Norristown residents heated over lack of blizzard cleanup

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) -- Norristown residents were looking for an apology Tuesday night as some of their streets are still covered in snow from last month's blizzard.

"You still haven't said you were sorry. You still haven't said you were sorry," Laura Lawrence said.

Lawrence was one of a number of residents who unleashed their outrage.

The municipal administrator and city council admit they failed to formulate a plan to deal with tons of snow that fell on Norristown during the blizzard.

Residents were stunned.

"If somebody says state of emergency - your government gets on TV says there is a state of emergency - what does that mean? That means you obviously have to do something and we didn't do a thing," Lawrence said.

Resident Shirley Sampson told of watching an ambulance crew having difficulty getting on her block to take one of her sickly neighbors to the hospital.

"They had to basically shovel their way to her house and it was just appalling," Sampson said.

"It was a disgrace. I'm sure you've heard that before. This is the county seat of Montgomery County," resident Marie Fender said.

Municipal Administrator Crandall Jones explained that they still haven't found a director to head the Department of Public Works and are now trying to come up with short-term solutions until they find one.

"We're looking now to establish some short-term agreements. Right now, those discussions are underway with some firms to support us in any plowing and snow removal efforts," Jones said.

Daniel Wissert, a longtime observer of borough affairs, says the problem is a lack of leadership in the borough.

"We need a mayor back in Norristown," Wissert said.

A number of groups are spearheading efforts to secure 2,500 signatures on a petition to put that question on the next ballot.

Meanwhile, Jones hopes to have a final candidate to head the Department of Public Works by the end of March.
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