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The City of Lake Geneva Planning Commission met, once again, on Monday night. This commission begins to take on elements of expression more likely to be seen among the musical players in Doctor Phibes band than an actual collection of concerned citizens appointed to positions in order to make the community a better place to live. What instruments are they playing and what are they smoking while they play?

Monday night high took place at the usual time and in the usual meeting room so people could be on hand to witness the commissioners sitting there while ‘biting the clouds.’ That Chinese phrase for the taking of mind-altering substance goes directly to the contentious issue that was treated as ‘anything but,’ was all about vacation rentals.

Some property owners want vacation rentals to be extended into residential neighborhoods (called residential business zone, if you happen to have an accountant or fortune teller putting up a sign outside their house there). Some residents showed up to argue that allowing these vacation ‘party houses’ (which is what most of these become) would interrupt the serenity, peace and quiet of the neighborhood they live in. There was only one man, one knight, who stood and mounted his trusty steed to fight for these residents. His name is John Gibbs. Sir Gibbs has been on the commission for years, and is the kind of man who usually remains quiet unless there’s something really controversial or outrageous to be discussed. He stood up on Monday night and fought for the residents to prevent this kind of contagious party blight to cancerously spread to quiet pastoral Lake Geneva neighborhoods. The residents smiled quietly, as residents are meekly prone to do, the room went quiet, and then the forces of darkness rose up and used American commercial rights of property owners to knock Sir Gibbs from his steed and scatter his remains.

Led by “I’m talking but not saying anything” Tom Hartz, “slip it in” Mike Slavney, “on thin ice” Doug Skates, and “I’m not over the” Sarah Hill the measure was moved forward to a better time (when no residents are around and Gibbs remains in intensive care at Lakeland) to push this obnoxious measure through. The vacation rentals issue has been contentious for many years and the competition between out of town property owners has continued to rankle the locals who have to live with the results of these throwback parties, taking Lake Geneva and the other communities around the lake back to the sixties, when hundreds of people would get drunk on weekends and pass out in back yards and even public parks, laying their like unkempt cut logs until rising with the sun on following morning, in opposition to all everyone knows about vampires and zombies. This kind of decision, made by commissioners appointed with the expressed intent of taking care of local residents and the community at large, should be a ‘no-brainer,’ and, unfortunately, many times it is exactly that.

Where was the combined intellect of the commissioners (exclusive of down, but not out, Sir John Gibbs) and sound judgment when it came time to say jack on behalf of the community? The combine intellect of what? A visiting predatory Raccoon? So there this issue lays, waiting, like the hot underground embers of the Geneva Inn annexation, simmering with nasty fetid heat while lurking with evil intent. Vacation rentals in places where vacation rentals are needed and wanted are fine. Geneva Lake certainly qualifies as one of those places. But such places must be protected at all costs from out of town predators of all kinds. They will come for the lake, as they have in the past. Many of those wealthy predators do not see a lake when they sit along the fabulous road leading past Buttons Bay. They see a staked goat. The only way to make sure that such economically driven ‘hunters’ are allowed their due without extinguishing the species, is to set firm limits on the culling of the herd. The herd, in this case, being a metaphorically word to mean Geneva Lake. Let the predators come, they have to hunt, kill and eat too, but let them come onto the Geneva Lake ‘reservation’ and conduct themselves according to the rules and ordinances established by the real owners of the real rights to this magnificent lake. When local commissions fail to perform to the expectations of the community then the community has only one choice. It must take its case to the representatives it put in place, and those representatives are called alderpersons or city council members.

The mayor of the town sits over this august group of carefully chosen individuals. Pick up your telephone and give Alan Kupsik a piece of your mind about this issue. He’s sitting by the phone waiting for your call…262 374 0036.
If he doesn’t pick up…262 248 3673.

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