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There is no galloping knight on a white charger that makes his way from community to community, at times making believe he’s Paul Revere warning of invaders, or Prince Charming waiting while moving to awaken those around him to romance and pleasure. The closest man Geneva Lake has is Ted Peters, the knight in shining armor who runs an amalgamated lake preservation operation called the Geneva Lake Environmental Agency.

The name of the operation is somewhat misleading, though. The people sitting on the board of that committee are as much interested in, and fighting

Ted Peters Geneva Lake Environmental Agency

Sir Ted Peters, one of the unsung heroes of the Geneva Lake Area, just quietly going about his profoundly important work to save the lake and all of us from ourselves…or at least those among us who don’t have a decent future in mind.

for, ambiance as they are cleanliness; in vibrance as much as air and water quality; in life and the enjoyment of it, rather than just the continued existence of it. Each of the four lakeside communities around Geneva Lake (Lake Geneva, Williams Bay, Town of Linn and Fontana) donate twenty thousand dollars, per year, to fund the agency to keep it alive and working on behalf of everyone, and every place located in the lake vicinity. Ted Peters serves quietly. His white charger is ephemeral, more like Casper the Ghost than some clumping thumping reality making itself raucously known. Ted’s agency has been almost solely responsible for determining every violation of lake water variance and maintaining its health. The water in the lake (as tested by the Geneva Shore Report commissioned lab test), is one of those rare fresh water lakes where the liquid can be consumed, if necessary, (without further treatment) by humans, and it won’t make them sick or kill them. That’s as of last year, of course. This year, because of Ted and his agency, the lake is likely in similar condition.

Ted is not loved by everyone around the lake. He’s actually considered to be abhorrent to people like Bob Kordus, the discomforting populist city councilman in Lake Geneva. Kordus tried every way he could to deny the GLEA the twenty-thousand dollars normally contributed by the City of Lake Geneva last Monday night. He was wisely over-ruled, just as he was when he stood in favor of Hillmoor being densely developed. Does Bob Kordus stand for what the citizens of Lake Geneva want for Lake Geneva, or does the warm-hearted, endless and tireless work and beliefs of Sir Ted Peters indicate more accurately, how the population would like to see itself? Is it better that Mr. Potter, a character from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, as represented here by Bob Kordus, be honored for being a wise and hard-bitten capitalist by the community, or is it better that the Jimmy Stewart protagonist, as represented here by Ted Peters, be a more attractive direction for the people to head toward and look up to?

That is a question that can only be answered by the people themselves, and groups of humans have a funny way of letting everyone know what they really think. Sir Ted Peters endured being made to crawl on his knees across the floor of the council meeting room last Monday, to look up at Mr. Kordus and ask for another portion. He did that. He bent his knee and he submitted to Mr. Potter. Is that what the community wanted him to do? Did his successful and recessively passive acceptance of the thousand-pound gorilla’s chest thumping accomplish what was best for the lake and the people living and coming to play around it? Sometimes, they say, it is better to survive and live to fight another day, rather than stand and die for one’s principles. Why was Sir Ted put in that position and why is Lake Geneva electing “Mr. Potters” at all, when it has a choice?

The answers to those questions will come in time, but for the present, the GLEA got its necessary funding to continue doing the good things it has been doing, just like the comprehensive plan was allowed to continue protecting the interests of most of the citizens and visitors who come to Geneva Lake at all times of the year.


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