The gasoline wars continue. The gasoline companies (filling stations, oil companies, refineries, etc.) versus the public.
The gasoline stations, in unison on Tuesday, because of the blatant monopoly they’ve pulled off across this nation, raised their prices from $1.45 a gallon to $1.64. That was based upon reports in mass media that oil had gone up. Well, it did not go up overnight at the refineries where the stations buy their gasoline. It didn’t go up on the gasoline already stored in underground tanks at all the stations.
But the final product to the consumer went up overnight alright. The price of oil went up about three cents a gallon but at the pump you can drive all over Lake Geneva and see up to a twenty-cent increase. Not too bad, you might say to yourself, considering what gas cost only a few years ago, but think about the anti-capitalistic nature of the increase.
The stations booted their price up because they have zero competition. Like the airlines charging for luggage, or the cell phone companies charging whatever they want and covering the charges with gobbledygook crap on their bills. The result has been so very disappointing to a public that’s so angry it might just elect a total whack job like Donald Trump in reprisal. There are no decent airlines out there, no nice mannered service stations, and certainly no quality cell phone companies left. They went the way of responsive caring electric and gas utilities. All you have to do to feel better about all that is call any one of them and get a heartfelt apology from any outsourced call center that answers the phone…or vote for Donald Trump.
State Assembly Race. Christine Welcher is running for the 32nd district seat in the Wisconsin State Assembly against Tyler August. Last Wednesday evening at the Geneva Java Coffee Shop, Christine invited everyone to meet and get to know local residents, as well as talk about what they might want for their community. Listening to the public, building relationships, and fighting for what the community wants is exactly how Christine plans to earn a seat in the Assembly. She is off to a great start, the number of people at the meeting far exceeded what was expected.
Her goal is to have meetings at least monthly (the 3rd Thursday of the month) to continue to get to know the people and discuss issues most concerning to them. The main topics discussed were the legislation regarding public water and the proposed shoreline zoning changes. The people had a lot to say about the likely selling of Lake Geneva’s local water utility to a private company. The assembly has passed this bill but the senate has tabled the issue for now. According to Welcher, the public must put pressure on the senate to stop the bill from passing.
Awareness of the poor track record private companies have and the difficulty and price municipalities must endure to buy back their water utility when prices skyrocket needs to spread before the senate meets again in November to vote. The dredging bill is a done deal, as it has passed in the assembly and senate. This bill will affect the budget, which means DNR staff will be cut and local municipalities will lose more control of their environment to the state. Tyler August was asked what he might do about any of this to help the public in his district. The response from the crowd was unanimous, that August will not respond to any contact or questions directed to him about these issues! Go to Welcher’s next meeting and learn more.
TIF money. The ‘not soon enough to depart’ mayor, Jim Connor, of Lake Geneva, had an interesting study prepared by the new city administrator Utah Blaine. First he spearheaded the move to give the school districts back about four million dollars of TIF funding, at least temporarily, so the money would be off the books of the city. Then he tossed around his special study that showed that if Lake Geneva was to acquire Hillmoor and develop the land itself it would cost the taxpayers an increase of between eleven and nineteen percent. The whole affair would have been funny if not for the fact that these supposed leaders are playing with so much money.
Watch for the TIF money to flow right back into city coffers when the Hillmoor idea gets killed dead, again.
The last move Connor’s will attempt before leaving office will be to go out to that golf course and drive a big wooden stake through its heart. The citizens of Lake Geneva can still expect to pay their part of the TIF fund for 2016 because, as Yogi Berra used to say, “the game ain’t over till it’s over.”