ELEVEN! Citizens fight back

By:  Diane Benjamin

Maybe the citizens of Normal have finally decided enough is enough.  11 citizens (one from Bloomington) spoke against the property tax increase during the public hearing before the Normal Town Council.  They came armed with facts which the council later tried to refute.  That story will be next.  Meanwhile, just hit play below to hear these citizens take a stand!  Normally I would pick which speakers you really need to hear – not this time.  They all presented facts and presented them well.

Listed in the order they spoke:

Angela Scott

Doug Fansler

Ron Ulmer

Craig Stimpert

Parker Lawlis

Brad Striegel

Ed Neaves – Bloomington Association of Realtors

Jeff Hobb (spelling?)

Marc Tiritilli

Doug Sauer (spelling?)

Jarrod Rackauskas


18 thoughts on “ELEVEN! Citizens fight back

  1. 1. I really don’t want to raise your taxes, but…
    2. I am raising my taxes too.
    3. The pension articles give us no alternatives.

    All heard from many/most council members last night as a form of excuse for their desire to raise our taxes.

    1. If you really don’t want to raise my taxes, then don’t. Do something to properly budget for this next year. Move funds from the wants pile into the needs pile. Not rocket science for normal folks, but apparently for Normal council members.

    2. What emotion is this supposed to trigger in citizens? If you choose to do something to yourself, we should feel what? I feel like you have not done your job in budgeting and prioritizing needs over wants.

    3. Playing the we cannot NOT do this because of the articles of pension legislation! What power do you have? Why are you in this spot where you claim its the Illinois law makers fault? Perhaps you spent all the recent unallocated tax increases on wants not needs! Perhaps past spending has left you with no alternaive funds!

    What is the plan for next year? How can you not raise our taxes next year? I would love to see those plans so council members and staff can see what they should have already done to avoid this increase, but sadly were inept in their duties.


    1. Lyle the consultant to the rescue! 2-1 odds the above talking points were part of that strategy meeting, along with the early buyouts. Wonder what other cards our esteemed leaders have yet to play.


  2. The Council’s remarks were not surprising. We know we have to fund pensions. It’s all the other crap we spend on – buying a citizen out of her Rte66 museum mortgage, the hotels, the bike paths, the “stop for pedestrian” signs, the over/underpass, the Amtrak golf cart, the $16,000 worth of mums and fall annuals.

    If we weren’t spending on all the “nice to haves”…..we’d be better able to fund the “must haves.”

    The Council didn’t acknowledge they understood that at all last night.


  3. The Town of Normal is drowning in debt and will never be able to escape the debt cycle. Koos & Co. will continue to keep up appearances because they can’t admit that their government-led utopia i.e. Upitty Town is a failure. So, they raise taxes and blame third-party factors: pensions and Springfield. The citizens that like Uptown get something from government and/or don’t bother to look below the surface at the financials. Most citizens see it as a success because they only look at the aesthetics – it’s a quaint little downtown area. Of course, we all know it’s a money pit that requires handouts to lure in businesses.


  4. Shame on Ms. Cummings for her flippant and disrespectful comment “ We are left to make the hard decision…and take a whipping from our constituents.” First, you chose to run and accept a role as a public servant, which includes receiving feedback. Not sure in watching the meeting a “whipping” is what the council received. Irrespective of the state mandate, show fiscal restraint and the reality of the law when debating the issues. Put the issue in context and acknowledge the pain we all share in these onerous mandates. Additionally, the term “whipping” is inflammatory and derogotive. When citizens are decried for speaking their opinions counter to elected officials as receiving a “whipping”, it showcases a fundamental lack of respect for the process and people.


    1. No, Chump-berly, you made an ideological decision. A hard decision would mean that you stood up to Koos and the Council and said enough is enough, we need to stop our reckless spending and taking taxpayers for granted. Koos and the Council are always surprised to learn there are people that have opinions different than their own. By the way, if a conservative used “whipping” in an analogy, how long would it take our newest Councilwoman to play the race card?


  5. In the yesterday Pravdagraph they had the UPTOWN public works director saying that UPTOWN has a bin full of salt and with 7,800 tons and salt is $1.50 a ton LESS this year, so WHERE did those savings go? POOF!


  6. Best idea is from Diane,,,that people show up to speak and challenge the 2 hour sign up protocol with a lawsuit. Koos and council are fearful of citizens speaking which is why they have the 2 hour protocol. As the AG is democrap and Koos liberal commies are all “friends” if not pieces of the democrap party then nothing gets done until a citizen files a lawsuit. Citizens showing up and demanding to speak will rock their little world. However until brave, intelligent, honest folk like Tiritilli and Ulmer are elected it will be trying. Good luck citizens of Normal,,,go get ’em!


  7. For all of the research done by the newest member of the Town Council to inform the citizenry, she did a pretty good job of misrepresentation of reality. The State Statute she referred to was put in place because the State and local government entities had failed to adequately fund the pensions for decades resulting in significant loss of compounding investment gains over time additional to the contributions. Our elected officials should be demanding that the State legislature address pension reform instead of traveling around the country at taxpayer expense to learn about sports complexes or rubbing elbows at the Conference of Mayors and federal legislators at One Voice.

    It is true that property taxes are to fund pensions but they are also used by the local municipalities to fund Parks and Recreation as well as to abate principle and interest of the accrued debt. (The TIF Districts aren’t generating the projected property tax revenue as promised.) The Library, School Districts, HCC, CIRA, Township and McLean County are separate taxing bodies which contribute to the total property tax bill. Each of those taxing bodies are raising their tax levies this year in addition.

    Of course the Town Trustees have to pay the taxes too but lucky for them they can afford to pay. How many are “Median Joes” or worse yet, working poor who can’t afford local housing.


  8. Diane here is a tidbit, your choice of course, your site. How about a BLN News Person of the Year? Take nominations from readers and you with the help of your readers make the final decision. I nominate Marc Tiritilli due to his close call of winning as mayor of Normal and his continued effort of crusade for the citizens of the Town of Normal.


    1. Hands down, Marc Tiritilli for “BLN News Person of the Year”. As for the “jerk”, we have no shortage of qualified candidates. Koos is a tempting pick, but I’ll cross the border and pick Renner for all his “Tari tantrums”. At least Koos knows how to smile and appear charming while he’s screwing the taxpayers out of their money. Thoughts?


      1. I agree Mark and Diane. Good people doing the right thing and telling the truth. Persons of the year…it reminds me of better times when those were the kind of people in charge. Good, honest, and hardworking.


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