More emails: Kathleen Lorenz

By:  Diane Benjamin Watch a Normal Council meeting.  Kathleen Lorenz will attempt at least one to convey that Stan Nord has no idea what he’s doing.  In emails she is even worse.  Below are a few choice picks – from FOIA: Response from Kathleen: This issue isn’t dead, I’m just waiting for more information.   How […]

Normal: Incompetence and More

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal’s IT staff continues to show their incompetence.  The Live Stream video and the posted recorded video are TINY.  Early in the meeting the audio would go out, reappear, and go out again. Why does the Town of Normal tolerate employees who aren’t capable of doing their job?  I’ve lost track of […]

Update: Ford icing plans with Rivian

By:  Diane Benjamin This news just broke, more information should be available later today or tomorrow. Ford kills Rivian deal with Lincoln (for now) amid economic challenges during pandemic See this story:  https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/ford/2020/04/28/ford-rivian-deal-lincoln-coronavirus-pandemic/3042670001/ Update: Another story:  https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/28/21240212/ford-lincoln-cancel-rivian-suv-ev-coronavirus-pandemic-investment  

Daring Diversity – how much it cost

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal decided to let Chemberly Cummings throw her own event.  According to media reports, 175 overall attended and only 75 attended the keynote speaker’s address. I know from emails I received by FOIA some City of Bloomington employees attended. This story has information about the sessions:  https://blnnews.com/2019/09/20/this-explains-the-divide-in-america/ Keynote speaker […]

New Rivian Story – Automotive News

https://www.autonews.com/manufacturing/ev-startups-grapple-huge-cash-demands Since most of you are capable of reading, read the article yourself.  This is the most wide-ranging article I’ve seen to date. Automotive News is a more reliable source for information than the press that doesn’t specialize in the auto industry. The road signs have been replaced: Maybe some people can’t read! Do you […]

Is Ford regretting investing in Rivian?

By:  Diane Benjamin I love reading a site called Michigan Capital Confidential.  It isn’t run-of-the-mill boring news, these guy actually investigate.  Most of their investigations pertain to Michigan, but a lot of what they find applies to politics in Illinois too. A story today mentions Rivian and Ford’s investment.  The bottom line is:  Unless government […]

Why Stan and Karyn voted NO

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night’s Normal Town Council meeting was an hour long.  The longest debate was over changing the name of a major road again.  It used to be Diamond Star Parkway, now Mitsubishi Motorway, it will be getting it’s third name. Stan Nord questioned the impact to not only the businesses in the […]

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 […]

Merry Christmas Rivian!

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember this?     https://blnnews.com/2018/12/14/more-on-normal-for-monday/ I filed a FOIA request to find out what it is. This is not one, but TWO Rivian vehicles purchased with  money stolen from the taxpayers of Normal. Supporting local businesses can’t be the goal since Normal spent more than $25,000 for gift cards at the anything-but-locally owned […]

Rivian’s vehicle

By:  Diane Benjamin As a person who doesn’t get excited by vehicles, the Rivian announcement means little to me – until the last paragraph of the second link below: It won’t be available until 2020. The largest battery is good for 400 miles. See these two links for more information: https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2018/11/26/18111782/rivian-r1t-electric-pickup-price-specs-la-auto-show-2018 https://www.foxnews.com/auto/the-rivian-rt1-may-be-the-american-made-electric-pickup-of-the-near-future  

Bloomington’s Monday Food, Travel, and more

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll for 5/29/2018  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17800 See page 86-93.  All the NEGATIVE numbers mean they spent more than was budgeted for that area. It’s illegal to spend what isn’t budgeted without Council approval.  If I have time I may investigate further. Note:  Remember all Tari’s free lunches he claimed were for City business?  […]

Rivian Question

By:  Diane Benjamin Reports are that Rivian is up to around 40 employees. How Many Employees do nothing but move Volkswagens?   (Just to keep them running until the emissions problem gets resolved) . . . . . .  

Your tax dollars at work

By:  Diane Benjamin Below is the group who traveled to see Rivian’s operations in Michigan.  On the couch are John McIntyre (County Board Chair), RJ Scaringe (Rivian), Kimberly Bray (Bloomington Council), and Barry Reilly (District 87).  Standing to the right is Kyle Ham (leaving the EDC at the end of April) and Don Knapp (County […]

Normal Monday: 10 minute meeting

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday 4/16:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2946 Nothing that will take time to discuss is on the agenda.  They should discuss spending, but won’t.  Below are items I found interesting. The last time Lyle Sumek “consulted” with Normal the Town offered buyouts to employees.  What will be cut next? No expense was spared for a retirement dinner! […]

Rivian: One year later

By:  Diane Benjamin A reader sent this story to me from one year ago:     http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/columnists/ct-rivian-mitsubishi-robert-reed-1214-biz-20161214-column.html The title of the story is: Who is the mysterious auto startup that wants to bring jobs back to a shuttered Mitsubishi plant in Normal? . We don’t know any more today than we knew a year ago even […]

Here is just one reason Normal raises taxes:

By:  Diane Benjamin Here’s just a few of the Town’s recent follies:  (there are more) Portillos give away – $1,825,000 plus interest:  https://blnnews.com/2016/12/02/portillo-town-monday-night/ Greenbriar Shopping Center – $4.8 million  https://blnnews.com/2017/10/16/normal-revised-schedule-spending/ $100,000 to the Mclean County History Museum + $700,000 that wasn’t budgeted:   https://blnnews.com/2017/09/04/normals-funnybusiness-tuesday/ $420,853.49 for new furniture  https://blnnews.com/2017/07/16/you-arent-supposed-to-notice/ Rivian! Here’s one you probably forgot or never knew: The […]

Normal: Revised Schedule + Spending

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal Town Council tonight:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2745 More proof the Chamber of Commerce is working AGAINST citizens: This is the trip to explore building a sports complex here.  Even if it brings tourism dollars to hotels, restaurants, and retail, these are LOW WAGE jobs.  Guess who is going to pay for it! One person can’t […]