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 […]

Yellow Vest night folks!

By:  Diane Benjamin The petition against the gas tax now has over 500 signers.  Signing a petition does little – making them vote while staring you in the face does!   The Bloomington City Council meeting starts at 6:00.  Since the meetings rarely start at 6:00 and Tari has two police officers that have passed probation, […]

Roads hilarity

By: Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council held a Committee of the Whole meeting last night. The first topic was roads. City Manager Tim Gleason did a nice summary – just hit Play below. Points made during the discussion: 1) The ratings chart for streets has changed, the City thought they were too conservative for […]

Response to comment left last night:

By:  Diane Benjamin A comment was left on BlnNews last night that deserves a longer response than just my reply.  The citizens of Bloomington need to understand who is REALLY responsible for the roads and new designs in recent years.  It isn’t Jim Karch. The comment: Why are few roads getting fixed and those that […]

Forget the roads – unless you pay more

By:  Diane Benjamin What a scam!  Unless the citizens of Bloomington are willing to pay more to fix the roads they aren’t going to get fixed! Tim Gleason is so cute the way he talks about tax increases.  He claims he isn’t making recommendations, he’s just throwing numbers out for them to consider.  Here the […]

Update: Proof Roads aren’t a Priority

They do have $4,290,000 listed in Book 2 as Capital improvements:  PDF page 270   http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=18372 This money comes from the added Local Motor Fuel Tax and part of the increased Sales Tax.  The taxes you already paid weren’t good enough. ___________________________________________________ By:  Diane Benjamin Remember this email from Jim Karch?  I asked him how much […]

Funding roads? Ha Ha

By:  Diane Benjamin I asked Jim Karch to explain how much will be in the budget for roads.  This is his response:  (click to enlarge) Roads are Not a priority! This is what it looks like when politicians lie to you to win elections. Your Motor Fuel Tax will be raised 4/23 to add a […]

Another reason roads won’t get fixed:

By:  Diane Benjamin Below are the payments per year to the law firm in Springfield.  In 2013 they got NO tax dollars because Bloomington has an attorney on staff.  Normal still has their own attorney. Tari wanted an Administrative Court to squeeze the citizens into complying with his wishes.  Remember when Tari used to tell […]

What’s wrong with Bloomington?

By:  Diane Benjamin Everybody knows the streets aren’t being fixed.  Bloomington can’t even find money in the budget (that has skyrocketed under Tari Renner) to invest in infrastructure.   https://blnnews.com/2018/03/26/nice-pantagraph/ They will happily raise your taxes though to pay for a couple of roads.  Yesterday we learned there was a “disconnect” ordering tickets for the One […]

Remember the pothole video?

By:  Diane Benjamin On February 20th, I filmed City employees dumping something in potholes on E Oakland and not tamping it down. See the video in this story:  https://blnnews.com/2018/02/20/pothole-fail/ On March 2nd I filmed the same area looks – a mere 10 days later.  Obviously a pothole fail. Don’t forget:  The Bloomington City Council wants you […]

Cut Admin Bloomington!

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal is cutting:  communications director, economic development director, and assistant to the city manager. If Normal doesn’t need them, Bloomington doesn’t either.  Bloomington isn’t twice as big as Normal – but Bloomington’s budget is more than 100% higher! Bloomington is once again looking at a budget that does not provide enough money to […]

Losing money on purpose

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner was much more demure at last night’s Bloomington City Council meeting.  As history shows, his new non-confrontational attitude is temporary. It looks like spending $10,000,000 on an aquatics center is dead.  Several aldermen have a new-found respect for declining revenue, especially David Sage.  Of course, he works at State Farm […]

Bloomington attacks the poor AGAIN

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington will NEVER have enough of your money.  Complete control of the local economy means your money is theirs and they are free to take it at will.  Monday night they will discuss taking more for their vision.     http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15904 Want your roads fixed? Even though Tari Renner and […]

In my mail! ROADS!

By:  Diane Benjamin Sometimes I ignore things I receive anonymously, sometimes I don’t.  It all depends on how credible the information sounds.  Sometimes it’s just people wanting me to know they support me.  I really appreciate those! Cities 92.9 and BlnNews launched a roads campaign yesterday to give you a voice because local governments are […]

It’s the Roads Stupid

By:  Diane Benjamin Number ONE priority of citizens: Fix the roads! The budget being considered by the Bloomington City Council has no money for roads except taxes they already increased to pay for repairs: .04 a gallon gas tax 1/4% Sales tax The Council will be happy to double the gas tax to fix roads. […]

Normal’s priorities: What?

By:  Diane Benjamin Most people think the job of local government is Police, Fire, Water, Sewers, and Roads. Look at what Normal’s priorities are based on where they spending money:  PDF page 133  http://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/12750 Try to use and elitist accent here.  Repeat after me: Normal spent more on “Culture and Recreation” than they did on roads! […]

More on Bloomington Roads

By:  Diane Benjamin If I hadn’t been out of town this weekend, I would have written A LOT more on the Pantagraph story that attempted to make you believe the Bloomington roads are getting better.  It’s really difficult to compose story on a cell phone, so I left a lot of details to readers:  https://blnnews.com/2017/09/24/more-pantagraph-conspires-with-city/ […]

More Pantagraph conspires with City

By. Diane Benjamin Today the Pantagraph lauded the $3.8 million Bloomington is spending on streets.  Seems like rewriting history so people think the streets are getting better is the goal of both Bloomington and the so called press. Why?  Because both want downtown spending, not silly things citizens want like the roads fixed! See their […]

Little of this and a little of that

By:  Diane Benjamin Gas in Decatur today $2.11.  Gas in Bloomington today $2.25. _____________________________ A complaint was filed against Tari Renner for violating the garbage can ordinance:  https://blnnews.com/2017/08/06/do-laws-codes-regulations-matter/ It was filed by a Bloomington resident who has recently been hassled by the City.  The resident filed a FOIA request for the letter sent to Renner’s address, […]

Brick Streets: FORWARD!

By:  Diane Benjamin Two truths: Bloomington road resurfacing is seriously underfunded Tari has stacked the commissions with people who think just like him Tomorrow the Historic Preservation meeting is at 5:00 in the Council Chambers.  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/5532/17?backlist=%2f On the agenda is discussion of a Master Plan for Brick Streets.  Keep in mind Master Plans are suggestions […]

Trying to kill somebody?

by:  Diane Benjamin This is a Bloomington road that school buses travel on.  It’s also close to an apartment complex. (different section of the same road) The City budget only spends $3.8 million resurfacing roads when more than $9 million a year is needed just to keep the roads rated poor. Tonight the Council will […]

Bloomington: website, Coliseum

By:  Diane Benjamin The new City website isn’t fine.  Last week the OLD website was back:  https://blnnews.com/2017/05/26/not-up-in-smoke-its-the-cloud/ This morning this is what I got at cityblm.org It has been like this for hours.  It can still be navigated, but is this what tax dollars paid for?  (I just checked again, it may now be fixed. […]

UPDATE: Bloomington got played

Evidently WJBC isn’t doing podcasts today – no Karch interview available. By:  Diane Benjamin Kevin Lower ran for mayor on fixing the streets.  Tari did too but, but unlike Lower – Tari wasn’t telling you the truth. This morning, Public Works director Jim Karch was on WJBC.  The ONLY money Bloomington is spending on streets […]

Why your basement floods

By:  Diane Benjamin h/t A local businessman If you leave along Clinton in Bloomington and are experiencing flooding problems, blame your City. See the pics below – note some show well established weeds blocking drainage – not to mention lots of debris. How about all that hired summer help spend the last half hour every […]

Local lunacy you pay for

By:  Diane Benjamin Government wastes your money!  Proof:  An unused fire station and unused water tower.  $$$$ – MILLIONS – $$$$ poof, up in smoke and nobody in jail. Those are just huge examples of utter incompetence.  Many many more exist on a small scale.  Just this week Council and staff time were needed for […]

More Pinocchios Tari

By:  Diane Benjamin Watch this short campaign video Tari made in 2013 while running for office.  Very close to the end he claims infrastructure can be improved without raising taxes.  Funny how he stumbled over the proper words though. Since Tari became Mayor, $10,000,000 has been borrowed for roads with plans to borrow A LOT […]

Earth to Vogel . . Earth to Vogel

By:  Diane Benjamin The obvious alien writer at the Pantagraph, Steve Vogel, demanded .04 a gallon gas tax increase today.  Maybe he sneaked into the country when the old Soviet Union dissolved.  Maybe he was dropped on his head.  He thinks the City needs more money for roads. Citizens expect their government to handle: Police […]

City Priorities: Somebody else pays

By:  Diane Benjamin Federal debt now stands at more the $18 Trillion.  Bloomington and the County want it higher.  Tonight the council will vote to approve a Federal Tiger grants application to expand Hamilton Road and build a Multi-Modal Transportation Center by the Law and Justice Center. Bloomington can’t afford it, so make the entire country pay […]

Karch: What used to be on the website

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I wrote about the exchange at Monday night’s Council meeting between Alderman Lower and Public Works Director Jim Karch.  Numbers to fix the roads were revealed, much higher than the current budget.  https://blnnews.com/2015/05/12/13-7m-9-5m-what-tari-didnt-want-to-hear/ Karch referenced a report on the City website, I looked for it.  I couldn’t find it, so I emailed Jim.  […]

13.7M, 9.5M – what Tari didn’t want to hear

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari didn’t want to consider any budget cuts last year, so he forced through 3 tax increases. Tari didn’t want to consider any budget cuts this year, so he is taking $3M from savings. Tari didn’t like the results the citizens summit and surveys, so he’s putting a commission together to study […]

Ask the Bloomington Candidates this:

By:  Diane Benjamin Which is more important 1)  Fixing Roads 2) Downtown Bloomington The current budget proposal spends more on Coliseum upgrades than it does on roads.  Did you notice the budget discussion has been dropped until after the election? Why are roads not the priority?  Do you prefer spending tax dollars on new lighting […]

Bloomington: Roads are no priority!

By:  Diane Benjamin Book 1 of the Bloomington Budget has some conflicting information for proposed spending on roads:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=8224 The Motor Fuel Tax receipts from the new tax last year was supposed to be spent on roads. According to this page – only $2,000,000 is in the budget for road repairs (Page 289).  Last year $9,330,000 […]

If you like your roads, you can keep your roads

By:  Diane Benjamin Back in 2012 the City Council passed an Action Plan:  http://www.cityblm.org/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=4445  See page 10 What this means to you as a citizen Reliable utility services necessary for daily life Efficient traffic flow throughout the city Smooth rides on quality, well-maintained streets Customer-friendly, easily accessible city facilities and buildings City investing in the […]

What is Normal doing to their streets?!?

by:  Diane Benjamin Normal is changing some intersections on the west side of town.  People driving in this area have reported to me that sidewalks are being brought out into the street.  When they are finished, some residents feel there won’t be enough room for a car waiting at the intersection and a car turning […]

Bloomington Pothole Chronicles

Send more pictures!  blnnews@yahoo.com There are so many holes on Oakland – east of Hershey – a movie would be needed! Here’s a sample of what has been received so far: Corner of Hershey Rd and Eastland Drive Meanwhile the McLean County Regional Planning Commission is busy diverting money to unnecessary projects: http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1102887255870-66/McLean+County+Greenways+News+Sping+2013+FULL.pdf Greenways Developments McLean County […]

Fly On the Wall

When buzzing in my ear is too great to ignore – I must report! The RICH do fare better in Bloomington than us commoners! Have a problem with traffic on East Washington, (eek they are too close and going to fast by  my house) – just call city hall!  Stockton and Hales will HIRE special […]