Last week the Connect Transit Board of Trustees voted 5-1 to increase bus fares and 5-1 to eliminate their Olive Route, a decision many residents opposed, but now Normal Township Supervisor Sarah Grammer is calling for the board members removal.
After reaching out to John Bowman, the sole board trustee to vote against the transit changes, Grammer said she found out some emails residents sent about the changes did not reach the board until after they voted.
“[Bowman] said ‘I’m surprised that the rest of the board members were not swayed by the 26 megabytes of feedback we received with our board packet on Friday. I said ‘wait a minute you did hear the feedback after Friday right?’ Because I didn’t E-mail until Monday and he said no,” according to Grammer.
Bowman, Grammer said, uncovered 40 emails that were not forwarded to the trustees. Grammer reached out to the board to figure out how this happened.
“I sent an E-mail to Board Chair Mike McCurdy and I asked him in light of what had happened to call a new hearing, call a new vote, with that feedback mind. He believed that it would not change the votes of his fellow board members,” Grammer said.
In an email to Grammer, Mike McCurdy said: “I would never choose words such as “suppression” or “withheld” to describe such an oversight. Words such as those imply intent. I also did not know prior to the vote the emails had not been forwarded to trustees, as you state in your email,” he wrote.
“Upon discovering the emails yesterday, General Manager Isaac Thorne promptly forwarded them to trustees and called me. Isaac assures me it was an oversight. And I believe him. He thinks, and I agree, that the vote would have been the same.”
Connect Transit trustees are appointed by the Twin-City mayors and Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner said he has confidence in the board and does not plan on removing any members.
“Sometimes public policy decisions turn out in ways that we like, sometimes they turn out in ways that we don’t and that doesn’t mean you have to create a media circus in order to get your way,” Renner said.
25 News reached out to Mike McCurdy for comment and he did not get back to us. Normal Mayor Chris Koos’ office said he will not comment on the matter until after the election.