LETTERS: Maywood’s Water Crisis Is What Insanity Looks Like

Tuesday, September  11, 2018 || LETTERS || @maywoodnews 

A story recently aired on WGN Channel 9 news about Maywood’s high water bills, which are happening because of many reasons.

An antiquated software billing system still prints out estimated, instead of actual water bills, even though the village has within the last three years installed new water meters.

The village residents have for many years been absorbing the costs of water that is wasted into the sewers on a regular basis due to broken water main pipes that have not been fixed.

Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr. identified 22 known leaks of water from old water pipes that have not been fixed. That water is going into the sewer and we are paying for it.

Public Works Director John West has been in charge of that department for years and has known about the leaks, but has not come up with solutions on how to fix them. He is paid a substantial salary from our tax dollars. From the looks of our town, he does not deserve that salary.

Finance Director Lanya Satchell was finance director when the first water billing scandal came to light in 2015. Former employees were taking payments from residents, including seniors, and paying other people’s water bills. Several people lost their jobs. Satchell didn’t.

Not only are the taxpayers giving her a nice salary each year, we are also paying another employee in the finance department a nice salary to do the work of the finance director, because the finance director, who makes more than $90,000, has an MBA in business — not a CPA in municipal government or in finance.

Just like last time, Maywood is on the TV news because of water billing problems. Those employees that stole are gone, but the finance director is still here.

Norfleet oversees all of the village department heads. All of these individuals are collecting more than $90,000 salaries and they are overseeing the same village services that residents have been complaining about for years and years.

If you have the same people doing the same jobs, you keep getting the same results. When will these department heads start being held accountable for the job that they are not doing — which is to provide quality village services paid for by our tax dollars?

Maywood, isn’t it time for credentialed, qualified people to not only be hired and work in the village’s various departments, but also to start overhauling software programs that have not been working and implementing new ones, and to start improving all of our village services for all of the residents to see?

 —  Dawn Rone, Maywood

Maywood Fest

12 thoughts on “LETTERS: Maywood’s Water Crisis Is What Insanity Looks Like”

  1. Its time to FIRE them all, every single employee and elected official. I say we the citizens of Maywood take over the village ourselves and run it ourselves. It wouldn’t be easy but I’m sure we could clean up this town and make it a desirable place to invest, plant and grow. These salaries are ridiculous and undeserved. The promises and progress are not happening fast enough. The cost of living here is beginning to not make sense and it’s time that we band together and force a change.

  2. Seriously, the elected position Mr. Norfleet currently holds should be his final elected position. The entire deceptive crew needs to be elected out of office. In my opinion, the only reason why they do what they do and not worry about any consequences is because we don’t do what we need to do, vote them and all their family members out of office.

  3. Reading this article and the comments that everyone is posting…I really believe that the residents of Maywood need to stand up and say “enough is enough!” The water bill scandal that made national news on WGN was the nail on the coffin. It is time for residents need to march at the village hall board meetings, and do a “citizens’ comment” and voice their concern to the trustees, Mayor Perkins, Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr. and everyone in power. There should be no excuses why you can’t be proactive in your community.

    You have the right to voice your opinion, and attend the board meetings. Maywood must move forward and stop accepting the “status quo.” You know better!

  4. Just as clarification, the Viilage Manager is not elected, but hired by the Village Board. If you want a new manager, vote in a new board.

    Since the citizens of our village insist on reelecting the same board members, don’t expect a new manager anytime soon. Let’s not miss the fact that most of our trustees have held their office a lot longer than the village manager (and some even longer than the public works chief has worked for Maywood.

    Bottom line: a new manager alone will not fix Maywood’s problems because Maywood is not willing to tell her elected officials to take a hike.

    So let’s just suck it up and pay more property taxes and water bills!

    Can I get a big “WOO-HOO?”

  5. Showing up once a month for the board meeting is great for those who want to yell and make idle threats (such as voting them out of office but ot ensuring the residents are registered s d then actually vote). To be a serious threat to the “business as usual ” culture youth presence need to be felt daily. Get informed and stay involved! Sitting back and waiting for your community to sink and then throw landmines at those who are deemed as inadequate to flop is just as ridiculous. Go around any nimrod to get what you can done for the community. Recruit business owners you know or respect to take a look at your village. You don’t have to be an elected official to be proactive. Everyone who lives in the village should consider themselves an ambassador for the village. Even if competent people were in place we should never assume that the best interest of the community is being considered at all times. That’s our job as lifelong Maywoodian lovers. I do agree that the mistakes and over sights are inexcusable now. There are more than just leaky pipes needing to be plugged. Maywood need a productive non-political think tank who have accessible resources.

  6. Thank you, Dawn, for an insightful and (at least to me) accurate description of what goes on in Maywood. There are a bunch of dinosaurs who sit on the Board as Trustees…people who keep re-electing them are off their rockers. I don’t think the Trustee new-comers are any better. Willie Norfleet just got another raise and bonus and a one-year contract. And it’s every resident’s tax dollars who pay for all of this, as you so correctly label it, as INSANITY. Oh, but wait! There are a lot of residents and businesses who DON’T PAY THEIR PROPERTY TAXES!! That means that the residents who do (like you and me) are paying for all this crazy BS. And every damned Trustee and the Mayor and Norfleet are crying about not getting taxes from residents or businesses, so they keep raising them for the group of people who actually PAY their taxes.

    The salaries for the Village employees you mention makes my blood boil because they don’t do shit. They never have done shit. You can’t get police to respond to a call, you have a water bill problem and you get shuffled around from this person to that person, none of whom say they can help you. This Village is filled with lazy, gold-bricking employees who should all be fired and replaced with people who a) know what they’re doing, and b) have a good work ethic.

    When Bill Barlow was here, and just after Ms Perkins got elected as Mayor, he and the Trustees essentially stripped the Mayor’s position of any ability to really govern the Village and gave the power to the Village Manager. And that was because the Trustees didn’t LIKE Ms Perkins! The more you think about it, the more this resembles how Donald Trump is behaving and ruining our country!

    These long-term Trustees MUST be voted out of office, or they must resign! And we must get back to a form of governance where the Mayor (whoever that will be in the next election) has some modicum of executive power to override the stupid decisions the Trustees and Village Manager make.

  7. In his defense, outside of these water issues, Mr Norfleet has taken care of other problems with trees and streets that Mr John West has been beyond apathetic about. A good first step would be to get his lying, apathetic, lazy rear end out of office. He lied to my face about emails I’d sent directly to public works, while I had the THIRTEEN emails in my hand along with phone records documenting calls. The other people in the public works office are rude, impatient, and also lie about actions being taken. Mr Norfleet went down to their office and spoke strongly to them, but this was his first year in the position. We need consistency. We need competence. We need a complete overhaul of public works as a first step.

  8. Maywood Watcher, As much as I would like to blame Bill Barlow for a lot of things that went wrong with Maywood, faulting him for stripping powers from the Office of the Village President isn’t one of them. Maywood voted for a Village Manager form of government long before Barlow was hired and Ms. Perkins took office as “Mayor”.

    As a populist Mayor Perkins may have the best interests of the residents at heart, but a clear understanding of how a Village Manager form of government works is not her strong point. And, you can look at waste within Mayor Perkins’ own office for another reason to throw them all out as advocated by Ms. Rone, and supported by other comments.

    The Mayor’s Report at each and every Village Board meeting includes the phrase “when people are of a mind”. What is the mind of the people of Maywood? Will anyone new run for the Board? Will enough people show up to vote for change?

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