By: Diane Benjamin
Trustees Karyn Smith and Chemberly Cummings were absent.
The easiest way to recap last night’s meeting is by topic. Readers can jump in the video to topics of interest to them. The meeting finale was priceless, don’t miss it.
4:00 – Stan Nord removes B-H on the Omnibus Agenda. Chris Koos is obviously not pleased. The meeting would have taken less than 10 minutes before the latest election.
4:40 – Nord questions why the Council even votes on expenses since Mayor Koos claims the payments were already approved through the budget. Nord wants the text of the vote changed since the council is merely rubber-stamping the payments according to Koos. Koos again claims the “auditors” told him a vote is needed. Koos doesn’t understand the auditors don’t make the laws. Auditors only make sure the numbers are in the rights columns. Kevin McCarthy thinks transparency is important to citizens, funny how discussion of the bills isn’t allowed however. Nord abstained from voting to approve the bills because of the language on the agenda. I explained last month why Koos is wrong – he still doesn’t get it: https://blnnews.com/2019/07/16/koos-thinks-trustees-merely-rubber-stamp/
9:30 – Nord read what Karyn Smith asked him to read. She wanted to know if special needs people from Marc First could be utilized as crossing guards.
12:10 – Both Karyn and Stan questioned the amount charged to ISU for fire protection services. An analysis of the cost has never been done and the Town has no intention of doing one. The rate charged is recommended by the Illinois Municipal League for college towns across the state. Koos proves his ineptness at 15:50 by asking if the Town should look at charging everyone who uses services. Nord was talking about this one contract, not general fire protection services. Koos was followed by Kathleen Lorenz who implied that “questioning” charges puts the lives of 18-22 year olds in jeopardy. Nord stated if actual expenses aren’t known, ISU might be overpaying for services. The Town has used the “formula” since 1970, no need to change it now per Pam Reece.
20:10 – Nord questioned no bids on work to a swimming pool. Reece claims they tried bids twice and received none. 20:38 – Koos questioned why Nord is asking questions when he received an email answer earlier. Expect a WGLT article later today with Koos claiming Nord is merely grandstanding for political gain. Nord responded that citizens deserve to know. At 25:00 we found out Kevin McCarty is from the Chicago area, he claims when he worked there contractors were difficult to find to work on pools. Is that proof capitalism doesn’t exist in the north? Under free markets needs are met when people see a need. Evidently not in Chicago. Karyn-Stan asked if State farm was contacted since they have pools. That question wasn’t answered.
27:25 – Storm Water/ Sump Pump project. Nord was asking questions for Karyn pertaining to the neighborhood and the process that will be used. Karyn knows she will be asked questions by her neighbors. 28:30 – Point of Order by Kathleen Lorenz. She wanted to know if it was legal for Nord to ask questions on behalf of other people. It is, according to the Town lawyer.
34:05 – Nord wanted to know if bike lanes increase liability for the Town. Yes it does! Nord mentioned the bike plan for the Town is over 10 years old. The Town does not know if the new bike lane is needed until another study is done. He also stated the roads aren’t maintained (potholes) and priority based spending means money should go to critical needs first. Koos claims the streets are maintained – 37:50. McCarthy – 39:00. bike lanes aren’t for people who bike now, they are to create the ability to bike. Nord voted no. McCarthy helped write the original plan.
40:40 – The discussion was about Normal’s voiding the State 2015 energy code. For an items no other Trustees pulled, it generated a lot of discussion. Normal has decided to not enforce any energy codes with new construction of both commercial and residential. The Town now protects itself from liability for not forcing compliance while putting the risks of non-compliance on individuals who still must comply under State law. The Town will no longer inspect for energy efficiency even though the Town issues permits. If you buy new construction, it would be smart to do an energy audit before closing. It might have zero insulation. Nord voted No.
Stan’s closing comments:
This is a can’t miss!
1:06:40 Stan shows why he was overwhelmingly elected. He has no intention of stopping verification of spending in the interest of protecting taxpayers. At 1:08:10 Nord says he will not ask Koos for an apology for his actions because it would be forced and meaningless. At 1:09 he addresses Connect Transit’s ADA non-compliance and that the Working Group that will not fix the problems. He stated the transit system should not make transportation more difficult, Connect has by eliminating routes, not dropping people off at hospital and doctor’s doors, and now forcing veterans to traverse a long sidewalk to access the new clinic. He again mentions the vacant Board seat that has denied Normal representation on the CT Board. He asked Koos to delegate the appointment since it has been open for close to a year. Nord goes on to be the voice of people who see the huge empty buses.
Nord asked the Council to schedule a discussion of reducing spending. Scott Preston agreed with Stan about filling the CT Board seat, nothing about a spending discussion except spending on the underpass study.
Kevin McCarty followed claiming the Town is fiscally conservative and doesn’t waste money. He must not know about the YEARS of paying property taxes the Town didn’t owe. He claimed Nord misstated facts. Lorenz followed asking for a copy of his notes.
Koos cut Nord off when he tried to present specifics.
Nord also urged citizens to order FREE tickets to this movie tomorrow night at the Normal Theater: Scramble the Seawolves
Local and former locals were involved in production, it is about veterans and fascinating history during the Vietnam War.
One final note: Today’s Pantagraph story proves Koos is conspiring with other Trustees to silence Stan: https://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/nord-koos-wrong-about-bloomington-poaching-fire-contact/article_083395d5-a54e-593d-bd0a-e93e5ec03165.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-1
That is obvious from the comments made during the meeting, and it will fail.