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A couple of years ago the Lake Geneva City Attorney was in a law firm located in downtown Lake Geneva across the street across from PNC bank. He was known as a rather timid man who mostly kept to himself but, from time to time, could be prodded to display a rather amiable sense of humor. That was then. Now, he has allied with a man named Richard “Second Story” Torhorst. Mr. Torhorst is better known for once being an attorney for the Hummel group, but now he has taken up with the Lake Geneva Inn.

Mr. “Small Ball” Draper and “Second Story” share the same office space and staff across town, just off of Highway 120. The office is newer and much more stylish. In that same office, another attorney has taken up space; Mr. Tom Gardiner. He’s also a Lake Geneva Inn attorney. So, it’s likely not just the ‘Deadly Duo,’ but the Terminal Trio the city now has to deal with. Where did this new formal plan to annex the Lake Geneva Inn (from the Town of Linn, where it currently resides and is taxed, to Lake Geneva itself) come from? It’s been slowly brewed by these three men. Small Ball has pronounced every facet of the annexation legal. He did that, but then recused himself in favor of bringing in “real attorneys,” when open threats of lawsuits being filed were verbalized at a recent finance committee meeting. That finance committee did not approve of the annexation. But the finance committee members, no doubt knowing that they too can be sued for their personal performance, understood when they gave the idea no support and sent it on to the city council ,that the city council did not need the committee’s approval to proceed with the annexation. And so this whole mess goes to the council for its decision.

Is the annexation going to be approved and the lake shore opened up for future development?

That is the question. The ‘duck’ tour people have come down from the Dells to begin openly prospecting for lake entry points to bring their duck tour business to Lake Geneva’s pristine waters since the Dells has been turned into a big water park cesspool. There is also talk of the water skiing show moving to the BigFoot Beach area if the new there marina can be forced to replace the most beautiful stretch of road the lake and city have ever seen.

Is there illegality in this strange and seemingly fraudulent colluding of attorneys to suborn the elected officials in Lake Geneva to perform this odious developmental task? Probably not, because whom among this trinity is going to confess that he put this all together in order to bamboozle the Lake Geneva City Council? There’s nothing about this annexation that is good for the citizens and residents, or even the visitors to Lake Geneva. The Town of Linn is being completely alienated, along with the city administrator of Williams Bay, the taxes are a nonsense amount compared to the total collected by the city every year, and the extension of sewer services (which are rumored and lied about as already existing) would be crushingly expensive to lay and provide.

What does the City of Lake Geneva get out of the deal? Nothing, except a cheapening of the lake and lousy uncontrolled development along its shores. This has all been done on the down low. Without this paper’s persistent biting resistance, and that of Care for Lake Geneva, this conversion of the Geneva Lake Area into a Dells nightmare might have gone down in silence, its hugely negative effects only coming to the fore when the developments were too far along to stop or change. This attempt to brush the citizen’s aside, and give away the lake shore, is a terrible idea and needs to be fought down to the wire by everyone who loves the crystal clarity of the water, the beauty of Geneva Lake and the surrounding properties.

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