Normal: FOIA filed

By:  Diane Benjamin

Tonight the Town of Normal will attempt to seize power there is no need for:

Mayor Koos and Pam Reece want broad powers to respond however they see fit when no emergency exists locally.  See this story from earlier today:

Worse, the Town of Normal doesn’t want citizens present.  Public comment has been declared email only – that violates the Open Meetings Act.

Koos is the same guy who conducted a Town meeting last Monday without practicing “social distancing”.  The same night Bloomington held a meeting and did.

normal social dist

A week ago there was no emergency, Koos had a speech to spew about Stan Nord.  Obviously that was more important.  One week later he wants powers to do whatever without any input from anyone other than Pam Reece.

To find out how tonight’s meeting came to be, I filed this FOIA today.

Normal FOIA

If the ordinance passes will Koos and Reece declare FOIA requests delayed indefinitely?

etc powers

Is Town Attorney Brian Day more interested in keeping his job or complying with the law and the Constitution?  How many on the the Council will willingly give up their authority?

The City Code already provides the Town with everything they need.  It was written in 1969 when conditions were much worse than today.

Do you trust Koos and Reece to make decisions on their own?

Contact the Council:








7 thoughts on “Normal: FOIA filed

  1. Clearly a power grab. What’s the point? This shows they don’t trust their own people. Don’t they trust the state and federal government either? Apparently Koos and Pam know how to better deal with a pandemic. Aren’t we in more danger if these 2 decide to ignore the higher ups and go at it alone? I for one, am anxious to find out who thought this was a good idea. I am sure you will expose them for us Diane!

  2. This is a power grab in search of a crisis to seize it.

    Illinois residents along with the people of New York and California are currently experiencing some of the most restrictive measures of any state in the United States. I fail to see what additional power the mayor and city manager of Normal, Illinois would need to exceed beyond what’s currently in place by Governor Pritzker.

    The city code written in 1969, as I read it, is in place in the event of a natural disaster that would be more localized in Normal rather than statewide. For example, a tornado or earthquake. Our current scenario just doesn’t fit. If extra measures are needed in Normal, we would hopefully appeal to state and national public health officials instead of Chris Koos or Pam Reece.

    This is either a public relations opportunity for Council, to make us think they’re serving us or it’s a power grab to get some pet project snuck through without the public noticing, using a pandemic as their foil. Or, maybe it’s both. Either way, it produces more questions than answers.

    The only possible reason for such a measure would be to hold an emergency meeting without the advanced 48-hour notice required by the open meetings act. But, with this Council that reasoning is laughable. They’re already violating the open meetings act every time they meet with their public comment rules, tonight notwithstanding. If we come to the point of emergency meetings, surely we could all agree to wave the 48-hour notice rule for the sake of safety of our residents.

  3. Let’s see governors and mayors all over the country are issuing shelter in place orders to stem the tide of COV-19 cases and deaths, and you’re complaining about how you can’t go to Normal council meeting. What the heck is the matter with you people? How can you be so irresponsible about this very serious public health crisis?

    1. I guess you haven’t heard about the 100% cure rate identified. Thanks for playing. Nobody cares about flu deaths and auto accidents I guess. We do care about seizing authority when it isn’t warranted.

    2. My reasons for joining this forum and making the comments I did have absolutely nothing to do with not being able to attend a Council meeting tonight. Wouldn’t go if I could.

      With all of Illinois currently under a Shelter in Place Order by the governor, I must ask why the need for a Council meeting at all tonight? Will all Council members be practicing social distancing? Will any be joining tonight’s meeting remotely? Seems to me tonight’s meeting is in direct defiance of the governor’s order.

      With state and federal guidelines in place what more does Normal need to do? I would hope city services could continue as efficiently and safely as possible, but certainly understand if changes need to be made in the interim and some of those services are delayed or momentarily suspended.

      As supportive as I’m trying to be in cooperating on all fronts in the midst of a worldwide crisis, I keep hitting the same wall regarding tonight’s Council meeting. This seems to me to be a solution in search of a problem and if that’s the case I don’t find it helpful.

      My hope and intent is to follow state and federal public health guidelines as closely as possible and go on about daily life as normally as possible with my family. With that in mind, my normal practice is to continue to be engaged with my local government and question a lot of what they do. If any Council members are reading this, they’re probably not surprised that I’m asking.

  4. Chad, go back and listen to WGLT of whatever FAR LEFT news it is you believe as gospel. When you realize the sky hasn’t fallen, CHECK THE FACTS and see WHAT to ratio of people GETTING the virus and DYING from the virus is VS the population as a whole! When you’re done YOUR home work, MAYBE then you can speak with some “cred” Until then STHU!
    As for giving Koos and whoever “absolute” power, I think maybe it’s time to go back and read and UNDERSTAND Machiavelli! ABSOLUTELY!

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