WE THREE KINGS
Robert Kordus, Dan Draper and Doug Skates reside up on the dais of leadership in the main hall of the Lake Geneva municipal building. These three were the architects of the latest attempt to change the comprehensive plan in favor of the Hillmoor developer, over the objections of the citizens of the town. Tom Hartz, former alderperson (the man who was the key vote that made the entire Hummel debacle happen) and plan commissioner, has taken out papers to run for mayor next year so there may well be four “kings” looking to remake Lake Geneva into a parking lot.
The “good old boys” have run Lake Geneva for many years. The fact that outside companies won’t even bid for contracts in Lake Geneva has everything to do with this group of quietly powerful males who’ve controlled development decisions over the past twenty years, and they are making a big time attempt to come back after having been pretty much thrashed over losing the big downtown parking structure, trying to ruin the road past BigFoot Beach, and failing to install water’s edge industry up along the shore adjacent to the Geneva Inn. Members of this not-so-secret sect of beneath the surface plotters and planners, built the Bocce Ball Courts at the Catholic Church, expanded part of Highway 50 into an expensive and useless ‘fat boy’ three lanes to nowhere at the entrance to the town, and then built the ever useless, but wildly profitable (to the builder), Flat Iron pavilion. The Lake Geneva Regional News, in a recent staff editorial, came out against the citizens who opposed the comprehensive plan change to allow unlimited commercial development of the Hillmoor property. The editorial indicated that the city council should revisit the alderperson’s decision and vote in favor of the project. It would appear, since that editorial was written following the last city council meeting, that the editorial board did not read the Lake Geneva city ordinance dealing with reconsideration. Here’s what that ordinance says: “Any member voting with the prevailing side may move for a reconsideration of the vote on any question at that meeting or at the next succeeding regular meeting. A motion to reconsider being put and lost shall not be renewed. An Alderperson may not change his vote on any question after the result has been announced. If the motion for reconsideration is made at the same meeting that the vote on an agenda item was taken, then the actual reconsideration of the issue can be made and voted upon at that same meeting. If the motion for reconsideration is made and passed at the next regularly scheduled meeting, after the vote was taken on an agenda item, then the issue must be placed on the agenda at a subsequent scheduled and noticed City Council meeting. After a motion for reconsideration has been made and passed, the Council may refer the matter to a committee for further consideration prior to the matter being placed on the agenda for action by the City Council.”
When their article was written the time for a motion for reconsideration to be filed had passed, and so remains, in the past. It is extremely ironic that this ‘board’ of educated writers would hold Cindy Flower in contempt for failing to understand the developers package without question, while their own conduct demonstrates such a colossal ignorance of city procedure. Perhaps they should have asked more questions. The good news is that the developer may not now come back for another attempt at a plan change until well into 2018. But the good old boys are already gathering together to circle their wagons. Next year will present an opportunity, via elections, to marginalize or even get rid of some of these “kings,” most of whom have shown little or no care for what the community wants, or needs.