By: Diane Benjamin
This is a link to Town of Normal policy: http://il-normal.civicplus.com/854/Addressing-the-Council
The Attorney General’s office needs to hear from a lot of you today. The policy is illegal and violates the Open Meetings Act. The AG is required by law to resolve all Requests of Review within 60 days. The ONLY way to maybe push them to action is if numerous citizens file against the Town of Normal.
All it takes is an email to: PAccess@atg.state.il.us
Subject: Request for Review
Show them the policy and ask them to rule it illegal. Ask for a BINDING ruling. A suggestion to change it will never happen in Normal.
Below is a pic of their policy – the areas highlighted are illegal and prevent citizens from exercising their right to speak.
- Normal doesn’t “permit” citizens to speak – they are REQUIRED to allow citizens to speak.
- Two hours are unduly burdensome. Signing up to speak 10-15 minutes before a meeting is sufficient
- There is nothing in the OMA law that states a citizens can’t speak on any topic they want.
- 10 minutes is not an adequate time frame for a Town of over 50,000 people.
- Limiting people to once every 45 days violates their rights to speak during public meetings. They would only be allowed to speak at every 3rd meeting. Nothing in the OMA law makes this legal.
- Citizens are not required to give their address or who they may be affiliated with. The Council is required to hear opinions, not pre-judge based on their personal bias.
According to the daily rag, two gentlemen were not allowed to speak at last night’s Normal Council meeting because they had commented within the last 45 days.
A guy named Doug addressed the Council at their meeting last night about their policy. Sorry Doug, I don’t know how to spell your last name!
Watch his comments around 8:30 on the video below. The rest of his comments were GREAT too!
Comments from the Council on Portillos:
Lorenz – opportunity to replace old buildings, economic development
Peterson – Portillos only looked at sites on Veterans Parkway, they contacted Normal, project isn’t viable without subsidies See video at 21:50 – Nobody develops without subsidies.
Gaines – Has no understanding that this subsidy is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic! Evidently people will FLOCK to Normal to eat there, until Portillos builds everywhere.
Preston – Also believes in rearranging the deck chairs (FYI: People from outside the community were supposed to flock to the Coliseum too!)
McBride – The most desirable land is along Veterans Parkway, he wants it – therefore it must be subsidized. He believes it will be a destination and won’t hurt current businesses
McCarthy – everybody in Central Illinois gets subsidies, Portillos is an economic driver – people will FLOCK here, the project is paying for itself
Fritzen – this restaurant will hold visitors in the community, he realizes the first 90-120 days will steal business from other restaurants. He thinks competition is better – Jeff, government is subsidizing their competition! That makes competing tough.
Gaines – thinks this is an investment to make money
Koos – actually realizes some other restaurants will lost money! But, he thinks business will come back to them even though it might take a year. Hopefully those businesses will still exist in a year!
100% voted YES.
Nobody asked why interest is being paid on unearned sales tax revenue!
Have we heard the end of Renner claiming the future is downtown? Obviously Portillos didn’t want to be downtown in Bloomington or Normal!
Sick of Crony Capitalism with YOUR money? Drain the Swamp in April!