LAKE GENEVA AND A COUNTRY IN FLUX
The City of Lake Geneva finds itself, in the year 2020, in a stuttering, complexly braided mass of stoppages, closures, development, and credibility. The nation follows in trace of these same paralyzing issues or, quite possibly, leads the way with and through the whole time. The nation wonders and waits to hear if the “word” thrown down four years back, about how an incoming president should choose the candidate to fill an open Supreme Court seat, or whether the current sitting members of that Senate should decide. That last time around, the party members recommending the seat be filled immediately (it was not, and it was almost a full year later filled by a member of the opposition party), is the same party now stating that waiting for a new president, quite likely to be from the opposite party in less than two months, is ridiculous and want their candidate confirmed now.
The City of Lake Geneva suffers from the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID19), which is also deeply affecting the nation to the point where this complex disease must be reaching into the minds of everyone as well as threatening its physical well-being, and quite possibly life itself if the conduct of the United States Senate is to be viewed as an example. Local city meetings are held with distanced seats and very few people allowed to attend in real life, but the message is upfront. Attendance is mostly virtual (on constant streaming video). More and more decisions are being made in secrecy, as meetings go into private rooms over things that, before the virus hit, would have been out in the open, and this isn’t good. Masks are worn, even by many of the virtual attendees! Identities become hidden, facial expressions unknown, more in keeping with the Senate and national situation. The public speaks less, is seen less, say less, and is considered less. The good news is that the current sitting Lake Geneva City Council members are among the most principled and honorable, including the mayor, who have ever been in the job, at least since the Geneva Shore Report was created ten years ago (September 30, 2010).
Decisions based on fundamental foundations of deception, similar to what is going on with the selection of the next judge to sit on the high court nationally, are not being made like that at the local level. Summerhaven’s third installment (and final) of its single-family and duplex homes is being approved through the system, but with every question brought up being answered in detail and with honesty. Does the national scene color the local, when it comes to the grand show of “reality” television and life that seems to have infected the national leadership selection process worse than the virus itself? Not to the same extent, at all.
Mayor Klein is steady and quietly effective. Council members, Plan Commission, and committee members are diligent and caring, seemingly without deep attachment to the old ruling cabal membership. Face masks, those life-changing, yet lifesaving, coverings of the human ability to see and be seen, are now required through November 21st, while social distancing is likely to become something of a permanent inconvenience. New businesses are entering in record numbers, as old businesses go out in record numbers. Old businesses, surviving the attack of the virus (so far), throw saved assets into improvements. Quality appearance advances while older traditions die to support that rebirth.
Change in the year 2020, is much more extensive, throughout the entire small-town experience, than it has ever been before, with the possible exception of the time periods surrounding the Great Depression and World War II. Flux is the word that this newspaper uses to describe this period of stunningly rapid and questionable change.
What’s coming next? This question has become a question that once lay only in the back of most citizen’s minds, but not anymore. Real hard change, right down to fundamental believability, is vastly occurring right now, for everyone, and that rate of change has never been higher.