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On the 16th of October, the city council of Lake Geneva determined that at 6:30 p.m. that night it will have a “Hillmoor Public Open House to Review Hillmoor Concept” meeting in the Badger High School Cafeteria. This city council has made the decision to hold this special ‘get together’ in lieu of the one that the citizens all clamored for a week back that did not get funded by the finance committee. The plan commission had voted overwhelmingly to have that meeting but the finance committee has total city council membership serving it. The council sitting at that meeting voted overwhelmingly not to fund the requested public hearing. Now, the city council is also in a pickle because one of its members called for a “reconsideration” of her vote on allowing the concept plan at all (by withholding payment). That reconsideration request was moved, seconded and successfully voted on for immediate approval.

The first city council session that will allow full-scale business matters to be discussed and voted on is set to occur on the 14th of October at 6:00 p.m. Do you see the problem developing here? They’ve already agreed to hold the public hearing and haven’t voted to allow the concept they are calling the public hearing about! One of two things can have happened to cause the scheduling of this event in that order.

Either the whole city of Lake Geneva staff has gone batshit crazy or the city council members already know how they are going to vote (for the concept) so there’s no problem. Of course, that would be illegal, that kind of conduct, but that does not seem to bother this city council very much. Whatever Dan Draper decides is legal appears to be legal. National political loosening of legal, and even media, rules has reached all the way down, apparently, to local levels. The vote on the funding for the concept submitted by the slave ship Slavney crew (ramming speed!) appears to be a done deal, although that will not kill the move by members of the public to stop the redrawing of the comprehensive plan and then a rezone to please the White River LLC group. But, if the concept is passed and funded, then it will be another brick in the wall, moving ever closer to allow full commercial development of that property.

Some refer to the Hillmoor tract of about 190 acres as the former golf course. That tract, it has become the eastern doorstep of the city, while others have come to refer to it as the green jewel gently set and ready to be vaulted into quiet open elegance. The property for some, if not almost all citizens of Lake Geneva, is viewed as the welcoming gateway to a city that has kept rigorously to its mission: “to preserve its small-city atmosphere, reasonable cost of living and high quality of life by carefully controlling land use and development and delivering high quality programs and services in a responsible manner.

Mr. Slavney is the city’s building planner and yet the city not only pays him but, collects on invoices Mr. Slavney gives city employees to serve on developers. That’s called double-dipping anywhere else in the country.

Crispell-Snyder is the city engineering firm. That company gets the same ‘tax collection’ kind of help in its own form of double-dipping. The city attorney sits blithely by and declares this kind of disgusting behavior legal. No wonder the developers have high expectations of getting their projects approved and zoning changes to assist them in building whatever it is they want to build. What happened to the city’s mission? The mission says nothing about providing quality and honest city leadership. Hillmoor is a symbol of what has become a carry-conceal kind of open season on any undeveloped Lake Geneva property. The game is afoot.


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