Normal feeds themselves and more

By:  Diane Benjamin

See the entire response to my FOIA  HERE

I filed a FOIA request for some items identified in this story:

The Koos accident report was part of the FOIA:

Page 25 says Mayor’s insurance pending – it wasn’t his fault, so why is his insurance pending?

Also FOIA’d was:

If Normal wants to stay out of legal trouble, every receipts must have documentation for who ate and the purpose of the meal.  They failed to comply.

The $463.42  was $212.35 at PotBelly and $250.96 at Biaggi’s.

The Potbelly order was delivered to City Hall, PDF page 10 has almost illegible notes, it looks to me like it says Dinner Meeting – something illegible and Farnsworth.  If that isn’t correct, the FOIA officer failed to make it clear.

The Biaggi’s receipt is mostly illegible, but it is marked Executive Session.  I can’t read the date, but if this secret meeting needed food it was probably illegal.  Secret meetings are only legal when the scope if very narrow.  I can’t tell from the receipt if the food was delivered.

Page 16 has more illegible receipts – one is signed by Mark Peterson.  The ROCK receipt looks like just one person ate – $24.06

Page 17 shows Mark Peterson signing for something illegible for $94.53, including a $20.00 tip. (27%)

Page 24 has food receipts labeled Budget Work Session.  This is the meeting under investigation by the Attorney General because it probably violated the Open Meetings Act.  $157.23

Page 22 has an email referring to an EAC event.  Evidently the gift cards were for that event.  In Bloomington EAC stands for Employees Activities Committee.  If Normal also has EAC they hid the expenses better than Bloomington.  Chances are there are many other expenses involved.

The $395.14 labeled Kid’s Party gifts looks like it was for the Discovery Museum.

$35,000 was handed to the Chamber of Commerce for:

According to the documentation, Bloomington gave the Chamber $35,000 and $12,000 for the same items.

Drain the swamp anyone?

One more – Council compensation

The Town of Normal is trying to hide what their employees earn or that information would be on their website.  I’m not done getting that info, I just haven’t had time.  I did finally get the gross compensation for Council members:

Cummings is less because she wasn’t on the Council for a full year.  It looks like Koos has to pay taxes on his use of the egg car, but without more information it’s impossible to know.



5 thoughts on “Normal feeds themselves and more

  1. Why can’t these government thieves pay for their own meals? There is absolutely no reason on earth why the taxpayers should be stuck for filling the stomachs of very highly paid and overly compensated bureaucrats! Do they have to pay taxes on these benefits provided by the taxpayers?


    1. Agreed. The nerve of raising taxes and fees and then spending money on lunch! Yes, the meals themselves would not offset a tax/fee increase; however, the Town can’t say we need more money from you and me while wasting that money on feeding themselves and their cronies at Farnsworth. Both Normal and Bloomington governments have bought the Chamber. There’s little appetite from within the Chamber to advocate for a stronger business climate, private business-led solutions, and fiscal discipline. This money buys influence over the local economy. Remember, when it comes to businesses the local governments are looking for the “right fit”. Still waiting for them to define “right fit” and explain which types of businesses do not fit.


  2. NormalNews, I couldn’t agree more. Where in any statute is it written than these people get free meals? Why can’t they come home from work and eat dinner BEFORE going to meetings? I don’t want to hear about busy schedules. When you ran for office, you signed up for it.

    I also believe it’s illegal to give money to non-profits and charities. Public money is to be used for public purposes only. The Chamber of Commerce is not a Public Body, or any form of City Government.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The Chamber is irrelevant and operates in a bubble. The Chamber (and EDC) need to kick government and its money/influence out. However, the damage has been done.


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