Pam Reece drops the hammer on employees

By: Diane Benjamin Since Chris Koos has been dictating to citizens without any input from your elected officials, didn’t you already think the Town of Normal employees were required to wear masks at work? Evidently not. Remember why the shutdown happened? It was to keep the hospitals from being overwhelmed. It was never to keep […]

UPDATE:  Normal’s illegal code

The Open Meetings Act applicable section was amended effective 1/1/2013.  That’s more than 7 years ago! _____________________ By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal under the current leadership prefers to make up their own laws.  The most obvious example is their illegal public comment policy. Here’s another one: http://normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/7697/Chapter-03—Council-Meetings-and-Ordinances?bidId= What does the Open Meetings Act […]

Raab road is a death waiting to happen

By:  Diane Benjamin Watch this video, you don’t need the sound to realize what is going on: The video was filmed by Normal resident Doug Fansler.  The Town of Normal must think bikers and pedestrians have no responsibility to “cross when clear”.  Normal expects vehicles where the speed limit is 30 MPH to notice somebody […]

Normal on fixing West College

By:  Diane Benjamin The purpose of the meeting last night was only to approve the Town’s share of funding so a grant could be obtained to fix West College. The construction includes extending the trail.  No details were allowed to be discussed like how a railroad track would be crossed and still be ADA compliant.  […]

Is Normal picking winners and losers AGAIN?

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal has a long history of doing things for friends that us common folk would never get.  Think of all the below market leases and cheap rent. One of their friends, Destihl, wanted to sell packaged liquor.  They are mentioned by name in an email from Pam Reece: It gets worse – […]

Normal: It just gets worse

By:  Diane Benjamin See the budget session documentation in this story:  https://blnnews.com/2020/01/28/normal-expect-property-tax-increases-to-continue/ PDF page 100 – Administration Accomplishments: (Is the new Director of Innovation and Technology the reason video of meetings has failed THREE times.  The video of this budget session still has no sound for half of it.  What are they hiding?) Here’s why […]

More on Christmas Presents with Public Funds

By:  Diane Benjamin Just because MANY units of government think they have to right to fork over your money to employees for Christmas that doesn’t mean it’s legal. This time I will steal some quotes from a story the Edgar County Watchdogs just posted: https://edgarcountywatchdogs.com-10000-Christmas-Bonus-Lists-Paid-With-Public-Funds Excerpt: As we have previously noted, Christmas Bonuses for public […]

Picture: Stan’s property

By:  Diane Benjamin Pam Reece claims Stan Nord’s W. College property is near housing, therefore the Town has a right to tell him what he can do with it. Actually Pam, it’s across a FOUR lane interstate: The property around it isn’t developed. Does the Town want at $1.75 billion corporation coming to town or […]

Normal and WGLT

By:  Diane Benjamin What relationship should exist between government and media? We know WGLT employee RC McBride was on the Normal Town Council until he was defeated last April. We know WGLT employee Mike McCurdy is the chair of the Connect Transit Board and appointed by the Town of Normal. Does WGLT ever do any […]

Normal: Only “Right Fit” allowed

By:  Diane Benjamin More from the Workbook the Council used for their 2-day meeting.  This meeting is posted on the website every year as required by the Open Meetings Act, but if citizens didn’t look for it they would never know it was open to the public.  It is also always held during the week […]

See the Pension Problem Here:

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal has 136 retired employees collecting a pension.  The information below is from OpenTheBooks.com    https://www.openthebooks.com/Pension/TownNormal At Monday’s Council meeting Karyn Smith asked the Finance Director how much employees contribute.  Police and Fire contribute between 9.8 and 9.9%.  Other employees contribute 4.5%.  All will also receive Social Security.  See the video at […]

Update: Stan Nord makes a GREAT point

A little of what Craig Stimpert and Ron Ulmer said at public comment is on this WHOI news report:  https://hoiabc.com/news/town-of-normal-opts-to-keep-property-taxes-about-the-same-cutting-budget-instead By:  Diane Benjamin Since there is no video of Public Comment from Monday’s Council meeting, there is no permanent record of what was said. Stan Nord left this comment this morning: In case the above […]

Normal’s Property Tax History

By:  Diane Benjamin This WGLT article is pretty accurate in describing the contentious all day Council meeting Friday. https://www.wglt.org/Normal-Town-Council-Works-Through-Trust-Issues-Contentious-Retreat The bottom line is the elites on the Council don’t appreciate Stan Nord and Karyn Smith actually doing what they campaigned to do! (sound familiar?) Isn’t that what voters expect politicians to do? (How many actually […]

Did Normal decrease employees?

By:  Diane Benjamin One way Normal has tried to justify problems is to state they had to decrease staff a few years ago. Is that true? Not according to what the Town sent to the Illinois Comptroller’s office:  The warehouse This site was created years ago for citizens.  The format is easier to understand than […]

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 […]

ISU/Normal: What you are paying for

By:  Diane Benjamin On September 12, 2001 we were all Americans.  American flags lined neighborhoods.  For one day we were a united country.  It didn’t last. The citizens of Normal sponsored the Racial Equity Summit held yesterday and today: Why are some minorities wildly successful and some aren’t?  Maybe they didn’t “stand idly” waiting for […]

This explains the Divide in America

By:  Diane Benjamin This story should explain why Tari Renner despises Clarence Thomas.  https://blnnews.com/2019/05/25/tari-renner-clarence-thomas-doesnt-act-afro-american/ Thomas is black and successful.  Clarence proves being born poor and black in America does not mean you are doomed for life.  The same applies to Ben Carson and many other minorities who are living the American Dream because they worked […]

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 […]

Normal: Financial Trends

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve heard from numerous sources State Farm is not done downsizing their workforce.  If local governments don’t tighten their belts, the flight of residents will do it for them. These numbers were complied from what Normal reported to the Comptroller’s office:  Source: Normal – Warehouse   Note the number of employees.  Remember […]

Part 2: Why Chemberly isn’t fit to serve

By:  Diane Benjamin See Part 1 here:  https://blnnews.com/2019/09/15/part-1-why-chemberly-isnt-fit-to-serve/ This article will explain why Chemberly should not be in any elected office deciding how to spend taxpayer money.  Lots of people find themselves in difficult spots, what matters is digging yourself out.  The only way to do that is cut-cut-cut expenses and/or increase income.  Cummings chose […]

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 […]

Correction: Normal Water Fee Increases

By:  Diane Benjamin (I’m not having a good day and tomorrow won’t be any better!) Water Rate documentation for tonight:  PDF page 72:  http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3230 Back when Normal wasn’t afraid of transparency, they posted the history of rates citizens pay for essential services.  Luckily, I copied them:  https://blnnews.com/2012/05/30/normal-il-what-is-up-with-the-debt/ Water rates in 2009 were:   $4.95 per 1000 […]

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, […]

County + Town of Normal Elections

By: Diane Benjamin What would happen to freedom if an election was held and nobody showed up to vote? I predict VERY low turnout on April 2nd.  Except for the Town of Normal, few other races are even contested.  Unit 5 residents will have much higher property tax bills this year.  When fiscally responsible candidates […]

Normal tonight + History

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight the Normal Council will be meeting for just a few minutes.  The only highlight is selling 2 garbage trucks to the City of Kewanee for $260,000.  Normal already bought replacements. It is really tough to keep track of all the Uptown History and how much taxpayers money has been invested, so […]

Re-elect McBride and Lorenz?

By:  Diane Benjamin I might have to say this once a week until the election:  Do Not Vote for 3 people even though the ballot says 3.  You are handing people votes who you really don’t want on the Council.  Voting for 1, maybe two, gives them a much better chance of winning since Normal […]