IN THE NEWS
Mayor ‘Do the Honors’ Connors, you know, the ribbon cutter, city greeter, ground-scooper, awards presenter, grand openings host, and emcee for the City Council, sure looks like he decided to take off the kid-gloves and get rid of his carefully studied Cheshire cat grin. Maybe that grin could best be described as a Chesen grin. Connors hasn’t suspended half the Aldermen and brought city government to a grinding halt like Mayor Chesen did, nevertheless he did make a special trip to last week’s Geneva Lake Environmental Agency Meeting armed with a bodyguard from the Missing Link Agency and a cub reporter from the Regional News. He was very “Chesen-like” at the meeting. He delivered a message to that group, in the most inferential terms possible. Nothing official was to come out of the GLEA that would be critical of the BigFoot re-route and boat launch project. His message was delivered and his message was received. At the March meeting of the Geneva Lake Environmental Agency * there had been a robust and thorough deliberation of the environmental impact the reroute and boat launch installation would likely have on the park, the lagoon and on the lake itself. Chris Schultz covered that meeting and clearly reported in the Regional News that the GLEA members opposed the proposal, using the headline, “DNR Big Foot road proposal panned by GLEA.”
*curious why so many Minutes of the group are NOT published?
The April Meeting of the GLEA was planned with the intention of having a “discussion and possibly taking action on the Big Foot road relocation.” Ted Peters, Director of the GLEA for as long as anyone can remember, is the expert’s expert on everything Lake Geneva when it comes to the water and environmental conditions of the lake. It’s been Ted’s life’s long work to monitor, manage and control Lake Geneva’s water and environmental quality and no one could have done a better job. Ted is no alarmist, nor does he make rash judgments. In fact, he’s the opposite. He underplays things because he examines all sides of an issue and bases his decisions on science, research and keen judgment. So when Ted Peters tells you he is very anxious about the DNR’s plans for the re-route and boat launch, he’s really telegraphing a much more important message and that’s an SOS warning of extreme danger!
At Thursday’s meeting, Ted Peters summarized his analysis of the potential boat launch installation in the lagoon and BigFoot road re-route in a memo that concluded: “doing so destroys the very reason for the park’s existence and use…” As an aside, Peters said personally he’d rather see the lagoon filled back in and destroyed than see it turned into a boat launch. With the Mayor’s presence looming over the room, a feeble attempt at a motion by one board member to condemn the re-route project was met with a nudge in the ribs and the admonition: “we’re not going to decide anything tonight.”
Mayor Connors alluded to other plans the DNR had, like Plan “D”, that the GLEA could look over and discuss with the DNR. But what the Mayor didn’t admit was that in reality all plans, without exception, have that potentially catastrophic boat launch as the key feature. The feature the GLEA may well never be able to abide. The citizens of Lake Geneva would likely never be foolish enough to agree to or pay for such a diabolically planned attack on BigFoot Park, but if they could be diverted or tricked into believing a new road was needed to move the boat launch from downtown they’d be deceived enough and distracted enough to allow TIF funds to be used for just such a wrong-headed project