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Parks Committee Should Vote “NO” On Illegal Gift To Retiring Employee: Opinion

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Eric Haugaard (D) Kenosha Parks Commission Chairman
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

The same Kenosha Parks Committee that attempted to erect a memorial and plant a tree for Anthony Huber, a dangerous and violent criminal killed by Kyle Rittenhouse, is it again. Kenosha Parks Committee Chairman Eric Haugaard (D) and his colleagues want to do something illegal and unethical. That is probably why they will try to vote on the measure during a special meeting that is different than it’s usual time and day. This is exactly what they tried with the Huber Memorial. I was tipped off about that meeting and was tipped off about this one. On Monday, December 5, 2022 at 6:50pm, the Parks Committee is scheduled to meet with just one item on the agenda. This item, if voted affirmatively, will give the retiring parks superintendent a “Washington Park Municipal Golf Course Lifetime Membership.”

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There are many reasons why they should vote “NO”

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  1. It is illegal for the retiring employee to accept the gift and illegal for the committee to give it. Chapter 30 of the Kenosha Ordinances says that no city employee or former city employee may accept any gift which is related to city service or employment, which equals or is in excess of fifty ($50) dollars. This makes it illegal to accept the gift. The same chapter says that any covered person in the course of their service or employment, may not give to any person any gift, favor, unauthorized service, or thing of value which may tend to gain any undue or improper favor for them or the City. I will address the “improper favor” portion below.
  2. It is unprecedented. To my knowledge and to the knowledge of city officials I’ve spoken to, something like this hasn’t happened in the city’s more-than-100-year history.
  3. It sets a bad precedent. What’s next? Retiring police chief gets “free parking tickets for life?” The Retiring treasurer gets “free property taxes for life?” The city clerk gets “free dog and cat licenses for life?” See how this could get crazy?

This isn’t $1,000,000-in-a-briefcase level corruption, but all of theses little things viewed in their totality can look very bad. It shouldn’t happen.

I have no problem with the employee who is retiring. I worked with him for four years as Alderman and he worked very hard for the City. Our parks look beautiful, but we must also look to the motive for Haugaard giving this employee a gift that could be worth a thousand dollars or more.

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Haugaard lives on 5th Avenue in the City of Kenosha overlooking beautiful Lake Michigan. It’s public record. This employee helped Haugaard behind the scenes keep Kennedy drive closed at 7pm when all other City parks close at 10pm. Haugaard advocated for the drive to be torn up also. Why? Most of us think Haugaard wants an un-impeded view of the lake. Who wouldn’t? Haugaard has a history of using his position with the City to benefit himself. He wanted to build a very tall garage, but it was illegal. He purposed a change to the ordinance with five of his friends co-sponsoring the ordinance change. A couple of days after the change passed, he applied for a permit to build the garage that was now legal.

Eric Haugaard’s House

There are better, legal and ethical ways for the City to honor this employee. Name the golf course after him? Put his name on a plaque? Put his photo on the score cards?

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This isn’t a good idea. This committee should just say “NO”

Kenosha Park Committee
Top Row: Eric Haugaard (D), Jan Michalski (D), and Rollin Pizzala
Bottom Row: Kelly Mackay (D) and Rocco Lamacchia (D)
Washington Golf Course

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20 Responses

  1. Anyone else miss the simpler times when kenosha alderman were too busy stalking women, putting super glue in others car doors locks, shoplifting cigars from Andrea’s, impersonating a police officer, getting banned from malls, Et Cetera,Et Cetera, Et cetera? Siiiiiiggggghhhhhhhhh!

      1. And quite frankly to add, G John wasn’t a two-face hypocrite like 99% of these clowns elected now. He did so much for so many that went unnoticed. He was brought down solely by two jealous, scorned women (the one who lied about him stalking and the corrupt judge he was banging Jodi Meier).

  2. Eric has been on city council too long he is jointed at the hip with mayor. Hopefully someone in district will step forward to replace him. Maybe we need term limits on
    city alderman?

  3. IS THIS A SURPRISE TO ANYONE, THEY ARE ALL CORRUOPT. THEY ARE NOT IN TO HELP THE CITY AND THE AVERAGE PERSON, THEY ARE IN IT FOR THERE OWN AGENDA, FAVORS GET FAVORS THAT THE POSTION THESE GUYS HAVE, I HAVE SEEN IT FIRST HAND
    , HOW THEY DO THINGS. KEEP DIGGING KEVIN IT WILL NEVER STOP SURFACING, I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT CITY WORKERS ARE JUST AS BAD, PARKED CITY VECH AT THE HOMES FOR HOURS OUT OF THE DAY, PERSONALL USE OF EQUIPMENT AT THE HOMES. I HAVE TO WAIT WEEKS TO BUILD A DECK OR PUT UP SOMETHING USING THE PERMITS THESE GUYS GET THEM OVER NIGHT, AND ARE NOT COMPLIANT WITH PERMIT REGS, AT ALL

    WHAT REALLY SAD ABOUT ALL THIS IS THAT KENOHS COUNTY EYE WAS A PART TIME GIG LETTING MAKING RESIDENT AWARE OF WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON,
    LOOKS LIKE WITH ALL THIS STUFF BEING UNCOVERD DAILY THAT KENOHSA COUNTY EYE MAY NEED TO BE FULL TIME AND HIRE SOME EMPLOYEEES, TO INVESTIGATE ALL THE WRONGDOING OF ARE CITY

    1. A Free and Fair Press is an Essential Leg of a functioning Democracy which we are severely lacking in. If you rely on the The Kenosha News and other Left wing controlled propaganda outlets, you’ll never get a story that speaks Truth outside perhaps, the Obituary Column.
      Kevin, Keep up the good work that is essential to our country.

  4. I agree and disagree with my friend, Kevin.

    It does appear that there is a conflict with the ordinance and that would be a barrier. But that ordinance seems way out of date. A standard award plaque can easily top $50. The ordinance needs to be revised.

    When employees — good ones — retire they take with then a wealth of institutional knowledge. We don’t do a very good job of keeping a lifeline to those resources. I have no problem making this guy a consultant and providing some token compensation and benefits. But it should be done up front and legally.

  5. The whole situation is disgusting, literally disgusting. Let the committee take him out to dinner and buy him a gold watch on their own time and dime if they must pursue Sainthood for him.

  6. If its illegal then why can’t they be arrested and convicted? I know, conviction by this DA is not going to happen but still, arrest the bastards and have them spend some time in jail. Maybe arresting them will draw attention from the state’s attorney and they will be prosecuted. Forget the FBI investigating, they are useless but a Federal prosecutor may be interested. Hope our new county sheriff is watching.

  7. At least the city can get a budget and bonding passed so they won’t be shut down mid-winter. Can’t say that for the county…

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