The 7:00 pm Lake Geneva City Council meeting on December 27th did not start on time, because there were only five members in attendance, and a quorum of at least six members is needed to hold a meeting. It is interesting to note that all four members of the city council that are up for re-election in the spring election were in attendance, but only one not up for re-election was there.
After a six-minute delay, Alderperson Flower finally showed up, to a standing ovation, and the meeting was able to start. Later in the meeting, when alderman Kordus abstained from voting on the deaf magic theater issue, the quorum issue came up again. His abstention meant that there would not be a quorum voting on the issue, and a quorum must vote on an issue for the vote to be a legitimate vote, so the vote on the deaf magic theater had to be delayed until the next meeting. There is no question that the alderperson would have approved the deaf magic theater, but he showed appropriate discretion by abstaining. His abstention, and the incident as a whole, highlight a point of law worth examining.
There have been several times in the past when alderpersons should have abstained, because of a conflict of interest, but did not do so. The most flagrant violation occurred in 2012 when four alderpersons (all being sued by Geneva Ridge) voted to make changes to the city’s comprehensive plan that would increase the value of Geneva Ridge’s land by millions, and assure that an additional five-million-dollar insurance company settlement would be paid to them, for which it was understood that Geneva Ridge would drop its law suit against the alderpersons and the City of Lake Geneva. Those alderperson’s votes, and the impact of their votes, smacked directly of conflict of interest, and their votes will forever be a blight on the city’s integrity, along with the underlying cause of the law suit which was the false and misleading pretenses under which the city enticed the Hummel property owners to be annexed onto the city in the first place.
To this day the Hummel property, which increased the size of the City of Lake Geneva by fifty percent, sits vacant. It sits there as a flagrant reminder of a shady past, and it remains a likely detrimental pall over the development of the Hummel property and how that might impact Geneva Lake in the future. To this day, the unknown direction of the development of the Hummel property remains as the single greatest threat to the future of Geneva Lake. Finally, it must be said of one action in this meeting, that Mr. Kordus abstaining to voting on his pet deaf magic theater was a credit to the man’s honor, which is saying something uncommon about this man when such a report comes from the Geneva Shore Report.
Finch Tavern and Taqueria.
What is going on with this Lazzaroni chunk of BigFoot real estate? That place, the structure anyway, should be about the best location on the lake, bar the Geneva Inn and maybe Pier 290. Marty Healy and Tim Casey own this business, that replaced the restaurant that came before it, that replaced the restaurant that came before that, and three more back there somewhere. The owners also have Lauderdale Landing, which is a blow away success and has been since they opened there years ago. Lauderdale Lake is a mere wispy ghost of a lake compared to Lake Geneva and Highway 67 is a lousy ‘feeder’ for traffic compared to South Lake Shore Drive.
So what is it? Lazzaroni is a quiet unassuming landlord that nobody has ever had anything negative to say about so it can’t be the old Scrooge thing there. What makes a location that seems so ideal cursed for business success? The food served by the whole litany of restaurants that have occupied that location has always been acceptably good. Is Finch going to re-open in the spring or join the litany of restaurants we can mostly not recall the names of? The answer to this question is unknown, as the phone to Finch has been disconnected and the owners of the business, up there at Lauderdale Lake, are not answering either. Finch served great cheap drinks and the tacos were great too. It is hoped that they will be back.