Don’t forget who won’t let you work

By:  Diane Benjamin Indiana is open.  I know locals who have driven to the Beef House right across the border to sit down for a good meal. Iowa is open for full capacity in-restaurant dining. Wisconsin is open after their Supreme Court ruled the governor’s actions illegal. Illinois has Pritzker’s boot on everybody’s neck, he […]

Normal last night

By:  Diane Benjamin During the Pledge of Allegiance – the sign is courtesy of Chemberly Cummings: The meeting began with comments from Janessa Williams, chairperson of the Human Relations Board of Normal.  She did denounce the violence. The part of the meeting that should outrage citizens was the selling of the property on Ft. Jesse.  […]

Update to NEXT Week’s meetings

By:  Diane Benjamin The December 2nd joint meeting of the Bloomington and Normal Councils to print money for a sports complex has been cancelled.  Evidently they found out that is illegal. Actually Bloomington has little interest in funding a $43 million project guaranteed to lose money and Normal can’t do it alone.  Why a meeting […]

Normal’s meeting recap

By:  Diane Benjamin Chemberly Cummings didn’t bother to attend, of course nobody said why.  That led to some problems later with only 6 voting members.  A tie vote would have meant an item failed. Numerous items were pulled from the Omnibus agenda – all these things used to sail through and were never questioned before […]

Normal: Only 2 voices of common sense

By:  Diane Benjamin Citizens of Normal can expect more backroom deals and handouts to friends because most of the Normal Trustees didn’t get the message from the last two elections.  Voters can permanently get a representative government in 2021.  Meanwhile Stan Nord and Karyn Smith are by themselves expecting fiscal sanity. The excessive spending trying […]

Part 1: Why Chemberly isn’t fit to serve

See part 2 here:  https://blnnews.com/2019/09/16/part-2-why-chemberly-isnt-fit-to-serve/ By:  Diane Benjamin The almost 11 minute speech Cummings gave announcing her candidacy for a seat in Springfield made it clear she isn’t running as a public servant.  If you watch Normal Town Council meetings you see the same thing. If you missed Chemberly proclaiming herself “the royal fortress”, watch […]

Know what a Stonewall Democrat is?

By:  Diane Benjamin Before I answer that question, local democrats and independents need to know the local democrat party is following the same course as the national party – moving so far left it’s difficult to see them as anything but socialists veering straight toward communism Keep in mind, Illinois People’s Action was the group […]

Normal has socialists on the ballot too!

By:  Diane Benjamin See this previous story:  https://blnnews.com/2019/02/22/will-bloomington-elect-socialists/ If you didn’t think the Normal Town Council is already socialist – it could get worse.  I really appreciate socialist Sonny Garcia posting on social media which candidates fit that plan: He listed the candidates voters need to avoid: Alex Campbell, Joel Studebaker, and Pat Turner. The […]

One more thing about Bloomington last Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin Someplace on the video is Tim Gleason claiming working with Normal is a high priority.  I really don’t want to re-watch it again to find the exact spot. Meanwhile, Normal is poaching two Bloomington businesses:  Farnsworth and AFNI.  Both plan to relocate in the new controversial Uptown Circle building. Normal is also […]

Normal spending+ Monday night

By: Diane Benjamin http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3156 Explanation needed: Understand now why the Chamber endorses who they endorse? More employee benefits at your expense:: Rivian! Is the first floor still empty?  Did anybody report how many bikes are actually used?   Consult on what? Does anybody else pay dues?  Ever see a report?  Remember Bloomington’s Downtown Association that dissolved? Paying […]

Stan Nord running for Normal Town Council

Press Release November 18, 2018 Stan Nord to run for Normal Town Council  Stan Nord is pleased to announce his candidacy for Normal Town Council in the consolidated election on April 2nd, 2019.  He has prepared the necessary filings and is excited to start the campaign process. He looks forward to presenting his views on […]

Koos unites the Left and Right – AGAINST him!

By:  Diane Benjamin At the last meeting of the Normal Town Council citizens showed up to protest the latest development plan for Uptown:    https://blnnews.com/2018/10/16/normal-citizens-showed-up-no-minds-changed/ Two speakers decried the plan to destroy more historic buildings.  The Council didn’t care and passed the plan anyway. There is now a petition on-line to save the mural:   https://www.change.org/p/town-of-normal-city-council-save-the-mural-save-our-money It […]

Normal citizens showed up – No minds changed

By:  Diane Benjamin Proving yet again the plan must be followed in Normal, the Bush development was approved for yet another building in Uptown.  It doesn’t matter the building across the street has a vacant ground floor and empty apartments upstairs.  The agreement for the building doesn’t require the use of local labor.  One speaker […]

Bike Ridership Is Down Across America

By:  Diane Benjamin Are both councils stupid enough to keep doing “complete streets”?  I predict YES! After Millions of Dollars Spent and Hundreds of New Lane Miles Built, Bike Ridership Is Down Across America The 2017 American Community Survey finds the number of people biking to work is falling nationwide. Source:     http://reason.com/blog/2018/09/27/after-millions-of-dollars-spent-and-hund Excerpts: Despite spending […]

Normal: 6 minute meeting

By:  Diane Benjamin The actual video of last night’s Normal Council meeting is a little over 8 minutes long.  The meeting didn’t start until 1:48 and ended at 7:25, close to a new record. In that time they approved spending $3,341,358.99 and some other items that couldn’t get a motion and a second fast enough.  […]

Normal: Unintended Consequences

By:  Diane Benjamin Town of Normal for 8/6/2018   http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3030 PDF page 38 – $25,503 to buy more recycling containers – demand for them is up.  Earlier this year Normal quit funding drop off locations where citizens did the work for them.  Now the Town has to buy more containers with yellow lids and the Public […]

ISU must not teach capitalism

By:  Diane Benjamin The Normal Town Council meeting lasted more than 10 minutes last night!  It actually went over an hour because of the mandatory recycling ordinance. ISU kids showed up to demand their right to recycle.  Some called it a necessity, one claimed she had to drive 5-10 minutes to drop hers off and […]

Attacking the poor in Normal

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2996 Tonight Normal may prove government destroys affordable housing. On the agenda is mandatory recycling for all multi-family housing.  Non-compliance fines are $100 per day!  Who MUST recycle: Attacking the poor is so easy when ideology rules over common sense.  Affordable housing will become even less affordable.  Where is the League of […]

Participation Trophy

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal passed the “Welcoming Ordinance” last night that does nothing.  Scott Preston and Jeff Fritzen voted against it.  The supporters declared victory anyway, they got the Town to kneel before them even if only for one night.  The radical pep rally lasted for over 3 hours so everyone who wanted to speak […]

Normal’s handouts tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills for approval tonight:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2958 This is the guy running Normal: On 4/16 he was paid $20,658.49   https://blnnews.com/2018/04/13/normal-monday-10-minute-meeting/ These payments total $24,994.08 More non-profit give-ways: (website:  https://forbettertomorrow.org/ ) Even more give-away (You pay taxes to Normal so they can give it to Heartland who also taxes you) So you don’t forget how much rent […]

UPDATE: Normal: Don’t do it!

  It passed with 2 no votes by Scott Preston and Jeff Fritzen.  Video you won’t want to miss tomorrow! By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night Normal will consider a “Welcoming Ordinance” for people who have no legal right to be in this country. We pass laws to protect law breakers? We pass law for specific […]

Grown men crying

By:  Diane Benjamin I wish video existed at Tom Hamilton’s last meeting of the Bloomington City Council.  I’m betting the accolades were so sugary sweet the then Council and mayor risked diabetes.  I’m betting nobody mentioned The Grove or the never used fire station or the unusable water tower built during his tenure.  I’m betting […]

Live Streaming tells the truth

By:  Diane Benjamin If local governments had not started Live Streaming meetings, the media would be your only source for information. So far I haven’t seen a word about Stan Nord speaking at the Normal Town Council meeting last night. Mr. Nord spoke about property he is trying to develop on West College.  He accused […]

More on Uptown Circle

By:  Diane Benjamin Followup to yesterday’s story:  https://blnnews.com/2018/03/16/hum-uptown-circle/ As reported yesterday, this new building in Uptown has no tenants on the first floor.  The Town of Normal is renting the entire second floor: According to the Pantagraph from 7/4/2016: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/normal-eyes-design-contract-for-office-space/article_9d3ad5b1-f04d-5709-a834-2d10fe6db9eb.html The town will lease 13,780 square feet of office space for 15 years, with renewal options, […]

They paid it twice

By:  Diane Benjamin As I reported in this story:  https://blnnews.com/2018/01/14/tuesday-normal-spending/ the Town of Normal made TWO payments of $217,078.24 during January to MCP Uptown Owner LLC. I wasn’t kidding when I said a FOIA was filed! I received 66 pages. As part of the Uptown TIF, increases in property taxes paid are kept by Normal.  The […]

Cummings: Who do you represent?

By:  Diane Benjamin During public comment many first time speakers almost begged the Council to save the historic buildings at 104, 106, and 108 Beaufort Street.  From the Council discussion, that is not going to happen. City Manager Peterson claimed all they were doing was picking a developer.  Oh they will see what they can […]