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Village Manager Pat DeGrave's Resignation

March 26, 2014

Public Forum:

As a resident who received much assistance from Pat DeGrave, I was extremely dismayed to learn of his resignation from the position of Whitefish Bay Village Manager.

I realize it has been several weeks since he turned in his resignation at a closed, special meeting of the Village Board. I had hoped that by now we'd have some sense of what led to his resignation. Apparently, absolutely nothing is forthcoming.

I know there have been open records requests. I know one such request was responded to with the option of paying $120.00/hour for approximately 4 hours of searching emails and forwarding any such applicable to the request.

I guess I find it hard to believe that some sort of statement can't be made, whether it be that it's a personal issue that Pat asked not be discussed, or a personnel issue that they're not at liberty to discuss. By saying absolutely nothing, lots of room is left for speculation.

Frankly, not all of that speculation is conducive to re-electing incumbents on April 1. Rather, the complete non-response plays right into the campaign strategy of a number of non-incumbent challengers.

Pat himself was a communicator. Someone I could turn to when the front line at Village Hall was playing interference for various departments. Pat got things done for me when others either couldn't be bothered or couldn't be reached. Pat provided what I found lacking in my interaction with Village operations and administration. I don't take his parting lightly, particularly when I have absolutely no idea what prompted his decision to leave and I am, again, left with a government structure that appears to be reverting to the days prior to Pat's taking the position.

Anyone who recalls the days just after the initial floods of 2010 (the blaming, the refusal to address concerns or answer questions, the general attitude regarding the concerns of those directly effected) should be as concerned about Pat's departure as I am. Without any information coming forward, I'm left to speculate and react, on April 1st, to what I see as a step backward in the area of open communication with the residents of this Village.

Bob McBride
WFB resident, home owner and property tax payer

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