Why Alcohol shouldn’t be allowed in One Normal Plaza

By:  Diane Benjamin

One Normal Plaza is a tranquil park like setting.  It is the site of the Soldiers and Sailors Home were many kids grew up.  If you haven’t driven through the area, please do.   Everything about this should be preserved for future generations.

The Town of Normal staff have proposed zoning changes allowing establishments that sell alcohol that residents who live nearby oppose.  These citizens held another meeting last week, I wasn’t able to attend this one but the video of the meeting is posted on the Marc Tiritilli for Mayor of Normal Facebook page.

Many citizens spoke, the entire Town Council was not allowed to attend because Normal claimed that would violate the Open Meetings Act.  OMA would not have been violated if all members had “Sat Down and Shut Up” and just listened.  Of course, that’s what they want citizens to do, not them.  Chris Koos was there and of course had to speak.

Below is video of just one speaker – this is a must watch.  He’s a veteran who understands the significance of this area, he also just moved from Bloomington to Normal with his kids.  You NEED to hear his story and why he moved and what happened when he did.

Jacob Collins:


9 thoughts on “Why Alcohol shouldn’t be allowed in One Normal Plaza

  1. At least two very important points that need to be made of all of this.

    First, the format and turnout of this meeting is proof that a public meeting not only can be pulled off in the age of COVID 19, it’s essential to local government. It’s time for the Normal Town Council to come out of its shell and start holding their meetings in a similar public setting that is accessible to all Normal town residents. The longer they shy away from this, the less control residents have of their government. The Normal Town Council knows this and it’s why they are avoiding public meetings. We the people are going to have to force them out of their shell as residents did with this meeting. If our town leaders will not lead the effort, we the people will have no choice but to hold them ourselves.

    Secondly, it reveals the ineptness of those overseeing local economic development efforts. We’re now on the craft beer kick to solve all our economic woes. There’s already one out by Menards, now we’re going to have another in Uptown thanks to an economic incentive offered by the town of Normal and now potentially this place. This is not creative thinking on the part of our town’s economic development leaders. They’re riding a wave that’s not conducive to pandemics nor is this going to bring the needed jobs to our community. We really need to start rethinking these efforts and these deals.

    1. You make a good point here. Because Koos and company and Renner and company are Socialist/Communists, economic development is something that they just don’t understand. They do understand how to rob their residents of their money. So the promotion of activities and businesses that promote products and services that can be heavily taxed (booze, gambling and pot) is a win win in their tiny brains.

      All they wanted was gay marriage, right? Now we have drag queens doing story hour for 4 year olds.

      All they wanted is another place that sells booze. Is a strip club in Normal or Bloomington next? Maybe even the legalization of prostitution?

      Seriously this guy wants what every American wants: A safe quiet place to raise their families. Koos and Renner want your money and they are more than happy to destroy what we all cherish in both of our towns to get it, (exhibit A is the Uptown mural).

      Make no mistake about it, Koos and Renner and their ilk are the enemies of the people of Bloomington-Normal and should be challenged at every opportunity.

  2. More taxpayer money destined for the already overly saturated, zero-sum tournament that is the local restaurant and food/beverage industry. There will be no economic benefit from another entrant in this space. Period. Full stop. What will happen is that revenue from other competing businesses (many of whom do not get taxpayer-funded rebates/breaks/incentives) will merely be reallocated to this business. There’s a fixed supply of disposable income spent on restaurants and food/beverage. Adding another business does not mean adding more revenue! I’m not buying the argument from Koos and Co. that Normal will become a destination for craft beer enthusiasts. First, he’s already riding the last wave. Hard seltzer is the growth space in booze, which has adversely impacted wine and beer sales by the way. Second, we were promised that a certain hotdog restaurant would be a “destination” only find out another was built nearby (and without incentives). Third, this new proposed business is competing with every other food/beverage establishment in BN. It’s not special; it’s in an already saturated industry in an already overly saturated geographic marketplace.

    1. This is the same bunch who dropped 100 million on creating the Uptown movie marketing set for ISU.

      I bet there are a bunch of student apartment owners who are pretty nervous right now?

      How many students will be back in the fall?

      20 thousand?
      15 thousand?
      10 thousand?
      5 thousand?

      How long will it be before we start seeing student apartments in foreclosure?

      3 months?
      6 months?
      1 year?
      1 1/2 years?

      How many students will return to Heartland Community College?

      How many higher education jobs will be permanently lost when HCC and ISU start their downsizing?

      All of the above is happening right now and our “leadership” is IGNORING it.

  3. If Koos were really concerned about the resident’s worries he would make the staff to withdraw the zoning changes ASAP and resubmit them with the liquor part removed. Since he keeps pushing the same zoning changes forward he is doing what Normal is infamous for…Staying one thing while doing another. Normal’s MO is so transparent. Nothing moves forward unless it was already agreed it would pass at any cost. Remember he owes Julie Hile and Bob Broad this one last favor for before his reign of debt and destruction ends.

  4. Diane, you should know by now, what the citizens want in Normal is immaterial. It is what Koos, Reece and their bobble heads wants that happens. Citizens like these are just annoying “NOISE “to the elected and hired elites.

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