In this corner our mayor, and in the other a former police chief, or Fire Hydrant Gate

Franklin Mayor Steve Olson meant well. And he was correct to go on social media to say the following Sunday night:

Ok, the snowpocalypse is on its’ way. Yes, Franklin DPW will be out plowing and salting. But we need your help. Adopt the fire hydrant near your home and shovel it out. You’d rather have our firefighters putting the fire out in your house rather than shoveling out a hydrant to get water. Thanks in advance!

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Image may contain: one or more people, snow, outdoor and nature

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But then Steve “Franklin doesn’t have a bare pavement policy” Olson couldn’t stop, and a debate ensued.

Please follow along.

Kenneth W. Bohn When i lived in Franklin i adopted the hydrant in front of our house, and kept digging it out. Problem was every time i dug it out; our public works department came by and reburied it with heavier road snow. And that can cause heart attacks on our senior citizens.

Being chief of police at the time, i was in pretty good shape, but some of our citizens with hydrants are not as young.

Perhaps our department of public works could be more careful when plowing near the hydrants; thats part of the reason for the flags.

Steve Olson With fire hydrants 200′ apart it’s not possible for DPW plow drivers to “be more careful.” If the resident isn’t comfortable shoveling then so be it.

Bryan Maersch Hear … hear.. former Chief Bohn!

Steve Olson Ok Ken and Bryan… Let’s do some math. Franklin has 171.25 miles of roads in the city. We have now 15 plow routes (drivers) for that 171.25 plus the Fire Stations (3), the PD (two parking lots), City Hall (two parking lots) and library. Parks come later. So, 171.25 divided by 15 routes gives 11.42 miles per route. Average 5 miles an hour (plus cul du sac and dead end streets, stop signs, cars parked on the streets, traffic) that’s a little over 2 hours per plow event. Should they slow down to not get snow on fire hydrants?

Kenneth W. Bohn Thats NOT True Mayor Olson, at our department head meetings we used to discuss that “every winter” and Jack discussed it with the plow drivers. After he did each time, they adjusted their plow blades near the hydrants. It’s the hydrants in the culdsacs that get dumped on the worst when they make their turns there and there is a hydrant there. They cant avoid it completely; they are not magicians; but at my hydrant they put a taller flag so they could see it; and the plows “stopped” dumping on top of the hydrant i kept digging out. If the DPW is NOT aware of an issue, they only create a problem they normally would not. That’s why “all” the departments have the department head meetings so hopefully one of the departments will find out about this from a citizen and try to come up with a solution to keep them happy and make you look good.

Kenneth W. Bohn
So “MAYOR” Steve Olson, you are advocating “City Employees” to NOT be careful in the performance of their duties!!! As a friend and former department head, I am shocked – have you changed that much, that production is more important and critical to you than “employee, citizen, and property safety”??

I have worked with these DPW drivers at all levels for more than 30 years; and communities push them beyond their limits during winter months. And if speed becomes more important than safety, communities are looking at high potential for huge property damage and human injury and loss of life. I’m sorry but I strongly believe that “ALL” City Employees Can Be and Should Be Careful Performing Their Jobs. In Fact It Used To be Part Of The City Employee Handbook.

Kenneth W. Bohn And nobody is talking about them slowing down for hrdrants. What we are talking about is in the cul du sac, where they do stop to “dump snow”. All too often the plow drivers dump the snow on top of fire hydrants!! That snow becomes hard, impacted, frozen, heavy and extremely hard to work with. NOW THAT IS NOT ASKING THEM TO DO ANYTHING EXTRA – TO SELECT A DIFFERENT SPOT OTHER THAN THE FIRE HYDRANT TO DUMP THAT SNOW. That is NOT slowing them down NOR is it making them take any more time from their schedule. These are the hydrants we are talking about. ESPECIALLY IF THEY GET THERE AND SEE THE HYDRANTS HAVE ALREADY BEEN DUG OUT.

Kenneth W. Bohn
And those are the type of things we discussed at the department head meetings if they became issues to any of our citizens. Providing the best service possible by cooperation between departments


I could see this coming.

Social media blew up a few weeks ago when we had just a very light snowfall followed by icy, slick conditions.

Regular readers know how strongly I support the mayor. However he has a terrible tendency to always, always, always defend the administration of the city.  The city is never wrong.

Sorry, but we have our warts.

Another terrible tendency won’t come into play here. Snow removal is an issue our mayor can’t blame the state.

One thought on “In this corner our mayor, and in the other a former police chief, or Fire Hydrant Gate

  1. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (01/22/18) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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