Susan Kalter: Explain your meeting to the Attorney General

By:  Diane Benjamin See previous stories: https://blnnews.com/2020/07/16/looks-like-a-revolt-at-isu/ https://blnnews.com/2020/07/20/isu-when-you-hear-from-the-attorney-general-just-plead-guilty/ Today I was notified by the Public Access office of the Attorney General they are going to investigate whether the first faculty meeting violated the Open Meetings Act. Excerpts: See the entire document I received:  63926 FI Letter When Kalter or ISU responds the Attorney General’s office […]

Update: If Connect Transit meets tomorrow – they will be breaking the law

Meeting is rescheduled to June 4th. By:  Diane Benjamin From the Connect Transit website – they have a monthly meeting scheduled for tomorrow: https://www.connect-transit.com/about/trustees/packet.asp The agenda MUST be posted 48 hours in advance to comply with the Open Meetings Act.  It isn’t posted, therefore they must cancel the meeting: Did they fail to post it […]

Oath of office – on video

By:  Diane Benjamin Just so there is a record, since the City of Bloomington didn’t live stream or archive video of the candidates being sworn in, a reader taped Carrillo and Crabill. They did take an oath to support the Constitution.  I wonder if they know the word “democracy” is not in it?   Below […]

It’s confirmed: Laws Don’t Matter!

By:  Diane Benjamin Laws most likely broken by the Town of Normal Council don’t matter because prosecutions need a prosecutor.  The citizens of Normal don’t have one! In case you forgot the facts, see this story:  https://blnnews.com/2017/11/16/normal-your-government-is-fixed/ Basics: The Town held a Secret meeting (Executive Session) on August 11th at 9:30 in the morning. The meeting […]

Another Victory!

By:  Diane Benjamin Laws don’t seem to matter to our Public Servants unless they are forced to follow them.  Maybe that’s human nature, kind of like everybody is speeding so I might as well too. But this offense meant there was no written record of what happened at meetings.  The offender was the McLean County […]

Open Meetings Act Violation #3

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington has been found guilty of more violations, but this makes 3 that I either filed or was closely involved in the filing. This time it’s the library: Of course there isn’t a penalty assessed even though law specifies penalties are available.  Laws only matter if us peons are […]

Bloomington is Chicago

Did Tari Know a large crowd was coming?  It matters. By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington Police Department was told loud and clear last night they were a huge problem.  I wonder how many officers today are questioning why they are willing to die on the job to protect and serve people who despise them.  I […]

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 […]

Library investigated for OMA

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember the two illegal meetings held by the library board because they weren’t posted 48 hours in advance?  https://blnnews.com/2017/06/20/followup-illegal-meetings/ Keep in mind I notified both the Sheriff and the State’s Attorney’s office prior to the meetings, they did nothing to stop the crime of violating the Open Meetings Act.  Law for government […]

Laws are immaterial

By:  Diane Benjamin The ruling by the Attorney General’s Public Access office against the City of Bloomington is completely meaningless.  Read the entire ruling here:  17-004 The only penalty for the Bloomington City Council violating the Open Meetings Act by holding an illegal Executive Session is: The tape of the meeting must be released The […]

Why is BN Advantage a secret group?

By:  Diane Benjamin BN Advantage was formed in 2015.  Their mission is to get all the players together for collaboration on economic development strategy. The Bloomington Council approved the formation in October 2015, see this doc:  BN Advantage  I’m sure other area governments passed the same type resolution. Temporarily forget the fact that government doesn’t […]

Hudson: Non-compliance

By:  Diane Benjamin The Village of Hudson failed to post the agenda for tonight’s meeting on their website 48 hours in advance.  It was finally posted to the website sometime yesterday. Problem: The Agenda that was posted on the door of the Water Departments is different than the one now posted on the Village website!. […]

More conspiring against citizens

By:  Diane Benjamin Follow-up to this story:  https://blnnews.com/2017/06/02/b-n-is-getting-the-delphi-treatment/ (It won’t be the only one!) The Bloomington Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is trying to get out of complying with the Open Meetings Act.  What does the Open Meetings Act say? OMA applies to all “public bodies”:  http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=84&ChapterID=2 I’d love to know what grounds they […]

No Connect Transit meeting tomorrow

By:  Diane Benjamin If Connect does hold their scheduled meeting tomorrow, it won’t be legal.  The agenda must be posted 48 hours in advance according to the Open Meetings Act.  Nothing has been posted. Click here and verify the packet for 5/23 meeting is not listed:  http://www.connect-transit.com/about/trustees/packet.asp Leave a comment below, I may need witnesses. […]

Laws don’t apply to government

By:  Diane Benjamin Illinois Open Meetings Act Law: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=84&ChapterID=2 Monday night the Bloomington City Council is approving minutes dated between 1998 and 2009.  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12450 Not approving minutes as required by law isn’t just something the City did a long time ago.  Here is another example from April 11, 2016: September 21, 2015 just happens to […]

Renner’s Big Mouth

By:  Diane Benjamin Is the Metro Zone fight between Bloomington and Normal REAL, or a campaign stunt? I’m leaning toward real. Side Note: Normal’s budget for 2016-2017 was more than $120 MILLION.  The estimated $1.2 million Normal would lose from Metro Zone represents 1% of their total budget.  The Normal Town Council had no problem […]

ISU’s Illegal Public Comment policy

By:  Diane Benjamin Complying with the law doesn’t matter when citizens “interfere” with government’s ability to do whatever they want! Normal is the perfect example.  The entire Council, Mayor, and City Manager are pretending they asked the Attorney General to rule on their policy.  They didn’t.  TWO citizens want Lisa Madigan’s Public Access office to […]

Connect Transit News

By:  Diane Benjamin The Connect Transit Board met yesterday.  They skipped meeting in December, so this meeting covered November and December’s activity. See the Board Packet here:  http://www.connect-transit.com/documents/January%2024,%202017%20Regular%20Board%20Meeting%20Binder2.pdf The Board did a couple of things right: Page 20:   Page 27: This travel expense law was passed to control spending in non-Home Rule units of […]

Here: Call Police, elsewhere . . .

By: Diane Benjamin When the Edgar County Watchdogs told the Bloomington Election Commission their meeting was illegal BEFORE the meeting started, they started the meeting anyway. Then, when Kirk Allen, John Kraft, and I interrupted the meeting because it was illegal – they called the police! Relive great moments in Bloomington history by watching the […]

Selzer: You shouldn’t delete if you believe

By:  Diane Benjamin A reader sent me screen shots of a conversation County Board member David Selzer was having on Facebook about moving the County Board meetings to 7:00 at night.  If he hadn’t deleted the conversation, I probably wouldn’t be posting it here.  Evidently Selzer knew he was wrong.  More than one person was […]

BEC has an attitude problem!

By:  Diane Benjamin A reader sent an email to Paul Shannon at the Bloomington Election Commission detailing Bloomington’s Public Comment policy.  He asked Paul why the Election Commission doesn’t have the same policy. This was Shannon’s reply: We are not funded through the city of Bloomington, but operate from funding with an intergovernmental agreement between […]

UPDATE! Public Notice!

Update:  The challenge to Tari Renner’s petitions has been rescheduled for 2:30 Friday.  Hopefully, this meeting will be posted in their office by 2:30 today. Thanks everybody who called or emailed. __________________________________________ I sent the email below to the Bloomington Election Commission this morning.  Their office phone number is:  309-888-5136, demand this meeting be canceled […]

Another OMA violation – Allin Fire

By:  Diane Benjamin The Open Meetings Act was created to make sure citizens are informed about actions their government takes.  Imagine what would happen if all government actions took place in secret and you got the bill for whatever they dreamed up! The Edgar County Watchdogs wrote an easy to understand version of the Open […]

BEC-The Saga continues

By:  Diane Benjamin Below is the video shot by John Kraft of Edgar County Watchdogs at the meeting to hear the protest to Renner’s petitions.  John kept the video running after the meeting was recessed.  At 6:48 Jason Chambers, State’s Attorney, announced he was not going to intervene because his office would be responsible for […]

Secret meeting: the transcript

By:  Diane Benjamin I won’t have to file another lawsuit for the transcript of the Executive Session that Judy Stearns walked out of.  I now have it, parts are redacted.  A link is at the end of this article.  The meeting was held November 15, 2013. First, everybody in this meeting, except facilitator Lynn Montei, […]

AG: Pending cases against Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin The Public Access division of the Attorney General’s office was designed to hold government accountable and give citizens a voice. As with Judy Stearns’ case against the City for violating the Open Meetings Act, justice can take years of mostly no action. I lost count of how many Request for Reviews have […]

Tari: Seriously, citizens deserve truth

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari was on WJBC again this morning:  Tari Renner Bloomington Mayor 8-10-16 Starting around 12:40 Tari discusses the Liquor Commission yet again.  Kudos to Scott Laughlin for questioning some of Tari’s statements. Tari is trying to justify the Open Meetings Act violations by using State Law.  He seems to forget Bloomington is […]

UPDATE: NEXT Lawsuit

I was notified last night approval of release will be on the 8/22 agenda. Lawsuit pending until then. . By:  Diane Benjamin Laws evidently don’t matter to the current City of Bloomington Leadership.  Government “for and by the people” has become sit down, shut up, and we might get to you eventually. They have until […]

3 minute meeting?

By:  Diane Benjamin The approval of a Liquor License was left off the agenda last night.  Since the recipient has a Father’s Day event planned, he can’t wait until the next meeting for approval.  Therefore the Council is planning a quick meeting whenever they can get 5 aldermen together to approve it.  Who dropped the […]

UPDATE: Not transparent Tari

  A special 3 minute meeting was just called for later this week.  Put approval on that agenda Tari! By: Diane Benjamin The last time the City Council looked at their Secret Meeting minutes, as required by law, they refused to release the old City Manager Tom Hamilton’s performance reviews.  In other words, people still […]

Pantagraph actually reports – sort of

By:  Diane Benjamin Today’s edition has a story on the Attorney General’s ruling about the Bloomington City Council violating the Open Meetings Act:   http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/government-and-politics/ill-ag-city-council-violated-open-meetings-law/article_5dfb7bef-4515-52af-96a9-e8fb37c8abb0.html See this story  from June 4th:  https://blnnews.com/2016/06/04/renner-is-guilty/ Of course the paper’s version contains errors.  The AG ruled the “verbatim recording” must be released in addition to the closed session minutes […]

Dear Award-Winning Mayor Transparency

Tari, It’s wonderful that the Illinois Policy Institute rated Bloomington’s website 100% on their 10 point scale.   It’s great that citizens can see information without filing FOIA requests. But that’s just a website Tari, and only 10 things IPI thinks are important. You now have the opportunity to prove you are really transparent.  (Of course, […]