The Latest $50K Geneva City Council Shell Game Played at City Hall


The Geneva History Museum Cash Was Under the Shell Marked “Covid” All Along

“The schism created at the Feb. 6 council meeting was not about the respect and appreciation we have for the museum’s work, but the sudden abandonment of good governance principles – witnessed by the attempt to codify funding beyond the current fiscal year for one organization – without a comprehensive discussion on the parameters and protocols of a funding mechanism that addresses potential requests by outside organizations in an equitable fashion,” Burns said.

Geneva History Museum poised to receive $51K in federal COVID relief funds – Shaw Local

In February, the Geneva City Council defeated a resolution (the tally was 5 yeas and 5 nays) to fund the Geneva History Museum with $50K of local tax money. Remember, this is the same group that last year gave $75K to a private lobbying outfit in a failed attempt to buy political leverage for their failed Prairie State Energy Campus, a coal-fired earth warmer. But that $75K was based on “good governance principles.”

The Geneva City Council continues down its well-worn path known as the “Geneva Way.” Burns took his ruler and rapped the knuckles of the five aldermen who, in February, wanted to pass a resolution to fund the Geneva History Museum with $50,000 for one year from recurring locally collected tax sources. The resolution would not and could not make the $50K a yearly stipend, as it would have to be budgeted every year. But the resolution made a recurring revenue stream possible. What the resolution would not have done is to require the recipient to kiss the mayor’s ring annually.

The Mayor and his five night-riders, citing “good governance principles,” shut that insurrection down instantly. The Mayor even invoked his only power: voting in the case of Council ties. He brought the hammer down hard on the fingertips of the gang of five mutineers who dared to question his authority. He boldly voted “nay.” Of course, his vote was a free kick at the can. The resolution had already failed since only a majority vote could pass a funding resolution. But while we are on the subject of character, the book of good government principles includes this, “recusal is ethically required when a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts would question his impartiality in the matter.”

The Geneva City Council invokes formal rules such as FOIA, OMA, and even its own ordinances whenever convenient. Of course, the posse comitatus ignores these same rules when necessary to suit their purposes. Then they invoke their first principle of governance: “the ends justify the means.”

Now, in March, the City administration will roll out its favorite tactical manoeuver: the ambuscade. Miraculously, “Covid” (rhymes with covert) non-recurring funds of $51,000 has been found in the back of the small change drawer at City Hall. Federal money is free. The royal ring has been kissed. Crisis averted.

The usual Ditka-ism applies.