Saturday, May 25, 2024
HomeAppleton Concerned TaxpayersSession 2 of the 2024 Appleton Citizens Academy

Session 2 of the 2024 Appleton Citizens Academy

Department of Public Works (DPW) 

Department of Health

Community & Economic Development (CED)

Department of Legal & Administrative Services

Our group of 26 Appletonians, led by Communications & Public Engagement Manager Anindita “Andy” Anaam, were treated to a March 14 program featuring four of our city’s departments in the Council Chambers on the 6th floor of the Appleton City Hall.

The Department of Public Works’ (DPW) Deputy Director and City Engineer, Peter Neuberger, shared maintenance responsibilities accounting for their $11.99 million budget: between 330 & 340 fire hydrants, 334 sanitary mains, 385 water mains, 309 storm water drains feeding into 57 wet ponds, 14 dry ponds and 22 bio filters. Responsibilities extend to a large portion of Appleton’s infrastructure:  the 352 miles of roads, 42 bridges and 457 miles of sidewalks residents navigate. You may be surprised to learn that some parts have not been disturbed for over 80 years, giving some projects a “discovery” aspect. Current focus areas include the completion of city lead piping replacement (this year) and the mapping and replacement of the remaining galvanized pipes (3-year goal). Additionally, DPW assumes responsibility for all concrete, sidewalk, asphalt reconstruction, traffic, snow and ice control, street repair and lighting, as well as forestry.

The City Department of Health, represented by Deputy Director Sonja Jenson, is staffed at 13.146 employees with a budget of $1.3 million. With a variety of tasks, the core functions of the department are Assessment, Policy Development and Assurance.  To accomplish these core functions the department cited  ’10 Essential Public Health Services’ identified as:

  1. Assess and monitor population health,
  2. Investigate, diagnose and address health hazards and root causes,
  3. Communicate effectively to inform and educate,
  4. Strengthen, support and mobilize communities and partnerships,
  5. Create, champion and implement policies, plans, and laws,
  6. Utilize legal and regulatory actions,
  7. Enable equitable access,
  8. Build a diverse and skilled workforce,
  9. Improve and innovate through evaluation, research and quality improvement,
  10. Build and maintain a strong organizational infrastructure for public health.

Department Director Kara Homan introduced staff members to illuminate responsibilities of the Department of Community and Economic Development (CED). Inspector Victoria Drehmel presented differing city inspection and compliance enforcement services. City Assessor Ryan Anderson explained the methodology of property reassessment which is completed every 5 years, with certain ongoing adjustments to include assessment of new construction and renovation.

Our evening concluded with a mock council meeting addressing a Ferris Wheel attraction proposal for Houdini Park. Guided by City Assistant Attorney Darrin Glad and City Clerk Kami Lynch — the two of them representing the Department of Legal & Administrative Services — we conducted a short discussion and vote on the proposal.

We parted with a definite appreciation for the amount of work performed by city representatives, administrative staff, the Mayor and elected Council Members. Appleton is truly blessed by the service of our dedicated city staff and elected officials.

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