Many sins can be forgiven, but not the Unrepented.
Geneva’s East State Street Corridor has fared dreadfully during the long reign of an overly incumbent mayor. The wrecking ball has been his favorite tool, and deceit remains his favorite political tactic. His posse has been his hand-picked inbred administrative staff. The City Council, stricken with chronic Stockholm Syndrome, have been his minions. The result has been the “Geneva Way” of deception, concealment, prevarication, secret meeting tape destruction, and fraud. Somewhere between Archduke Albert, the Pious, and Boss Kevin Burns, the Perpetual, was a sweet spot in duration for reigns. But that moment was long ago.
To the City Council of Geneva,
“As we act, let us not become the evil we deplore.” Nathan D. Baxter
My family continues to be subjected to daily nuisances, health threats, and financial exploitation from the unauthorized demolitions and unlawful constructions at 314 and 316 E State Street, Geneva.
First, valid applications for demolition permits, special uses, variances, and site plans for 314 E. State Street were never submitted to the City of Geneva. A proper public hearing was never convened. Unauthorized demolition of the historic building at 314 E. State Street occurred. Route 38 Properties, L.L.C. owns this 314 E State parcel. This owner was never identified at any time in any required notice, during any public hearing, or any City Council proceedings. The property rights of this unidentified L.L.C. far exceed those of any Geneva citizen (the politically well-connected habitually excepted). Think Emma’s Landing with its fistful of shady interlocking (to the extent of actual marital bonds in one glaring case) developer/builder/ownership L.L.C.s.
Second, the parcel at 316 East State was first unlawfully used as a parking lot twenty years ago after the unauthorized demolition of another historic structure (a small early settlement period Greek Revival-styled home). The parking lot was unlawfully constructed under a “remodel” building permit in 2002. In 2022 the 316 E. State configuration was altered, and the asphalt surface was replaced with concrete. All this without any site plan or building permit that depicts or authorizes this construction.
For many months, the City of Geneva has gas-lighted and ghosted citizens by consistently failing to respond to questions about the unlawful activities described above. The City has chosen to ignore Illinois Law and specific and general City of Geneva Ordinances. The City has conspired with private beneficiaries (Malone and Route 38 Properties, L.L.C.) to create off-the-books “wink and nod” unlawful “exceptions, deviations, reliefs, and conditions.” Examples include public R.O.W. encroachments, absent setbacks, paved parkways, code-violating parking isles, islands that are too few and smaller than the required 148 square feet, obstructions in A.D.A. stalls, and others. The City went to the unprecedented extent of officially granting permission to violate special use standards.
I understand that a conspiracy is, in a broad legal sense, an agreement to commit an unlawful act. In British and some American courts, lawful acts that finish in an unlawful manner are also included (In British parlance, a ‘conspiracy to injure’; in American, a ‘true conspiracy’). Some states require an overt act. (Common law rule does not.) A common understanding among the citizenry is that “you can’t fight city hall.” A corollary is that citizens’ rights depend on the integrity of their rulers.
For example, where is the Geneva Ordinance 2021-13 mandated fence along the western boundary? Under whose authority and why was noise-amplifying, light-reflecting cement substituted for the noise-abating, light-absorbing asphalt required in the site plan codified into law by Geneva Ordinance 2021-13? Who authorized the Geneva administrative staff to gas-light and ghost citizens injured by officially sanctioned conspiratorial misconduct?
The Malone Funeral Home has been a slow-walking infamy for two decades. The expansion in 2001-2002 onto an adjacent lot (purchased in 2000) with only a “remodel” building permit was illegal. A Special Use Ordinance passed after a valid Public Hearing was required but “over-looked” under the current mayor-for-life administration. In 2012 the 324 E. State property was found to have failed 8 of 9 Special Use standards, so the Special Use was denied. (Failure to meet just one standard causes the application to fail.) That same parcel was found to meet all nine standards in 2021 when nothing had changed in the intervening years.
The 2021 special use process was flawed from the start. The applicant was unlawfully “coached” by City Staff in secret for months, as demonstrated by the FOIA/OMA Public Action Council’s binding opinion. The initial public meeting notice was fraudulent and untimely (the hearing followed the notice by many months – months lead time for applicants, days for opponents). Where is a retroactive Special Use authorized in Illinois’ Constitution or Statutes? After an illegal expansion, when does “pre-existing non-conforming” become “illegal non-conforming” in Geneva? Immediately, if the law were followed. Never, if you “know” the mayor. The City of Geneva granted the first retroactive special use ever bestowed in Illinois, but with deceit as its only authority.
I hope the City of Geneva has enough remaining decency to disband its Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Task Force. The City must walk that walk itself before disingenuously inviting others to talk that talk under the auspices of its false flag.
Once again, I ask that the use of the above-cited unlawful parking lot be immediately and indefinitely halted.
Rodney B. Nelson, M.D., F.A.C.P., former Major U.S.A.F.
23 Kane Street