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We didn’t get here alone, and we can’t possibly stay here alone, but we can attempt to give those around us the idea that we made it all on our own. Lake Geneva is an integrated part of a whole sometimes referred to as the Geneva Lake Communities. The whole includes Town of Linn, Fontana, Williams Bay, Walworth, Town of Bloomington, Town of Geneva and Lyons. The whole of the lake communities works in finely divided linkage with plenty of friction, heat and acrimony, (from time to time), and cooperation when it can be caged together to benefit more than one entity.

No single organization, committee or agency operates or holds authority over the waters of Geneva Lake unless working in consort with the approval of those parts of the whole that choose to allow participation. What happened in 2016 happened like things happen to, and with, members of any semi-dysfunctional tribal group. Some parts take from others, borrow stuff from one another, and join in to build things, all the while acting as if brother and sisterhood and generosity are the mark of advancement and success. While all this is going on (generally described as local politics) other parts of the whole lake practice policies of deception and slight-of-hand within their individual parts, and to one another as parts of the whole. Profits on projects are padded to take care of friends and cronies, bids are advertised as open to the lowest bidder, but are secretly revealed to friends or family of office-holders. Properties are bought and sold among the same power-maintaining groups. 2016 was a good year for all of that and more. 2016 saw banner tax collections all around the lake, increased fees for parking, and just about everything else. Services to small businesses were held to a minimum, while it became more expensive to start and operate a business.

Predator business building owners thrived with a succession of ‘trust me’ leases, while the city continued to refuse to remove snow from small business’ sidewalks. The Lake Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce became, for all intents and purposes, the Local Resort Chamber of Commerce, at the expense of the small businesses. Kept at bay was further development on the lake, as the precious and wonderful BigFoot South Shore Drive was protected and shored up, while “Mr. Potter” developers like the Hummel people and those trying to put up ridiculous developments on Hillmoor were held off or stopped in their tracks. The police departments around the lake, along with the fire departments, marginally improved quality and service at about the same expense as before. Lake Geneva threw in the towel on lake water purity and went to using salt like the other communities fronting Geneva Lake. The result was safer winter driving and unknown environmental impact on lake water. Drones came flying in with the Town of Linn police and fire getting their own, along with the Lake Geneva Police Department. The Geneva Shore Report owns three. How they will be used, and what protections will be in place to protect public and private concerns, remains unknown.

This issue of the Geneva Shore Report will feature some past news stories, opinions, photos and interesting stuff published over the year of 2016. It is hoped that you were entertained and informed by the GSR during this past year, and are looking forward to more of the same in the year ahead.

Happy and Prosperous New Year to all of our readers

2016 into 2017

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