Normal: Paying to Manipulated You

Below is a list of the top 50 people paid by the Town of Normal in 2010.  Go to OpenTheBooks.com is you want to see names.  Medium HOUSEHOLD income in McLean County 2006-2010 was $57,642.  http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/17/17113.html

2010    Town Of Normal         $156,585.31
2010    Town Of Normal         $134,396.06
2010    Town Of Normal         $122,905.14
2010    Town Of Normal         $122,791.15
2010    Town Of Normal         $121,640.34
2010    Town Of Normal         $119,361.82
2010    Town Of Normal         $112,938.47
2010    Town Of Normal         $111,642.29
2010    Town Of Normal         $109,562.46
2010    Town Of Normal          $102,832.01
2010    Town Of Normal          $100,064.03
2010    Town Of Normal          $91,722.07
2010    Town Of Normal          $91,075.63
2010    Town Of Normal          $90,607.44
2010    Town Of Normal          $90,109.74
2010    Town Of Normal          $90,109.66
2010    Town Of Normal          $88,960.94
2010    Town Of Normal          $85,978.00
2010    Town Of Normal          $84,940.70
2010    Town Of Normal          $84,740.96
2010    Town Of Normal          $84,584.94
2010    Town Of Normal          $84,575.97
2010    Town Of Normal          $83,894.99
2010    Town Of Normal          $83,698.66
2010    Town Of Normal          $83,629.08
2010    Town Of Normal          $83,213.00
2010    Town Of Normal          $83,158.25
2010    Town Of Normal          $79,757.21
2010    Town Of Normal          $79,616.90
2010    Town Of Normal          $78,622.87
2010    Town Of Normal          $78,076.09
2010    Town Of Normal          $77,526.78
2010    Town Of Normal          $77,253.48
2010    Town Of Normal          $77,077.02
2010    Town Of Normal          $76,825.10
2010    Town Of Normal         $75,808.24
2010    Town Of Normal          $75,501.32
2010    Town Of Normal         $74,387.76
2010    Town Of Normal         $74,245.47
2010    Town Of Normal         $73,820.58
2010    Town Of Normal         $73,577.30
2010    Town Of Normal        $73,268.33
2010    Town Of Normal         $73,006.69
2010    Town Of Normal         $72,896.38
2010    Town Of Normal         $72,681.43
2010    Town Of Normal         $72,522.96
2010    Town Of Normal         $72,115.22
2010    Town Of Normal         $71,926.44
2010    Town Of Normal         $71,635.40
2010    Town Of Normal         $71,287.61

What’s the point?  The citizens of Normal are paying the salaries of public servants to perform the city’s business.  Instead of using their common sense and expertise, the Town of Normal hired Julie Hile/Hile Group as a consultant for parking in the new Uptown Normal and to convince citizens to agree to Form Based Code and a Main Street Corridor.   See below for how much they were paid: (click the picture to enlarge)

Total paid 2007-2010=$100,019.97

Note:  Consulting on parking didn’t have anything to do with the parking garages.  It was to develop Parking Management Policies.

In 2007-2008 the goal was:

“. . . build their understanding and sense of ownership over Uptown parking solutions . . “.  They reported 10-15 2 hour meetings would be required to build consensus.  Hile submitted a 3 1/2 page proposal to the Town outlining how they would achieve consenses – in other words, convince local businesses that limiting parking in front of their locations was a good thing.  This plan was estimated at $16,000-$18,000.

I hope you have watched the video from the previous post: https://blnnews.com/2012/09/13/your-personal-property-rights-hile-group-and-the-town-of-normal/

But, it gets much worse.  In 2008 Hile was hired to develop a Community Sustainability Plan.  Cost $47,500.  Quote from the Hile proposal: “For good reason, Council sees in the swirl of positive energy around Uptown the growth of a ‘great story to tell the world.’  What our Town leaders call for now is the ‘getting our house in order,’ the ‘teasing out of new insights and opportunities.’ so we get that story right, live in it happily, and tell it well.”

In other words, make sure the citizens believe their hard earned money has been spent wisely and they are happy about the entire project.  Look at the 2011-2012 spending by the Town on the chart below:  (click the picture to enlarge)

Read the captions below the chart.  All spending isn’t included-it would have been more accurate if all spending had been included, but 44.5% of what was included was for Uptown renewal.  Look at the top right hand corner.  In the previous year 21.7% of the spending was for Uptown.  Is this what you elected a Mayor and Council to do?  Is this what City staff is paid to do and evidently unable so they had to hire outside consultants?

But there is still more:  Form Based Code.  Put simply, take away the property rights of people along the corridor between Bloomington and Normal so it complies with how City Officials think it should look.  In 2010, after it was defeated in 2007 in both Bloomington and Normal, they tried again.  Hile Group was hired for $25,000 by Bloomington ($4500), Normal ($4500), BroMenn ($4000), ISU ($4000), IWU ($4000), and McLean County Chamber of Commerce ($4000) to facilitate getting it passed this time.  The result is the video.  Normal passed it as an option, but we know how long “optional” lasts.   Quote from the Hile presentation: “This last item (Main Street Corridor) is the most sensitive politically, given the heated debate already surrounding the Main Street Plan, so we need to be together in managing project communication with care.”   Gee, upset citizens standing up for themselves!  Sorry Julie.  The report also speaks of a “strategic configuration of the task force”.  In other words, put people on that already agree or are easily coerced.

Elections for Mayor and some Council seats are next year.  What is the purpose of local government?  Why are salaries so much higher than the average household income, and then they hire consultants?  Do these salaries not come with expertise? Is the role of government to create their version of utopia at your expense?

These are all questions that need answered before you decide to vote of any the currently elected.

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