By: Diane Benjamin
Last night a debate was held between Normal’s current Mayor, Chris Koos, and his challenger Marc Tiritilli.
In 2017 the same two faced off, only 18.2% of registered voters bothered to vote. Think your vote doesn’t mater? Look at this:
WGLT has the debate posted on their Facebook page. Tiritilli thinks Normal needs better priorities and consensus building instead of the division Koos has created through incentives to choice businesses, executive orders, and marginalizing voices of citizens who don’t agree with him.
Too many of the questions concerned social issues.
The underpass project was never mentioned. Imagine a freight train derailing on top of it!
I have many documents from the Town looking for grant money for the underpass. Normal doesn’t believe in paying for what they want themselves, they want taxpayers across the country funding their folly. This project is lavish and proves why labor unions are supporting Koos: JOBS. https://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/15907/Urban-Connector-Presentation?bidId=
When the nicest structures in Town are government owned it shows where their priorities lie.
See this snip from one the documents:
The above is from the Build Grant submission in July of 2019, PDF page 98:
Note the Town Council has never voted on building the underpass or anything to do with construction. This year Pam Reece has stated numerous times there is nothing the five year budget for construction. At least the Town accurately reported their credit ratings instead of just claiming they are AAA. Who authorized them to say the Town has $7.38 million for the project? Nobody but staff.
I could post a ton of documents staff prepared searching for money, but I will show you this one Chris Koos signed in January 2021:
That document contains the above and states Normal will pay $380,000 if ICC forks over more grant money.
This proves the following, among others:
- Staff and Koos present their “products” to the Council for a rubberstamp
- The Town Council is kept in the dark (unless Pam Reece informs her favorites)
- The Town of Normal wants to fund less than 2% of the total cost
- Staff has spent MANY hours working on this project, keep in mind they could have had a free overpass from the railroad
Since the latest request for more funding is from two months ago, is Koos desperate to finalize this project? If Koos does secure another $5,000,000, where is the $380,000 going to come from? Nothing is in the budget!
Is the underpass a priority for the citizens of Normal? Marc Tiritilli thinks roads, good water, and public safety pensions are a higher priority (they are seriously underfunded). Staff spends an inordinate amount of time looking for ways to get nice things with other people’s money.
Local elections are always decided by who shows up at the polls. Many more voters need to show up if you want change. Trustee allies also need to be elected: David Paul Blumenshine, Steve Harsh, and Karl Sila.
(Funny note: WGLT doesn’t believe the local group that went to Washington DC were no where near the capital on Jan 6th, maybe they need a map.)
Most people say they want Term Limits but then vote for the same people over and over. Isn’t 18 years of Koos debt and tax increases enough?
Is Koos going to try to save his job by announcing he got the money before the election?