FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — When it snows in Fishers, Mayor Scott Fadness is one of the first people to get to work — not in an office, but on the roads.
Fadness often moonlights as a snowplow driver.
“I have been doing this for 15 years now. Every time we have a decent snow, I wake up when my kids and family are sleeping and go work with the Department of Public Works. So I plow snow. I have done it for a long time and enjoy it,” Fadness told News 8’s Hanna Mordoh.
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Fadness grew up in North Dakota on a farm and is trained behind the wheel of a plow. He says that at first, DPW workers weren’t sure how he would do but he quickly became a part of the team.
Every time it snows, he hits the road in tandem with Eric Pethtel, director of the Fishers Department of Public Works.
“Honestly, it is one of those moments where I don’t have to think about much other than going out and plowing snow,” Fadness said. “The gentleman in front of me, Pethtel, we have been doing this for 15 years and we just really enjoy going out. Honestly, on a busy day if we work hard, we can knock out 10 to 12 neighborhoods, just the two of us, and that’s quite a difference for residents when they wake up in the morning.”
When asked if anyone recognizes him, Fadness replied, “Yeah! A couple of years ago, that happened. I put something out on social media that I was out and about, and a nurse needed to get to work and she gave me her address, and so I went and got her out of her neighborhood.”
Fadness says the time in the plow is perfect for clearing his head and listening to music. He is eager to help where he can and has often helped stranded drivers move their cars.
What he finds most special is getting to walk in the shoes of the workers in the city.
“I never tell them what I do for a living,” Fadness said. “It is also interesting to see how people treat our DPW employees. They may yell at me and not realize what my job is because I look like any other DPW employee. But on the flip side, I have had people say, ‘Great job — thank you guys so much,’ so you see both sides of it and, frankly, see how your community interacts with your employees.”
Fadness says he believes his “side gig” makes him a better mayor.
“I would like to think so; I hope so. I think anytime you can roll up your sleeves and be a part of actually doing something in your city, I think that’s a good thing.”