City Administrator’s come and go.
There are good ones, like Utah Blaine seems to be in Lake Geneva, not-so-good ones (by a long stretch), as Dennis Jordon proved to be, and then there’s that middle ground.
Here’s a dumb and dumber quote from the normally bright and adept city administrator from Fontana, that neat little place sitting there as a necessary attachment to the Abbey Resort:
“Residents should not be alarmed by Fontana’s debt ratio. The debt ratio is inflated because it does not account for Fontana’s large summer population.”
Upon hearing such a statement, coming out of the mouth of a seemingly bright city leader, one is led to wonder about which phrase might best be used to describe the thought process behind the comment: “brain damage” or “brain death”. Was the comment made out of deliberation or merely out of ignorance. Debt ratio only has reference to amount, who or what owes it and who or what it is owed to is all that’s important, aside from how much money is involved. Summer population has about as much to do with debt ratio as water temperature does to the kind of music played at a local concert.
With the amount of wealthy families living around the lake, the upper echelon of higher income earners nearby, and the huge tourist influx of well heeled visitors coming to the lake every year, there is no fiscally responsible reason why any of the Geneva Lake communities should be in debt of any amount for any reason. The answer to debt is good, sound leadership, and intelligent, experienced, decision-making about money.
Where are those two things when it comes to looking closely at the communities around the lake?
Lake Geneva is deeply, but not “dangerously,” in debt according to almost anyone supposedly ‘in the know.’ Why is it in debt at all? Fontana with one quarter the people, and less than ten percent of the businesses compared to Lake Geneva, has three times the debt.
- What are leaders of these small community’s doing to the citizens of these small towns and villages, they purport to serve?
- Why are all town meetings conducted by local representatives who are not discussing their community’s debt and its impact on almost all of their constituent’s needs, wants and desires?
- Is there really anyone paying taxes, of any kind, in Lake Geneva or Fontana that does not want most of what they are forced to give directed toward paying the debt off?
- These communities are in Wisconsin, not Illinois. Does that bear repeating?
In Wisconsin there is a tradition of telling the truth, facing the music, and paying off debts with honor. There are reasons almost all Illinois governors serve time in prison. A lack of ethics, pervasive corruption, and general untrustworthiness have been rampant down there. Residents of Southern Wisconsin have a right to expect their leaders to maintain Wisconsin’s seemingly higher standards.
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