Sarah Hill will not be filing the papers she took out last month to run for mayor of Lake Geneva.
She’s going to file papers to run for another term as an Alderperson. What happened? She was front-page news in the Lake Geneva Regional News Newspaper when she declared her candidacy. How could the Regional News have been so wrong? How could the Geneva Shore Report have been so wrong?
People change their minds all the time when it comes to politics. Not long ago Wisconsin’s own governor (Scott Walker) was running for president and now appears to be running for re-election (his campaign went the way of Icarus flying into the sun). Scott changed his mind because of unpopularity ratings but that’s not the case on the local level with Sarah Hill.
Sarah’s been one of the most well thought about Alderpersons ever to serve on the Lake Geneva City Council. There’s almost no one who does not think she’s intelligent, committed and caring. Sarah Hill is not running for the mayor’s position simply because of time. It is her presumption that it would take thirty hours of work per week, not including home study, in order to perform the functions of mayor to the public’s benefit and satisfaction. The pay is six thousand dollars a year. Sarah has to pay her bills and six grand will not do the job. Her position is understandable and her departure from a candidacy position unassailable.
And that leaves Alan Kupsik and Jim Wilson to compete for the mayor’s job. Both men are retired and financially comfortable so the thirty hours might not be a problem. Alan Kupsik has a track record, serving on the city council for several years. He’s been noted for his unflinching loyalty to current mayor Jim Connors and also to the fact that he basically and seemingly voted any way that Jim wanted him to vote. Some people on both sides of the mayoral issues find his “go along to get along” kind of decision-making style attractive but it would do everyone well to remember that historically, no matter what the culture, leaders who’ve been weak on decision-making usually end up being anything but that once they get into a position of real power. History is littered with such “leaders” and Lake Geneva residents and voters have to come to terms with which they really want to lead the city.
Jim Wilson is a tough hardscrabble guy seemingly opposed to a lot of the development plans put forward by so many outsiders to the area over the last few years. Mr. Kupsik appears to be in the opposite camp, but pre-election analysis is tough, especially with what all of America is seeing with respect to presidential campaigning today. Should the Lake Geneva system of government be overseen and led by mayor paid in accordance with that position’s time and talent demands? Lake Geneva’s governmental system is built upon a city manager/city council concept established across the country after it was conceived following a flood in Dayton, Ohio in 1913. This is a system, where a mayor and city council are elected and receive little compensation to guide things while a city manager is appointed at high compensation to run the business matters of the municipality. Times have changed since 1913. Is it not time to make sure that local government is properly compensated for time and effort in order to attract and keep quality personnel in such positions of vital importance?
Sarah Hill is not the perfect example to support such a change. She’s a realtor for Keefe Real Estate and feels her position there might conflict with her role as mayor if she where to run and win. More credit to Sarah Hill for voicing such concern. There is no question however that Sarah Hill is like most of the rest of the citizens living in and around Lake Geneva. She has to make a living and pay the bills and that has to come first in almost every evaluation she makes with respect to where she spends her time. A twenty-five thousand dollar part time job might have done wonders to convince her to run for mayor while retiring her real estate license for a while. It might also attract others and make the job of mayor one sought after with enthusiasm instead of with trepidation.