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 […]

Slow learners

By:  Diane Benjamin Evidently the people have learned nothing from Dixon Illinois.  Money corrupts everybody from City leaders to church secretaries.  Putting trust in a person with a checkbook, without common sense protections against theft, it like putting up a sign:  Free money here.  The sad part is it’s not that difficult to prevent. The […]

Sheriff Emery stands by 2nd Amendment

by:  Diane Benjamin McLean County Sheriff Mike Emery is once again on the CSPOA (Constitutional Sheriff and Peace Officers Assoc) list supporting the 2nd Amendment.  http://cspoa.org/sheriffs-gun-rights/ These are the only Sheriffs in Illinois who pledged to protect your rights: Champaign Dan Walsh Clark Jerry Parsley Link Clinton Mike Kreke Link Crawford Todd W. Liston Signed […]

More government tyranny

by:  Diane Benjamin The first job of government is to defend freedom and liberty.  Obviously, government forgot that.  The federal government has been on a spending spree for a long time, but so have local governments.  They grab more and more of your income for their agenda. See last weeks post on Heyworth:  https://blnnews.com/2014/10/03/heyworth-can-you-explain-this/ and Standford: […]

McLean County high on another list (besides taxes)

by:  Diane Benjamin The counties with the highest rates of youth 10 to 16 arrested (200 to 511 per 10,000) in 2012 were: Whiteside Lee Winnebago Kane DeKalb Cook Kankakee Livingston McLean Warren McDonough Morgan Macon Champaign Vermillion Effingham Marion Jefferson See the entire Reboot Illinois report here:  http://www.rebootillinois.com/2014/10/01/editors-picks/caitlinwilson/illinois-youth-arrest-rates-continued-downard-trend-in-2012/26087/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=10/2/2014

McLean County slapped by Attorney General

Make sure you read the comments to this story at Blnnews.com  (Especially McLean County!) by:  Diane Benjamin McLean County has forgotten they work for us.  Taxpayers are merely their piggy bank.  On September 30, the Attorney General’s Public Access Office issued a BINDING opinion against the County public comment policy.  Normally the AG just writes […]

McLean County makes a mockery of Open Meetings Act

21 Sep 2014 | Brian Costin  Illinois Policy Institute  http://www.illinoispolicy.org/mclean-county-makes-a-mockery-of-open-meetings-act/ In 2010, the Illinois General Assembly unanimously affirmed the right of citizens to speak at public meetings in stating: “Any person shall be permitted an opportunity to address public officials under the rules established and recorded by the public body.” In a sense, McLean County […]

McLean County Board doesn’t want to hear from you

by:  Diane Benjamin Want proof?  See this link to their policy for speaking at Board meetings:  http://www.mcleancountyil.gov/index.aspx?nid=663 Get on your  knees and beg permission Hope the County administrator doesn’t “misplace” your request 5 days before the meeting Then hope Matt Sorensen (chairman) doesn’t cut you off because you aren’t worthy to waste their time on […]

Illinois ranks dead last in TRUST for leaders

When very few politicians in Illinois are held accountable, is this a surprise? Local politicians move on to State offices, accountability must starts on the LOCAL level. (CNSNews.com) – The people of North Dakota put more trust and confidence in their state government than people in any other state, while the people of Illinois put […]

McLean County-Michelle Anderson investigation

by:  Diane Benjamin According to the Pantagraph, County Auditor Michelle Anderson has been questioned by the County Finance Committee concerning the purchase of new furniture for her office.  Evidently the furniture wasn’t budgeted, the money came from a personnel account.  The question now is whether she will be held accountable for shifting money.  The Pantagraph […]

Do you want 370 miles of bike paths?

by:  Diane Benjamin McLean County is going to add to the bike trail going north.  The Illinois Department of Transportation is paying 80% of the cost, McLean county, Bloomington, and Normal are paying most of the rest.  The smaller cities are pitching in some money too. McLean County will pay:  $145,000 Bloomington will pay:   […]

Lacking Transparency: McLean County

by:  Diane Benjamin From the Illinois Policy Institute http://illinoispolicy.org/wp-content/files_mf/1381871836102_countiesFINAL.pdf# Online transparency is the best solution to address the corruption problems in Illinois.  Illinois does not need to be the national headquarters for political corruption; this state can be a national leader when it comes to good government transparency and accountability reforms at the state and […]

Local Sheriffs protecting our rights, no signers in Illinois

http://cspoa.org/cspoa-jan-2014-resolution/The following was drafted at a meeting of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) on Jan 24, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada and approved by the members present.  We encourage all sheriffs, peace officers and those in public office to sign with us.Resolution Of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association Pursuant to the […]

Run, recruit, or don’t complain

Obama’s bad. Madigan’s bad. Quinn’s bad.  I get it. If you’re the kind of person who would like to do something productive in response to bad Democrats, beyond just preaching to a self-selected choir on Facebook, then run for Republican Precinct Committeeman – or at least help recruit. There are currently 6,407 precincts in Illinois. […]

Ditching the East-side Bypass

by:  Diane Benjamin I attended for an hour and half the joint meeting between the McLean County Board and the Bloomington and Normal Town Councils.  It was excruciating listening to the same presentation for the third time, with a couple minor tweaks.  It appears the ONLY people pushing this plan are big government guys who […]

McLean County: We found the problem!

The county says they are always looking for money.  Not surprising when you look at this chart.  The information is from OpenTheBooks.com 2001 Wages:  24,678,157 2011 Wages:  33,433,451 That’s around a 33% increase in wages in 10 years. 2001 spending:  49,690,795 2011 spending:  81,260,567 That’s around a 61% increase in total spending in 10 years. […]

McLean County Transparency gets WORSE!

One of the best protections against corruption is transparency, and in today’s digital age one of the easiest ways for government to be open and accountable is through posting public documents on the Internet. The Illinois Policy Institute just updated their analysis of all 102 Illinois Counties.   The report concentrates on transparency because the […]

The Fracking Lies

The anti-fracking crowd wants you to believe fracking contaminates water forever.  Here’s a company in Wisconsin handling that problem.  Ask them what energy they want used?  Why can’t our own resources be used? Tech and Biotech: AquaMost makes a move http://host.madison.com/wsj/business/technology/biotech/tech-and-biotech-aquamost-makes-a-move/article_e3fec856-464c-11e2-b097-0019bb2963f4.html December 15, 2012 4:00 pm  •  JUDY NEWMAN | Wisconsin State Journal | jdnewman@madison.com | AquaMost, a Madison company […]

McLean County Taxes Compared to ALL Counties

This report was released by the tax foundation in 2011 for 2005-2009.  http://taxfoundation.org/article/property-taxes-owner-occupied-housing-county-ranked-taxes-paid-2005-2009-five-year-average The comparison is for ALL Counties in the United States.  McLean County isn’t far down the list: #130 for medium property tax paid on homes #61 for % of tax paid based on home value #151 for % of tax based on […]

More on School Districts

by Diane Benjamin http://www.ilhonorroll.niu.edu/scripts/awards.asp?searchStr=L&awtype=E&year=2011&so=name Which area schools achieved: 2011 Academic Excellence Awards No Unit 5 Schools No Dist 87 Schools Tri-Valley Elementary Tri-Valley Middle School No Leroy schools Lexington Elementary No Heyworth Schools Olympia West Elementary Ridgeview Elementary Also See:  https://blnnews.com/2012/11/12/school-district-comparison-continued/ Also See:  https://blnnews.com/2012/11/12/school-district-comparisons/

School District comparisons

by Diane Benjamin From the Illinois State Board of Education website: http://www.isbe.net/ See the chart below: Unit 5 and District 87 have less Administrators per pupil, but the percent spent on Instruction is low. Where is the money going?  Graduations rates are way below surrounding districts. Leroy, Lexington, and Ridgeview have high pupil to admin percentages. […]

Fly on the Wall

When buzzing in my ear is too great to ignore – I must report!  What’s the turnover rate at some county offices?  Can employees be treated as less than slaves and be expected to not only stay, but give their best?  Maybe those in the  know need to stop covering up for incompetent managers.  (Unless taxpayers like […]

Reasons the Recorder of Deeds Should Remain Elected

On November 6th, the voters in McLean County will be asked if they want to move the Recorder of Deeds office into the County Clerk’s Office.  Since private property rights are critical, and what makes us different from other countries, weakening control of land documents puts our freedom and liberty at risk.  Please vote NO – keep the Recorder an independent and and […]

Closeted Gay Elected Officials

by Diane Benjamin Let’s get one thing straight:  This post has nothing to do with whether being gay is right or wrong.  It’s about Integrity. If you pay any attention at all to politics, you know that several state and national Illinois GOP elected officials are suspected of being “in the closet”.  It has now […]