Letters to the Editor


My dear fellow Lake Geneva residents, In one week, your vote will determine the future of our charming city. I promise you that, when I am elected Mayor, I will always keep your best interests at heart, listen to your concerns and take action.

I am committed to reducing our budget, and employing every conservation method available to accomplish that. I will have an open forum policy at City hall and a regularly scheduled time when you may visit the Mayor’s office in person.                  

We have seen renewed community spirit in Lake Geneva, and I will do everything in my power to make sure it continues. I have a plan for free parking for residents so that you may enjoy all of the amenities our fine city offers, and when elected, I will be reaching out to all citizens for your involvement. We will work together to protect our precious lake and our unique history, welcome our visitors, maintain public safety and infrastructure while progressing responsibly to maintain a high quality of life for all citizens, as we review our comprehensive plan in 2019.                  

I am asking for your vote for Mayor on Tuesday, April 3rd. Polls are open for early voting at City Hall through this Friday, March 30th as well. Please encourage your friends and neighbors and let’s have the highest voter turnout in Lake Geneva history. Every vote counts! Your friend, Charlene Klein charlene4mayor@gmail.com

The writer of the following letter asked to remain anonymous.

The good old boys; Hartz, Skates, Kordus, try to complete the takeover of Lake Geneva:

Tom Hartz recommends a Riviera Restaurant at the first Mayoral Debate in February along with “annexing established developments.” Did that mean the Grand Geneva Resort or Geneva Inn? Skates stops Riviera Rehab process …. tells bidders on the project to re-purpose the Riviera for first-floor Restaurant. Hartz changes his position at the second Mayoral Debate in March now opposing the Riviera Restaurant because taxpayers objected to paying over $5 M renovating the Riviera just so either Tom Hartz or Bill Gage could get a Sweet Spot Restaurant.  

Kordus and Skates deny local Restaurant a liquor license so the license can be held in reserve for the Riviera Restaurant. looks like someone is getting a Restaurant and a License. Hartz, Skates, and Kordus either refuse to believe or hold in disdain, the feelings of the public majority who don’t want Hillmoor commercialized for a strip mall and ticky-tacky housing.

Doug Skates had the taxpayers pay Vandewalle and Assoc. $25,000 for a Bike and Pedestrian Plan to put a bike path through the wetlands of Big Foot State Park and then use that path as an excuse to compel the City to reroute South Lakeshore Drive thru the Park to give Symphony Bay home buyers a nearby boat launch for their new Clubhouse in Button’s Bay. Hartz manipulates a sweetheart deal with the School District to acquire that sweet spot location at Edwards Blvd. and Bloomfield Rd. for his Minister to build his new church. Kordus conspired to defund the Geneva Lake Environmental Agency to eliminate Ted Peters, one of Wisconsin’s finest Lake Scientists, from being an “expert witness” and giving testimony in cases involving Developers Developments that affect the lake and environment.  

Skates had the Riviera Rehabilitation project include a spot for the Farmers Market and, to show that a myopic mind speaks with a raucous vent, he planned to move the Farmers Market from Horticultural Hall to the Riviera Plaza, only to discover the Farmers Market is not under the auspices or purview of Lake Geneva City Hall. Skates took a small scale $18,000 Beach Repair job and turned it into $380,000 Ugly Beach Wall fiasco; it took a taxpayer revolt to stop Skates from wasting Tax Money on a needless wall and the destruction of a large chunk of Library Park. Kordus maliciously voted to gut Direct Democracy and the Peoples’ right to control the city’s Purse Strings & limit spending on Capital Projects by means of a Public Referendum on expenditures over $1.05M. The revised law that was enacted to negate the Spending Referendum will prove to be totally ineffective. It has nothing but loopholes and exemptions. The good old boys got rid of most of the impact fees builders have to pay for new home construction –down to less than $4,000. Other cities pay as much as $31,000.

The good old boys voted to give Gage Marine a sweetheart lease deal on top of an existing sweetheart lease totaling 30 years at a fraction of the fair market rate, and yet the city still pays all pier construction and maintenance costs.

Tom Hartz in July 2011 signed up to be the Good Old Boys’ tool of the developers, by recommending the City Council act contrary to what 77% of the Voters had demanded in a 2008 Referendum petitioning the City not to develop Hummel’s 710 acres and bankrupt the City. Despite Judge Stadtmueller’s finding that Hummel would not prevail in court, Hartz not only voted, he gave 14 reasons why he voted to give Hummel $3.4 M and the Zoning he wanted –plus a very special Hartz Bonus requiring the City’s taxpayers to pay for all City Sewer and Water as far out as Trinke Estates. Hartz directed the campaign for Hummel despite having been warned he was violating State Law prohibiting Contract Zoning and that he would provoke a lawsuit against the City. After 3 years involved in that suit, the City had to open up all its closed meeting discussions proving Contract Zoning. In the meantime, that 710 acres of vacant farmland has been waiting for GOB Tom Hartz to be in a position to support and promote its development. Another Fire Station, perhaps?

Lake Geneva voting resident who chooses to remain confidential

Re: Construction in Downtown Lake Geneva little can be said to shine a positive light on the problems brought by the closure of our city’s main commercial streets.                  

Shop owners lose money; parking revenues decline; driving across town is a nightmare. And yet, past the orange and white stanchions that proclaim the ROAD CLOSED TO THRU TRAFFIC, there’s an environment that was not there a week ago. I grant you it doesn’t have the public opening its pocketbook to buy. Instead, it’s quiet. It’s different. And it’s interesting. At sunset, walk Main Street’s sidewalk past Library Park. Get up close to the newly dug ditches. They’ve gotten longer since yesterday. Take a moment to look at the dump loads of gravel, the shadows emphasizing the organic shapes. See the earthmoving equipment, which sliced through, dug, and scraped, now standing static and noiseless.                  

There are mesmerizing piles of enormous stuff — objects that look like red bracelets with pink balls but with a diameter of 18 inches, 25-foot-long plastic pipes the color of the sky, giant klieg lights, and huge dirt-digging buckets. They suggest the size of this project is not human but gargantuan. The best are the diggers. While working, they extended their dinosaurish heads out and down to take a bite of the soil and spit it out elsewhere.                  

When their riders went home, they held balletic poses ’til the morning. Meanwhile, the beauty of Geneva Lake takes on a unique look during this transition from winter to spring. The last of the 2018 ice performs. On a cold day, it’s white. On a warm day, it changes to a deep sea green and recedes further from the shore.                  

Like so many moments in time, these weeks for downtown Lake Geneva are complicated. We wonder: Could we have put this construction off? Should we have accomplished it in sections? Who can we blame for our inconvenience? Was this a pro-big-box development conspiracy?  Should we make Lake Geneva an outdoor walking mall and build commuter parking lots elsewhere? Can we learn from this?                  

Meanwhile, construction workers have income. Shop owners wring their hands. Commuters distress. And walkers, photographers, and little boys who love big trucks celebrate.

Sincerely, J. O. Haselhoef 

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