IT IS THE MUSIC OF THE PEOPLE
The tremendously popular musical Les Miserable was celebrated with a song titled: “You can hear the people sing.” Monday night was a singing night.
The Lake Geneva City Council, led by rebelling council president John “Hard Charging” Halverson, voted narrowly NOT to spend fifty-three thousand dollars on a thinly disguised feasibility study that would have allowed Hillmoor to be developed or allow the developer to sue the city if not allowed to develop. A year-and-a-half ago another narrow one-vote margin saved Hillmoor when a single brave councilwoman (Elizabeth Chappel) decided that she would be the precursor to Halverson’s courageous stand. John admitted openly that he had voted for the feasibility study payment only days before, but in light of the “wisdom of the unanimous crowd before him,” he was changing his vote.
If you stood outside the municipal building following the historic vote, anyone standing could hear the people sing. The lyrics of that Les Miserable song played in everyone’s heart who was outside the building: “When the beating of your heart, echoes the beating of the drums, there is a life about to start when tomorrow comes.” Cindy Flowers all but offered her resignation, as she fought hard for Mayor Tom Hartz and city attorney Dan Draper. No, she did not resign, but she did say that she was a civil engineer and therefore would only be swayed by the analysis and conclusions of applied known facts. She went on with the ‘resignation’ part by saying that she would not be swayed by the expressed opinion of the people she serves.
Cindy Flowers either forgot that she is an elected official, placed in her position to be swayed by the people she is supposed to serve, or she was truly setting up her own resignation. Being a civil engineer might just be all she is capable of doing at any one time. Alderperson Hedland, on the other hand, went with the other “H” representative on the council, “Hard Charging” Halverson. He might have been the single swing vote it took to deny the feasibility study once and for all, although the issue of Hillmoor’s eventual development is likely to remain a burning cogent issue for some time to come. There will be no line of short busses running off to Madison to check out developments there, which was an idea so welcoming to this newspaper that there is palpable disappointment to all of the staff at the paper, since a special bus was going to be rented by the GSR to trail the short buses on that trip. Groucho Marx disguises and cheap binoculars had already been purchased.
The attorneys who appeared on behalf of the Friends of Hillmoor, spoke eloquently and well about the potential for a lawsuit should the city have chosen to proceed with the feasibility study, that would have performed the same function as the old South Shore study in the Mirabel Hummel situation with that other tract of land located along the southeastern side of Lake Geneva. That study allowed Hummel to sue and win a three and a half million dollar settlement with the city because the study gave that company a chance, when the city would not follow its guidance, to say that they were aggrieved parties who’d lost money because the city would not follow its own recommendations.
It was a big win for the residents and taxpayers of Lake Geneva when a majority of the city council basically told Mayor Tom Hartz and city attorney Dan Draper to go take a hike. Alderpersons Proska, Skates and Flower, along with Tom and Dan, need an electoral correction in their next bids for office. The people ‘sang’, and when is all said and done next spring they need to get out and vote.