Followup: Illegal meetings

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I did not receive a response from the State’s Attorney or the Sheriff.  The illegal joint meeting between the Council and the Library Board took place. Bloomington attorney Jeff Jurgens admitted in an email the two meetings now posted on the Library Board website were not posted 48 hours in advance. […]

UPDATE: Playing nice – for now

I’ve said over and over laws are broken here because nobody will prosecute.   Tonight’s illegal meeting will take place and so will the illegal meeting the library has scheduled for tomorrow.  The Sheriff doesn’t care – he hasn’t responded to my email.  The States Attorney’s office doesn’t care either – Knapp hasn’t responded to […]

UPDATE: Illegal Meeting Tonight

Evidently someone at the library is pretending this was posted: I have a picture of the library website on my phone from this morning with a date and time stamp showing the first two meetings were not posted.  Today’s meeting is illegal and so is tomorrow’s.  48 hours people!  Do I need to bring 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 […]

Avoid Normal candidate Chemberly Cummings

By:  Diane Benjamin I would have loved to post comments from the forums held for the Council of both Bloomington and Normal, but there wasn’t any insight gained.  Spending an hour listening the questions and answers doesn’t give the candidates much time to reveal themselves.  Some are purposely hiding their agenda to get elected. The […]

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 […]

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 […]

Danvers is the latest!

By:  Diane Benjamin In the last two weeks I have been contacted by many people in small towns surrounding Bloomington-Normal.  They are tired of being abused by their government while information on spending is hidden. The latest to contact me is Danvers.  The citizens have a new FACEBOOK page to spread information since Danvers doesn’t […]

Stanford and the State’s Attorney

By:  Diane Benjamin Back in June the Village of Stanford Board approved a contract to tear down a house after a presentation by a relative of two board members.  The presentation and vote were not on the agenda, so that vote was illegal. See two stories:  HERE On the agenda under Legal – Mark McGrath […]

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 […]

Just to clarify . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin The integrity of elections matter.  The reason for filing petitions to run for public office is to show support from voters.  If any part of the petitions are falsified, signed by citizens not registered to vote, or not properly notarized the election becomes a joke. The Bloomington Election Commission is required to […]

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 […]

More on Stanford’s actions-ILLEGAL

By:  Diane Benjamin See this previous story:  https://blnnews.com/2016/11/03/stanford-still-being-suspicious/ The presentation by Brad Hinch for demolition of the property at 310 N Kathleen Street took place at the meeting held on 6/16/16.  The vote to hire Hinch took place later in the same meeting:   http://stanfordil.org/id514.html That vote was illegal! According to the Illinois Open Meetings Act, […]

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, […]

Congrats Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin Somebody at the City finally read the Open Meetings Act LAW!  This note is included on the Agenda for Monday night: David Hales has an ongoing problem approving minutes.  Last March I had to file a Freedom of Information Act for the minutes of the meeting held 9/21/15.  What happened at that […]

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 […]

Tari: Is truth too difficult?

By:  Diane Benjamin This item was pulled from the agenda by Tari Renner before Public Comment.  He said he would explain later. Watch the video below – just hit PLAY. The packet for the meeting has this explanation of the change: That’s important because the Boards and Commissions post agendas and minutes and are required […]

Is Tari declaring himself KING?

By:  Diane Benjamin The Liquor Commission under Steve Stockton had 5 members.  Under Tari Renner it only has three people, including himself.  Tari controls the commission with one compliant person on the board who agrees with anything Tari wants. Rumors abound that Tari is going to BE the Liquor Commission from now on, nobody else […]

Stearns response to Renner – Part 2

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I posted the 2nd email Tari Renner sent to Judy Stearns, but I didn’t post Judy’s response.  See this post:  https://blnnews.com/2016/07/13/renner-emails-judy-again/ The original email exchange started here:  https://blnnews.com/2016/07/13/renner-hauman-running-scared/ As a review, here is Tari’s 2nd email: Here is Judy’s response: The next Council meeting could get interesting! Maybe Tari can explain […]

Bloomington: Contempt for Transparency

By:  Diane Benjamin My next lawsuit is going to be for the AUDIO of the Executive Session where the Attorney General ruled the Open Meetings Act was violated.  I will demand the judge listen to the entire audio to insure the City doesn’t redact items that shouldn’t be redacted. Why? Stay with me: See the […]

Mayor – Judy Stearns face off again

By:  Diane Benjamin Former Alderwoman Judy Stearns spoke during public comment last night.  Mayor Renner broke HIS own rules and responded to her comments.  Since he responded, so do she, at which time he called her out-of-order. Stearns was there to talk about the majority of the Council not representing the citizens of Bloomington.  She […]

Tonight: Bloomington City Council

By:  Diane Benjamin Mr. Tompkins resigned from the Liquor Commission several months ago.  A number of citizens have documented numerous violations of the Open Meetings Act by the three members during the time Tompkins served.  The other two members are Renner and James Jordan.  Until these violations are resolved, we feel Tompkins isn’t qualified to […]

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 Collusion

By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph needs to explain why an alleged Open Meetings Act violation against the McLean County Health Department is so much more important than the one they also reported this week against the City of Bloomington.  That story was quickly buried on their website – comments were NEVER allowed.  Comments ARE allowed […]

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 […]