Dan Winkler Gone? He left without having to be escorted from the Department of Public Works in handcuffs or carrying a cardboard box in his arms. No, this man who single-handedly made the Lake Geneva Utility Operations an independent ‘Death Star’ of his own design and control went the way of all Death Star commanders. Whether he will surface again, like the irrepressibly cold-blooded and actively carnivorous former city administrator (Dennis ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Jordon) is a question only time and Mayor Alan Kupsik can answer. Will this ‘straight arrow’ mayor put such a crooked kinked caricature of a managing director onto the Police and Fire Commission, or will Kuspsik let him live on as an embodiment of General McArthur’s final speech about old soldier’s not dying but fading away? Time will tell.
Dan Winkler’s replacement at the Utility/Water/Sewer/Street Department has been selected. His name is Harvey. He came out of retirement from the silver screen where he played a part in a Jimmy Stewart movie bearing his name. He’s a giant rabbit, so he’s going to be more difficult to say bad things about than his predecessor. All kidding aside, neither the mayor nor the city council has done much to seek a head-hunting firm to find a suitable candidate, much less conduct interviews. So what is to be done, since the department was not absorbed by the city as was Utah Blaine’s hope (Utah being Blaine Oborn, Lake Geneva’s City Administrator). So what might be done? Who’s got the experience, the background and is currently available for the job?
Well, Dan Winkler of course, except that his return would be ‘part-time’ at great expense until a replacement can be found. It’s either that or the rather weak-kneed utility commission can be pressed into service to make all decisions. Their biggest decision being an absolutely astounding increase in water rates earlier this year. Prospects for a new efficient and intelligent department head who won’t steal the people blind, or build more Bocce Ball Courts where none are wanted or needed, appear grim.
Larry Freed. The news last month that some stealth-buyer purchased Hillmoor Golf Course for a bargain basement price has had the X-Files investigators running in circles to get the rest of the story. All the rumors that were followed up proved to be false, except for the rumor that Illinois’ biggest shopping mall builder, Laurence Freed, may be involved. Freed was the developer of Chicago’s Block 37 project that now occupies the entire block between Randolph and Washington right on State Street across the street from the old Marshall Field’s store. He also built the Streets of Woodfield Mall and a host of other large projects during the 1990’s and 2000’s. However, when you check his recent history you find nothing but legal problems, both legal and criminal.
In February of this year he was convicted on 3 counts of bank fraud, mail fraud, and 4 counts of signing false affidavits to banks to acquire TIF funding. Freed now awaits sentencing that could amount to over 200 years in jail. Freed’s firm has also been sued for defrauding the University of Wisconsin in Madison and he has been charged with forgery in other cases. What’s going on with Hillmoor?
Larry Freed turns out to be the key player behind the Whitewater Corporation that is making an attempt to purchase the property and then do what Larry Freed has been known to do. Build a large shopping center. Under his father’s tutelage (and money) Larry built several major shopping centers in and around Chicago over the past few years. He has one huge problem staring at him, like the double bores of a twelve-gauge shotgun. He’s been convicted of fraud in so many areas that the possible combined sentences for his crimes exceeds two hundred years. So far, he’s avoided sentencing on these charges, but its only (most probably, since his cohorts have all been sentenced) a matter of time before he does a lot of time.
So, why is this man involved with Hillmoor at all?
Nobody can answer that question, or at least nobody so far.
Happening in Our Place