Our Place

Crabapple trees?
Seriously? Why would any city official with one whit of good sense replace existent ornamental trees set around the entrance to the Riviera Pier with crabapple trees? Hundreds of thousands of dollars ($100,000+) are being spent to install this small number of antagonizing fruit trees. Crabapple trees grow apples. Yes, small apples grow and then fall from the trees every year. When they fall they have to be either cleaned up or left to lay and rot. Is there a plan in place to sweep up the fallen apples every few hours, when the summer wears on toward fall? Not likely. So the apples will fall and lay there, many of them to be walked on by people passing by or simply trying to enjoy what’s left of the little park. Among the visitors that will certainly come to enjoy the crabapples will be insects called bees. And when the bees come there will be a bit of competition taking place. It won’t be among the insects. It will be among the bees with stingers, and the humans wandering around who don’t have stingers.

Did anyone up and down the system, from planning to professional installation think about the bees? Is Wisconsin new to agriculture? Are there no expert farmers living in and around Lake Geneva? There certainly are, but most of them probably relax and sit back with corncob pipes to reflect with great silent mirth about the poor city folk who know nothing about the birds and the bees, and are too vapidly stupid to bother asking. The project at the base of Riviera Pier is one glaring example of declared purposeful ignorance, and on top of that, one of cronyism run rampant, as a favored landscaper gets to haul about a five hundred percent profit from the “work.” Only the Brunk Pavilion, located not more than two hundred feet away, stands as a greater feat of pork barrel ridiculousness.

Next the city will erect another tombstone, like the one they put up at the Brunk, with officials names carved deep into it. What is it that the members of the public can do, residents, business people and visitors alike, in order to stop these small towns padded favoritism contracts continuing to be handed out like candy to the bad kids on the playground? They’ve got to notice. They’ve got to become displeased. They’ve got to let those in leadership positions know about their displeasure and possibly, hopefully, and angrily show up at city council meetings and voice that displeasure. Most of the people who serve in leadership positions around Geneva Lake are not bad people. For the most part, they are badly informed and inexperienced. They want to do the right thing but don’t know what it is, and end up believing the ‘old pros’ who’ve been around forever. And the old pros know exactly where to steer them. Without a vocal public element voicing its content, or discontent, there will forever be a willingness of elected representatives to simply go along with what’s been done before.

Grandest Person in Our Place

Carolyn Hope Smeltzer

Carolyn Hope Smeltzer a wonderful person and a wonderful author. Her latest 3 books are based on Lake Geneva. The most recent Camps of Lake Geneva, is not only a great read it’s also very visual.

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