Normal Budget: Priorities?

By: Diane Benjamin Proving yet again the priorities of staff have nothing to do with what citizens expect: The Town is going to fix West College, it needs it! The problem is they aren’t just going to fix it. So far just DESIGN is budgeted at $1.45 MILLION. DESIGN Nothing is going to be built […]

Normal Trustees: Whatever Stan says we vote against

By: Diane Benjamin Last night’s Normal Town Council meeting was slightly over 4 hours. It started with a presentation by County Board Chair John McIntyre and County Administrator Camille Rodriguez pertaining to sales tax increase to fund mental health. That presentation took close to an hour. Was that on purpose to deflect from the budget […]

Normal’s estimators are Professional Staff?

By: Diane Benjamin This was on Normal’s agenda on 2/17/2020: https://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3553 This was on Normal’s agenda on 1/9/21: https://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3867 This is on the agenda for Monday: https://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3903 In about a year the cost of repairing this bridge almost tripled! According to the documentation, this bid is 16.1% higher than the engineers estimate. The engineer was […]

Proof of the Koos debt

By: Diane Benjamin I could write MANY stories about last night’s Bloomington Council meeting. I might write more, I might not. I didn’t want you to miss this graphic: Every citizen of Normal is in twice as much debt as those who live in Bloomington. That is why the end of the Uptown TIF is […]

What Mike Matejka left out

By: Diane Benjamin https://www.pantagraph.com/opinion/columnists/mike-matejka-normal-election-potholes-vs-progress/article_b11f20fe-e830-5d01-bc84-d912acc37bf5.html Anybody know why the guy who voted to build the Coliseum gets to write a column in the paper? Better yet, why does anybody listen to him when he not only voted against the will of the people but has never apologized for his taxpayer fleece? Of course Mike is campaigning […]

Stan Nord walks out of 2 on ?

By: Diane Benjamin Both the Bloomington City Council and Normal Town Council members meet with staff before meetings. It would take way too long to hash out issues in public, so they do it in private small groups instead. Items the majority of the Council will reject at meetings never make it to the public. […]

Reece/Koos Scam-a-lot

By: Diane Benjamin More on Normal’s Monday meeting: Nobody cared that Pam Reece did not follow her current contract. This didn’t happen: Chris Koos stated he and Pam cooked up the new contract. Poor Pam won’t get the 9 months of severance her old contract called for, the new one limits her to 20 weeks. […]

Normal is stockpiling money

By: Diane Benjamin One of the first actions by the new Council installed May 1st should be reviewing actions taken by previous Council that staff is still implementing. The biggest one is building the underpass. Previous Councils have voted to investigate and possibly design, but not to build it. Since the Town has a $13 […]

Normal’s reputation after last night

By: Diane Benjamin If you already knew “right fit” businesses are all that matters in Normal, last night cemented their place in history for being unfriendly to business. The Town levied fines on Joe’s Stationhouse Pizza for daring to defy Pritzker’s spewings when the Illinois Constitution clearly states emergency powers last 30 days. It was […]

Those who can’t teach

By: Diane Benjamin There are great teachers, I’m not sure Karyn Smith qualifies. I watched part of the budget discussion last night that was continued from last week. Smith decided to inform viewers about bonds. She claimed paying interest for decades is what they are designed to do. The principal will be paid at the […]

Lorenz thinks $3 million for roads is fabulous

By: Diane Benjamin Government’s job is first to preserve and protect freedom for future generations. How is that one working for you? Next, government should only be doing what citizens can’t do for themselves: police, fire, water, sewer and roads. Maybe citizens need to start building their own roads and charge a toll to use […]

Is Normal Fooling you?

By: Diane Benjamin Since Chris Koos, Kevin McCarthy, Scott Preston, and Chemberly Cummings want your vote April 6th, does this look like something they would do to get it? The Normal Council held a 9 hour budget session yesterday. Surprise! They aren’t going to raise property taxes this year. Instead they are rearranging money they […]

Illinois is the WORST State for Middle Class Families

This is Kiplinger, not some conservative outlet trying to play politics: https://www.kiplinger.com/taxes/state-tax/601614/least-tax-friendly-states-for-middle-class-families?rid=EML-today&rmrecid=2482908579&utm_campaign=20210126-today&utm_medium=email&utm_source=today Before both Bloomington and Normal decide to raise property taxes, and Unit 5 does again – these were the rates: District 87: 5.144810 City of Bloomington: 1.090100 Unit 5: 5.355410 Town of Normal: 1.032630

Is Lorenz setting you up for more taxes?

By: Diane Benjamin At Tuesday’s Normal Town Council meeting Kathleen Lorenz asked why the Intergovernmental Agreement with Connect Transit says both Bloomington and Normal are required to review the CT budget yearly. They never do, but it is in the agreement. Kathleen: Maybe because CT loses $1 MILLION a month and local taxes were raised […]

Normal: 10 minutes to 3 hours

By: Diane Benjamin Remember the good ol’ days when nobody on the Normal Town Council questioned anything? Those 10 minute meetings have turned into a “justify staff” fun fest where the formally silent must spew forth speech to squelch what they think are rumors. The Council needs to spend at least half of their time […]

Fly on the Wall: Wrong McCarthy

Flying around McLean County Administration I overheard they aren’t on board with divvying up the cost of Normal’s recycling drop boxes 3 ways. Of course Trustee Kevin McCarthy believed the utterings of the City Manager saying an agreement was close. It isn’t. Maybe Pam Reece can explain herself. It will be similar to her claiming […]

Good News

By: Diane Benjamin Town of Normal employees didn’t get Christmas gift cards this year. In 2017 Normal spent $25,048, in 2018 $25,040, in 2019 $23,920. https://blnnews.com/2017/11/20/sit-down-normal/ https://blnnews.com/2018/11/16/normal-taxing-again/ https://blnnews.com/2019/12/23/normal-giving-away-your-money-2/ This year is what citizens who aren’t allowed to work by their government expect: $0.00. More Good News: The far left isn’t afraid to tell you what […]

What we learned in 2020

By: Diane Benjamin Covid doesn’t exist at Walmart, Menards, Home Depot, and Lowe’s. It only spreads at establishments with a Liquor License where Tari Renner and Chris Koos can prosecute Pritzker edict non-compliance. If Pritzker’s edicts were law neither Bloomington or Normal would be prosecuting themselves, the State’s Attorney’s office would be filing charges. Tari […]

Normal: You can’t eat inside but we can

By: Diane Benjamin The best evidence yet to not re-elect Scott Preston and Chemberly Cummings: While the Town of Normal is determined to put non-compliant restaurants out of business by fining them for not closing indoor dining, staff can eat in a conference room at Town Hall. The Town attorney – Brian Day – who […]