More from the Normal FOIA: Dead Trees

By:  Diane Benjamin

Below is another issue I learned about only because of emails I received by FOIA from the Town of Normal.  Original story:

Frequently it feels like government doesn’t care about money until they need more of it.  Of course, they know where to get it.  In Normal we frequently hear about their “professional staff” who are supposedly above reproach.

A citizen began questioning Town procedures last year for planting new trees.  I didn’t include his name on purpose.

The below is an email to Kathleen Lorenz, the trees were a multi-year problem.  Stan Nord and Karyn Smith were copied.  (June 14, 2019)


This pic was included with this email:

trees pics


The Parks Department provided this explanation last year:  Parks explanation

This issue goes back to October/November 2018.  I didn’t FOIA those, but somehow they were included.  Below is one of the emails from the citizen in November:


Tyler Bain, Normal Parks Supervisor, outlined the procedure for planting new trees:  (part of his email – June 17, 2019)


Refer back to the pic above.  Was the procedure highlighted followed?

It doesn’t appear to be the case.

One more note from the June 3, 2019 meeting:

trees cost

Trees aren’t cheap!

A 70% failure rate should be unacceptable.  Note, without my FOIA the taxpayers of Normal would never know any of this.

The email below from Stan Nord was included in the FOIA.  I didn’t see a response from Pam.  I received over 2000 pages, if I find a response I will add it.

stan trees


9 thoughts on “More from the Normal FOIA: Dead Trees

  1. Pretty sloppy work. I don’t know of any local tree provider by the name of Kankakee Nursery. Why wouldn’t these trees be purchased locally to benefit the local economy?

    1. I would not be surprised to learn that there is someone powerful in the city who is connected in some way to the owner of the Kankakee Nursery. This leftist Normal government is REALLY good at taking care of their supporters and friends.

      Perhaps this explains why the rate of dying trees is so high? Maybe buying trees from the Kankakee Nursery is the objective?

  2. Did you notice how Kathleen Lorenz was satisfied with the staff assessment of the problem back in November? She just took the word of city staff who reported back to her that the trees would be replaced. She was more concerned about the dead trees being replaced than she was with why they died in the first place and how much money was wasted replacing them. Great approach for the handling of public money. Kind of reminds me of her telling Stan Nord to stop asking so many questions and just trust the city staff to do their jobs.

  3. Trees ARE tricky! ANd unfortunately , in MOST of the sub divisions in town, the DEVELOPERS have taken ALL the topsoil, and “good ground” so all that is left is CLAY! So TREES are NOT a priority! Even though this has been a DRY summer, trees should STILL be doing OK, IF properly PLANTED! BUT Having seen BOTH cities TRYING to plant trees on ANY given day, that’s a HARD CALL! Bottom line. They spend $800 on MAYORS invitations, so WHY not spend that much on LIVING things, unless they like DEAD things like other Democrats.. Seems they LOVE to bitch about things DYING, but YET\ THEY seem to be the MAJOR cause of such ISSUES!
    JUST another reason that KOOS is NOT fit to be mayor or even ANY sort of municipal leader… TAKE CHARGE or go! 11 lousy votes! This “person” like his brother is TOTALLY incompetent! PERIOD!
    And DO NOT get me going on THIS subject!

  4. When newly planted, trees need to be watered regularly and cared for. Looks like that didn’t happen. A forester or 2 should be directing this.

  5. The best horticultural tree provider in the twin cities is Dale Naftzinger why was he not consulted!

  6. Just ANOTHER case of mr koos “people” being substandard and NOT fulfilling THEIR obligations. It’s NOT that hard to raise a grown tree, as I’ve done MANY myself. It’s just PURE and SIMPLE neglect!
    Let me ask ANYONE this, WHY have plants of ANY kind survived on this planet for MILLIONS of years WITHOUT human engagement, so WHY is it that UPTOWN and their “specialists” cannot get it right??

    This is ALL just plain and SIMPLE BS, GOOD CARE MIGHT have helped the trees!
    Dale Nafzinzer,
    Trowbridge-4 seasons
    Etc– There are MANY good arborists in this town, but it seems there are even MORE “politicos” with a “feel good” answer.. Just like koos and his EVERYTHING’S COOL attitude!
    I have a REAL PROBLEM with letting LIVING things die, and these folks are worried about illegals! Priorities??

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