Lake Geneva in Flux
The coming election is going to prove crucial in deciding the direction Lake Geneva’s development and administration is likely to take, as the future looms just up ahead. New alderpersons, and even a new mayor (the existing mayor, Tom Hartz, is expected to run for re-election) would also mean potential new players on the plan commission and other vital areas.
There is talk of changing the name of the Lake Geneva downtown to something like the “Riviera District,” and this was discussed quite seriously at the last BID (business improvement district) meeting held on Monday morning. Hillmoor’s fate remains totally up in the air, with city leaders in favor of allowing a change in zoning for a high-density development by the current private owners. The public, at least as demonstrated by the citizens who’ve shown up for the meetings in large numbers, have almost universally favored purchasing the land, to redevelop similar to what was done in Williams Bay as a preserve now known as Kishwauketoe. The preserve is maintained without cost to the city, as volunteers and private donors pay all the expenses for upkeep and maintenance.
The current council members likely to run for re-election (although no one but they are certain of that) are Alderperson Skates in district one, Alderperson Proska in the second district, Alderperson Dunn in the third district and Alderperson Flower in district four. It is now certain that if Alderperson Skates and Proska choose to run then they will most certainly be opposed by at least one candidate. We will not publish those candidates’ names until we receive their permission to do so, however. A change to the council absent Proska and Skates, not to mention replacement of commission and committee jobs, would make a huge difference to the city and for its future.
The mayor is very likely to run for re-election, but again he has not indicated so to the GSR, will also certainly be opposed. As the new year approaches it does so with a lot of trepidation in the choices everyone is going to have in the coming year, first in local elections in Lake Geneva, and then later, in November, in the national elections. The Meeting of the Whole, the meeting where the public is allowed to attend and speak to their ‘leaders” and was to be held prior to the Hillmoor open house, was not held. The council members not up for re-election, all of them, did not show up for the meeting so there was no quorum. The meeting could not go forward. What message were these alderpersons, in their massed failure to attend, trying to convey? That kind of conduct gives almost anyone viewing it or participating, a very negative feeling about what might be coming in the way of decisions on Hillmoor, Wrigley Drive, the Riviera Pier Complex that these recalcitrant elected officials will be making in the future.
This current council has certainly not been as bad, cowardly or simply unaware, as some in the past have been, but, at the same time it has, time after time, done what it did at that Hillmoor meeting a few weeks ago, and then again on Monday night. They turned their backs on the public they have sworn an oath to support. Support means “listen to” as a prerequisite.
Pay attention to the leadership of the community that you have come to love, live in, and quite likely, work in. It is about politics, a word that was created years ago to disguise the fact that elections are all about leadership and the choosing of who is going to lead. If you quit being involved in “politics” everyone may concede the leadership of everything they may hold dear to somebody that might very well be a drooling idiot, a buffoon, a clown, or simply someone who does not care about the community whatsoever.
Participate. It is not only your duty, but it is also in your best interest.