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COUNTRY ROAD…TAKE ME HOME

 

What is it that Lake Geneva does not have, but needs badly?  And what does it have that it wishes it didn’t?

Lake Geneva has no human resources department.  There’s no expert sitting in charge of personnel, benefits, insurance, or even the wispy strange employee booklet that means just about nothing.  There’s no human resources director to vet job candidates or any of that.  Instead, there is a personnel committee, made up mostly of citizens who don’t have a clue about any of what has just been written here.

Lake Geneva has no Parks and Recreation Department.  There is no set of key positions, no matter how small, to make parks and recreation decisions.  Instead, there’s a parks committee, made up of well-meaning citizens of the same caliber as the personnel committee.  Oh, there’s an arborist and there’s the trusty public works department that all the underground parks and recreation work falls on…not to mention criticism (some of it from this newspaper).  What does Lake Geneva wish, if a city can wish, that it has but doesn’t want?

How about miles and miles of lead pipes feeding poisoned lead water to its citizens, year after year.  Even a potential new bit of funding to change the city providing pipes will not cover all the pipes that run from the city pipes into homes (those pipes must be replaced at the owner’s expense, and God only knows how much of that will be done).  Lake Geneva has, by and large, low quality or simply bad roads, and they are everywhere.  Take a drive along what’s called the Bypass (highway 120) running out from Edwards Boulevard toward the Town of Walworth.  Now that’s a road, and it’s been a real solid and beautiful road for a dozen years without repair.

Not so the hodgepodge mess of Lake Geneva’s roads, even Highway 50 running back and forth through the center of town.  The side streets are worse.  The problem with all issues, the things needed but not necessarily understood to be wanted, and the things that are not wanted but lived with so long the public has become used to it, is that the City of Lake Geneva is growing rapidly and that growth is going to increase, not decrease, as much of Chicago finally figured out this delightful lake is where it is…with the super-wealthy lakeside part-time residents all but gone.

Yet the City of Lake Geneva acts like a borough or a burg and not a city at all.  There’s got to somehow be generated a sense of quality growth and credentialed representation applied to these city problems, or the coming development will be a simple divide and conquer operation.  Lake Geneva will become like the inside of a hoarder’s house, the awful ugliness, dirt, and detritus unnoticed by the occupants but soon avoided by every one of quality who might add value to the environment and the occupants living within that environment.

Roger ‘Rabbit’ came through Lake Geneva a few years ago and charged a huge sum to let the Lake Geneva leadership know that things were not optimal at all within the borders of the city.  His solutions were sophomoric and not based upon proper research, but he had one thing down pat.  The City of Lake Geneva needs to change before it is forced to change. It needs to direct itself into the future and not be directed by outsiders.  “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” is a management style that will no longer work, if any kind of quality future is at stake for this special but lonely outpost sitting guard over the beautiful, still pristine waters of Geneva Lake.

Management by exception won’t work either.  Management by design is the only way to go, but in order to design the city has to have qualified, educated, and credentialed people to guide it.

 

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