The Road to Hillmoor:
The value of an accomplishment stands as a tribute to the person or persons who accomplishes it. In a similar manner, how it was accomplished reveals character and gives insight into underlying values. Few city council meetings have ever been more disheartening than the one held on Jan. 25, 2016, in which the city council discussed and passed Resolution 16-R2 that rearranged, deleted and added projects to the $3 million dollar TIF projects list without prior notice to the public.
The two primary changes were the defunding of the $400,000 White River Trail Project, and adding of a $550,000 project to widen a section of Main Street between Wells Street and Curtis Street in to a three lane road. The stealth of this resolution is especially disturbing, considering the public’s interest and concern about TIF spending and TIF projects that was expressed at previous city council meetings. The secretive process behind City Council Resolution 16-R2 started before the January 14th, 2016 Public Works meeting, where it was cloaked as a “Related Project” in agenda item No.3: “Electrical Underground & Related Projects on Main Street – Curtis to Wells Streets.”
As reflected in that meeting’s minutes, unlike all the other issues, it was passed without a motion, a second or a vote. The minutes also recorded that City Administrator Utah Blaine said he would shift around the necessary funding to achieve the work utility department wishes to have done.”
Who really runs Lake Geneva?
Then, later during the city council meeting City Administrator “Who’s on First” Blaine, referred to what they were doing as ‘tweaking’ the TIF projects. If this was the federal government, or the City of New York or Chicago the secretly adding, deleting and shuffling 1.3 million dollars in project cost might be called tweaking, but not in a small, supposedly straight up Wisconsin town.
- What’s the real purpose behind the secrecy and stealth of the widening of Main Street from Wells Street to the Hillmoor Golf Course Property?
- What’s behind completing the sidewalk to the Hillmoor property and defunding the possible purchase of the White River Property which would be used to meet the green space requirements for a housing development on the Hillmoor property?
The Main Street improvement would improve a Hillmoor development’s access to Lake Geneva’s downtown and the city’s lake front by car and by walking. It would also make possible a wide Hillmoor subdivision access road to Lake Geneva’s Main Street. So is the real purpose of the secrecy and stealth, to get the issue approved before people realize that a Hillmoor Development is the real force behind it and the reason, for the Resolution 16-R2?
So once again, the value of an accomplishment stands as a tribute to the person who did it. In a similar manner how this thing was accomplished reveals character and gives insight into what holds value. Its ‘Piggy-Bank’ Winkler’s accomplishment and ‘Piggy Bank’s’ values right out there in front of everyone.
Alderperson Elizabeth Chappell was deeply concerned about the lack of citizen awareness and input and expressed her view about such “drumhead court” kind of proceedings in the meeting. Making important decisions without citizen input or awareness shows a lack of concern or regard for citizens. Several issues of concern were not discussed, including the limitations and dangers of crossing a busy three lane road by car and especially by pedestrians. A danger that is multiplied during periods of congestion and the potentially related misuse of the third center lane.
All that was needed was about four hundred well spent buck’s worth of “Do not Block Intersection” signs.