Driehaus Park (Plaza) joins the Brunk Pavilion in celebrating how to transfer tax money into pocket change among friends quite legally and right here on top of the table. That’s what Mayor Gumby wants to do with the help of “Dan the Don” Draper, Lake Geneva’s alleged city attorney. They want to take about two hundred and thirty thousand dollars ($230,000), after buying some crab trees (what an appropriately named fruit, and the apples fall so nice and messily onto the park lawn below) and shrubs with the remaining thirty-five grand, and distribute it to unknown cronies and friends. What else is anyone to believe following the last bit of legal chicanery over the Brunk Pavilion? What was that but another similar scam.
Drive your car down to the launch ramp in Lake Geneva on Wrigley Street. Sit there and stare back at Flat Iron Park. Forget about the fact that a smaller version of the Bunk sits right down from the main structure. Just smile at that one. No, take a look with your Wisconsin-wise fiscally responsible eyes and see what you can see when you look at the Pavilion. Now imagine such a simplistic structure without heat, air-conditioning or much of anything else except plywood, two by fours and some shingles, costing over four hundred thousand dollars. The price of a really nice home near the lake with an acre of land to go with it. Hell, you can throw in a John Deere with attachments if you want.
What’s to be done about these “little” city boondoggles? They don’t rise to the level of referendum material. Referendums take a lot of time and money to put together and then execute, not to mention the simple fact that Dan Draper merely sets the results of referendums aside at his convenience. “File suit” is about the only comment that man has if you call him on anything. Wonder why? Because he gets paid to go to court to defend the city in law suits.
No, about the only thing a citizen, resident or even a visitor can do in this kind of boondoggle situation, is go to the council meetings and encounter these people. Tell them what you think of their behavior. Social interaction really does work. The leaders of Lake Geneva, elected and appointed, are not bad people. Some of them are quite wonderful. They are, however, moved in all sorts of uncomfortable directions by powerful financial and social forces which are nearly invisible to the public.
The proper response to this is to make yourself an important part of that public, visible, audible and there. Incidentally, Mr. “Piggy Bank” Winkler (as in “raid the piggy bank”) is behind spending this money on greenery around Riviera, while the Beautification Committee is supposed to be ponying up eight-five grand for the cause. Back comes Mr. Driehaus into the affair. Mr. Driehaus used to fund the Beautification Committee for years, but unaccountably, about five years ago he quit. Just like that. The Beautification Committee has been planning to spend the money they don’t have for all those years. They mythically funded the Brunk Pavilion. What can they possibly make believe they are going to pay for in the future?
If there’s any organization that needs to park out on the ice or go ice fishing as the temperature rises into spring, the Beautification Committee immediately comes to mind.