A Francis Grice Image of Joseph Smith, Jr. or his Doppelganger?

The above-left image is clumsily cropped and horizontally flipped from the image below with the hand of the lady in the picture even more clumsily cropped and superimposed. The above right is an image of a painting said to be Joseph Smith, Jr., and said to have been made from a lost daguerreotype.

This is image #1368 in the Grice Collection of Daguerreotypes in the Library of Congress.
Engraved with an ellipse? You decide. Skeptics should examine the many images of the painted portrait that exist on the internet. The ellipse on the ring is quite obvious. Joseph Smith gave his last discourse, The King Follet Sermon, on April 7, 1844, during which he referred to a ring. see: https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/RelEd/id/1438/

The only known provenance of Dag #1368 is that it was part of a collection of daguerreotypes purchased from famed photographer Anthony Barboza by the Library of Congress in 1999. Were Francis Grice, Joseph Smith, and Emma Hale Smith all together in the same room in Nauvoo, Illinois, in the spring of 1844?

Please see Francis Henry Grice’s Daguerrean Views – Rod’s Ramblings and Ruminations (genevanotes.com) for background.

Attention Stakeholders in Geneva School District 304: You Are Being Robbed and the Crime Is Still in Progress

The Meat Market Tax Increment Financing Heist Perpetrated by the Geneva Mayor and His Minions

On the 7th of December of 2020, a date that lives in infamy, the Geneva City Council met. The Geneva community, in general, was in a state of anxiety over the Governor’s decree ordering a pandemic lockdown and the Mayor’s Council was considering an ordinance that would make defiance of this emergency decree into a local crime.

While the school community was distracted by graver issues, the Mayor and his Council stole about three-quarters of a million dollars from Geneva School District 304 and the other taxing bodies. Many of the school children and their taxpaying parents did not even live in the City of Geneva, but they were robbery victims just the same. They were also victims of taxation without representation.

Briefly, on that December night in 2020, the City of Geneva deliberated on whether to make a gift of a City-owned 0.23-acre land parcel (tax number12-02-404-019) and a $551,000 cash gift to the developer of the Country Village Meats at 715 East State street. The Meat Market is on parcel 12-02-404-015 and comprises 0.52 acres. The meat market site is 0.75 acres in total. The store opened about 3 months ago in the spring of 2022.

The white roof building in the center is the meat market. The red x marks the parking lot donated by Geneva taxpayers to the Country Village Meats (CVM) developer. The large building to the east is the CVS Pharmacy on a parcel measuring 1.9 acres. In 2002 CVS paid $1.875 million for the lot and existing building which was immediately demolished.

These are the three key points that the School District 304 stakeholders need to consider.

  1. With a TIF City of Geneva pockets any property tax dollars that exceed the total property tax bill that was based on the EAV when the TIF district was created. This is true to the end of the 23-year life of a TIF. This is called the “TIF Base.” The EAV for the parcel that contains the CVM building was $126,876.00 for the tax year 2002. This number is the same as the TIF Base listed on the 2021 tax bill. The “fair cash value” in 2021 was $567, 234, the “fair cash value in 2002” was $380,628. BUT THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE THE GIFTED PARKING PARCEL. CVS paid about $240,000 per 0.23 acre in 2002! The total City of Geneva gift to CVM was about $800,000.
  2. The City of Geneva took a third of all the tax paid on the Country Village Meats property in 2021. ALL the other taxpayers in District #304 had to make up the difference. Many of these payers do not live in the City of Geneva.
  3. When a TIF district expires, all the money remaining in the TIF Fund must be distributed back to the taxing bodies from which the money came.

The 2021 Property Tax Bill for the CVM parcel with the building. The tax bill had been flat since 2019.

Here is the poignant December 2020 plea of the Mayor’s six-figure salary minion in charge of TIFs: “Opportunity is meeting desire. There is a willing seller and a highly desirable purchaser. It has taken years to get here; the TIF is near to expiration. It has been very difficult to find a hybrid end user to occupy the entire building that offers a unique combination of storefront and warehouse. It has been even more difficult to secure an owner occupant who shares a passion for the neighborhood and for the betterment of the community. Time is of the essence for several reasons including financing obligations and timing of existing lease renewals, a backup offer and a pending closing date. Moreover, time is of the essence due to the pending East State Street road construction and as mentioned above the pending TIF expiration. If Geneva is going to attract another significant user to the east side and make a meaningful change at this site- now is the time to act.”

Wait…we were told the building was vacant. What is this about existing leases? What is this about a “backup offer?” Smells of still more Open Meetings Act violations, doesn’t it?

The Mayor and Council acted hastily like they each had an expiring coupon for 10 gallons of $2 gasoline, or half off on a side of beef.

Geneva School District 304 stakeholders must ask themselves a couple questions. Would we have preferred to get the cash back at the end of the TIF so that some of the residents of the District present when the money was paid in could benefit? Or, do we feel lucky?

Well, do we?

The City of Geneva Ochlocrats Are At It Again…

Democracy Dies in Darkness – Wikipedia

The man who popularized the above phrase was born in Geneva, Illinois, on March 26, 1943, at Community Hospital on Third Street. Robert Redford once portrayed him. Bob Woodward – Wikipedia

Mob rule – Wikipedia

The City Council Committee of the Whole agenda for August 1, 2022, is published. While a noticeable improvement has occurred in the closed session citations of the specifically allowed exception in the Open Meetings Act, the August 1 agenda has the same stinker that was deployed during the Emma’s Landing debacle. Several OMA violations occurred during that process. But here is the Warning: The August 1 agenda cites an incorrect exception again because the word “sale” has been incorrectly inserted into 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(5). The sale of city-owned real property cannot be discussed in a secret session except for the specific purpose of setting the sale or lease price. In the Emma’s Landing sale of public property, many issues besides selling price were discussed secretly. Examples have been cited in other posts on this site. Please see “related” articles linked below for a sample.

5 ILCS 120/2 – Illinois General Assembly

(5) The purchase or lease of real property for the
use of the public body, including meetings held for the purpose of discussing whether a particular parcel should be acquired.
(6) The setting of a price for sale or lease of
    property owned by the public body.

Here is the agenda item for the COW meeting of August 1, 2022:

  1. Closed Session on Probable Litigation (5 ILCS 120/2(c)(11) and the Purchase, Sale,
    or Lease of Real Property for the Use of the Public Body (5 ILCS 120/2(c)(5)

This is not a trivial point of order. Fraudulent documents have been recorded by the City of Geneva and by the mayor personally, that pertain to the deed for Emma’s Landing. These frauds originated in closed sessions, for the most part. ILCS 120/2(c)(6) is the very specific “sale” exception.

Hopefully, a corrected agenda can replace the current one.

Paraphrasing Gideon J. Tucker: No Genevan’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the COW is in secret session.

The Geneva Mayor and City Council have strayed far from the rule of law. Instead of applying the plain language of state statutes and municipal codes, they have too often chosen to simply ignore or pervert mandatory standards. No evidence has been found that TJ ever said what it quoted above. Democracy is nothing more than mob rule…(Spurious Quotation) | Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello The “quote” is used here to emphasize that words and their sources matter. When applying words to support decisions, great care must be taken, especially on issues related to natural rights, which Jefferson termed “inalienable rights.” Jefferson drew heavily from John Locke’s triad of natural rights of each individual, life, liberty, and property, which comprised the theme of Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. The Continental Congress approved Jefferson’s Declaration on July 4, 1776. The City of Geneva regularly abuses its zoning police powers, often laying the groundwork for its treachery by violating the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

Has Geneva TIFed Away Both Net Tax Revenue and the East Side CVS Pharmacy?

What does a Geneva developer get as perks with a TIF or LIHTC grant? Need a simultaneous Special Use and a bunch of zoning Variations, reliefs, deviations, and “winks and nods?” These can be yours as bonuses for agreeing to accept free Geneva taxpayer money.

Former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and Chicago Alderman Ed Burke have made tentative reservations at Club Fed due to influence peddling. What service did they hawk? Lowering property tax levels was their main stock and trade. Under the “Geneva Way” of the last couple of decades, millions of dollars changed hands via a Tax Increment Financing scheme coupled with sales tax rebates and even land gifts. By accepting a Tax Increment Financing gift, a developer receives, free of charge, the most valuable aspect of the TIF Grift: a greased path to any desired zoning or code interpretation, a building permit, including an occupancy permit as frosting on the cake.

CVS Pharmacy’s corporate plan calls for closing about 1,000 of its 10,000 stores by 2024. What CVS Stores Are Closing? Changes Cost Store $1 Billion (marketrealist.com) CVS has said it will focus on a store for closing based on its proximity to its other stores and on its lower profitability. A newer CVS in St. Charles is kitty-corner from Geneva’s Walgreen Pharmacy at Bricher and State Rt 38. Another convenient CVS Pharmacy is available to Genevans in the Target on Kautz Rd. and Rt. 64.

Take the Geneva Pharmacy at 501 East State as an example of the City of Geneva’s penchant for giving away money while raising homeowner taxes. Pharmacies were not a permitted use in the B3E Zone where 501 East State is located. Only certain low patron volume “specialty retail” uses were permitted. The reason for this was that B3E was created with the stated purpose of creating a one-lot deep buffer between Route 38 and the abutting residential use. Low-volume offices and specialty shops were allowed. This protection for homeowners posed no problem for the Geneva Pharmacy developer. The Geneva City Council simply “spot zoned” 501 E. State to allow a pharmacy. Other perks were thrown into the pot, such as an electronic sign and vehicle access to Woodlawn Street that has no associated pedestrian access. Microsoft Word – City of Geneva Amendment Narrative.docx Because an alderman lived just north on Woodlawn, the pharmacy drive-through was nixed (so far), unlike in the case of the nearby Dunkin’. (To be fair the alderman in question also voted against the Dunkin’s drive-through but the mayor broke the tie that should have killed it.)

CVS purchased its East Side Drive at State St. site in 2002 for $1.875 million. The CVS property tax peaked in 2014 at $54,375 and has slowly fallen to $51,825. The first year for payment into the Tax Increment Financing Fund (TIF2) was 2004 when the City received about $18,000. The School District received $16,000.

2021 East Side Drive CVS Property Tax Distribution

The City of Geneva congratulates itself periodically for its self-declared TIF “successes.” Below is one such City document for CVS issued in 2019. But some obvious smoke and mirror obfuscation lurks just beneath the surface. The total “public” investment was ~$300,000 when considering the TIF grant of ~$125K and the sales tax rebate of $175K. The TIF statute requires a determination that “but for” the TIF grant, the project would not have been built. Is it reasonable to believe that the whole multi-million-dollar project would have been shelved “but for” the $125K of TIF funds?

The City incomprehensively claimed that the “Ratio of Public to Private Investment” was “6.25.” However, {($172,000 plus $124,879) divided by $3,375,000}, is about 0.09 (the $172K sales tax rebate was apparently ignored as public investment.) The “but for” requirement is more like “but what???”

Here is the crucial point: according to the Geneva Township Tax Assessor’s database, CVS paid $1,875,000 for the CVS parcel in 2002. But the “Base EAV” for the TIF was set at $322,341. Now, a taxpayer might ask: How does a developer pay $1,875,000 for the parcel alone in 2002, build a $2+/- million-dollar building, and end up taxed on a total “fair cash value” in 2004 of $1.7mil? The property tax total for CVS in 2004 was $40K on its $3.7 mil “home.” CVS paid $15,000 to Geneva School District 304 in 2004. I paid $4700 to the schools on my home with a “fair cash value” in 2004 of $295,000, and I had a homestead exemption.

The Nelson home property tax has gone up steadily since 2014 (as it always has) without significant capital investment, even with the added benefit of a senior exemption. CVS’s property tax has steadily declined since 2014.

“ArLou’s Liquors” (a contraction of “Arlene and Louis Lencioni), the “Before” in the picture, paid a hefty sales tax on its products. About 76% of CVS’s revenue is from prescription drugs upon which ZERO local sales tax is paid. CVS’s property tax has been steadily declining for eight years.

Below is the property tax bill for CVS for the year 2004. The City of Geneva deposited ~$18,000 in its TIF2 slush fund. This represents a 14.4% annualized return on the $124,849 investment. By 2021, the TIF slush fund collected $24,637, for an annual return of about 20%! TIF’s are a license to steal from School District #304 homeowners, who must pay most (70%) of the $18,000 difference.

Now consider the poor Geneva taxpayer. Who made up the difference for the hundreds of thousands of dollars diverted from the other taxing bodies by the CVS TIF grant alone (primarily School District #304, which receives 70% of total property taxes)? If District 304 needs more money to pay teachers who face the same runaway inflation as everyone else, it must comply with PTELL What is a PTELL Referendum and How Does it Work? | The Civic Federation. If an addition is needed for a school to accommodate students from a 250-unit LIHTC affordable housing project, Geneva School District 304 must pass a referendum.

Where can a Geneva taxpayer make an investment like a TIF grant that pays 20% per annum (which would be taxable to the taxpayer but is not to the City of Geneva politicians who can use the money for their personal political agendas.) The City can pass the money along as salaries to its paid staff which doles out the developer perks through “administrative” largess in the form of reliefs, deviations, and “over-looked” ordinance violations.

Per capita, Geneva had more pharmacy jobs in 1960 when a half dozen drug stores dotted the downtown and elsewhere. In 1960 the half dozen competed against each other on a level playing field. Now TIF tilts the pitch. CVS corporate revenue is 76% generated through prescription drugs that do not generate sales tax revenue. I suspect the new Geneva Pharmacy at 521 State St has an even higher percentage of its revenue from drugs.

In the U.S., prescription drugs are almost always exempt from sales tax. The exception is Illinois, where prescription drugs are taxed at the state level, but at a reduced state rate of 1%. All drugs (prescription and nonprescription) are tax-exempt at the local level. Is prescription and nonprescription medication taxable? – TaxJar

If Geneva’s East Side Drive CVS closes because of the taxpayers’ gifts (spot zoning, etc. plus TIF grant of $93,000) to the Geneva Pharmacy Geneva OKs two TIF projects worth nearly $200,000 (dailyherald.com) which subsidized it, it would mark another colossal mismanagement by the Mayor and City Council. These are the same people who invested heavily in coal-fired electrical generation via a long-term “take or pay” contract with NIMPA. In addition, Geneva’s TIF and LIHTC shenanigans have led to numerous Open Meeting Act violations and other frauds, such as allowing prohibited retaining wall encroachments with a wink and a nod, colluding to skip mandatory IDOT permits, and filing fraudulent documents with the Kane County Recorder of Deeds.

This is the 2021 property tax bill for 501 E. State Street, now the home of Geneva Pharmacy. Note that the TIF2 payment is about double the school tax. All the increment in EAV since the creation of TIF2 has been due to appreciation in value, not capital improvements. In fact, the renovation for the pharmacy creation included the demolition of a significant part of the existing building. Did the $93,000 TIF gift plus the spot zoning change and other perks justify the effects on the residence immediately to the north? “But for” the customized, made-to-order zoning change, this development could not have happened. A Geneva homeowner should not be deprived of the protections afforded by the Special Use Permit requirements by made-to-order zoning on a case-by-case basis for the benefit of a favored entity. This is unethical and perhaps even illegal.

Geneva must stop being just another non-transparent Madiganistan before it taxes out of town all but the wealthy and the politically connected. The ochlocracy created by Geneva’s entrenched mayor, his clique of political minions, and his deep state hand-picked bureaucrats must not be allowed to continue to occupy City Hall.

Geneva TIF2 Nonsense: When “But for” Really Means “In Spite of…”

Parcel Details for 1202380047 (devnetwedge.com)

This beautiful home is in the “blighted” Geneva TIF2 District on Geneva’s East Side. In 2022, the owners paid over $13,500 into the TIF2 slush fund according to their last tax bill. They paid less than $1000 to Geneva School District #304. Of course, the owners had no say in the allocation, but the Geneva City Council did. When the TIF2 District expires soon, Genevans can expect the Mayor and Council to crow about the enormous “windfall” that would not have come to the School District “but for” the City’s sagacity in generating the “Tax Increment.” But, in reality, most of the increment has been caused by inflation and by investments like the above home that were made “in spite of” and not “but for” Tax Increment District 2. The “windfall” from “TIF1” that occurred after it expired lasted about 2 years and then blew away into the black hole of 2009 with the “Great Recession.” Guess who rushed to appeal their assessments. If you guessed the homeowners, you’d be wrong. The only homeowner I know of who appealed (unsuccessfully) his assessment was Mayor Burns (back when he actually owned a Geneva home). But many of the TIF1 beneficiaries successfully appealed their assessments. TIF1 was so unsuccessful that essentially the same area has been “re-TIF’ed” as TIF3. TIFs are the gifts that just keep on raising taxes of current Geneva homeowners so that future homeowners can reap the benefits (if any benefit actually ever accrues). Until then the City can continue to give money away to restaurants, funeral homes, meat markets, pharmacies, etc.

The Facts About the Malone Funeral Home Special USE/Variance Fraud

Malone Funeral Home Addition Under Construction 2002 without the Required Special Use Permit. Note the lack of 2-way aisles in the parking lot required by the Geneva Code. Also, note how the handicapped parking dangerously encroaches on the ROW of Nebraska Street. Also note the unlawful extension of pavement of Nebraska Street that extends from sidewalk to sidewalk, putting pedestrians in danger unlawfully by omitting separation. Heath and Safety are the reasons why Codes exist. Code violations cannot be waived under the mandatory standards of 11-14-4. All these violations still exist today.
This is the record of the building permit of 1999-2002 for the Malone Funeral Home. More details of this “Remodel” are included in the file below. The expansion was misidentified as a “remodel.” This was explained in the Public Testimony submitted on July 21, 2021 to the Planning and Zoning Commission and to the City Council. This deception was concealed by both bodies. Both Bodies approved the Special Use and the Variances requested in 2021 in spite of provision 11-1-2 of the Geneva Municipal Code which explicitly prohibits altering the restrictive standards of a Special Use. Variances are, as a matter of common law, not permitted under any circumstances when the applicant himself creates the very hardship that requires a variance. The unlawful expansion created the alleged need for more parking.
Malone Funeral Home March 26, 1999, prior to construction of an addition to the west onto the adjacent lot. This was done without a site plan and with a building permit that does not mention the addition (according to FOIA request for all pertinent records). The Geneva Zoning Ordinance of 1995 made Funeral Homes a Special use only in Zone B3E. The Funeral Home operated as a lawful non-conforming, pre-existing use only until it was unlawfully expanded in 1999-2002. Under the “Geneva Way” of Mayor Burns it has operated unlawfully since 2002. A Special Use was requested in 2012 but was not granted based on the same 9 standards that exist today.

The Malone attorney characterized the only public testimony submitted to the Plan Commission according to the official Minutes of the 22 July 2021 Plan Commission Hearing:

“Mr. Wogain returned and addressed Dr. Nelson’s electronic message, whose contention was that the use of the funeral home was not a lawful pre-existing, non-conforming use, wherein Mr. Wogain explained it was incorrect and the business was functioning for the past 50 years and the applicant has received various building permits and approvals from the City. Mr. Wogain referenced a settlement agreement entered into by Dennis Malone, the City of Geneva, and Dr. Nelson who agreed that the use was permitted at such location and it was a non-conforming use. Regarding Mr. Nelson’s concerns about the ability to grant the approvals that were being requested, Mr. Wogain stated the items were well within the authority to do so by the applicant.”

For the record, Dr. Nelson never agreed that the use was permitted. The settlement agreement referenced is included in the written submission, which was either never read or was completely ignored by the minions of the same 20-year mayoral administration that made all the prior and current “errors.”

Below is the entire written submission contained in the “electronic message.” It is long and detailed, but it provides proof that an unlawful expansion was made to the Funeral Home in 2002 under the guise of a “remodel” building permit. This expansion made the Funeral Home a zoning zombie. It was no longer a permitted pre-existing non-conforming use as of 2002. This is because the expansion of such use required a Special Use Permit, not a “remodel” permit. The Planning and Zoning Commission improperly failed to reveal this fact. In fact, the Commission went further than concealment, it knowingly misrepresented the factual history. The “electronic message” included a reference to the recording of the 2012 testimony of the former Director of Development Richard Untch that described and admitted the “error” in no uncertain terms. Mr. DeGroot was present during that testimony, as he was then Untch’s assistant.

Like Mayor Burns’ unauthorized “papering over” of the fraudulent Plat of Planned Unit Development for Emma’s Landing, Mr. DeGroot, the entire Plan Commission, the Mayor, and the entire City Council knowingly “papered over” the City’s prior zoning “error.” In so doing, they conspired to defraud the adjacent property owner of the residential lot to the south (the only plat not in Zone B3E) of his property rights.

Anyone for Green Energy in Geneva? How About Open, Honest Government – Anyone for that?

This paragraph is cut from the Minutes of the July 10, 2017, secret closed session meeting of the Geneva City Council Committee of the Whole. Of course, no exception from the Illinois Open Meetings Act exists for this topic, and taking a vote, formal or informal, that determines the disposition of any such public issue is strictly prohibited in a closed session. How many Geneva issues are raised and settled without ever reaching a public agenda?

I have made a Freedom of Information request to the City for the details including the entity that made the inquiry. This will takes weeks, but it took years to discover the misconduct. The secret minutes quoted above were not released until March 21, 2022.

The Deep State of Geneva’s Administrative Kleptocracy: The Malone Funeral Home Illegal “Special-Use/Variance” Fraud

Below are three provisions of the Geneva Municipal Code.

“Title 11 – Zoning

11-1-2: – INTERPRETATION:
B. Where the conditions imposed by any provision of this title, upon the use of land or buildings or upon the bulk of buildings, are either more restrictive or less restrictive than comparable conditions imposed by any other provision of this title or of any other law, ordinance, resolution, rule or regulation of any kind, the regulations which are more restrictive or which impose higher standards or requirements shall govern.

11-14-4: – SPECIAL USE PERMITS:

  1. Authority: The city council has the authority to grant special use permits in accordance with the provisions of this title.

11-14-5: – VARIATIONS: 

  1. Authority: The city council has the authority to grant or deny requested variations in accordance with the provisions of this title.”

Here is a quote from the Geneva Plan Commission agenda of July 22, 2021: “The applicant is making these requests in accordance with Section 11-14-5 (Variations) of the Geneva Zoning Ordinance.” But this statement is incorrect because it conveniently misplaces the phrase “in accordance with.” Accordance with the entire “title 11” was mandatory but fraudulently skipped over.  A Special Use Permit was illegally joined to the Variances. Malone’s requests for a Special Use and Variances were simultaneously recommended for approval by the puppet Plan Commission and approved via collusion between the City Council and the mayor’s “professional” staff. In fact, the funeral home was not eligible for either a Special Use or a Variance because it was illegally expanded without the required Special Use Permit twenty years ago (early in the reign of the sitting tyrant.)

1-2-1: – RULES OF CONSTRUCTION: 5. May/Shall: The word “may” is permissive; the word “shall” is mandatory.

I am confident that any Geneva middle schooler, after being informed by the teacher that the Geneva Code defines “shall” as “mandatory” and that 11-14-4 is indisputably more restrictive than 11-14-5, could read the above and answer the following question correctly: “Under Geneva’s Code of Ordinances can an applicant for a Special Use Permit simultaneously successfully apply for Variances from the mandatory standards of the Special Use under 11-14-4?”

The seventh-grader would answer: “Of course not, under 11-1-2 the Code requires that the Special Use Provisions of Title 11 “shall (must) govern.”

Special Use Standard 8: “The proposed building, other structures and use comply with any and all regulations, conditions or requirements of the city applicable to such building, structure or use.” This standard adopts and mandates that ALL the provisions of the Municipal Code be met!!! No wiggle room existed until the current mayor took office decades ago. Now the City Council has completely destroyed the Special Use property value protections in Geneva and has infringed on a fundamental individual property right. Do not complain when the mayor approves a Tilted Kilt and massage parlor next to your house. (The Dunkin’ developer does these also.)

Parents ordinarily imbue their children with the principle that their default position on rules should be to understand and obey them. This is not to say that a rule cannot be protested and changed through the processes defined under our constitutional republic.

The “adults” on the Geneva Plan Commission and Geneva City Council (most of them parents themselves) have set many bad examples where they have violated, for political gain, their oaths of office and openly defied the rules they swore to uphold. What part of 11-1-2 do they not comprehend? Should Genevans let them get away with this treasonous usurpation of power? What kind of town is Geneva, and where is it headed?

 

Dunkin’s Bait & Switch on Neighborhood Amenities

If You live near any City of Geneva project, never take your eye off the peanut while playing the City of Geneva zoning shell game. (Warning: the game is fixed.)

During the City’s evisceration of its formerly robust Special Use Ordinance during the Dunkin’ application (approved when the mayor broke the tie) at State and Crissey, many forced unlawful conditional kinks were embedded. Only two of these kinks are discussed here as examples: 1) The shell game that omitted the required trees on the parkways, and 2) the shell game surrounding the electrical service that made losers out of the neighbors and winners of the mayor’s friends, the Twisted Kilt franchisers. The two subterfuges are related.

First, parkway trees were required to be planted as part of the development. This streetscape upgrade was ostensibly to improve the appeal of the project and to enhance the neighborhood. The City waived this requirement and belatedly collected a few hundred dollars in lieu of the trees. “Overhead wires” were cited as the justification for this penalization of the neighbors. Not mentioned was the illegal retaining wall abutting the sidewalk and encroaching on the parkway, limiting room for trees. Also not mentioned was the fact that the offending pole and wires were to be removed entirely as part of the electrical plan. If you think the Geneva Plan Commission has its eyes open, think again.

The second electric service shell game was “highlighted” by its total absence from the discussion of the Committee of the Whole meeting of February 22, 2022.

Attention is called to Dawkins’ claim that “no funds had yet been disbursed…” This was not a truthful statement.

The above is a line in the Geneva financial reports. For the reader to follow this $30K peanut under its shell, the actual applicable electrical service plan must be known. What has existed since early 2021 is overhead wires to the pole at the “back” SW corner of the Dunkin site and then down the pole and under the sidewalk to a transformer in the overcrowded encroached parkway, then drilled underground through the LUST site while dumping the removed contaminated soil on the parkway without the IEPA required precautions (or knowledge.) Mr “P,” the payee, was a member of the Dunkin’ team.

The latest publically known plan for the site is that of IDOT from last fall, seen below:

This plan does not accurately describe the electric service provided by the City of Geneva right now, July 11,2022. The note highlighted in yellow in the left lower corner reads: “Upgraded electric service to be installed underground from intersection of Oak and Crissey to transformer.” The “upgrade” was “refunded” to the Tilters. Not even a Fifth Ward Alderman took notice.

So, the City Council approved (years ago now) a Special Use” plan that fails several of the “must” be met nine criteria. Then the mayor’s “professional” minions manipulate the approved plan to reward the tax-scoff developer and apply its “forced unlawful conditional kinks” to illegally screw the neighborhood and taxpayers while sending a check of $30K of laundered refund juice money to the developer. So much for Dawkins’ “designated points of completion.” The “developers’ issues” were all self-inflicted so they could receive “first aide” from the City by taking away property value and amenities from the neighborhood.

Alderman Kilberg should ask again about “legal recourse,” but this time he should ask the Attorney General and the State’s Attorney. He should also demand that no occupancy permit be granted until the electric service is buried from Oak and Crissey as promised.

To the Geneva City Council: Release the Minutes and Tapes of the February 10th and 24th, 2020 Secret Closed Sessions or Resign

July 5th is a good day to begin refocusing on “… when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is [the people’s] right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

The Degroot to Manning email of Feb 25, 2020, with the “again last night” phrase (see page 22 of the document below) is part of a long train of abuses and usurpations at Geneva City Hall.

“Agenda item for March 21, 2022: 14. “OPEN SESSION TO APPROVE CERTAIN CLOSED SESSION MINUTES AND APPROVAL OF DESTRUCTION OF CLOSED SESSION AUDIO RECORDINGS JANUARY 2020 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2020 PURSUANT TO 5 ILCS 12/2.06 (c).” [Actually, the correct statute is 5 ILCS 120/2.06 (c). But even this correct citation is incomplete in this context.]

Kosirog’s motion after secret session: “I’d like to make a motion to approve City Council closed session minutes approved for release on March 21st, 2022.  First the remaining minutes from January 22nd, 2013. Second the remaining minutes for March 4th, 2013. Third the full minutes from April 22nd, 2013. Fourth the remaining minutes from August 5th, 2013. Fifth the remaining minutes from December 2nd, 2013. Sixth remaining minutes from July 10th, 2017. Seventh the partial minutes from February 12th, 2018. Eighth the minutes from August 26th, 2019. Ninth the minutes of January 19th, 2021, and Tenth and lastly the partial minutes from September 7th, 2021.” The motion passed. 

The Feb 10 and Feb 24, 2020, minutes were not released. The agenda item that would “approve” the destruction of the tapes of those meetings mysteriously and improperly just plain disappeared.

Where are those audio recordings of the Special Meeting closed secret sessions of February 10 and 24, 2020 whose destruction was on the agenda? What, exactly, was the “use” for the “purchase of land for the use of the public body” that was cited on Feb 10 and 24, 2020, as the exemption from sunlight, transparency, and the Illinois Open Meetings Act? What else, besides Emma’s Landing, was improperly discussed and became a “comfortable” secret position taken by the City Council?

Obviously, a clandestine “consensus vote” was taken on March 21, 2022, and the destruction of audiotapes motion did not pass or at least was not “comfortable.” But that “action” to dispose of an agenda item must be taken in an open session. If the issue were removed from the agenda, who made the motion to do so, who seconded it, and what was the tally?

Vigilante insurrectionists are still occupying Geneva City Hall. Stockholm’s Syndrome is progressing to its most virulent and corrupting form. If a broken trust were so easy to repair, why are there so many divorces?

What could still be so “tip-top secret” about a contemplated land purchase under consideration more than two years ago that makes it inviolate? 

The City of Geneva’s long 20+ year train of abuses and usurpations must stop. Release the tapes and minutes of February 10th and 24th, 2020, or resign from the Geneva City Council.