By: Diane Benjamin
Anyone who ever watched Bewitched will remember Gladys. She was Samantha and Darrin’s noisy neighbor who thought it was her duty to report the odd happenings she witnessed peering out her window.
Normal has Kathleen Lorenz. Unlike Gladys who couldn’t convince her husband witches lived next door, Kathleen has no problem convincing all but Stan Nord the Council’s job is to rubber-stamp the professional staff. Numerous times at last night’s meeting Kathleen was appalled that Stan had an opinion.
It was just fine with the Council the Uptown TIF is “padded” with revenue. Normal taxpayers are forced to pay property taxes on 104 North, the property where Dan Brady and Rodney Davis’ district offices are. Since rent is only $1 a year and taxes are $8127.44, taxpayers are taking a loss. Meanwhile, this year $5,699.68 of that amount will be going to the Uptown TIF.
See 20:15. Pam Reece claims the Town doesn’t determine if properties are taxable or not. She neglects to mention the Town files forms with the authorities that do make that decision based on what is filed. The property at 102 North was deemed not taxable even though it is rented, 104 North was deemed taxable because it is rented. (Makes perfect sense)
The red ball is the truth, acting mayor Kevin McCarthy wouldn’t let Stan talk about it. Chris Koos was tending to family matters according to McCarthy. Eventually McCarthy ruled Nord out of order and Stan appealed that decision to attorney Brian Day. The Council vote to sustain McCarthy ended up 3-3. Day had to look up what to do next in Robert’s Rules of Order. Since Stan didn’t have the majority he lost.
Gladys chimes in at 28:15. See 34:30, Stan wants to know why taxpayers are paying property taxes other than “they always have”. Of course Stan was the only NO vote on approving the $1 a year lease. Fleecing citizens has a long history that can’t be changed.
Gladys lectured the Council (Stan) at 55:28. They are supposed to be the “Board of Directors” that don’t question the “professional staff”. Nord’s family has experience with refuse hauling but he isn’t allowed to discuss his experience before Council voted to spend $86,140 for a vehicle they “think” will save time and money emptying trash containers in parks. Companies pick Boards of Directors because of their acumen to help direct the company. Normal doesn’t want acumen, just yes votes.
Gladys again 1:25:45. Rivian wants a new entrance off College to connect their property on the north side to the main plant. Stan wondered if Rivian was kicking in any money for the cut-out. College isn’t scheduled for actual work until 2023. Kathleen is appalled anyone would want Rivian to pay part of the cost. Although Rivian is a huge asset to Normal right now do taxpayers need to bend over for them Kathleen? How did that work out with State Farm?
Gladys again 1:48:20. The discussion pertains to annexing the farmland Rivian bought west of the plant. Stan simply asked if approving the annexation committed the Town to anything like running water or sewer. Kathleen claims Rivian many not use the land for 5-10 years. Pam Reece claims Rivian doesn’t have a plan yet. That makes no sense since not rezoning and annexing the property would save Rivian a lot of money on property taxes until they are ready to build. Kathleen wanted to reiterate Rivian is a great company that wants to grow here, therefore don’t question it.
Watch the little red ball.
1:48:55. Gladys claims the Council is pro-business. What about the businesses the Council tortured with fines for just trying to stay open Kathy? What about the empty space on the circle the Town wants to control instead of pro-business free markets? Does pro-business only apply to gifting Rivian? Keep listening, Gladys wants growing the economy celebrated and claims nothing nefarious is happening. (Hint Kathy: We’ve seen nefarious before and now expect it)
1:51:15. McCarthy claims Rivian doesn’t have a plan yet because they didn’t know if the land would be annexed. There is a difference between being annexed and having an annexation agreement. Again, watch the red ball.
1:52:45. Chemberly Cummings plays Gladys’ younger sister with a speech of her own. Celebrate development, justify the costs later. Following her was Karyn Smith and Scott Preston.
Great things are happening for Normal. A subdivision plan was approved, new housing is badly needed. Since the price of wood has skyrocketed the housing will be expensive. Chips are in very short supply, I’ve talked to auto dealers that can’t get new vehicles because manufacturers can’t get chips. I don’t know if Rivian will be affected by the shortage. The Council wants to celebrate economic development, Stan Nord just wants taxpayers protected. The public wouldn’t be looking for nefarious Kathy is they hadn’t seen so many examples of it in the past.