An initiative to create a second-shift Waukesha County public works crew from Jan. 1 to March 31 met some opposition from the county finance committee Wednesday because county supervisors said they’re still unsure what the workers will do when there isn’t any snow.
The initiative, which would be paid by the state, is included in the 2008 budget because public works director Rich Bolte said there are some safety concerns for both employees and drivers during big snow storms and plow drivers working too many hours.
“Waukesha County has a restriction of 16 hours (of work) in a day and with storms that have a duration of longer than that, we’re running out of manpower and snowplow operators to fight the storms,” said Tony Barth, Wisconsin Department of Transportation highway maintenance supervisor. “We feel this is a very needed thing to insure that were going to have coverage during big storms.”
The addition of the shift has been met with controversy during the past several months because supervisors said there isn’t enough work during the winter months to constitute its existence. The county has never employed a second shift for plowing, opting instead to pay regular workers overtime.
This is crap, pure and simple. It also explains the large (and boorish) presence of AFSCME at the anti-tax rally.
The false premise here is that Waukesha County roads should be "bare-concrete" clean during winter storms--a ridiculous proposal. Residents of this area are reasonably intelligent (unlike tax-sucking Doylies.) Now and then, it's going to be impossible or very dangerous to attempt travel during winter storms.
Let's not get into the banning of tire-chains, which were very helpful to critical police, fire, and ambulance services. They were banned because "the roads couldn't take the strain."
At the rate DOT repaves roads these days, who could tell the difference?