diane Benjamin Poor Mayor Koos.  Normal can’t steal more money from you unless Bloomington votes to steal more too. The media is allowing Renner to lie to you! Hey Tari:  Why are tax receipts to date UP 3.9% […]

Fox Creek Road-Taxes at work!

By:  Diane Benjamin The east side of Bloomington has been getting some better roads this summer.  East Oakland is great now and part of E Washington.  Still a LONG ways to go, but how’s the rest of the City? Evidently Fox Creek road is so bad that a motorcyclist lost control in a pot holes […]

Bloomington erases history

By:  Diane Benjamin On tonight’s City Council agenda (from the packet): CONSENT AGENDA ITEM: 7A FOR COUNCIL: August 24, 2015 SUBJECT: Consideration of approving the Council Proceedings of August 10, 2015. RECOMMENDATION/MOTION: That the reading of the minutes of the previous Council Proceedings of August 10, 2015, be dispensed with and the minutes approved as […]

Tonight: Throwing more money away

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight the Bloomington City Council will approve paying the McLean County Regional Planning Commission $54,212 for the plan they created:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=8974 The plan was out of date before it was issued because it pretends Bloomington is growing.  Before Mitsubishi announced it’s closing, Bloomington was showing negative growth.  Now 1,200 jobs are being […]

Ban consultants-save bucks

By:  Diane Benjamin What does the City of Bloomington Admin staff do?  How many are there?  I hear people are tripping over each other, maybe a lot of them are interns – but what do they do? Tonight yet ANOTHER consultant is going to report to the City:  (from the bird-cage liner)  Raftelis Financial Consultants […]

Hales: Bid golf, not Coliseum

By:  Diane Benjamin News flash:  Bloomington City Manager David Hales will put the sale of 3 golf courses out to bid if the budget task force recommends selling them.  He will seek “proposals from golf management companies with an established track record of success”. Meanwhile, 2 guys with a track record of failure are renegotiating […]

Will Lisa Madigan do her job?

By:  Diane Benjamin Lisa Madigan started a Public Access office so citizens and the press can hold their government accountable.  Just like Not In Our Town doesn’t hold signers of their pledge accountable, virtually nothing happens when a complaint is filed with her office.  Our local State’s Attorney could prosecute cases filed against the City, but […]

Feeding themselves

By:  Diane Benjamin A reader filed a Freedom of Information Request for food receipts where charges were listed without explanation.  He filed for what showed on the statement approved for payment at the April 27th Council meeting.  Keep in mind, all the PCard charges used to reflect dates and who the meal was with.  Changing how the […]

The Fox is raiding the hen house

By:  Diane Benjamin A vote on the Giebelhausen downtown redevelopment deal could be as early as June 18th.  Renner’s folly for a downtown hotel makes this project dangerous for the future of Bloomington.  Citizens said no public money, so Tari is borrowing it instead.  Does anybody trust their government?  Citizens said NO Coliseum, they did it anyway.  […]

Communists invaded the Pantagraph!

By:  Diane Benjamin Quote from today’s editorial:  http://www.pantagraph.com/news/opinion/editorial/editorial-united-front-is-only-way-to-drive-economic-development/article_942a3be9-533e-5f46-b2f8-d0f15d3ac211.html There must be a consensus to step forward as a group to support ideas or processes that are in the best interest of the county as a whole. I didn’t need to attend the joint Council + County meeting this week to know what was said.  I […]

The latest EATING on your dime report

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington staff REALLY hates answering Freedom of Information Act requests.  Members of the Council think they shouldn’t have to waste valuable staff time answering requests from the public.  So, instead of sending FOIA requests to explain the spending below, let’s play a new game:  GUESS!  Staff doesn’t want to be […]

Lesson: Government Ineptness

By:  Diane Benjamin All the emails below were received under the Freedom of Information Act. Laugh or cry, it’s your choice. Here’s the story: A guy moved from one location in Bloomington to another.  At his old place he had a 95 gallon cart, but his new place had the smaller size.  He called the […]

Bloomington Council: Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin Below are some of the items on the agenda for Monday’s City Council meeting: Bills and Payroll: http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=8450 LEGAL Contracted  59,280.00  (Springfield law firm) LEGAL Outside Legal Co 22,519.42 The Council will also approve the payment to me ordered by the judge even though the check has already been cut. Budget: http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=8447  […]

Will Hales get another raise?

By:  Diane Benjamin Also received under the Freedom of Information act: So it looks like Hales, Schmidt, Sage, and Renner met to plan David Hales Performance Review. Sage slobbers on Hales at Council meetings – watch the videos. Renner made it clear at the Secret meeting resulting in Judy Stearns Open Meetings Act filing that […]

Inside the heads of potted plants

By:  Diane Benjamin The following emails were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act – not by me, they were just forwarded to me. Below is City Manager David Hales’ salary for 2014: SALARY    INSURANCE     PENSION        FICA          MISC        TOTAL COMPENSATION 176,439.00  11,449.32 […]

Bills and Payroll finally posted! UPDATE!

Update:  The City promptly replied to my FOIA for missing information I amended the information received below in BOLD.  See the receipts here:  201503241124_Redacted  Even if only one person ate, why are taxpayers paying the bill?  Does your boss pay for your lunch? By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=8396 ADMIN City Council Expenses American AI $ 384.20 […]

More Coliseum fraud?

By:  Diane Benjamin Previously I’ve reported CIAM (Central Illinois Arena Management) reports profits and losses that aren’t close to what the auditor reports:  https://blnnews.com/2015/01/20/more-coliseum-fraud/. How are the CIAM numbers so far off?  (Almost $600,000 last year?) Easy!  CIAM creates the report, CIAM has no reason to tell the truth, so they report whatever they want. […]

Bloomington: Garbage was free until 2005

By:  Diane Benjamin 10 short years ago Bloomington did not charge for ANY garbage or bulky waste pickup.  In 2005 the Council decided they could no longer cover the cost.  Previously the cost was part of the services provided by the City through the taxes you paid. This is from the FY 2005 budget, page […]

Bloomington Priorities: We need more money

By:  Diane Benjamin From 4/28/14 City Council meeting:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=6699 Item 10 E. Discussion of FY 2016 Budget Priorities. Motion by Alderman Fazzini, seconded by Alderman Stearns to lay this item over until the Council’s May 12, 2014 meeting. The April 28th meeting was where the budget was finally approved with tax increases.  Renner promptly started […]

Attorney General & the Coliseum

By:  Diane Benjamin I wrote previously about filing a Request for Review with the Illinois Attorney General.  Coliseum Management is refusing to comply with a Freedom of Information Act Request.  Details here:  https://blnnews.com/2015/02/06/coliseum-investigated-by-attorney-general/ As the Council considers spending another $2,510,00 on the less than 10 years old Coliseum, they need to consider how Central Illinois […]

Coliseum: $2,510,000 !!!

By:  Diane Benjamin The audited financial statements for the Coliseum show a loss last year before depreciation of $782,945:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=7481 I predict losses this year will be much greater because very few events have been held.  The 3rd Quarter statement prepared by CIAM has not been issued yet – the Quarter ended on January 31st. […]

Bloomington: Unsustainable

By:  Diane Benjamin Both David Hales and Tari Renner have proclaimed their “Bare Bones” budget is unsustainable.  This is code for we can’t raise taxes in an election year.  Karen Schmidt and Joni Painter voted for all the tax increases last year, you are supposed to forget.  Asking them to vote for more now is […]