By: Diane Benjamin
The Town of Normal held a 9 1/2 hour budget meeting yesterday. What it amounted to was a conga line of department heads who already had their budgets done.
If you thought citizen comments would shape the budget, you are wrong.
The budget was obviously already done, the citizen summit comments might be remembered for next year if Lyle Sumek ever gets the recap done. (Or is Pam Reece hiding it?)
Right now the video has technical problems, the sound quits working around 4:39:00. Maybe it is still processing, we will see. Maybe the IT staff is incompetent. This would be the third recent problem with video.
Toward the end of the meeting, around 8:30:00 CIRBN came up. I watched it when it had sound, hopefully you can hear it someday. Chris Koos is disgusted hearing about CIRBN again from Stan Nord. He claimed they are a “Utility” and therefore there is nothing wrong with having their 3 employees listed as Town employees.
CIRBN is a remnant of a Federal program started at ISU. When the funding ran out ISU dropped them. They now compete against other high speed internet providers, if they can’t stand on their own by now they shouldn’t exist. Thanks to Koos they do.
Who is going to pay the IMRF pension shortage when the next recession happens Chris? When your funding percent takes a hit because the investment values drop, it’s taxpayers who get fleeced. The last thing taxpayers needs is 3 non-employees pretending to be employees!
Why aren’t all “Utilities” Town employees? Since Normal taxpayers paid the bill to run CIRBN out to Destihl they no longer just serve just government. They are competitors to legitimate businesses that don’t qualify for Town benefits. If they are Town employees why don’t we see their profit or loss statements? If they show a profit, why don’t taxpayers get a share?
Since the Town has no interest in fiscal responsibility, they aren’t getting bids from other service providers. How much more are taxpayers forced to pay because Normal has a “friends and family” plan to keep them in business? Is CIRBN paying for the staff time to process their payroll, W-2’s, and government reports? Normal taxpayers are their HR department!
CIRBN started as a government program that now is only continuing because of Chris Koos. If every small business isn’t allowed to be “Town employees”, none should be. Koos is obviously not a believer in capitalism,
Koos proves why government programs never die for any reason.
Common sense and government don’t mix.
The rest of the Council sat on their hands, they don’t want to discuss CIRBN. 3 seats will be up for election early next year plus the mayor. CIRBN’s future is in the hands of voters. If you want picking winners and loser to end, change who represents you. Stan can’t do it alone, Koos is out to make Stan as miserable as possible. He needs citizen support to fight the swamp. I predict Koos will work with WGLT to do more hit pieces on Stan. He doesn’t know that just makes Stan stronger.
If you want to listen to the first 4 1/2 hours – here it is.