LOOKING ON THE BRIGHT SIDE
Lake Geneva’s Political Regime that has ruled the City of Lake Geneva for the last ten years started to unravel with the revelation that the City of Lake Geneva was giving tons of free salt to two local landscaping companies. Although the regime was able to limit prosecution to a single scape goat (Ron Carstensen) its days had become numbered and the leaders of the regime figured that out. One by one these characters exited after working to cover their tracks. The seven-year burn rule helped immensely. The whole Mirabel Hummel disaster went up in flames. They then began to ‘retire’ down into positions in lower committees where they could stay out of the limelight, but still be privy to whatever was going on (like checks into their background activities). They made certain that all the bogus credit card receipts from the Library theft and other incriminating data from that debacle were old enough to be destroyed.
Not surprisingly, lots of paperwork was deemed just old enough. Then they made sure the books on TIF #4 were closed and sealed so that there can be no further review, investigation or accounting of TIF revenues or spending. Finally, they increased utility rates by about 36% to help the city overlook the utility department’s previous financial transactions and squirrelish investments. Their key appointments to commissions to assure some continued control of the city even after their leaving. The rolling retirements, starting with Dennis Jordan, then Barney Brugger, then Dan Winkler, and then Peg Pollitt bailed from high office as their mayor Jim Connors went quietly into the night. The old political regime, and its key players may be going and gone, but their effect and influence will linger for several more years to come. What will it take for their replacements (nearly one and all not imbued with the good old boy mentality and connections) to fix the things that were done badly and then proceed on into a brighter future where tax money is legitimately collected and then used for the good of all? The indications coming in would seem to support the hoped for outcome that these ‘new guys’ and gals, are indeed the ‘good guys’ and gals.
Cartoon by Terry O’Neill