Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Monona City Council report

At the September 21, 2009 meeting of the Monona City Council, long-time Fire Chief Bob Van Etten announced his retirement effective April 1, 2010. Bob has been chief for 14 years and a member of the department for some 34 years. It was an emotional moment. Bob has earned the gratitude of the entire community for his decades of devoted service. Thanks Bob.

The council approved creation of a police canine unit. The policy does limit when the dog can be deployed during traffic stops. The officer must have "reasonable suspicion" to believe that the driver or passengers possess illegal narcotics before using the dog to sniff the vehicle.

(The Wisconsin Court of Appeals recently discussed the meaning of reasonable suspicion in some detail in State v. Reis.)

Resolution 09-09-1646 Approving a Police Canine Unit

The council accepted the donation from the Festival Committee of two pedestrian bridges in Winnequah Park. DNR permits are still required. The Plan Commission will review the design.

Resolution 09-02-1612 Approval for Bridges Over Winnequah Park Lagoon

Map: Proposed Sites for Winnequah Park Lagoon Bridges

Shirley Robinson appeared on several items, but she really let the cat out of the bag when she complained about the Monona police practice of placing a mannequin in an unoccupied squad car.

OK, it sounds silly, but it is widely used and apparently can help deter speeding. See e.g., Arlington Heights Police Department and Traffic - Hillsborough Township Police Department and Speed Awareness Mannequin from INNOVATIVE SAFETY SOLUTIONS.

(Not to be confused with the Iranian Police Crack Down On Curvy Mannequins).


  1. I don't know about the man... what if we got various monona celebrataties sit in the car or heck people could bid on the right to sit in the car.

    Then if the catch someone speeding they could hit the siren.

    OR better yet I still like my idea of hot wheels radar guns, a cooler, lawn chair and some friends-we could boo the speeders and cheer the good guys...

  2. So Doug,

    About the sidewalk thing. Have seen this article?

    The issue of making a decision through a functional process and then sticking to it notwithstanding, I can see this tree thing as something to strongly consider in sidewalk width (which is addressed toward the end of the article.) Just curious, was tree preservation considered in the original decision process?

  3. "was tree preservation considered in the original decision process?"

    yes, I saw the article and yes, tree loss was considered.

  4. When they replaced the water laterals in our lawns last summer, they did hand dig around big tree roots. There. I did it. I said something nice about the execution that construction project. It won't happen again.

  5. Hey Doug,

    Noticed that the sidewalk-width discussion is on the schedule for next Monday's city council meeting. Again. How about a post discussing it (again) in an effort to get the troops out to support wider sidewalks on Monday night? I'll look for supporting documentation about sidewalk width and safety, but the more people we can get, the better... Whether it does any good is yet to be seen.