CIRBN back during discussion

By:  Diane Benjamin

Monday night the Omnibus Agenda, that would have sailed through the Council without discussion before Stan Nord and Karyn Smith were elected, was moved to the end of the meeting.  Chris Koos didn’t stick around for the discussion, he claimed he had to get up early to travel somewhere to see his son on his birthday.

The Omnibus was presented at 3:05:36 – yes THREE Hours into the meeting.  Both Karyn and Stan pulled items for discussion – I suggest watching this part of the meeting, it always reveals a lot about the YES members of the Council and the two that care about your tax dollars.

CIRBN was mention during the discussion of renewing the Town’s Employees Group Health, Dental, and AD & D insurance.  See:  3:33:41.  Karyn originally pulled it because the fund balance is under what the Town wants because of some huge claims this year.  The Town pays medical expenses up to $150,000 per incident before an insurer takes over.  According to Pam, the Town is not planning to shift money to the Fund to bring the level back up.

I’ve written numerous times about CIRBN, this was the latest last month:  https://blnnews.com/2019/08/06/normal-another-thing-found-in-foia-cirbn/

After Karyn asked about the fund balance, Stan asked questions.  Pam immediately knew Stan was talking about CIRBN even though he never mentioned them by name.

CIRBN is a private company with three employees who are considered employees of the Town of Normal.  CIRBN is supposed to reimburse the Town for all expenses, but Stan  proved that isn’t possible.

CIRBN started at ISU with a grant.  When the grant ran out, Normal decided to treat their employees as Town employees because it’s very difficult to afford benefits with 3 people – and likely their families.  Don’t forget, these employees will be qualified for pensions too..

So what part of the contract can’t be enforced?  If any CIRBN employee, or their family members if they are on the Town policy, has medical expenses – HIPPA prevents the Town from getting that information.  The Town is mostly self insured, so Normal is writing checks to pay medical benefits for these pretend employees.

If you are a small business, ask the Town where you can sign on to this program!

Unless CIRBN tracks their own employees medical expenses paid by the Town – taxpayers won’t be reimbursed.  The discussion with Pam Reece didn’t sound like they are doing that now.  She claimed around 3:41:00 the CIRBN contract doesn’t require it even though the contract calls for them to pay all expenses for their employees.

Kevin McCarthy stated the HIPPA law would have to be broken to get compliance with the contract.  EXACTLY!  Stan concurred.

The contract with CIRBN is up for renewal later this year.  Unless the Town is going to allow all small businesses to sign up for Town benefits, the contract should be permanently canceled.

One more consideration:  What if a CIRBN employee gets seriously hurt on the job and files for Worker’s Compensation as an employee of Normal?  The rate taxpayers pay will increase for all employees.

This is fair?

Does the Town attorney endorse a contract that can’t be enforced?  Brian Day?

We might need this later:

popcorn

 

9 thoughts on “CIRBN back during discussion

  1. I know a couple of small business owners who would love to get into the Town of Normal’s system. I will have them call Pam to get the paperwork started. This is like those things that you see about government grants that are available and all you have to do is apply. Everyone with a small business should call Pam and get into the Town of Normal’s healthcare and pension system. Tell your friends and neighbors! Call Pam or Fuhrer Koos today!

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  2. Wow , Using public funding for a select few …How is that legal .I see no purpose served and in fact Duplication of something . Do the clerks of the city watch dog any accounts .

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    1. Now Lia… you are not part of the club. Are you prepared to hang out with the “important people” at the Chamber, EDC, etc. events? Contact Mark DeKeersgieter for instructions on how this is done. Kathleen Lorenz can also help since she appears to be attached at the hip to Mark and has posted dozens of pictures of them together on social media. It’s not what you do but who you know.

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      1. Haha! Thanks for the laugh, Neversilent. I think I’ve seen those same Facebook pics and posts you mentioned. Lots of lunches and events. Does any work get done? Maybe Kathleen can meet and talk with voters instead of dining with her inner circle.

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  3. CIRBN is another example of government using public money to compete with private business. There are several very good for-profit businesses in this area that are ready willing and able to invest and who know how to run efficient and reliable networks. Businesses that were willing to build this out without public money. Businesses that even offered to run, manage and purchase CIRBN infrastructure. CIRBN doesn’t scale; it builds within inches of existing infrastructure, and it’s “members” pay a huge fee to connect. Pam Reese can tell you firsthand what happened when Champaign did this. Anyone who ever bought a computer or smartphone knows how fast technology obsoletes. I Imagine CIRBN is about ready to replace a lot of old gear (again?) that is slow and less secure compared to now-modern infrastructure. Mr. Dekeersgieter has a crazy salary and benefits plan … right up near the very top of the public rolls. But, I guess life on the “inside” is pretty good. Unbelievable. Auction it off. Get rid of it. Nobody will even know its gone.

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    1. During a trip I was on with a friend today to Northern Illinois – we were driving along and she was using her iPhone and out of the blue we were in a 5G network. I don’t know what the speed was but it was really fast…. almost as fast as a high speed home Wi-Fi network. So you are right, the technology is moving pretty fast. Soon 5G will be everywhere and will provide speeds and connections for the next generation of connected devices and the growing internet of things. And how anyone is paid 138K plus platinum benefits with a city pension to be the “Director” of a 3 person company is just beyond me? This just does not happen in the for-profit world. Reminds me of the Dire Straits, “Money For Nothing” song lyrics:

      Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free
      Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
      Lemme tell ya, them guys ain’t dumb

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