Proof of a Cover-Up?

By:  Diane Benjamin I received a lot of information from a FOIA filed with the City of Bloomington.  Almost everything is redacted including discussion of Holiday Decorations for downtown.  That must be a state secret! This is what you get when you pay a law firm in Springfield almost $60,000 every month! (pre Tari the […]

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:  http://wglt.org/post/new-documents-link-vague-coliseum-contract-criminal-charges 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:  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.  […]

New Oaths Forthcoming!

By:  Diane Benjamin The “Welcoming Ordinance” meeting is December 18th at the BCPA. This morning I emailed the City Attorney, Jeff Jurgens about the oaths of office.  I just received a response: Keep in mind Tari Renner, Mboka Mwilambwe, Joni Painter, and Scott Black have taken the oath of office before. Ask them why they […]

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 […]

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:  https://blnnews.com/2017/08/06/do-laws-codes-regulations-matter/ 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:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14211 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: https://blnnews.com/2016/09/28/consultants-another-one-that-slipped-by/  Yocum only bills the City every six […]

Council Monday night

By:  Diane Benjamin Every vote was 9-0 with virtual no discussion, so the Council part of the meeting was boring. Public comment was better.  Note to City:  The length of public comment isn’t 30 minutes – the time citizens spend talking is 30 minutes.  The chair is capable of wasting the public’s time. First up […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Excuses OVER Renner!

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner’s claims to now be protecting the taxpayers of Bloomington in the Metro Zone flap are a joke. Why? Besides the fact that 5 Aldermen put Metro Zone on the agenda, not Renner – what happened to the letters Tari received at Rosie’s from citizens about their health insurance costs?  We […]

Nothing better than LIES

By:  Diane Benjamin One more note from last night’s Council meeting.  Renner lied – how many times does this make?  Of course, he wouldn’t even recognize lies anymore. The topic was Sick Leave Buy Back again.  The City policy was changed in 2012 to make any new hires not eligible for this benefit available nowhere […]

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: 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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Another COURT update

By:  Diane Benjamin Today I was in court again for my lawsuit against the City of Bloomington – it’s either #4 or #5 (losing track).  The judge has promised to issue a ruling on January 28th. City Attorney Rosalee Dodson is no longer with the City, at least that’s what the substitute said.  No explanation […]

Bloomington: Tax dollars shipped out of town!

By:  Diane Benjamin When the City of Bloomington paid Todd Greenburg to leave as City Attorney last October, he was not replaced.  Instead they hired a Springfield Law Firm and attorney Jeff Jurgens.  All of the below information is  from the Bills and Payroll reports:  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=242&parent=6058 This is a list of payments to the law firm […]

My lawsuit against Bloomington continues

By:  Diane Benjamin I was in court again this morning.  The City of Bloomington had filed another motion to dismiss, the judge denied it.  City lawyers seem to think they can write the law however fits them.  The judge didn’t agree. Meanwhile, taxpayers of Bloomington have most likely spent thousands of dollars to NOT be […]