Sad history of YOUR money Downtown

by:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington Mayors have been spending money trying to revitalize downtown since at least 1986 – that’s when the first TIF district was created. TIF districts provide money for the City to spend however they want – they keep the difference between the current taxes collected on properties and what is collected after […]

Government and DBA don’t have to be responsible!

by:  Diane Benjamin From the Pantagraph 7/15/2008,  10/25/2009, 9/29/2010, 4/6/2012 The Bloomington City Council had a 5 year, $850,000 plan to pay the Downtown Bloomington Association  to manage the downtown district.  The Association President at the time was Greg Koos. The 5 year funding plan was supposed to end in 2011.  Of course, it hasn’t ended. […]

Cheers to the Pantagraph

by Diane Benjamin In today’s Cheers and Jeers Editorial: Jeers to the council and Stockton for the decision this week not to release to the public 80 sets of closed-session minutes dating back to 1995.  The council thinks it’s complying with the state’s Open Meetings Act, despite acknowledging it hadn’t reviewed such minutes as required by law. […]

Campaign signs disappearing – Update

The stealing of Kevin Lower’s signs slowed after this post, but recently another 100 signs disappeared.  The police will now get involved. Campaign sign theft is a CRIME. When caught, the thief can be charged with criminal damage to property. Kevin Lower, Bloomington Alderman candidate in Ward 1, has reported dozens of signs have disappeared.  Is this […]

Managed Competition – call it what it is!

by:  Diane Benjamin The employees of the City of Bloomington have no idea if their jobs are secure because of Steve Stockton, the City Council, and David Hales.  Managed Competition is nothing more than outsourcing.  It makes good sense if the private sector can do the job cheaper than City employees, but the way the […]

Mathy’s “Youthful Indiscretions”

by:  Diane Benjamin Mathy plead guilty to a 1995 charge of stealing cable TV.  At last nights Council meeting he said he had a big screen TV in an apartment  while attending college. The guys in an adjacent apartment had cable, so they strung the wire to his TV to watch Monday Night Football. First question: […]

Corruption on Display – Bloomington City Council

by Diane Benjamin The opinions voiced by Alderman Stearns and Purcell were completely ignored by all other members of the City Council tonight.  Steve Purcell stated he would be a NO vote to seat Mathy because the process of choosing him was unfair to Kevin Lower who actually got petitions signed and has been out campaigning for months. He […]

Stockton’s pick for Ward 1: questionable integrity Update!

Corrected Press release:  Corrected Press Release FAX_20130211_1360598038_89  Link to supporting documents I have been notified that some details in the press release are incorrect.  Mathy was not convicted of theft, he plead guilty.  The group issuing the press release is revising it.  The corrected version will be posted when available. This is what happens when the Pantagraph […]

What is Mayor Stockton afraid of?

by Diane Benjamin City Council elections are in April.  Alderman Bernie Anderson was up for re-election, but he dropped out of the race due to health problems.  I wish him a speedy recovery! The only candidate challenging Anderson is Kevin Lower.  Since petitions can no longer be filed, Mr. Lower will be the only name printed on […]

Halesville and his Arrogancey, Mayor Gottstocks

by: Stanley Wonders A committee, is a culde sac down which you drag an idea where it is quietly strangled at the end. Yet here in Halesville, City Council committees are proposed – no, I think, commanded is a better word – by his Arrogancey, Mayor Gottstocks. Even so far beneath the radar screen, the a fore mentioned Mayor announced his plans during “alderman’s discussion” […]

Bloomington – Normal Illinois: GOVERNMENTAL “THEFT”

Editor Note:  Alderman Judy Stearns voted against at least 2 budgets specifically because of unfunded pensions.  She was ignored by the Mayor, City Manager, and the rest of the Council. by:  Carl Woodward CPA The two communities where I am located (Bloomington/Normal, Illinois) have not fully funded their pension and health care obligations over the […]

Illinois Corrupt? Blame Media! Update

by Diane Benjamin According to an editorial in Sunday’s Pantagraph, 58% of voters surveyed think Illinois is more corrupt than other states. They sited some culprits – 2 ex-governors in prison and voter fraud across the state, but they miss the obvious – who is in bed with the politicians?  Media. According to the survey, 41% […]

Fly on the Wall – Bloomington

When buzzing in my ear is too great to ignore – I must report! Buzzing around the Bloomington Council chambers, I heard Mayor Stockton wants committees!  For what – who knows. I’d bet a committee on Form Based Code would be a Big Hit.  Pack it with council members and like minded citizens who compile a […]

Stanley Wonder Wonders Again

byline: Stanley Wonder Is it just me, or is something missing at Bloomington City Hall? No, not the usual trappings of government – the podiums, microphones, gavels, and flags.  They’re all there, complete with the beautiful blue and gold of the United Nations. Huh?  The UN?  Isn’t that the organization that wants a New World […]

What is the Role of LOCAL Government?

Let’s talk local government.  What is their job, what is their responsibility to citizens? Bloomington thought you needed entertainment, so you got the Coliseum and the BCPA, neither has made a profit or even broken even.  They both need YOUR TAX DOLLARS. Normal thought you needed a new Uptown and they aren’t done building and […]

THE VISION OF BLOOMINGTON – 20/20 or Short-sighted?

It’s been over a week since the last Bloomington City Council get-together but the goings-on still ring fresh in my mind. Local media co-conspirators, the Pantagraph and WJBC radio, as well, continue to frame the most popular issue – visioning. It continues to resonate throughout a significant segment of their programming and reporting topics. In […]

“Visioning” for Agenda 21 and YOUR Money

The City of Bloomington is “Visioning” – so what exactly is it? The Town of Normal “Visioned” the Uptown project – now the formerly sleepy town is BURIED in DEBT.  Of course they have a plan to pay for it!  Raise taxes – they already have.  See this previous post: A large part of […]

Unions BUY Tari Renner

Local 99 – Plumbers and Pipefitters PAC gave Tari Renner $10,000 for his mayor campaign: Compare it to Steve Stockton’s 2009 mayor campaign: Mayor Stockton loaned his campaign $12,000.  Cash and in-kind contributions of $10,660 are listed. Mayor Stockton defeated Tari Renner in the last election.  The Local 99 contribution means Tari Renner […]

Bloomington City Council-Upside Down Government

CityWatch is a group of citizens keeping an eye on local government.  This is the first in a series of articles about the City of Bloomington government. From:  March 27, 2012 Upside down government. I’ve addressed it before. At last evenings Bloomington City Council meeting, more topsy-turvy politics appeared. It doesn’t surprise me any […]