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April is rushing at Geneva Lake, and in particular, focusing and honing in on the small town of Lake Geneva that sits perched on its northern edge. 
Lake Geneva doesn’t own much in the way of lakefront property and, although its pier complex is the largest on the lake, doesn’t have much of a truly aquatic or boating culture attached to it. What it has, a small seemingly sleepy town that it is is a quality of development and a population of people to support that qualitative development that puts most other seaside or lakeside towns to shame. Part of that cultural success is due to leadership. Over the last hundred years, the leadership of the city has controlled development, assured that monetary tasks were funded and accomplished, and also planned time and again to remain the tourist mecca it is while still maintaining a quaint and country personality.

The key to the health of leadership is all in the amount of community interest that can be brought to bear. No one wants to serve in positions of leadership if nobody in the public body cares or has the slightest interest. The City of Lake Geneva has gone through a long period where a huge percentage of the public lost interest in what that leadership might be doing. The whole debacle of the Hummel property and the subsequent lawsuit was a result of lack of interest by the public, allowing sub-standard citizens to serve in leadership roles. Fortunately, that time of public ignorance and lack of interest is in the past. Some of the old low-quality office holders are still in Lake Geneva, but for the most part, the majority have faded into one sort of obscurity or another.

This coming April there will be contested elections in almost every area, with multiple candidates running for offices against one another wherein almost all candidates have higher educations and impeccable resumes demonstrating prior success in the public and private sectors. The coming election season is going to be one to watch with democratic pride and great enthusiasm for the community and the entire lake region. When democracy is really working at its best it is filled with pockets of discontent and runaway enthusiasm. The product of those gatherings and beliefs yields the most representative form of government known to man on this planet.

What will spring bring into Lake Geneva aside from better weather?  No one can say, although the fact that so many different citizens are seeking a position in holding city offices at least lets everyone know that the amount of general interest among the whole population has to be correspondingly on the rise, as well.  Where there is increased community interest there is also increased community participation and therefore community-based decisions resulting from that participation.

Alan Kupsik, Tom Hartz and Charlene Klein are all running for mayor.  Why is that fact a good fact?  Because the community gets to decide upon three distinctly different views.  For example; only with regard to one issue, Hillmoor, here are the different positions of each candidate (summarized by the GSR staff):

  • Alan favors a partnership with a private developer to come to some sort of community/private company mutual plan.
  • Tom appears to state (in the Lake Geneva Regional News) that the Hillmoor issue is a sideline that doesn’t need to be addressed immediately.
  • Charlene Klein is total Hillmoor all the way.  She wants Hillmoor to become a park paradise for the community no matter how she can get that done.

The public gets to decide on three entirely different approaches, and that’s what America is all about.

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