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The great Lake Geneva mayoral election runoff is over and there are two winners, the current mayor not being one of them.

Charlene Klein Lake Geneva

Charlene Klein
Smiling triumphantly! This fabulous intelligent and articulate woman came out on top in this primary. It is wonderful to see.

Charlene Klein pulls off a stunning upset over popular but pro-development Tom Hartz.  The mayor is out of it, finishing a distant third, although his term as mayor has not been noteworthy other than business ran pretty smoothly with him in the mayor’s chair.  In April 2018 Charlene and Tom will face off once again.  There is no question that the entire unfinished Hillmoor affair had some serious effect on the results.  The citizenry came out for those hearings and sessions and they came out solidly behind the idea of Hillmoor being for the public and not for uncontrolled private development.

Those Hillmoor votes went decisively to Charlene Klein, and the reason that’s pretty obvious is simply that she had no name recognition whatever when the race began only a short time ago.  Tom Hartz was on the plan commission and then the city council and owns one of the most successful restaurants in the entire area.  Alan Kupsik has been mayor for two years.  Now, the question becomes; “where are those Kupsik votes going to?” If they split, then Charlene will win in April, although there is one other factor to consider, other than behavior and presentations prior to that election.  The weather for this primary election was terrible.  It rained the entire day and it was cold and windy while it rained.  The turnout was not good, with only a total of just under nine hundred votes cast.  When Alan Kupsik won in 2016, he won with a vote total (of votes cast) of nearly twelve hundred.  It is hard to compare apples to apples using that election as a standard, however, as there were no primary races.

The election where Charlene will go head to head with Tom Hartz is over two months away.  There are a lot of issues that will have to be considered when the public decides who it wants to lead the city for the next two years.  The issues will likely be Hillmoor, South Lake Shore Drive reroute past BigFoot Beach,  and quite possibly the Geneva Inn development plan (although that place has been very quiet of late) and the issues of using eminent domain and/or the premier area tax.  The city administrator’s job must be considered, as well.  It was not much of a secret that Alan Kupsik had come to find Utah Blaine unacceptable in several areas (primarily in handling his city employees).  Will Mr. Oborn get a reprieve, as the result of this primary begin to sink in?  Will another plan be put together to bring the Department of Public Works back in under the city administrator’s authority and control?

The next two months are going to be interesting indeed, and the other communities around the lake will be, no doubt, watching what is going on as closely as the entire staff of the Geneva Shore Report.

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