By: Diane Benjamin
Chemberly Cummings didn’t bother to attend, of course nobody said why. That led to some problems later with only 6 voting members. A tie vote would have meant an item failed.
Numerous items were pulled from the Omnibus agenda – all these things used to sail through and were never questioned before Stan and Karyn were elected.
Stan Nord questioned sponsorships being paid. Pam Reece said the ones they fund have been paid for years. Stan wants a discussion during budgets talks. (Obvious Town picking winners and losers)
Kathleen Lorenz joined the fun of pulling items too. She pulled the no bid quote for Dell computers. Pam Reece claims standardization of systems is important and prices were compared and found competitive.
Lorenz also pulled the Freehill contract for pavement crack and joint sealing. She wondered why only one bid was received. (Maybe the recent demand for all kids to go to college and get buried in debt has been a mistake?) Trades are needed and likely pay more without a four year degree. Stan asked Mayor Koos to forward information to the Economic Development Council, maybe they can promote trade jobs in the future.
Karyn Smith pulled the contract with Tyler Technologies for electronic citations for more discussion. At least the discussion is on the record instead of being rubber stamped. Normal is the first local agency to go to this method. The State Police uses a different electronic citation software.
Three items for Blackstone Trails were listed under General Orders. This is where the conversation got fun. The residents who were ignored in January when the Town bought property next to them for a fire station are still hurting. Lorenz and Preston voted against the proposed fire station location in January, they were outvoted. https://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3183
Both Lorenz and Preston attempted to maintain their opposition, but the fire station wasn’t on the agenda. The three items listed pertained to the developer. Stan and Karyn voted no on all three, because of the order the vote was taken Scott Preston was forced to vote yes because Cummings wasn’t there to make sure they passed. The Town could have been thrown into a lawsuit by the developer if all three hadn’t been approved.
Normal decided the public should have voice on the direction the Town takes for cannabis sales. It was sent to the Planning Commission. The public will be able to comment there. A proposed ordinance will come back to Council after. The public can then comment again.
The Council approved the bond refinance. Koos claims there is a lot of local interest in government bonds so they may be doing more local in the future. Of course the banks know municipalities will just raise taxes, so the risk of default is extremely low.
Yesterday I wrote about Stan Nord’s comments at the end of the meeting. Below are the actual quotes he read and links to the articles on the Illinois Municipal League website. BOTH articles are worth your time! Both also prove Stan and Karyn are doing the right thing by questioning items that deserve questioned. 5-10 minute meetings are long gone.
This is the first article: https://www.iml.org/page.cfm?key=22600
This is the second article: