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: