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CHARGES FLY LIKE TRACER BULLETS

A nest of hornets, or maybe one of those honeycomb yellow jacket havens, could not have gotten more attention from the powers that run the Geneva Lake communities than the article last week, and video, about the bogus sewage service supposedly provided to the Geneva Inn by the City of Lake Geneva. Officials called within hours of publication to threaten criminal legal action for opening a city sewer without a permit (like a permit would ever have been issued to bare the lie about the service).

Attorneys were consulted about the possibility of lawsuits being filed against the paper for slander, not by the attorneys who thought they might be slandered, but by ‘real’ attorneys working out of big offices in Milwaukee. The questions that have bandied about on Facebook and commented on the website have revolved around whether, somehow in violation of all the laws of physics, a two-inch outflow pipe could handle the volume of sewage debris that would be produced and pumped from a full-scale hotel and restaurant. Secondly, if full sewage services are not really provided to the Geneva Inn then how does that effect the decision process of annexation? There was also the matter of the potential collusion of three attorneys, Dan Draper, Richard Torhorst and Tom Gardiner, working in the same office space where one of the attorneys (Dan Draper) is the Lake Geneva City Attorney (the same city that is considering the annexation), while the other two (Richard Torhorst and Tom Gardiner) are legal representatives of the Geneva Inn. Dan Draper has recused himself from the situation by calling in other attorneys, although confidential members of the Finance Committee said that those attorneys were being hired to avoid major lawsuits likely to spring up if the annexation were to pass.

Nobody has questioned the fact that Town of Linn officials are upset about losing the Inn and having no say whatsoever in the process, if it should go down. If Mr. Torhorst and Mr. Gardiner have not colluded with Mr. Draper, leading up to this annexation proposal, then that would be a breath of fresh air in an otherwise sewer gas process. There is no secret that the people in business up in the Dells of Wisconsin have a major interest in coming down to Lake Geneva to do what it is that they did up there. There are even citizens and residents of Lake Geneva who might welcome a more ‘Dells’ approach to the lake’s continued development; with the addition of water parks; more parking and more people out there on the water all summer enjoying the lake.

The advent and success of resorts across the nation cannot be denied. The local resorts around Geneva Lake (all seven of them) have effectively taken over the Lake Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce, and made it into the Lake Geneva Chamber of Nothing. It’s now called “Visit Lake Geneva.” Resorts, by and large, are self-contained profit centers where the owners and operators attempt to keep their clients on site as much as possible, in order to ensure that they spend most of their money on the premises. Some hotels located on outlying Hawaiian Islands (like Maui and Kauai) pride themselves on the fact that fifty percent, or more, of their visiting clients never leave the grounds while they are on the island. And that’s Hawaii! This annexation comes down to the very foundations of our belief systems about what ambiance, quality, beauty and comfort come down to, and so the battle is joined.

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