Welcoming Ordinance emails

By: Diane Benjamin These emails were received by FOIA: I have many emails against the Welcoming Ordinance.  This one shows the thinking of people wanting the ordinance. If you believe government performs services better than the private sector, you are dead wrong.  The private sector has to compete for your business, government just taxes you […]

Solid Waste! DONE.

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari’s protester is back in front of City Hall this morning: Below is what the Council passed last night 6-3.  Alderman Sage, Schmidt, and Painter voted against it. A 95 gallon can is now $25.00 a month.  It will increase $4 a month plus 3% a year that means: 1 year 29.00 2 […]

The fix was in

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari was against privatizing garbage, so last night he changed the rules. An Executive Session (secret meeting) was part of the 5:00 meeting.  I don’t remember when the video has ever started before their secret meeting.  It did last night so an ASFME representative could inform the Council that privatizing garbage service […]

No bills/payroll plus unions

By:  Diane Benjamin The City knows what Bills and Payroll should be posted to their website, evidently you aren’t allowed to know.  Nothing has been posted yet, but approval is on the agenda: Labor unions are running the City of Bloomington! They don’t work for you, you are their slaves forced to pay their salaries, […]

AFSCME needs to talk to State Farm employees

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington’s AFSCME Union is actively campaigning on Facebook for their jobs: Of course they are worried about losing jobs, so are State Farm employees.  The difference is SF employees can’t do a thing about it.  AFSCME gets pay, benefits, and pensions with taxpayer dollars, but they expect you to lobby for them! […]

These are Republicans?

By:  Diane Benjamin The McLean County Board voted for the original Solid Waste plan without the Scritchlow Amendment.  The vote was 10-8 meaning 5 Republicans voted with the Democrats. I hear Don Cavallini takes winters off for warmer weather, that at least is the rumor.  Board Chair John McIntyre didn’t vote.  The crossed out R’s […]

Retreat: Part 2

By:  Diane Benjamin The second session of the retreat was 3 hours and 33 minutes.  I DID NOT LISTEN TO EVERY SECOND!  I jumped around and listened to more than half.  It was obvious Quality of Life is not going to be in proposed cuts.  The discussion involved real spending for the first time in […]

Fascinating Stuff!

By:  Diane Benjamin I get delicious free water from a well.  You folks in town have to pay for it.  I bet you think your government priced that water according to what it cost them to bring it to your house.  You might even be okay if they added a little to the price to […]

Private is ALWAYS better!

By:  Diane Benjamin I remember great angst from the Council during discussion on privatizing garbage in Bloomington.  Even citizens wanted government service because private wouldn’t be as good.  Seriously?  Private MUST succeed because it’s their money at risk.  Government has no incentive to provide the best service at the best price because they DON’T have […]

More questionable Budget

By:  Diane Benjamin See the detailed budget here:  FY 2017 Budget Detail  The document can be searched – if you want more information on any item Click Edit – Find and type the exact words in the Search Box. This looks like more signs pointing downtown: Wayfinding signage – adding  $100,000 More consultants: Downtown Parking […]

Raise liquor/gambling fees? Really?

By:  Diane Benjamin Lately the City of Bloomington has been raising every fee possible under the theory of “users” should pay for the service.  It doesn’t matter that decades of previous spending paid for the service with taxes already collected. Obviously the goal is to Tax more so they can Spend more. Tonight the Council […]

Taxing made easy

By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night the Council is holding a Work Session to hear the results of the Fee study.  See the packet information here:  Fee Study Enterprise Funds were created to raise taxes.  Solid waste pickup was included in the taxes you already paid just 10 short years ago.  Monday night the Council will […]

Solid Waste – Lost in translation

By:  Diane Benjamin Sick of hearing about Solid Waste funding yet?  The Council has been discussing it since at least 2013!   Don’t worry, it will end soon when fees are raised again. The neighbor wars are going to be great.  Somebody dumps junk in front of your house and you get the bill.  You […]

Ignoring the Elephant

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night’s Bloomington City Council work session never did ONE thing, clarify the purpose of government.  The elephant in the room is sucking the life out of the City because local government has no core values. Alderman Fruin tried to start a discussion of Council priorities – start watching at 1:11.  His […]

Council wrap up-everything else

By:  Diane Benjamin I have to try the bird-cage liner approach for a minute, only because all this stuff doesn’t fit together: Cheers To Alderman Hauman for offering to lead the next retreat instead of paying Lynn Montei huge bucks.  The Council still has to make it official next Monday.  Little jeers to some Council […]

Hauman’s Vision and more

  By:  Diane Benjamin On Monday night the City of Bloomington will hold another Council meeting.  Lots of you have commented on this site about the Dukowitz-Renner-Hauman attempt to silence the Press.  I STRONGLY encourage you to speak at Public Comment.  Too often the Council sees the same people at every meeting.  The Council can ignore your […]

Moving Expenses, Toters, and You-FOIA

By:  Diane Benjamin Below are some interesting items approved for payment at the last City Council meeting. Bills and Payroll – 5/26/15  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=8606 Moving expenses for the new City Clerk from Nevada: CHERRY LAWSON 00000 INV 04/30/2015 MVNG EXP NV 4/15 115554 1 10011310 70632 CtyClerk Pro Develp 2,604.55 Invoice Net 2,604.55 CHECK That’s pretty cheap considering […]

Definition: Public Servant

By:  Diane Benjamin Two schools of thought are in play locally: 1)  Government exists to create Quality of Life – no specific definition 2)  Government exists to provide essential services citizens can not provide for themselves – police, fire, streets, sewers etc Normal switched to option 1 when Koos was elected.  Everything that happens there […]

Call Hollywood!

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember when Bloomington bought new garbage trucks and cans?  Why doesn’t the City know how much money they are saving by automating?  How many MILLIONS did that cost, evidently the Council didn’t ask how much would be saved before spending the money and now the City doesn’t know if they are saving money. […]

Solid Waste + Steve Vogel

By:  Diane Benjamin Here’s the link to what the Council WILL pass Monday night to still not solve their garbage service problem:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=8454 As predicted, the $50 per bucket charge was just to make citizens happy the City settled on $25.  Celebrate now, keeping in mind the taxes you already pay used to pay 100% […]

Bloomington Council: Monday

By:  Diane Benjamin Below are some of the items on the agenda for Monday’s City Council meeting: Bills and Payroll: http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=8450 LEGAL Contracted  59,280.00  (Springfield law firm) LEGAL Outside Legal Co 22,519.42 The Council will also approve the payment to me ordered by the judge even though the check has already been cut. Budget: http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=8447  […]

Bloomington: Garbage was free until 2005

By:  Diane Benjamin 10 short years ago Bloomington did not charge for ANY garbage or bulky waste pickup.  In 2005 the Council decided they could no longer cover the cost.  Previously the cost was part of the services provided by the City through the taxes you paid. This is from the FY 2005 budget, page […]