Lynches call it quits
It took only two weeks into the new year to get the merry-go-round of Winnebago city government going again.
Deputy Clerk Sue Lynch and Councilman Dennis Lynch submitted their letters of resignation minutes before the start of Tuesday’s meeting.
“That’s why we started late. We had a mini-meeting,” says Mayor Randy Nowak.
The meeting was scheduled to start at 7 p.m., but absent from the council chambers were Nowak, City Administrator Jennifer Feely and Councilmember Maryann McClain.
Fifteen minutes later, Nowak called the meeting to order and read letters that said Dennis Lynch was resigning effective immediately and Sue Lynch was leaving her position effective Jan. 22.
The Lynches gave no explanation why they were resigning. And, it seemed to catch city officials completely by surprise.
“That really caught me off guard. I had no idea,” says Councilman Dana Gates.
Feely declined to comment on the resignations.
“I got them handed to me fives minutes prior to the meeting,” she added.
In an e-mail to the Register, Sue Lynch wrote that she and her husband had no comment.
At the end of the meeting, McClain and Councilman Rick Johnson offered Feely words of encouragement, who has been on the job since October 2007.
“I just think we really need to work together, and we need to give Jennifer all the support she needs. This has been a real hard time for her,” McClain told the council.
Johnson directed his comments specifically to Feely. “Like I said before — don’t give up on us. I know it has been tough. I think it will work out for the best,” Johnson said.
Sue Lynch was hired as deputy city clerk in June 2005.
Councilmembers gave the city’s executive hiring committee — Feely, Nowak and McClain — the go-ahead to start the hiring process to replace Sue Lynch.
In the meantime, former deputy city clerk Jeanne Kortuem will be handling the duties.
City officials were less certain what steps must be taken to fill the vacant council seat. Feely says she will be doing some research to find out what procedure must be followed.
Dennis Lynch has served on the council since August 2007, after being appointed to fill a vacancy created when Tim Hynes resigned in June. Lynch would have served until November, then a special election would be held for the remainder of the term that expires Dec. 31, 2010.