With the stroke of a pen, Kenosha County Board Chairman John O’Day shook up the committee assignments for the county board. Terry Rose, a local successful attorney for over 54 years, has chaired the finance committee for a couple of decades. Under Rose’s leadership, every proposal made generated enough support to become law. Rose is known for being independent. He doesn’t vote with one side or the other. He votes for what he believes is right for the county. That has apparently drawn the ire of O’Day, especially when Rose was the only supervisor to advocate for an open meeting in the double-demotion hearing of Sgt. Bill Beth. Rose isn’t a “yes man” and has never been accused of such.
Jeffrey Gentz, 57 of Kenosha was tapped to be the next finance chair. In Kenosha County, the Chairman (O’Day) has unilateral authority to determine who is on which committees. Many other governmental bodies do so through a vote. Gentz, unlike Rose is a “yes man.” Gentz is already the chairman of the Joint Services committee. County rule 2.05(3)(h) prohibits any board member from chairing more than one committee. He will have to step down from one or O’Day will have to remove him from one. Gentz has been reportedly unemployed for almost a year. He has ostensibly been collecting unemployment and the extra “Uncle Sam Bucks.” Here is what else we learned – Gentz recently declared bankruptcy to the tune of almost three-quarters of a million dollars, USD. He was also ordered to attend credit counseling. Gentz had $52 in his pocket according to the court filing.
Among his debts that were wiped away:
$8,211 – Unpaid Taxes
$25,842 – Capitol One Credit Card
$9,448 – Discover Credit Card
$11,358 – M&I Credit Card
$15,242 Sears Credit Card
$458 – WE Energies
John O’Day told the Kenosha News “no comment” when asked why he made this change. We emailed him and learned that O’Day has apparently blocked our email address. He doesn’t want to hear from us.
The County’s credit rating was downgraded in 2020 due to what is believed to be the administration’s tax-and-spend policies and a tremendous amount of debt. The County needs help financially. What is O’Day’s solution? Replace the finance committee chairman with a man who can’t manage his own personal finances. Will Gentz bankrupt Kenosha County like he bankrupted himself? Let’s hope not. Putting someone like Gentz in charge of a $264MIL budget is very silly. Mr. O’Day, reverse course. Sometimes we make rash decisions when we are throwing a temper-tantrum. Take a deep breath and do the right thing, then resign.