Lake Geneva to Reclaim
“Sunken Rudder” Utility Powers
The man the Geneva Shore Report has so lovingly and longingly referred to as Clark Gable Without the Mustache (Dan Winkler), the man who heads up the Lake Geneva Water and Light Company (if you believe that sign), the sewer and road department, and the utility commission, and who also holds the distinction as the very highest paid employee Lake Geneva pays, is being reined in. Or at least that is the way things are headed according to the shadowing confidential figures surrounding gunfighter Utah Blaine, Lake Geneva’s quietly lethal city administrator.
Blaine was brought in to replace the darkly dangerous black-hatted city administrator who preceded him. Blaine was brought in to end the range war that has gone on for many years between the ‘cabal’ of silent powerfully wealthy individuals who’ve really run the city, the fiefdom satellite departments of the city, the out of control overcharging developers and the painfully paying public. What’s going to happen when the Lake Geneva City Council has a real meeting again? This week’s meeting was a Meeting of the Whole where the council meets to hear from the public but makes no decisions about anything else.
The next “real” meeting of the council will occur on the 14th of September, only 3 days following the anniversary of 9/11. What kind of fireworks can be expected to be set off at that meeting. Will Utah Blaine really field the battle plan to take on the combined forces of scattered battalions that make up the loosely defined Utility Commission? Can Blaine stand against Winkler, especially when the simple fact that Mayor Jim Connors will be stuck in the middle between them, like a thick layer of marshmallow studded peach jello? Whatever happens on that fateful night be assured that fiery council member Sarah Hill will show up mounted for battle. Elizabeth Chappell may not come across as the most likely candidate to serve as Sarah’s Sancho Panza but she’ll be suited up as well.
Will Lake Geneva really see an end to the financial dealings conducted under a ‘cone of silence’ created by a utility leadership using the card game Three Card Monty as it’s master plan way of dealing with the rest of Lake Geneva’s city leadership? Will there be no more Bocce Ball courts, parks or other humorously implemented side projects funding out of utility Monopoly Money coffers?
The meeting on the 14th will either cause these titanic intra city forces to be joined or the whole thing will be, once again, swept under a warm blanket of small town smarm. The Geneva Shore Report celebrates its fourth anniversary with this weeks issue. The most astounding single fact the paper (created and staffed by people who never had any background in journalism) has been the discovery that small community governance in the communities that surround Lake Geneva is just as arcanely secret, deceptive, and seemingly idiotic and sometimes downright corrupt as the national government of America gives every appearance of being on almost a regular basis.
That the departments of Lake Geneva government should be accountable on a weekly, if not daily basis for such things as spending, saving, hiring, firing and upkeep, is logical and should be expected. The reality is so different than that seemingly simple way of doing city business that it’s not really believable. The Carstensen Pillar of Salt investigation and prosecution, which still rages on years later without documents being released to the public, happened, and continues to happen because the Lake Geneva Street Department actually reported to on one. The utility department, with all it’s strangely assembled parts, reports to no one. The city’s departments give every appearance of reporting to organized representative and appointed officials and bodies but in reality those officials and bodies have been little more than rubber stamps for department head leaders.
Is the revolution here?
Will Utah Blaine draw and fire accurately on Monday night?
Will the city council stand behind him?
Will Jim Connors stand at all?
Attend the meeting.
It ought to be more interesting and combative than a pre-season football game.