The City’s snowplowing response to the Kenosha Groundhog Day blizzard of 2021 upset a lot of Kenosha tax-payers. It also upset most of the 17 Aldermen. Many of them expressed outrage at the February 1, 2021 City Council meeting, the day after the storm. One Alderman, however, Holly Kangas told tax-payers that “I can’t tell you how many compliments I’ve had from people in my district” and the City did a “heck of a job” clearing snow. Watch below:
A tax-payer who watched this meeting pointed it out to us and we investigated. We made a public records request to Alderman Kangas for all text messages, emails, call logs and other public records that showed this “praise” she talked about. She gave us the information we requested (Thank you Holly) but barked at us saying, “Are you requesting these records from everyone who commented, or just me?”
We compared her words to the records, and determined she told a whopper. She produced one single text message from someone complimenting the City’s snowplowing operations, to which she replied “I think my little hissy fit with the mayor may have helped a bit LOL.” She assures us though, that she received a compliment verbally at Pic N’ Save that wouldn’t be a part of the public records.
She also provided many records involving people very unhappy with the snow-removal – 2 emails, 2 texts, and 2 voicemails. One of these emails was from the Kenosha News Editor, Rex Davenport. Mr. Davenport said in part, “I was editing the article from last evening’s City Council meeting, including your remarks complimenting the work of our city’s snow removal crews….. I just wanted you to know that I DO NOT share your high opinion on the most recent snow removal, and with the exception of 2011, it was the worse (sic) I have experienced in 30 years at my home”
Holly forwarded this email to Shelly Billingsley, the Director of Public Works and added comments saying “Of course I’m getting dumped on today for my comments in the paper by all the haters! I really don’t care about them.” Shelly then responded saying she was sending in a front loader to dig out the editor’s driveway. I wonder if she would have done the same for you or me?
Seven Aldermen, spearheaded by west-side Alderman David Bogdala, introduced a resolution that directs City Administration to evaluate the policies, staffing, and equipment needed to clear the streets efficiently, and make changes.
If the Kenosha News editor was so upset by the poor snow-plowing, why don’t they write an editorial urging the other Aldermen to support this resolution?
This isn’t the first time Kangas has been caught lying. At a Council meeting on January 22, 2020, she exclaimed that “I received three texts during this meeting from constituents asking me to vote against this!” According to a public records request, that was a lie. She received one single text.
We shouldn’t not have to fact-check our local elected officials, but in this case, we have to.