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City clerk moving on

Dykstra takes job in Darien

City starts search The effort to find a new City Clerk is under way. Lake Geneva Mayor Jim Connors stated in an e-mail response to questions that the position has been posted with "several Wisconsin municipal resources" and also will run in the Regional News. The city's Personnel Committee met last week to discuss the process to fill the position vacated by Diana Dykstra, who took an administrative position in the village of Darien. In her resignation letter, Dykstra stated that it is her "intention to provide a complete and smooth transition." "I willingly offer my services for training and will make myself available for assistance until the position is filled," she wrote. "I am in contact with the mayor and Personnel Chairman to develop a plan of action for this transition."

What they said about Dykstra "We truly appreciate the job that Diana has done serving the citizens of Lake Geneva and we wish her well on her promotion to administrator/clerk in Darien. Diana will be an excellent administrator and the advancement is well-deserved." Mayor Jim Connors "If I were the mayor, I would be beside myself and devastated. She is the backbone of City Hall with her skills and talent. The city is going to have one heck of a time finding someone to replace her." "I am so proud of her advancing herself like that. It is going to be good for her family, financially and professionally. I am thrilled for her that she found this opportunity. However, the city has lost a wonderful employee." Former mayor Bill Chesen "In my opinion, this is a great loss to the city of Lake Geneva and local government here. She was very knowlegeable and gained quite a bit of experience over the years. "I wish her nothing but the best. She is a great person and she will be very successful in Darien." Former mayor Sheldon Shepstone
July 07, 2010 | 08:58 AM
Clerk Diana Dykstra had some difficulty focusing on her work last week at City Hall.

Instead of a relatively uninterrupted pre-holiday week, Dykstra was inundated with numerous phone calls and visits from current and former city officials and employees wishing her well in her new endeavor.

Last week, Dykstra accepted a position as Darien's new administrator/clerk-treasurer. On June 30, she penned her resignation letter to City Administrator Dennis Jordan and Mayor Jim Connors. Her final day in Lake Geneva will be July 15. She will start in Darien on July 19.

When word spread about her leaving, Dykstra said the phone was ringing off the hook. Just like those who called, Dykstra has strong feelings about leaving Lake Geneva.

During her time in Lake Geneva, she had two children and has gained many close friends over the years. She had little trouble explaining what her final days would be like.

"It will be extremely sad," Dykstra said. "I had two of my children while I was employed with the city and your families grow together when you work so close with people.

She said she will miss her coworkers and some of the residents.

"I really enjoy helping people cut red tape," she said. "I think that there is no other job in the world like it. You get to participate in such a wide array of subjects and not a day went by that I didn't learn something new. It was certainly nothing a class or advanced degree can teach you."

She learned from the first minute she arrived in the city eight years ago.

"When I first started in Lake Geneva, I remember someone saying to me, 'You're too nice, they are going to chew you up and spit you out,'" Dykstra said. "She was right, they did. But, I picked myself up each time. It was just an amazing experience working for the city."

Although she enjoyed her years in Lake Geneva, Dykstra called the last two years "extremely stressful" referring to the pending lawsuits, recall efforts, open records requests and the suspensions of aldermen.

"However, under all those rumblings, I think people forget there are some really good employees and elected officials," Dykstra said. "There are some who deserve recognition and I truly hope they don't get lost in the reflection of the bad things that take place."

Now, she's thrilled to get started in Darien.

She said she's looking forward to meeting new people and everything has been wonderful so far.

"I feel this position really offers and opportunity to advance while continuing to do what I love and that is being a clerk," Dykstra said. "I knew that following my masters degree, I may be looking to expand, but I didn't expect it to happen this quickly."

Not only does Dykstra believe this is a move up the ladder in administration, but it also is closer to Sharon, where she lives.

"I went to grade school in Lake Geneva, but I went to high school in Delavan-Darien," she said. "Living in that are, I have always been a part of the community. I never thought I would be able to work that close to home doing what I love."

"I don't think I could have received that kind of knowledge at any other municipality," Dykstra said of Lake Geneva. "I am truly thankful for that opportunity. It has made me who I am today. When I accepted the job in Darien, I had someone actually ask me why I would do that. I had to laugh and ask why not? I would like to think that my work ethic and enthusiasm in Lake Geneva has helped provide stability through the years in that office."

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