Underpass: Too late to stop it

By: Diane Benjamin Underpass work session: So far Normal has authorized spending $1.5 million on Phase 1 of the underpass. Chris Koos stated it can not be stopped now because of all the staff time, grants received, and other agencies involved that wouldn’t like Normal backing out now. It almost sounded like Wayne Aldrich (Director […]

If you don’t want to be heard laughing, only watch this alone

Looks like all democrats don’t think the same: Council Meeting January 19, 2021 https://youtu.be/uB9SGVWbytI Pritzker Budget talk, June 1, 2021 https://www.facebook.com/GovPritzker/videos/542249500299020 More below. (It could have been longer) Council discussion starts at 1:22 1:59  – Nord – Motion to pay off debt 2:12 – 6-1 vote against paying off debt early. Pritzker and Nord believe paying off […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Introducing: The REAL Kathleen Lorenz

By: Diane Benjamin Of course we know the local elections are not non-partisan. Koos and Renner don’t hide the fact they are Democrats. Carrillo and Crabill don’t hide they are socialists. Scott Preston is involved with the local GOP party. The association list goes on and on. When elected, ideology isn’t suddenly thrown out the […]

Drum roll please . . presenting Karyn Smith

By: Diane Benjamin See 25:19 Karyn Smith is reading a prepared statement during Trustee comments. The topic is COVID and the newly announced proclamations from Pritzker. Having swallowed all of the democrat talking points, she goes on and on about keeping people safe. She thinks the virus has to be under control before people will […]

Karyn Smith was a mistake, but . . .

By: Diane Benjamin The Good News is by electing Karyn – RC McBride is no longer on the council! The bad news is she must be a one term trustee if she continues to believe everything she is told instead of searching for truth herself. She was elected to represent the PEOPLE, not the Town. […]

How many miles of roads does Normal have?

By: Diane Benjamin I’ve written before about Trustee Karyn Smith stating at a Council meeting and in emails the Town of Normal has close to 450 miles of roads. She even compared it to driving to Cairo Il and back. Actually it’s 289 miles to Cairo, so that example is an exaggeration. Round trip would […]

Three hours and twenty minutes!

By: Diane Benjamin Normal has gone from 10 minute meetings with no discussion before spending millions of dollars to bloviating just to hear themselves talk. I can’t possibly recap everything that happened, so I will pick what I think is important. The other media can fill you in on what the Town thinks happened. Last […]

Important! – Don’t miss this one: The rest of Normal’s fleece

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal Mayor Chris Koos was nominated by Sen Dick Durbin to the Amtrak Board of Directors.  Amtrak and Koos are a perfect fit.  It does mean that Koos can no longer participate in discussions about building an underpass since all decisions involve Amtrak.  See PDF page 5:  http://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/12829/2017-Purchasing-Policy-Manual-x?bidId= Amtrak will be paying […]

A City Manager is NOT a CEO

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night’s Normal Town Council meeting will take more than one story. It’s becoming really easy to tell the political leanings of people just through one thing:  Do they put people in boxes? People who lean left, even if they claim to be Republican, segregate people by all possible means:  gender, race, […]

Normal’s meeting recap

By:  Diane Benjamin Chemberly Cummings didn’t bother to attend, of course nobody said why.  That led to some problems later with only 6 voting members.  A tie vote would have meant an item failed. Numerous items were pulled from the Omnibus agenda – all these things used to sail through and were never questioned before […]

The Normal circus last night – Part 3

By:  Diane Benjamin Part 1:  https://blnnews.com/2019/10/08/the-normal-circus-last-night-part-1/ Part 2:  https://blnnews.com/2019/10/08/the-normal-circus-last-night-part-2/ Most of the Connect Transit discussion will be in Part 4.  (likely tomorrow!)  Two points needs clarifying first: 3:07:00 – Karyn Smith stated at the last meeting Kevin McCarthy said if there was a choice between a full fare rider and one that is subsidized of […]

Normal: Only 2 voices of common sense

By:  Diane Benjamin Citizens of Normal can expect more backroom deals and handouts to friends because most of the Normal Trustees didn’t get the message from the last two elections.  Voters can permanently get a representative government in 2021.  Meanwhile Stan Nord and Karyn Smith are by themselves expecting fiscal sanity. The excessive spending trying […]

The Normal cover-up

By:  Diane Benjamin One more thing happened at Monday’s Normal Town Council meeting that you need to see. First, some background.  Both Bloomington and Normal have decided in recent years to write minutes that don’t reflect exactly what happens at meetings.  If citizens want to research something that happened a year ago and don’t know […]

Chemberly: Wrong again

By:  Diane Benjamin Last night’s Normal Town Council meeting lasted close to 4 hours.  It started with a conga line of Uptown supporters, most (if not all) connected to government.  2 objectors to the Fiala payoff were conveniently placed at the end of Public Comment.  It started at 8:00 if you want to watch. On […]

More from the Normal FOIA – the mural

By:  Diane Benjamin I wonder if Chris Koos will try to blame Stan Nord  for this: This is yet another company who contacted Stan.  They can turn the mural into a digital picture and save taxpayers a lot of money. Stan forwarded the information to City Manager Pam Reece: Have you noticed how Stan continually protects people […]

The War is on in Normal

By:  Diane Benjamin There is a war between the old guard and the newly elected members of the Council in Normal.  Koos and company are not happy! Chris:  Stan and Karyn were elected because the taxpayers are sick of your $35,000+ a month rent in Uptown Circle, the $2.75 million you handed the developer to […]

The Connect Disconnect

By:  Diane Benjamin Connect Transit appeared at both City Council meetings last night.  Isaac Thorne, General Manager, didn’t hang around the Bloomington meeting for long.  He rushed off needlessly to Normal since he wasn’t on the agenda until after public comment and regular business.  He could have answered more questions from the Bloomington Council. The […]

Questioning expenses in Normal has already saved money

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember the $100 a month lease for the property at 305 S. Linden?  Remember Normal was going to pay $5000 to have internet installed?  Normal would be forced to pay property taxes on that property too, the rent likely would not have covered both the taxes and internet.  (See original story:  https://blnnews.com/2019/04/14/is-normal-handing-out-a-cheap-lease/) […]

WOW Normal!

By:  Diane Benjamin Chris Koos didn’t get the lesson from two years ago when he only defeated Marc Tiritilli by 11 votes.  Last night the voters in Normal sent a baseball bat to the head message:  We demand a new direction! Two of the top three winners took on the Koos and company agenda, Stan […]

Letter to the Editor #2

I asked WGLT to include me on their candidate page and got zero response.  No big surprise there. WGLT Voter Guide 2019 . But in looking over the other Normal Town Council candidates’ responses I found something very interesting… . If you start at the top and click on RC, it contains his answers to a […]

WGLT Manipulating voters?

By: Diane Benjamin Is WGLT attempting to deceive voters? Is their General Manager, who is on the ballot, behind it? It’s corrupt enough WGLT controlled the debate with the Normal candidates, since RC McBride works for them, they should have recused themselves. It gets worse! Karl Sila was not allowed to participate in the debate […]

McBride proves why he shouldn’t be a Trustee

By:  Diane Benjamin The WGLT story about last night’s Normal Town Council meeting doesn’t mention RC McBride voted for the water rate increase:    http://www.wglt.org/post/water-fee-increase-solar-group-buy-making-repeat-appearances-normal Readers are left to surmise he did. This one is worse: I reported this story back on February 28:    https://blnnews.com/2019/02/28/ag-investigating-town-of-normal-again/ WJBC reported it on March 4:    http://www.wjbc.com/2019/03/04/normal-mayor-probed-for-alleged-open-meetings-act-violations/?fbclid=IwAR0mVvQsAVBRPrRVSWllpx_YPGc2YvMk0iHXYXWS0AWvxrBG0FXLxYbmvCg The […]

AG Investigating Town of Normal AGAIN

BY;;  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal continues to have an illegal public comment policy.  Normal was forced to change the policy in 2017 when the Attorney General told them they can not have a policy that allows a citizen to only speak every 45 days.  Instead of slapping the Town’s entire policy into oblivion, […]