By: Diane Benjamin
Every time Normal wants something big they recruit local elites for Public Comment to praise the project. Last Monday was no exception. Former mayor Paul Harmon spoke both at the beginning of the meeting and the end.
Patrick Hoban, the President and CEO of the local Economic Development Council was first up. Given his title and position one should have confidence in what he says. This clip proves that faith is misplaced:
Hoban stated the new Uptown project was vital because housing is badly needed in Bloomington-Normal. He added the Realtor Association told him there were only 9 homes on the market.
The Mid-Illinois Realtors website has the number of houses for sale in Bloomington-Normal: https://midillinoisrealtors.com/office/bloomington-normal-association-of-realtors/
53 + 18 = 71 local houses for sale.
While 71 homes for sale is historically low, it is way more than 9. If Patrick Hoban had used the real number it would have been just as effective. Making up his own facts means his credibility is questioned. Did the Town of Normal recruit him just to make it appear Trail West and Trail East had local support and use fake numbers to prove it? Is that why Paul Harmon was there too?
When a project starts with false information, how can citizens trust anything said? Taxpayers fund the EDC, they deserve better from those they pay.
Just hit play to hear Hoban and Harmon. A citizen concerned about parking followed both.