Normal: Giving away your money

By:  Diane Benjamin

Don’t get excited, Illinois doesn’t have prosecutors – nothing will happen.

Email received by FOIA:

Normal Gift cardsObviously this is a gift to every employee, they don’t have to earn the $60.  The employees don’t have contracts requiring the Town to give them Christmas presents.

How much did the Town give away?

Normal gift crds

That is 25% of the amount the Town needed to not increase your property taxes!  It also isn’t divisible by 60.  Considering Normal reported 658 employees to the Comptroller, every employee didn’t get this.  Illinois Comptroller

Same rules apply as in Carlock story:

Bonuses are a violation of the law and considered a gift unless it is written into the employment agreements with a measurable result in order to qualify for the bonus.

public purposes

What is the Public Purpose?  Why not give all employees $1000 or $20?  Does $60 each get whatever result the Town was going for?  If yes, what was it?  Votes?  Keep your mouth shut?  Appreciation?  How is Town appreciation using taxpayer money a public purpose?

Isn’t this the same thing as using taxpayers money to send sympathy flowers?  Real appreciation is using your own money!

How do I know there are no prosecutors?  This isn’t the first year Normal has done this!








21 thoughts on “Normal: Giving away your money

  1. Do’nt get mad,get even. Everyone that has had enough of these shenanigans should give serious consideration to leaving the area at your first chance and convince family members to do the same. Once the tax base has dried up, leaders will be forced to address what is really important or condemn the city, town and county to certain death. My spouse is beginning to see what I have talked about for years and is now warming up to leaving once she is able to retire. As the community continues to hemorrhage good jobs with no replacements so will the tax base. Those left will only stand for so much and also decide to leave leaving Koos, Renner and their accomplices with a legacy they cannot run from. Soon, it may be your only reasonable decision. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.


      1. It is good people like Karyn and Stan sit on the council. However, being on the minority changes nothing. Besides, elections have a cyclical nature and eventually another ultra liberal council will take over. One must think in terms of where the real power is concentrated locally. It is the local social and economic cliques that hold the real power. This areas future is really planned at places like BCC and other private members only organizations that are influenced by old community money. As long as long established BN and county families hold power nothing changes here. They are against strong and diverse economies and do not accept outsiders or new members with open arms willingly. Unless you are approved and groomed by them you are not welcome. They are fine with the old established evonomy and are shielded by any changes to it. As long as SF, CC, old agriculture, ISU and IWU rule the day they are fine no matter who sits at city hall. If they don’t like how something is a phone call or two laced with some threats, solve the problem. They own it all, the Chamber, EDC, CVB and local politics. Until the clique structure is changed or blown to pieces nothing changes.


  2. Bah humbug. Where are the debtor prisons where are the poor workhouses? You’re in running with Scrooge and the Grinch. Hope you all get a lump of coal for Christmas. I also hope one 9f the reindeer kick you in the shin. Obviously you have no Christmas spirit which is generosity and Christian love.


      1. Wow, you uncovered the crime of the century! What is that heinous crime? Towns and cities giving a Christmas thank you to their employees.

        Gee, on top of being the Grinch, why don’t you run around steal people’s holiday decorations and gifts? How dare any of these places celebrate Christmas or give any Christmas cheer with modest gift cards? I bet you’re a total killjoy at parties and get togethers.


  3. Diane,Dividing $23,920 by 60 is about 399 which sounds more like the number of full time annual Employees Normal has.  I also believe that sometimes it is not clear if Normal is reporting the number of full time employees or full time plus part-time.  The parks department has many part time employees especially in the summer, life guards, grounds people and so on and public works also has part-time employees such as the employees who work the leaf vacuums.  I have no idea how many people Normal employs part-time during a year or how many interns they have from ISU and IWU and HCC or even the high schools.   I have researched number of full time annual employees Normal has and their median income.  I will look to ensure I have the most recent numbers and get back to you.R

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “Illinois is corrupt because laws don’t matter. So nice of you to support the thieves”. “Other people’s money”

    What the heck are you even talking about? You’ve must of funked Economy 101. The economy works with “other” people’s money including TAXES circulating both in the local and in the larger economy. Those employees who you consider “corrupt” go out and use those gift cards stimulating the local economy after Christmas. So that money will be spent on goods and food keeping jobs and keeping local stores open.

    Again you must be a gas at parties where you kill any joy.


      1. Apparently Charles Dickens goes over your head. And the fact that those gift cards are spent in the communities that they are given seems to go over your head. Prosecutors have better things to do with their resources. They have and actual crime to pursue not imaginary “crimes”. Giving gift cards to employees is not “thievery”.

        Inflated salaries, pensions….Give me a break. This is all jealousy that someone might make more money than you or gets a pension that you “think” is big. “Free” medical insurance? What the heck are you even talking about? No one get “free” medical insurance. Even if you get health insurance through you employer it isn’t “free”. Again what the heck are you people talking about? Income tax is theft? Yeah sure don’t pay income tax and see where that gets you…..


    1. Ok lets put it in elementary terms so EVERYONE can understand. This is of course another of MANY sources of the thievery Diane is talking about..
      When a landlord pays the local Government the rent from 3 units of an 8 unit apartment building in property tax , additional fees, registrations, and inspections to be told what to spend on said property, and then pays income tax on what’s LEFT OVER, that is theft.
      Especially when that money goes to inflated salaries, pensions, free medical insurance, bonuses, ect.
      The facts are obvious and simple math. The taxpayers are being fleeced.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Ah yes spoken like a true communist. Pay up or else.
      Well we will all see how long this party lasts as the mass exodus of productive citizens and businesses continues in Illinois.
      As the State debt approaches a half a TRILLION, you have to wonder how long the inflated and needless spending can continue especially with the roads and infrastructure crumbling.
      Add in the fact that thousands of Public servants are counting the days to retirement and will begin to draw from this seemingly bottomless retirement fund.
      You better hope your arrogance serves you well. History proves not.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Don’t forget to add the private company employees that the town sells access to the state pension and other town fringe benefits. Even though they are not town employees they are counted as such.

    Liked by 2 people

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