Court this THURSDAY

By:  Diane Benjamin Neither defendant responded to my latest court filing! Did they finally give up? Court might get as hot as it’s going to be outside. Start time is 1:15, Courtroom 5C.  The media won’t be there, so I hope YOU are. I’ve been writing about the Coliseum for YEARS.  For new readers, this […]

Coliseum-John Butler’s ghost

By:  Diane Benjamin The media has never reported on my lawsuit against the City of Bloomington and Central Illinois Arena Management (CIAM) – the old Coliseum manager.  John Butler was the principal agent for CIAM.  Possible fraud or abuse of taxpayers isn’t news. The lawsuit is based on a denied FOIA for the 2014 concession […]

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 […]

Butler GONE, quite a show

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve heard from reliable sources that John Butler and crew are gone from the Coliseum as of today. I also hear he was busy shredding documents.  Police were present, but I have no idea why.  City officials were present yesterday. What was Butler paid for the 10-year-old fully depreciated concession equipment? The […]

Goodbye CIAM

By:  Diane Benjamin Can anybody remember Tari Renner campaigning 4 years ago for transparency at the Coliseum? Got one of those short campaign video clips talking about the Coliseum Tari? Tari claimed that on WJBC this afternoon with Dan Swaney discussing the exit of the current Coliseum management. Both men know about my lawsuit – […]

Coliseum info buried!

By:  Diane Benjamin The financial statement issued by Central Illinois Arena Management (CIAM) for 5/1/2015 – 7/31/2015 has never made it to the City website.  Your can view it here:  1st Quarter 2016 Coliseum Fund P & L  I had to request it by FOIA. There are MANY problems with the report, but I will […]

Coliseum: Lawsuit time

Update:  Bloomington finally released the Coliseum 1st Qtr report.  They lost $252,000, but we don’t know how much of this is wages to themselves.  We do know CIAM took commissions of $24,378 and Management fees of $35,510.   Concessions income is a secret.  The Coliseum works great for John Butler, not so much for you. By:  […]

Coliseum Catering +

By:  Diane Benjamin The management agreement for the Coliseum specifies concessions will be handled directly by CIAM or an “independent contractor”.  BMI Concessions is NOT independent, since John Butler owns both CIAM and BMI, I can’t find where BMI ever received approval from the City Council to operate as a separate company. From CIAM’s management […]

Coliseum: Proof

By:  Diane Benjamin Evidently David Hales, Tari Renner, and John Butler think I can’t prove concessions need to be audited at the Coliseum.  Maybe this will help them out.  Click on the picture, it’s easier to read if it’s bigger: The above was internally prepared at the Coliseum.  John Butler is supposed to pay the City […]

Coliseum: The joke’s on YOU

By:  Diane Benjamin The Coliseum was NEVER going to cost citizens a dime, at least that’s what citizens were told. Consultants predicted Revenues of more than $7,000,000 and large attendance at events.  Income was projected to be $2,319,000 a year.  See predictions here:  Consultant: Hyman Review NOTHING predicted has come close to being true. Last […]

Can we call this FRAUD?

By:   Diane Benjamin Monday night the City Council approved buying new video board equipment for the Coliseum – $1,389,605 before interest accrues from borrowing the money.  The documentation and discussion claimed the purchase was competitively bid because a group called The Cooperative Purchase Network was used for the purchase.  The documentation given to the […]

Making their own Rules

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight the Bloomington City Council is asked to vote on changes to the Public Comment policy.  Mayor AttackMyOpposition will demand the right to declare a speaker out-of-order, thus terminating their time, if he deems them threatening or disorderly.  This is the same Mayor who wrote this on my site: NO! Diane! It […]

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 […]

Surprise! Coliseum 3rd Qtr shows up today

By:  Diane Benjamin Of course the Coliseum statements for the 3rd Qtr (Nov 14 – Jan 15) showed up today.  The Pantagraph printed the fiction fed to them by Coliseum Management, so now they can release their statements.  First, look at the attendance report below. Cirque Du Soleil was a 4 day event – it […]

Media participates in Coliseum fraud

By:  Diane Benjamin I am going to keep using the City of Bloomington’s own documents to support what I write.  Remember this quote from the proposed budget: Staff continued to build strong working relationships with reporters from The Pantagraph, WJBC, WGLT, and other area media.  Page 116 Today the bird-cage liner regurgitates false talking […]

Coliseum investigated by Attorney General

By:  Diane Benjamin The Coliseum Management has refused to turn over documents I requested under the Freedom of Information Act.  I asked for the payroll for calendar year 2014 and various Micros reports for events held in the building.  (the City owns the Micros equipment)  I even included rulings from the Attorney General’s office saying […]

Coliseum – another lawsuit

By:  Diane Benjamin The truth about the Coliseum has been hidden from the taxpayers for years.  It was intentional, even the City Council is in the dark.  John Butler’s BMI Concessions is an even bigger secret.  Butler set up a business inside a City owned asset, complete with a contract requiring set percentages of sales […]

More Coliseum questions – Anybody care?

by:  Diane Benjamin Bart Rogers was listed on the Coliseum website as the General Manager.  Now there is no General Manager, Rogers is a Vice-President  There are a couple of Assistant Managers though and an Associate General Manager.  Could the changes have something to do with the contract terms CIAM has with the City of […]

Coliseum: Management working for you?

by:  Diane Benjamin I’ve written before about Bart Rogers, but now it’s getting funny!  Somebody is in full CYA mode. The contract the City of Bloomington has with Central Illinois Arena Management says the General Manager of the Coliseum must have ONLY the job of General Manager: According to the 2004 contract Bloomington has with […]

Is Coliseum Management giving Bloomington their share?

by:  Diane Benjamin Operations of the Coliseum are extremely complicated.  Management hired by the City is operating some functions without any over-sight or accountability.  The taxpayers deserve to know the truth. The City has a contract with Central Illinois Arena Management (CIAM) to run the daily operations.  The Coliseum Fund is audited by an independent […]