The Bright Side

The great flood is over. But not the effects. Highway 50 remains closed to traffic for those people trying to get from Highway 94 to Lake Geneva in either direction. Large parts of Burlington remain totally closed. The rain came in with torrential force, in some places dropping as much as six inches in less than an hour. The water had nowhere to go, quickly filling rivers and streams, and anything resembling a depression or low-lying area.

National Guard Burlington

National Guard in Burlington called out by the Governor to help in the flooding. Paul Ryan did not show up and neither did his concern.


The field of conflict, the grand competition and the jealousy of ‘leadership.’
Terry O’Neill, noted former alderperson, city activist and reporter for the Geneva Shore Report spoke to the Lake Geneva Planning Commission on Monday night.

He spoke about entertaining a resolution about having referendums run to gauge citizen approval for large ticket items the city might be considering or building now and in the future.  The commission resoundingly rejected his suggestion based upon the simple obvious fact that it would undermine their authority as officials in charge of such things.  Were they right?  Referendums cost money and, admittedly over time, most referendums end up in a “no” response from the public.  The citizenry, by and large, sees a lot more benefit to not spending money than it does to the merits of almost anything being planned to be built.

Representatives are elected or appointed to lend much more attention, focus and research to any thought or application of the building of large structures with citizenry raised tax funding.  The commission is given the power, by the same citizenry usually objecting, to decide exactly what they decided in response to Terry O’Neill’s request.  There will likely be no referendum for the redo of the Riviera because the rules governing such things don’t call for one.  The question of trust is always something to be considered.  Terry O’Neill does not trust the commission or the city council to make decisions on big ticket items, obviously.

Is he right or wrong?  There is no way to tell unless a case by case study is made and then the results are complex and irritatingly governed by so many extraneous detail that it’s mind-boggling to try to deal with.  Was the theater expenditure a good idea is a perfect question to illustrate this point.  Yes, and No, depending upon perspective and what results might have been wanted.  The building is beautiful and a wonderful addition to the downtown area.  A great plus.  It’s limited, however, in its ability to financially survive.  A negative.  What will be the ultimate result?  Unknown.  The whole project would probably not have been undertaken if a referendum had been called.

Cartoon of the Week

Cartoon by Terry O'Neill

Sign up for Updates