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Some things I've been thinking about for awhile

July 13, 2011 | 08:01 AM
Normally, we dedicate an entire column or editorial to one topic. Not this week.

Unless I wanted to delve into the debt ceiling debate (which I am too frustrated to even discuss right now) none of the other things I have had on my mind, while important, can fill the entire editorial space.

So, here are some things I've been thinking about lately in no particular order.

School budgets

I've been a reporter for a long time and I don't recall the last time school levies and tax rates decreased, especially as significantly as Badger's. That all happened without the elimination of teachers, programming or changes in class sizes.

The reason for the reduced tax burden is because of Gov. Scott Walker and the concessions of local teachers. It seems as though many other school districts are not doing as well as Badger and Joint 1. There are teacher layoffs in other districts and there's no doubt the changing state funding situation led to that.

But, I believe Lake Geneva's results are exactly what Walker intended when he proposed his repair bill and battled with the unions. It certainly turned out pretty well in Lake Geneva, especially for the taxpayers.

Mayor doing the job

When current Mayor Jim Connors was running for office in early 2010, I wasn't sure about him. I had some questions about how he would handle being the city's top elected official without holding office before. He was also coming in with a very divided council and followed some serious chaos in the council chambers. His involvement in the Vote No Mirbeau group, although he was not a public official at that time, also was a concern as the lawsuits against the city were piling up.

But, during the past several months, he has erased all of my doubts. He has truly been an excellent leader whose involvement in the happenings around Lake Geneva goes above and beyond.

Although he struggled for the first couple months sitting in the mayor's chair, he now has a firm grasp on how to lead and control a council meeting. That's only part of the job.

Connors attends just about every city meeting. He has an understanding of all that is happening regarding city government in Lake Geneva. He has even traveled on his own time to look at skate parks in Kenosha and Illinois and done much more that I probably don't even know about.

I see him everywhere — walking in the Christmas, Memorial Day and Fourth of July parades. He has spoken at ceremonies and supported those trying to make Lake Geneva better. He was part of the dog walk this past Saturday and he'll be at Venetian for the opening and more in the coming months.

Just like those before him, Connors wants the best for the city. That's what the job is about.

He does it in a quiet, unassuming, yet confident way, we all should admire.

Quite a community

Last week I played in the Lake Geneva Lions Club golf outing. What a great day it was at Hawk's View.

But, while the weather and course were beautiful, it was the outpouring of donations from area businesses and individuals that was even more impressive.

Every hole seemed to have three sponsors, which were local businesses. Then, there were some 75 raffle prizes, also donated by local businesses, many different from those that were hole sponsors.

The Lions Club isn't the only organization that receives the support of the locals. The Jaycees, Rotary and the Geneva Lake Women's Association are a few others and there are dozens more. But, think of all the fundraisers and events in the area that help people or provide items that will help those in need. Every weekend there's a fundraiser somewhere around the lake, like the fire department chicken barbecues in Walworth and Williams Bay and the Lobster Boil and Steak Fry in Fontana by the Big Foot Lions Club. There are too many to name here.

They all have several things in common — these are groups that raise money to help people and those who attend are giving their funds to help people of the area. We truly live in not only one of the most beautiful areas, but one of the most giving areas as well.

Seiser is the editor of the Regional News.

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