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
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: https://normal.org/1438/Open-Data
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.