CIRBN continues – questions aren’t allowed + Normal tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin

The Wild Country lease will automatically renew in January, the operators just pay taxes, maintenance, and insurance.  Taxpayers make nothing.  No council vote required.

I haven’t seen anything saying the sweet deal Terri Ryburn got for the Pine St gas station ever has to be renewed either.

There are more – at least one will be a future story.

The agreement CIRBN has with the Town of Normal looks to be expiring in January.  It isn’t on the agenda for tonight’s meeting.  This agreement allows their 3 employees to pretend to be City employees and partake in City benefits.

All small businesses need to demand the same!

Haven’t you always wanted cheaper health insurance and a pension?  I wonder if CIRBN employees get the Christmas gift cards too?  Are they invited to the Christmas party?  Do they get town gear?

What is on tonight’s agenda?

Besides paying tons of interest:

exp a

exp b

exp c

exp e

PDF page 29:

coc 25000

The final item should be interesting, this is the huge spending plans for the next 5 years:

worth listening to

See this link for a complete list of projects:

Right on the first page is:  $80,000 for Uptown 2.0 Master Site Plan  

Also $210,000 for Trail East site improvements.  (tearing down the mural?)

There are pages and pages of projects, some they will fund and some they won’t.

Page 4 has what they are going to spend on resurfacing roads.  (a ridiculously low amount unless roads aren’t a priority)

PDF page 13:  The dog park gets a $30,000 expansion

It appears the Council is asked to approve this massive 5 year spending plan tonight.  That means staff is making decisions for the Town, not the Council.  When was this plan thoughtfully considered and the public given time to review and comment on it?



16 thoughts on “CIRBN continues – questions aren’t allowed + Normal tonight

  1. Where to begin. The Wild Country fleece is most likely the Town’s way of controlling the end of the next phase of Uptown development i.e. the underpass and attached greenspace across the tracks. So, they don’t care about the financials, just need to control that piece of once private property surrounded by government property. The Ryburn steal, er…I mean, deal, is probably on autorenewal, as Koos and the gang knew it would never come close to breakeven or have an iota of economic impact. CIRBN seems to be devolving into state-run media. They are overpriced for the market and I’m told are steadily losing clients. Like most government grant programs, it will be funded into perpetuity despite its lack of success. I suspect this is on auto-renew as well. If these government projects are as successful as Koos and the gang would have people believe, why haven’t they trotted them out before the Council and public for a victory lap? Because, of course, they are demonstrable failures and will make the “leadership” of Normal look bad. Finally, the Chamber COMPACT would be amusing, if it were not said. According to its subpage on the Chamber website, COMPACT began as a non-profit in the late 80s and has changed missions and government, non-government partnerships for years until it became a subsidiary of the Chamber in March 2018. It would appear that they’ve done next to nothing since the end of 2018 since the website currently posts their 2018 year in review and strategic goals for 2018.Other links open pages with 2018 references as well. What do they even do?! Not to mention there’s a horizontal org chart and a reference to over 50 community stakeholders involved. Ugh. Another blue-ribbon committee. No doubt with the same retreads from other committees, all eager to have their picture in the Chamber newsletter to brag about at the next business social.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The Pantagraph just posted an article showing the top 5 Town of Normal employees. The leader of CIRBN made the list. CIRBN is a private company started with a grant. They are simply fleecing taxpayers so they can get a pension and town benefits. This is an awful fraud to taxpayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! What a chunk of change! CIRBN is likely burning through its original federal grant, about $15 million when it started in 2011. Guess they need Normal to cover their salaries and bennies. I’m told the Town spent some big money laying down CIRBN fiber in Uptown.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I probably heard it hear on BLNNews, but my understanding is their original grant was through ISU, who wisely cut them loose after the grant ran out. Normal took pity and put them on the payroll with the excuse that they were quasi-govenmental anyway. Even if one buys that argument, there’s no reason Normal taxpayers should be left holding the bag – Have Bloomington or one of their other customers take a turn!
        I wanted to argue this point better last night, but wasn’t allowed to because of Normal’s illegal Prevent-Public-Comment Policy.


  3. CIRBN—poster child for government stupidity. Stepping beyond the ioidicy that allows taxpayers to fund these people’s insurance, etc let’s just look at the business. At one time CIRBN provided a unique (higher speed) product when compared to the other options available Time has passed and that is no longer true as many options now exist that are faster and cheaper. In the real world they would be going out of business like Blockbuster did when widely available high speed internet made it easy to bring movies directly to your hame. Some options like Netflix adapted and changed to survive. However CIRBN has not and continues to shed customers. But since the government is involved they continue on and will continue on due to gutless people in Normal’s council who rubber stamp things.. Let the stupidity continue

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Don’t be surprised when CIBRN becomes its own department within the Town of Normal with some catchy tech name. The former director of Regional Planning is now head of the IT department at the town with no background in IT. Her and Mr. Mark D. were professional admirers of each other before they both found their way to town hall.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah…look how that is working out. I’ve heard there has already been quite a bit of turnover in the town’s IS department. Probably what you get when you hire friends to run a department with no qualifications.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This is all positively disgusting. Thanks for the research, information, and coverage of these topics. We need to FILL THE COUNCIL CHAMBER AT EVERY MEETING AND TELL THEM HOW WE REALLY FEEL.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The town is selling health insurance to private companies? I can’t believe this is even legal. State Farm and Country have another competitor in town.

    The town does this otherwise CIRBN would have to pay the same amount us lowly taxpayers must pay for healthcare.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. NO comment? NO debate? In other words,sit down shut up and open your wallet! Isnt this a violation of the open meetings act, let alone a violation of the First Amendment?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was kind of iffy on the proposed COMPACT funding.
    Then Kevin McCarthy gushed its praises. Having heard him spout half-truths in favor of multiple previous bad ideas with similar enthusiasm, I immediately knew this was a bad idea. I don’t have any details on why or how, but if it smells like a duck and looks like a duck, then you find it Sounds like a duck…

    Liked by 1 person

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