Your Views: Will city of Janesville lose more assets like Jay Winzenz?

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

The loss of Jay Winzenz is a blow to the community. I never thought he would leave. I was wrong. I fear we were wrong in not selecting him as our city manager. Now I believe we will regret that choice. I hope I am wrong again.

Jay has demonstrated himself to be a thorough, thoughtful and tireless advocate for Janesville. He takes with him skills and intelligence no newcomer can match. His knowledge and experience cannot be replaced. These things we will greatly regret losing. Whoever fills Jay’s office may bring a measure of skill. But no amount of skill can replace his selfless commitment.

Jay was loyal to our community above any individual. And loyalty is a valuable commodity. My concern is that our new city manager, an ex-military man, will demand loyalty, as well, to him and his directives. As others join The Colonel’s service, personnel and personality within the municipal building will change. We will lose more valuable assets like Winzenz.

Will more experience leave now, replaced by troops loyal to the city manager, or to the community? Will replacements rise from within or from elsewhere? The answer to that will tell us a great deal. The Colonel may have a pleasant public persona. But what is he like to work with? Morale is vital in any organization.

My prediction: Within one year, two at the most, we will regret our decision. By then, it will be too late. It already is.



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