Letter to the Editor

To Mayor Tom Hartz,

Everyone appreciates the acknowledgment and attention you’ve focused on the 45% of our local school children living in poverty and unable to have their basic nutritional needs satisfied. But to use that statistic and those underprivileged kids as your personal exculpatory under the pretense you have an empathic connection with them is self-righteous and sanctimonious hypocrisy. Then to use the hardship of the impoverished to rationalize your Growth and Development Mania and as justification to deface one of nature’s magnificent creations, Hillmoor, with needless and useless development is an affront to every citizen who loves the “Small Town Feeling” of the city and the community it inspires. Of course, Mr. Hartz, you and I have a history.  I intimately witnessed your flimflam artistry when you flip-flopped your vote on giving Hummel the zoning rights he was promised at the secret “Quid pro Quo” meeting: Hummel agreed to drop his lawsuit provided the city vote to give him appropriate zoning and the Insurance Co. pay him and Mirbeau an exorbitant amount of money. The clever con man you are, you furtively voted against Hummel’s zoning just a few days before because you knew there were a sufficient number of votes for the zoning to still pass regardless of how you voted. In that way, you would look normal and competent to the public by hiding your obsession for “Growth and Development”.

When that voting was declared illegal, Alderman Mott exposed your double-dealing by putting you in the ‘driver seat’ position to make the deciding vote for Hummel. I still have the minutes of that Special City Council Meeting, a meeting that will go down in infamy, when you, Mr. Hartz, just a few days after voting against the Hummel zoning, gave 16 reasons why the City of Lake Geneva must give the developer Hummel the special zoning rights he needed to double the size of the city and promote Lake Geneva as an urban growth center ready, willing and able to accept unlimited population growth no matter what the cost to the current citizens of Lake Geneva. A true case of Growth and Development mania.

So, congratulations Mr. Hartz that one vote you made did require Mr. Hummel to drop his lawsuit according to the hush-hush agreement, but it violated Wisconsin State Law and set up the “contract zoning” lawsuit against the city. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, you helped lay the foundation for the Freed lawsuit and a model strategy for every unscrupulous developer to blackmail the city in the future. Your belief that growth is good and necessary, and that economic growth is the ultimate measure of success is the equivalence of Wall Street’s Gorden Gekko saying “Greed is Good.” The benefits only rise to the top wealthy few and to large corporations who pay no taxes. The little that trickles down creates the excuse for more growth– perpetuating the endless growth and development machine and the cause of your obsession for more Growth and Development. Even you must realize that unlimited growth is the ideology of a cancer cell and leads to death. Your obsession with Growth and Development will be the death of Hillmoor and the hopes and dreams of so many citizens in Lake Geneva. 

Monday night 8/5/19 at the COW Meeting your obsessive illness for Growth and Development was on exhibit. After putting on your ‘pretending to care face,’ you made the claim that the “feeling” you value most isn’t the city’s “small-town charm” but rather  you claim to care more about addressing the needs of the 45%, as if widespread inequality only existed here in LG and you were the only elected official who cared. Once again, using the plight of the poor school kids to justify capitulating to a corrupt and notorious criminal developer, Laurance Freed ( currently in prison and Appeal Denied 4/22/2019 by Judge Robert Dow) was outrageous and shameful and can only be explained by your mania for Growth and Development. It’s no coincidence that the scheming (some call it conspiring) to give new zoning rights to a developer to avoid a lawsuit that was already filed and dropped is totally the responsibility of the same 2 elected officials who gave Hummel his special zoning rights that resulted in the City being sued for Contract Zoning. You set the precedent for any misfit developer, felon or not, to take over the City of Lake Geneva and develop anything they want.

First, you enabled Hummel and now you’re enabling the Freed/Fitzpatrick pseudonym LLC, but this time you’ve sunk to the bottom of the barrel using the poor school kids as your justification.  African poachers kill beautiful “protected” animals to pay to feed their families. So too, villagers in the Amazon slash and burn the ‘life-giving’ Rainforest to house and feed their families. And now, Tom Hartz is forcing the Plan Commission and City Council to slash and ravage Hillmoor to settle another lawsuit and feed the poor in Lake Geneva. It’s all Fake News!

Dick Malmin, Lake Geneva Resident

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