By: Diane Benjamin
Remember this story? https://blnnews.com/2022/06/14/need-accounting-services-hire-the-town-of-normal/
MICA is Municipal Insurance Cooperative Agency. Normal’s Finance Director Andrew Huhn is on the Executive Committee. Normal is also doing their accounting while not bidding insurance purchased through them. The MICA website at best is lame, it doesn’t say if MICA is a non-profit or a corporation: https://affinity.marsh.com/mica/home.html. I could not find where they are a non-profit of a registered Illinois corporation.
I filed this FOIA request, on June 20, 2020 – Not January like the below states:
Note the FOIA was limited to a little over 18 months.
After extending the time to respond, I received an “overly burdensome” response that included this:
- Normal is using their staff to do accounting for a vendor they buy insurance from and a Normal “professional staff” member is on the Board
- 8,413 emails over 18 months is more than 450 a month
- Normal is expecting Revenue of $50,000 this year from MICA
Next I asked for just contracts for services. This was the response:
The Town of Normal is pretending to be an accounting firm in yet another “Friends with Benefits” arrangement. Normal does not have a contract that specifies what services Normal is providing or what the cost per hour, month, or year is. Taxpayers get to cover salaries, benefits, and pension expenses for all employees actually working for MICA without any proof Normal is getting fully paid for the service they shouldn’t even be offering!
This is CIRBN 2.0 where the Town considered their 3 employees Town staff so they could get pensions and benefits. Luckily the Town ended that relationship when it became public.
How many other “arrangements” does Normal have? Maybe some other media will care enough to ask questions. (don’t hold your breath)