SANTA CLAUS KUPSIK COMES EARLY
It wasn’t Lake Geneva’s city administrator, getting up and then coming forward with six guns a blazing. It wasn’t Dan Draper, Kordus, Hedlund or any of them. No, the man who stepped up to make sure the employees of Lake Geneva didn’t get screwed was none of those people. He was, and remains, a man named Alan Kupsik, acting every bit the part of a solid effective mayor when nobody expected such behavior.
Last week, when half the City of Lake Geneva’s population showed up to bicker and openly fight for the rights of those forces that openly opposed the
development of Hillmoor, Lake Geneva’s Big Kahuna (Alan Kupsik) stood up to make his stand count. He very quickly and very silently vetoed the plan, instantly making it the most contentious and controversial bit of law enactment (and veto) that’s taken place since the big downtown parking lot on Main Street got the axe. What a shock it was to have this happen so soon after the Hillmoor project was turned down (where the developers went for a change to the Comprehensive plan).
On the 27th of November Blaine Oborn very silently put out a memo on the 27th of November. The memo was sent by the city administrator to the entire Lake Geneva City Council. It read: “Items vetoed by the Mayor; a. Resolution No. 17-R56 for the ‘Inclusion under the Wisconsin Public Employer’s Group Health Insurance Program with participation in the deductible HMO Standard PPO W/O Dental, P14 Program Option effective January 1, 2018.’ What does all the employer/employee gobble-d-gook junk mean to regular people? It means that for the first time in the city’s recent history its mayor has stood up and taken the fire intended to be directed at the city employees. The employees, generally underpaid and hanging on by benefit threads, have gone a full round with the Mickey Mouse leadership and kicked its collective proverbial butt.
Up to now, Mr. Kupsik has followed the more manipulative reign of former mayor Jim Connors, in remaining behind the scenes during some of Lake Geneva’s more contentious debates and with some of its most controversial issues. He was notably absent during the last vote, when the temporary fate of Hillmoor was decided without his influence. At least whatever influence that would have been expressed by his mere presence, that is. The Hillmoor project failed, to the overwhelming approval of a turnout in citizenry that hasn’t been seen in Lake Geneva since the days of Hummel years ago. But Mayor Kupsik was here this time. He vetoed the nasty and sanctimonious employee medical insurance plan, that was a late night ‘slip-in’ by city administrator Utah Blaine at the last minute of the Hillmoor debate and vote. The employees deserved better and they got what they stood up and asked the council for. They got more time to examine this new approach by city leadership to soak the employees for more money to cover the budget shortfall. That it was totally unreasonable to expect fourteen thousand dollar a year new employees to fork over $7200 for medical premiums was blatantly obvious, and Mr. Oborn (city administrator) should have known better. That he did not, and Mr. Kupsik had to step in at the very last minute, does not speak well of Blaine or his leadership team.
Maybe the fact that the empty Lake Geneva City Clerk’s position is only temporarily filled explains Utah’s momentary lapse. Maybe not. No matter what the reasons for the last-minute demand for the employees to pay so much more of their own medical insurance premiums, the fact that Alan Kupsik swept in like their knight on a white charger is both instructive and a welcome relief.