Hyatt hucksters or Normal nonsense?

By:  Diane Benjamin Something isn’t right with Hyatt reportedly changing their minds on wanting tax rebates from Normal. The resolution and new agreement was in the packet for last night’s meeting:  PDF page 159 and following: The Town of Normal didn’t seem to mind the handout – they put it on the agenda where […]

1st the State – local fleecing next

By:  Diane Benjamin Illinois politicians at almost every level don’t understand how to live within their means.  They don’t believe you are entitled to spend your money how you want it spent.  Quality of Life!  They know what that is, you don’t. Chris Koos just got a nasty surprise: Funny how both mayors didn’t have […]

Normal: Forget something last night?

By:  Diane Benjamin See the agenda for the Town Council HERE One required item at every meeting of every public body is missing:  Public Comment. The Town Public Comment policy is still illegal because it requires signing up 2 hours in advance and speaking only to items on the agenda.  Since the agenda must be posted 48 […]

Normal-Scott Preston-Truth

By:  Diane Benjamin Expenses for the trips that Scott Preston took were paid for by the Town of Normal.  Mark Peterson was quoted as saying they encourage travel by the Council. If you owned a company and employees traveled at your expense, what would you do? Maybe: Require receipts? Check Expense reports? Question some spending? […]

Election Day

By:  Diane Benjamin Tomorrow will be a disastrous day for our country.  Close to 50% of the population will despise whoever is elected. The results are immaterial. We are powerless to do anything about it. Quit stressing about things you have no control over! The D.C. and Springfield clowns all came from local government. You […]

NOrmal – time to say NO!

By:  Diane Benjamin At the October 17, 2016 meeting, this was approved for payment: Monday night this payment is scheduled to be approved: Did tax dollars really pay $700 for a carriage in ISU’s parade, or was this guy paid twice?  Is this how taxpayers want their hard-earned money spent? Some other items […]

The local SHRINKING Middle Class

By:  Diane Benjamin Source: This analysis of incomes was published yesterday by Pew Research. Click on the link above to see an interactive map.  This is Bloomington: (it’s easier to read on the link) From 2010 – 2014  Incomes above $124,925 INCREASED 3 points Incomes from $41,641 to $124,924 DECREASED 8 points Incomes below […]

Breaking: Mitsubishi news

By:  Diane Benjamin I have information from a VERY reliable source that the Mitsubishi plant is being sold to a liquidator.  They are taking possession of the plant on June 1st. Since there are no current prospective buyers, any providers with equipment inside the plant is being asked to remove it before July 1st. Since […]

Sharing Sales Tax is a DONE deal

By:  Diane Benjamin Congrats Bloomington!  Every one of your elected representatives managed to attend the unscheduled Council meeting last night! Normal wasn’t happy when Bloomington announced Kroger was moving down the road and across the street.  The story I’ve heard from numerous sources is that David Hales kept it a secret.  Normal had NO IDEA […]

Thoughts on sharing Sales Tax

By:  Diane Benjamin If you don’t pay attention to how Normal and Bloomington operate, once they start talking publicly about anything it’s already a done deal.  Both Councils are stacked, so Renner and Koos can easily talk them into the latest declared “best practice”.  Independent thoughts are too rare matter.  Have some lunch. Here’s what […]

Why Bloomington is expanding the library

By:  Diane Benjamin Traffic at Bloomington’s library continues to decline, yet plans to expand continue.  Why? The answer can be found in NORMAL’s Master plan for Uptown: If you haven’t read Normal’s new plan, here’s a link:  Uptown 2.0 Plan  (It downloads a PDF instead of linking you to a webpage) The document is the […]

Send Koos and Renner thank you cards!

By:  Diane Benjamin Chris Koos had years to destroy the citizens of Normal with higher taxes.  Evidently they enjoy it since nobody fights back. Renner has had only a few years, but he’s making up for it by raising taxes wherever and whenever possible.  Your property taxes went up without a peep Monday night. Send […]

Can somebody explain . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal raised the Sales Tax 1%.  Now the City Manager seems to have dropped plans for a soccer field.  Sunday the rag reported they won’t be doing any projects for at least a year.  Was soccer a rouse?  The whole 1% was a setup, only 1/4% was needed for so-called mental health!  […]

High taxes – People leave!

By:  Diane Benjamin Attn:  Bloomington Budget Task Force, McLean County Board, and Normal City Council Illinois has the second highest property tax bills in the country! People are leaving both Bloomington and Normal: Just because you have some project you want to do doesn’t mean you can raise taxes to do it., If […]

Isn’t Communism Great!

By:  Diane Benjamin First the good news:  Pantagraph writer Steve Vogel has temporarily learned that telling elected officials to ignore citizens (check your email instead)  speaking during Public Comment was foolish.  He also learned that using 50+ people to describe how many attended Alderman Lower’s Town Hall was deceptive on the bird-cage liners part, so […]

Soccer: More bailouts for friends?

By:  Diane Benjamin Last weekend a soccer tournament must have been held on the fields by the airport.  Cars and kids were everywhere, so many that a Bloomington Police officer was on duty ALL day to control traffic.  Did the soccer people pay his salary or the citizens of Bloomington? Both Normal and Bloomington are […]

Government control intensifies HERE!

By:  Diane Benjamin Does government create economic activity?  Tari Renner believes he needs to control what happens to downtown Bloomington.  Obviously Chris Koos had the same thought when he created Uptown. Meantime, tax revenue is down in BOTH cities.  Both mayors believe more government intervention is needed to force economic development and growth.  Now they […]

More lawsuit emails

By:  Diane Benjamin I filed the Freedom of Information lawsuit because the City denied 3 requests within about 2 weeks.  Obviously they were hiding something, the biggest being Tari again calling people he doesn’t agree with “off their meds”. I received some others I didn’t expect, like Scott Black saying nobody important reads this […]

The Honorable Chris Koos

By:  Diane Benjamin Taxpayers fund trips taken by their elected officials without having a clue what the agenda is. This year both Koos and Renner attended the US Conference of Mayor where they unanimously supported net neutrality – the government take over of the Internet. I just got this tip from a reader concerning last […]

Hey! Pass this on to Renner and Koos

by:  Diane Benjamin Mayor Renner has declared Strip Malls dead.  Bloomington’s future is downtown.  There is a waiting list of millennials wanting to live downtown. Koos is planning to spend another $60 Million on Uptown so millennials can live in micro apartments. Anybody surprised they are uninformed? This article is from 2013: The Geography Of […]

Normal doesn’t have enough money! (what’s new)

By:  Diane Benjamin Tell your boss you need a raise.  The Town of Normal doesn’t have enough money because the revenue they anticipated from taxes is lagging behind projections.  Therefore, they have to take more of your money.  A new gas tax and higher garbage fees coming.  Government can’t be expected to subsidize essential services […]

Normal: Providing chuckles (at your expense)

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal’s government is a never-ending supply of giggles as they attempt to “control” behavior.  Since the Mayor owns a bike shop, it’s easy for him to justify biking.  I’ve written before and shown pictures of the grand street plans that will evidently promote bikes.  Nobody has explained how narrowing intersections does that, […]

No, Bloomington-Normal is NOT Okay

Mayor Renner claimed at the last Council meeting 1000 people move here every year.  He’s uniformed. Employers added new jobs in half of the state’s metro areas Metro Area Nov-14* Nov-13 Over-the-Year Change Bloomington-Normal 89,300 (5.6%) 90,300 (7.2%) -1,000 Champaign-Urbana 110,600 (5.9%) 109,600 (8.0%) 1,000 Chicago-Joliet-Naperville 3,854,200 (5.7%) 3,830,500 (8.3%) 23,700 Danville 29,200 (8.1%) 29,000 […]

Why I don’t write more about Normal

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday the Normal City Council voted to spend a lot more money on the Koos-Doug Farr vision for the town.  NO citizens showed to speak.  I know of NO conservative citizens running for the Council, they all appear to be Koos cronies.  If anybody knows different, please let me know. Videos of […]

Not willing to face reality

by:  Diane Benjamin K-Mart is just the latest to announce it is closing.  Many smaller businesses have or are closing. Both Bloomington and Normal have reported Sales Tax Revenue is down. The Pantagraph reported B-N homes sales have improved – but read the article to the bottom.  New construction lags behind last year.  It’s 1/3 […]

Normal gets Delphied again

By:  Diane Benjamin Look up the Delphi method.  It’s an established technique to make you agree with an agenda as “facts” are presented to support what the seller wants you to buy. Many people in Normal believe in the Uptown concept and now Uptown 2.  Personal property rights must be sacrificed for the greater good. […]

Going to Uptown meeting tonight?

by:  Diane Benjamin Feeling immaterial to your government in Normal?  You should.  Somebody should rename it Koosville since he gets anything he wants.  The Council doesn’t represent you and debt is not a concern – even though revenue is dropping.  Raise taxes – that’s the ticket!  Revenues will continue to decrease as government takes more […]

Renner, Koos, and Net Neutrality

by:  Diane Benjamin Net Neutrality hasn’t received the attention is should.  First, you have to understand what it is.  Government creates names, like the Affordable Care Act, to make people believe it’s a good thing.  Is the Affordable Care Act affordable?  Maybe it is if you are using other people’s money to cover part of […]

Normal’s debt

by:  Diane Benjamin To absolutely no fanfare, Normal issued their financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2014.  Bloomington has yet to issue theirs for the year ended April 30, 2014.  Tip:  If the private sector took this long, investors would be demanding a government investigation! The notes are the most interesting part.  Like […]

Just driving over it!

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal has started redesigning streets for bikes.  Their idea is to narrow intersections by adding concrete and landscaped bump outs.  It’s still a mystery how this promotes biking.  See previous post: Government has the mentality of “If we build it they will come”.  In Normal’s case, the motto should be:  “If […]

Is Fazzini incompetent or ? UPDATE!

In a random act of journalism, WGLT sheds light on the project and the guy behind the project: by:  Diane Benjamin Tuesday night former Bloomington Alderman Rob Fazzini is presenting his ideas for getting your money to a joint meeting of the Normal and Bloomington City Councils.  Remember Rob is the same guy who […]

3 things in ONE post

by:  Diane Benjamin I’d like to have weekends off, but news never stops. 1)  Renner blames the Council Mayor Transparency was on WJBC yesterday morning.  He claims Normal has a AAA credit rating because their Council will do what ever it takes.  Translation:  They will tax and raise fees without blinking.  The Council is hand-picked […]

I hope you aren’t planning to sell

by:  Diane Benjamin Your house isn’t worth as much as last year – according to the National Association of Realtors.   See this link:  or click on the picture to enlarge. The value of your house is down 8.8%.  Or maybe just cheap homes sold. . Local and State governments are killing you.  They […]