Is Normal paying staff when they aren’t working for Normal taxpayers?

By: Diane Benjamin

I FOIA’d a list of all organizations Town of Normal employees are members of. The Town is not required to produce documents that don’t exist even if a FOIA them, so obviously this list is kept by the Town. Chances are good the Town is paying for memberships in many of these organizations. Being a “member” isn’t much of a problem, Chairing a Board for an outside organization is. How much time do employees spend doing “Chair” duties during work hours?

Did you know Town attorney Brian Day has been the Chair of the Illinois International Municipal Lawyers Associations since 2017. See the International tax return here from 2019, the Illinois group doesn’t file separately:

If you thought Day’s job was to keep the Town legal, you would be wrong. This snippet (Page 2) from the tax return shows their real purpose:

Municipal lawyers work “to advance the interests of local government”. If you’ve ever seen Brian Day make a statement that makes little sense, this is why.

I filed the FOIA because of the National Fitness Challenge/IPRA/Doug Damery fiasco:

See their latest tax return available from 2019 here:

Page 7 lists how many hours the Chair and Directors spend on IPRA activities per week:

It shows Damery spent 10 hours a week when he was secretary. Look at the Chair though – it shows 10 hours for IPRA and another 10 hours for the IPRA Foundation. Did Damery spend 20 hours a week when he was chair? Was that 20 hours during working hours? Was the 10 hours as Secretary during working hours?

This story shows Damery received emails about IPRA and National Fitness campaign at his Town email address:

Pam Reece knew he was the IPRA chair. If she didn’t know Damery had a conflict of interest when NFC came to the Council, she failed at her job.

See the extensive list of organizations key employees belong to below. How much Town time did Mercy Davidson spend co-chairing Illinois conferences 3 times? You will see many other people who could be spending Town time not working for the Town. Prestige is nice, just not when taxpayers get the bill.

Keep in mind Normal has hiring 21 new people in their budget because current staffing is “unsustainable” per Pam Reece.









7 thoughts on “Is Normal paying staff when they aren’t working for Normal taxpayers?

  1. Damery appears to be on several boards. But let’s look at just his IPRA role and an 80hr work week. Pam has authorized her staff to devote 50%+ of their Normal taxpayer-funded work time to work for a single outside organization. This is B.S.

    I expect my local taxes to be spent on local problems. Now I see why taxes are so high. I wonder if the council knows how much money is being spent for town staff to work on non-town business.


  2. And people wonder why government is so bloated. I remember Koos campaigning on how fiscally responsible he was and how efficiently the Town of Normal operated. I guess those were the lies he needed to tell so he could retain power.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Double dipping and pampering pals and agendas happens in almost every state and public service people, employees and politicians at all levels – Gone on for years. People just ne er said a thing and accepted it all. No questions asked.


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