More Council Fails last night

By:  Diane Benjamin City Manager Tim Gleason was on WJBC this morning.  The latest example of “leading from behind” is the new pension spiking policy.  Non-union employee policy will change AFTER all the union contracts are changed – if they are changed.  Those non-union employees are likely management.  Instead of setting an example of putting taxpayers […]

Pension Spiking might end YEARS from now

By:  Diane Benjamin PDF page 336   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=20206 Sick Leave Buy Back and the resulting pension spiking is finally being addressed (years late) Monday night.  The law changed in 2012 to allow IMRF to penalize municipalities who practice pension spiking.  Without doing another FOIA to IMRF, I believe the penalties Bloomington has paid are nearing $2,000,000. […]

Pension Spiking: incredible waste of money

By:  Diane Benjamin Spiking pensions in Bloomington has cost taxpayers over $2,000,000 since 2012. Spiking a pension means collecting more in retirement than employees are entitled to.  Your government “gifts” them more retirement at taxpayer expense.  The IMRF retirement system started charging for spiking when they realized the pension funds would not remain viable if […]

Pension Funding

By:  Diane Benjamin “One of the best-funded pension plans in the country is the nearly 90 percent funded Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, which has long had the ability to enforce payments into the plan.” IMRF funding isn’t a problem.  That’s why pension spiking penalties were enacted, the fund couldn’t afford to pay pensions for employees […]

Tossing Money – Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington has done nothing to stop employees from “spiking” their pensions.  Besides collecting a higher pension for life at taxpayer expense, taxpayers are forced to pay penalties to cover the increased cost. The “spiking” comes from accumulating unused sick days.  Bloomington has changed the policy for new hires, but they refuse to […]

More from Bills and Payroll

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17440 How did Alderman Hauman travel to One Voice in Washington DC for half the cost of Renner?   https://blnnews.com/2018/04/03/remember-the-one-voice-air-fare/ Is your full service City planning to throw parties?  Note it’s an Admin expense. The Springfield Lawyers are running out of budgeted funds, only $33,175 is left for April.  (see […]

Normal’s employee compensation

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal finally decided to post some employee compensation:     http://www.normal.org/documentcenter/view/7527 They only included salaries over $75,000, a little over 300 of them.  Since they don’t have many more employees than that, it’s close to everybody. I was looking around on OpenTheBooks.com and found some interesting numbers.  This information comes […]

Government for the employees

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington changed the pension spiking policy for all new hires after they became liable for the increased cost – that was in 2012. The policy has not been changed for existing employees.  Why should any person be entitled to a pension they didn’t earn? Employees are getting paid months before they retire for […]

Blatant Taxpayer Abuse

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington knew the law had changed on pension spiking in 2012.  They changed the policy for NEW hires, but not for existing employees. Here’s the recap: The IMRF retirement fund was tired of paying for spiked pensions because of Sick Leave Buy Back payments that inflated ending salaries. Since […]

More Bloomington Fail

By:  Diane Benjamin I saw this on the agenda for the Town of Normal last Monday:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2634 The document goes on to appoint the Deputy City Manager as representative to IMRF. The Town of Normal hasn’t paid the huge penalties Bloomington has from pension spiking.  Bloomington has paid  $1,877,252.40, in August of 2015 Normal had paid […]

Controlling Costs is a LIE

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight’s Bloomington Council packet contains this statement on PDF page 4:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12802 Now jump to the Bills and Payroll for tonight: http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12794 PDF page 107 The City if THROWING away money by allowing employees to spike their pensions! This payment of $64,859.95 brings the total to $1,877,252.40 since the law was changed in […]

Toss Money Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin $135,743.79 + an adjustment of $130.75 got paid to IMRF so one employee can have a fabulous retirement with a spike pension!  See page 130 Monday Bills and Payroll That expense was completely avoidable, but employees came before taxpayers. Page 109 – $580 for Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. […]

Last night’s CIRCUS

By:  Diane Benjamin I will be on Cities 92.9 today at 3:30 with Ben Yount to discuss the future of BlnNews. Now for last night’s Bloomington City Council meeting: Bring in the CLOWNS! Oops, they were already there! Starting at 1:05, and ending 45 minutes later, the Council droned on about spending $300,000 at The […]

Pantagraph fails at truth again

By:  Diane Benjamin The daily rag has a new story about pension spiking at the City of Bloomington.  In an effort to deflect from the City’s unethical practice of allowing employees to spike their pensions with unused sick days, they even call the practice legal. It is legal because Bloomington’s Mayor, City Manager, and Council […]

Proof the Council is immaterial

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve now got proof that Bills and Payroll, approved by the Council at regular meetings, is meaningless.  Nobody is holding checks waiting for the Council vote.  I wonder how many aldermen even read what they are asked to approve! If you don’t know what Bills and Payroll looks like, see this webpage.  […]

More proof: Budget Task Force was a joke

By:  Diane Benjamin See Bills and Payroll for Monday night – the LAST page:  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=242&parent=9535 Remember how Bloomington was exposed in the Chicago Tribune paying massive penalties for allowing employees to SPIKE their pensions?  https://blnnews.com/2015/08/26/imrf-what-did-hales-know-and-when/ Remember when the Budget Task Force recommended fixing the problem but never did? Well, it just cost you another $122,735.32! […]

Government broke it

By:  Diane Benjamin Name a problem we face today not caused by government.  Bad roads, invasion by illegals, minimal economic growth, flat incomes, high taxes, unfunded liabilities, unfunded mandates.  Another endless list. Tari’s mug is in today’s paper saying Springfield has to fix problems caused by local government.  If the City never allowed employees to […]

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 […]

Something you probably missed Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin Buried in the Consent Agenda for last Monday’s Council meeting was the approval of Minutes from a meeting held October 22, 2012. See the minutes here:  10/22/2012 Minutes  The meeting was a Work Session concerning pension funding and the tax levy.  The discussion was not profound, why the Minutes weren’t previously approved […]

Throwing away $49,152.21

By:  Diane Benjamin Even though Bloomington’s Springfield attorney (Jeff Jurgens) knew on August 24th that stopping pensions spiking wasn’t a violation of the Illinois Constitution, the policy still hasn’t been changed.  See his email and IMRF response here:  https://blnnews.com/2015/09/18/who-knew-and-did-nothing-imrf/ The agenda for Monday is on-line, nothing about stopping the rip off of taxpayers that is […]

Who knew and did nothing – IMRF

By:  Diane Benjamin The below are from a big pile of information I received from IMRF under the Freedom of Information Act.  They all pertain to pensions spiking that David Hales allowed to keep happening and is still allowed today.  Remember this when your taxes get raised Monday!  I may be posting more, I haven’t […]

Hales still promoting bull

By:  Diane Benjamin David Hales on WJBC 9/15 :  http://cdn.stationcaster.com/stations/wjbc/media/mpeg/David_Hales__Bloomington_City_Manager-1442324001.mp3 Hales was asked about the comments made by Alton Franklin Monday night calling for him to be fired over the pension spiking which cost Bloomington taxpayers more than $1.2 million. Obviously Hales is the source of Alderman Buragas’s information, her email sounds just like him.  […]

They REALLY don’t care

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington is so “blessed” to be run by people who have no interest in good government.  All they want is money, more money, and control. The video failed to capture the beginning of the meeting.  I wonder if that was so Tari shuffling the comment cards wasn’t shown.  Public Comment was over […]

Monday’s Agenda: approve Wire Transfers

By:  Diane Benjamin Nobody gets fired.  David Hales isn’t held responsible.  It was just an accident that Wire Transfers weren’t brought to the Council for approval for YEARS. Nobody’s fault, just slipped through the cracks. Monday night THIS Council is asked to approve Wire Transfers from 2013, 2014, and 2015. They all weren’t members of […]

Proof: They lied!

By:  Diane Benjamin Another taxpayer asked IMRF for information about the City of Bloomington’s policy allowing pensions spiking.  Remember this cost you more than $1.2 MILLION dollars. See the email below FROM IMRF. The RED and BLUE are from me.   From: John Krupa <jkrupa@imrf.org> To: (redacted) Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2015 10:53 AM Subject: […]

One more Hales story

By:  Diane Benjamin Just to make this perfectly clear:  David Hales could have avoided spending $1.2 Million + JUST by changing when employees got their accumulated sick days pay.  If they had been paid the day they left City employment, their pensions would not have been spiked and therefore IMRF would NOT have sent them […]

Council: What’s your breaking point?

By:  Diane Benjamin The David Hales saga continues, make sure you read this story first:  https://blnnews.com/2015/09/08/what-did-hales-know-plenty/ From the City of Bloomington website:  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=262 (b)      The Council shall approve for payment all expenses and liabilities of the City of Bloomington. Seem pretty clear to you?  Need a definition of “shall”?  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shall  (directive, mandatory, expected) The City […]

Where’s the TRUTH?

By:  Diane Benjamin It should be more than obvious the City calls the Pantagraph to do a story when they know they are in trouble.  Today there were 2 printed about spiking pensions.  Gee, I wonder if citizens are upset?!?  Taxes are about to be raised because you exist only to be abused by government, […]

Thanks for the laughs Pantagraph!

By:  Diane Benjamin In the continuing quest by the Pantagraph to prove yet again they are not real media: Today they CHEERED Bloomington and Normal for working to stopp pension spiking! WOW!  Why didn’t they include how great it is that Normal WASTED $29,939.10 and Bloomington THREW away $1,215,177.70 before being exposed by the Chicago […]

A little more info on “spiking”

By:  Diane Benjamin I emailed with the reporter of the Chicago Tribune story today.  Without him, you never would have known the City was allowing you to be ripped off. Joe Mahr gave me a little more history of spiking.  The law disallowing employees to spike their salary in the final 3 months of employment […]

IMRF: What did Hales know and when?

By:  Diane Benjamin At last Monday night’s Council meeting a discussion took place about pension spiking.  The Chicago Tribune reported on Emily Bell’s pension spiking and the resulting fine of $358,394.12 the Bloomington taxpayers were forced to pay.  Her fine was the highest in the State.  Obviously the discussion never would have taken place if […]