Article by Terry O’Neill, former Lake Geneva alderperson:
The once bright Political Light in the City of Lake Geneva flickers. Politics in the City of Lake Geneva has gone from where almost every locally elected position was being challenged to where almost all local candidate run unopposed. The current situation was caused by previous events, but the problem which should be obvious remains unseen, like most things that should be obvious but are not seen until they are simply stated. We (the voting and non-voting public) are the cause of, and the solution to, this political problem.
The problem is twofold. The local political attitude can be divided into two groups. One group suffers from “political apathy,” and the other group has rampant “political self-interest.” The majority of the residents have political apathy or indifference. They don’t want to be involved in local political issues, often don’t care enough to vote, and feel opposition to city hall is futile, and unless a particular issue personally interferes with their lives, they have no interest or involvement in local government. In other words, those with political apathy are those who have removed themselves from the local political scene. The other group is a much smaller group of residents who are politically motivated by self-interest or special interests, and they comprise those who are actively involved in the city and governmental issues for personal and intertwined benefits, for the benefit of others or for the benefit of the issue that they support.
The real problem is that a small group directs the benefits of government for themselves, friends, and associates. Their self-interested issues rule, whereas, the benefits of governmental laws and activities should be for the benefit of everyone, not just those with influence or in positions of influence. Selecting those who represent the public is a personal responsibility, and it requires caring enough to be informed and to be involved. The level of involvement depends on the individual, but it starts with being informed from more than one source because local news from print, or a friend, is generally slanted and a mixture of sources is needed to be better informed. But for those who don’t care, or rather don’t care until it affects them, it will take a major issue that affects the majority of residents before the majority of residents will again become involved in local politics. The only issue on the horizon that would get the majority of the residents involved is The Riviera Redevelopment Project, and the city knows that and is shutting it down by not giving out open information. They have something planned, but apparently, they are afraid to reveal what is planned. This secretive behavior has got to be stopped.
Cartoon of the Week
by Terry O’Neill