Council votes against High Haven location

By: Diane Benjamin

The Normal Town Council lives in luxury, visit the Council chambers and observe the rest of Town Hall. They want to be a Smart City, they have software to spy on what people say on line about them, and they have license plate readers.

If the Town loves high tech so much, why does the Council not have electronic voting? Roll call voting allows members to see how the vote is going and not vote their conscience if they might be in the minority. If they voted electronically we would see how they really feel.

Bloomington votes electronically, they are more high tech than Normal? Bloomington even voted electronically in the old City Hall. Why does Normal stay in the last century for Council votes? Not very progressive!

I didn’t write about High Haven moving into the Mandarin Garden House before the meeting. I thought it was a bad location for a Town that won’t allow a dispensary in Uptown. I did observe the traffic at Beyond Hello three different times. Their parking lot had a constant flow of vehicles every time. I never saw the line of people out the door, I’ve just heard it has happened.

The Mandarin parking lot is not huge. People would have been parking and walking across the street. It’s a family friendly area, a cannabis shop never fit there.

The Council meeting had a packed room with many people showing up for Public Comment. 14 people spoke, at least 3 represented High Haven. A few spoke about the subdivision in west Normal, most of the rest were there to oppose the High Haven. They were concerned about the location, increased traffic, and parking problems. One guy stated another location would bring the prices down. He stated an ounce is $340.

Besides Jeff Fritzen, I didn’t know any of the people who spoke but one lady stood out. You need to hear her story. Just hit play:

I wonder if the vote would have been the same with electronic voting. Only Chemerly Harris voted yes, after she played the race card yet again. See 1:36:10.

City Manager Pam Reece started the discussion at 1:25:30. She expected the Council to merely vote on whether this business was in compliance with all rules. Luckily they didn’t do that.

High Haven is a social equity company, Normal isn’t their first location. They are now on a short time line to find a new location.

Scott Preston’s microphone kept breaking up, his comments are hard to hear. Kevin McCarthy had to revise his comments after he claimed not approving the variance would be discriminatory. From the comments I sure didn’t expect a 6-1 vote against.

I hope Mandarin Gardens reopens somewhere. There Mongolian Beef is heavenly.



8 thoughts on “Council votes against High Haven location

  1. I’ve known alot of people for alot of years that have smoked alot of weed that would cordially disagree with this lady’s assessment. The testimony of her personal experience is not that of most.


  2. “their Mongolian Beef is heavenly”… an understatement!! 😀😀 I’ve eaten in lots of Chinese restaurants in lots of locations and never had a dish as good as Hua and family serve. They are wonderful people, I’ll miss Hua and Ben and June and all. They’re wonderful people.


  3. One has to remember anything in the 8-12 month before an election that seems out of character is most likely a re-election stunt. Prime example was Ms Lorenz decrying bullying rather than her usual engaging in it. I don’t know if HH was in on it (probably) or an unlucky victim, but this was just a staged “Look, look at the one and nearly only time we listened to the people and didn’t just rubber stamp whatever was put in front of us!!!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Depends on how you look at it. If you only see it as a ‘no’ vote, then yes. If you see it as self-serving political theater, then it’s same old same old that they do with any controversial subject.


  4. Kathleen and Karen already voted to allow a dispensary across the street from a church. A dispensary across from a resturant is far less insulting than across from a church. This was an obvious campaign stunt vote.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s