Normal tonight and something you need to know

By: Diane Benjamin See tonight’s packet here: https://www.normalil.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4382 Besides other items, Normal will be giving $100,000 from ARPA funds to Carle for the Mobile Clinic that Bloomington already passed giving $150,000 for. https://blnnews.com/2022/06/14/bloomington-minus-2-aldermen/ FYI: Normal has an undated Social Media policy: https://www.normalil.gov/DocumentCenter/View/18492/Social-Media-Disclaimer-?fs=e&s=cl If the Town’s public comment policy doesn’t prove to you Normal does not […]

Couple more things from Bloomington last Monday

By: Diane Benjamin Donna Boelen wanted this on the record, unless you see her Council comment at the end of the meeting it is only on the record for staff. Donna asked again about the updated Intergovernmental Agreement with Connect Transit. Supposedly Bloomington has done their work and it’s sitting in Normal stalled. She shouldn’t […]

Bloomington council Sanity

By: Diane Benjamin The Council proved they are capable of sane discussions last night, maybe because one person was absent. Can Bloomington get the names right? Donna Boelen was acting mayor last night since Mboka is out of the country because of his father’s passing. Nice job Donna for the first time being thrust into […]

Public Comment from Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin There is MUCH more to cover from last night’s meeting, stay tuned. How many people did this guy speak for last night? Just hit play: Donna Boelen had one of the many “comments of the night”. Tim Gleason stated again only Rowe Construction bids on road work. Donna thinks out of town […]

The School Board Law they are ignoring:

By: Diane Benjamin School Board meetings operate under 2 different statutes in the Illinois code. First they must comply with the Open Meetings Act which requires agendas be posted 48 hours in advance of meetings. OMA also requires time allotted at every meeting for Public Comment. Most units of government do not respond to people […]

The Comedy Club you don’t have to pay to see!

By: Diane Benjamin Attention Mayor Mboka: You don’t have a right to limit speech! Read up, Urbana just paid attorney’s fees to settle a lawsuit against them for doing exactly what you did last night: https://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2021/10/urbana-settled-open-meetings-public-comment-lawsuit/ The comment Mboka objected to starts at 25:29. The lady could be called clueless, combative, obnoxious, and probably other […]

Unit 5 Public Comment last night

By: Diane Benjamin I picked this comment from the Unit 5 School Board meeting last night because it proves problems in Unit 5 never get solved. The District still can not get kids to school on time. It was brilliant to fire employees who aren’t vaxed, including teachers, which now means they are short staffed. […]

District 87 Board meeting last night

By: Diane Benjamin A group of parents attended last night’s meeting. It was held in the auditorium at BHS, a room that big was not needed. Two weeks ago many of the same people attended at the same location and walked in without masks. Last night two police officers were posted at the door not […]

Hot Mic shows the real Koos

By: Diane Benjamin h/t a reader Below is a short clip of a discussion before the meeting started last night. Chris Koos was not going to allow all the people who showed up to speak, he wanted Public Comment limited to 30 minutes. He also had no intention of letting them speak at the beginning […]

The Bloomington show last night

By: Diane Benjamin The start time of the meeting was changed to 6:30 because of scheduling problems now that the room is shared with the County. I hear it’s temporary. The video was not fun, the group wasn’t socially distanced but not together either. Toward the end of the meeting the audio was fine but […]

Don’t be bullied folks!

By: Diane Benjamin Government only thinks they can set rules for citizens at public comment. They can limit your time, but not what you say. Chris Koos tries it, Mboka Mwilambwe just started reading a statement to limit you, Unit 5 did last week, and so did District 87 two weeks ago. Be inspired – […]

Koos makes up his own rules

By: Diane Benjamin Refresh yourself on this story: https://blnnews.com/2021/06/16/stan-is-ethically-challenged-not-even-close-to-the-rest-of-normal/ I apologize to readers, this slipped my mind until I listened to Steve Suess’ show tonight. What is the Normal Public Comment policy? https://normal.org/854/Addressing-the-Council Citizens can only talk before the meeting if their comments are germane to the agenda. What was the agenda for the “attack” […]

District 87: Lies or Rogue teacher?

By: Diane Benjamin A reader sent some questions to District 87. The response was written by: Dr. Diane Wolf Assistant Superintendent Curriculum and Instruction District 87 Question: What is the district’s position on the 1619 project and its use in the school’s curriculum?  Response: We do not and never have used the 1619 project as […]

Public Comments can criticize public officials!

By: Diane Benjamin Before Bloomington attempts to regulate what citizens can say at public comment they need to read what the Attorney General’s office wrote: This is a condensed version: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/pac-rejects-public-body-s-limitation-on-4628106/?fbclid=IwAR1IBUY570-nAqltZZP3sNWFh243BbKvVTrK6m7e47vswXUzoMabFqz-l0E Excerpts: The PAC found that because there was no evidence that the comments actually disrupted the meeting, the council could not restrain the speech. In this case, the city council muted two speakers during public meetings. The first speaker criticized a […]

Pop goes the Tari

By: Diane Benjamin Last night Kirk Allen (Edgar County Watchdogs) couldn’t speak at Public Comment so I spoke instead. I wanted to make sure people and the City knew about the story they published yesterday. https://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2021/02/city-of-bloomington-police-coverup-exposed-zero-reporting-from-media-even-after-being-provided-all-the-facts/ The story includes proof of a Bloomington cover-up by allowing an officer to resign instead of prosecuting him. The […]

The rest of Bloomington last night

By: Diane Benjamin I hope the next mayor eliminates most if not all proclamations. Tari wasted a lot of time last night reading 3. Two of them were to declare the month of October something important. He made these pronouncements 5 days before October will end. Guess they weren’t important enough to announce earlier. Public […]

WGLT campaigning for Normal’s elites

By: Diane Benjamin It was September 2nd when the Normal Town Council brought their hammer down on ISU large groups. Soon after the student athletes marched through campus demanding the athletic director’s resignation for daring to say: Redbird Lives Matter. The ISU Social Justice warriors think only Black Lives Matter can be uttered, true Marxists. […]

Normal plays health experts

By: Diane Benjamin The Normal Town Council held a special meeting last night to address the COVID outbreak around campus. Guess what! Protests are exempt from regulations so as not to trample on the 1st Amendment. Funny how Normal has no problem trampling on YOUR rights under the 1st Amendment: …to petition the government for […]

What about Landlords Pritzker?

By:  Diane Benjamin People have been emailing Public Comments to the Bloomington City Council instead of calling in.  I’ve always considered Public Comment for the PUBLIC, not for the elected officials.  Most hardly pay attention.  Meanwhile citizens like hearing what other citizens have to say to elected officials. I FOIA’d these comments for 6 meetings.  […]

Heyworth: Zoning Meeting tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin Heyworth is adding information about local government to their website.  Agendas for all meetings should now be posted 48 hours in advance:   http://www.heyworth-il.gov/local_government/index.php An agenda is not posted for this meeting as required by the Open Meetings Act.  Since it appears Heyworth is trying to inform citizens by expanding available information I […]

Normal Recap Part 2

By:  Diane Benjamin City Manager Pam Reece claimed they posted audio of Public Comment from the previous meeting.  All I see is a deleted video. Lesson from this Council meeting: Cummings wasn’t on video this time during the pledge.  Coincidence? If you want to talk for more than 3 minutes during public comment – first […]

Update: Stan Nord makes a GREAT point

A little of what Craig Stimpert and Ron Ulmer said at public comment is on this WHOI news report:  https://hoiabc.com/news/town-of-normal-opts-to-keep-property-taxes-about-the-same-cutting-budget-instead By:  Diane Benjamin Since there is no video of Public Comment from Monday’s Council meeting, there is no permanent record of what was said. Stan Nord left this comment this morning: In case the above […]

Kirk Allen Back for Public Comment

By:  Diane Benjamin Kirk Allen of Edgar County Watchdogs was back before the Bloomington City Council again.  We will find out what happened to Officer Squires before he resigned. Kirk spelled out in his comment why the citizens need to know what happened.  Squires was suspended before he resigned.  Kirk read the applicable emails we […]

Tiritillli Public Comment found + another sports complex

By:  Diane Benjamin As reported in this story, the Public Comment by Marc Tiritilli was cut from the posted video at the 9/30/2019 joint meeting of the McLean County Board, Town of Normal, and Bloomington City Council:  https://blnnews.com/2019/10/07/comment-cut-from-video-tiritilli/ I filed a FOIA Request with Bloomington since they had posted the rest of the video.  It […]

Kirk Allen’s Public Comment

By:  Diane Benjamin You can watch Public Comment on the City website, but I filmed Kirk’s comments from a different perspective.  Kirk spoke to Council several years ago and his comments were mysteriously cut – just him – the video worked fine for all the other people.  That was one reason I filmed him. Another […]

Ah . . Public Comment

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal Town Council last night: First to speak was Craig Stimpert. (4:27) The topic was pensions funding and the constant raising of property taxes to fund them.  Craig called this Town practice unsustainable.  The Town uses property taxes because they refuse to make pension funding part of the budget.   He called out […]

More from the Normal FOIA – the mural

By:  Diane Benjamin I wonder if Chris Koos will try to blame Stan Nord  for this: This is yet another company who contacted Stan.  They can turn the mural into a digital picture and save taxpayers a lot of money. Stan forwarded the information to City Manager Pam Reece: Have you noticed how Stan continually protects people […]

McBride proves why he shouldn’t be a Trustee

By:  Diane Benjamin The WGLT story about last night’s Normal Town Council meeting doesn’t mention RC McBride voted for the water rate increase:    http://www.wglt.org/post/water-fee-increase-solar-group-buy-making-repeat-appearances-normal Readers are left to surmise he did. This one is worse: I reported this story back on February 28:    https://blnnews.com/2019/02/28/ag-investigating-town-of-normal-again/ WJBC reported it on March 4:    http://www.wjbc.com/2019/03/04/normal-mayor-probed-for-alleged-open-meetings-act-violations/?fbclid=IwAR0mVvQsAVBRPrRVSWllpx_YPGc2YvMk0iHXYXWS0AWvxrBG0FXLxYbmvCg The […]

Public Comment – worth watching!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Council was close to sickly sweet to each other last night.  Not one of them mentioned the failed attempt by Tari Renner is bully them into passing the welcoming ordinance. Citizens did however.  Just hit play to watch Public Comment.  If you want to see the guy Sonny Garcia calls a […]

Update: Tari on WJBC

It looks like WJBC is going to hide the Tari interview, it isn’t posted.   By:  Diane Benjamin Tari again forgot he changed the rules for his “Open Houses” on WJBC this morning.  Evidently Scott Laughlin forgot too.  Funny how the City website still says you have to make an appointment:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/7500/17?backlist=%2fHome%2fComponents%2fNews%2fNews%2f4327%2f18%3fbacklist%3d%252F Did you know […]

Council fails again

By:  Diane Benjamin The majority of the Council thinks government creates prosperity.   The failure of the State of Illinois should be instructive, to them Illinois just isn’t doing it right. Congrats – you are getting another City employee with salary and benefits.  That makes 3 new downtown employees.  The Council failed to understand that past […]

Sports complex imminent

By:  Diane Benjamin Quality of Life.  Economic driver. Government thinks they create prosperity, the opposite is true.  They redistribute your money to their preferred providers for services they want.  Essential services, like fixing the roads, are immaterial. The Normal Town Council unanimously agreed to spend $47,000 on a study that will say exactly what they […]