THE FLIGHT OF THE VALKYRIE
Dan Winkler announces his retirement.
Dan “Piggy Bank” Winkler, headed up the Utility Department of the City of Lake Geneva with the kind of power and control Mussolini managed Italy, with Dan not to be confused with a Valkyrie from the third act of an opera or even the music played in Apocalypse Now, that made Robert Duvall so famous. No, Dan gets to retire instead of what happened to that Mussolini guy. He has finally quit, after running the department in secrecy and independent of regular city leadership controls because he ran it without raising rates or spending too much money. Until he did.
When it all came to playing his last pre-retirement season the rates for utilities for all Lake Geneva residents had to be almost doubled, and in some cases more than doubled. In a time when there is and has been little or no general economic inflation for ten years. This giant rise in fees for services was voted into law and Dan Winkler quietly headed over to the curtain, pulled it aside, and then informed the public that they should not look at that man behind the curtain. They should just follow the “wizard” in front of them. But there was, and is, no wizard. There are only the bills and no set of sequined shoes to click and escape back to a farm in Kansas. Dan Winkler built a dynasty and what the end result of that dynasty building will become is anybody’s guess. He brought the water and sewer and electric operations of Lake Geneva together into one entity and then he took control.
He will be keeping his position until September 16th of 2016 because that is how the big fish in Lake Geneva’s little pond tend to go out. There will be plenty of time for the city to find a replacement, although do not look to Mr. Oborn, Lake Geneva’s City Administrator, to remain out of the selection process. Mr. Oborn, demonstrating himself to be one squared away dude when it comes to doing his part in running Lake Geneva, will attempt to insure that the utility department is brought back under full control and full accountability for what it does and the money it takes in and spends. Dan Winkler made himself into the highest paid employee in Lake Geneva and he’s probably got the largest retirement package, as well. That kind of hubris needs to be addressed by the leadership of Lake Geneva. One of the first real challenges of Alan Kupsik’s mayoral run, and the continuing work of Oborn is going to be choosing Dan Winkler’s successor, getting control of the utility department, and then making sure that everything that goes on with that vital high revenue department is transparent as glass.