By: Diane Benjamin
Besides Kathleen Lorenz proving she is unfit to serve as an elected official, lots of other things happened too. In case you missed her rant: https://blnnews.com/2020/07/21/i-bet-you-missed-the-premier-of-lorenzs-version-of-shut-up-stan/
I hope Kathleen and the other Council members take the time to read the comments to that story. The people supposedly “served” by the Normal Town Council do not agree with her. Kathleen likely doesn’t realize she epitomized Illinois government and why Mike Madigan has wielded power for decades. All those around him complied with “Sit Down and Shut Up”. I hope everyone has noticed it wasn’t officials in Illinois that may finally be taking him down, it took the Federal Government to intervene on our behalf. Since Madigan is also the head of the Illinois Democrat Party, the party should be taken down with him. They allowed his tyranny while lining his own pockets. Meanwhile Illinois burned.
The Council meeting was contentious long before Kathleen’s rant. Stan Nord pulled a number of items for discussion that previous Councils would never have questioned. Various Trustees took turns telling Stan he was being ridiculous (not in those words). Chemberly Cummings never said a word (just smirked), maybe her campaign manger told her not to speak because she sounds worse than Lorenz when she does.
There is one really easy thing the Town can do if they are really interested in transparency. It has been mentioned at many meetings by Koos, Reece and others that Nord’s questions were all answered by email and he doesn’t need to bring them up at Council meetings again. Stan has stated over and over that he does it it for public education.
Suggestion: The Town needs to print questions and answers from the Council on their website before the meeting. Bloomington used to do that, they have either quit that practice or nobody asks questions. Stan wouldn’t have to ask so many questions at Council if the public already had access to the answers.
See what Bloomington used to do here: https://www.cityblm.org/government/city-council/meetings-agendas/city-council-documentation/-parent-146/-folder-268
One more note: Many citizens have not forgotten the Town tried to sneak a $100 a month lease for the Linden Street property through on an Omnibus Agenda. The Town has negotiated deals with friends for years, the citizens are sick of being used as the Town’s piggy bank. If “staff” wants trust – start giving people a reason to trust. Stan is the only thing standing between between Madigan’s Normal and the Town they expect to live in.
New readers may not remember the lease from a year ago. Details here: https://blnnews.com/2019/07/08/remember-the-100-a-month-normal-lease/
There are numerous other examples – like recently selling the Ft. Jesse property way below market value to the wife of an employee. Only one Council member had a problem with it – Stan Nord. The entire agenda is now looked at this way: What are they trying to get by with now?
The mistrust citizens have in the Council, the Mayor, the City Manger, and the staff leadership has been earned.
The Finance Director updated the Council on the effects of COVID on Revenue. See the graphic at 46:35. He anticipated a decrease of $10.4 million, To date revenue is down around $7.8 million. Since receipt of revenue can lag months behind the true impact is still not known. Jump to 55:47. This graphic shows how the Town has mitigated some of the loss in revenue. Decreasing contributions to the Police and Fire pension plans is not going to end well. Note contributing to IMRF retirements wasn’t included because IMRF wouldn’t tolerate it. IMRF covers everybody else employed by the Town.
Media covered other items, I hope you noticed they didn’t say a word about Lorenz’s tirade.