Letters to the Editor

The following letter was sent in anonymously

Dear Editor,

In 2004 our tax dollars paid for a new Judicial Center to securely house our court system, and all the departments who work closely with the courts. To function efficiently, the District Attorney’s office, Corporation Counsel, and the Child Support Enforcement Agency were all moved to the Judicial Center.                  

Now our Health and Human Service Board has voted to waste our tax dollars by building office space, and moving the Child Support Enforcement Agency out of the Judicial Center, and into their new 25 million-dollar Health and Human Service building which is to be completed by Fall 2019.                  

Moving the Child Support Enforcement Agency to a separate building means every process will take longer to complete. Not only for the employees, but for everyone who has a support order, or needs a support order, and the attorneys who represent the parties. Everyone will have to travel back, and forth between buildings to take care of any process involving child support, and the courts. This also means that our tax dollars will be paying the employees for their time to travel back, and forth between two buildings to do their job.

At the 2/21/18 HHS Board meeting, that can be viewed online at http://walworthcounty.webcast.uwex.edu/Mediasite7/Play/6d93304119ab4a9193c276ab5744f1661d                  

The board members refused to listen to the employees of the Child Support Enforcement Agency who are strongly opposed to the move. Shouldn’t the board be listening to the people who do the job every day, and know what’s best for the Agency, and the people they serve? It’s very simple, an agency that files hundreds of court actions, and has time designated by the Clerk of Courts to schedule over 2000 hearings a year, will run more efficiently housed in the same building as the courts.                  

In the video, you will hear a board member state that he feels the Courts will need the space the Child Support Enforcement Agency now occupies. Anyone who is familiar with the Judicial Center knows that when it was built, the future needs of the courts were taken into consideration. Additional space already exists for the courts to expand. They do not need the area the Child Support Enforcement Agency occupies.                  

We need to contact the Health and Human Service board members immediately and tell them this move is a waste of our tax dollars. They need to spend our tax dollars in areas that would better serve the citizens of Walworth County.

Very Truly Yours, Angry Taxpayer

Another Letter from Terry O’Neill

Following the election, it is time to reflect on what happened, and speculate on what the results of the election will mean for the future of the City of Lake Geneva.

First: With the election of a pre-commercial and residential development and expansionist Tom Hartz as the mayor, and with the retention/re-election of 3 of the 4 incumbent alderpersons, the city is expected to continue on its current path of expansion and development, but at a likely much more rigorous pace.

Second: With Mayor Tom Hartz being the former chairman of the Police and Fire Commission during the rapid increases in the fire department’s budget, the expansion of the ‘paid on premise’ and the fire department’s expensive expansion into the emergency medical service area, the fire department’s expanding services and increasing costs can be expected to continue.

Third: The big political issue facing the new administration will once again be the Hillmoor property, of which Hartz has shown (with the Hummel/Geneva Ridge annexed property decisions he made) that he supports development over environmental, local or other concerns and issues. Fourth: The biggest issues will be financial, however. With the high cost of the Riviera Pier complex renovation, fire department increases, elimination of the impact fees on developers, parking funds and lakefront funds already raided, TIF has gone and the TIF surplus spent, how will the city fund these ever-increasing expenses? Raising the revenue will be especially difficult with the property taxes effectively frozen, revenue sources tapped out and residents unwilling to support a city sales tax (Premier Resort Area Tax). Borrowing seems to be the answer and the city can do that up to about 50 million, with an approved referendum.

On a lighter note, the millions of dollars to renovate the Riviera was anticipated by the GSR and was reflected in a cartoon published about a year and a half ago (shown below).

Terry O’Neill, Lake Geneva activist and former alderperson

Cartoon by Terry O'neill


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