How Normal can get their money back

By:  Diane Benjamin

Normal threw away up to $2.5 million last week to get Portillos to locate in Normal.  The Normal Town Council was told Portillos would be a destination – people would drive from 100’s of miles away.

Meanwhile, Champaign got one for free.

Who is at fault?

Listen to Kyle Ham, CEO of the Economic Development Council on WJBC:  Here

Fast forward to 5:45.

Even though media reports have said a Portillos was coming to Champaign as far back as August – KYLE HAM DIDN’T KNOW!

Wasn’t it HIS job to know?

Kyle states that Portillos is expanding and THEY choose Normal when they could have chosen Champaign or Peoria!

He also claimed this is how business is done now.  Yes Kyle, in Bloomington and Normal it is.  Not so much in Champaign!  Portillos didn’t even ask for money in Champaign.

How can Normal get their money back?

Normal pays the EDC $100,000 a year for this faulty advice.  So does Bloomington.

I’m sure the County kicks in money too, but nothing has been posted in bills paid since July 2016 for the Executive and Finance Committees.  They don’t have a yearly summary of bills paid by vendor either, so I have no idea how much they send to the EDC.  Their website is so bad I might just not be able to find the info though.

Anyway, it would still take a long time at $200,000 a year if both Normal and Bloomington dumped the EDC to recoup $2.5 million.

Don’t forget, the EDC are promoting the sale of the Mitsubishi plant.

What did Kyle Ham miss with that project?

Be afraid, be very afraid.

The only way to change this nonsense is to change mayors!

Just another note:

Tari Renner has an illegal campaign sign very close to his house on public property!

tarisignObviously with the attitude he has displayed this week to following the law, laws don’t really matter much to Tari.








  1. There’s ANOTHER Tari sign, across from the Steak N Shake on Veterans, that breaks SEVERAL codes-it’s on IAA dr. Ya CAN’T miss it.
    How about FIRE EDC and the clowns that work there, hire some KNOWLEDGEABLE talent and pay them “performance pay” Didn’t they ALSO pay Motel 6 a chunk to move or tear down the place and get it “building ready”
    And as for the folks buying MMMA, I’ll give them 3 years before them PLOP! Anyone wanna put a Portillos Hot dog on it?? IF you listened to the interview with KOOS and “deal makers: this a.m. on WGLT them WHOLE ball of wax smells BAD! The guy kept comparing making cars to selling phones?? WTH? Koos got away with “Well, they don’t get ANY of the perks until they perform, or 5 years” Hot dog bet is STILL on folks!


  2. Kyle Ham is not vested in B/N because he lives in Springfield. He worked for Rutherford in Peoria prior to his position as CEO of B/N EDC.


  3. Kyle Ham moved to Deer Ridge in 2015, located west of Bloomington off Route 9.


  4. Circle Lanes bowling alley property would have been a better choice. The LONG frontage road would alleviate some of the traffic onto the main arteries.


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