The Emma’s Landing website is a clumsy clone of the Marison Mills LIHTC project in South Elgin. see: Home – Marison Mill Suites
The Marison Mills Burton Foundation building appears to be under the same management as Emma’s Landing, also a Burton Foundation building. The City of Geneva’s logo is on the Emma’s Landing website, indicating City sponsorship/endorsement.
An attempt will be made to get further information on this situation. However, here is how Mayor Burns views transparency when it comes to “curious” people, even aldermen:
Apparently among Council’s “goals and objectives” are to exploit and violate the Open Meetings Act by secretly setting Emma’s Landing as a goal and appointing Burton Foundation as the developer while cloaking the fact that another developer (MVAH) was interested. MVAH was black-balled because its proposal wasn’t sufficiently “attainable,” which is dog-whistle for insufficiently “woke.”
Now the Council is “permitted” under the “Geneva Way” to submit anonymous questions before each meeting. This, of course, permits the “professional staff” to answer without an opportunity for further probing, or rebuttal. This practice should cease, since it kills deliberation and debate, which is the Council’s primary duty. The above article demonstrates Mayor Burns’ “Geneva Way” of bullying any opposition. He seems to have forgotten that the staff are paid by the people of Geneva and the people are represented by the Council. Although they act the part, the staff members are not the Mayor’s minions.
The City of Geneva has governing and police powers that are limited and defined by the Illinois Municipal Code. 65 ILCS 5/ Illinois Municipal Code. (ilga.gov) The basic form in Geneva is that of a weak mayor/strong council. The mayor has no veto power and only votes in a few situations, including casting a tie-breaking vote (see Dunkin’ Special Use, as an example.) The City Administrator has very limited executive authority and even more limited legislative authority. The mayor and administrator have employed Scope Creep to expand their authority. The Council is either too disinterested or too intimidated to reel in the usurpations.
Examples are the administrator granting unauthorized changes in ordinance-based contracts as seen with the extensions of the government contingency provisions (a free call option) and the reverter provision (a free put option) in the Emma’s Landing sales agreement. Another example is the mayor’s unilateral filing of a major revision in the Ordinance (2021-03) granting Emma’s Landing Planned Unit development special use. The mayor “corrected” the sworn and notarized ownership certifications, but only after the document in question was used to obtain Federal LIHTC Funds. He also did this without the requisite authority created by a majority vote in open session or even the knowledge of all the council members.
By virtue of his very long tenure (into his 6th 4-year term) the mayor has appointed many aldermen and virtually all the upper echelons of professional staff. Many of these people were advanced from within rather than seeking fresh perspectives. Such entrenchment presents risks of fraud and abuse of power. We have seen evidence of both.
How did the City of Geneva Seal get on the Emma’s Landing web page? Who authorized it and when? Was it the same person, Mayor Burns, who upon his own authority fraudulently altered the Final Plat of Emma’s Landing contained in Geneva Ordinance 2021-03? Who owns the management company for Emma’s Landing? Does the owner’s name rhyme with Fellhauer?