Farewell Uptown

By: Diane Benjamin Why are they excited about moving to Lexington? No idea, but their customers should be: Driving an easy 15 minutes north will save you 2%! Rent and property taxes are likely cheaper in Lexington meaning merchandise could be cheaper. Is the exodus beginning? .

Graffiti in Uptown

By: Diane Benjamin According to my millennial interpreter, this means happy and sad at the same time. The symbol is all over Uptown, there are also letters said to be a slur on police. Below are just a few examples: h/t: Two readers Maybe the Marxist teacher running for Bloomington City Council can provide further […]

Normal: Outrageous Price!

By:  Diane Benjamin At Monday’s Council meeting at was announced they think the formerly $24,000,000 underpass can be built for $22,000,000.  This Uptown vanity won’t allow a single car to avoid sitting at a crossing waiting for a train to pass.  It won’t stop people from crossing the tracks on foot at other crossings. Compare […]

New Uptown Building delayed

By:  Diane Benjamin WGLT reported yesterday Trail East construction has been delayed until spring:  https://www.wglt.org/mayor-financing-issues-delay-construction-trail-east-until-spring-2020 Note:  The last time a new building in Uptown had “financing” issues, the Town agreed to rent an entire floor at above market rates and the main floor is STILL empty. Demolition of the old buildings on Beaufort may start […]

WOW Normal!

By:  Diane Benjamin Chris Koos didn’t get the lesson from two years ago when he only defeated Marc Tiritilli by 11 votes.  Last night the voters in Normal sent a baseball bat to the head message:  We demand a new direction! Two of the top three winners took on the Koos and company agenda, Stan […]

Citizens of Normal need to see this one!

By:  Diane Benjamin Town Council meeting TUESDAY   http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3172  (delayed for MLK Day) Misc spending:  CDM is Children Discovery Museum.  It’s easy to give your money as a memorial! This is what you need to see: (yes it’s complicated) The Town of Normal owns the building at 104 W. North.  It is currently rented to Dan Brady […]

Normal: questions, questions!

By:  Diane Benjamin Unless a lot of citizens show up for Public Comment, Tuesday’s meeting will last less than 15 minutes. Here’s some of the bills that will be approved: (click any pics to enlarge) http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2827 More proof government exists for government employees: Don’t forget the $60 gift card employees received too! ________________________________________________________________________ I wonder […]

Town of Normal Debt

By:  Diane Benjamin As of 3/31/17 PDF page 41:  http://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/12750 Yes the citizens still owe $87,783,723 for Koos’s Uptown dreams. Police pensions are only 51.76% funded (PDF Page 129) Fire pensions are only 55.53% funded (PDF Page 130) That is why citizens are on the hook for $56,106.352 just for these two pension funds.  Obviously the guys […]

ISU: You taught this?

Note:  A reader commented on the ISU student – Wes Ward (not Wood) By:  Diane Benjamin I tried to watch the video of Monday’s Normal Town Council, but never made it past Public Comment. Marc Tiritilli is still the voice of reason and fiscal responsibility.  I dare you to watch his comments without standing and […]

Satan Tari?

By:  Diane Benjamin For months Tari Renner supporters have attacked Kevin Lower and me with vile tweets and posts on Facebook.  They claim they aren’t doing anything in support of Tari Renner.  This comment left on my site proves they are lying: I doubt the media will report the facts, but how depraved do Tari […]

The local Fascists

Note:  The meeting video is missing!  I will change the link when it’s available. Video is back, maybe Koos didn’t like Marc Tiritilli on the opening screen! By:  Diane Benjamin The Normal Town Council met last night to approve the budget and talk about Metro Zone. The ruling proletariat is feeling the election heat.  They […]

Normal: QUIT sleeping!

By:  Diane Benjamin Chris Koos CAN’T stop spending your money.  A new library is on the way, not for books – he’s creating a social and fun club and expecting all of you to participate.  Think Uptown events.  Government controls your life – you aren’t allowed to make independent decisions because he is abolishing capitalism.  […]

Normal’s DEBT!

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night Normal voted to waste more taxpayer money on consultants.  They already know they want an expensive underpass, but they are spending $1.4 million+ on another study anyway. As of March 31, 2016:  http://warehouse.illinoiscomptroller.com/LandingPage.cfm?code=064/095/31&searchtype=allunits&originalSearchString=Normal%20-%20a%20Town%20in%20Mclean%20County%20-%20064/095/31&CFID=11824458&CFTOKEN=2f4040be3c789a16-9F1393A4-5056-93B5-5E7A726C9A88D866 From the link above – click View Data – Indebtedness 2014 Total Debt:  $86,788,630 2015 Total Debt:  […]

UpTown broke?

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I showed how Normal’s Uptown TIF is most likely not generating enough TIF money to cover expenses:  https://blnnews.com/2016/07/26/more-uptown-tif/ Here’s more proof: The 2014 TIF report shows some sharing of revenue with other taxing authorities:  Page 5  ftp://ftp.illinoiscomptroller.com/LocGovTIF/FY2014/06409531/14TIF06409531Downtown_volpment.pdf  The 2013 TIF report also shows sharing taxes:  Page 5  ftp://ftp.illinoiscomptroller.com/LocGovTIF/FY2013/06409531/13TIF06409531Downtown_volpment.pdf The 2015 TIF […]

Media setting you up

By:  Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph has a long history of “floating” ideas fed to them from local government.  It’s always the first step in making happen what government wants to happen.  Watchdogs they aren’t.  The last example was “sharing sales tax” – first mentioned in the paper and expanded since. Sunday more ideas were floated […]

Thoughts on sharing Sales Tax

By:  Diane Benjamin If you don’t pay attention to how Normal and Bloomington operate, once they start talking publicly about anything it’s already a done deal.  Both Councils are stacked, so Renner and Koos can easily talk them into the latest declared “best practice”.  Independent thoughts are too rare matter.  Have some lunch. Here’s what […]

Why Bloomington is expanding the library

By:  Diane Benjamin Traffic at Bloomington’s library continues to decline, yet plans to expand continue.  Why? The answer can be found in NORMAL’s Master plan for Uptown: If you haven’t read Normal’s new plan, here’s a link:  Uptown 2.0 Plan  (It downloads a PDF instead of linking you to a webpage) The document is the […]

Uptown Transparency

By: Diane Benjamin I’ve wondered since Uptown Normal was completed what buildings the Town owns and rents.  I filed a Freedom of Information Request to find out.  Wendy Briggs provided the following information with a note that she forgot to put Subway on the list, otherwise, here’s what I received: First, thanks Normal for answering […]

Babbitt’s Books

By:  Diane Benjamin The address for Babbitt’s Books is 119 E Beaufort St, Normal, IL 61761 I wrote extensively in 2012 on how Normal financed Uptown.  A large part was buying properties for way over the assessed value, thus raising the surrounding property values.  Existing property owners saw large increases to their tax bills as a […]

Normal gets Delphied again

By:  Diane Benjamin Look up the Delphi method.  It’s an established technique to make you agree with an agenda as “facts” are presented to support what the seller wants you to buy. Many people in Normal believe in the Uptown concept and now Uptown 2.  Personal property rights must be sacrificed for the greater good. […]

Uptown: Crony + Debt = Recovery?

By:  Diane Benjamin Crony capitalism is a term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials, commonly seen in within governments that practice Mixed Economics. Today Mary Ann Ford of the Pantagraph reported on a study by a group called Good Jobs First.  They touted […]

Pantagraph LIES Again!

by Diane Benjamin The Pantagraph has a HUGE fear of being exposed for their bias reporting.  This is in YOUR hands.  They will never reform unless the citizens DEMAND it or quit paying them.  Maybe their advertisers need to be contacted and asked why they are willing to support the spreading of flat out lies! […]

Live in Normal, Il? So Sorry!

In 2003 every citizen was $11.52 in debt to the Town of Normal.  By March 2011 every citizen was $1,725.18 in debt.  Was Uptown Normal worth a 15,000% increase in YOUR debt? This is a perfect example of what happens to citizens when they aren’t paying attention, trust the people elected to have their best […]