The Geneva City Council Starts Another TIF Project for the Benefit of a Specific Family Business that Also Includes Affordable Housing

Featured

$1.4 million taxpayer gift slated from TIF3 fund that contains no money.

At the Same Meeting the City Council Voted to Destroy the Tapes of the February 2020 Meetings that Created Emma’s Landing Fraud (See Footnote).

Geneva’s Next White Castle at 122-130 East State: Another TIF White Elephant Disaster in the Making. The Geneva City Council believes that the road to affordable housing is through the wallets of Geneva home owners.
https://www.geneva.il.us/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_11072022-2047

Viewing the tape of the November 7th meeting at City Hall was deja vu all over again. Ironically, the only entrance/exit for the 6000 square foot retail, twelve apartment, three story building will be on Crissey Ave. opposite an exit from the Dunkin TIF project on Crissey. The new building will be on top of the site of the now-demolished structure where Forrest and Kate Crissey first lived in Geneva, and where Augustus Conant first preached. A block or so west of the new TIF building is the now vacant building of the failed Geneva Pharmacy, another “TIF money down the drain” City of Geneva gift recipient. Wasting millions of tax-payer dollars collected by Illinois’ most regressive tax (property tax) only makes living in Geneva less affordable for those already here.

The phrase “but for” was not heard in this discussion. The City must “find” factually that “but for” taxpayer largess, this project would not happen. Several Council Members lauded a similar project by the same developer in Naperville. When asked if that project had received Naperville TIF funds, the answer was “No.”

Has anyone seen the Geneva District #304 School Board in the last couple of years? Most of the TIF money will come from the School District via the property tax payers. Much of #304 is not in the City of Geneva, but those homeowners will also subsidize this project.

Footnote:

“Written on Veteran’s Day 2022: To the Geneva City Council – The Illinois Housing Development Authority believed that the City of Geneva donated the Emma’s Landing parcel. IHDA cited this donation in its announcement that Emma’s Landing was a “winner” of a large LIHTC grant. IHDA used a communication from City staff based on a February 2020 closed session improper vote to conclude the land was donated. Emma’s Landing IHDA QAP application was given “bonus points” based on a donation that never happened. In Geneva City Hall, if you are not cheating, you are not trying. “Transparency” does not exist.

This is my final FOIA request for the February 2020 closed session tapes from the City Council and Cow. I have requested them in the past. 

Democracy died in darkness on your watch. The funeral is over.

Rod Nelson, Former Major USAF”

Emma’s Landing: Seditious Assaults on Liberty on the Home Front – The Unmarketable Real Estate Title

Memorial Day is about remembering the individuals who knew where the devil lived and their duty lay. They knew that a single individual’s effort was unlikely to be acknowledged. Richard Best sank the IJN’s premier carrier, Akagi, at Midway on June 4, 1942, with a single one-thousand-pound bomb dropped from his Scout Bomber Douglas 4 (SBD4) dive bomber (“Slow But Deadly” to its pilots). Best accomplished this with a little luck but primarily by following his Navy doctrine and training coupled with skill and courage. Many other anonymous bombs and bullets also hit their marks that day.

Over the weekend, I visited the final resting place of another WWII Navy Vet who went from Brisbane in ’42 to Tokyo Bay in ’45. He was a meticulous man who believed that details mattered. The Navy made him the ship’s bookkeeper aboard Haddo (SS-255, Gato class submarine). She and several other U.S. submarines were tied up to the Poseidon, a submarine tender, near Missouri when War II ended on 2 September 1945. The Pacific submarine crews suffered a higher mortality rate (20%) than did the 8th Army Air Corps (7.5%) over Europe. Jack made it home and got a job as a record-keeper at the Mark 15 torpedo factory on Roosevelt Road in Forest Park.

Today the assaults on our liberty that earlier generations created and preserved for us are often subtle, difficult to identify, and easier to ignore. An urban myth holds that putting a frog in a pot of boiling water will instantly leap out. But if you put it in a pot filled with pleasantly tepid water and gradually heat it, the frog will remain in the water until it boils to death.

“Fraud” is any activity that relies on deception to achieve a gain. Fraud becomes a crime when it is a “knowing misrepresentation of the truth or concealment of a material fact to induce another to act to his or her detriment” (Black’s Law Dictionary). Frauds committed and then covered up by elected officials and their employees, whether out of personal avarice or for political gain, are acts of sedition and insurrection that destroy liberty.

Here is an example of a “knowing misrepresentation of fact:”

Above the self-proclaimed owner of the Emma’s Landing Planned Unit Development certifies that she is the owner of the PUD parcel and “caused same to be subdivided and platted…” But the City of Geneva owned the PUD parcel and caused (and then self-approved) the PUD to be platted.

Then consider that Joy Nelson was the owner of parcel 12-08-224-00 that abuts the Emma’s PUD and provided the access from Lewis Road for the Emma’s PUD that was actually owned by the City of Geneva on April 21, 2021. Also consider that Joy Nelson sold that abutting parcel to James Bergman on June 29, 2021 for $650,000. Mr. Bergman’s address on the deed is given as 2090 Larkin Ave, Suite 5A-1, Elgin. This happens to be the address of the Burton Foundation that is now listed on the tax bill as the owner of the former Joy Nelson property.

Geneva taxpayers sold the PUD to the Burton Foundation for less than $100,000 per acre while Joy Nelson received over $200,000 per acre, well above the City’s appraisal for Emma’s Landing. The City’s appraisal put the value of the Emma’s site at about $120,000/acre. No doubt Joy Nelson’s sale was contingent upon the approval of the Burton Foundation’s successful application for LIHTC funds which she improperly facilitated by a “knowing misrepresentation of fact.” Most Genevans were victims of that fraud, but some benefitted. Big losers were the 22 applicants for LIHTC funds whose applications were denied in favor of a fraudulent one.

But this could become much worse for Geneva property taxpayers. Both buyer (Burton/Bergman) and seller (City of Geneva) knew that the required PUD Plat was fraudulent, but the PUD Plat was also a required time-critical element for success in getting LIHTC funding from the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s once-a-year cyle. So the parties winked and nodded simultaneously, as per the “Geneva Way.'” The IRS, IHDA, the Kane State’s Attorney, HUD, the Illinois Attorney General and the HUD IG may not deign to take notice of the “irregularities” in violation of the Illinois Open Meetings Act, unauthorized changes in contracts, and the blatant falsehood that is represented by the Emma’s Landing Planned Unit Development Special Use Zoning Plat.

Ominously, a violation of a city’s zoning ordinance can render the title to Emma’s property unmarketable. https://www.tourolaw.edu/Academics/uploads/pdfs/5_Marketable_WWW.pdf The lenders for the Emma’s Landing project and the underwriters for the LIHTC income tax credits will not go quietly into the good night should the project go into default. Real estate held as collateral that has an unmarketable, clouded title could make those third parties, including the title insurer, anxious to be made whole by the purveyor of the bad title. Ultimately, that seller’s liability falls upon the Geneva voters and taxpayers.

Geneva has a city government focused more on what it can get away with than on what the statutes and ordinances require. No elected, appointed, or employed official has attempted to explain why this fraud was perpetrated. We have descended into local vigilanteism and worse. The devil often now dwells in the “minor” details, and so does the danger to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.