Metro Zone – Normal is devastated

Note:  The meeting video is missing!  I will change the link when it’s available.

Video is back – this time without Koos’ challenger on the opening screen.  Coincidence?


By:  Diane Benjamin

Just hit play below to hear the Metro Zone discussion by the Normal Town Council last night.  Bloomington’s Mayor Tari Renner was there, but he left before the discussion ended – the camera pointed to his empty seat about 45 minutes into the discussion:

Normal deserves praise for holding their discussions in public, unlike Bloomington who didn’t.

Yes, the war brewing between Normal and Bloomington is real.  Normal has decided to not accept the vote of the Bloomington City Council to abolish sharing taxes.  Are they really going to file a lawsuit over $1.2 million?  Are they really so strapped for cash in their $100 million + budget that $1.2 million matters?



The entire Council acted like scorned lovers while claiming it isn’t about the money.  It’s about Bloomington leaving MetCom years ago, and everything Bloomington has done since.

Most of the conversation was about “working together”, “common directions”, and “functioning together as a region”.   (Note: Koos made his own plan for new fire stations instead of working with Bloomington on a regional plan)

Koos claimed from April of 2014 to February 2017 only 6 meetings have taken place with Bloomington for a total of 5 3/4 hours.  Normal claims they offered to suspend the agreement for 1 year while talks continued,but that offer was rejected by Bloomington.  Since Bloomington did not hold talks in Open Session, the citizens of Bloomington don’t know what the truth is.

Koos claims he never heard any substantive reasons for why Bloomington wanted to terminate the agreement, only that it is outdated.

Alderman David Sage led the effort in Bloomington to put a vote on the agenda.  Sage hasn’t said a word publicly since the vote.

Normal is demanding a re-vote by Bloomington.  Did they manage to flip any of the 7 aldermen who voted to end the agreement?

I smell another illegal Executive Session coming!

13 thoughts on “Metro Zone – Normal is devastated

  1. I heard on WGLT this morning that a member of the Normal Town Council suggested the relationship should be rebuilt by coming together to build a 16 million (estimated, will be much more expensive since its government) soccer complex on the west side.

    1. Normal is still mad that Bloomington did not use its 1% sales tax increase to support the soccer complex as Normal had promised as an economic development driver on the West side.

  2. I think WE’RE getting suckered here! And WHY should Bloomington SHARE tax money with Normal on the Metro-Zone? Heck, IF UPTOWN cared SO MUCH about the west side businesses then WHY didn’t they FIX the road off 150 that goes to the outlet mall RATHER then just putting up concrete barricades?? I guess if you put yourself $100 million in debt 1% is something? THEREIN lies the problem! Koos don’t count the SMALL numbers because he’s too busy looking at the BIG numbers-DETAILS will ruin ya Chris!

    1. That has been my thought exactly! What were they thinking to cut off easy access to that area?

  3. It’s about the money… why else would they care? Normal’s tax base continues to erode… this is just another nail in their economic coffin and they know it. The jackals are starting to turn on each other. Tari carries off a bone with meat on it and they are not happy. As the economic decline of this area worsens – expect to see more government snatching whatever they can from whoever they can. You can forget about any cooperation from now on anything.

    1. It’s about the $$ for Bloomington too. Right after the 1% sales tax increase which was to correct the $7.4M deficit, the Mayor had the Council spend $1.4M on the old Mennonite Hospital property on North Main adjacent to IWU. Both mayors “live beyond their means.”

  4. Sounds like a great time to get into the moving business. In addition to all the moves from people fleeing Illinois, you could have a huge business moving stores from Normal to Bloomington and back as the towns use tax incentives to steal businesses from each other.

  5. B-o-o H-o-o. Poor King Koos, his kingdom is crumbling around him. Thankfully there’s a perfectly good candidate running against him to sensibly put it back together.

  6. I think this should be settled the old fashioned way… a pistol duel between mayors. We will of course need 2nds, 3rds, and 4ths (council members?) to be ready to uphold the honor of which ever mayor is shot first. The winner gets to sell the other town to the highest bidder and keep all the money from the sale.

  7. We just need some “out of the box” old fashioned solutions… I know that the traditional “tar and feathering” might be able to be used here as well. This is why history is so important. This is not the first time leaders have spent the people’s money for silly wasteful projects while ignoring their real needs. So perhaps it’s time to pull out that pitchfork, oil up that torch and head for city hall after sundown? An angry mob usually gets the leaderships attention pretty fast.

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