By: Diane Benjamin
Remember when CIRBN employees were considered Town of Normal employees with all the same benefits? https://blnnews.com/2021/01/15/can-you-tell-elections-are-coming/
When “professional staff” is your best buddy, all kinds of perks are available!
Another “arrangement” you are supposed to ignore:
This one involves the Town purchasing insurance from MICA – no bid contract.
Review this story from May of last year: https://blnnews.com/2021/05/18/normal-if-i-only-had-a-brain/
Normal’s Finance Director, Andrew Huhn, is a member of the MICA Executive Committee: https://affinity.marsh.com/mica/contact-directory.html
The “professional staff” claimed the insurance isn’t bid because MICA bids it. Makes perfect sense to NOT buy local or even find out if MICA has the lowest price, Right?
If you don’t remember or didn’t read the story from last May, take a second to scan it. The bobbleheads weren’t happy that Stan Nord asked any questions! They didn’t see a conflict of interest with Mr. Huhn.
Oh, but it gets better!
The pic below is from Normal’s budget, PDF page 74: https://www.normalil.gov/DocumentCenter/View/19729/2022-23-Final-Budget
The Town is expecting REVENUE from MICA this year of $50,000. In 2026-27 is grows to $59,000.
Normal is paying them almost $1.9 million for insurance, but getting REVENUE of $50,000?
I asked Andrew Huhn what the REVENUE was for since he is the Finance Director, his response:
In case you can’t read it, The Town of Normal is doing their accounting and getting paid for it.
Taxpayers of Normal are paying a staff person wages, benefits, and pension to do accounting for a vendor Normal buys insurance from and the Finance Director just happens to be on the Board of.
We have no way of knowing if $50,000 covers all the costs of employees doing the accounting work.
We have no way of knowing if cheaper insurance is available since Normal never bids it.
The Town of Normal doesn’t see a conflict of interest in buying from MICA when their Finance Director is on the Executive committee.
The Town of Normal doesn’t see a conflict of interest with doing the accounting for MICA either.
The Town of Normal doesn’t understand they aren’t an accounting firm. Can any private organization hire the Town to do their accounting? Any CPA’s out there upset Normal is stealing business from you?
I wonder if Normal audits MICA too? I’d be really worried if I was buying insurance from an organization without ethics!
One more: What to bet that $50,000 goes into the General Fund and not to offset the Finance Department budget?
Go back to the story from last May. Stan Nord pointed out IML has a pool with A LOT more municipalities participating. MICA has 20, IML has over 600. Who do you think negotiates the best price?
Think somebody should investigate? Don’t forget: Scott Preston is a fighter!?! Not sure where though, certainly not on the Normal Town Council.