More proof Lorenz and Preston work for government – not you

By: Diane Benjamin Local property values are rising which means your property taxes will be going up based on the new value of your home. Units of government claiming they are keeping the rate the same as last year want you to believe they aren’t raising your taxes. When you bill comes in the mail […]

Ethics missing in Normal

By: Diane Benjamin From this story about Chemberly Cummings campaigning with tax dollars: One of the people getting paid with tax dollars is a former campaign intern for Chemberly. I wonder if that’s why Mallory’s $500 is called a “stipend” while the other person’s $500 is called “mentor”. Malloy didn’t get paid for being […]

The fake Republicans on the Normal Town Council

By: Diane Benjamin Kathleen Lorenz and Scott Preston claim to be Republicans. This story proves they are fakes. First a quick review of what Enterprise Funds are. Local government decided years ago people need to pay for what they use. Hence, Enterprise funds were created to specifically tax you based on usage. Water is one […]

Did the Realtors PAC get their money’s worth?

By: Diane Benjamin Realtors got heavily involved in last April’s Election. You probably noticed lots of campaign mail had their name on it – from Springfield. In addition they gave Koos: McCarthy: Cummings: Preston: Look up all contributions here: FYI: Bob Broad, Planning Commission head and Julie Hile partner plus advocate for zoning changes […]

Normal’s deception?

By: Diane Benjamin Think back to April when the Normal Town Council approved Horton Group for Insurance Broker Services. One thing stood out as suspicious. The Town issued an RFP and received 5 responses with detailed proposals. The meeting documentation was pages of glowing staff praise for Horton but the bids from the other four […]

Renner will be gone, Koos MUST follow

By: Diane Benjamin Anybody remember BN Advantage? It was a huge collaboration of the unelected who got your money to operate. This story explains who: It would take a lot of research to figure out how much of your money was thrown to this group. This story shows $423,867 just from Bloomington: Where […]

Add this reason to not vote for incumbents

By: Diane Benjamin Chris Koos and has band of merry fleecers will continue to increase funding to Connect Transit. They adore empty buses and the $1,000,000 a month the feds and state poor into McLean County to keep it running. They love electric buses and solar panels. They love transfer stations that give their union […]

The story that will defeat Koos and his bobbleheads on the Council

By: Diane Benjamin I’ve written almost 7600 stories since 2012. Most I can not remember, luckily readers do remember. The story below is one readers remembered that I didn’t. Chris Koos is infamous for his insider deals that benefit friends and a compliant Council that allow the fleecing of taxpayers. I can’t possibly remember all […]

Tired of being lied to in Normal?

By: Diane Benjamin Chris Koos knows he has nothing to run on. Instead of discussing issues he clipped and chopped comments made by Marc Tiritilli before Rivian incentives were approved by the Normal Town Council. Koos wants you to believe Tiritilli was against Rivian buying the plant when Marc was actually against taking money from […]

Strike 2 for Koos!

By: Diane Benjamin Chris Koos had rulings against him before for violating the Open Meetings Act, but never 2 very close together. This was the first violation: The Attorney General’s office finally found time to rule on a second (OBVIOUS) violation. This one was filed in 2019 by Karyn Smith. WEEK has the story: […]

Chemberly: Re-think your role

By: Diane Benjamin Chemberly Cummings is the perfect Trustee for the establishment in Normal. She believes her job is to rubberstamp staff recommendations. Listen to her Saturday interview – start at 38:30 – She, and all the other Trustees except Stan Nord, think they hire “professional staff” who are experts in their fields, so […]

Normal really has a AAA credit rating?

By: Diane Benjamin Fitch does have Normal at AAA, did Normal pay to get that rating? Moody’s doesn’t have Normal at AAA: This story is based on the $2 million debt Normal recently refinanced instead of paying it off. QUOTE: RATING OUTLOOK The stable outlook incorporates our expectation that the town’s financial position […]

Excessive rent discussed at Normal Budget meeting

By: Diane Benjamin Of course Stan Nord knows taxpayers got fleeced to rent the second floor of 1 Uptown Circle only to fill a hole in Uptown. The Council that approved paying $35000-$36000 a month simply did as they were told. Chris Koos wanted the hole gone and obviously the private sector wasn’t going to […]

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 […]

Can you tell elections are coming? CIRBN!

By: Diane Benjamin I’ve questioned for YEARS why CIRBN employees are considered Town of Normal employees entitled to all the benefits every other employee has. CIRBN is a direct competitor to other internet providers who don’t have that luxury. The Town of Normal has subsidized CIRBN by using their service and paying them to run […]

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 […]

I’m a proud Conspiracy Theorist, residents of Normal should be too

By: Diane Benjamin This meme popped up on Facebook about the same time The Normal Town Council proved it to be true: Start with the Work Session Normal had on December 7th to decide whether to create an ordinance to enforce Pritzker’s non-enforceable Restore Illinois waste of paper. See the video in this story: […]

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 […]

Why Normal needs Fundamental Transformation

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal has a LONG history of over-paying for properties and then selling them for much less.  (or just giving them away!)  I’ve done numerous stories since 2012 detailing some of them. Here are 3 blatant examples: In 2015 Normal bought 513 N School for $170,000.  509 N School […]

More proof laws in Normal are immaterial

By:  Diane Benjamin If Illinois had a competent Attorney General a ruling against Normal for their public comment policy would have been written many months ago.  (the law requires them to rule within 90 days)  We don’t, so Normal continues to stifle citizen speech only because they can.  A complaint was filed with the AG […]

Pam Reece is aggravated with Stan!

By:  Diane Benjamin Pam Reece can’t understand why Stan Nord is questioning the actions of past Councils.  If Pam can’t understand why Stan was elected, she had an opportunity handed to her: Stan has raised questions about a number of issues.  Some of them included Town owned properties being leased for much less than market […]

Fake Republicans on the Normal Town Council

By:  Diane Benjamin Kathleen Lorenz claims to be a Republican, so does Scott Preston.   It is Republicans like these that made me leave the Republican Party years ago.  The days of voting for party are long gone. Base your vote on the CHARACTER of the candidate, not the party. Both Lorenz and Preston know Normal’s […]

Stan Nord and Scott Preston

By:  Diane Benjamin Stan Nord has tried to reach out to fellow Trustees who claim to care about taxpayers.  Scott Preston was one of those. Think back to this story: Preston knew before the rest of the Council that Chris Koos wasn’t telling the truth about Nord going “lone wolf” because Preston was copied […]

The Normal Council knew the truth!

By:  Diane Benjamin Everything below was received by FOIA.  I received another treasure trove of emails – stay tuned. Remember this note Mayor Koos sent to Bloomington and leaked to the media? This note was in the Pantagraph on July 17th. On July 26th, Stan Nord sent proof to the Mayor and the entire […]

Every day accrues more taxes

By:  Diane Benjamin Update to the story on Normal paying property taxes they don’t owe: Every day that Normal fails to file the PTax 300 form to change the taxable status of properties that should be exempt means more taxes.  Normal will get billed next year for the number of days it was taxable […]

Did Chris Koos LIE?

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember when the media did a story Chris Koos evidently fed to them about Stan Nord going rogue?  Koos wrote a letter to Tari Renner and the media ended up with it. Let’s start with Koos’ first claim:  a Normal Council member went “lone wolf” to recruit across borders. I had […]

Normal citizens don’t fit the PLAN

By:  Diane Benjamin Some angry citizens of Normal appeared at Public Comment asking the Trustees to at least investigate moving the proposed fire station to a different corner.  Staff had spent too much time to backtrack, they voted to proceed with “the plan” as presented anyway.  Kathleen Lorenz and Scott Preston voted against it.  One […]

Normal: Making the RICH RICHER

By:  Diane Benjamin Years ago I heard the developer of the Marriott felt he pulled off a legal robbery of the Town of Normal taxpayers courtesy of the hayseed Council hell-bent on a downtown hotel. The rich continued to get richer last night courtesy of the Normal Town Council.  Two citizens spoke during public comment.  […]

Tari responds

By:  Diane Benjamin Evidently Tari is still reading this site contrary to his claims.  Or maybe one of his minions contacted him about last night’s story: He couldn’t stop himself from calling me a liar and threatening to sue: He fails to explain how the charge for Margot’s ticket got on the PCard statement […]

Fly on the Wall: Pantagraph

The Pantagraph attempted actual investigative journalism by FOIAing travel expenses from numerous area governments.  Their report was difficult to read since experience making numbers understandable was obviously lacking, but at least they tried. After all their hard work and hammering of Scott Preston, they failed to take him down – just as they failed to […]