Tom Hartz and Dan Draper are replicating the same conspiracy they perpetrated in the Hummel Lawsuit back in 2011. The Draper/Hartz Duo has become “Masters of Deception” in contract zoning, by treating contract zoning like a normal business transaction. The Supreme Court disagrees: “A contract made by a zoning authority to zone or rezone or not to zone is illegal and the ordinance is void because a municipality may not surrender its governmental powers and functions or thus inhibit the exercise of its police or legislative powers.”  In the Hummel case, the contract agreement was the dropping of the lawsuits Hummel had filed against the City of Lake Geneva, against each of the alderpersons on that council, and against each member of the plan commission in exchange for the council giving Hummel the Zoning it wanted for the 718 acres of land he owns. The memorandum of understanding was kept a secret from the public but disclosed to the council members during closed sessions. In this way, Draper, Hartz and the Insurance Company’s attorney, Joe Wirth, could trick the aldermen into thinking that they weren’t really approving a zoning amendment for a development that 77% of citizens of Lake Geneva opposed in a special referendum, and that they were actually just defending the honor of the city and protecting its reputation. It was all a lie and Hummel walked away with its preferential zoning and almost four million dollars in damages. 

Today, there’s another conspiracy; the Hillmoor conspiracy, except in this variation the Masters of Deception have plotted to misdirect the current council to have Freed (White River Holdings) drop his lawsuit first, and then Hartz and Draper would get the map and zoning changed. They believed they could easily deceive this council into conciliating, just like they outwitted the council in 2011. Except this time the contract or memorandum of understanding they made with Freed was being kept secret from everybody, even the city council; just disclosing the MOU to their special acolytes who could keep their secret.  Plus, they could team up with Mike Slaveny and Vandewalle & Associates to use the comprehensive plan update process as a subterfuge for satisfying their requirements in the arrangement with Fred Slavney, as a city planner. Slavney is part of the “City Staff” that reviews and inspects all the projects submitted to the City for permit approval. If there is a violation or non-compliance, Slavney can then offer his services at Vandewalle, for a fee, to employ his special “talents” on the project to be sure the project gets approved. Then, when the project goes to the plan commission and city council, Mike Slavney is the expert authority they consult to judge whether the project meets code and should be approved.

So, whether Mr. Slavney tweaks a plan or totally creates the plan, he’s going to give it his blessing when the time comes to recommend approval.

Dick Malmin, Lake Geneva City Activist


As an owner of a Lake Geneva lakefront home, I am simply amazed at the total disregard for the future of this “gem of the midwest”, if not the nation, by my fellow lakefront homeowners!

We now have the Dead Sea and if the experts are correct, shall soon have the Dead Lake. Please tell me how an invasive species like Starry Stonewort can outsmart a group of supposedly intelligent wealthy lakefront homeowners?

Well, I guess the lakefront properties on Lake Como will soon be much more valuable! Tom Kincaid, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

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