By: Diane Benjamin
Note: Petitions are still being collected. See the website to help: https://betternormal-il.com/why-district-normal%3F-1
Before you read the extensive story WGLT wrote about the petitions being circulated to ask Normal voters if they want to switch to Wards, some points WGLT didn’t make:
- Most of the current Trustees think they are a Board of Directors, not representatives of the people who live in Normal. If they are rubberstamp directors, why have elections?
- Wards allow specific areas of the Town to have their own representation, currently much of the Town has no Trustees living in their area.
- Wards would allow people of lessor means to run for office. Now it takes a lot of money to run a town-wide campaign, Wards bring Trustees closer to the people.
- WGLT is correct this issue originated in Rantoul. I was not aware of their referendum before I attend a training session with the Edgar County Watchdogs there. I am not spearheading this effort, I just mentioned it to a few people and got some materials used in Rantoul.
- WGLT thinks I have partisan motives. Since I’m not a Democrats or Republican, I have no idea what that means. If wanting good government that doesn’t do stupid things like run water lines down west College right next to Bloomington’s is partisan, I’m proudly partisan.
- Even though I’m mentioned in the story, WGLT didn’t contact me for a comment.
- Kathleen Lorenz is wrong about water issues. If Marc Tiritilli hadn’t stood up for the Grove/Ruston area folks the town of Normal would still be flushing hydrants every couple of days. Marc forced Normal to fix it, not the at-large Trustees who don’t live in the area.
- I find it hilarious that WGLT went to Tari Renner for a comment. Tari’s “…everybody’s got to be responsible to every voter” goes off the rails. The point is nobody is responsible now. Send an email to the entire Council and see who responds. Tari’s Solid Waste bull also fails. Garbage not that long ago was paid out of the General Fund with taxes people already paid. Bloomington created an Enterprise Fund just to extract more tax dollars. Taxes weren’t lowered anywhere to compensate for the new charges. Yes, it took a long time to balance the fund because citizens were mad. FYI: Renner pushed through automatic increases that shield the Council from having to vote to raise the rates. This Council should end all automatic increases. Council meetings are far less contentious since Renner left.
- ISU would not have to be it’s own Ward. Many student don’t vote in local elections, just like most people they show up for national elections. Since Trustees serve for four years, it would be difficult for students to run if they aren’t permanent residents of the ISU area.
- Anybody surprised Chris Koos doesn’t like this idea?
- I will end with the League of Women Voters maybe studying the issue. LWV fought abolishing the Bloomington Election Commission. They were wrong about wanting all McLean County Elections in the hands of unelected bureaucrats instead of in the hands of people that can be held accountable by voters. LWV has cost taxpayers money since BEC still exists. Their opinion should therefore be scrutinized thoroughly.