DPW Defends Pothole Filling Process
The hot topic of this committee meeting was a recent Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article accusing the Department of Public Works (“DPW“) of having a racial bias in their handling of pothole filling. Jeff Mantes and Jeff Polenske laid out DPW’s process in regards to pothole repair. Explaining that they prioritize arterial roads higher than neighborhood streets because these roads impact more drivers and have greater safety concerns because of higher speeds on these roads.
The committee as whole appeared to question the report’s validity and the mayor’s staff pointed out a variety of methodology flaws. These flaws including errors that could over count requests or place requests in the wrong census track, both of which could significantly sway the outcome of the research. These concerns prompted Alderman Robert Bauman to question the article and pointed out how irresponsible an article like this is, if based on poor methodology. Alderman Willie Wade joined in expressing his displeasure with the article’s methodology saying “personally I think we’ve been had” and that “we are here because of an article from the Journal Sentinel with bogus data”. Generally the committee was concerned if the findings were valid but Alderman Bob Donovon seemed to wrap up the sentiment by repeating an old cliche, “you cant always believe everything you read in the paper”.