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What happened in 2019, when it came to actions of local government to make things better for everyone living around Lake Geneva, as well as those visiting it?

Turns out, there were quite a number of things. Yes, parking payments went up, and the good and bad of that can be argued over time, but in the final analysis, the increases in parking rates did not truly affect visitation numbers and certainly not retail sales, which reached heights never seen before.

The city went back to using salt for the streets on freezing and snow days, and that proved to be an effective thing.

Although money was not set aside for the pursuit of the extinction of the Starry Stonewart, there was money set aside to make sure that boat owners coming into the lake would be inspected and their bottoms properly examined.

BigFoot Beach was also examined, along with the portion of South Lake Shore Drive that runs along it, and was found to be okay the same way it has been for many years. It was left alone instead of being closed for development.

The street named Wrigley Drive, the one that is just north of the Riviera Pier Complex was not closed for development, as some wanted. The “small town” charm of lake Geneva remains fully in place as the New Year dawns.

Hillmoor remains under attack, although the developers of that property have been unable to proceed to development with an obstinate plan commission and city council sitting in the way.  The once-controversial Hummel property was quietly purchased, after the development of that property was stymied, by a buyer putting down millions and then choosing to leave the property in its pristine state.

Alderperson Doug Skates, the controversial, and contrarian, city alderperson has chosen not to run again for re-election.  He filed the papers to accomplish that on the 27th of December.  Mr. Skates has proven to be the most obstinate representative when dealing with city matters as distant from one another as the development of the Hillmoor property and the appearance of the Starry Stone Wart infestation in the Geneva Lake waters.  His departure is certain to mean good things for the citizenry and visitors of, and to, Lake Geneva.

Mary Jo Fessenmeier is left as the only candidate with papers filled, but will the mayor of Lake Geneva, certainly no fan of Mary Jo’s potential alderperson role, leave things that way, or will he encourage another candidate to come forward to oppose her.  The last day to file the papers to run for office is the 7th of January.

The year 2020, being one much better pronounced than those that have preceded it (since 1999), might well be graced with much less discord and much more cooperation than the years that have preceded it.  The current city council, even with Doug Skates aboard, is a step up from previous councils and the mayor, although a great “player” on the political scene, a much better choice than the mayors who have preceded him in service over the last fifteen years.

Happy New Year to all of our neighbors in greater Lake Geneva Area, and may all that phrase portends be a part of how you accommodate the leadership you have chosen and the new people coming aboard who may make changes of significance on your behalf.


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