Normal’s Debt and the Cost

By: Diane Benjamin If you still haven’t played with the Local Government Reporting on the Illinois Comptroller’s website, do it now! This is the link to Normal’s reported debt: At the beginning of FY 2020 total debt was: $88,090,580 At the end of FY 2020 total debt was: $85,752,874 At the end of FY […]

Both Bloomington and Normal meet tonight

By: Diane Benjamin Bloomington will hear from Connect Transit tonight concerning their budget. You will hear it’s essential to lose at least $1 million a month. Next the Council will contemplate 4 Council initiatives. Brought by Jamie Mathy who is no longer on the Council. He wanted incentives from the City (your money) to […]

Uptown: We will take two please

By: Diane Benjamin Is Uptown a success? The successful buildings on the circle so far are government owned, Children’s Discovery Museum and Amtrak/Town offices. The third building still has an empty first floor and the taxpayers are renting the entire second floor for the Town. (Remember when the Council told Pam it was a high […]

5 Things you need to know

By: Diane Benjamin 1) Pantagraph article on the Normal Town Council meeting: Excerpt: Did the reporter watch the meeting? A “number of people” were disrupting the meeting. Was the reporter told not to mention the only reason Public Comment was moved is because Stan Nord made a motion to let them speak? It wasn’t […]

What is Bloomington doing to get you downtown?

By: Diane Benjamin Bloomington has a calendar of events. Meetings are listed, but so are other events like Ice Cream at the Zoo and BCPA events. Missing are the Farmers Markets which actually do get people downtown on Saturday mornings. Also missing are Saturdays on the Square. In case you missed the 2013 extensive […]

Two more things

By: Diane Benjamin 1) Ford’s F150 electric battery weighs 1800 pounds: That is the weight of a Volkswagen Beetle. Is Rivian’s the same? What happens to your car if you get hit by one of these tanks? 1800 pounds is just the battery. 2) The Pantagraph printed a picture of a Rivian employee charging […]

And the LOSER is: the underpass

By: Diane Benjamin The comments submitted on the underpass project were received by FOIA. The comments were overwhelmingly negative with a few submitted in support by the usually Koos allies. The only difference between going ahead with the underpass and the Coliseum, both not supported by residents, is Koos and company got the entire […]

What Mike Matejka left out

By: Diane Benjamin Anybody know why the guy who voted to build the Coliseum gets to write a column in the paper? Better yet, why does anybody listen to him when he not only voted against the will of the people but has never apologized for his taxpayer fleece? Of course Mike is campaigning […]

Normal: How much is being thrown away paying interest?

by: Diane Benjamin First a little history. From the Pantagraph How Time Flies 1/21/2020: Have your property taxes gone down? Responsible adults know being able to make the payments is not a good philosophy to live by. If you want to make the neighbors jealous by living in a mansion with two expensive vehicles parked […]

Vengeance Normal?

By:  Diane Benjamin $100,000 to move this? What we know: Koos and Company are REALLY upset by the results of the last election The citizens overwhelmingly voted the “Plan” dead Koos and Company think the “Plan” isn’t dead This building will not be saved The Normal voters waited too long to send the message the […]

Radicals on the loose

By:  Diane Benjamin These people were in downtown Normal yesterday to confront Rodney Davis: This event was put together by Sonny Garcia (Illinois People’s Action) with very little notice, they claim a total of two dozen eventually showed up.  Illinois People’s Action, Democrat Socialists of America, and the group below are all tied together by […]

Are all Commissions really a joke?

By:  Diane Benjamin We know Bloomington’s Police Review Board (PSCRB) has been in existence for a year, held lots of meetings, prepared information for citizens, and has yet to hear one complaint.  Anybody think it was set up as a “feel good” board and never intended to hear complaints? Now we will see if Normal’s Historic […]

Question . . .

Why are Bob and Julie Dobski spending $4 million to build an upscale restaurant when the space at 1 Uptown Circle is still vacant? Too expensive in Uptown? They weren’t the “Right Fit”? The Dobski’s know their patrons don’t want to park in a garage and walk? They wanted to be in Bloomington instead of […]

Wrong side of the tracks

By:  Diane Benjamin In March I posted a story concerning the “luxury” apartments in the new building on Uptown Circle: At that time Zillow showed 16 apartments for rent.  It now shows 14 ranging from $1650 and month to $4200: Public Comment on items other than the Welcoming Ordinance was at […]

Why was Subway’s rent lowered?

By:  Diane Benjamin PDF page 41 The Subway located inside Uptown Station isn’t prospering as expected.  It might have something to do with the Town not allowing them to have a sign visible from the street so people know they are there.   From the discussion last Monday, the Town may allow them to use Sandwich […]

Christmas: Downtown vrs Uptown

by:  Diane Benjamin Both Bloomington and Normal are bankrupting their towns and citizens with Utopian dreams.  The difference is Normal spent taxpayer money where people can see it, Bloomington threw money away on a failing Coliseum and heavily subsidized BCPA. The difference is obvious when you look at the Christmas decorations the towns put up.  […]

4 more years of Koos?

By:  Diane Benjamin Chris Koos was on WJBC this morning.  Hear the interview HERE Did you know that Uptown is NEVER going to be finished?  Yep, Koos said that. He is running for a 4th term because he isn’t done with his vision. Bloomington-Normal will be paying for a new sports facility if Koos and […]

Normal’s Lavish Lunacy

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve talked to some residents of Normal who don’t understand Normal’s desire for an underpass at the Amtrak station.  WJBC has a nice picture of where they want to put it – between the Amtrak station and the Children’s Discovery Museum. Last October Normal spent another $1.4 million to “study” the […]

Fly on the wall: Pantagraph

Buzzing around City Hall, I heard Tari Renner announce the Pantagraph is moving to Uptown Normal. I wonder if they will care that Tari announced the move before they did! That also means, if Renner is re-elected, plans will be announced for taxpayers to subsidize redeveloping the Pantagraph building. You are the monkey-wrench, but only […]

UPDATE: Anybody see a problem:

There is yet another meeting tonight – again not on the City Calendar.  It is on the Home page of the City website: It is about Hamilton Road.  Interested parties should attend.  This one starts at 5:00 at Prairie Vista.  The only meeting on the calendar is Citizens Beautification. By:  Diane Benjamin This meeting […]

Normal: Like being slaves?

By:  Diane Benjamin Start here:  Normal’s Public Comment policy.  Everything in YELLOW is illegal: It’s always risky to believe news in the Pantagraph, but I’m going to use what they reported. The Town is giving away another property plus loaning $2.75 million to the developer.  I wonder if that money was just lying around?   Normal […]

OOPS! Explain please Tari

By:  Diane Benjamin Thanks to a reader who pointed this out to me!  Around 1/3 of my stories are tips from readers, I REALLY appreciate it. FY 2016 Adopted Budget Book 1-Budget Overview & General Fundd The below is from Book One Budget Document on the City Website:  (including the spelling) Note it’s 2016 […]

Going to Uptown meeting tonight?

by:  Diane Benjamin Feeling immaterial to your government in Normal?  You should.  Somebody should rename it Koosville since he gets anything he wants.  The Council doesn’t represent you and debt is not a concern – even though revenue is dropping.  Raise taxes – that’s the ticket!  Revenues will continue to decrease as government takes more […]

Elections: Normal

Often elections don’t have a clear choice or show clear differences between the candidates.  In Normal you have a clear choice.  Most people believe in term limits for politicians, with good reason.  When people are elected over and over and over the absolute power they feel is corrupting.  We have many obvious examples:  Harry Reid, John […]

Election: Normal has many stories about Normal, Uptown, properties purchased and given away, crony capitalism, and the debt.  The below links highlight why change is needed in Normal.  The third link has a map of the TIF district.  The southern part hasn’t been completed, so the spending, borrowing, and giving away properties will continue under Chris […]

Normal: How do they justify property tax increases? – Update

Here’s the short version: The Town of Normal bought a whole bunch of properties.  They paid way more than the assessed value or appraised value, if they bothered with an appraisal. Because these now “Town held” properties, which generate NO property taxes, were so expensive, the Assessor assumed all properties were worth a lot more. The new […]

Normal: How would you feel if you got this in the mail?

by:  Diane Benjamin Imagine you receive your Property Assessment Notice in the mail and overnight your property doubled or tripled in value.  This is what happened to many property owners in “Uptown” Normal.  The figures listed must be multiplied by 3 to reflect the value the Normal Assessor assigned to the property. For instance – […]