The Department of Recreation?
The creation of a Recreation Director position was the Lake Geneva Personnel Committee’s 5th agenda item for discussion and action last Monday. Who put this on the agenda? The 7,700 residents of the city do not need a recreation director, nor do they need to be involved in the entertainment or recreation business, especially not among those that they might be in competition or in partnership with, private profit or non-profit businesses. There is a need to coordinate certain activities with the police and with the street department, but those organizational acts are limited to major events, and are currently handled within the respective departments most qualified to determine what is best needed. Furthermore, as the title implies, a director is not just an isolated person, but is a position giving overall direction to an organization, department or group of people.
If the creation of a whole department were not the intended purpose, then the position would not have been called a “Recreation Director,” but rather a “Recreation Coordinator or Liaison.” The creation of a new department appears to be the intention of the city leadership and its next step will likely be to hire an assistant for the Director, then assign office space (the old chamber of commerce building in Flat Iron Park), and probably adding additional employees as needed. This move will have general support from other departments, because it would enable those departments to transfer some their activities to the recreation department, thus enabling the other departments to look like they kept budgets down, but really only transferred some of current work, expenses and responsibilities to another department. This move is similar to when the fire department transferred a $250,000 cost out of its budget by adding it to residential water bills (the fire hydrant rental fee). This enabled the fire department to look like it made a $50,000 budget cut, when it actually made a $200,000 increase to fire department spending. The creation of a recreation director’s position needs to be stopped now.
If the position is created, nothing will stop the process until a whole new department of recreation is formed. Nothing government does is ever done without motive. So many times these actions are deliberately cloaked, and quietly planned well in advance.
Where did this new bloated spending program come from, and why did it appear as if out of nowhere?
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