by: Diane Benjamin
Scott Preston was absent
Nobody pulled the $127,000 to cover the Children’s Discovery Museum spending. Bury it and move on. This was by far the most read story of the week: https://blnnews.com/2018/12/15/oops-more-on-normal-for-monday/
Three people spoke at public comment. The first was Andy Shirk of Beer Nuts, he was in favor of the council increases.
Ron Ulmer and Marc Tiritilli spoke against the increases, especially the huge jump for mayor. Keep in mind Chris Koos won’t see an increase, the huge jump is for the next mayor. That mayor may not use the Koos “expanded duties” model because it isn’t necessary for local government. Tiritilli pointed out that Koos chooses to participate in extra curriculars. Both wanted convinced the increase was necessary, especially when the council has buried the Town in debt.
What the citizens of Normal really need to see is the council discussion. Many of them blamed “social media” for making their jobs tougher, media never reported what really happens evidently even though a member of the media is sitting on the Council. More proof McBride shouldn’t be on the Council.
Chemberly Cummings shouldn’t be on the Council either. She was elected less than 2 years ago with no clue what being a Trustee meant. She sounded angry the job takes so much of her time. She frequently has to apologize to her spouse and children. She also chooses to participate in extra curriculars in order to build relationships. She doesn’t have to attend Chamber of Commerce events or be on the Board of the National League of Cities. Citizens would prefer she wasn’t since places like NLC promote left-wing ideology. She said nothing about actual citizens taking up her time.
Jeff Fritzen tried twice to reduce the increases, both attempts failed. He doesn’t want people running for the money.
Chris Koos claims a guy at the US Conference of Mayors told him to “put pen to paper” and see how much it really costs him to be mayor. He estimates $45,000 a year. Does that include all the trips and free event tickets Chris? He also claims it takes him 30 minutes to walk from his store to Uptown because of all the people who stop him on the street. Since the raise won’t apply to him he may have to quit – he sounded angry too.
RC McBride said he was comfortable with both raises. He wants to expand the pool of available candidates to run for office. He must not have noticed the long list running in April.
Kevin McCarthy claimed it cost more to run for a seat than they make in a year. There is an easy fix for that Kevin:
Running “At-Large” means it is very difficult to win an election and the winners don’t represent anybody in particular. Residents have no one representing just them, contacting the entire Council may or may not get a response. Trustees are unaccountable to the people because they don’t need to be accountable. Elections would be MUCH cheaper to run when campaigning doesn’t have to take place in the entire Town. Candidates rarely win on issues, they win on name recognition.
Since the Council won’t reform their fiefdom, a referendum is needed by the people.
We did find out from Kevin McCarthy the Greenville trip was “community bench-marking economic development”. He didn’t have to go and shouldn’t have. Local people can solve local problems, outside interference from other cities who think they can produce prosperity through government programs solves nothing. By the way, Greenville has a soccer complex.
Hit play to hear public comment, Marc Tiritilli was elegant as usual. The discussion of wage increases starts right after approving the consent agenda. Media accounts don’t accurately reflect what each said. The only way to know is to see it for yourself.