Normal: Incompetence and More

By:  Diane Benjamin

Normal’s IT staff continues to show their incompetence.  The Live Stream video and the posted recorded video are TINY.  Early in the meeting the audio would go out, reappear, and go out again.

Why does the Town of Normal tolerate employees who aren’t capable of doing their job?  I’ve lost track of how many video problems recently, 3?  4?  Are the IT employees the only incompetent ones or are there more?  What experience in IT does this person have considering her last two jobs where in Regional Planning?


If you want to hear double-speak, listen to the king of double-speak Dan Brady at the start of the meeting.  Summary:  Dan is sitting at Pritzker’s feet begging for a few crumbs for downstate.  He doesn’t agree with East Peoria Mayor developing his own plan for re-opening.  Nice voting people!

The Council also heard a discussion of providing advanced ambulance care to Hudson.  Evidently they already do for Towanda.

Andrew Huhn, Director of Finance, gave a report on Town finances.  Because of the incompetence of the “professional staff”, the charts he showed can not be read.  I do not see them posted on-line anywhere, they need to be put front and center immediately.

You can listen at 35:00, good luck trying to watch.  Andrew wasted at least 5 minutes on unneeded background.

Here is what you need to know about Normal finances:

  • Normal is not cutting a thing, just researching
  • Normal is raiding capital savings accounts to cover shortages, they glossed over how that money will be replaced when fire and police vehicles need to be replaced and the money isn’t there
  • rev drops

Can you read it?  I can’t either!

From the audio:  (all estimates)

  • Sales Tax for the year will be down almost 20%
  • Food and Beverage will be down 43%
  • Hotel/Motel tax down 6% (hard to understand what was said though)
  • Income Tax down 18%
  • Motor Fuel tax down 35%

Huhn mentions 6 revenue sources and the chart shows 6, he never says what the sixth one is.  Of course it isn’t legible.

Since the State also needs money and they have cut what they hand back to cities before, the above could get worse.

The Finance Department has a tab labeled “Open Data”.   This would be the perfect place for transparency and should contain lots of information.  It’s BLANK

Right now the Town is going to save money by not transferring $1.8 million to the Vehicle Replacement Fund, not transferring $400,000 to the Roadway Fund, and not transferring $1,000,000 to capital improvements.  They will also save $1,000,000 they would have paid Rivian after they Rivian said they could keep it.  (Nice Rivian) That totals $4.2 million, $3.2 million will affect the future.  (Hint:  They will still want that money from you at some point)

Huhn then went into the effect on Fund Balances.  He is estimating $6.1 million if the economy recovers by the end of the year and up to $16.5 million if recovery to pre-covid doesn’t happen for 3 years.

Supposedly all the departments are going through their budgets looking for cuts.  Travel and meetings are on the table.  Hopefully that includes US Conference of Mayors, ICMA, and National League of Cities.

Here’s an idea:

Start making the employees contribute to their health insurance.  Do the Normal taxpayers know they are providing it for free?  How many citizens get FREE insurance?

Cancel automatic Cost of Living increases too.  Few citizens get that perk either!

This is only the pre-meeting.  The regular Council meeting is next.




22 thoughts on “Normal: Incompetence and More

  1. We have to remember that every part of Illinois government, including the town of Normal, was in bad shape before there ever was a COVID-19 virus. It’s clear the strategy from here on out in Illinois from the governor on down is to ride this storm out for as long as we possibly can and then blame everything that was wrong with government on the virus, and of course, Donald Trump. It’s already happening. They’re trying to set themselves up for a federal bailout and people like Dan Brady are just positioning themselves bowing at Pritzker’s feet for a handout.

  2. So did the council vote on the Rivian tax abatement or not? Of course, local newspaper has no mention of it? Thanks.

  3. Where to begin? IF a person hires a person to “run” a department, project or even a projector, copy machine, etc, then the person HIRING should KNOW whether they are being fooled by BS or not-and KNOW themselves HOW to do such work. But it seems in this case that MOST of the “uppity folks” can’t run a view master, projector, budget or most anything else for that matter, so let’s ALL be HAPPY they don’t farm, or the Covid-19 virus would be the LEAST of our worries!
    As for the uptown budget, it’s also “uppity” and you’ll see that coming soon enough!

  4. Understanding that Koos is incompetent it is logical that anyone serving “under” him must also be incompetent. Otherwise they’d be smarter than him of which in the kingdom of Koos is not acceptable.

  5. $155k /year and consistent IT issues for something as simple as posting live video? If we see these easy things all screwed up I can only imagine how screwed up the more technical projects are. Knowing how Normal operates this will turn into a new position requirement.

    1. This is pretty par for the course. Just see Diane’s article regarding Normal’s TrakIT debacle. The IT department screws up big over and over again.

  6. Dear Sergeant Koos,

    It would be best at this point that you get Field Marshall Dietz on the phone and let him know that the Town of Normal must have a student infested fall semester. Another student-free semester is going to be a kill shot for the Town of Normal’s budget and its local economy.

    And it appears that the students who have willingly allowed themselves to be fleeced by higher education are now rebelling?

    Colleges nationwide hit with lawsuits over coronavirus refunds (UPDATED)

    Maybe the 100 million dollar Uptown bet that EVERYTHING would stay the same with higher education and ISU was a loser? Looks like it!

    Let me guess Sergeant Koos… you know nothing and you see nothing and you didn’t even get out of bed this morning?


    (Your worse nightmare incarnate)

  7. NAW, Koos will just double down and build some other stupid, unneeded and unwanted business uptown, like a Tasmanian devil massage parlor or a grizzly bear artificial insemination clinic. Then he’ll say how great a “fit” it is for uptown when these businesses are needed.
    Hard to SEE a problem when you’re NOT part of it!

  8. Normal employees with a family do contribute to their health insurance costs. Do a little research before you regurgitate the talking points that the uninformed, jealous and misinformed plebs spout out to the other jealous, misinformed plebs. Your claims are deceptive and untrue. You are part of the problem with America. Too much b. S and too little truth.

      1. I pay almost $400.00 per month, 12 months per year. Less than some, more than others but regardless, a significant amount of money. Cost for most employees went up over 13% compared to last F. Y.

  9. That’s the cost that wannabe reporters pay for the privilege to write whatever garbage they choose. Your getting one hell of a deal! You must be receiving federal subsidies. Keep complaining!

  10. 7 kids from 5 different mothers. I am truly blessed. Have fun with that! Thanks for the 15 minutes of worthless banter. Cheers!

Leave a Reply