By: Diane Benjamin
The citizens vote for people to represent them. Those representatives then don’t attend meetings. The ones that do pretend it’s perfectly normal for members to be absent. Do they still get paid? Citizens don’t have a right to know why their elected official is MIA?
Last night it was Chris Koos. Was he sick? Embarrassed by his really bad news week? (Facebook post and illegal sign ordinance) Was he off on another taxpayer funded junket? Kevin McCarthy filled in.
We don’t know where Koos was since the only time his name was mentioned was the roll call. Still think these people represent you?
Four citizens spoke during Public Comment about Connect Transit. See 5:22. All 4 detailed how public transit isn’t meeting the needs of people who rely on their service. They again demanded appointees to Connect’s Board that represent the most vulnerable.
The final speaker used to ride the bus as a choice, she rarely rides anymore. She claims with the route changes she no longer can because of the increased time it takes to get anywhere.
Besides approving minutes that mentioned Connect Transit, nothing was on the agenda specific to public transportation. That means some staff person decided it was okay to change the public comment policy specially for these speakers. Normal’s illegal policy says comment “must be germane to the meeting agenda of the public body”. http://www.normal.org/854/Addressing-the-Council
It appears public comment rules have been changed without a vote. Maybe the website will get changed without a vote too. (Normal has a problem admitting when they are wrong)
Listen to the speakers. Obviously the Connect Transit Board does not represent the people who need the service. That Board wants to force YOU to ride, not provide service to the most needy. Normal is still short a representative.
Stan Nord questioned this payment, I hadn’t gotten around to filing a FOIA yet. Now I don’t have to:
This is the FINAL payment on free Wi-Fi for Uptown. Please explain why anyone would use free government Wi-Fi? Why would you use any FREE Wi-Fi? If you value security, don’t! I don’t know what the total cost was without researching it.
The sparks flew when the Council discussed Nord’s land on W. College. Stan recused himself, but his lawyer was present and participated in the conversation.
Here’s the basic facts:
- The land had buildings on it and had been previously developed before Nord bought it
- The Town claims Nord knew about the fees when he bought the property
- Nord claims the Town should have collected from previous owners and they have no right to bill him for their failure to collect previously
- Part of the land can not be developed because of waterways
- The Town hooked the property up to sewer without charging previous owners
The only reason the Town brought this up is because Nord wanted to put gravel down next to the buildings for use as additional storage for shipping containers. Instead of just doing it, he contacted the Town to see if he needed any permits. That is when the Town decided he needed to pay the tap-on fees they have admitted they failed to previously charge. The amount of fees due seems to vary depending on the whims of the Town.
Karyn Smith proposed cancelling the fees, her motion failed to get a second. She mentioned a lawsuit by Nord would likely cost more to defend than the fees.
Chemberly Cummings really wants to be a one term Trustee. She was condescending at best. Just hit play below to hear her comments. I hope Cummings remembers her comments the next time the Town gives away public property.
The entire conversation starts at 38:20. The Council approved a conditional plat. If a court case is filed it will be interesting to see how the Town explains buildings on the land without a final plat or site plan on file. Maybe some research into who those previous owners were is warranted.