State Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) raised a fuss last December when, displeased with the difficulty of his post-blizzard commute, he announced plans to have the state set policy for plowing and salting Madison streets. His proposed legislation was never actually introduced, and of course had no chance of passing - not just because it was insane, but also because Democrats were in charge.
Now that Republicans run everything, will Grothman again try to seize control of city plows and salt trucks?
"No," he answers, saying there is too much else to attend to. Besides, "I think I accomplished our mission."
According to Grothman, the city has since altered its snowstorm approach: "They salt it more. They might deny it but they salt it more, so I consider that a success."
Madison streets superintendent Al Schumacher says the city is not applying more salt. Indeed, it recently added four new trucks that spray main arteries with a liquid salt solution before storms to reduce overall salt use.
What happened last December, says Schumacher, was a "perfect storm" of bad weather, coupled with a decision to pull equipment off main streets to tend to side streets, for which the mayor later apologized. These events, says Schumacher, are not likely to recur.
And if they do, Glenn Grothman is standing by, lawmaking power in hand.