By: Diane Benjamin
The Council managed to stretch a 10 minute meeting into 50 minutes. 2 members went on long diatribes. I will start with Karyn Smith. If you want to hear it – go to 16:20.
The topic was One Normal Plaza. Karyn felt the need to correct what she thinks is misinformation. This one is way too easy Karyn, you missed the big picture.
The only people wanting zoning changed in this area are the “professional staff”. There isn’t a developer ready to launch a huge project. Therefore, if the “professional staff” bothered to listen to the citizens the proposed changes would include NO ALCOHOL SALES in this park-like setting which already has no alcohol signs. The problem is the staff refusing to change their proposal – even after attending a meeting with these citizens.
The “professional staff” is expecting residents to jump through lots of hoops unnecessarily. The area citizens wouldn’t have to hold meetings and eventually appear before the Planning Commission and then the entire Council if the Planning Commission proves they don’t care about the people they supposedly represent. The “professional staff” are the ones creating barriers for citizens. Normal proves frequently the opinions of citizens are immaterial.
Information: If you aren’t a long time reader you may not know Koos and company frequently use the term “professional staff” to infer they are above being questioned.
That brings me to the second diatribe, this time by Chemberly Cummings. The topic was the same but the direct target was Stan Nord. Chemberly will lose her quest to unseat Dan Brady in November, if she chooses to run again for Council next April she will lose that one too. This one seals it. Jump to 30:00 to hear her. This Council should be considered a campaign contribution to Marc Tiritilli for Mayor.
Chem took off where Kathleen Lorenz’s attack on Stan left off. If you missed that one it is must see TV: https://blnnews.com/2020/07/21/i-bet-you-missed-the-premier-of-lorenzs-version-of-shut-up-stan/
Cummings wants unity on the Council. She thinks Stan destroyed the trust and betrayed the Council by actually listening to citizens.
Here’s the story: When the citizens opposed to alcohol in One Normal Plaza met a few weeks ago the entire Council was invited to LISTEN. None of them were invited to talk. The zoning changes are being proposed by the “professional staff” because the Council circumvented the process last May by authorizing text amendments. Details: https://blnnews.com/2020/05/03/normal-part-3-5-4-2020/
Stan Nord has been listening to this group for months, they emailed the entire Council – Stan was the only one to respond. Cummings lives in the neighborhood but never bothered to contact them. Well, Chem finally decided to attend a meeting with Mayor Koos. Stan Nord was present too which would have been an Open Meetings Act violation if any of them spoke. Koos couldn’t resist – he had to speak. Chem was upset because she was forced to leave the meeting since Stan had no intention of leaving.
Chris Koos was the problem Chemberly – not Stan. The entire Council could have sat there and said nothing. Listening to citizens isn’t a crime, pretending Stan created barriers between you and these citizens is blasphemy.
The Town staff created this problem, Pam Reece is their boss. The Council is Pam Reece’s boss. Instead of grandstanding and creating obstacles for citizens, the Council should tell Pam Reece to do her job. CHANGE the proposed text amendment – add no establishments are allowed that sell alcohol.
This isn’t tough!
Is the obvious way over your heads?
Of course Stan didn’t respond to Chemberly. She didn’t deserve a response. Council members will only descend from their lofty self-created thrones when citizens vote them out.
The “professional staff” will continue looking for ways to get back into bike sharing – Kevin McCarthy thinks it’s economic development.
The Council needs to decide if they own the Normal Theater to save the historic structure or if they are in the movie streaming business. In just a few months (as pointed out by Stan) they spent over $14,000 for advertising and earned a little over $200 in ticket sales.
Maybe Normal should change their name to NorFlex to better compete with NetFlix. Of course one movie at NorFlex would pay for a whole month of NetFlix.
Stan talked about the theater at 35:40. He sent me the below this morning:
The rest of the Council didn’t care, Pam Reece had Beth Whisman lined up to respond. Unlike the private sector that shut down and laid off employees, these people are willing to spend your money because they have nothing else to do and weren’t laid off..