Utility Department Outrage almost cause enough to bring back the guillotine! Should there be outrage? That is the question. The slings and arrows of outrageous utility department fortune are quivering and flying in Lake Geneva, as the new final, punishing and very real utility rate request goes to the public service commission in Madison.
That’s right, in Madison.
Lake Geneva residents subject to this outrageously large increase in rates, now projected to be fifty-five percent (55%) above current rates, have no place to go but Madison to complain and in Madison their complaints will fall on the same ears that heard the complaints of teachers a few years back. In actuality, the Madison people deciding Lake Geneva’s fate will allow a special open public meeting to discuss just how far the financial sword is going be thrust into them in Lake Geneva. The local utility commission is going to allow the citizens of Lake Geneva to gather, cry, and wring their hands at city hall on February 11, 2016 at two p.m.
That’s a “phone session” where the people at the decision-making office will supposedly be sitting in Madison to listen to complaints from local citizens…while doing their fingernails.
That’s a Thursday, so you people who can’t get off of work…well, too bad, or you can call from work and make believe a 55% increase isn’t a personal call! Dan “bring your piggy bank” Winkler, the current leader of Lake Geneva’s utility department may be on hand to listen to complaints before giving about as much consideration to them as Dan “small ball” Draper gives to legal issues. Since Small Ball is running unopposed there’s plenty of material that’ll be available to write about for the next couple of years. Mr. “Bring Your Piggy Bank” himself may not show up at the meeting, given that he spends most of his time tied down at his desk, or on his desk, depending upon what rumors you might want to pay attention to, and has been feeling the need of late to take some time off.
If Winkler bugs out to visit Paris, as rumor has it, then he will no doubt want to visit the Place de la Concorde right near the end of the Champs-Elysees. It’s a beautiful little park that is best known as the place where the French citizenry built the guillotine in order to take care of paying back officials who chose to take care of themselves instead of the interests of the people.
According to the United States Government the rate of inflation for the year of 2015 was -0.5 percent. The year before that it was 1.5 percent and the year before that 1.6 percent. So where did the 55% come from and how are regular people supposed to be able to accommodate such a mind-boggling increase with no warning or increments or anything? When the parking rate doubled three years ago at least a local Lake Geneva resident could walk farther and avoid the direct hit on his or her wallet. But how do you avoid a tax that gets collected or they shut your water off?
And here’s the ‘topper’ to the whole issue. While Utah Blaine, Lake Geneva’s City Administrator is working under the table to bring the utility department back into the city fold Dan “piggy bank” Winkler was given a $50,000.00 “bonus” at Monday night’s council session and not one Alderperson objected or even asked what Dan was going to do with the money. Do we need other citizens to run for city council and mayoral offices in Lake Geneva?
Maureen Marks, pilloried last week by the Lake Geneva Regional News.
Maureen Marks a candidate for the district one seat in the Lake Geneva city council. She is an open book and has not tried to hide or get away with anything. She was more than willing to share with us her issues in the 2010 regarding benefit fraud. To sum it up and in her defense she needed help due to a medical issue and was unable to work. She asked for help in 2003. The original case worker she had asked her various questions and fill out numerous papers. There seemed to be no problems and the help she needed was given. When her caseworker was switched in 2006 she was contacted and told she would not be receiving some of the benefits she was awarded. Maureen filed an appeal to see if the questions could be resolved. The result of the appeal was not in her favor and benefits ended. According to Marks, she thought that was the end of it when she didn’t hear from her caseworker again. In 2010 she was surprised when she was served by mail with accusations from Assistant District Attorney “Elvira” Donahoo of having committed benefit fraud.
Donahoo accused her of filling out the benefits documents fraudulently. According to Maureen Marks, she never tried to pull one over on anyone or try to receive something she didn’t think she was qualified to receive. “The paper work for benefit applications can be so complicated and, with the switching of my caseworkers, information and details were lost.” Marks did not fill the paperwork out without the assistance and approval of her first caseworker.
Either way Maureen thought she was doing the right thing and then tried to clear any discrepancies up. Maureen paid every dollar in benefits given to her back. By agreeing to pay the money back, and then doing so, Marks thought the whole affair was over and done with. And then Maureen decided to run for alderperson in Lake Geneva. It was a path she chose because she wanted to contribute to the community of Lake Geneva.
Maureen has been a resident of lake Geneva since 1980. She has raised her four children here as a single mom while running a business and going to nursing and grad school. Not only is she a devoted mother she has always gone above and beyond. She has also been there for people in need in the community by taking in vets, families and friends to help them get back on their feet. Not only does she love people she is an animal lover and has saved and raised many dogs. Her newest adoption is a little dog that was living in inhumane conditions. Patty Paws is her name and you can see how much trust and love this little dog has for Maureen already.
Being mediocre is not in Maureen’s character. As a business women running her B&B, taking classes, earning degrees, and standing up for what is right is what she feels she has always done. Can her real-life foibles and adventures be overlooked to the point where she’s allowed to serve a community with all of her life experience or not?
Only the community can answer that question, a question that should never be left to be answered by any outlet of media.