By: Diane Benjamin
The citizens of Normal need to understand they do not have accountable representatives on the Town Council. Since Normal does not have a WARD system, all trustees are elected “at-large” and therefore do not have to represent you. Trustees McCarthy, Cummings, and Preston were elected with between 3012 and 3668 votes last April: http://il-mcleancounty.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/9792
Ron Ulmer came in fourth with 2855. None of the three elected had to make a case to a specific part of the City. Since only 18.32% of registered voters decided to exercise their right to pick their representatives, it’s wasn’t difficult to get the “chosen” elected. Marc Tiritilli lost by ELEVEN votes. Obviously the people who voted against Chris Koos didn’t see the McCarthy and Preston votes as lock step with Koos. The citizens need to start paying attention.
All the trustees took turns sobbing last night about raising property taxes for the ELEVENTH year in a row.
I intended to recap what each trustee said, but most claimed they were hurting themselves too and there is nothing they could do about it because the state tells them what to do. This discussion droned on for over an hour. All pretended they appreciated the public comments. I will just make some brief comments instead of boring you.
Chemberly Cummings read extensively from the State pension code that demands Councils levy property taxes for pensions. Since Bloomington raised OTHER taxes to fund pensions, she needs to immediately file a police report. McCarthy and Preston agreed with her, they need to file too. The law has obviously been broken!
City Manager Mark Peterson stepped on those claims at 2:09:45. He claimed money could be shifted from elsewhere, but then that would leave a hole. That’s the point Mark. Want to find money?
Cancel Uptown 2.0
Cancel the underpass and the new library too.
Cancel all consultants. Cancel all travel.
Watch the public comments again Mark – MANY places to save were mentioned.
Looks like Cummings was wrong! I wonder if she attended that illegal secret Planning Session last August? https://blnnews.com/2017/11/28/its-confirmed-laws-dont-matter/
Does the Pension Act matter, but not the Open Meetings Act Chemberly? Copy me on that police report Ms. Cummings!
They can control pensions by not hiring employees and not paying existing salaries to employees way above the average for this area. I bet the next City Manager will get at least a base salary of $150,000 regardless of qualifications. More pension expense! Mark Peterson will start collecting which will deplete the fund.
RC McBride claimed all prices go up over time. Since he’s a government employee maybe his boss just increases his salary when he needs more money. McBride fails to understand if house values were going up the Town automatically gets more money without raising the rate! Normal’s constant taxing hurts housing values because people leave. I wonder why the League of Women Voters didn’t show up to lament un-affordable housing that just got worse?
At least McBride realizes sales tax is down and the work force is diminishing. The evil Internet is hurting Sales taxes!
Jeff Fritzen rambled as usual, but he is celebrating Rivian!
Kevin McCarthy reiterated they don’t make the pension laws. As Parker Lawlis so eloquently stated during public comments, the Council KNOWS in advance what the expense will be, but they always use excuses for not funding them except with property tax increases.
McCarthy questioned the comment about purposely not funding police and fire pensions. Fancy talk doesn’t explain why IMRF funding is very high but police and fire pension funding percents are very low. He claims it was caused by dropping interest rate assumptions. Dude, those assumptions would affect all three plans if true. Unless he wants to claim the police and fire pensions managers are worthless and it’s their fault, his comments are bogus.
Lorenz thought “average Joe’ comments were clever and she appreciated the time Jarrod Rackauskas put into his comments. Her comment sounded like Jarrod played some game to make a point.
Preston just repeated what others said. Don’t forget, he’s the self called Republican on the Council.
Chris Koos has no plans to quit spending money. He claims the Council is playing the long game – 10, 20, or 30 years from now. He claims between Rivian and Brandt, 1000 jobs will be brought to the area. He didn’t mention Portillos.
Koos obviously doesn’t see he is bankrupting the current citizens and forcing many to leave because of his “long game” giveaways and tax increases. I wonder if the Normal Council will ban him from doing Economic Development? If they looked at the debt they would!
I hope you appreciate I listened to these elitist TWICE! They rambled on and on and on when they could have just said they don’t have a choice and voted.
The meeting was much longer than usual. 2 weeks from now they will probably be back to less than 1/2 hour. Public Comment needs to be longer than their predetermined meetings.