Update: Your wallet isn’t safe!

The Town of Normal still does not have this meeting properly posted.  They do have the 7:00 pm meeting posted.  Their lawyer needs to re-read the Open Meetings Act. By:  Diane Benjamin The notice below is not posted on the Town of Normal website under agendas or anywhere else I looked.  This was sent to […]

ISU must not teach capitalism

By:  Diane Benjamin The Normal Town Council meeting lasted more than 10 minutes last night!  It actually went over an hour because of the mandatory recycling ordinance. ISU kids showed up to demand their right to recycle.  Some called it a necessity, one claimed she had to drive 5-10 minutes to drop hers off and […]

Attacking the poor in Normal

By:  Diane Benjamin http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2996 Tonight Normal may prove government destroys affordable housing. On the agenda is mandatory recycling for all multi-family housing.  Non-compliance fines are $100 per day!  Who MUST recycle: Attacking the poor is so easy when ideology rules over common sense.  Affordable housing will become even less affordable.  Where is the League of […]

RC McBride – an obvious conflict of interest

By:  Diane Benjamin This guy is the General Manager WGLT:   http://wglt.org/people/category/6 McBride is also on the Town of Normal Council:    http://www.normal.org/1135/Meet-the-Council If you don’t already see a conflict of interest with media helping to run government, I’m not done. Monday night the Normal Council is writing some checks to WGLT, an NPR station that […]

Participation Trophy

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal passed the “Welcoming Ordinance” last night that does nothing.  Scott Preston and Jeff Fritzen voted against it.  The supporters declared victory anyway, they got the Town to kneel before them even if only for one night.  The radical pep rally lasted for over 3 hours so everyone who wanted to speak […]

Normal’s handouts tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills for approval tonight:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2958 This is the guy running Normal: On 4/16 he was paid $20,658.49   https://blnnews.com/2018/04/13/normal-monday-10-minute-meeting/ These payments total $24,994.08 More non-profit give-ways: (website:  https://forbettertomorrow.org/ ) Even more give-away (You pay taxes to Normal so they can give it to Heartland who also taxes you) So you don’t forget how much rent […]

UPDATE: Normal: Don’t do it!

  It passed with 2 no votes by Scott Preston and Jeff Fritzen.  Video you won’t want to miss tomorrow! By:  Diane Benjamin Monday night Normal will consider a “Welcoming Ordinance” for people who have no legal right to be in this country. We pass laws to protect law breakers? We pass law for specific […]

Grown men crying

By:  Diane Benjamin I wish video existed at Tom Hamilton’s last meeting of the Bloomington City Council.  I’m betting the accolades were so sugary sweet the then Council and mayor risked diabetes.  I’m betting nobody mentioned The Grove or the never used fire station or the unusable water tower built during his tenure.  I’m betting […]

Live Streaming tells the truth

By:  Diane Benjamin If local governments had not started Live Streaming meetings, the media would be your only source for information. So far I haven’t seen a word about Stan Nord speaking at the Normal Town Council meeting last night. Mr. Nord spoke about property he is trying to develop on West College.  He accused […]

More on Uptown Circle

By:  Diane Benjamin Followup to yesterday’s story:  https://blnnews.com/2018/03/16/hum-uptown-circle/ As reported yesterday, this new building in Uptown has no tenants on the first floor.  The Town of Normal is renting the entire second floor: According to the Pantagraph from 7/4/2016: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/normal-eyes-design-contract-for-office-space/article_9d3ad5b1-f04d-5709-a834-2d10fe6db9eb.html The town will lease 13,780 square feet of office space for 15 years, with renewal options, […]

They paid it twice

By:  Diane Benjamin As I reported in this story:  https://blnnews.com/2018/01/14/tuesday-normal-spending/ the Town of Normal made TWO payments of $217,078.24 during January to MCP Uptown Owner LLC. I wasn’t kidding when I said a FOIA was filed! I received 66 pages. As part of the Uptown TIF, increases in property taxes paid are kept by Normal.  The […]

Cummings: Who do you represent?

By:  Diane Benjamin During public comment many first time speakers almost begged the Council to save the historic buildings at 104, 106, and 108 Beaufort Street.  From the Council discussion, that is not going to happen. City Manager Peterson claimed all they were doing was picking a developer.  Oh they will see what they can […]

TUESDAY Normal spending

By: Diane Benjamin From the packet for the Normal Town Council meeting on 1/16/2018:   http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2871 Normal made the same payment in the 1/2/2018 packet.  Proof Here    A FOIA has been filed.  According to the Secretary of State LLC filing, the address is a strip mall in Plano Texas and the LLC was revoked.  See https://www.ilsos.gov/corporatellc/ Just […]

Normal: questions, questions!

By:  Diane Benjamin Unless a lot of citizens show up for Public Comment, Tuesday’s meeting will last less than 15 minutes. Here’s some of the bills that will be approved: (click any pics to enlarge) http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2827 More proof government exists for government employees: Don’t forget the $60 gift card employees received too! ________________________________________________________________________ I wonder […]

Normal Does Comedy!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal must be feeling heat.  Maybe it’s because Chris Koos came REALLY close to getting knocked off by Marc Tiritilli.  Maybe it’s because Normal raised property taxes eleven years in a row.  Maybe it’s because the only way a building was going to get built across from City Hall […]

Cries from the unaccountable

By:  Diane Benjamin The citizens of Normal need to understand they do not have accountable representatives on the Town Council.  Since Normal does not have a WARD system, all trustees are elected “at-large” and therefore do not have to represent you.  Trustees McCarthy, Cummings, and Preston were elected with between 3012 and 3668 votes last […]

ELEVEN! Citizens fight back

By:  Diane Benjamin Maybe the citizens of Normal have finally decided enough is enough.  11 citizens (one from Bloomington) spoke against the property tax increase during the public hearing before the Normal Town Council.  They came armed with facts which the council later tried to refute.  That story will be next.  Meanwhile, just hit play […]

BREAK Normal’s Attitude!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal doesn’t want citizens showing up at meetings like they do in Bloomington.  That is the reason their Public Comment policy requires citizens to sign up 2 hours before a meeting, not just walk in a fill out a card. Remember the November 6, 2017 meeting where your property […]

It’s confirmed: Laws Don’t Matter!

By:  Diane Benjamin Laws most likely broken by the Town of Normal Council don’t matter because prosecutions need a prosecutor.  The citizens of Normal don’t have one! In case you forgot the facts, see this story:  https://blnnews.com/2017/11/16/normal-your-government-is-fixed/ Basics: The Town held a Secret meeting (Executive Session) on August 11th at 9:30 in the morning. The meeting […]

Normal’s Economic Development Exposed

By:  Diane Benjamin Chris Koos recently spoke at a “State of McLean County” event.    See the newspaper story HERE Koos thinks his job is reducing economic inequity, delivering opportunity, social equity and sustainability. If his claims were true, the Council wouldn’t be set to raise property taxes to fill holes in their budget. Stealing more […]

Normal’s priorities: What?

By:  Diane Benjamin Most people think the job of local government is Police, Fire, Water, Sewers, and Roads. Look at what Normal’s priorities are based on where they spending money:  PDF page 133  http://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/12750 Try to use and elitist accent here.  Repeat after me: Normal spent more on “Culture and Recreation” than they did on roads! […]

Hilarious Jason Chambers

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday’s paper had a front-page story concerning a filing by Jason Chamber’s office with the Attorney General for Open Meeting Act violations.  He has been waiting 17 months for a determination.  The story claims his office can only prosecute violations for 18 months. First, Welcome to our world Jason!  The request filed […]

Using YOUR money: Town of Normal

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal’s Bills and Payroll for tonight:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2730 You work hard for a paycheck.  The CornBelters are failing, as evidenced by a league change, because people aren’t attending games.  They attempt to make money from concerts, Normal helped them out with your money: More entertainment: Grounds maintenance at Rivian: Consultants must get a cut: […]

Normal’s bankruptcy

By:  Diane Benjamin I find it hilarious Normal must offer early retirement to employees because Bloomington broke the MetroZone agreement costing them $1.2 million.  The total budget is $107,133,177.   (Tiny percentage of the total!) I wonder if the Soccer Complex is now dead? $1,400,000 was spent on yet another underpass study!  Normal should be […]

Normal raising taxes on Monday!

By:  Diane Benjamin Of course, Normal is calling it “fee increases” or “user fee increases”.  Regardless of the terminology, Normal needs money and you have it until they take more of it. Standard procedure for sailing these past the Council is: Comparing rates with surrounding cities  (PDF page 167) Burying the Council docs with technical […]

Normal – Monday night

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal agenda and documentation for Monday night:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2628 Below are some items I found interesting – many others could be questioned.  This meeting will be short – nothing serious isn’t on the consent Agenda. 1) Town will reimburse emergency repairs. The documentation says a contractor caused the sewer back-up, there is nothing […]

Avoid Normal candidate Chemberly Cummings

By:  Diane Benjamin I would have loved to post comments from the forums held for the Council of both Bloomington and Normal, but there wasn’t any insight gained.  Spending an hour listening the questions and answers doesn’t give the candidates much time to reveal themselves.  Some are purposely hiding their agenda to get elected. The […]

Normal’s follies

By:  Diane Benjamin Bill’s and Payroll for Monday night:  http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2581 I don’t know what arrangement Normal made to get Home Depot to build here, but this is the perfect example of why Sales Tax receipts are declining: Menards isn’t getting rebates, so they are at an unfair advantage.  It’s called crony capitalism, picking winners and […]

Normal: What the media is missing!

By:  Diane Benjamin Evidently the media can’t read or they have a short attention span and can’t make it through the 7 page Attorney General letter declaring Normal’s Public Comment Policy illegal. It is MUCH more than the 45 day rule.  That one was a no brainer! See the changes Normal is planning to make […]

Koos, Media – you can quit pretending now

By:  Diane Benjamin For months Normal Mayor Chris Koos has been pretending with the help of media that changing the Town’s Public Comment Policy is his idea. It wasn’t! Today the Attorney General’s Office issued an opinion that slaps him around on numerous counts. (Did the AG suddenly start doing their job?  Maybe!) Craig Stimpert […]

Metro Zone – Normal is devastated

Note:  The meeting video is missing!  I will change the link when it’s available. Video is back – this time without Koos’ challenger on the opening screen.  Coincidence?   By:  Diane Benjamin Just hit play below to hear the Metro Zone discussion by the Normal Town Council last night.  Bloomington’s Mayor Tari Renner was there, […]

Normal’s Lavish Lunacy

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve talked to some residents of Normal who don’t understand Normal’s desire for an underpass at the Amtrak station.  WJBC has a nice picture of where they want to put it – between the Amtrak station and the Children’s Discovery Museum.  http://www.wjbc.com/2017/02/06/normal-taking-next-step-toward-possible-uptown-pedestrian-underpass/ Last October Normal spent another $1.4 million to “study” the […]

Normal issues a GAG order

By:  Diane Benjamin Last December I wrote about Normal”s Public Comment policy:  https://blnnews.com/2016/12/06/normals-illegal-public-comment-policy/ At least two citizens of Normal filed Requests for Review with Lisa Madigan’s Public Access office asking her to rule on their policy.  I asked one of them if I could print both what the Town of Normal claimed and his response.  […]

What Normal is paying tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills for approval tonight:  http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2509 This is for the Big Group going to DC to beg for money: The media gets paid: Bikes: Normal paid Connect $32 for their employee’s rides + this subsidy: Video for Uptown, events?  I have no idea, but it’s a frequent expense. Elections matter – this expense […]

Normal’s spending tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin Why is your money going to the Chamber of Commerce?  So they can buy an election when the Chamber endorses candidates? MCLEAN CO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE     ANNUAL DUES   $2,172.00 MCLEAN CO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE    ANNUAL GALA    $1,000.00  . Koos took a trip to Pittsburgh for the National League of Cities conference + […]

Normal’s assault on the private sector continues

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal’s assault on the private sector continued last night.  Last week they attacked the profits of local restaurants by subsidizing a competitor.  Keep in mind Portillos isn’t locally owned so the profits won’t stay local.  Many other restaurants will be hurt, their owners live and pay taxes here.   The local government they […]

How Normal can get their money back

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal threw away up to $2.5 million last week to get Portillos to locate in Normal.  The Normal Town Council was told Portillos would be a destination – people would drive from 100’s of miles away. Meanwhile, Champaign got one for free. Who is at fault? Listen to Kyle Ham, CEO of […]

2.5 million reasons

By:  Diane Benjamin The Normal Town Council provided 2.5 million reasons to replace whoever is up for election in April.  Start with Chris Koos. Portillos won’t be a destination for long.  Champaign is getting one of their own.  http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2016-08-18/portillos-inches-closer-champaign-announcement.html The story is from AUGUST and clearly states they are looking at locations all over Central […]

Normal’s illegal public comment policy

By:  Diane Benjamin This is a link to Town of Normal policy:  http://il-normal.civicplus.com/854/Addressing-the-Council The Attorney General’s office needs to hear from a lot of you today.  The policy is illegal and violates the Open Meetings Act.  The AG is required by law to resolve all Requests of Review within 60 days.  The ONLY way to […]

Watch the Normal Council raise your taxes

By:  Diane Benjamin At the last Normal Town Council meeting property taxes were raised.  There was the obligatory gnashing of teeth before the ENTIRE Council voted yes, they are all wonderful actors pretending pensions funding isn’t their fault.  Blame the State, blame under performing markets,  never Uptown! The video is available here:  http://normal.org/779/Council-Videos The entire […]

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