By: Diane Benjamin
Is Normal pretending to listen to citizens?
January 16th – Budget Review Work Session at 9:00.
The Citizen Summit was held on December 5th. The Council held a Work Session the next day. Lyle Sumek was hired to facilitate both. He has had plenty of time to compile a priorities list based on both meetings.
Monday night Pam Reece said the “book” isn’t done. Remember the Town motto: Plan our Work, then Work our Plan.
What is the Plan? Underpass, Uptown 2.0, Trail East, Trail North, New Library, New Police Station, debt, subsidies, new, new, new.
When the nicest buildings in town are created by government there is a problem.
We know “staff” runs the Town, not the Council. Most of the elected bobbleheads still don’t realize they are merely shiny objects placed on Council to do what they are told. Last April’s election obliterated the “plan”. The “plan” just needs a final stake in it’s heart. In a little over a year that will happen.
Government produces nothing, they use YOUR money for the finest.
How can the Council hold a Budget Review without Lyle Sumek’s report?
Why is the meeting called a Budget Review Work Session instead of a just a Budget Work Session? Is that because “staff” already has the budget done?
Will the Council ignore the priorities citizens told them at Summit? Think back to the outrage expressed by Chris Koos and Pam Reece against Stan Nord for having the audacity to invite the public.
The Town wanted the Citizens Summit to be invited stakeholders only. Stan Nord thought outsiders should be heard instead of the “chosen”.
Lyle Sumek’s report MUST appear long before January 16th or it will prove Normal is ruled, not governed. It will remain hidden if the opinions of citizens are immaterial.
Keep in mind the Council voted on a multi-year Community Investment Plan on December 16, 2019. Stan Nord voted NO because discussion of priorities was not allowed. This note is included in the minutes:
See the Plan – PDF page 57 https://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3494
This Plan was done by staff without regard to citizen priorities.
The top items are listed as critical, right below critical is “important:.
Listed as IMPORTANT is:
- Uptown 2.0 Master Plan
- Multi-Sport outdoor complex
Note: This spending plan was brought to the Council for a vote AFTER the Citizens Summit and AFTER the priorities meeting with Lyle Sumek. The “plan” was passed anyway without much discussion.
This Council is NOT bound by the votes of previous Councils. Does the Town think it is?
January 16th we will find out if Normal will continue to govern against the will of the people they force to pay the bills. Stay tuned.