ZBA failed country people

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night the Zoning Board of Appeals, with slight modifications. approved yet another wind farm. This is what the ZBA is charged with doing according to the County website:  (B) under Procedures    https://www.ecode360.com/13415648#13415648 The ZBA failed to protect the people living close to where this field will be built.  They had 8 […]

County: Mandatory Recycling TOMORROW

By:  Diane Benjamin Tomorrow we will find out who the real Republicans are on the County Board.  I can assure you that some of them do not believe in limited government.  Mandating recycling is not only impossible to enforce, it attacks the poor the most.  If landlords and businesses are FORCED to recycle, rents will […]

County loses FOIA denial!

By:  Diane Benjamin The County not only has a difficult website to use, the committee structure makes their actions difficult to track.  It’s hard enough keeping track of the meetings held just by Bloomington and Normal, I can’t track all the committee meetings and agendas too.  The County Board meetings are mostly jut rubber stamp […]

County should Defund the EDC

By:  Diane Benjamin What does the Economic Development Council do? Here’s their website:  https://www.bnbiz.org/ They have dinners and lunches, organize the One Voice trips to DC to beg for federal funds, and soak up a lot of money from both Bloomington and Normal. Last year McLean County budgeted $100,000 for the EDC.  For 2018 they dropped […]

County isn’t getting the money

By:  Diane Benjamin I could have predicted what would happen last night with sharing expenses to redesign the Towanda-Barnes/Ireland Grove intersection.  $900,000 is a lot of money, but I bet this Council won’t even approve spending far less.  The proposal was for the County to pay half and the City half. That intersection is: Not […]

County OMA non-compliance

By:  Diane Benjamin The Open Meetings Act is pretty simple.  It was written to keep government from hiding their actions from the people paying the bills.  This is the 1st paragraph: Part of the OMA pertains to meeting documentation:   Evidently the County skipped this section, at least with the Zoning Board of Appeals. From […]

County Drug Deaths

By:  Diane Benjamin Chalk this story up to I just wanted to know the facts. I sent a FOIA to the County for the number of drug deaths and type of drug used for 2016 and so far this year.  I received the information today: All I can add is:   If you use one […]

McLean County: Beware of Invenergy!

By:  Diane Benjamin From the Edgar County Watchdogs website:  http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2016/10/invenergys-wind-farm-joins-wall-of-shame/ InvEnergy owes Champaign County $480,298 in unpaid taxes. Recently, we shed a spotlight on three parcels of land in Champaign County which have unpaid taxes in the California Ridge Wind Farm developed and partially owned by INVENERGY which is 90% owned by TerraForm Power, which […]

More Miscellaneous

By:  Diane Benjamin 1) Tari Renner was on WJBC earlier this week with Scott Laughlin.  One of the topics was public comment.  Scott wondered why they bother or why they don’t set ridiculous rules like Normal and the County.  Tari played along.  What Tari should have said is the County and Normal’s public comment policies […]

County Board wants to avoid bids

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday the Executive Committee of the County Board passed a resolution for emergency replacement of the Board sound system.  It’s $108,000, but the reference material is written so poorly it’s hard to prove that’s what they are buying.  Here’s the agenda item: The packet information isn’t any more clear:  http://www.mcleancountyil.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4804 See page […]

Report on Logan County Zoning Meeting: Wind

McLean County is facing the same issues and being misled in the same way!  This is a report from a citizen who attended.  The wind company was given all the time they wanted, citizens were limited – the room was full of concerned citizens.  So far the Board only sees dollars signs! Disconnected is what […]

Matt Sorensen: He knew

By:  Diane Benjamin Last November a vote by the County Board resulted in a property tax increase when a vote to dip into LARGE reserves was defeated.  Matt Sorensen voted NO to break a tie:  https://blnnews.com/2016/03/24/county-50000000-in-reserves/ The financial statements as of 12/31/2015 have been issued (CAFR).  I’ve barely begun reviewing the 221 pages, but this […]

County: Questions for Zoning

By:  Diane Benjamin From PAGE 3-May 3, 2016 McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals minutes:  http://www.mcleancountyil.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4650 ‘The topic of this meeting was approval of a special use permit for a gravel pit on the south edge of McLean County across from Dewitt County:  This area already has many gravel pits – the proposed site is […]

FYI: Government employees are just fine

By:  Diane Benjamin While looking for something else, I found the following in the June 21st minutes of the County Board.  http://www.mcleancountyil.gov/index.aspx?nid=464 At least one local company is bringing in foreign contractors and firing long time employees. The unemployment rate in Bloomington-Normal is skyrocketing. Local available jobs require skills, but don’t pay enough to support […]

Connect Transit 2.0

By:  Diane Benjamin When government thinks they are helping people they are really robbing the population – the ones paying the bills and the ones receiving goods or services. Obviously if you are forced to give your money to the government for things you never use, want, or need your wallet is being fleeced.  Many […]

The Mental Health scam?

By:  Diane Benjamin Local Sales Tax in both Bloomington and Normal was raised 1% as of last January 1st. Do you remember being told that 1/4% would go to the County for Mental Health? The below is from Book 1 of the 2017 Bloomington budget – page 384  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=21&parent=9844 15% disappeared into the bureaucracy since […]

County: Sorensen email

By:  Diane Benjamin An acquaintance sent an email to a large number of people, former McLean County Board Chairman Matt Sorensen’s email address  was inadvertently included.  The email didn’t “bounce” even though it was sent after he quit the Board. I filed this FOIA request: All emails to and from Matt Sorensen’s County email address(s) […]

Wind: What property owners need to know

By:  Diane Benjamin If you know anyone being approached by a Wind Farm company now – get this to them.  These companies will attempt to get landowners to sign contracts even before a wind farm is approved!  Make sure they DON’T sign without knowing the facts!  These companies are not above saying the neighbors have […]

Student’s view of the County Board

The below is written by my 15 year old intern.  I had her listen to the County Board discussion of an amendment that would have prevented a property tax increase.  This is what she thought of the discussion.   By:  Sarah Welander In a McLean County Board meeting on November 17, there was an amendment […]

County: $50,000,000+ in reserves

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember when I wrote about the County Board raising your property taxes?  https://blnnews.com/2016/03/10/zero-transparency-mclean-county/ Before the vote another vote was taken that would have mandated using some of the reserves instead of raising taxes.  The comments by some Board members to protect their “savings account” show how little respect they have for taxpayers.  […]

The County (not available) spending

By:  Diane Benjamin Total spending by vendor is NOT available on the County website.  This means nobody at the County really knows where taxpayer money is spent! Numerous committees approve their own bills for payment.  The only place we can see them is by month and by committee.  NO totals – even by committee.  The […]

Zero Transparency: McLean County

By:  Diane Benjamin Last November the McLean County Board raised your property taxes. According to Board member Wendt, the County revenues were $1,000,000 higher than the previous year.  It wasn’t enough. Something interesting happened before the final budget vote.  An amendment was offered by member Erickson to use part of the reserves instead of raising […]

Everybody taxing you

By:  Diane Benjamin City of Bloomington is proposing spending 11% more.  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=21&parent=9844  See proposed Budget Presentation page 4. . See McLean County 2016 Fiscal Year recommenced budget:  http://www.mcleancountyil.gov/index.aspx?NID=102 The County passed a budget which spends 7% more in the General Fund.  Yes, your property taxes are going up. Everybody wants more of your money. Who […]

Michael Gorman? Please stand up

By:  Diane Benjamin Only two short month ago, the Council approved the appointment of Michael Gorman to the McLean county Regional Planning Commission.  He was appointed to represent the City of Bloomington on the Commission. Dec 14 2015 – Page 2 Michael Gorman is associated with Bike Blono: Note his middle initial is C. Tonight […]

County’s David Selzer: Them vrs Us

Don’t miss the two followup stories: https://blnnews.com/2016/02/15/dave-selzer-tax-deadbeat/ https://blnnews.com/2016/02/15/selzer-now-running-scared/ By:  Diane Benjamin The post below appeared on Republican County Board member Dave Selzer’s Facebook page yesterday.  The comments are even more revealing.  Dave agrees with Democrat Tari Renner 75% of the time! The McLean County transparency rating by the Illinois Policy Institute is F.  I knew […]

Update: Newcom: One of the good guys

Lee passed away today.   Keep his family in your prayers.   Lee is now enjoying heaven!   by:  Diane Benjamin The former McLean County Recorder, Lee Newcom, is dying from cancer.  I don’t want to wait until he is gone to say what needs to be said. Lee was a true Public Servant.  He […]

Corruption Central

By:  Diane Benjamin Multiple Choice test: A)  Why is Matt Sorensen’s name not being taken off the March 15th ballot?  The “powers” think voters are just stupid enough to re-elect him  The “powers” want him re-elected so they can they get his resignation and appoint the person they want  The “powers” want the March 15th […]

UPDATE County Board: A chance to change

Quote from Special Agent Patrick Bohrer, assistant section chief Public Corruption/Civil Rights program at FBI Headquarters. “We depend greatly on assistance from the public. So let me end by saying, if anyone out there has any information about potential wrongdoing by a public official, please submit a tip online or contact your local FBI field […]

More on Sorensen: Court Press release

h/t Illinois leaks/Edgar County Watchdogs  http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2016/01/mcclean-county-board-chairman-indicted-in-federal-court-for-theft-wire-fraud-totaling-over-890000/ The Press Release contains MANY details left out of the Reuters story.

If it wasn’t government – it would be criminal

By:  Diane Benjamin If your bank charged you an almost 100% penalty for paying late, what would government do? Payday loans have capped interest rates to protect borrowers. Not so much for government A family I know bought a vehicle out of town in September.  A few weeks ago they got a Sales Tax bill […]

Justice delayed is SOP

By:  Diane Benjamin Standard Operating Procedure Did you notice our illustrious Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, never prosecuted corruption in the Chicago Police Department?  She finally called on the Department of Justice to investigate when a judge ordered the video of a cop shooting a black guy released after a “blogger” forced the issue.  Note:  It […]

Debt Stats – McLean County

By:  Diane Benjamin Source:  http://tinyurl.com/pnx86vs Yesterday I posted Normal and Bloomington Stats.  Even with McLean County added, you still don’t have all the information.  There are many other levels of government also levying taxes – like townships.  

Make them look you in the eye!

Note:  Share this post with your friends.  The media isn’t going to tell them the truth! By:  Diane Benjamin Poor Mayor Koos.  Normal can’t steal more money from you unless Bloomington votes to steal more too. The media is allowing Renner to lie to you! Hey Tari:  Why are tax receipts to date UP 3.9% […]

Taxes increases would be easier with TRUTH UPDATE

How did I forget?  5 years ago Tari, Bloomington wasn’t sending around $50,000 PER MONTH to Springfield for legal! By:  Diane Benjamin Renner on WJBC:  http://cdn.stationcaster.com/stations/wjbc/media/mpeg/Tari_Renner__Bloomington_mayor-1442412227.mp3 Renner on WGLT:  http://wglt.org/wireready/news/2015/09/01831_09-15Renner_070330.shtml Tari Renner:  We aren’t doing anything today that we weren’t doing 5 years ago.  Inflation is causing the need for tax increases. 5 years ago […]

Rejoice! Headed toward #1

By:  Diane Benjamin When I moved to this area in 1980 if Democrats wanted to get elected they had to run as Republicans.  Nobody here then would ever elect a Democrat.  Some of those “pretend” Republicans are still in office. Today it’s hard to tell the difference between Democrats and Republicans.  Big time Republican Matt […]

Never enough of your money

By:  Diane Benjamin McLean County Board Chairman Matt Sorenson appeared on WGLT yesterday.  Either Bloomington passes 1/4 Sales Tax increase for mental health or the County will raise property taxes.  http://wglt.org/wireready/news/2015/08/01262_sorenson_SI_MH_spot_web_180041.shtml Instead of jumping at raising taxes, how about cutting administrators Matt? Below is a list of every Taxing Body on the State Comptrollers website […]

Taxed to death? Update!

Contrary to claims made by Tari, Bloomington population is decreasing.  So is Normal’s.  Raise taxes and watch the people flee! Source:  https://www.illinoispolicy.org/most-illinois-cities-are-shrinking-according-to-u-s-census-bureau/?utm_source=Illinois+Policy%3A+Opens&utm_campaign=8d7c43b0c3-utm_source%3Dmailchimp&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9471dd8540-8d7c43b0c3-14268985 By:  Diane Benjamin Both Bloomington and Normal are bleeding taxpayers to death with new taxes and fees or raising old ones.  Both have a 2% Food and Beverage Tax, but it’s really sad when […]

Communists invaded the Pantagraph!

By:  Diane Benjamin Quote from today’s editorial:  http://www.pantagraph.com/news/opinion/editorial/editorial-united-front-is-only-way-to-drive-economic-development/article_942a3be9-533e-5f46-b2f8-d0f15d3ac211.html There must be a consensus to step forward as a group to support ideas or processes that are in the best interest of the county as a whole. I didn’t need to attend the joint Council + County meeting this week to know what was said.  I […]

Government Center-What you might not know

By:  Diane Benjamin The information below is included in Book 1 of the Bloomington budget:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=8224 The amount included in the budget is also shown.  I believe the Bloomington Election Commission is also housed here, but they aren’t mentioned below.  

Airport: If we build it . . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin Add CIRA to the list of projects government created firmly believing it would create economic activity, benefit citizens, and not be a tax burden.  CIRA now joins the ranks of other local boondoggles like the Coliseum and the BPCA. If we build it, they will come. For awhile they did come.  CIRA […]

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