Bloomington recap 11/18/19

By:  Diane Benjamin Two council members were absent:  Joni Painter and Kimberly Bray Connect Transit’s Judy Buchanan didn’t show up.  The presentation was cancelled “due to illness”. Side Note: WGLT reported only 6 members out of 13 attended the illegal Saturday meeting – they discussed items for almost 4 hours anyway:  https://www.wglt.org/connect-transit-likely-delay-fare-increase-again-awaits-working-group-report How much of […]

Bloomington Featured Nationally

By:  Diane Benjamin A national magazine for Municipalities features Bloomington in their just released November publication.  This is a link to the entire edition:  http://www.themunicipal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Municipal-NOV-2019-WEB-linked.pdf The Bloomington merger of the water and public works departments is covered on PDF pages 32-34.  Successful Merger According to the article, Bloomington is saving $250,000 per year by not […]

Tari wants to rob you again

By: Diane Benjamin When Tari ran for re-election in 2017 he promised to fix the streets, he forgot to add one line to his campaign card: Tari created a Gas Tax in 2014 to fix the roads, he raised the Sales Tax in 2015 to fix the roads. NOTHING is being spent on road resurfacing […]

Response to comment left last night:

By:  Diane Benjamin A comment was left on BlnNews last night that deserves a longer response than just my reply.  The citizens of Bloomington need to understand who is REALLY responsible for the roads and new designs in recent years.  It isn’t Jim Karch. The comment: Why are few roads getting fixed and those that […]

Bloomington Announcement Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin On Monday sources tell me Bloomington will announce the Water Department will be merged with Public Works.  The current head of Public Works, Jim Karch, will be in charge of everything. The Water Department is holding many millions of dollars.  $2.8 million has already been “borrowed” from this fund, $2.4 million went […]

Update: Proof Roads aren’t a Priority

They do have $4,290,000 listed in Book 2 as Capital improvements:  PDF page 270   http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=18372 This money comes from the added Local Motor Fuel Tax and part of the increased Sales Tax.  The taxes you already paid weren’t good enough. ___________________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin Remember this email from Jim Karch?  I asked him how much […]

Jim Karch: Class Act

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night at the Council meeting this was presented: It’s a huge award! I know there is tension between Jim and his employees.  They need to see the response I received from Jim when I congratulated him: Jim has always responded promptly to any questions I’ve asked.  I’ve emailed him on weekends […]

Update: Party at Public Works

I just received another response from the City they neglected to include in the previous FOIA response: Nice of them to totally change the story two days later!  Why aren’t vending machine profits City money?  More FOIA’s —————————————————————————————————- By:  Diane Benjamin I heard a rumor that morale at Bloomington’s Public Works was so low, Jim […]

Downtown: Your thoughts?

When does the first person trip and sue? If the City doesn’t want to pay for stop lights, why aren’t they out-doing Normal with TWO roundabouts?   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundabout   Did a planter used to be in front of Rosie’s too? I heard one was there briefly!  Can anyone confirm? .  

Funding roads? Ha Ha

By:  Diane Benjamin I asked Jim Karch to explain how much will be in the budget for roads.  This is his response:  (click to enlarge) Roads are Not a priority! This is what it looks like when politicians lie to you to win elections. Your Motor Fuel Tax will be raised 4/23 to add a […]

Another reason roads won’t get fixed:

By:  Diane Benjamin Below are the payments per year to the law firm in Springfield.  In 2013 they got NO tax dollars because Bloomington has an attorney on staff.  Normal still has their own attorney. Tari wanted an Administrative Court to squeeze the citizens into complying with his wishes.  Remember when Tari used to tell […]

Pothole FAIL

By:  Diane Benjamin I was in town this morning dodging potholes because errands made me cross Veterans Parkway.  I try to never do that! Before any of my critics comment, I wasn’t driving when I shot this video – I was PARKED.   This is a City of Bloomington crew working on East Oakland Avenue. The guy […]

Losing money on purpose

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner was much more demure at last night’s Bloomington City Council meeting.  As history shows, his new non-confrontational attitude is temporary. It looks like spending $10,000,000 on an aquatics center is dead.  Several aldermen have a new-found respect for declining revenue, especially David Sage.  Of course, he works at State Farm […]

AFSCME needs to talk to State Farm employees

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington’s AFSCME Union is actively campaigning on Facebook for their jobs: Of course they are worried about losing jobs, so are State Farm employees.  The difference is SF employees can’t do a thing about it.  AFSCME gets pay, benefits, and pensions with taxpayer dollars, but they expect you to lobby for them! […]

Chili Cook-off: the pics!

By:  Diane Benjamin See previous stories:  https://blnnews.com/2017/12/13/how-do-they-get-any-work-done/ When I was reading the volumes of emails the City of Bloomington employees sent to each other, I noticed some referred to pictures posted on the City’s intranet.  I FOIA’d the pics. I received 31, here’s a few of them.  Keep in mind, this is a party they threw […]

How do they get any work done?

By:  Diane Benjamin How did the City of Bloomington employees get any work done when they spent 3 months planning the Chili Cook Off that only employees attended?  Worse, they were already working on the next party – this month – before the October one was even held.  It sounds like all the departments decorate […]

More on Bloomington Roads

By:  Diane Benjamin If I hadn’t been out of town this weekend, I would have written A LOT more on the Pantagraph story that attempted to make you believe the Bloomington roads are getting better.  It’s really difficult to compose story on a cell phone, so I left a lot of details to readers:  https://blnnews.com/2017/09/24/more-pantagraph-conspires-with-city/ […]

More Pantagraph conspires with City

By. Diane Benjamin Today the Pantagraph lauded the $3.8 million Bloomington is spending on streets.  Seems like rewriting history so people think the streets are getting better is the goal of both Bloomington and the so called press. Why?  Because both want downtown spending, not silly things citizens want like the roads fixed! See their […]

“Creating congestion” is working!

By:  Diane Benjamin Jim Karch knew. The Planning Commission knew. The Council knew. Putting bike lanes on E Washington was going to create congestion.  All of the above wanted congestion because you drive too fast. Yes – your government attacked your ability to drive safely because they wanted to. From a reader: Don’t know if […]

Bike Blono runs Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington wouldn’t have a Bike Master Plan without Bike Blono.  Bloomington wouldn’t have a Complete Streets plan without Bike Blono.  Bike Blono had private meetings for months with Public Works to make lanes on Washington happen.  (as stated by Michael Gorman of Bike Blono) Bikes have always been allowed on the roads, […]

If demand mattered, the roads would get fixed!

By:  Diane Benjamin Only a tiny group of citizens want bike lanes.  Tari Renner ran for office twice pledging to fix the roads.  He obviously isn’t as serious as the people with damaged vehicles are. This is from 2015:  http://www.cityblm.org/government/departments/public-works/streets-sidewalks/street-resurfacing The table shows how much money per year is required just to have TERRIBLE STREETS. […]

UPDATE: Bloomington got played

Evidently WJBC isn’t doing podcasts today – no Karch interview available. By:  Diane Benjamin Kevin Lower ran for mayor on fixing the streets.  Tari did too but, but unlike Lower – Tari wasn’t telling you the truth. This morning, Public Works director Jim Karch was on WJBC.  The ONLY money Bloomington is spending on streets […]

Downtown smells

By:  Diane Benjamin Last week I received this email from a patron of a downtown Bloomington business: When I drove down Main Street today, I noticed that several businesses had their doors wide open.  I made a comment to an employee at the locale where I was conducting my business about the nice weather outside.  […]

Karch: What used to be on the website

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I wrote about the exchange at Monday night’s Council meeting between Alderman Lower and Public Works Director Jim Karch.  Numbers to fix the roads were revealed, much higher than the current budget.  https://blnnews.com/2015/05/12/13-7m-9-5m-what-tari-didnt-want-to-hear/ Karch referenced a report on the City website, I looked for it.  I couldn’t find it, so I emailed Jim.  […]

13.7M, 9.5M – what Tari didn’t want to hear

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari didn’t want to consider any budget cuts last year, so he forced through 3 tax increases. Tari didn’t want to consider any budget cuts this year, so he is taking $3M from savings. Tari didn’t like the results the citizens summit and surveys, so he’s putting a commission together to study […]