More Normal emails – Wild Country

By:  Diane Benjamin

City Manager Pam Reece sends emails to the Council advising them on various issues.  The Trustees can not respond to Pam and the entire Council without violating the Open Meetings Act.  All deliberations and discussions are required to be in public.

Pam does hold 2 on 1 meetings with Trustees to get an idea of how the Trustees feel on various issues.  Bloomington does the same thing.

Here’s the problem:  When a Trustee does respond to Pam and possibly one other Trustee by email, does the entire Council ever hear the response?  

I didn’t see any emails from Pam to the entire Council giving them Stan’s response below.  If you watch Town Council meetings you’ve seen Pam or Koos say to Stan that issue has already been discussed by email prior to the meeting.  Sometimes they ask why he is bringing it up again.

The reason is clear.  The rest of the Council knows nothing about the discussion and neither do citizens.  If Stan didn’t talk about items at Council no one would ever know.

Below is part of an email Pam sent to the Council in November, the yellow is Stan’s reply to Pam.  The only Trustee Stan copied was Scott Preston.  It appears the rest of the Council never saw Stan’s comments.

stan comments 11stan comments 11a

Whether the Wild Country arrangement iis good for the Town and taxpayers is a different discussion.  This story is merely about the process.

5 thoughts on “More Normal emails – Wild Country

  1. Is it just me, or do I get the distinct impression that Pam Reese runs the City Council? Correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t her statutory obligation to run the business side of the Town, based on policy voted upon by the Council. All of the emails that you provide, Diane, makes it appear that she decides what is good or bad, what should be done or not done, and then presents that to the Council for a vote, which just rubber stamps everything, because “there is competent and professional staff.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Both Bloomington & Normal have a Council/City Manager form of government. In Normal, the Mayor has a vote. In Bloomington, the Mayor can vote if there is a tie and also can veto the vote. The Council’s role is to set policy. The City Manager implements those policies, hires staff, and engages in contracts which are then approved by the Council.
      The mantra for Koos and his cabal is “plan the work (with paid consultants) and work the plan” without regard for the “stakeholders,” the taxpayers.
      It is disgraceful! They need a lesson in representative government.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Bloomington Normal both have a terrible history of bad contracts. Wildcountry is just one example. Our representatives like to pick their choice of winners using taxpayer money.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pam Reese needs to run for office if she wants to make policy. The city manager is to be a resource for the council and to ensure policy is carried out. She has this turned around and the council allows it to continue.

    She should operate within the guidelines of her position or move on, or be moved on by the council.

    Liked by 2 people

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