Despite what some people may say that “things don’t just happen,” because when things happen, they are generally caused to happen. That also applies to every action of the Lake Geneva City Council. There are reasons behind what influences all the actions the city council makes (usually the reason is about money), and those actions, especially the city ordinances which selectively benefit some, while adversely effecting others. When looking to approve or change a city ordinance, council members need to look at both those who benefit, and those who do not benefit, or who will be adversely affected. Ordinances (municipal laws) are necessary, but there has to be a balance between regulation and personal freedom.
For example, a person should be able to do what they want with their property, but using the Hillmoor Golf Course for a pig farm would harm the whole city, so there needs to be a limit on regulations, and a balance between government regulation and personal freedom. Where the balance point is between freedom and regulation, is what government is about. No matter where it is, the results of interpreting it will benefit some, and hinder or harm others. The city council has proposed changes to four parking ordinances. Before supporting or opposing these ordinances the council members need to look at why the changes are being suggested, and at those who will selectively benefit and those who will not benefit, or who may be harmed by the changes.
Ordinance 17-07: Prohibits backing into parking stalls except for Utility Commission or Meter Department (We have a meter department?) vehicles, or for construction and/or maintenance vehicles with a permit.
Question: Who does this ordinance hurt?
Answer: The Farmer’s Market vendors.
The ordinance would force vendors to unload their wares in a lane of traffic. Strictly enforcing this ordinance on the Farmer’s Market vendors would endanger them, and it may eliminate some vendors or it could possibly end the Farmer’s Market, which would reduce or end that revenue for the Horticultural Hall. How can this issue be resolved? Add a backing in exception for parking stalls with bagged meters. Bagged meters already require city approval. Will the city council consider this? We will find out, but you can be sure without this article or a comment from the public, the city council will pass the ordinance as it stands.
Ordinance 17-08 & 17-09: Permitting 10-hour parking in Parking lot I (behind the Cove, Harbor Shores, The Baker House, Bella Vista Suites) and making it free for residents.
Lot I, as pointed out when the lot was being purchased, was for the benefit of the hotels in the area and their owners. Which is about to come true with the passage of these two ordinance changes that will now enable 10-hour parking for the hotel staff, and make that parking ‘free parking’ for the residential staff. So who truly benefits from this ordinance, the residents or the hotel owners? What other area business has close, free, 10 hour city parking for staff? Also note that Ordinance 17-09 includes the line: “the fee for this sticker shall be in an amount as established by resolution of the common council.” So don’t be surprised to pay for your free parking sticker when it becomes due. This could be the way to compensate for the loss of revenue by permitting the free 10-hour parking in lot I.
Ordinance 17-05: Overnight parking in lot D, (across from city hall). It is not to be posted. Is that to keep the overnight parking a secret for just those who know about it, or is it to hide it from tourists? Is it for Sage Street apartment visitors, or is its real intent to permit overnight parking for overnight workers in city hall?
Ordinance 17-08: Will permit 10-hour parking at lot, but limit all other parking to a five hour limit. Some events and combinations of activities take longer than 5 hours, so why do we limit paid parking to 5 hours, is it to limit the maximum length of time that visitors are welcome in the downtown area? These ordinances need open discussion and serious consideration.