Normal: Response to citizens is appalling

By: Diane Benjamin

Below is an email I received from a taxpayer in Normal. The name is redacted but this person is pretty sure Normal will know who sent it. This confirms what Stan Nord has said over and over, Normal doesn’t care what citizens think.

Add this to the list of homes with dirty water and bills that have doubled for the privilege of turning on faucets and getting brown water. Next flooding destroyed their newly remodeled basement. One would think 2 sump pumps in the basement would prevent 6 inches of water, it didn’t. This person did everything Normal told citizens to do and then ignored the paperwork.

Bloomington is speeding up fixing sewer and storm water infrastructure, Normal isn’t. Maybe that is because citizens aren’t allowed to talk at public comment unless they sit for hours waiting until the end of a meeting. People need to break Koos’ stupid rules and be on video getting shut down by the tyrant who doesn’t care what they think.

I added emphasis to some parts of the email. Remember when Koos claimed dirty water doesn’t exist?

Instead of providing quality essential services to the residents paying the bills, Normal ignores old infrastructure until forced to fix it. Flushing hydrants once a week doesn’t work.

Normal will however give taxpayers an underpass they can’t use unless they walk or bike. Congrats on electing progressives instead of public servants Normal. This won’t be the only story.

If you have the same problem, email me. Strength is in numbers. [email protected]

Hello there,

I wanted to share my story on the Normal Flooding Crap.

On June 25, and then again on June 26, 2021 (my son’s birthday), we had over 6 inches of water in our basement from the abundant rain.   I continue to see how Bloomington is trying to work with their residents, and I am appalled by the lack of commitment from Normal.

On my son’s birthday, 3 months after we had renovated our basement to have our master bedroom, full bath, and both of our girls rooms as well as our laundry/heater/storage area, a play room, and my husband’s office completed. This was after the flood in April of 2020 – the day after my respective birthday, where we received 4 inches of rain in a short time.  We have had work done through our area, we have called the city because we are cooking, bathing, and swimming in dirty brown water, and even during the time of the year where we are completely without rain, there is a constant stream of water running down the street Searle to Hovey.   Mind you, I have questioned my water bill a lot due to the fact it is higher now monthly that it has ever been when it was every 2 months, and we have shit water.

We have replaced the entire sewer line from our basement to our sump pumps because of the cast iron pipes being corroded.  We have seen plenty of people come by and open the fire hydrants almost weekly as well as the pretty blue and red lines stating they seemed to be thinking about doing something with our sewer issues however, those colors have long faded and nothing happened.

Fast forward to June 25 and June 26.  We have 2 working sump pumps in our home.  I was in one egress window with a shop vac dumping the water building up in my window well and my husband in the other of our newly renovated beautiful basement.  In comes the water, over 6 inches, coming through our basement floor, shattering the only other neighbor’s house who has a basement on our street, and seeing cars with water up to their hoods.  This was a disaster, and there is no question about that.

I went and attended the event they held at Bloomington Junior High, filled out all the forms, talked with someone from the town of Normal who stated they would reach out and request photos of the damage, and trying to sleep with all of us on the first floor of our home until we could get the disaster of the carpet, padding, dry wall, mold, all of our furniture that we were not able to get off the floor in time, and countless hours of trying to dry things out ourselves.  I talked to many helpful people who really cared, gave us a fan, gave us support from spaces such as the Salvation Army, Ameren, Nicor, and others.  However, I did not hear a word from the town of Normal until I called and said, I believe I was supposed to submit some photos, and someone was supposed to be in touch with me in a couple of days and it has been weeks.  I did not receive a call from the town of Normal, I received a call…finally from San Antonio Texas (210) 202-7571 on 8/11/2021.  Why did I have to call and complain to the town of Normal until I get a weird call from San Antonio?  I talked to very nice human who told me she needed to take my statement about the flooding that happened in Normal. Does Normal ignore everyone until you actually call and make a complaint before they take you serious?  Mind you, this is after insurance told us specifically this was an issue with your city not being able to upkeep the systems because we had just had tried to place a claim a little over a year ago with only 3-4 inches of rain.

Fast forward to this week, I had been wondering what the heck may have happened to this claim I put in as never did I get a request to submit my photos, have another interview or asked any questions about the damage.  I get a call from another unknown number (847)605-5517.  This happens to be someone who is finally calling to give me information about my claim with the town of Normal.  I immediately returned that call, left a message and waited. Their call came in just after 2 pm on Monday afternoon, I called them back at least 12 times and have left them at least 5 messages.  I wanted to hear some good news!!  Today, I call again three times within the hours of 9-11 and left a couple of more messages….nothing.  So now, I am pretty upset. It has taken you this long to reach out, give me the good news.  Finally, I am over it, I called the Town of Normal to make a complaint that I cannot get a hold of the one person who may be able to help rebuild our lives, and I am frustrated I have called with no response.  My call to the Town was placed at 3:09 p.m. today. 

Guess what!!  I received a call back from not the Town of Normal, but from their representative of an adjuster, who proceeds to tell me that they have determined the city has ZERO liability due to unprecedented rains which fell ONLY on June 26!!!!  I said, how did you determine that?  You never requested my photos, you never reached out for my evidence, you have not contacted me at all.  How did you make this determination??? She proceeds to tell me based on their sources…(yes I requested to know their sources)…it was determined it was NOT the cities fault and within 1-2 hours, all of the flooding had subsided.  I said, can you tell me how you determined that without asking me for any evidence, any photos, videos, all of my documentation.  She once again stated based on their assessment, this was certainly not the city at fault but an unprecedented rain event.   I asked did she tell everyone in Normal that?  She said, I cannot disclose, but so you know, there are still a couple of claims open.  I asked if I could appeal their decision?  She continues to say, you have the right to appeal, however, we have already determined there is no liability on the cities side.  I once again asked her, based on what??  We are one of 2 people on our entire street who have basements?  Once again, you never reached out for my videos and photos I have kept and been waiting to send.  You did not reach out and asked if this has happened before, which it has!!  You have not asked if this was a continuing problem or anything that has happened in the past years.  She says, when we determine there is no liability from the city, we do not proceed to review such items. Wait…What???

I did tell her my insurance company has stated in their assessment this is a city problem.  I did also ask her if there was a lawyer we needed to reach out since our insurance company responded this was an issue with the city.   Her response to me was, you are more than welcome to appeal.  I said to her there are 7 families who have already received the very same information determining the city is not at fault and who does our lawyer contact?  She gave me some bs about sending me a letter, and all her information is going to be on there.  I asked, what is my timeframe to appeal…simply because I do not want to get into the crap about statute of limitations and not making it in time.  She stated we have 1 year from the date of the issue (deemed June 26, 2021).  We are only now getting your response, and we have this long to try and do something about it.   I then said, just give it to me straight, are we going to be paying a lawyer for you to continue to drag this out until we are all out of money??? She said, well I assume your lawyer will only receive money if you win the case????  Wait…what?  You assume that?  I told her I have seven families, we have hired our own independent lawyer who has already been digging through all of our complaints to the city, our photos of the shitty storm drains, our water/sewage bills which have gone up astronomically, our outrageous bills which pay for brown dirty water, and the lack of compassion and communication from a town I pay way to much in taxes to and who continue to build pet projects instead of protect their own citizens.  She seemed stunned we had gone and sought our own council.  She said I was not aware you were seeking outside council and I understand your pain. Please send us your documentation of the past issues so we may look into those.  

This people, is what we pay for.  We pay the town of Normal to hire people from Texas and Chicago to give us their own assessment of what “really happened” only on June 26.  

Side note, all of that lawyer shit was total BS!  I wish I had the money to hire a lawyer who would tell the city they are liable, they have made mistakes in their spending, they are screwing over their citizens with not so much as a personal discussion from someone in this town, and the only way I was able to talk to anyone was after I had to consistently be a pain in the ass and make complaints.  F you Normal.  You are LIABLE!!!  If anyone else would like to ban together and get a class action lawsuit going, I know I have all the documentation from my little area.  I am sure there are plenty more who got screwed with the same phone call from someone not from our town telling us they have determined no liability on Normal’s part.   I am so sick of this.  I loved this town.  I raised my kids here, I pay taxes, I worked and my husband worked this pandemic, we put money back into this town.  Why would you want to screw us over???

Pissed in Normal

5 thoughts on “Normal: Response to citizens is appalling

  1. The sad thing…they’ll never win a lawsuit against them (or any municipality) for something like this. A lawyer will gladly take your money and represent them, but they won’t win. My parents tried multiple times in a situation like this that happened repeatedly and we consulted a lawyer, who is also in state government, and they verified that you won’t ever win. That’s one reason why Normal acts this way, they know they have nothing to worry about. The arrogance is amazing. Pretty sad.

  2. Sad but true Normal will do nothing, 35 years ago my parents lived on adelaide st the city decided to put in curbs of which my parents were assessed 5 thousand dollars. Well, as they are digging out front my mom noticed that red tile was being dug up, when that happens digging is supposed to stop and an inspection done which did not happen. As a result my parents basement which never got wet all of sudden took in water constantly after installing 3 sump pumps inside and outside the house the problem eased, but before my parents went to the city to complain but got no where the city said not their problem.. It is obvious that nothing has changed.

  3. This has literally made me feel sick to my stomach. Normal is disintegrating and failing its Citizens. They SUFFER while the Rulers Council (except 1) sits and smirks and DODGES and does only what suits and benefits them. Disgusting!

  4. The town manager and her staff will continue to ignore and belittle those who dare voice dissent until at least 4 of those elected as council and/or mayor demand the town staff respect all residents of Normal, not just those who are campaign supporters or friends of the mayor or town manager.

    I unfortunately have heard many stories of the town of Normal turning blind eye to complaints of residents, Diane has reported on some of them over the years. One being the Grove and Ruston neighborhood that had brown water coming out of their faucets for over a year until Marc Tiritilli made it a public embarrassment for the town.

    Remember only 37% of town staff live in Normal.* They are not subject to the same taxation, brown water, nor the impacts of their upside down priorities as are the residents of Normal.

    This poor customer service is another consequence of elections.

    Stan Nord – Normal Council Member

  5. Hi Diane If this lady wants to give me a call I will be glad to talk to her and/or go to her house to see if I can give her some advice on this problem. No cost to her and I have nothing to sell or give away. I’m just doing this as kind of a public service since I’m semiretired and quite familiar with basement water issues as well as sewer water. It’s no fun. She is welcome to ask friends about me. Jerry Gilbert Sunrise Shutters and Blinds 309-663-5226

    Sent from my iPhone


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