Running for Mayor of Normal, IL, in 2021 to promote smarter growth, lower taxes, and improved roads.
Normal needs better priorities.
NewsFriday, March 20, 2020 7:48 PM
Link to Information on the Town's Emergency Ordinance
The Town has now updated their emergency meeting post at a different link. The change: public comment will be by email only.
This is wrong.
The problem is that the provisions of the Open Meetings Act allowing direct public comment are still in effect. In light of COVID-19, Illinois’ Public Access Office recommends email comments as a way to reduce the size of the public presence, but email alone does not satisfy the law’s requirement that the public be allowed to speak at a meeting. The Town could easily comply by following the office’s other recommendations such as a public conference call or by holding the meeting in a large venue to allow distancing, but they have chosen not to. As such, the Town is violating our rights while at the same time asking us to trust them. I have a hard time doing so when they were found in willful violation of the Open Meetings Act in the past, and have two other reviews pending now. This is the authority that is asking everyone to give up fundamental rights and freedoms, and confer all power into the hands of one man. Let’s start by properly following the law so that we can get to the business at hand in a more trustworthy manner.
Thursday, August 15, 2019 1:18 AM
Sports complex will Significantly Raise Prices
Last year, the $43 million sports complex idea was dead on arrival, yet some in the Town of Normal keep trying to resuscitate it. There are many reasons why this project should not be pursued, but for now, I will focus on just the price of access.
Right now, municipal fields are free and program access costs are reasonable. These prices will have to increase significantly if a sports complex is built. Here’s how it works:
In the article, Normal Parks and Recreation director Doug Damery states that the proposed project “would likely force some sports programs to raise their own participation fees.” In the consultant’s report last year, an admonition was given that free access and below market-rate pricing would have to be eliminated in order to drive business to the new facility. Team memberships would rise significantly in price. Fields that are currently free would jump to $40 or $50 per hour. This is ironic since the consultants began their presentation by explaining how low-income youth are already at a disproportionate disadvantage in accessing recreational sports. They highlighted how lack of access to organized play is a significant factor for childhood obesity and disparities in achievement. This proposal would widen that gap and exacerbate the very problems the study decries. It makes no sense. Much more manageable and less risky opportunities already exist and are being pursued to serve the needs of our youth. A large, tourism-driven venue is not needed.
In short, our community is currently well served with what we have. Where aspirations are higher, progress is being made towards private ventures to meet those needs. By trying to reach outside for tourism, a sports complex would put an end to informal recreational facilities within our community. People at all levels would be forced to pay much more for the activities they are already pursuing and further stratification based on household income would be the result.
All this from their own data, yet somehow, they do not see it. This is why Normal needs better priorities. This is why I will be running again in 2021.
Saturday, May 18, 2019 3:19 PM
Connect Transit Vacancy to Remain Empty
"Normal Mayor Chris Koos said he's holding off on filling a vacant Normal appointment to Connect Transit's board until the air has cleared."
In other words, there are a lot of concerns over Connect Transit, but he sees no need for a change in direction. This is poor and unresponsive governance. To underscore the point, Mr. Koos refers to the standing vacancy on the board by saying, "There are a lot of agendas out there making my job difficult right now" How does public controversy prevent him from appointing a person he feels is up to the task of managing Connect Transit? Instead of delaying action, he should be even more motivated to fill the position. There are many qualified people who have stepped up to say they are willing to serve. He has rejected them all. The mayor's statement that he is looking for people who "are not coming in with an agenda," points to his satisfaction with the status quo. This is a brutal rejection of residents' concerns. Normal needs better priorities. Normal and Connect Transit need new leadership.
Saturday, March 30, 2019 9:24 AM
Please vote by April 2nd
Lots of recent developments in the local campaigns for Town Council. I have some of the information on my facebook page at facebook.com/MarcTforMayor/
Please participate. The last election was decided by only twelve votes. Your contribution is important and does make a difference.
To find your polling place, go to Vote411.org
Polls will be open on Tuesday from 6am to 7pm.
There are also two locations where you can vote regardless of your precinct. They are the Bone Student center and the County Clerk's office. The addresses are:
Bone Student Center, Founders Suite, 100 N. University, Normal
McClean County Clerk 115 E. Washington Street, Room 102, Bloomington
You may register to vote at the same time. Simply bring two forms of identification. Those can include utility bills, library or insurance cards, and school IDs.
If you'd like to vote early, you may do so at the County Clerk's office on Monday from 8:30am to 4:30pm.
If you have any questions or need help getting out to vote, please contact me here or on facebook.
See you at the polls!
Saturday, January 5, 2019 8:20 AM
Some thoughts on the WJBC article regarding the mural in Uptown and what it indicates about the Town's leadership.