Failed communication in Normal

By: Diane Benjamin Remember when Kathleen Lorenz made an impassioned plea for the Council to communicate better? https://blnnews.com/2022/05/03/kathleen-now-hears-what-we-hear-when-watching-meetings/ That happened on May 3, 2022. (Two weeks ago!) Evidently she didn’t mean it. When I posted the story about Normal requesting another $6 million for the underpass, Stan Nord emailed the Council asking what they knew. […]

Monday: American Rescue Plan Bucks

By: Diane Benjamin If you don’t know inflation is caused by the printing of money the Feds handed out across the country, see if Heartland offers a basic economics course. (Too much money chasing too few goods) Both Bloomington and Normal are meeting on Monday. Bloomington is holding a Committee of the Whole Meeting to […]

Normal tonight

By: Diane Benjamin Community Meeting on the Future Uptown Connector / Underpass Project PLEASE TAKE NOTICE a public meeting on the future Uptown Connector/Underpass Project will be held at Normal City Hall, Room 409, 11 Uptown Circle, Normal, McLean County, Illinois at 5 p.m., prevailing time, on the 16th day of February, 2022. The meeting […]

Normal – your Republicans aren’t

By: Diane Benjamin Your property taxes were raised last night with the consent of the two Republicans on the Normal Town Council. The rate was kept the same (for now) but with rising property values the Town will collect over $300,000 more than last year. The vote last night was sold as “statutory”, another vote […]

Normal: Bait and Switch

By: Diane Benjamin While Bloomington is trying to pay cash for purchases instead of borrowing for capital expenses, Normal is running in the opposite direction. The Town of Normal stockpiles money in reserves, the applicable fund for this discussion is Vehicle and Equipment reserves. Obviously citizens in Normal are paying higher taxes so the Town […]

Normal: Underpass over Sewers

By: Diane Benjamin Last weekend’s flooding proved local governments care more about building new than maintaining the infrastructure they already have. Anybody think the underpass Normal is desperate to build won’t flood? Think it won’t get icy in the winter? How will Amtrak passengers get to the other side if either happens? Probably the same […]

Update:  Six Things To Know

East Washington is getting water, sewer, and road.  $4.3 million, its going to be closed for quite awhile. By: Diane Benjamin 1) A citizens of Normal wants to know how many hours of staff time has been invested in the Underpass project. The Town of Normal claims they don’t keep track. At the last council […]

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 […]

Riveting assemblage tonight in Normal?

By: Diane Benjamin Keep in mind many of Normal’s professional staff don’t live in Normal: https://blnnews.com/2020/12/14/guess-where-town-of-normal-employees-dont-live/ They have no reason to keep taxes low, make the roads drivable, or the water drinkable. The Council will be meeting at 5:15 to hear the status of the underpass project. Public opinion is immaterial. The fanciest properties will […]

Town of Normal: Your water is fine

By: Diane Benjamin Bloomington’s meeting last night will have to wait until tomorrow! Would you drink this? This is water from S. Coolidge in Normal, if the homeowner didn’t have a filter system this is what it would look like. The owner claims his neighbors are too afraid to complain. I hear that frequently from […]

Why Koos needs GONE

By: Diane Benjamin The Normal Town Council meeting was thankfully much shorter than usual, but the attacks on Stan Nord continued unabated. Start with Koos’ secret appointments to Boards and Commission. He has stated in the past appointments can’t be discussed because they are “personnel”. They are volunteers that don’t get paid, they work for […]

Uptown Derailment

The best pictured I’ve seen on line was posted by Belle Pierpont. The caption says it was taken from her window. All of the crossings from Ft. Jesse to University were closed according to the Normal Police Department at 8:30 this morning. This underpass is also closed. Several cars parked at student housing were damaged […]

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 […]

Why is Mike Matejka involved?

By:  Diane Benjamin Need proof Normal’s spending is to provide union jobs?   Keep reading.  When the private sector isn’t providing jobs, government is the only alternative. Mike Matejka is the Governmental Affairs Director, Great Plains Laborers District Council representing LiUNA locals in central Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. Why is Mike Matejka arranging official […]

Lorenz and the Underpass

By:  Diane Benjamin Sometimes I can put puzzle pieces together on my own, sometimes I can’t.  It takes you readers filling in the missing pieces!  Many have, it is much appreciated. The underpass has MANY puzzle pieces!  Frequently I forget what I have written and what has happened at Council meetings – I am a […]

Normal Taxpayers fleeced again

By:  Diane Benjamin Surprise surprise! Normal had an agreement with IDOT to build an overhead passenger walkway at their expense: The source for the above is the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by former City Manager Mark Peterson and officials from the State of Illinois and Union Pacific Railroad:  12.6.16_MOU Your elected officials decided a […]

Glen Ellyn vrs Normal

By:  Diane Benjamin Glen Ellyn also got a federal grant.  While Normal received $13 million, they got $14.4 million. The grant is for reconstructing their Metra station and a pedestrian tunnel: What’s the price tag? $20,000,000 Source:  http://www.dailyherald.com/glen-ellyn-to-celebrate-144m-grant-for-metra-station-project What is the price tag for Normal’s underpass (only)? $22,000,000 Glenn Ellyn’s tunnel will have ramps to […]

Normal: Outrageous Price!

By:  Diane Benjamin At Monday’s Council meeting at was announced they think the formerly $24,000,000 underpass can be built for $22,000,000.  This Uptown vanity won’t allow a single car to avoid sitting at a crossing waiting for a train to pass.  It won’t stop people from crossing the tracks on foot at other crossings. Compare […]

Another Lesson in Limited Government

By:  Diane Benjamin There are two types of people in government:   Those who think their position demands they “make progress”   Those who think their job is to create an environment so people can create their own “progress”. One uses your money for their vision, the other allows you to create your own vision.  […]

Normal recap 11/18/2019 Part 1

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal held two meetings last night.  The first one was a Work Session pertaining to the underpass. Public Comment was first: 7:30  Sonja Reece explained why the underpass is essential.  One item she noted was buses from Chicago bringing field trip kids from Chicago need a way to get the kids across […]

Mike Matejka leaves out some FACTS

By: Diane Benjamin You will probably remember Matejka as a former Bloomington Alderman. During his tenure he voted FOR the Coliseum and FOR the never used fire station. If he could get your money to fork over to union members with a government project he was all in. Now he is at it again. It […]

Failure to serve

By:  Diane Benjamin The local politicians have forgotten: Likely most didn’t run to serve, they ran to rule.   The people are sick of: excessive taxation handouts to government “friends” rotten roads sole focus on downtowns interference in free markets government pensions and lavish benefits laws being ignored citizens being ignored redistribution of the people’s wealth […]

Lorenz, Koos, and Nord – PART 1

See Part 2:  https://blnnews.com/2019/08/27/lorenz-koos-and-nord-part-2/ By:  Diane Benjamin https://www.wglt.org/post/koos-says-nord-went-lone-wolf-fire-department-merger-uptown-recruitment#stream/0 In the above article Chris Koos said this to WGLT when he tried to denigrate Stan Nord: Has WGLT or the Pantagraph reported Stan Nord has proof Koos lied to them?    https://blnnews.com/2019/08/23/the-normal-council-knew-the-truth/ Nope! According to Koos, Trustees aren’t allowed to gather information – the staff does […]

How bad are Normal’s finances?

By: Diane Benjamin What we do know: The freshman class this year at ISU was down 9.3%     https://blnnews.com/2017/09/07/numbers-lie/ State Farm has cut employees and is cutting more Normal has a budget deficit (local media reports) The Normal Library has decided not to build new – the library WAS the centerpiece of Uptown 2.0  (local […]

ISU: You taught this?

Note:  A reader commented on the ISU student – Wes Ward (not Wood) By:  Diane Benjamin I tried to watch the video of Monday’s Normal Town Council, but never made it past Public Comment. Marc Tiritilli is still the voice of reason and fiscal responsibility.  I dare you to watch his comments without standing and […]

Normal’s Fleecing continues

By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal spend $1.4 million to STUDY the proposed Uptown Crossing: Source What did they get for $1.4 million?  Evident what they want to pass Monday night: The plan doesn’t know if ADA compliance can be achieved?  Bike Blono has to dismount?  The at-grade crossing is adjacent?  Why is the underpass […]