The mayor speaks.
Mayor Hartz has voiced concerns at a few different meetings regarding the small-town feel and atmosphere that he believes is disappearing. Recently Hartz spoke, in a public forum, of the loss of the number of average family units in and around Lake Geneva including young people starting families. The main causes cited were a lack of jobs to support living here, the lack of affordable housing, and the lack of interest in fixing this. Hartz foresees Lake Geneva becoming a city of elderly, weekend visitors, and the super-rich. This would cause the schools to lose students, causing teacher layoffs, and a continued loss of families in Lake Geneva. The solution, according to the mayor, is more jobs, and affordable housing, which means a lot more development and growth. Many residents of Lake Geneva feel as though the mayor’s solution is contributing, or the main factor in the potential for loss of a small-town atmosphere. Is development conducive to a small-town atmosphere? Or is this all about growth and money? Is there a valid concern about the future of the family structure in Lake Geneva, or is this mere window dressing for opening the door to Chicago’s big money developers?
The Public Works Commission.
The commissioners met last week to discuss numerous issues. The first topic up was the unsafe intersection at Edwards Boulevard and Hwy 50. The committee expressed thoughts and fresh ideas. The amount of congestion and the number of accidents seems to be getting worse as time progresses. Something should, and needs, to be done, and the public works commission is aware and motivated to try and resolve the problem. The next topic was, “are we a bike and pedestrian-friendly city or not?” A committee member asked that question of everyone present. The discussion was topped off by a comment from the same presenter of the question. If Lake Geneva is going to be bike-friendly then let’s do it, and, if not, let’s stop talking about it. The time has come and the work needs to be completed for resolution of this issue, at least that’s what several committee members were stating. An open issue that impacts the creation of bike lanes are the sidewalks to nowhere, like the ones on Edwards Boulevard near Target and Home Depot were planned to be finished and connected. The bike paths in that same area have been neglected and are in need of a lot of maintenance. The question regarding whether Lake Geneva is pedestrian and bike-friendly was never really answered.
What shop owners do not know if they are not there.
Music. What music are the employees putting out over the radio or from an Internet music channel or service? People don’t think about music, they just hear it, and either like what they hear, don’t like it or don’t notice it at all…depending on volume and the nature of the music. Many shop owners do not pay attention to what the managers of their stores are playing for customers. Most managers, especially in Lake Geneva, put whatever they personally like to entertain themselves while they work. That can play silent unknown havoc on sales results. In Santa Fe, New Mexico, twenty years ago, a study was done at the Georgia O’Keefe Museum located there. The study was initiated because of complaints about music generated by customers. What the museum found was that music could change sales results by as much as forty percent over time. The most purchase inducing music was popular classical musical pieces played softly in the background. Next was gentle rock or folk music like that of Enya and Enigma and the final selections were the early sixties and seventies rock. Rap, jazz, modern hard rock and serious country plummet sales. It was presumed, but not measured from the study, that customers who did not like the music when they entered the retail store at the museum simply walked out without looking at anything. Is this happening at your retail store? How can you know for certain unless you take control of the music your employees play?