Don’t like a VOTE – take it again

By:  Diane Benjamin

The Town of Normal reneged on their vote to not raise property taxes.  It was obviously  orchestrated by the staff and elected officials who can’t live within their means.

It started with the guy I hear wants to be the next mayor – Kevin McCarthy.  See 26:30.

He would have been hilarious if it wasn’t tragic for taxpayers.  Shed tears now, the Town needed to cut a measly $96,000 from somewhere to fund pensions without raising property taxes. You can easily tell this discussion was setup because Koos immediately knew the amount of McCarthy’s motion wasn’t right.  Instead of needing $96,000, they needed $96,834.  McCarthy thinks the Town bond rating is high because they don’t use property taxes for operations, what a joke.  The bond rating is based on the ability to tax.  Agencies know the Council has no problem creating more revenue when necessary.  They easily vote to steal it from you.

The Council voted 4-3 last month to not raise property taxes and fund pensions for 1 year at 90% instead of 100%.  Koos, McCarthy, Cummings, and City Manager Reece lost that battle.

If you lose – call for a re-vote!

Stan Nord (32:00) produced a list of possible cuts, he was ignored.

The Benedict Arnold of the night was Kathleen Lorenz.  She wants a Propaganda Manager even if your taxes are increased.  They have meetings twice a month and sometimes some extra ones.  They have the opportunity to get their talking points out.

37:50.  Lorenz claims the average homeowner will pay $6.00 more a year for “professional communications”.  

She bought up the fire station in BlackStone Trails.  Lorenz claimed the Town needed better talking points to combat public opinion.  If they had a professional producing talking points the citizen’s uprising could have been avoided.  (And Stan and Karyn’s election)

40:50.  Karyn Smith called this vote a bad faith message.  She wants better communications, but adding a staff person that will contribute to the pension problem is a problem.  She thinks the Council can find the $96,000 without raising property tax rates.

44:00  Scott Preston stated it is Council policy not to re-hash prior votes.  (After last night it is open season to rehash votes!)

45:45   Chemberly Cummings claims the Council tries to do what’s best for the community at large.  She claimed they always funded pensions at 100%.  That is misleading since pensions aren’t close to 100% funded.  They are hoping to achieve 100% by 2040, one recession can wipe out any gains they have made.   Poor Chem wants the Communication Director too.  Obviously nothing can be cut anywhere, cannabis isn’t going to produce any revenue, and the refinance savings from bonds can’t be used to fund yet another salary, benefits, and pensions.  She’s willing to pay $6 more a year – you should be willing too.  

51:30 – Stan Nord talked about the rent free properties, cannabis tax, bike share program, sports complex studies, refinance savings as ways to find the less than $100,000.   He called what Normal and Illinois does: Death by a 1000 taxes.  People are leaving the state because of them.  He stated reversing this vote will make people distrust government.

The citizens of Normal get taxed by 9 units of government,  What if all of them raised taxes $6 a year?  That’s $54 in one year.  Unit 5 massively raised taxes – much more than $6 a year.  Obviously the Town of Normal does not respect your right to keep your money.  They need it worse than you do.

51:20:   McCarthy claimed the increase is 8/10ths of 1% increase.  He ignores the budget is $100,000,000 and he can’t find a cut of $96,000 to cut anywhere.

54:10 – Kathleen Lorenz thinks going back to 100% pension funding will be much harder next year if they don’t do it now – she voted for the 90% previously.  She is the reason your property taxes will be going up.  She betrayed the voters who re-elected her.  You should demand her resignation today!

57:50 – Lorenz continues claiming she hears over and over from citizens that more transparency is needed.  More on that when the discussion gets to the “Citizens Summit” that isn’t really for citizens.

1:00:15 – Scott Preston talked about the constant tax and fee increases and the citizens being led to believe property taxes would not be going up.  He does not want to raise taxes without any notification to citizens.

1:02 – Karyn Smith is appalled at raising property taxes just to hire an employee.

1:03:45Chris Koos considers this vote correcting an error!  According to him, staff was caught off-guard with the last vote.  Does the Council set policy or the staff Mayor?  

Koos cut off comments.  Note – there was no one at public comment last night because the citizens believed the issue was settled.

Preston, Smith, and Nord voted NO.  The rest stabbed the taxpayers in the back.

At 1:09:30 Stan Nord tried to table the vote until the next meeting to allow citizens a chance to respond.  Of course it failed.  The same three voted yes, the others said “screw citizens”. 

Trustee comments:

1:23:30 – Koos talked about the Citizens Summit.  He claims it came about because of their retreat (nobody attended because it was 2 days during the day and not on video).  He claims the Council agreed to invite 5-7 people each (stacked!) .  He claimed the Council is not allowed to interact, it is for the invitees to do a deep dive into Town activities.

Reece claims the staff will get it posted.  She claims she is in a difficult position because Stan Nord posted it on his Facebook page.  She claims that means it is a political rally.  Congrats Ms. Reece – you confirmed hearing from citizens is illegal in your opinion.  Pam must not know there isn’t an election until 2021 and Stan will not be on the ballot!  

Stan Nord replied the image on his Nord for Normal Facebook page clearly stated it was hosted by the Normal Town Council.  He stated he merely got the word out to citizens.  He also stated other Council members have Facebook pages and announce events too.  Stan also claimed Koos’s comments are incorrect – they never voted to only have 35-40 participants.  It was planned with Lyle Sumek as an open meeting.

I predict Koos and Reece will use the above to discount whatever citizens say at this Summit.  Citizens who aren’t personally invited will be considered immaterial.

Koos had to comment again, obviously he doesn’t want citizens to show up.  Staff has Code of Ethics issues they have to comply with – evidently reversing a vote isn’t one of them and neither is free rent for friends.  Koos cut off Stan when he tried to comment again.

1:32 Cummings made it clear she doesn’t want to hear from citizens either.  She only wants to hear about the great things happening in Normal.

1:35:45 – Scott Preston  stated he is disheartened by the failure of the motion to table because citizens had no notice or opportunity to comment.  He claims the Council has always had a policy of allowing time for citizens,  they easily could have delayed the vote.

1:37:20 – Lorenz claims she carefully invited 5-7 people to the Citizens Summit.  She obviously doesn’t want the riff-faff derailing the meeting.  (I bet Koos invited Dave Shields)  She doesn’t like the “come one come all” approach Stan Nord used.  Citizens won’t be involved in the budgeting process since it will be another all day event.  She claims the Town’s intentions are good, she is afraid that will get lost.

1:43:00 McCarthy wants the communications position.  He claims the process is completely transparent.  Yes Kevin, the meeting is on video.  If you plan to run for mayor your comments and vote will be used against you.

McCarthy went on to say the trains being sold out to Chicago this weekend is a sign of success.  Of course it was a long Thanksgiving weekend with tons of ISU students going home and coming back.  Seriously Kevin – you didn’t expect it to be sold out?  Is Amtrak sold out on other weekends?  You skipped that report!

I bet the Communication Director is starting right after January 1st.  I bet they already have a person picked out.  Whoever it is won’t be able to create a narrative to overcome this assault by government on the citizens.   Normal isn’t governed, they are ruled.  The Town is tyranny by people who think there is no price to pay for their betrayal.   The last two elections taught them NOTHING.







26 thoughts on “Don’t like a VOTE – take it again

  1. Kathleen Lorenz is a huge problem. She is spineless and just wants to be part of the “cool kids club”. She could care less about the citizens of Normal. Her rambling on and on last night to try to justify the knife she was sticking in the back of citizens is proof she can’t be trusted and should resign. It takes 2 minutes to send her an email at . Even if you don’t live in Normal you should email her. If you read this blog and live in Texas send her an email. Let her know you see her and see what she is doing. She seems to enjoy making life more difficult for citizens and easier for friends (including Pam Reece) and she definitely does not want to hear from anyone she has not chosen. I suggest we become so loud she can’t ignore us anymore. Let’s help her want to resign.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh my, the Council may have to interact with the riff-raff and underbelly of the City. What arrogant comments being spewed by an elitist person! That communication director is hired to polish the brand…an attempt to put clothes on the King who has been exposed.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh my! I just started watching this beginning at Koos’ remarks around 1: 23. No, they really don’t want to hear from people. That part is quite clear. They are doing everything they can to shut you up. Stay away from Council meetings, keep your mouth shut and pay your taxes. That’s the mantra. Don’t bother to show up to a Citizen’s Summit. If you do it will turn into a campaign rally. They’d rather you stay at home and let them hire a propaganda manager to tell you how to think.

    All of this is outrageous. Every voter in Normal needs to watch this, get pissed off and show up on Thursday night. We don’t need a summit and we sure don’t need a rally. We need a revolution.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. It’s still not posted on the normal town site, as far as I can tell

    What is unclear is whether you can participate if you attend. From the council comments last night you have to be invited, which limits it to the people the council picks. In that case suspect the audience will be a bit one sided by a 4 – 2 ratio.

    The hope would be if you show up you can participate, but sadly suspecting that’s not the intent.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Lyle was the guy who ran the Citizen’s Summit in Bloomington back in 2011. Same format…by invitation. Nothing that the Citizens suggested at that Summit materialized. All for show.


  5. What I find most offensive is that this Council passed something last night that was not on the Council agenda. It was passed by an amendment Kevin McCarthy made to the motion. Citizens had no opportunity to speak out against this. Had this been on the agenda, I would have been there and I would have spoken against it. Turns out it doesn’t matter if I was there or not. It wasn’t on the agenda and it passed. All this from a Council that prohibits citizens from speaking about items not on the agenda.

    And then when they have an opportunity to table this and give citizens a right to speak against this at the next meeting, what do they do? This was prearranged by the mayor, the city manager and the Council members who march lock step with them. It’s absolutely shameful.

    I fail to see how a $96,834 per year public relations employee will help them regain the public trust.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I am still laughing at Chris Koos making a big deal about Pam Reece being ethical. I took the ethics training , Pam has too. She is so far from ethical she should be in jail. If, as the City Manager, the only way she could find to save 96,834.00 was to not fill a position she should be fired. Lorenz is an absolute nut job, why does she always look and sound like she is covering up a crime when she speaks at Council? She is terrified people she didn’t choose are going to show up Thursday night. Wasn’t there an email where one of her chosen ones called Council Member Nord a bully? Pot meet kettle. The worst bullies around are the ones that try to exclude a person and then encourages others bully too. Make no mistake Kathleen Lorenz is a snake. At least with Chris and Kevin McNarcissist you can see them coming. Chemberly is a brainless twit (useful idiot ) who is constantly grandstanding …or maybe she is campaigning which by Pam’s own definition would make it unethical for the City Manager to sit in at Council Meetings.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The savings Normal gvt. was asked to find was less than 1 tenth of a percent of their overall budget. Here is the math.
    $100M Budget x .001 = $100,000
    For perspective, how much is this for someone who takes home $40,000 a year?
    $40K take home x .001 = $40

    That was all the savings Normal was asked to find. Our highly paid, award winning, professional staff are incapable of finding the equalivanent savings of $40/year…WOW!!! (Let’s not even consider the pot tax revenue which would shrink the savings request number.) Normal must be run extremely efficiently. I expect to see them buy an efficiency in spending award for the new propagandist person to polish.

    Not sure if I should I be proud or ashamed of Normal government? I’ll wait for Kathleen’s recommended new hire to tell me. Something was offered her to do a Benedict Arnold.


    1. My wager is on Rachel Hile Broad. She already auditioned for the job at a Council meeting as one of Koos’ hand picked public comment speakers telling us all how wonderful life in Uptown is. But, on the other hand, maybe Kathy has one of her women in leadership friends who needs a job.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If they hire the person that Kathleen suggested that explains her change of heart. She is doing a favor for a friend on the backs of taxpayers. Explain ethics to me again. I still say Pam can’t do her job and should be fired for not being able to come up with another way to save money.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Whoever it is, we need to blame BLN news for the new position. It’s the negative bloggers whose lies and rumors are spreading like wildfire all across our community. Normal has no choice but to hire someone to counter.


  9. I am furious that the Town Council took this action. I’m furious how they did it. The fix was in. And you can sure bet they didn’t do it by email for Diane to FOIA. When I watched their meeting, and Lorenz flipped her previous vote to create this position, I remembered that email to Pam in which she recommended someone for the job. I spent considerable time trying to find it again, but have not. If that person is named to the communications position there should be an investigation, resignations, and a City Manager looking for a new job. I’m pissed!! But if this is what went down, it will be laughable. To think of Lorenz, Koos, McCarthy, and Pam shaming Nord for what they call “unethical” behavior. This would be great!! If they did this it shouldn’t just be “unethical”, it should be indictable.
    A thank you to members Preston, Smith, and Nord, for your no votes.

    Liked by 2 people

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