Mayor's Column

Mayor’s Column — Ordinance Surveys and Recent Flooding

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Mayor’s Column July 6, 2024
Rohn Bishop, Mayor of Waupun

Hello Waupun!

I’ve had a couple issues that have bubbled up from the community regarding dogs and chickens

First dogs. A couple weeks ago Waupun had an incident of a dog that left its owner’s property and attacked a dog that was being walked. The dog that was being walked suffered injuries and needed vet care. This is unacceptable, and the owner of the attacking dog was ticketed, and paid the vet bills for the injured dog, and I believe the attacking dog was put down. The incident has had a few dog owners asking me to have the council review dog leash ordinances, and to require all dogs to be leashed at all times when not fenced in.

Second, the chicken issue. A resident has requested we revisit the chicken ordinance. The resident is competing for the final chicken permit. She would also like to own more chickens than is currently allowed and would like us to no longer require neighbors to sign off to allow a neighbor to own chickens.

In an attempt to gain feedback, we’ve launched two surveys to learn where residents are on these issues. Please complete the brief surveys here:

As you know it’s been raining… a lot! I would like to take this opportunity to thank our team at the city as we deal with record setting rainfalls. Our team has done an amazing job over the past month and a half, responding to ongoing weather events that have caused flooding and other damage across the city. Staff are working extra hours and handling larger volumes of complaints due to this, and overall emotions are running high.

While this is not unexpected given the challenges, we are all experiencing from what seems like non-stop rain, I want you to know that staff are encountering verbal abuse, offensive language and threats from residents that they may sue the city. It is important that we all remember that city staff are here to serve but are not a resource to abuse. Staff are responding and working to provide the best solutions possible but there are limits to what is possible given the large amounts of rainfall received.

Even the Rock River, where our stormwater discharges, is at high levels that make it difficult to move high volumes of stormwater away from neighborhoods quick enough to mitigate flooding. At some point later this summer or fall, we will debrief and provide the council with a recap of these events. The DPW Board has previously discussed flooding and we will include outcomes from that discussion as well as county hazard mitigation plans to help us think through preparedness and community resilience as it pertains to flood prevention and recovery.

Thank you, Waupun, and let’s pray for less rain. 

Mayor Rohn

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