By: Diane Benjamin
The National Fitness Campaign installation was not bid out. I previously posted a picture of equipment from another company who courted Normal: https://blnnews.com/2022/01/21/want-to-see-what-a-scam-looks-like/
The FOIA I received had yet a third company:
No mention was made at the Council meeting about these two other companies. It appears Doug Damery, head of Parks and Rec, took it on himself to pick the most difficult to use, training and an app for instructions are required:
Why did he choose this one? Because he is the Chairman of the Board for Illinois Park and Rec Association (IPRA) and they partnered with National Fitness Campaign. More proof:
Doug Damery failed to disclose his relationship with IPRA at the January 4, 2022 Council meeting!
I know I’ve done a lot of stories on this, more information keeps coming to light. Below is a list of what we know:
- Outdoor fitness equipment was not bid out or even discussed by the Council. The Council should have been allowed to see other easier to use equipment and make decisions based on all the facts
- Spending $155,000 without competitive bidding violates the Town purchasing policy ($180,000 – $25,000 grant)
- Doug Damery failed to disclose IPRA is partnered with NFC and he is the Chair of IPRA’s Board of Directors
- Doug Damery, Pam Reece, and Chris Koos misled the Council about the tax status of National Fitness Campaign – they aren’t a non-profit
- National Fitness Campaign teamed up with IPRA to target heads of Parks and Rec that are members of IPRA. IPRA and their foundation get a kickback for every installation.
- Scott Preston would not have voted YES is he had known NFC wasn’t a non-profit. Since Karyn Smith was absent the vote would have been a tie, NFC would now be dead.
- At least 2 other outdoor fitness companies contacted Doug Damery, the Council was never allowed to consider other options
- Doug Damery violated the Town of Normal purchasing policy and ethics by presenting NFC to the Council when he had a personal interest in the project through IPRA
- Chris Koos didn’t get his “non-profit” information from NFC, he got it from Escondido, Ca who have since changed their inaccurate information
- Kevin McCarly lied at the January 18, 2022 Council meeting during his end of meeting comment. Since Koos had already called for a motion to adjourn and had one, McCarthy shouldn’t have been allowed to spew his misinformation. (Nord wouldn’t have been)
- Materially false information was used to pass this item, it should be immediately repealed
All previous stories, the oldest is at the bottom: