Flashback 2014, what we don’t see anymore

By:  Diane Benjamin I was searching my site for one name mentioned in this 2014 story, sorry no hints. Maybe you too have forgotten how bad the PCard spending was in 2014.  Happily we don’t see this excessive eating at your expense anymore, just occasionally now. Relive the “free lunch” Tari used to claim didn’t […]

Update with artist fees: BCPA Resorts to Deception

By:  Diane Benjamin Since the BCPA is shut down, staff had time to do event reports.  Well, they sort of did reports.  To disguise how much money they are losing, most of the reports below don’t show any REVENUE.  Of course the Artist Fees aren’t on the reports either.  You are looking at the reason […]

Bloomington: 2/24/2020

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll:  https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=23995 Agenda:  https://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1059&Inline=True Congrats taxpayers!  No employees are receiving Sick Leave Buy Back payments this time to spike their pensions.  Don’t get excited though, you will be paying again: See PDF page 89 of the agenda. Denise Balagna will be receiving an extra $205.78 per month Joyce McKeon will […]

Payments for Bloomington Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll for Monday:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=19706 Bloomington collects Food and Beverage taxes and then gives Normal their share.  This is the amount being paid Monday night: How much was it a year ago? http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14534 Since the tax rate hasn’t increased, more people are eating out and paying the tax. __________________________________________ Shipping money to […]

They had to have bought all new phones!

By:  Diane Benjamin I decided to see what the PCard and phone bills were for January.  I was interrupted and side-tracked at least a dozen times, forgive me if I missed something. http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15632 January phone Checks written: $26,112.00 February checks:  6,843.36 January phone PCard Charges:  $11,301.98 Total January:  $37,413.98 February PCard:  $209,026.79 https://blnnews.com/2018/02/23/phones-just-one-month/ Total February:  $216,077.72 I […]

UPDATE Phones: Just ONE month

See this story too:  https://blnnews.com/2018/02/23/they-had-to-have-bought-all-new-phones/ _____________ Internet is provided from CIRBN and not included in the below.  CIRBN was paid on the last bills and payroll:  Library 420.33, City 2725.01   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15822 By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15938 I used to have to examine all the free lunches on PCards, those day are mostly over since Renner’s PCard got […]

Update: Tari, Tari, Tari – WJBC

I reported on December 28th State Farm was leaving downtown!  Nice to see SF finally admitted it.  https://blnnews.com/2017/12/28/state-farm-is-leaving-downtown/   By:  Diane Benjamin Mayor Renner appeared on WJBC yesterday – hear him HERE Couple of notes: He called a special meeting for next Tuesday because he thinks the people who volunteered to be on his downtown task force […]

Monday PCard and bills

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll for Monday night:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15410 This one is easy Patti Lynn – no need to belong to anything!  111 felony counts could have easily been prevented!   With Tari now PCardless and David Hales gone, money saved.  The City Council still ate at your expense: Why did Public Works need pizza […]

PCard Freedom Day!

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15366 PDF page 118 NO Tari free lunches in October: (No expense report payments are included either) Buy local doesn’t apply to government – cordless blower for Administration? Why is Bloomington supporting a non-profit with your money?  Are they buying votes?  What about that Chili Cook-off?  Do laws matter? Why does government […]

Where to start, where to start, where . . .

By:  Diane Benjamin Unpacking last night’s Bloomington City Council meeting will take more than one story! Let’s start with Tari Renner getting his PCard taken away.  Just hit play below to hear his comments. Tari claimed Finance Director Patti-Lynn Silva runs a great shop, there are no abuses of the PCard policy. Tari must not […]

September PCard + Bills

By: Diane Benjamin Even on sick leave, Tari can hold a business meeting at a bar and use the City PCard:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14856 The rest of the council still has no problem feeding themselves at your expense. Looks like the Chamber of Commerce is behind “Quality of Life” Monarch Group is Real Estate Development.  Funny how WHO […]

Magnificent Monday!

By:  Diane Benjamin The most interesting parts of tonight’s festivities by the Bloomington City Council won’t be the Council business at 7:00.  The pre-meeting David Sage led discussion of Renner’s PCard usage will be enlightening.  I wonder if anybody will ask why Tari still has a PCard? Will Sage ask Tari how this PCard lunch […]

ISP Proving Integrity: Renner

By:  Diane Benjamin I filed a FOIA request with the Illinois State Police for the investigative documents pertaining to the Renner/Japan/PCard investigation in the purchase of Margot Erhlich’s ticket.  I just received a denial: _______________________________________________________________________ 09/28/2017 . Bloomington Normal News Ms. Diane Benjamin . Re: FOIR #17-2327 . Dear Ms. Benjamin: . Thank you for […]

Renner: I’m ill with type A

By:  Diane Benjamin Yep, Tari was on time out.  “Medical related” meant he can’t handle his type A personality.    See the interview he did with WMDB yesterday:  http://www.centralillinoisproud.com/news/local-news/exclusive-bloomington-mayor-tari-renner-opens-up-about-leave-of-absence/819831555 Tari was never on medial leave, he never quit being mayor!  Tari claims he only took a couple of weeks off,  that explains a lot about why […]

UPDATE: August PCard!

A. Aldag is either a current or former IWU student of Renners.  So, what’s the public purpose here Tari? https://www.iwu.edu/news/2015/aldag-surveys-foreign-investments-in-DC-internship.html _____________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin PCard spending starts on PDF page 124:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=14720 This is Tari’s “business lunch” as caught by a reader on 8/9 at Rosie’s.  Tari is in the shadows.  Maybe this explain why […]

Sister Cities non-budget

By:  Diane Benjamin I did finally receive my FOIA for the General Ledger entries to the Sister Cities accounts.  Travel expenses is sometimes in “Travel” and sometimes in “Community Relations”.  The accounts are full of transfers and memo entries that make it difficult to determine what is happening. The Sister Cities program is supported by […]

Dumping Dollars Downtown

By:  Diane Benjamin Downtown Bloomington is going to get more of your money tonight: Just at this one meeting the History Museum gets $145,000 (https://blnnews.com/2017/08/27/bloomington-supports-friends-with-your-money/ ) and the DBA doesn’t need to support itself.  You get 2 new employees with gold-plated benefits and pensions! Another $289,305 sucked out of your wallet!   See the DBA […]

Do laws matter?

By:  Diane Benjamin I’m not celebrating the State Police investigating Tari Renner’s use of a City PCard for a personal purchase.  Being investigated is not the same as being prosecuted.  We will find out if laws still matter, sometimes it’s hard to tell.  Illinois Constitution: Government officials and employees aren’t allowed to read the law […]

UPDATE: PCard Fraud and CITY Policy

Tari Renner signed the form agreeing to comply with the PCard policy:  Renner PCard forms Is he going to turn in his PCard voluntarily since he has violated the policy numerous times?  Is the Council going to let him get by with it?  Are rules just for everybody but Tari? __________________________________________________ By: Diane Benjamin Did […]

Another Spiked Pension

By:  Diane Benjamin From Monday’s Bills and Payroll:  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12446 Employees are still allowed to SPIKE their pensions by getting paid for accumulated sick and vacation days. TWO courts have recently ruled that employers do not have to allow this, of course the rules haven’t been changed.  It just cost you another $32,106.66.  The City is […]

More on Bills and Payroll

By:  Diane Benjamin See Monday night’s Bills and Payroll here:  http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=242&parent=9535 Media did well: Straightening out the mess prior management left? . This months eating at your expense: ADMIN City Council Expenses Station 220 Inc $ 32.75 07/01/16 Business lunch T. Renner  (By himself?) ADMIN City Council Expenses Station 220 Inc $ 50.00 06/30/16 Business […]

More spending You Won’t Believe!

By:  Diane Benjamin From Bills and Payroll tonight:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=9509 Remember when the Financial Statements are issued and the City brags about their Award Winning presentation?  See page 7 http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=9336 They BOUGHT it! FIN Misc. Expense Government Finance $ 580.00 App. Fee for Cert. of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program I’ve never seen Financial […]

October’s eating at your expense!

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s amazing the Council still feels entitled to feed themselves and call it business.  http://www.cityblm.org/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=9418  Page 91 City Council Exp Maggie Miley $ 32.97 Business lunch for Mayor, N. Finlen & A. Quick City Council Exp Hansen Center $ 18.97 Business lunch for Mayor & J. Zeunick City Council Exp Avanti Italian […]

This months FEEDING themselves!

By:  Diane Benjamin From Bills and Payroll for Monday night: http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=9193  Page 89 ADMIN City Council Expens Illinois Municipal League $ 310.00 IML Registration for Mayor & D.Hales ADMIN City Council Expens Illinois Municipal League $ 310.00 IML Registration – Alderman Mwilambwe ADMIN City Council Expens Illinois Municipal League $ (95.00) IML Registration Refund – […]

Transparency Matters Joni

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s national Sunshine Week! “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis – on the benefits of openness and transparency. The premise behind FOIA is that the public has a right to know what the government is doing. Who said that?  The Illinois Attorney General:  http://foia.ilattorneygeneral.net/pdf/2015_PAC_Annual_Report.pdf Page 11. Nonsense Joni? […]

Remember the post: Make Sure You Are Calm? UPDATE

Check the receipts!  Some show tax, some show exempt.   By:  Diane Benjamin Read the original post here:  http://blnnews.com/2014/12/19/make-sure-you-are-calm-before-reading/ I had some help from an outraged reader, Kevin Gerrard, on a Freedom of Information Act request.  All the meals came from PCard charges, similar to a debit card but the City just gets a statement […]