LAKE GENEVA BUSINESSES DEMAND ANSWERS
What happened? That’s what the leaders of the BID (the collected businesses of the Lake Geneva downtown Improvement District) want to know.
This question leads directly to the fact that the newly available City of Lake Geneva audit for the year 2020 received a ‘refusal to sign or approve’ from the leadership of the BID. The leader of the Bid, the Chairman of that august and fine group, is named Speedo Condos. Speedo runs one of the most successful restaurants in town and has been a part of city political leadership going back more than twenty years. He served several consecutive terms as mayor of the city. He’s no ‘babe in arms’ to be set aside for inexperience, lack of native intellect, or business acumen.
Speedo and Dimitri (owner of the fabulous and famous Popeyes Restaurant) are objecting to the results of the audit, as that audit pertains to the business and finances of the BID for the previous year. The audit, apparently, does not reveal where certain sums of money went (or disappeared to). For example, the BID paid over ten thousand dollars to the Rotary Club to provide the beer for Octoberfest, but that money was not indicated to be some sort of charitable contribution. What happened to the Rotary Club’s ability or motivation to pay for the wholesale cost of the beer, since it had to make a considerable profit on selling it during the fest?
Speedo Condos stood up at the Monday night meeting of the Lake Geneva City Council and voiced his concerns, demanding a ‘forensic’ audit, which is basically using a phrase that means a full-scale investigation. Where did the money go under the previous leadership of the BID and what of it has come back? That the Rotary Club would be fronted ten thousand dollars to purchase beer for the beer tent at Octoberfest isn’t outrageous, unless it gets considered that the money never came back. Obviously, no organization purchases that much beer and sells it at a loss or for exactly what was paid for it. The Rotary Club is not attacked or investigated, at least not yet but, who knows, once this kind of thing gets underway, what might be turned up.
Without Speedo stepping into the BID and taking over, along with a strong right arm (Dimitri), none of this stuff would ever have come to light. Speedo also mentioned, when he stood before the council, that the library needed to be investigated, as well. That’s the first the Geneva Shore Report has heard of any possible impropriety over at that well-run and seemingly classy library operation. The leader of the library is wildly respected and liked by everyone. There was a scandal at the library years back (13 years ago) when over a hundred thousand dollars was lost to a bad employee. That employee absconded with the money and then was allowed to leave under a cloud. What happened there remains shrouded in secrecy to this day.
The only way that the City of Lake Geneva can continue to develop and build its infrastructure, as well as rebuild that part of it that’s been left to lay fallow, is to have a constant, near never-ending pursuit of cleanliness, integrity, and honor process underway in its midst. A forensic audit seems called for, not only now, but every year. The audit process that’s been in place for Lake Geneva departments, commissions, and committees has not been particularly effective in pointing out problems. The council voted to do nothing except kick the forensic audit out of chambers and back into the parlance of the BID. If the BID board wants to vote on having a forensic audit, then they have the authority to do so, and to pay for it, as well. The ball is back in Speedo’s court.