By: Diane Benjamin
Normal Town Council meetings are supposed to fixed in advance. Trustees know they are expected to vote YES on everything, after all staff is PROFESSIONAL. Representing taxpayers is shunned, staff is always right.
Kathleen Lorenz and Scott Preston actually chose to act conservative last night. I wonder if both are afraid of claiming to be GOP while voting like a Democrat. Both voted against the budget and the water rate increase. Both votes were 4-3, of course Stan Nord voted against both. Both Preston and Lorenz claimed citizens deserve a break.
If you missed this story, read it now: https://blnnews.com/2022/02/08/gop-accountability-your-questions-are-needed/
Of course Preston is the anointed candidate for the 91st Legislative District and Lorenz might be setting up getting re-elected next year. Normally both would have made some comments and then voted yes anyway.
Normal is hiring 21 more people they haven’t needed since the last time the budget had to be cut because they didn’t have money. Those new hires come with benefits and pension expenses that will increase your property taxes. They aren’t a one year expense, they are a forever expense.
Normal is paying down debt by $8 million, they expect kudos. They still have 15 to 20 years of debt and are planning to add more with Uptown 2.0. Kevin McCarthy claimed citizens are demanding more services because the Town is growing. I hear: FIX the ROADS, he didn’t include that in his list of permits, inspections, etc.
The budget is around $45 million more than last year. $11 million is coming from the American Rescue Plan and grants of around $20 million for the underpass are included. The leaves $14 million local taxpayers have to pay.
Both Preston and Lorenz thought citizens need a break because of the highest inflation in 40 years. Hint: it is going to get worse. McCarthy, Cummings, Koos, and Smith think they need to spend – spend – spend however. Keep in mind 8 cents of the gas price in both cities is a local tax meant to fix roads. How is that working out? That gas tax allows local government to spend the taxes you already pay on other things. Before both passed a gas tax the roads were fixed from the general fund and State gas taxes.
Karyn Smith added this must see comment very early in the budget discussion: (36 seconds)
I’m not going to tell you what she said, but she made it clear everyone needs to vote yes. Listen for yourself.
I could post many delicious clips, but I’m not going to. If any taxpayers in Normal actually care – watch the budget and water rate hike parts of the meeting yourself. Since Public Comment is very rare and voters have had plenty of opportunities to change Normal, it’s hard for me to see many do care.
The video will start where the budget discussion begins: