Normal citizens showed up – No minds changed

By:  Diane Benjamin

Proving yet again the plan must be followed in Normal, the Bush development was approved for yet another building in Uptown.  It doesn’t matter the building across the street has a vacant ground floor and empty apartments upstairs.  The agreement for the building doesn’t require the use of local labor.  One speaker and the only supporter, Mike Matejka, pointed that out.  Maybe he can picket the construction when local labor isn’t used.

Public Comment:

Mike Kerber spoke about the destruction of historic buildings

Ron Ulmer listed all the empty spaces in Uptown – Bill’s Lock and Key, Mary Ann’s, Stout Chiropractic, 1 Uptown Circle

Marc Tiritilli stated if the project isn’t viable it isn’t the Town’s job to close the funding gap.  After $250 million has been invested, Normal still can’t attract an investor they don’t have to subsidize.

Joel Studebaker is upset Normal is subsidizing yet another corporation that isn’t local.  Profits will go to Chicago.

A few notes from the Council:

The entire TIF area was not expanded recently, just the part that hasn’t been developed yet.  Even though they are giving away land, right now it is producing no revenue for the Town.  Eventually it will – when they quit giving it away to the developer.

1:05 – Chris Koos was not happy with Public Comment!  Historic preservation:  They kept what they could, new buildings honor old ones.  No property owners had any interest in historic preservation.  Millions have been spent saving facades, Koos listed all the properties.  22 buildings received facade grants.

1:11:30 Fritzen claims they have an engaged citizenry (not many that vote!).  There are no local developers doing the Bush type of development.

1:17:30 Fritzen is furious about claims Unit 5 was pressured to extend the TIF.  Farnsworth will be consolidating employees and bringing more to Uptown.

I wonder how much they will be paying per square foot as compared to what Normal is paying in 1 Uptown Circle?  We will never know.

1:31:20 Cummings – She doesn’t understand why Normal gets praised at places like the Illinois Municipal League but not by citizens.  (Hint:  The IML isn’t forced to pay for it Chemberly!)  She thinks the Uptown plan is visionary!

1:41:30 McCarthy – Town is not expanding its debt.  He claims office space is in demand in Uptown.

Question – why did Normal have to rent an entire floor to get 1 Uptown built if office space is in demand?  Why will the new building have residential above office space if office space is needed?  Residential isn’t all rented in 1 Uptown!

1:51 Lorenz – You are supposed to be excited about the future!  She wants the local workers put to work.  Obviously they won’t be used since they aren’t in the agreement.  She claims the goal was always to promote living and working in Uptown.

1:58:40 Preston – The mural can’t be saved because of needed repairs to the building.  (Preston wasn’t the only one to mention it)

City Manager Pamela Reece claims public art will somehow be part of the new construction.

Hit play to hear Public Comment, jump to the times noted to hear the Council.  It’s obvious they made decisions on their vote before showing up.





18 thoughts on “Normal citizens showed up – No minds changed

  1. I my experience, if it’s on the agenda, it has already passed, the council just has to make a show of not having Completely ignored the open meetings act.

    1. I hope Koos is in office when this utopian dream comes crashing down so everyone is crystal clear as to who gets the blame and why. Either way, history will not be kind to Koos.

      1. in the liberal world of Illinois Koos will be a hero! History will be kind to Koos because it will be Koos and his minions who write it.

  2. Koos and the Council made this decision some time ago. The vote was a mere “formality” and no amount of public comment even from liberals (Matejka, Joel, etc.) would ever change that. Koos is angry anytime someone has a difference of opinion or dares to question his agenda. There is no demand for commercial space in Normal, especially in overpriced Uptown. Of course, neither Koos nor HIS council understands basic economics. It’s my belief that Koos and Co. thought Epiphany was a done deal and in the bag for 1 Uptown Circle. Ken has said in more than one conversation that they looked into it and the rent was way too high. Imagine that! Farnsworth is moving closer to the Town Hall because that’s their biggest sucker, er…I mean customer. Farnsworth might as well be an arm of government, so I guess a neighboring office is befitting.

      1. D minus leadership when Normal needs an A Team… sad and will lead Normal to ruin and default in the not to distant future. And Farnsworth? Can we just get them offices in both city halls?

  3. A team of minimally trained monkeys wil be dispatched to replace this mayor and council and the citizens of Normal will go down to uppity town to celebrate. Off to Maggie’s, a good stout for everyone! Bring the kids!

  4. Voting for idiots is like a blind hog who finds a acorn once in a while, these idiots STILL haven’t gotten anything right, or a clue..

  5. From the Pravdagraph quoting Kathleen Lorenz:

    ‘Council member Kathleen Lorenz questioned that $10 million figure, which includes future property tax money — no up-front payment — and land valued at $1.6 million that may not in fact be worth that much.

    “What’s it worth to me if it’s sitting there with no buyer? Nothing. And we’ve already said the property (tax) value is nothing,” she said of the town-owned properties to be given to Bush and developed.’

    So land the city owns that has no taxes paid is worth nothing. Then why does the city pay so much for said property and seem to buy far too much of this worthless property?

    Sadly she will be voted back in to continue idiotic reasoning another 4 years.

    1. Yup. She poses for photo ops at Chamber events and is a “local celebrity” to enough of the townies that reelection is a foregone conclusion. If a thief is kind, it makes them no less a thief…unless they’re in Normal politics. Anyone opposed is a “radical tea party” member that hates our community, according to the establishment narrative. So sad.

      1. This Kathleen Lorenz is at every establishment event in town with other lapdogs and want-a-bees. All of which are overpaid and underpaid elitists who have never actually worked a day in their lives. These elitists smear Diane and gaslight this publication as a “radical Tea Party Bloomington-Normal blog with zero credibility”. As with all of the establishment liberals who come to this publication to smear and gaslight; it is literally all they have. They live in a world of wealth and power that has separated them from regular people and the truth. This is a game that they think they are winning. And yes for now they are winning but the towns and the regular people here are losing. This is a game to them. This is the future of our towns to all of us.

  6. Like everything else in Blono this was a done deal behind closed doors! Koos n company will get their share of the proceeds while the taxpayers get screwed, again!

  7. @Lawrence – 100% correct – they are indeed overpaid elitists to a person pretty much – they have VERY little REAL life experience for the most part and those who DO have some have become entirely jaded by the left and it’s empty promises – basically, they JOINED and became the “establishment” they once hated and now they ARE what they hated only worse, it’s exactly what happened in China and Cambodia as well with the starry eyed youth. – They see themselves as saviors and visionaries but they are in reality clueless when out of their tiny fishbowl/echo chamber that serves as their reality. They laud and praise each other constantly as well with their little awards dinners which are truly nauseating. They are also THE PROBLEM and they impede any solutions. I know that’s a little jumbled but pretty much everyone here is bright enough to figure it out. Leftists/progressives or whatever, no one could ever explain it to you, so there is no need to even try, you have lost the ability to comprehend anything this complex. Little chants and slogans are your forte and you are quite good at repeating them…I suppose that is enough to be considered “bright” in your world…

    1. I agree completely Ronin… Liberal elites have a kind of social Darwinist mentality that “in their minds” places them above the plebes like you and I. Their economic success and power is “in their minds” proof and reinforcement that they personally are in some way superior and are being rewarded for that superiority. So if you have a 6 figure salary and a position (as opposed to an actual job) that allows you to glad hand, back-slap and photo op at any number of weekly establishment functions (Chamber, BN Disadvantage, EDC, etc.) you are better than the average Joe taxpayer. You are in the know… part of the club…. a good old boy or girl…. So as a result they know what is best for us… They have the good ideas…. so just sit down and shut up while they run things.

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