Since 2016, Kenosha plows are deployed to clear snow when there are 2″ of accumulation on the ground. If one Alderman gets his way, that number will change to 4″, leaving plows in the city garage for a couple more hours. Alderman Rocco Lamacchia (D) cites “cost of fuel, plow blade wear and tear, damage to pavement and employee fatigue as reasons he wants the change. When KCE emailed and texted Lamacchia, however, he didn’t provide any clarification. This resolution is set to be voted on Monday, December 12, 2022 at the City’s Public Works Committee.
The proposal has already gained several supporters on the council, including Aldermen Eric Haugaard (D), Rollin Pizzala (D), and Jack Rose (D). They got the idea from former Aldermen Patrick Juliana (D) and Steven Casey (D). Juliana is now a part-time employee of the City who cuts grass. Steven Casey is a local funeral director who once had his license suspended and was replaced by Alderman Steve Bostrom in 2010 who later served on the county board.
A couple of Aldermen, Bogdala (17) and Mau (8) however, expressed serious concern with this proposal and will be voting against it. Bogdala told KCE: “I am 100% opposed to this resolution. This resolution is cutting essential services and putting citizens (families, children, senior citizens, our own employees) lives in danger. This also disrupts commerce, businesses, schools if our roads are not clear.”
Bogdala was able to successfully change the city’s policy from 4 inches to 2 inches in 2016. This plan was universally supported by taxpayers and only changed the annual budget by .002%. KCE emailed the entire Council for comment.
Alderman Mau said “Keeping us safe and maintaining our roads always seem to be at the top of citizens’ wish lists. Snow plowing is a combination of those two. Plowing is a core service that all citizens rely on, and if the city is finally looking to cut back on spending, this is not where to do it. Instead we should focus on our $250 million debt and the millions spent on special interest development yearly. Most other WI cities plow at 2 inches as well. I was told this proposal could reduce wear and tear on the roads, but I haven’t seen any evidence to corroborate that, and I’m not convinced this proposal would’ve helped alleviate any staffing issues. However, I am interested in looking further into what we can do to reduce salting and improve employee morale and recruitment in the department.”
When contacted for comment, City Administrator John Morrissey told KCE “it is my understanding that the item will not me on the agenda.” KCE is unable to verify that Lamacchia has pulled the item or not. Another City Hall insider told KCE that Lamacchia is hoping to bring this issue up again in the Spring when “no one is paying attention.”