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City's new 911 system

July 31, 2014

Lake Geneva police recently unveiled a new 911 system that improves communication response times and lays the groundwork for the Lake Geneva department to receive cell phone 911 calls directly.

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Theater for sale, again

July 31, 2014

The Geneva Theater, 244 Broad St., is up for sale again.

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It's summer, and the dogs must swim

July 31, 2014

It’s a beautiful summer Saturday and Buehrle is getting in some swimming time....subscribers>>

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Hartshorne home opens doors for estate sale

July 31, 2014

This past weekend, friends, antiquers and the curious showed up for the estate sale and auction at the former home of Harold “Harry” Hartshorne Jr., appropriately located on Hartshorne Road.

Recent Lake Geneva News
Disc golf course opens July 26
July 24, 2014

Just in case anyone has seen those flying-saucer-like things zinging around near Dunn Field on the former Hillmoor Country Club, no the aliens aren’t landing, but the disc golf course is open. ...subscribers>>

Business owners seek free parking for Maxwell Street Days
July 24, 2014

Free parking is usually a somewhat ticklish issue for the city, but the Lake Geneva Parking Commission will formally ask the Lake Geneva City Council to consider free parking for Maxwell Street Days, Aug. 22 to 24 this year.
The motion for free parking, without a recommendation for or against it, was made by Alderman Bob Kordus, the council’s representative on the commission. The commission met July 16.
Roger Wolff, owner of The Bootery, asked the commission to request the free parking.
Wolff argued that the free parking would do much to boost good will in the city and perhaps even convince locals to shop downtown.
Wolff also said he realized that it will result in the loss of funds.
“But sometimes it just has to be done to improve relations,” Wolff said.
Bruce Bennett, owner of Cornerstone, also attended the meeting and added his support to Wolff’s request.
Commissioners said that, while it sounds inviting, promoting an extended weekend of free parking for persons who come to Lake Geneva to buy at downtown stores may cause problems.
It opens the door to other groups to ask for free parking, they said.
Now, the Jaycees pay for the parking spaces they close down during the Venetian Festival.
The same for the organizers of Oktoberfest.
During last year’s Maxwell Street Days, the city didn’t enforce its parking ordinances, allowing cars to remain parked in stalls while expired. But the city didn’t generally announce its no ticketing policy, either.
Many visitors to last year’s Maxwell Days paid the meters for parking.
“I think if you’re not going to issue the tickets but not tell anybody, I don’t see the benefit,” said Darien Schaefer, president of the Geneva Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau, an ex-officio member of the commission.
“If we had enforced it, it would have (been) something like 500 tickets,” said City Administrator Dennis Jordan.

Sylvia Martinez-Mullally, city parking director, said that what she saw in the downtown during the Fourth of July, is that people do not avoid paying for parking.
“We are collecting more from parking than from tickets,” she said.
“I think if we advertise this as free parking, people will still put money in,” said Dennis Swangstu, a commissioner.
“I think if we advertise free parking, no one will pay,” replied Martinez-Mullally.
But Swangstu said he meant advertising in local publications, not putting up banners or notices on the kiosks.
Before the city installed the parking kiosks two years ago, there was free parking during Maxwell Days.
But Kevin Fleming, a commissioner and downtown business owner, said the reason for that was because the activity along the streets made it difficult for shoppers and meter enforcement to get to the meters.
Would the chamber and the business district be willing to put up some money to cover some of the revenue loss to the city, asked Kordus. Schaefer said the chamber doesn’t have a budget for parking.
Mayor Jim Connors, also an ex-officio commission member, said the problem with free parking is that some people will “hunker down” and keep their cars parked for long times.
“The biggest problem is that you won’t have turnover in the stalls,” Connors said.
Martinez-Mullally asked whether there were days that were particularly busy for Maxwell Street Days merchants.
Wolff and Fleming said the three-day fest starts a bit slow on Friday, but it is absolutely jammed on Saturday. Some businesses also report good business on Sundays, they said.

Carstensen, Hoeft make initial court appearance
July 24, 2014

Ronald M. Carstensen, former Lake Geneva street superintendent, and Donald A. Hoeft Jr., former Lake Geneva street department foreman, both appeared in Walworth County Circuit Court on Tuesday for their initial appearance.

Utility employee charged with theft
July 24, 2014

Robert Leber, a former Lake Geneva Utility Commission employee, was charged with misdemeanor theft on July 16 by the Wisconsin Attorney General’s office.

Lake Geneva’s mailman
July 24, 2014

He might be the most popular man in town.
In a city known for controversial figures, Mike Huml stands apart.

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