By: Diane Benjamin
We still know very little about this expense:
What we do know is Pam Reece can spend up to $25,000 without getting Council approval. Koos said Pam made this decision.
The remediation was to a private residence, we don’t know the address. It was supposedly paid to fix a “code violation”, nobody said what code what violated.
Supposedly the home needed remediation because the situation was a health risk. The Health Department wasn’t consulted, Pam appointed herself health czar just like she did with COVID violations.
The homeowner supposedly now has a lien on their property. Liens expired, if the Town doesn’t track it they will never recover this cost.
Kevin McCarthy claimed the Council was informed during their 2 on 1 meetings, Stan Nord wasn’t informed. This wouldn’t be the first time others on the Council were told something and Stan was left out.
Pam Reece refused to say last night why she spent your money. Details of an expense do not qualify for redaction under the Freedom of Information Act. I will be filing a FOIA.
Chemberly Cummings told a story from her childhood about a mouse infestation. We don’t know if she was dropping hints or just telling a story. Do you think taxpayers should be killing mice at a private residence? Her story is at 59:30.
You can hear this discussion starting at 11:00, Nord pulled the bills.
The other big topic was upgrading a playground. I found this problematic: It was stated Garden Playground is most used in Normal. It is adjacent to Prairieland Elementary, anybody surprised it is the most used?
Was it Unit 5’s idea to make Normal taxpayers pay for THEIR playground or Normal’s gift to Unit 5. Unit 5’s kids are the biggest users but Normal taxpayers get the bill. The public isn’t allowed to use the playground if Unit 5’s kids are at recess.
Chemberly Cummings was hilarious again when she stated we miss great opportunities when we start counting pennies. The cost to upgrade this playground is a lot of pennies: $179,963.29. See her comment at 23:40
Stan Nord mentioned this playground does not have bus service, Pam Reece stated Connect Mobility can take people there for the same price. She didn’t mention the hoops that must be jumped to ride Connect Mobility: https://www.connect-transit.com/riding/connectmobility.asp
Unless Connect Transit just hasn’t updated their website, people can’t call for a ride because the bus doesn’t go where they want to go.
The conversation was full of terms like inclusive. The playground will be wonderful for the Prairieland kids. Don’t forget Bloomington built an inclusive playground with the help of parents raising private funds. Since Normal likes to “control”, taxpayers get the bill instead.
There was one public comment at the beginning of the meeting by Ron Ulmer. He wants better priorities for spending, the Town paid to remediate a private residence but they don’t think sewage in basements is a health hazard. See him at 1:55.
Gavin Cunningham spoke at the end of the meeting about the Jelani Day portrait being taken down. See him at 52:00. He wants Normal to allow a new mural be painted. He also thinks Chemberly Cummings should be leading this effort. She responds to him after he speaks. She wants no part of Jelani Day remembrances because he lived in Bloomington and was an ISU student.
Two police officers monitored the parking lot in case BLM came in mass again. They didn’t.
Below is the entire meeting.