With respect to the situation laid out by the material indicated by agenda Item 10 on the last Lake Geneva City Council meeting. It was the Second Reading of Ordinance 19-13an ordinance amending Chapter II, Administration, Article V, Boards and Commissions, Division Six, Plan Commission, Section 2-313, Composition, of the City of Lake Geneva Municipal Code; eliminating the Building and Zoning Administrator as a voting member of the Plan Commission.  This agenda item only lists eliminating the Building and Zoning Administrator as a voting member. If that was done by itself, there would still be eight members on the committee with seven being specified and one not being specified.

So, Mayor Hartz’s recommending change it to seven members, may have sounded reasonable, but what it does is not reasonable and is a major concern.

The current ordinance read: Sec. 2-313 [Ord. No. 08-02, 3-10-2008] There shall be eight members on the plan commission. The membership shall include the mayor, the president of the park board, one alderman, the zoning administrator, and four citizens.  By specifying seven members and removing the zoning administrator, this assures the controlling vote goes to non-city employees [4 citizens]; furthermore, with the president of the park board (who also must be one of the citizen members of the park board) 5 of the voting plan commission members are citizens not city officials.

The problem is that the plan commission also has power and it takes 6 of the 8 members of the city council to override a plan commission approval. With 5 of the 7 members being just citizens with the power to override the majority of our elected city official, the city is in the process of losing our elected representative form of government.

Terry O’Neill, Lake Geneva resident, local activist and former alderperson

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