Looking on the Bright Side
The sale of the Lake Geneva Theatre is still in negotiation.
Shad Branen the owner of the Burlington Plaza Theatre is the potential buyer. It all comes down to money available to rebuild the place and the negotiations between Shad and the City of Lake Geneva. Branen has done a wonderful job with the Plaza Theater in Burlington and Lake Geneva would be lucky to have him work his magic in Lake Geneva by reclaiming the old theater from a slowly deteriorating death. The city council has discussed plans and even tested out the proposed theater seats that could possibly be used if the deal goes through. The wonderfully comfortable chairs are set in the lobby of the Lake Geneva City Hall for all to try. A very shrewd move by Mr. Branen. The GSR X-file reporters have checked them out and think everyone will be impressed and pleased if they turn out to be examples of what is hopefully going to go in where the current theater site is located.
Gunfighter and City Administrator ‘Utah’ Blaine Oborn never misses an opportunity to alert the City Council and the citizens of Lake Geneva of the impending doom of Governor Walker’s Act 55. Passed in 2015,
This new “room tax” law permanently changes the allocation of how these taxes are disbursed and will cause the city to suffer a serious reduction in revenue once the new rules go into effect in 2017. Last year the city collected nearly $600,000 in room taxes and it needed almost every penny of that revenue to pay the city’s bills.
Lake Geneva has always depended on that income source to help run the city since it enacted the room tax ordinance decades ago. But that’s not what Governor Walker and the state legislators want. They want that money to go to the City’s Chamber of Commerce/Convention Bureau, that weird pack of wolves that now disguise themselves as sheep under the name; Visit Lake Geneva (with a $143,000 web site). In the past, the city funded the Chamber/Convention Bureau with a portion of the room taxes it collected, but the chamber wasn’t satisfied with this arrangement. They wanted more so they lobbied the Governor and State Legislators to change the law so that the bulk of the room taxes would go to the chamber with a much smaller portion allocated to the city.
What happened in the supposed republican and conservative state of Wisconsin? A group of people, using an ephemeral ‘non-profit’ corporation, not reporting to any governmental or municipal authority, has assumed taxation rights. On top of that, they have secured the ability to do whatever they want with the citizen’s money collected. It is about time that this do nothing advertising agency of little repute gets moved right out of Flat Iron Park, where it sits because of Lake Geneva’s generosity and largesse.
Let them have the money but move them out beyond the industrial center into the country where they can continue to do whatever the hell it is that they do with Scott Walker’s blessing and Lake Geneva’s money.