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May 15, 2013 / jeffnward

Stanton and Burns should be a comedy team!

When a confluence of events points to a specific and irrefutable logical conclusion, like Sherlock Holmes, I just can’t pass it up.

And this one started with Geneva developer Joe Stanton showing a sudden interest in purchasing the decrepit Mill Race Inn property. After the Pure Oil building debacle – the building he swore couldn’t be turned into a bank drive through until he did – we all know when Joe starts paying attention to something, it’s worth our attention too.

Joe Stanton

Joe Stanton

After announcing his interest, Stanton pounded his fist on the pulpit and, while shedding the requisite crocodile tears, paid all sorts of lip service to putting another restaurant on that very spot. For about three seconds that is, until he launched into a soliloquy about high-density condos.

Perhaps, to complete the scene, he could stand atop the Little Traveler and launch into a chorus of “Don’t Cry for Me Oh Geneva! (Mandy Patinkin, eat your heart out.)

Then, no more than a scant week later, Mayor Burns takes to that same microphone and suddenly explains, “We are fed up with the eyesore [Mill Race Inn] and want to move quickly on eliminating it. We are perilously close to requiring and demanding that the bank move posthaste on razing that property, or I will work with the city council and appropriate staff to invest our own resources to do so.”

If by quickly he means two years, then I understand. Why the sudden interest in removing a building that already had serious problems when they closed it on January 16, 2011, you say? How many times has it flooded since then?

Is it a mere coincidence that these two stalwart and altruistic Genevans show a similar interest simultaneously? Not nearly.

Being a bettin’ man, I called an impeccable source and asked them the following question; “Did the Geneva City Council, and other concerned parties, receive a dire missive from Mr. Stanton describing how, if left unattended, that building would bring on the end-times.

The source didn’t want to answer, but when faced with my impeccable logic, they gave in and replied affirmatively.

You see, if Geneva condemns the building before anyone buys it, let’s say a random individual like Joe Stanton, the buyer won’t have to bear the $100,000 tear down cost burden. Either the bank will have to do it or we will.

“But Jeff! Isn’t the fact that Stanton ratted out the bank to further his own self-interest the sign of an astute businessman.” Maybe, but here’s what bothers me. Do a simple online search for Geneva, IL foreclosures and you’ll come up with between 130 to 180 homes. And that’s probably a bit low.

But even if we’re talking just 100, there’s bound to be one in your neighborhood. And if it’s anything like the one in mine, it’s flooded, falling into gross disrepair, overrun with vermin, and, visitors can immediately locate it by the two foot grass and lovely pile of rotting free newspapers in the driveway.

Of course, you can call the City of Geneva and ask them to do something about it, but they’ll only tell you to call the bank.

So here’s my thought. Instead of wasting your time on all that nonsense, simply send all of your neighborhood foreclosure listings to Joe Stanton. Who knows? If you play your cards right he may just buy the one right next door. And then the city will immediately lean on the bank to set things straight.

The only problem is, after the bank (or city) finally tears it down, Stanton will probably put up a 10 story condo. I suppose there’s no such thing as a prefect solution. At least they’ll mow the grass.

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