Monday, June 18, 2007

Sidewalks, safety and good governance



I wanted to understand why Mayor Frank Tower voted the way he did to order sidewalks for River Mill Road so I sent him an e-mail last week. In case you missed it, he cast the decisive vote on the issue.

The way I see it, there were three plausible explanations for his vote:

A) A concern for making the Wiouwash Trail safer and more inviting.
B) A belief that River Mill was a case of city ordinances being applied inconsistently.
C) A desire to try to get Paul Esslinger "inside the tent" and maybe to pick up a chit that could be used at a later date. (No specific quid pro quo, mind you, and therefore no illegal logrolling.)

Here's what Frank said in response to my question:


I believe, similar to Tony, that sidewalks and curb and gutter are part of what city streets need to have to be used by everyone. My decision to vote to make the sidewalks part of the 2007 project list was driven by the connection to the trail system. As I expressed at the meeting, I would have also voted for them to be installed in 2008; however, Bryan's suggestion would have potentially put their installation out to 2010.


Before I go on, let me explain that the photo at the top of the post is a picture of where the Wiouwash Trail crosses Congress, just south of the River Mill Road neighborhood.

Take note of three things: 1) There are sidewalks and 2) There is a lot of high-speed traffic and 3) There is no traffic signal or speed bump or other control available to slow the traffic down.

Many of us who live in the area and who use the trail on a regular basis think that this intersection is an accident waiting to happen. A couple of us have even asked the city to do something about it.

The answer so far: fuhgedaboudit!

Instead the Common Council decided to give us sidewalks in our neighborhood, where there is virtually no traffic.

Council Member Bryan Bain had tried get the Council to focus on the true safety issue on the trail, this intersection, but as Mayor Tower's e-mail explains, it would be more important to put sidewalks where there is no safey issue right away rather than to take the time to address the existing safety issue, which is complicated by the fact that this is a busy thoroughfare and pretty close to one of the Fox River bridges.

So I sent a followup e-mail,asking him about the unaddressed safety issues, specifically parts of the trail that have no sidewalk or that have sidewalk on just one side of the street. If safety was the priority, then I wanted to know when these other parts of the trail would get some attention.

His response struck me as lukewarm:

I'm going to work with the council and staff, per Bryan and Jess's thoughts during the meeting, to do what we can to get them addressed in the 2008 program.


Note that there is no commitment to addressing the issue, just a "do what we can" kind of kiss off.

I was watching the replay of the Council discussion on OCAT over the weekend, and I really got a kick out of seeing Bob Cornell take the microphone. As you may recall, Bob ran for Council earlier this year and didn't make the cut.

But he wanted to remind those who were elected that all of the candidates were singing the same tune during the campaign--about how important it is to listen to citizens and allow them to have some input. He said this as a majority of the Council was making it clear that they had no intention of paying any heed to the citizens who had just come before them.

One citizen suggestion was to stripe a bike/pedestrian lane through the neighborhood. Another was to put sidewalk on just one side of the street. A third was to take some time to think this issue through.

But the "rich folk" of River Mill got the same answer as before: fuhgedaboudit!

Make no mistake, sidewalks will not be a deciding issue in any future elections. I think most of the people on River Mill Road vote, but there aren't that many of us.

But what will be a deciding issue is how our elected officials go about making decisions and communicating their reasoning with citizens.

If the Council members who said they were concerned about safety on the Wiouwash Trail are truly concerned about safety on the Wiouwash Trail they can do something about it by doing something about the intersection of Congress and Arboretum. Heck, if they actually did something about that crossing, I think most River Mill residents would forget about the sidewalks.

Another test of the good intentions and attention to detail of the Council members will come when the Council votes to approve the minutes of last week's meeting. There's a glaring factual error (kind of revisionist history) in the official copy of the sidewalk ordinance that was mailed out to residents/taxpayers/voters who live on River Mill Road.

Will any member of the Council catch the mistake? Will anyone bother to fix it?

93 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Frank Tower.

I built my home in Oshkosh in the mid 80's. I built where I did as I wanted sidewalks, streetlights, curb, gutter, storm sewers and all the rest that goes with living in a COMMUNITY.

I think Frank, Dennis, Paul and Tony made the right choice...and perhaps the difficult choice. The far easier choice would to have just delayed the install for another "couple" years, that way the movers and shakers in River Mill would be pandered to and all would be well in Oshkosh.

Well that didn't happen thankfully. Four members were actually not swayed by special interest and did what was correct.

If these River Mill people don't like the sidewalks they will get, there is plenty of land in the townships.

Oshkosh is a Community of people. Things like parks and public right-of-way sidewalks are for all those that live in the community to use.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your comment:
"C) A desire to try to get Paul Esslinger "inside the tent" and maybe to pick up a chit that could be used at a later date. (No specific quid pro quo, mind you, and therefore no illegal logrolling.)"

...is just as unappealing as conjecture that Jess King’s position on the sidewalk debate was paying back a political "chit" by supporting one of her financial supporters who just happens to live in River Mill subdivision.

Now then Miles…see how silly and damaging conspiracy theories can be!

12:35 PM  
Blogger Michelle A. Monte said...

Miles, I am wondering if you couls clarify your position a little. Are you saying River Mill Road should not and should never have sidewalks or are you saying that if you get sidewalks, particularly as a safety measure, other areas should also have safety measures?

Sometimes, it seems the argument from any neighborhood is, "Do not touch us. Do what you will, but do it to them only." Other times the arguement seems to be, "Well, if you must do to us, make sure you do to those who need as well."

I agree with your picture that a light or some other type of signal should be at that intersection. I also think that every street within the city should have sidewalks, crosswalks, and Ped X-ing signs. I am concerned with the logic that only high traffic areas should be the primary focus. That is often the argument when deciding which streets get paved. The problem with the logic is that once high traffic areas are done, the focus changes to maintenance and repair measures of just those same areas. When exactly do less traffic areas get done?

The next question would be how you can think that being a low traffic area excludes you from having safety issues? They might not be pressing in your opinion, but they certainly are not nonexistant. I would assume everyone or nearly everyone who lives on your road drives a car. It only takes one moment to change you safety record.

I would question, not what should be done elsewhere, but how can the city do the high traffic areas and low traffic areas, sidewalks or other measures, in a timely manner without sacrificing anyone?

12:36 PM  
Blogger Miles Maguire said...

You didn't read closely enough. Frank said it was the trail connection that was motivating his vote.

But the real safety issues connected with the trail are unaddressed and will likely stay that way.

The real safety issues will cost tax dollars and are already resisted by city staff. And they are more complicated.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Miles Maguire said...

Michelle

I've never said there shouldn't be sidewalks in the neighborhood. In fact I've said the opposite.

With respect to safety issues, they are everywhere, but there are some that you address and some that you decide to live with.

What's needed is a rational plan for evaluating risk and addressing the biggest ones.

That's not what happened here, even though safety was trotted out as the rationale.

Miles

12:50 PM  
Blogger Miles Maguire said...

To anon @ 12:35

I don't think there's any question that Mayor Tower is trying to develop relationships among the Council members.

And I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, although I'm not crazy about the outcome here.

It's not a conspiracy theory to say so.

In the same way it's not conspiracy theory to think that elected officials will act in a way that benefits their financial backers. That's why we require disclosure of such things.

It's also true that any given vote is not necessarily a sign of a quid pro quo. It may just be that an elected official and a financial backer think the same way.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miles, so then you’re suggesting that Franks vote as a way of supporting Paul, may be just as plausible as Jess King’s anti-sidewalk position would back her financial supporter Jon Dell’Antonia who is a resident of River Mill?

3:13 PM  
Blogger Miles Maguire said...

Lots of things are plausible. I think that goes without saying.

The difference is that Frank, when given a chance to explain his vote, provided an explanation that doesn't really square with the situation before us.

By contrast, Jessica King said a delay on the sidewalks would be consistent with several other delays that the Council had just approved (water rates, Main Street, etc.).

If Council members are sincerely concerned about safety for users of the Wiouwash Trail (and I hope that they are), they should address the crossing at Summit and Congress right away. (Y'know-- order in a traffic light or something.)

Or they should stop saying they are concerned about safety for trail users.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miles, I guess it was clear that you didn't want sidewalks in your area, but now trying to make a conspiracy case between Frank Tower-Paul Esslinger and saying that Jess King and Jon Dell’Antonia may have been serving self interests...well its just a bit much Miles. Conceed your getting the sidewalks and move on, this is all doing nothing but driving class wedges.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Miles Maguire said...

The sidewalks are a done deal. That's true.

But the question of how the Common Council sets policy is very much an open issue.

Class wedges? What are you talking about???

8:41 AM  
Blogger Michelle A. Monte said...

Miles, thank you for clarifying. Much of the discussion I have seen on this issue is an all or nothing type of logic. It seems the argument is that if we put sidewalks on River Mill Road, no one else will get sidewalks. Everyone seems to focus on that one street for a variety of reasons but the sidewalk plan included several streets. It should have included more, but that is all we get for now. "For now" being the key words.

I wonder why it is that the residents of River Mill Road are saying "leave us alone" and pointing at other streets as more "in need" yet no other residents from other streets are at the council meetings saying, "Hey, what about us?"

Personally, I cannot fathom how any council could get sidewalks everywhere they need to be or how to decide who gets this service and who doesn't. Seems like a lose-lose situation as opposed to a win-win, everyone gets sidewalks situation.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Ronald Kane Hardy said...

That intersection is in dire need of traffic control. My mother lives in the River Place Appartments and that stretch from the bridge to the Paine is just frightening from a traffic perspective. It needs a light at the Summit/Arboretum intersection with Congress.

But the best solution for walkers, bikers, and trail users is to somehow get the trail to go under the bridge at the rivers edge between Fratellos and the River Place Appts.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point being Michelle that other streets clearly had a greater need and if the council is worried about safety issues those are the areas they hould ahve focused on first. River Mill is not a dangerous area that needed to be fastracked as it was. It easily could have and should have been done later and more dangerous streets done now. It's about priorities and protecting the greater number of people. Doing River Mill now does not accomplish that.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:02
We've been through this countless times. There is really no standing method or metric to determine the "greater need". Many emotional examples are given.

Some would say that River Mill is a priority need and some would not.

Bottom-Line, sidewalks will be installed in River Mill and many other residential low traffic volume areas in Oshkosh in 2007.

Lets look to 2008 and beyond...we all agree all residential areas in a community should be walker friendly, and therefore have sidewalks. Lets continue the trend to never overlook any area of Oshkosh that has sidewalks missing!

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:43,
It requires little more than common sense to see that high traffic areas without sidewalks present a greater need than low traffic areas. And if the argument is based on safety, which is what we keep hearing, then this is a valid basis for argument and ongoing discussion.

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:02 without actual metrics, "common sense" is very subjective.

I may think River Mill is a potential danger area...you may not...whos common sense is better?
Whos common sense is "correct"?

Never the less, this is a non-issue as needed sidewalks will be installed in River Mill as well as other areas in Oshkosh which currently lack them.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it stunning to read all this stuff posted about sidewalks in River Mill. I think it’s just hilarious how the affluent residents in river mill really don’t care for anyone but them. I have never heard such whining about having sidewalks put in. They are just showing that they are nothing but little spoiled children who didn’t get there way and now they are having a tantrum. If I were Frank Tower I'd play Daddy an give everyone in river mill a "time out" and make them sit in a corner. If they continue to act like children they should be treated like children!

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank the Lord above Bob Cornell didn't get elected! Basically what he was saying at the council meeting was, he doesn't have the guts to do what is right and put the sidewalks in. He's perfectly willing to cave in, like Brian Bain when the heat gets turned up a bit. Cornell seems like the kind of guy who will stick his finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing at any given time.

Well, I'm glad four council members stuck their finger in the air to the River Mill snobs!

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time will tell to see who has the last laugh. In the meantime it takes no common sense to know that people walking on streets where there is busy traffic and people traveling at higher rates of speed than on River Mill need sidewalks before streets in a subdivision. It also takes no common sense to see that sidewalks on the inside of River Mill lead nowhere but in a circle. Esslinger, McHugh, Palmeri, and Tower made a terrible decision. Let's hope no one walking or in wheelchairs gets hurt or killed in areas with no walks. If they do you can bet there will be a parade of local lawyers champing at the bit to represent them in a suit against the city and city council. Time to recall Esslinger and McHugh? Maybe. But the better choice is let's find better candidates next April and get rid of them once and for all.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:56 - You are just another whining, pouting, spoiled child.

You didn't get your way and now you're having a little tantrum.

The average folks in Oshkosh who’ve had sidewalks required in their front yards have never acted anywhere near as childish as you upstanding children in the river mill area.

Get over it!

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's obvious 8:27 does not have an answer to the argument of why these were so necessary for safety when far busier and unsafe areas have been shown to these councilors. Fact of the amtter is there is no reasonable explanation. It comes down to political paybacks. That's the only answer that makes sense.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, the sidewalks are going in. What I think is going to be interesting to watch is the positioning of the Council. In particular Tower v. Esslinger (which did not stop after the mayoral election). If this was indeed Tower's attempt to bring Esslinger “under the tent” I believe it will backfire on Tower. (Disclaimer - I am not a fan of Paul Esslinger). I believe Tower will take a greater political hit for this sidewalk issue than Esslinger which puts Esslinger in a better position to win the mayoral race next time. Tower may be a nice guy but he is naive. Esslinger appears to have no other job commitments other than to work on his political future. This will be interesting, grab a chair and watch the jockeying for position and the grandstanding.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:44 said "I believe Tower will take a greater political hit for this sidewalk issue than Esslinger"

I totally applaud Frank. He broke from the elite ranks and cast a vote for the common man and common sense. Yes it would have been easy to play to his base and say NO to sidewalks in river mill, but he didn't. You could almost hear the river mill elite in the council chambers "gasp" when Frank voted YES. I'm sure they all retreated to their enclave and drowned their collective sorrows in pitchers of cocktails after they stormed out in defeat.

Frank…you earned a lot of respect from "Joe Lunchbucket" by casting that vote. You showed many of us that unlike another female council member, you are not in anyone’s pocket. River mill should have had sidewalks long ago, they needed these four clear thinking council members (Frank, Paul, Tony and Dennis) to correct that error.

AttaBoy Frank!

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Wiowash Trail ends at River Mill (for all practical purposes).
When sidewalks are installed, the trail will end at the intersection of Arboretum and Congress, which is two blocks to the east.
Crossing Congress Ave. with kids seems--to me--more of a safety issue than sidewalks in the quiet River Mill area.
The decision made by the council to install the walk in this N'hood was a intransigent one, indeed. A painted bike/ walk lane would probably suffice here!!!
It is too bad so few are able to look at such issues more comprehensively and objectively. There are surely other areas of the city where such money could have been spent on real safety improvements. Too bad.
4:44, last time I checked, "Joe Lunchbucket" appreciated a clear and safe path to work, not available in many of the industrial parts of the city. I dont think you can speak for all of us working-class folks when you give such kudos to Frank TOwer for "sticking it" to the Oshkosh elite, who, I gather from your trite commentary, you think imbibe the spirits a little too on the uninhibited side...?

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:12...So per Tony Palmeri's comment that the "River Mill Crowd" is either one of two types:
1) Not in my front yard - EVER.
2) Not in my front yard at this time.

You appear to belong to the #1 group when you made the statement-"A painted bike/ walk lane would probably suffice here!!!"

Well guess what-Tony out "debated" Jess and you're getting much needed sidewalks.

I'll stroll by on your brand new concrete sidewalk during "cocktail hour" some Saturday and join you in a toast for pedistrian progress in your fine neighborhood.

Cheers!

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:12. Quit looking down your nose at people and get in the real world.

12:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is it with you people suggesting River Mill people are out there imbibing in cocktails every night of the week? One of the people who voted for these sidewalks spends a lot of time in the bars himself. Is that how he cooked up this idea?

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was watching a replay an one of the people who lives in river mill said they had some cocktails but when he said that he quickly changed and said coffee so that might be why.
ANyway I think its funny that these rich people are so ticked off at all this it makes good reading!

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Letter-To-The-Editor comment in the Sunday NW!

Another view of the snobbery and "not in my front yard" mentality of the privileged wannabe elite residents in river mill.

You folks who live there really had an opportunity to show your true colors. You could have taken the high road and cooperatively agreed and invited the development of community wide sidewalks in your neighborhood…or taken the low road, "not in my front yard" stance you did.

Yes, you took the low road…and people now see your true character.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've also seen the true "character" of a mayor-wannabe who can't separate the real needs from those he imagines or personal feelings about political foes from what's best for the city.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:15 said:
"We've also seen the true "character" of a mayor-wannabe who can't separate the real needs from those he imagines or personal feelings about political foes from what's best for the city."

Both councilors that ran for Mayor voted for sidewalks in snobby mills, the guy who won and the guy who lost both thought it was a worthy project and along with two others did what they felt was in the best interest of the entire city...not the best interest of the entitlement granted, wannba gated community at snobby mills.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes, but it was a mayor wannabe Esslinger who started the movement instead of leaving it up to public works whose job it is in the first place. If Esslinger wants the public works director's job he could always apply for it. He talks about safety and how River Mill connects to the trail but he ignores the areas with the most pressing safety issues. Pitiful!

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did what was in the best interest of the entire city, 6:09PM? Tell us how sidewalks on a street that few people go on benefit the entire city? If safety is the reason for sidewalks the 4 who voted for these sidewalks need to take a crash course in what real safety is all about. Mr. Maguire has pointed out plenty of places where safety is much more of an issue. Others have agreed, including trail users. The *logic* used for these walks is a load of BS and Mr. Esslinger had no business bringing forward something that's the responsibility of the public works department.

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mute issue. Sidewalks will be installed at river mill.

New topic?

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*NEWS FLASH* Paris Hilton has been released from jail today. When asked what she missed while she was in jail, Ms. Hilton sobbed and said, I wanted to go to the council meeting and give that Paul Esslinger a piece of my mind for putting sidewalks in my neighborhood. Ms. Hilton is now resting comfortably with mommy and daddy at their River Mill residence.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And sidewalks STILL won't be installed in higher traffic areas. So much for Mrs. Esslinger, McHugh, Palmeri, and Tower resolving the real safety issues in Oshkosh.

P.S. I think you meant *moot* not *mute.* It's only mute if people aren't talking about it any longer.

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe if you people at River Mills put down your cocktails and enjoy your sidewalks your life would be better all the way around. You people are sick with hate that you lost this one. I think that is sad for each of you, and I would never want to live in a area that has so many people more concerned about how there front yard looks and if people walking on there block are safe. You people are too vain.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clearly 12:31 is the one who is sick and has been tipping the bottle a little too much. Their ability to read and comprehend has been greatly impaired as has their ability to ascertain and prioritize that which is truly dangerous and that which isn't. Since they don't want to live in an area where neighbors "don't care" if they're safe or not I might suggest they move out of Oshkosh all together. We obviously have a city council who doesn't care enough to protect people in real areas of danger but would rather focus on an area involving a small enclave of homes layed out in a horseshoe pattern where I would bet most people in the city never even go to. Oh well, we can't reason with the gallactically ridiculous and that includes anyone who thinks River Mill presents more danger than so many of the other streets without sidewalks in Oshkosh.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

River Mill Mission Statement:
"We come first"

For shame-
Vanity...Thy Name Is River Mill.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

River Mill...

"Oshkosh's First Round-About"!!

:)

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the cute phrases in the world don't change the fact that a rogue city councilman crossed the line of responsibility into an area that historically has been and should be reserved for the professionals, claiming it was don in the name of safety. Nor do your quips change the fact that other areas are far more dangerous and Politico Paul doesn't have the safety concerns to bring forward resolutions for sidewalks there. Must not be anyone there he doesn't like.

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

River Mill Round About, now thats funny!!

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:17...you said:
"it was don in the name of safety"

Don huh...Don Safety.

Sounds like a new character on the Sopranos!

"El Don Safety" holds court at River Mill Roundabout...bring on the cocktails!

Too funny!!

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...Silly comments like 7:23 and 7:29 (same person?) abound as does the inability to defend stupid council actions and stupid proposals by wannabe mayor...

9:10 AM  
Blogger Vicky said...

Just to clarify any insinuation which may have been made by
contributors to this thread, Jess King did not receive any financial
contributions from Jon Dell'Antonia in her campaign for Oshkosh Common Council. The campaign finance report I have filed - which is a document of public record - verifies this fact. -- Vicky Bodin, treasurer,
"Jessica King for Oshkosh Common Council"

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Vicky,
No problem. Lots of insinuations fly around on this thread. Paul has gotten many more then Jess, all part of politics I guess.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awww, witty bitty baby Paul. Evwebody's pickin on him. He says he takes his votes seriously. It's a sham (pun intended) he doesn't take safety in all neighborhoods as seriously as he does his votes. Can you say *pandering*?

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Vicky...see the post of 12:21.
Jess has got to get thick skin and be able to deflect the attacks like Paul does. This is it seems all part of politics…so "If you don't like the heat, get out of the kitchen"

The River Mill Neighborhood Watch has placed Don Safety in charge of traffic control on the River Mill Round-About. So be careful driving in that area during cocktail hour! Could the drinking possibly be worse than the crowd at Country USA?!?

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also be extra careful anywhere Paul Esslinger is driving. He claims to be concerned about safety, but his actions and votes show otherwise.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to worry 5:08. If Paul chooses to take a lap around the River Mill RoundAbout, I'm sure Don Safety will keep an eye on his every move. Now go back to your cocktail party and continue the Paul bashing with all the other pickled whiners in the Roundabout enclave.

Cheers!

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You love the Paul "bashing" 9:17. Without it you'd have nothing to bitch about.

As far as being "pickled", at least it's only a temporary state. Ignorance and hypocrisy aren't.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 1:52. There's nothing wrong with someone wanting to defend Jess and her campaign contributions. And doing so hardly means she can't handle it. Besides, Mr. Esslinger and his pals do it all the time. So if that's not being able to take it, kindly offer the same advice to them: if you can't handle it get out.

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:07, you hereby are an honorary member of the River Mill Roundabout Cocktail Club and Paul Bashing Society.

Please join us anytime around cocktail hour as we gather together and commiserate, become imbibed then whine and bash Paul until we are all numb.

Just enter our enclave any day at cocktail hour and our neighborhood watcher Don Safety will point out where the festivities are taking place.

Come-on over, get pickled and bash Paul…what fun!

6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The invite is appreciated. But remember, no matter how imbibed we may get, we'd never be as drunk as Paul Esslinger is with power and self love.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We in the River Mill RoundAbout enclave state in no uncertain terms that our Cocktail flowing Paul Bashing parties are second to none.

We fill our wannabe gated community with some of the best and brightest inebriated, narsistic residents in all of Oshkosh.

Lets all get a re-fill...make it a double, and continue to persecute Paul until we all are appropriately pickled.

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know what "narsistic" is but at least we're not "narcistic" or even "narcissistic" like Paul himself.

Paul Esslinger and his fan club can't defend his actions so they take cheap shots. What a bunch of babies.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imbibed or not, River Mill residents are able to hold down a job. Unlike Paul Esslinger. His resolution=nothing more than political paybacks, resentment, and jealousy by a disgruntled displaced wannabe.

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nar·cis·sism [nahr-suh-siz-em] –noun
1. Inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity.
2. Those that live in the River Mill RoundAbout enclave in Oshkosh Wisconsin.
3. Psychoanalysis. erotic gratification derived from admiration of one's own physical or mental attributes, being a normal condition at the infantile level of personality development.

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the definition 7:16, but in your haste to be "funny" you missed the point made about the word "narcisstic" by 11:02. You also should check the rest of your post for grammatical and spelling errors. Or are you so imbibed every time you get on your computer that you can't help but make the same mistakes?

6:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny, but Paul Esslinger made the same exact mistake in his own letter to the editor published the other day. I wonder...hmm.

6:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the River Mill RoundAbout enclave holding an "Enclave Patriotic Parade Procession" this July 4th?

Stagger 'round the roundabout and hoist a few cocktails while staggering down the street yelling Paul obscenities.

Next year the whining RoundAbout crew will be much safer as they will be able to parade on brand new concrete sidewalks.

No one else quite as patriotic and as red (faced) white (new concrete) and blue (hate for Paul) as those in the wannabe gated community known as "The River Mill RoundAbout"

Wave the flag, have a cocktail and bash Paul...what fun we will have!

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scoffing at Paul Esslinger is easy because he's so ridiculous. People may be safe in River Mill. Unfortunately where they won't be safe is in the many other parts of Oshkosh where Sir Paul didn't see fit to overstep his bounds and make a resolution for sidewalks. Let's hope no one gets hit there, especially if Paul's driving down the street.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:15 You too become a honorary member of the River Mill RoundAbout "Paul Hater and KoolAid Drinkers Society".

Come join us at Happy Hour as we all get Picked and Bash Paul until we pass out.

Cheers!

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:15, Maybe the good folks at "The RoundAbout" will loan their neighborhood watcher Don Safety to the rest of the city for a week. Don Safety could patrol all the un-sidewalked areas of Oshkosh until we finally make them walkable as we are doing with your beloved RoundAbout. Safety For Everyone is Don's motto!

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A more appropriate person to patrol the un-sidewalked areas of town would be the man in the wheelchair (and others like him) Paul Esslinger and his fellow councilors have ignored.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:37 Miles You 'ol goofball.

You're submitting to your own blog under an anonymous!

The 1:17, 1:21 and 2:37 posts were released at the same time, so you were the only one who would have seen the 1:21 Patrol comment and been able to answer it as 2:37 prior to public release of the post.

Go get a re-fill Miles and drink a toast to Paul this Holiday Week...In keeping that Paul is a true Patriot, unlike the Red Coats on the RoundAbout!

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:00 is goofy as well and not nearly as smart as they think they are. But they can keep on thinking they're the best. The rest of us know their "logic" is as twisted as Paul used to bring forward a resolution in the first place.

Speaking of drinking, I heard Stew Rieckman make reference to "Paul's bar." Does Esslinger own a bar or just hang out in one?

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3 PM is actually wrong in their statement about when the comments were released. I know because I posted the comment at 2:37, not Miles. But you must have a very unfufilled, boring life if you have that kind of time to watch a blog so closely that you think you know when each comment was released. Your time would be better spent getting a job, or better yet, a life. It would give you more money than blog watching. You might even be more successful at it since accuracy in blog watching doesn't seem to be your thing.

12:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was another outstanding July 4th Parade in downtown Oshkosh! Now that I am full of the patriotic sprit, I believe I will walk over to the River Mill Roundabout and do a few laps before cocktail hour commences. I believe with the cocktails flowing and the deep rage for Paul, there is likely to be a better display of fireworks tonight at the River Mill Roundabout than at Menomonee Park.

Cheers!

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're filled with something, although it's doubtful it is a patriotic spirit.

By the by, where is "Menomonee Park" (sic)?

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As promised, I did a few laps 'round the River Mill RoundAbout yesterday. To my surprise, all was fairly quite. No mass assembly of Paul bashers were to be found. I noticed one of the RoundAbout homes for sale. The "Central Park" open area of the RoundAbout was also vacant, no neighborhood patriotic celebration was occurring at all. I assume as most of the homes are so close together, each RoundAbout neighbor must be aware that if they speak too loudly, the neighbors will hear. Several cars were parked near the trail and a family was walking on the road entering the trail as I drove by.

Maybe all the neighbors were in the back yard (out of sight) imbibing in liquid libation and bloviating...endlessly bashing their arch nemesis Paul.

Hope a good time was had by all.

When is the construction scheduled to begin??

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad things were "quite" (sic) enough for you, 9:55. Did you also check out those other areas where pedestrians walk and no sidewalks exist? I bet not.

I imagine Paul spent the holiday by leaving his equally expensive home and playing cribbage at his local tavern of his choice. (I understand he has several)

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:01 I'm certain the benevolent crew living on the River Mill RoundAbout would have gladly offered Mr. Esslinger a cold libation to quench his thirst. Perhaps Paul does partake in the consumption of sprits, however the case could be made that the sprits on the River Mill RoundAbout seem to have a bit less intoxicating effects now that they are proven to be mere mortals (rail vs top shelf) and will also know the true privilege of having paved walks in front of their humble abodes like the rest of the average middleclass malted beverage drinkers in is town know all to well.

The evenings passing quickly, refill your glass and raise a toast to the common man, and those that work in their favor.

Cheers

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure you believe you were quite witty, 8:22. Unfortunately your misspellings, poor grammar, and wordiness leave readers in a cloud of confusion. Perhaps you should not have tipped that last one before engaging your writing "skills."

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:33 Mr. RoundAbout.

It's about 8:30 AM on this fine Friday morning...almost cocktail time on the 'ol River Mill RoundAbout clock.

Re-fill your glass with your favorite intoxicating beverage and continue to stew in your "sidewalk" rage. The weekend will allow you ample time to release your pent-up Paul anger and drown your sorrows on gallons of distilled spirits.

Concrete is soon to arrive in a neighborhood near you! Finally, Safe walking will be possible at the RoundAbout.

Cheers.

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And no doubt there will be "throngs" of people walking. Almost as many as Esslinger has supporters.

P.S. You really ought to take an English course to learn proper spelling, when to capitalize, and when to use punctuation. Perhaps the drinks are affecting your abilities. We know they're affecting your "sense-abilities" (misspelling intended).

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In honor of those inebriated soles who call the River Mill RoundAbout home, I suggest that when the new sidewalks are installed, a new yearly event is established.

The River Mill RoundAbout Pub Crawl!

The upstanding residents of the wannabe gated community can erect libation stands similar to children’s Kool-Aid stands.

The neighbors can stroll ‘round the RoundAbout on the new concrete walks and toss back adult beverages as they stagger to the next neighbor’s, all the while spewing hateful rage towards Mr. Esslinger.

What fun!

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We could have cribbage tournaments, too, and invite Safety Patrol Paul. If we can get him unstuck from the barstool at his favorite neighborhood pub, that is.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cribbage tournaments are far too common. Those living in the cocoon of narcissism known as the River Mill RoundAbout are accustomed to a much more refined level of entertainment.

The “River Mills Miles Pub Crawl and Sidewalk Sweeper” is much more in-keeping with the class of people who call River Mill home.

On your mark, get set, guzzle!

Cheers.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all your complaining about the River Mill neighborhood you sure must think people are lining up to come here. Otherwise there'd be no need for sidewalks right now. You are confused by your own drunken stupor.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I drove on river mill yesterday and couldn't get over how close together those houses are. I bet with all the drinking thats happening in that place they just pass the bottle out the window from one house to the next all the way around that circle. Thats why those people say they dont need sidewalks, they can just get from one house to another jumping through the windows!!!!!

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have, without a doubt, some of the word grammatical skills in teh blogosphere or you've een hitting the sauce too much. Either way some help is in order for you.

As for homes being close together, the lots are larger than the standard lot size and larger than your own I'll bet. Of course, compared to the vast wasteland between your ears I'm sure most anything seems close together.

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:11....not so loud! The neighbor’s house is just a few feet away; they'll certainly hear you whining.

Oh ya...whining is normal for you guys in the River Mill RoundAbout.

Hey, I think that's your neighbor knocking on your window, pass him the Jack Daniels; he needs a little morning wake-me-up!

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you meant "worst" grammatical skills, didn't you 10:11? But I agree with the gist of your comments. These sidewalks are a joke and they were initiated by the court jester himself, Paul Esslinger. If he had a real concept of safety he'd have worried about other busier streets or he'd have asked the public works department for a list of areas with no sidewalks and then prioritize. Better yet in his jaunts around town filling out job applications he could have written down those same places and given it to public works. Political Payback Paul strikes again.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep on poking at Paul and pour yourself another stiff one. The concrete is coming and it will be a wonderful day to safely walk to the nature trail.

Paul and I will gladly join you on a stroll 'round the RoundAbout after the completion. On second thought, you better just stay in your back yard, if you're in your common inebriated irate state, heaven only knows you could stumble and fall and break your nose on that new concrete...and we wouldn't want to damage that fresh concrete would we.

Oh by the way, your new addition joins your neighbors on Men. Drive. Seems they will be getting a brand new fishing pier soon to thanks to the WONDERFUL donation by the Otter St Fishing Club.

Cheers!

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Safely walk to the nature trail? Not without taking one's life into their own hands crossing Congress. Thanks Safety Patrol Paul, for your concern.

Since there's never been one single person who has expressed or had problems getting to the trail off River Mill, but there have been plenty of problems getting to the trail when having to cross Congress, maybe you'd like to come over and serve as Safety Patrol in that area. The pay's not the best, but compared to nothing it'll help put a little bread on your table and tacos in your gut.

5:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suggest all the community minded residents on the River Mill RoundAbout start a neighborhood watch. You could all assemble and share cocktails and safety ideas. Then as a good-will gesture,and a way of returning the favor of having concrete sidewalks installed, you could each don a yellow vest and volunteer to be the RMSP (River Mill Safety Patrol) The RMSP could help people cross that nasty Congress Ave intersection. The RMSP idea is a good one, and in addition to the helpful activity, the RMSP group may develop into a River Mill Supports Paul (RMSP) group too!


What fun!

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:08, saftey patrols don't wear yellow vests. Shows how little you know about safety or those who really do protect people from safety hazards.

7:08 (Paul? or Kent?) is such a fool. They make fun of the dangerous crossing on Congress yet are so concerned about safety. Even Michelle Monte was at the Common Council Wailing Wall preaching about safety (during the River Mill sidewalk discussion). But what happened? Nothing but sidewalks where safety is not and never has been an issue. Yeah, we need people like this in office. Keep stepping in your own do-doo, guys.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The RMSP (River Mill Safety Patrol- River Mill Supports Paul) Team to the rescue on the Congress Ave issue.

Thanks guys. Stay sober when your working now!!

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems you should follow your own advice and stay sober when typing, 4:31 PM ("your" (sic).

Seriously though, you can't defend the vote or the process, can you? But be ever mindful, you or your neighborhood may be targeted next by some "community or safety-minded council member."

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“The RMSP (River Mill Safety Patrol-River Mill Supports Paul) Team to the rescue on the Congress Ave issue.”

The stewed crew on the roundabout took a vote after cocktail hour last Saturday and unfortunately will not be providing safety services on Congress.

It was discovered that out of the entire wannabe gated community subhuman-division no one could be counted on to be sober enough to perform the task. What a shame!

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And 7:22, certain members of our city council (Esslinger, McHugh, Palmeri)can't be voted on to make a rational decision - drunk or sober. They can't even be honest in their dsicussions about safety. That's an even greater shame when they're responsible not only for our safety, but spending our money too. Governance at its worst; hypocrisy at its finest.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a response to those who continue to claim councilman Paul Esslinger was only doing his job when it came to the River Mill sidewalk matter...

The issue they choose to ignore is it WAS and IS an abuse of power.

There is no love lost between councilman Esslinger and former councilman/mayor Jon Dell'Antonia who happens to live in this neighborhood. It's common knowledge that the fact there were no sidewalks there has been a sore spot for Esslinger for years. When he reaized he had enough votes on the council to get it passed (or at least a good chance to do so) he brought forward a resolution ordering in sidewalks in a single neighborhood and then had the audacity to say it was in the name of safety.

If his safety argument is to be believed then one would have to belive that there were no other streets in Oshkosh that needed sidewalks, particularly where people do, in fact, walk. We all know that is not the case. If it were a matter of eliminating disparity, as you call it, he would also have done his homework and brought forward a resolution to order in sidewalks on all other streets where sections of sidewalk or walks in their entirety are missing. We all know that didn't happen either.

Mr. Maguire has published numerous photos of places in Oshkosh where sidewalks are missing, where pedestrians walk and where vehicular traffic is greater than River Mill Road. And here's one more: how many years will the city or Schwab Properties allow the section of sidewalk to be out on Jackson Street just before the bridge heading south? People walk there too and when they get to that section either have to walk on Jackson Street (not a smart thing at all) or in the grass, which has ruts in it and someone could easily fall and break an ankle or worse. Additionally it looks stupid and shabby to have the Sidewalk Closed signs sitting there as they have been for years. And with all the recent focus on that area (Five Rivers, Akcess, the Marathon building purchase, the chamber building purchase discussion) you can't tell me Esslinger (or one of the other councilors) has not seen the signs, seen the problem, seen the traffic, and said "We really ought to do something about this."

Let's get moving on this Esslinger!! Since you're so hot for taking care of things that have languished for years, how about bringing forward another resolution to order in sidewalks there, Mr. Safety and Fixer of Inequities??

If the River Mill sidewalk issue was really about safety or repairing inequities Esslinger needed to do a better job of things. He failed...and miserably. People who know the truth and have all the facts about this situation totally believe Esslinger is full of it and (ab)used his power to get these sidewalks installed. They also believe there would have been nowhere near the uproar about them if he had been more fair and equitable in his approach. He wasn't and it's one more strike against him with many who used to support him.

9:26 AM  

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