Truths we used to know, hook up the Uhaul

By: Diane Benjamin In case you missed this story in the media: Clever Real Estate teamed up with moving company Allied Van Lines and found that Illinois has had more outbound moves than any other state in the past six months. Why would people continue to flee Illinois? The Bloomington City Council is encouraging out-migration. 5 of […]

Inflation Is Good for Government!

By: Diane Benjamin A couple more things from Bloomington’s Monday meeting: Jeff Jurgen, who was promoted to the 2nd Assistant City Manager has a base pay of $186,134. With benefits the total is $234,297: An employee now with the State’s Attorney’s office has been hired to replace Jurgens as Corporate Attorney – Christopher Spanos. […]

Bloomington’s torturous meeting

By: Diane Benjamin I keep forgetting to mention the City has a new website. It is much more functional, content remains to be seen. The last one was impossible to search quickly for the information wanted. See 2:19:56. Bloomington already has it’s second Deputy City Manager. Corporate Council Jeff Jurgens is taking the job. Tim […]

Part 3 Bloomington-Is BEC screwing up elections?

By: Diane Benjamin A Facebook friend asked why I didn’t include this in previous stories. Since I still don’t understand the ramifications of what attorney Jeff Jurgens stated Monday night, this just gives me another reason to say the Bloomington Election Commission needs abolished. The City is changing Ward maps to equalize population in the […]

More Coliseum even I didn’t know

By: Diane Benjamin I FOIA’d the City of Bloomington for communication about the John Butler/CIAM case. That FOIA I have, I also FOIA’d the County. I haven’t received that one yet. I found some interesting emails, the City was thrilled the case was over. I’m not thrilled because no one employed or representing the citizens […]

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. Besides the fact Justice Delayed […]

Jim Karch was demoted

By:  Diane Benjamin The Total Compensation report for 2019 isn’t posted yet, so the only salary available is from 2018: 2019 was more than likely higher. Karch now has a new job as Special Projects Manager.  How much is he getting paid now? The rumor is this job is merely a placeholder position […]

Cannabis Task force will be a joke

By:  Diane Benjamin The Downtown Task Force was a joke, the vast majority of people did not want to build a  new library and bus transfer station by tearing down a parking garage.  Tari claimed the Budget Task force was a success, it proved that Council was incapable of making any cuts.  Huge success Tari.  […]

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 […]

WGLT finally sees the light?

By:  Diane Benjamin See this recent WGLT story: The former Coliseum management could get greatly reduced sentences because the documents WGLT presented prove the City didn’t care – as in David Hales didn’t care.  Hales was paid huge bucks to manage the City, he failed.  I really hope he is called as a witness to […]

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: According to the story, WGLT got their hands on some emails between Bloomington attorney Jeff Jurgens and the State’s Attorney office.  […]

The Real Legal Expenses

By:  Diane Benjamin When the Pantagraph appears to do a study of anything, it usually means Bloomington is up to something and using them to gauge public opinion.  Today it was legal expenses and justifying the outrageous amount the City sends to Springfield every month while telling you not to buy on the internet – […]

Little of this and a little of that

By:  Diane Benjamin Gas in Decatur today $2.11.  Gas in Bloomington today $2.25. _____________________________ A complaint was filed against Tari Renner for violating the garbage can ordinance: It was filed by a Bloomington resident who has recently been hassled by the City.  The resident filed a FOIA request for the letter sent to Renner’s address, […]

Lack of Transparency continues

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington can’t legally withhold documents that existed before the State Police announced their investigation, but they are trying to keep me from finding the truth anyway.  Did they really think I wouldn’t write about it? I filed a FOIA request for the all General Ledger Accounts pertaining to Sister […]

Spending Posted!

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll got posted for Bloomington Monday night: Why is the City using your money for Rotary Club Dues? Library too! Bronner isn’t conducting an annual audit, are they helping the State Police? Did you get your picnic invite? See this story:  Yocum only bills the City every six […]

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: 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 […]

Followup: Illegal meetings

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I did not receive a response from the State’s Attorney or the Sheriff.  The illegal joint meeting between the Council and the Library Board took place. Bloomington attorney Jeff Jurgens admitted in an email the two meetings now posted on the Library Board website were not posted 48 hours in advance. […]

Road trip to Chatham

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve been hearing about water problems in Chatham Illinois for months.  Last night I attended their Council meeting with the Edgar County Watchdogs. Chatham has a population around 12,000 people.  Their water used to be supplied from Springfield, but a few years ago the Council changed the source.  Many citizens spoke about […]

The fun never stops: See this!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Illinois Municipal League has a conference in September.  The IML is an organization that hasn’t filed tax returns in decades, their top employees got themselves State pensions even though they aren’t State employees, and they lobby Springfield for local governments – and against the citizens paying the bills. See these two […]


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 […]

More Hales bungles

By: Diane Benjamin Another example of incompetence happened at the Council meeting last night.  Increasing Video Gaming fees was illegally on the agenda: Increasing fees on video gaming machines was first discussed at the April 25th meeting.  It was TABLED to a Committee of the Whole meeting : Why is “Tabled” important? City Code: […]

Why did Tari explode Legal Expense?

By:  Diane Benjamin 2013 is the budget Tari inherited when he took office. 2017 is all his. I hope the local media quits letting Renner state he isn’t doing anything new and the budget is just increasing 2% per year.  Both are lies.  Look at Legal expenses: 2017 Total Legal  $1,325,308  FY 2017 Budget Detail  […]

Legal & Giebelhausen

By: Diane Benjamin From Bills and Payroll for 2/22/16:   Another $57,721.33 sent to Springfield for Legal! How much of that is work on a downtown hotel? How much more will the City rack up at your expense? Yes, Giebelhausen’s proposal is costing you money. Speaking of Giebelhausen, he wants to change East Peoria’s […]

Abuse by the City of Bloomington!

By:  Diane Benjamin I find it hilarious that last night the Bloomington City Council held one of their SECRET meetings with “pending litigation” on the agenda: Today the City lawyers have a new strategy.  I received this email this morning:  (click to enlarge it) The last time we were in court, Mr. Boyle claimed […]

LEGAL breaks the record!

By:  Diane Benjamin Yep, another Bloomington City Council meeting on Monday.  Yep, more approving Bills and Payroll.  Yep, Nobody on the Council will bat an eye at this one: $59,559.55 might be a new high for tax dollars being shipped to Springfield!  Jeff Jurgens and Springfield assistants are mining your gold. The remaining budget (until […]

Bloomington shipped another $52,032 to Springfield

By:  Diane Benjamin Bill and Payroll for approval at Monday’s meeting are now on-line: I don’t have time today to look at everything, but residents should be happy to know your City shipped another huge amount to Springfield for their contract lawyer!  Redistribution of your wealth to Springfield!

What is Bloomington paying Monday?

By:  Diane Benjamin No mater how worthy a cause is, what City Ordinance gives the Council the right to give your money to a non-profit: HOME SWEET HOME MINIST  INV 11/10/2015 DONATION CHECK TOTAL 1,956.00 MCLEAN COUNTY HISTORIC  INV 10/26/2015 CAP CAMPGN FY16 CHECK TOTAL 50,000.00 Internal Auditors – so when are the taxpayers going […]

Bloomington Pensions – Round 1

By:  Diane Benjamin I doubt you noticed, but I haven’t written about last Monday’s Council meeting.  I still can’t convey the outrage I feel properly, but I will give it a shot.  A number of items shocked me, it’s hard to believe the people claiming to represent you didn’t just immigrate from a communist country.  […]

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 […]

Is LEGAL up for cuts?

By:  Diane Benjamin From Bills and Payroll to be approved Monday night: Contracted and Purchased Legal: CLARK BAIRD SMITH LLP CHECK TOTAL 15,122.10. ANCEL GLINK DIAMOND BU CHECK TOTAL 750.00 HEYL ROYSTER VOELKER & CHECK TOTAL 675.00 HINSHAW & CULBERTSON L CHECK TOTAL 2,340.00 MEYER CAPEL A PROFESSI CHECK TOTAL 587.50 SORLING NORTHRUP HANNA […]