Lamentably, just like the Terminator, he’s back!
Regarded more like ‘the virus in City Hall,’ than the leader of the City Staff, Dennis Jordan has a well earned reputation of incorporating his own brand of virus like screw-up into everything he touches because, like the bad little boy, he seems to relish the negative attention. Why then would anyone put such a person in a position to screw up Lake Geneva’s Police and Fire Departments, unless the Mayor has ulterior motives he’s unwilling to share with the public
So when Mayor Connors made his poorly considered and risky decision to appoint Dennis Jordan to be on the Police and Fire Commission for the next 5 years, he knew of the animosity Jordan engendered and all the years of complaints. He also knew there would be opposition and very little support for such a controversial appointment– which resulted in the City Council being split down the middle and coming within one vote of having the Mayor’s appointment overturned and egg on his face.
Sarah Hill didn’t mince any words when she told the Mayor his decision to make the Jordan appointment was the worst decision ever made since she has been on the council. Hill said she called the Mayor immediately on learning of the Jordan appointment and asked him why he would make such an irrational appointment and his only reply was, why not. Hill said she pleaded with the Mayor to reconsider the appointment for the good of the city, but to no avail.
As a member of the Personnel Committee Hill said she tried for three years in a row to do an Evaluation Report on Dennis Jordan and was blocked each time by the Mayor. Likewise, when she was an alderman, Mary Jo Fesenmaier had a similar experience when she had her Evaluation Report on Dennis Jordan ripped up and discarded.
Elizabeth Chappell said she agreed totally with what Sarah Hill had to say and “added a cherry on top.” After all, she said Dennis Jordan made the decision to retire and should move on with his life and allow a new chapter to start in city government. Chris Gelting also felt Jordan should separate himself from city government and allow new faces to come in.
Kupsic admitted he was concerned with the possibility of Dennis Jordan being charged with an offense
in either the Carstensen Case or the Care For Lake Geneva Suit and wanted to ask the Mayor to reconsider, but he was quickly rebuffed by the Mayor and the Connor’s archetypal glare. Uncharacteristically, Kupsic wasn’t intimidated by the Mayor and voted against Jordan.
Everyone expected Jeff Wall to recuse himself from voting on Jordan’s appointment to the Police and Fire Commission because a very close family member of Wall’s is on the Fire Department, thereby creating an obvious conflict of interest. Assuming Mr. Wall was unaware of the ethics and the law on this matter:
‘It is critical that the public be assured that their officials are free to exercise their best judgment without any hint of self-interest or partiality, especially if a matter under consideration is particularly controversial.’ Matter of Byer v. Town of Poestenkill, 232 A.D.2d 851, 852-53 (3d Dep’t 1996)
Since Wall cast the tying vote allowing the Mayor to approve the nominee, Mr. Wall, who claims to be a representative of “the people,’ should man-up and reconsider his decision to vote in order to allow for a fair and honest vote on appointing Jordan to the Police and Fire Commission for 5 years.
In an unexpected moment of candor, Alderman Hedlud revealed that he came to the meeting prepared to rubber stamp the Mayor’s choice, but suddenly realized his brain and conscience were starting to percolate on hearing what the others had to say about Jordan. Under this exceptional influence of second thoughts, Hedlund claimed he was actually going to think about his decision. At crunch time, however, he yielded to his old habit of letting his gut make the decision and voted the way the good old boys were banking on.
Because the vote was tied 4 to 4, the Mayor got to break the tie with his vote in favor of the Jordan appointment, but a vote and decision that will have unexpected consequences for the city and the Mayor. Connors said it himself, “this vote should not be political,” but it was the Mayor who made it political and exposed himself as a real “player” in the politics of the Lake Geneva Community. And so the question keeps coming up about what influence or pressure does Jordan have to force the Mayor to make such a contentious appointment?
Just 2 weeks ago a bill came thru from Gage Marine for $24,000 in pier repairs. Sarah Hill asked Dennis if he got bids and he answered that only 1 bid came in. That’s true, but what Jordan didn’t reveal was that he didn’t ask for a 2nd bid, in order to make it look like he was doing his job, until 2 days before Gage started the job. When the intended 2nd bidder went to look over the job to make a bid, Gage had already started the work. And this is what has been the normal procedure for the bid process in Lake Geneva. Just ask former City Clerks Diana Dykstra and Jeremy Riehl. So why would anyone go thru the trouble of submitting a bid when they know the system has been rigged? As a result, the city always pays more for its projects than other municipalities.
Dennis Jordan may very well be a likable person outside City Hall and a good husband, but his reputation as a City Administrator is pathetic. When he finally announced his final retirement, a grateful sigh of relief was expressed throughout the community. So the same question keeps coming up, why would the Mayor and City Attorney want to appoint a person with such a questionable reputation to the Police and Fire Commission when it looks like they are rewarding poor performance, mediocrity and sending a message that they condone inappropriate behavior by their city staff?
So off Jordon goes to join Tom Hartz on the Police and Fire Commission. Just think of all the mischief that duo can cook up leading the 2 most influential, powerful and sensitive organizations in the city: the Police Department and the Fire Department?