”Wow, great reporting. Pick a few headlines, don’t put it into any sort of context, and act like the council is about to make the worst hire of all time. Agreed that the car accident thing was a little strange. Not the accident itself, which was a really minor winter-related mishap that could’ve happened to anybody, but the not reporting it aspect. Outside of that, what’s so “scary”? What doesn’t get mentioned, of course (because what fun would that be), is that Oborn has been really good for his current employer, the city of Rhinelander. The finances were a mess when he came in a few years ago. There had been some serious deficit spending that wasn’t sustainable thanks to the previous administrator. Oborn got things turned around. Only downside I see is that you may have to hunt for a new admin in a few years if you make this hire. Oborn initially told Rhinelander he was looking for a place he could stay at for 10 to 15 years and retire. He said Rhinelander was that place.”
City administrators in Wisconsin do not normally, or even extraordinarily have the responsibility for city finances. Lake Geneva, for example, has several committees, a treasurer, an accountant, a mayor and city council fully responsible for all city finances. The city administrator is responsible for administration of personnel, assets and finances of the city at the direction and with the support or opposition of these other responsible elected individuals and entities. Utah Blaine is supposed to do what he is directed to do and not to act like the rogue elephant in the living room, like the soon-to-be-former city administrator.
Contract zoning shinanigans. Contract zoning is where a developer is encouraged to develop
property that is deliberately negotiated for with zoning preferences in advance of any building. The city is fighting a contract zoning lawsuit right this minute, with respect to what was done about the Hummel mess The proposed development of the old Hillmoor golf course induced by veiled promises of favorable zoning changes (Hillmoor curently zoned RH, rural holding, private recreation) in the future is a case in point. The proposed forty acre lake, put forth by Mr. Mike Ford, of Real Estate-Gold/Tempo Development, Palos, Ill., appears to be so much hokum. It would seem to anyone listening at the Monday night planning meeting that Mr. Ford will not even buy the Hillmoor property unless the city comes through with favorable zoning change. If Lake Geneva does that (again!) then it will deserve the same fate it experienced when it went a few tough rounds with Hummel.