Ramblings on Geneva Basketball History and Geneva Political Traditions on Open Honest Government: The Nelsonians versus The Burnsians


Reflections on the Destruction of Verbatim Records of Geneva City Council Closed Sessions – March Madness is Upon Us but Madness is Always in Season at Geneva City Hall

The legendary basketball coach John Wooden said: ” “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” Having been a high school basketball player (the poorest one on a poor (1-19) 1964 HS team), I followed the game devotedly. That same year (1964), Wooden’s UCLA Bruins were 30-0. Coach Wooden, an English teacher, gave sage advice on many topics. 103 Unforgettable John Wooden Quotes – Addicted 2 Success

In 1963, I followed the fortunes of Coach Mel Johnson’s Elite Eight Geneva Vikings. Coach Johnson was a friend of my father’s, and we attended some games in the Mack Olson Gym, built in the 1950s via collaboration between the Geneva Park District and School District 304 – imagine that. The project was completed without even a single closed-session meeting. The Mack Olson Gymnasium name came later. Mack Olson was a member of the Geneva HS Class of 1960 and was a standout basketball and baseball player. He was a founder of the Geneva Academic Foundation, and, like Gregg Nelson, was a banker.

The ’63 team was a pleasure to watch – they played as a team and were fundamentally sound. Bob Johansen, later an Illini starter, seemed like a superstar to me. Truth be told though, I thought the Viking teams of a couple of years earlier were better with Haskell Tison (he started at Duke and was drafted by the Celtics – see reference to “Hack Tison” in John Wooden’s Wiki Bio), Mack Olson, Gregg Nelson, and a younger Johansen.

For example, the ’61 Vikings won the Hinsdale Regional Championship by defeating Aurora West, Aurora East, and, in the title game, St. Procopius (73-50) (who had earlier beaten Naperville 50-48). Geneva’s balanced scoring was typical in the final game: Tison 20, Nelson 17, Johnson 15, Benson 12, Weeks 3, Arbizzani 2, Johansen 2, Junkins 2.

Geneva lost a heartbreaker in the Sectional.

WHEATON (84): Pfund 38, Hutchinson 13, Fitzsimmons 11, Jones 8, Kee 6, Tichava 6, Close 2.

GENEVA (83): Tison 32, Nelson 21, Johnson 16, Benson 8, Cox 3, Junkins 2, Arbizzani 1.

Who was this villain Pfund who scored 38 points before the 3-point shot? His first name was John, and he was the son of Lee Pfund, the Wheaton College basketball and baseball coach. Some of us remember Lee (LeRoy Herbert Pfund died at 96 in 2017) as a pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945. Leo Durocher, of the Cubs’ infamous 1969 collapse, was the Dodger manager who gave Pfund his first start. Lee was a teammate of Jackie Robinson. In the Sectional Final against Morton, John Pfund scored only 12 points, most late in the game when it was out of reach. The defense-oriented Morton Mustangs (my wife’s alma mater) crushed the run-and-gun Wheaton Tigers 64-46. Randy Pfund, John’s younger brother, went on to become the coach for the Los Angeles Lakers and general manager of the Miami Heat.

Haskell Tyson (6′ 10″) fouled out in the Sectional with 3:53 left in the fourth quarter and Wheaton leading 74-69. Geneva was vying to become only the second team to come out of an Illinois “small school” District Tournament (the “play-in” to the Regionals) to make it to Champaign and The Elite Eight. The Sweet Sixteen Tournament had been reduced to eight in 1956. With 37 seconds left, Geneva’s Bob Cox sank the first of two free throws to make the score 82-81, but he missed the second. Robert “Bob” Cox was another State Bank of Geneva executive and a founder of the Geneva Academic Foundation, among many other things. Geneva’s John Johnson snared Cox’s rebound. His potential game-winner put-back shot was partially blocked with no foul called, and the Tigers got possession. Wheaton’s Chuck Close hit a short jumper with less than 20 seconds left to make the score 84-81 Wheaton. Gregg Nelson countered with a long jumper that would have been a three in another era. But then, of course, Pfund would have scored 50+. Time ran out.

I’ve always felt some bitterness toward Wheaton. But then again, I remind myself that Wheaton’s Red Grange scored 10 points after a touchdown, i.e., PATs, against Batavia HS in 1920. This is Batavia’s only entry in that record book. Geneva is winning that competition with Batavia by a score of +1 to -1. Mike Ratay scored 47 touchdowns for Geneva in 2008. IHSA IHSA Boys Football All-Time Individual Records (Scoring Offense)

I knew both Mack and Gregg. Mack died in 1996 while still at the top of his game. He was a behind-the-scenes kind of person whose advice was sought by many, including me when I had the privilege to serve on the Geneva School Board many years ago. I played hoops against Gregg once in about 1961. My mother had purchased a square grand piano with two notable characteristics: 1) It was a piano tuner’s annuity (even I could tell it was always out of tune), and 2) the thing must have weighed over half a ton. “Nelson Movers” was located “out west” next to what is now Emma’s Landing and my father somehow conned Art, Gregg’s father, into picking up and delivering the monster piano.

So, Gregg and a couple of guys who closely resembled Charles Atlas showed up at our house on Army Trail Road one warm summer day with the piano. I was in the driveway shooting hoops, of course. I’d like to say I helped move the piano, and I did do so by staying well out of the way. After the heavy lifting was over, Gregg left the two guys inside to place the piano in its correct spot (which never changed thereafter). I challenged Gregg to a one-on-one contest to eleven, reasoning what better time to catch him than after he had just moved an immovable piano. He was up 9-0 (What can I say – he got lucky!) when he let me score a couple of times before he was off in the moving van.

Gregg was a banker, following in the footsteps of his father Art, and his grandfather Walter Nelson at the State Bank of Geneva. I am not related to these stalwarts with whom I share a surname that is especially common in Geneva.

Another Nelson was Oscar, one of the few Genevans whose obituary was published in the New York Times. April 3, 1951. 81772316.pdf (nytimes.com) Oscar was cashier at the State Bank of Geneva in 1920. Later Oscar and his wife Myrtle and his mother-in-law Alice Bennett Gates lived in the Bennett/Gates home at 223 East State just across from the Mayor Burns Dunkin’ at State and Crissey. Oscar, like Walter, Arthur, and Greg was a President of the State Bank of Geneva, though Oscar Nelson was not related to the other Nelsons.

Oscar was not the only Geneva Mayor to be indicted, though his indictment was thrown out by Forrest Crissey’s brother-in-law. Mayor James Herrington was a convicted felon (for assault on his one-armed business partner) when he died in 1839. His son, also Mayor James Herrington, was under investigation for arson-for-hire when he died. His accuser, former Geneva Mayor McChesney (for whom a Geneva HS Golf Tournament is named – he owned the farm that became the Geneva Golf Club) had his own barn go up in flames at about the same time Charles Mussey was accused of torching the Howell Foundry (which then moved to St. Charles). Willis Howell was a McChesney man. The Valley View environmental activist of the 1960s known as the Hot Fox was no relation to Charles Mussey.

Oscar Nelson never tried to hide his judgment calls as the Illinois State Auditor when he allowed borderline banks to stay open in the 1930s. His reports were never redacted or destroyed. He held no secret meetings. He was never accused of political favoritism for the benefit of friends or schoolmates.

Geneva was a community during the Great Depression. Oscar Nelson was a two-term mayor of Geneva before he became a state-wide political figure. Judge Edward Shurtleff was the brother of Kate Shurtleff Crissey, the wife of Forrest Crissey, the Editor of the Geneva Patrol, and the Saturday Evening Post. Oral Geneva legends from the 1950s hold that Oscar Nelson, the banker, quietly and behind the scenes helped many Geneva residents and businesses get through the Great Depression. The same was said of another State Bank of Geneva President, Walter Nelson.
Oscar Nelson ran for Geneva Mayor on an Anti-Burnsian platform. Note his promise to “consult” the people and to be frugal. I wonder what he would have thought of Charettes, land donations, lobbyists, TIF grants, and DEI consultants. Oscar obviously was for equity and inclusion as the 19th Amendment was not signed into law until August 26, 1920. The above article addressed to the “Men and Women Voters” appeared in the Geneva Republican on March 7, 1917.
Geneva Republican, April 5, 1951, p1.
This Italian Villa-style home was built by Charles Bennett in the mid-1860s, not by his nephew -in-law Charles Gates. Charles Gates married Henry Gates’ daughter Alice, who was the niece of Charles Bennett.

The current Burnsian administration designated me as a “recurrent requester” under the authority of the Illinois Freedom of Information statute. This designation permitted the City of Geneva to embargo my requests for a month. Nothing required the administration to do this. Upon whose authority it was done, I have been unable to learn (in spite of a FOIA request!). I would have thought that the City Council would have had to be involved since I can find no blanket authority in Geneva’s ordinances that grants such powers to the mayor and/or his minions. Of course, in the Burnsian era, secret meetings abound, so one can never be sure of the origin of any city action.

I wear the “recurrent requester” badge with great honor. Yes, I made about fifty requests over a year’s time. I endeavored to make my requests focused and sequential so that I could minimize the City’s inconvenience. Now I understand that my strategy was flawed. I was trying to emulate the Cincinnati Bearcats by employing a methodical process to get to the goal of understanding the ins and outs of how the Geneva city government operates.

The city administration, obviously under the direction of Burns, has made it clear that it does not deign to answer citizen questions. In fact, Burns directed his minions to not even answer aldermanic inquiries.

Kane County Chronicle 16 April 2014, p11. About fifty miles west of Geneva is the town of Dixon Illinois. The City Council there for a few decades followed the Burnsian balderdash dispensed above. “Trust but verify” should be the motto of every elected official in the State of Illinois. Dixon is $53 million dollars poorer because not one alderman there asked enough questions. How A Dixon, Illinois Official Stole $53M From Her Struggling Town | WBEZ Chicago Who would be better equipped to watch the City’s purse, Oscar Nelson or Burns? A Fraud Case Study: Rita Crundwell and the City of Dixon, Illinois | Gusto

Mayor Burns couples a policy of forcing cloaked deliberation and then forcing Council decisions “by consensus” on critical issues in secret (with his handpicked staff providing all the Council’s information selectively, while blocking aldermanic access). Then Burns ambushes the victims of these governmental improprieties before those affected (often very few people or an individual) know what is afoot. This has become known as the “Geneva Way.”

I will have to modify my FOIA strategy. The Bearcats led the Loyola Ramblers 48-36 heading into the final 8 minutes in the 1963 NCAA Championship Basketball Game. There was no shot clock in 1963, and no three-point shot – game over, right? Cincinnati had its third straight championship in the bag. Not so fast. Loyola put on a ferocious full-court press and won the game on a Vic Rouse shot at the over-time buzzer.

I had repeatedly asked for the verbatim records (recordings) of several secret City Council sessions. I never received these verbatim records. I have the task now to study the released summary minutes and press on with more FOIA requests, ala George Ireland. I’ll try to become more like a Rambler than a Bearcat when dealing with the City Hall polecats.

Duke beat Oregon State (83-62) in the 1963 third-place game. Sophomore “Hack” Tison of Geneva (freshmen could not play in 1963) was Duke’s fourth-leading scorer with four baskets and three free throws. He was Duke’s leading rebounder with 11. In 1964, after beating Michigan 91-80 in the semi-final Duke met UCLA in the NCAA Championship Game. The Duke Blue Devils coached by Vic Bubas lost to John Wooden’s Bruins 98-83. Wooden won his first NCAA Tournament. Duke had won the East Regional over Connecticut 101-54! Tison, the Duke starting center, was Duke’s third highest scorer in the final game with 14 points plus 8 rebounds and 2 assists in 27 minutes. Jeff Mullins had 30 points. Drafted by the Celtics, Tison chose a higher-paying job with IBM. He said at the time he was tired of all the traveling and wanted to get on with his life.

Duke’s Jeff Mullins (4) takes a shot in the 1964 NCAA Basketball Tournament final game. UCLA’s Walt Hazzard (3) defends. Geneva’s “Hack” Tison (6) crashes the boards. Keith Erickson (7) went to the 1964 Olympics as a volleyball player. Wooden called Erikson “the finest athlete” he ever coached.
Geneva Republican March 18, 1999

About 30 years ago a local reporter for the Geneva Republican waited around the parking lot of the Kane County Government Center for a closed session of the County Board to end. The young beat reporter interviewed the Batavia representative who told him that the County Board was informed that night by the Kane County States Attorney in a secret session that it was sitting on a “gold mine.” The landfill “enterprise funds” were being used as slush funds for pet projects from canoe shoots to baseball stadiums. The County Board Chairman Warren Kammerer was outraged that the “leak” occurred. His henchmen called for the head of the Batavian (who is one of my heroes). Then someone realized that transparency is a virtue, not a crime.

I read that Republican piece and asked an attorney friend to ask the circuit court to order the release of the tape of that meeting, which the judge did. I went to Lorraine Sava’s office where I was welcomed (Lorraine even entertained my four-year-old daughter and vice versa) while I made a copy of the tape. It took many more years and the efforts of many people, such as County Board Chairman Mike McCoy and Geneva School Superintendent Dr. John Murphy, but the landfill was permanently closed in 2006 instead of 2020, as it was set during the 90s. Geneva District 304 received $5.5 million, and the Geneva Parks got proportionately less in unpaid taxes due. The City of Geneva and Geneva Public Library got nothing as they refused to be parties to the litigation. (I received no money but got priceless satisfaction.)

Oscar Nelson’s frugal “square dealing” of a century ago sharply contrasts with the Burnsian “Geneva Way” of secret sessions and prevarications. Just one example: remember the Burnsian “fact sheet” on Emma’s Landing from July 2020 that claimed that the Burton Foundation was the only applicant for the Eamma’s Landing site in 2019?

The truth is that there was another and better July 2019 offer, submitted by MVAH. MVAH is a LIHTC developer of Senior Housing, a much better fit with Geneva, where District 304 is in Tier 4 for State Funding and 90% of 304’s funding is from local sources. I only know about this offer because I am a “recurrent requester” of the truth. During the flurry of improper secret communications by City staff with the Burton Foundation in the spring of 2020, how many of Mayor Burns’ “overly curious” aldermen even knew about this MVAH offer? How did the Illinois Housing Development Authority conclude that Geneva donated the Emma’s Landing site which resulted in “padding” Burton’s QAP score? The answer is simple, IHDA used email communications between City staff and Burton as the evidence. Now the tapes have been destroyed that “authorized” by a secret City Council “consensus” the improper communications.

Where was square-dealing Oscar Nelson when we needed him most?

What the Geneva City Council does under the direction of the mayor when no one is looking has too often not passed the smell test. And it speaks volumes about John Wooden’s character test. I shall continue to poke at these stench weasels to discover their latest stinker.

Emma’s Landing Property Tax: Where is it?

The Burton Foundation owns the land adjacent to Emma’s Landing. James “Iceberg” Bergman (15) James Bergman | LinkedIn purchased that land for $650,000 in June of 2021, but the tax bill was mailed to the Burton Foundation. The land had been owned by the person listed on Emma’s Planned Unit Development and with her name recorded with the Kane County Recorder as the owner/applicant of the Emma’s Landing PUD. This was fraudulent. She was neither the PUD owner nor the PUD applicant. The City of Geneva was both. The City applied to itself for a PUD using a surrogate as a Trojan Horse. Only an owner can apply for a PUD per the Geneva Municipal Code. Without the adjacent $650,000 parcel, there was no access to the PUD. Without the PUD the $650,000 sale almost certainly would not have occurred. Who got the $650,000? You guessed it: the fraudulently certified and recorded faux applicant. Oh sure, some post facto “correction” of the PUD was clumsily “recorded” by the Mayor without the required authorization from the Council. But by then, the swindle had already been perpetrated.

You are correct if you get the sensation that smoke and mirrors were in play here and that the City of Geneva started the smoker and was holding the mirrors. Remember the “donation/discounted sale” flip-flop that the Illinois Housing Development Authority “missed” with a “wink and a nod”? Above is the 2021 property tax bill for the $650,000 parcel. Just to show how simple this is: 1) The parcel was purchased (actually an option to purchase) by Iceberg Bergman; 2) The 2021 Tax Bill was sent to ELA LLC C/O Burton Foundation; 3) The sole manager of ELA LLC is Emma’s Landing GP, LLC; The sole manager of Emma’s Landing Group LLC is The Burton Foundation, a 501c3 Tax-exempt Corporation. The sole employee of the Burton Foundation is Tracy Manning, President, with a 2020 compensation of $183,615. see: 2020-363839126-202112849349301306-9.pdf (guidestar.org). The Chairman of the Board of Burton Foundation filed for personal bankruptcy in 2015 see: Case 15-80195 Doc 1 Filed 01/28/15 Entered 01/28/15 16:00:59 Desc Main Document Page 1 of 60.

Genevan’s can rest assured that each member of the City Council, performing his or her due diligence to meet their fiduciary responsibilities to Geneva taxpayers, knew all this. They also knew that Tracy Manning’s husband was the project builder and cost estimator for the Emma’s Landing project. (Remember her “he gets a paycheck” testimony?) The Council also knew that Manning’s application for LIHTC funds certified that no identity of interest was present among and between the principles, such as between the principal sponsor (Mrs. Manning-Fellhauer) and the builder (Mr. Fellhauer). The Council also knew that when identity of interest is properly declared, an independent, disinterested third party must perform the cost estimate. The Council also knew, according to HUD postings, that shenanigans with cost estimating are a common source of fraud in LIHTC-funded affordable housing. GAO-18-637, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit: Improved Data and Oversight Would Strengthen Cost Assessment and Fraud Risk Management

Back to the adjacent parcel owned by Burton Foundation through a daisy chain of semi-opaque LLCs. The 2021 market value of the adjacent parcel was pegged at a “fair cash value” of $222,000. But below is an entry at the bottom of the 2021 tax bill:

The Assessor knew that his assigned “fair cash value” was about 1/3 of the actual market value. The Geneva City Council determined that this was not a problem since the rest of the taxpayers would be forced to make up the difference, and they did without a whimper. School District #304 and the other victimized taxing bodies agreed.

Parcel Details for 1208225001 (devnetwedge.com) Click on the link then click on “Print Tax Bill”

Now, what about Emma’s Landing taxes? The answer to this question is much easier. No tax bill of any kind was sent to anyone for the tax year 2021, payable in 2022. At least none appears in the Geneva Township Assessor database. Remember, the Council’s “Emma’s Fact Sheet” stated that Emma’s Landing would pay taxes “like everyone else.” Well, unless everyone else also pays nothing, and everyone else is taxed under the same State tax-discount statute as Emma’s Landing, the “Fact sheet” was fiduciary malpractice by the City Council in its purest form. What clandestine plans have been made for the 3+ acre adjacent property?

Love your country and your city, but eternal vigilance is the price of Life, Liberty, and Property. Trust, but verify everything.

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

$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.

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.


“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.