The Bright Side
The Lake Geneva’s new minority:
The United States is so mobile that today only 40% of the population of the United States live in the state in which they were born, and only about 30% live in the town in which they were born. This mobility has effected every city in the United States, and the City of Lake Geneva is no exception. What this has done, in many towns like Lake Geneva, is to make the stable long-term residents (those born, raised and still living in the same town) a minority. Being out numbered 2 to 1, long term residents have lost the control and direction of their own town. They may speak up at meetings, but they have to stand by and watch other “non-natives” run (or ruin) what they consider their town by birthright. Those from outside the area, and not the longer-term locals, have begun controlling and determining the city’s direction.
In the past, when there was less turnover, the few outsiders moving to Lake Geneva would make friends and adapt to the new environment. They came to Lake Geneva because they liked what was here and wanted to be part of it. But as the rate of new incoming residents has swelled, and with so many of them being only part time residents, and with the new subdivisions and the expansion of the city, things have changed. Instead of adapting to Lake Geneva, these welcome but different newcomers have started adapting Lake Geneva to fit themselves, their wants and their vision of its future.
Today, Lake Geneva is influenced and controlled mostly by these newcomers or outsiders, meaning those who have moved to Lake Geneva rather than those who grew up in the town. With the result that the newcomers have a heavy influence on everything, from businesses to property and even taxation. To these people controlling the city, the city’s future may look bright, but what is really happening is that they may be sealing the city’s fate to become more and more like the places these people left behind. In the process of bringing about change they may be destroying what made Lake Geneva a desirable place to live in, and what brought them here in the first place. What is often missing is a longer-term perspective, understanding and appreciation of the area, and the desire of the locals who need to come together to preserve what Lake Geneva is for those in the future to enjoy. It is the local population that must move together to control new development, and stand and run for city elective offices to accomplish that.