More on the “illegal meeting”

By:  Diane Benjamin State’s Attorney Jason Chambers doesn’t agree with the Attorney General’s email from yesterday: Not surprising since he didn’t see a problem with Mayor Renner announcing at a Council meeting that art is for sale in his City office: Chambers interprets the City Code that the Mayor is part of the […]

Just precious Tari

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember that almost $1 Trillion stimulus plan for shovel ready infrastructure jobs that weren’t so shovel ready?  Remember how your Motor Fuel Tax dollars aren’t being spent on roads, instead billions have been diverted to high-speed rail that isn’t so high-speed? The below is included in the packet for next Monday’s City […]

Painter: Intent to Deceive?

By:  Diane Benjamin A Ward 5 resident sent me Joni Painters campaign materials.  I’m going to separate her talking points from reality. Joni wants to “address our crumbling roads and deteriorating water and sewer systems”?  Ask her why the only money budgeted for 2016 comes from the Motor Fuel Tax passed last year – by […]

Bloomington Debt – Corrected

By:  Diane Benjamin Below is one of the debt tables I misinterpreted.  Government accounting is different from the private sector.  To me, as a CPA, listing a payment from 2020-2024 means that payment will be made for 5 years.  To government, that amount is the total.  This table is from the CAFR – the financial […]

Secret: Council members evaluate David Hales

by:  Diane Benjamin Usually the public doesn’t get to know how the Council evaluates City Manager David Hales.  These discussions take place in Executive Sessions – secret meetings – then the Council votes NOT to release the minutes to the public.  Evidently they don’t want anybody to know what they think.  Surprise – now you […]

What is Tari going to do now?

by:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington Library has operated for many years without much City supervision.  They are the only board that can raise taxes without the approval of the Council.  Until recently, they also wanted an east-side branch. That was before Tari Renner became Mayor.  Renner replaced many people on all the City Boards and […]

Impeach Renner!

by:  Diane Benjamin A citizen sent a copy of my story on the Flex to Mayor Renner and the City Council.  He copied numerous news organizations since the PBL side is not being reported in the media Instead of responding to the facts I wrote (directly from the PBL!), Mayor Renner decided to personally […]

It’s David Hales’ fault!

by:  Diane Benjamin Add to the title:  And the Aldermen who voted to give him another contract and a big raise! Of course, you don’t know which ones did because they also voted to NOT release the minutes of Executive (Secret) meetings where they do the evaluations.  Think the 7 potted plants.  Same thing happened to […]

Coliseum, etc: Citizen theft

by:  Diane Benjamin I really hate to keep reminding the City of Bloomington:  The citizens voted NO on the Coliseum, but you built it anyway.  Government is NOT smarter than the people.  Government does NOT create sustainable jobs.  Government is not capable of being financially responsible with YOUR money because they don’t have to. Call […]

Fly on the Wall – Confused

Mayor Renner wants a hotel in downtown Bloomington.  I thought the purpose was to help the Coliseum. But, the hotel feasibility study includes a 20,000 square foot convention center. I thought the Coliseum was the convention center.  How is this going to help the Coliseum? Besides, 150 rooms isn’t going to handle a lot of […]

Bloomington Alderman Jennifer McDade RESIGNS

by:  Diane Benjamin Jennifer McDade is quitting the Bloomington City Council for “personal reasons”.  Her petitions were challenged when she ran in 2013 and enough of them were ruled invalid to get her off the ballot.  She spent THOUSANDS appealing the decision and won at the next level – then won the election. Now she […]

Just in case Mayor Renner is plotting . . .

by:  Diane Benjamin I have no idea why Mayor Renner got so upset about Alderwoman Stearns filing with the Attorney General concerning what she deemed an inappropriate Executive Session.  When Stearns walked out of the meeting she made it clear to the entire Council that, in her opinion, the topics being discussed violated the rules […]

Guess what Steve Vogel is hiding!

by:  Diane Benjamin On Saturday Steve Vogel had an editorial in the Pantagraph with his predictions for 2014. Way at the bottom was this: Last month’s dust-up between Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner and Alderman Judy Stearns will be repeated this year – maybe even this month. Steve, Steve, a dust-up? It wasn’t a dust-up! Ms. […]

More on Hales getting a BIG raise

by:  Diane Benjamin See previous post: Also obtained under the Freedom of Information Act: Discussions concerning employees of the City can be done in Executive Sessions – yes, secret meetings.  By Mayor Renner writing an email to the Council, he let the cat out of the proverbial bag.  Maybe Tari is being extraordinarily transparent. […]

Get ready for Hales to get a lot bigger raise than us little people

Make sure you see this post too: by:  Diane Benjamin The email below was obtained under the Freedom of Information act.   It concerns ongoing discussions of David Hales job performance. Mayor Renner seems to think David Hales should be compared to the CEO of a major corporation.  If Bloomington was a corporation, it […]

What is Mayor Transparency’s definition?

by:  Diane Benjamin Here’s what the Mayor’s version of transparency was during the campaign: Published on Mar 21, 2013 Since the beginning of his campaign, Tari Renner has continually stressed transparency. Tari believes it is ludicrous that you can’t see how your hard earned tax dollars are spent! As mayor Tari would throw open the doors […]

Transparency in Name Only: TINO

by:  Diane Benjamin If you read the City of Bloomington website, you would think they are all about transparency.  The City has bigger problems a website will never fix. The City culture is non-transparency and non-adherence to laws that get in their way.  The numerous complaints filed with the Attorney General’s office are evidence of […]

Renner’s rant

Update at: by:  Diane Benjamin On November 15th, Alderwoman Judy Stearns walked out of an Executive Session of the Bloomington City Council.  Executive Sessions are SECRET meetings governed by laws created by the State of Illinois.  These laws are meant to protect citizens by severely restricting what CAN be discussed in these SECRET meetings. […]

More on Mayor Transparency Renner-Lies abound

by:  Diane Benjamin The email below was received under the Freedom of Information Act.  More people were listed in the TO: section, but it’s going to take another FOIA request to get an accurate printout.  Read it carefully.  Has Mayor Renner ever said in public that he helped WRITE the petition to change the Ward […]

Rob Fazzini verbally abuses a Bloomington citizen

by:  Diane Benjamin Is the behavior of Alderman Rob Fazzini going to be tolerated by the Bloomington City Council? The following email was sent by Rob Fazzini to a citizen who disagrees with his petition drive to change the Bloomington City Council.  Fazzini is condescending and shows contempt for a voter and senior citizen.  The […]