Normal’s Debt and Public Comment Policy

By:  Diane Benjamin

I’ve heard that one guy running for re-election on the Normal Town Council is telling people as he campaigns door to door the debt isn’t a problem.  I believe he is actually calling other candidates liars for questioning the debt.

Hit play on the video below from last Monday’s meeting.  The speaker is the Town Finance Director.  Of course he uses different words, but he clearly says the Town can’t borrow any more money without identifying new revenue sources.

That means the credit card is maxed out!

Is that how you handle your finances?

Earlier in the video Andrew Huhn states Sales, Food/Beverage taxes, TIF income and Hotel-Motel taxes are dedicated to payoff the debt.  Projections for revenue from Sales and Income tax were adjusted down in the current budget.  Food/Beverage taxes will decrease when Portillos opens because those taxes are being rebated.  The Town plans to give up $1,825,000:  https://blnnews.com/2016/12/02/portillo-town-monday-night/

Portillos won’t be a destination since they are building everywhere now, but this Council doesn’t understand that Potillos will take business from other local eateries therefore Food/Beverage taxes received WILL GO DOWN!  How is that debt looking now Council?  What about the next recession that will cause Hotel-Motel taxes to decline?  Sales taxes will continue to decline just to spite you and Bloomington for the 1% tax increase.

Yes the debt is an issue because fiscally responsible people don’t max out their credit cards expecting to make other people pay for their folly.

 

Chris Koos announced at the end of the Council meeting that he wants a new ordinance for Public Comment on the next agenda.  He knows he is losing with the 45 day rule.  He is not changing the policy because he wants to.  It makes him look bad and unwilling to listen to the citizens.  He knows the Attorney General will slap him around for it, so he’s attempting to make people believe this is his idea.  He didn’t mention the requirement to sign up 2 hours in advance, it had better be gone too.

Koos is leaving the requirement to speak only on agenda items.  Are you going to drag people away who don’t Chris?  Are the police going to be nearby ready to physically remove speakers you can’t stand to listen to for a whole 3 minutes?  I realize citizens with opinions different from yours is a threat to the fiefdom, but these are the people you supposedly work for!  You are poking a sleeping bear.  Are you willing to risk waking it up?

Plan 2.0 for holding government accountable will be mobilized if 3 precious minutes of your life can’t be spent listening to the concerns of citizens.  Present an ordinance restricting free speech to what’s on the agenda and you will find out what 2.0 is.  Ditto for signing up 2 hours in advance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. UPTOWN has a financial compass that is messed up!! Case in point, they GAVE Portillos $1.8 million on a MAYBE $7 million investment, and yet they only give the buyers of the auto plant $1.75 million or so in DELAYED incentives on a $175 million investment. And that’s NORMAL math 101!!

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    • mittenpaws says:

      The delayed incentive for the car plant is because there is no sellable product as of yet. There is no guarantee that jobs will be created either. With the Portillo’s agreement, the tax rebate was given to the developer not the restaurant–the same developer who has been getting special deals in Uptown Normal. Portillo’s has a proven track record of generating money although it won’t generate as much as planned because there are other branches nearby. As long as the two cities continue to give the taxes generated by the “new” businesses away, actual revenue to the Cities’ coffers will be flat or decline.

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  2. sticky bean says:

    It’s been several years but I’ve seen Koos deny a person permission to speak even about an agenda item but then let the next person do so.

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  3. Please clarify, Diane. Reading ECWD (Illinois Leaks) I’m under the impression that a time limit is illegal as well. Yes or no?

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