You aren’t supposed to notice

By:  Diane Benjamin

Whenever Bloomington and Normal “think” a spending item is beyond question they put it on the Consent Agenda.  In Normal they call it the Omnibus Vote.  The council is supposed to vote YES on lots of things at once.  An item can be pulled, but it usually gets passed anyway.  I enjoy Bloomington Aldermen pulling something and starting the conversation with:  I support this and plan to vote yes but . . .

At Normal’s last meeting that almost $27,000 electric vehicle Amtrak couldn’t afford themselves was on the Omnibus vote.  It got pulled and passed.

Monday night Normal has multiple questionable items on the Omnibus vote.  It’s always fun to see if they get pulled or voted on really fast and buried for eternity.

You might have heard already that Hyatt wants a tax rebate of $88,000.  Read the details here – PDF Page 159:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2672

The rebate is only for a year, so a year from now they will be back wanting more.  Koos and Council got in bed with them only to fill a hole in Uptown.  Unless Koos wants a vacant building, he is forced to pay.  He didn’t want the hole across from the train station – so he agreed to rent an entire floor if somebody would pretty please build!   https://blnnews.com/2017/03/20/facts-mr-koos/

That brings me to the chairs from yesterday.  Normal expects to move into their new space in December, plus a new fire station by September.  Both need all new furniture!  (I know – they are just like you when you move to a new house, saves the trouble of moving things.)

The total for both locations is only $420,853.49!  Celebrate now because they saved almost $11,000 buying for both projects at once!

See the proposed spending starting on PDF Page 38.  These are cute chairs – 3 for the low price of $527.80 each.

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That brings me to the chairs from yesterday and three more I just found:

Normal is buying:

29 @ 427.80 each

21 @ $721.80 each

12 at $542.70 each

4 at $755.76 each (No arms)

and 4 @ $680.85

I wonder if they held a chair picking party?  It’s hard to tell them apart!  You can see all the furniture at the link above.

Nothing is too good for your rulers in Normal.

I think my chair is at least 10 years old and wasn’t over $60.

Meanwhile, expect a line to form behind Hyatt wanting tax rebates.  Did you know J.B. Pritzker (Democrat running for Illinois Governor and heir to the Hyatt fortune) is worth $3.4 billion?  https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/04/06/billionaire-jb-pritzker-announce-run-illinois-governor/100119840/

Hyatt doesn’t need Normal’s $88,000 but fleecing is always good – especially when it’s this easy.  Any business in Uptown will be able to threaten to leave and get tax rebates.  Magic!

House of Cards isn’t a political drama – it’s Normal, Il.

I need to start a list of all the taxes they won’t be getting:

  • Motel 6 that got torn down
  • Portillos because they gave it away
  • MetroZone because Bloomington dropped them – 1.2 Mil
  • State cuts – 2% Sales Tax
  • State cuts – 10% income tax
  • Home Depot rebate, unless it expires
  • Others?

 

 

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Comments

  1. Dear God, it’s even worse than I expected

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  2. debra jeakins says:

    No chair picking party, they hired a consultant for hundreds of dollars to do that!

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  3. And….I’m sure they have other chairs, stockpiled in a warehouse somewhere, that we’re paying to store…that are in perfectly good shape. But let’s cry about not getting enough from the new IL budget and how we’re going to have to “cut road improvements or increase taxes/fees” in order to fix this “surprise” slap to the face from the state.

    Kinda sucks having money stolen from you for stupid things…doesn’t it Koos/Peterson/Renner?

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  4. Purchasing the expensive chairs is just a symptom of an underlying disease. Narcissism comes to mind. The Town is “bleeding” revenue but continues to spend on “pretty” things while the infrastructure deteriorates. The Town (and City) “will have to reduce services” for the residents to make up for lost revenue but will spend on unnecessary frills.

    The thing that bothers me the most is the repeated statement that PUBLIC SAFETY constitutes 50% of the General Fund expenses. PROPERTY taxes are supposed to be used for PUBLIC SAFETY. PROPERTY taxes are deposited in the GENERAL FUND. Town, City and Pantagraph, please stop reporting that sales tax, hotel/motel tax, entertainment tax, etc. is used for PUBLIC SAFETY. All of those miscellaneous taxes are used for administrative function of the Town and City–that includes, consultants and financial subsidies.

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