Lake Geneva establishes a dog swimming area in Library/Elm Park after dog owners petition the common council to change the laws which made the common practice illegal.
The summer of 2012 is when the effects of global warming really began to fry the people of Lake Geneva, with record high temperatures and worst drought since 1987, residents and their dogs headed to the lake for much-needed relief from the heat. Extended hot temperatures are not something all small town cheese heads reacted to with a great deal of grace to put it mildly. Library Park is the only lake access point for most residents and their boats at the municipal boat docks, and is also where dogs and their owners have swum in violation of several local laws for years unmolested. Now this summer more people than usual started using the facilities at the same time, which led to a few of the colorful local “grumpy old men” to become “alarmed and concerned” with all the congestion. You have to realize in small town Lake Geneva it is not out of the ordinary for a motorist to wait before pulling out till there is not traffic coming for a block in either direction. We like a little space, and cheese gets moldy in hot humid weather fast. Police were called, tickets issued, and within three weeks a special joint meeting of the Piers, Harbors, Park Board, and Lakefront Committee was called. The dog owners by now had collected 640 signatures, presented by Candice Finnegan, for changing the laws they were violating of not being on a leash and running at large in the park. The ordinances were changed and now dogs are free to swim in their own special area as they have always been doing in Library Park. Some of the more authoritarian type elected officials grumbled how only 127 dogs are licensed with the City out of probably 5000, and tried to shake down any dog owner who got up to speak, to see if their dog was on a list of licensed dogs. Perhaps more elected officials should be like Aldermen like Gary Hougen who said, “The law should serve the people, not the people serve the law.”