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W W W . F O R W A R D J A N E S V I L L E . C O M

I recently parked on the upper level of the City parking ramp on North Parker Drive. Walking to the

staircase by the elevator, I observed a remarkable, nasty, super-sized spider web. I don’t know much

about how long it takes spiders to create a superweb like this but my guess is this didn’t appear

overnight. What I do know is many people won’t even go near a web like this.

More to the theme of this column, most people would see it and wonder how our City maintenance

personnel could miss something as imposing and impressive as this colossal cobweb. I pulled out my

smart phone and snapped a photo of the web. A quick search of the City of Janesville’s website did

not lead me to a contact for who might be responsible for maintenance of the parking ramp, so I

decided to send the picture directly to City Manager Mark Frietag and inquire about who within the

City is responsible for maintenance of the parking ramp.

After I sent the email I started to second guess what I had done. Would Mark roll his eyes when he

opened my email and think to himself, “I’m trying to run a $111 million enterprise called the City of

Janesville and Beckord wants me to take care of a cobweb?” I can only imagine the volume and

variety of requests and complaints that Mark Frietag receives on a daily basis.

In less than an hour, I received a reply from Mark. He thanked me for alerting him to the problem and

indicated he would have the appropriate department take care of it. He added that having a picture

attached was very helpful to understanding just how big the problem was. But then he added a

thought that helped me understand how committed he is to improving the community. He wrote, “We

need 65,000 residents to be scouts who let us know when something is wrong, when something is not

properly maintained or in need of some attention.”

At this point you might be thinking I just burned through three minutes of your life writing about a

cobweb. But the real underlying topic here is taking pride in your community. Every time we pick up

litter or volunteer for a community clean-up day we are showing our pride. Every time we challenge

impulsively negative people who bash the community online we are showing our pride. And now City

Manager Mark Frietag would like all of us to show our pride by becoming scouts for the City.

It’s a little thing. But 65,000 little things add up to something meaningful. If you see something that you

want to bring to the attention of City staff, send a photo and a note to

or go

to the City’s service request webpage at



Consider becoming one of

65,000 resident scouts