By: Diane Benjamin
Everybody wants to pull things from the Omnibus Agenda now. Remember the 10 minute meetings? They are long gone.
Scott Preston pulled approving the fire protection agreement with ISU just to gloat about how well the Town and ISU work together. Stan dared to ask if the agreement covered costs (11:50). A long diatribe ensued about how the rates were set outside of Normal and they couldn’t be changed and determining the cost was a waste of staff time. Data is how problems are identified and solved, Normal has none on this agreement. We are expected to believe it would be burdensome for the fire department to run a report showing calls to ISU. It ended with attacks on Stan for daring to ask questions when he wasn’t the guy who pulled it from the agenda.
Wouldn’t you like to know if this agreement is hosing the taxpayers of Normal? Not allowed! Maybe it’s fine, but you aren’t allowed to know.
37:10. Kathleen Lorenz pulled delaying the Cost of Living increases for employees just to declare a win-win. Stan Nord just asked a few questions, more on those later. Chemberly Cummings, with a horrible internet connection, implied Stan pulled it just to vote against it. She must have been asleep when Kathleen pulled it.
Motor Fuel Tax:
See Koos diatribe at 47:00. He claims expenses have been reduced by $6.4 million. He has a list of what he won’t do instead of raising the gas tax. I picked one – raising property taxes – since he has done it over and over and over and likely will again to fund pensions you need to see this. File it in your memory for later this year:
Koos goes on to explain the $1 million they plan to collect will take pressure off other parts of the budget. In other words: Money will be available for other uses instead of being force to spend it on roads.
50:25 Karyn Smith goes on her own diatribe to correct misinformation. She claims a member of the Council (Stan Nord) has told citizens the gas tax will be used for the underpass. He has never said that. He has alluded to what Chris Koos stated himself: the gas tax frees up money elsewhere.
At 40:55 Karyn claims Normal has 430 miles of roads. Funny, the financial statements say Normal has 189 miles: https://blnnews.com/2020/09/17/interesting-things-found-in-normals-financial-statements/
Karyn? Karyn? Where did your number come from? Are you saying the audited CAFR is wrong?
She is reading her diatribe just like Koos did. Who wrote them?
58:15 Chemberly Cummings drove around checking gas prices. She then goes into an explanation of how little it will cost to fill up your car with 12 gallons of gas. I’ve never owned a car that could be filled up with 12 gallons, does she drive a midget car? Her horrible internet connection continued.
1:07:00 Kevin McCarthy doesn’t have any idea why gas is so cheap compared to previous years. He must not know a glut of oil accumulated when the country was shut down and people weren’t driving. He must not know America is now energy independent so we are no longer held hostage to the Middle East. He must not know pipelines Obama refused to approve have been approved and built now. Maybe McCarthy prefers Obama gas at more than $4.00 a gallon?
Most of the Council thinks gas taxes have no effect on the price of gas. Facts:
- Somebody is paying the tax
- Gas stations will not decrease their profits to pay it
- If the gas stations aren’t “expensing” the tax – guess who is paying it?
The price is volatile because of market conditions. The price is usually higher in Normal – according to various Council members – the higher gas tax will result in even higher prices.
1:09:50 McCarthy thinks government spending creates jobs and economic activity. He defines why union labor votes for big government types. They need government to create work for them. He also claims citizens want more work done, therefore you have to pay for it.
1:14:00 Stan Nord. Local Motor fuel Tax is not the only source of funding for roads. Since the State raised their motor fuel tax Normal will be getting a bigger cut. He simply wants spending prioritized, he thinks discretionary spending like putting poles underground in Uptown and trying to get underpass grants need put behind funding road repairs.
Stan tried to get an amendment requiring all $.08 in Motor Fuel tax be spent on road and sidewalk repairs. Of course he was the only yes vote after much bloviating. Yes, the Council could decide later to give Connect Transit more money from this new tax.
Chris Koos broke the law by mentioning campaigning for reelection!
Since laws are immaterial, nothing will happen.
Koos refuses to allow the Council to meet in person because it is too dangerous. He reads that statement at every meeting. But he claims to have knocked on 110 doors in the last 10 days while out campaigning:
1:33:15 Kathleen Lorenz blames the gas stations! She wonders if they are pocketing the gas tax. Nothing better than attacking your own revenue drivers Kathleen. Koos is laughing while she is talking.
1:40:45 Stan asks if the cannabis tax has been received. Since it just started, Pam Reece says it won’t be received until later this year.
1:43:35 Kevin McCarthy states Stan Nord is irresponsible for saying the ridiculous lease at 1 Uptown Circle can be walked away from. Stan has NEVER said the Town should walk away. He wants them to sublease the space so citizens aren’t throwing millions of dollars out the window!
I hear McCarthy is running for reelection. Obviously he needs to go! At 1:44:15 Koos attempts to stop McCarthy’s attacks on Stan because they aren’t germane to the topic, Koos allows him to continue anyway. McCarthy claims the audit proves Normal does everything right, AUDITS just make sure the numbers are in the right columns Kevin. They prove NOTHING!
1:45:20 McCarthy claims the Town is down $3.5 million in revenue, yet earlier claims were made the Town has reduced expenses by $6.4 million.
Hum . . .
1:47:43 Chris Koos does not allow Stan Nord to respond to McCarthy’s attacks. Out of Order! Out of Order!
The gas tax vote:
Chemberly Cummings wants to be sent to Springfield to replace Dan Brady. She will be a reliable raise taxes vote – she voted YES on adding the $.04 gas tax. Kevin McCarthy and Karyn Smith joined her as well as Chris Koos.
1:48:15 Stan Nord talked about the Cost of Living increases and the Consumer Price Index. Since it is Stan the Town won’t listen so you should. His point is giving a 2% COLA increase to a person making $40,000 is a lot different that 2% to a person making $100,000. One gets $800 and the other gets $2000 which is far above the actual increase in cost of living. He thinks they should be scaled to reflect actual increases in essential costs rather than providing what amounts to a raise for high earners.
1:53:30 – Chemberly Cummings on her lousy connection attempts to refute Stan. After her Karyn Smith justifies her yes vote on the gas tax. She’s 100% in on giving Connect Transit more money. Lorenz follows asking for direction on calling “Point of Personal Privilege” during a meeting. She doesn’t think Stan should be able to say it and demand to be able to respond, even if he is attacked.