Letter to the editor from Dick Malmin, Lake Geneva activist and member of Care for Lake Geneva :
“There was a deceitful change to the Referendum Ordinance for Capital Expenditures at the council meeting week before last. It was nothing less than payback and punishment by the City Council, and public-abusing mayor, for the embarrassment and loss suffered when the public totally and overwhelmingly rejected the parking structure referendum this last April. The counter-attack, spearheaded by Mayor Connor’s and Dennis Jordan, against the public included alderperson’s Kordus, Kupsic, Hill and Hedlund. This angry reactionary cabal was bent out of shape by its inability to bamboozle the citizens of Lake Geneva into agreeing to overpay for a poorly designed and placed parking garage. The cabal secretly went to work and plotted an undeclared war on the public. They started by getting rid of the public’s ability to make any decisions about what might or might not be built within the confines of its town. The strategy was to ambush the one and only truly democratic financial expenditure program the city had, and that was the Referendum Ordinance for Capital Expenditures.
The Connors’ con-job started with a reasonable request to increase the 2006 Referendum amount from $1.05M to $1.5M, but as part of the hustle he managed to strike fear into the rest of the city council by talking about impending catastrophic events, and how these emergencies could be managed and paid for under the ordinance. Connors was able to bait and switch enough of the Alderman to have Kordus and Wall make a “motion to move the ordinance forward and instruct staff to change the dollar amount to $1.5 million, indexed by the Consumer Price Index.
The new ordinance didn’t stop there. It included verbiage to exempt expenditures needed for emergencies.” The motion passed, but once the city staff’s version of the sneaky final draft appeared it had all the exemptions, but omitted, or castrated out, the emergency verbiage leaving the resulting new ordinance as dead as decaying seagull on the lakeshore. The emergency nature of the new ordinance went missing. The most excellent Alderperson Chappell appealed, but the other nodding heads on the council were either intimidated or perfectly happy with this deceit. The 7-1 passage of the newly emasculated referendum ordinance (there will be no future referendums on building) was another victory for Dennis Jordan, the former city administrator.
Jordan wrote the referendum as his departing shot at a city he purports to love, but only as long as it does exactly what he wants it to. The city did what he wanted. Again. And then, with Mayor Gumby’s ridiculous support, the city rewarded him by allowing him to face off against the finest police department in the state.”
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