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Lake Geneva mayor rescinds two suspensions

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Kayla Bunge
September 22, 2009
— The Lake Geneva City Council could return to paying bills, issuing licenses and approving contracts—at least for a little while.

The council on Wednesday is expected to take up the mayor’s recommendation to appoint Sturges Taggart and Larry Magee as replacements for two suspended council members, one each in the 2nd and 3rd districts, respectively, according to an agenda posted Monday night.


Mayor Bill Chesen on Monday rescinded the suspensions of two council members, allowing them to take their seats on the council and restoring quorum, which is six council members. Chesen did not say which two members he had reinstated, and he could not be reached for comment Monday night.


The city council attempted to meet Monday afternoon, but it could not raise a quorum and was forced to adjourn. Only council members Spyro “Speedo” Condos, Todd Krause, Frank Marsala and Don Tolar were present at the meeting. Suspended council members Mary Jo Fesenmaier, Arleen Krohn, Penny Roehrer and Tom Spellman, were not at the meeting.


“The mayor apparently rescinded the suspensions of two council members … but they weren’t present, and so no business was conducted and the meeting was adjourned,” said Kyle Gulya, the independent attorney who has been advising the city on the matter.


If on Wednesday the reinstated council members are present and the replacement council members are approved, the city council again would have eight members and be able to conduct city business.


The council on Wednesday also is expected to discuss in closed session the pending litigation against the city and city officers as well as the continued retention of Gulya and his firm for legal counsel.


Chesen on Sept. 10 suspended Fesenmaier, Krohn, Roehrer and Spellman, accusing them of misconduct and violating the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law. He has accused Roehrer and Spellman also of neglecting their duties.


Chesen on Sept. 14 tried to appoint four people to replace them, but the council failed to raise a quorum, putting the appointments on hold.


David Williams, an attorney representing Fesenmaier, Krohn, Roehrer and Spellman, on Sept. 14 filed papers asking for immediate reinstatement of the suspended council members. He also filed a motion for a restraining order and a temporary injunction to prevent Chesen from appointing replacements for them.


A judge declined to act without a formal hearing including both parties, however a hearing scheduled for Tuesday morning was cancelled by Williams.



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