By: Diane Benjamin
Your property taxes were raised last night with the consent of the two Republicans on the Normal Town Council. The rate was kept the same (for now) but with rising property values the Town will collect over $300,000 more than last year. The vote last night was sold as “statutory”, another vote is coming later. Kathleen Lorenz was so upset at a comment by Stan Nord she had to leave the meeting to compose herself. Stan never mentioned her by name, she must still be getting flack about her “changed” vote two years ago that raised property taxes. Hear Kathleen lose it starting at 59:30. Pam Reece speaks before her, Stan Nord is before Pam.
Do Kathleen Lorenz and Scott Preston not know their vote is a tax increase? Meanwhile the Town has additional funds from cannabis sales and more than $11 million from the American Rescue Plan, but that isn’t enough. Pay up serfs.
Lorenz also mentioned Stan Nord not attending the 2 on 1 meetings anymore. It is OBVIOUS the two on 1 meetings are indoctrination camps for Trustees. Dissenting opinions rarely happen during a council meeting except from Stan Nord. Why would he want to attend a camp when his opinion is immaterial?
I wonder if the “professional staff” are going to tell the Council how the American Rescue Plan funds will be spent while Bloomington wants input from aldermen and the public?
Karyn Smith wants you to know the underpass will only cost the Town (you) $1.692 million. All other expenses will be covered by the grants – until they run out and construction expenses are higher than anticipated. Chris Koos claims staff is really good at changing plans when necessary. Of course inflation hasn’t been this out of control for decades. The Town might be adding amenities to the plans for years after the tunnel is built because they won’t be able to afford them during construction. Pam Reece claims a contingency fund is built into the estimates. Inflation is likely much higher however.
The great news is Requests for Proposals will start to go out in January for Uptown 2.0, south of the tracks. Normal wants all development under their control because it has worked so well with the still empty first floor of 1 Uptown Circle and ridiculous rent for Town staff on the second floor. The underpass discussion starts at 20:40.
Just to prove council meetings are completely set up in advance, see 1:40:30.
Chris Koos had another appointment that was a secret before last night. Since these appointments work for citizens, you should know in advance who they are and be able to express support or opposition to the Council before they vote. In Normal Koos is able to stack boards and commissions with more bobbleheads because he refuses to release names in advance. What are you hiding Koos?
The setup was Koos allowing the discussion to continue after a point of order was called because Kevin McCarthy was cued up with a response, maybe written by Koos. McCarthy claimed Stan’s opinion was a solution trying to find a problem. McCarthy also claimed the boards and commissions were being politicalized. Of course public opinion is immaterial in Normal.
The Town lawyer stated again last night the Council does not have to vote yes. I know of NO OTHER CITY where appointments are a secret. But then everything is a secret in Normal until staff tells the Council what to do.
There was another public comment that had to wait almost two hours since the topic wasn’t on an agenda items. She was a Koos supporter and appointee so she probably didn’t care. Her topic was diabetes. See 1:46:30.