Our Place

The gall of it all.
Fred Gahl, the owner of the soon to be defunct and abandoned elementary school set in the middle of downtown Williams Bay, went to a meeting last week in Williams Bay. The meeting was organized to allow both the Williams Bay Town Board and the School District Board to get together and talk about what they would like to see happen to the old building. The school board sold the building to Mr. Gahl for a little over a hundred thousand dollars. Well apparently it only ‘sort of’ sold the property. It seems that, although money has changed hands, the school board never approved the deal. That meeting is scheduled to occur sometime in late May of this year. So, why were the two groups of local government leadership meeting now?

The Williams Bay Board appeared to state a position that they wanted the old school torn down and might offer preferential zoning to the new owner if he would build single family homes on the property after tearing the school down at his own expense. The school board didn’t seem to care what happened to the school once a sale was completed. In fact, Doctor Anderson, a board member talked for fifteen minutes about how there was $450,000.00 set aside, supposedly to go to whomever purchased the school, and those funds could go back to the taxpayers because they didn’t need to pay the money if the school was sold and owned by someone else (like Mr. Gahl). That strangeness was compounded when another member of the same school board gushed about how the $450,000.00 would actually be much better spent on an athletic center for the kids at the new school.

Mr. Gahl sat through the meeting trying to make sense out of the whole meeting, which made no sense at all. One man was irate that as the building’s owner Fred had in his possession a climbing wall that had cost his wife’s charitable organization eight thousand dollars to build only two years ago. Fred just shook his head. He couldn’t completely ignore the rather irate and irrationally out of place comments, though, because that man was the local Williams Bay Judge. One never knows when one is going to get a traffic ticket in Williams Bay! The combined meeting of the two boards was impressive for only one reason. Every member of both boards showed up at seven at night on a rainy night. Now that’s dedication! The final decision of the board was to “endeavor to persevere,” just as in the movie Outlaw Josey Wales. As it stands now Fred is out some money, but he may get it back if that woman on the school board doesn’t find a way to snake it into an athletic fund. The property may or may not be sold.   The old school may or may not be torn down.
The judge is mad; Fred Gahl is befuddled; and the combined boards are very happy that they got to meet and spend quality time together.


Police Officer Dennis Dyon, with the help of one big coal shovel, moves on down the chute of life. The Geneva Shore Report won’t have Dennis to “kick around” anymore, not unless he remains in the local area (he is from Lyons) and does something congruent to his rather well-established mindset. It is hoped that he will not continue on in law enforcement, although since he was not fired-for-cause, because police unions have become so powerful that just doesn’t happen anymore, he may simply get moved on to a new grazing field of blue. Remember the reserve officer in the Town of Linn a few years ago? He was as whacked as they come and he demonstrated that in almost every encounter he had with the public, but that did not stop him from being eased on down the road into the nearby sheriff’s department. When he got there, and before they found out just what a lump of coal he was, it was too late. He “ignited” on a simple car stop and shot to death an unarmed citizen. The Sheriff’s Department is still attempting to explain that shooting. After all the hoopla the officer will be eased on out and sent back into the blue slurry to land on some other unsuspecting police chief’s force.   Lake Geneva is all the better for officer Dyon’s recent departure, and in reality it can’t get much better. Quiet, efficient, and not in your face. It’s like the old motto, erased from most police officer’s cars in other parts of the country, but still having meaning around Geneva Lake. That motto was, and remains: “To protect and to serve.” Mike Rasmussen, “Wonderchief,” remains at the head of the Lake Geneva Police Department, having deftly continued to weld and meld his department into an even more “finely tuned Swiss watch” kind of community organization.

Grandest Place

Historic French Country Inn Lake Cumo

The Historic French Country Inn is coming back. The place is being renovated and should re-open for Memorial Day. This little Inn has always been a place to get away from it all. It’s on Lake Como instead of Lake Geneva so the tourists don’t always frequent the establishment. If you are looking to hang out with other locals or just want to go back in time to when there was great service and people cared then the new old French Country Inn is your ticket.

Video Tour of the Remodeling



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