The Geneva Report – June 9, 2017

Those who ignore history…

…Are doomed to repeat it. As in, despite a 50 point primary loss to Chris Lauzen in 2012, multiple sources have informed me that, buoyed by his mayoral victory, Kevin Burns is planning on a second county chair run in 2020.

To put a 50 point loss in perspective, let’s go back to the great baseball manager Sparky Anderson who propitiously said:

“A baseball team will win one-third of their games and lose one-third of their games. It’s what they do with the third in the middle that makes the difference”

And local elections are no different. So it takes a special combination of ego, campaign incompetence and voter disgust to get just 20 percent of the vote.

Burns 2

Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns

Not only that, but unless the mayor managed to pull off some sort of political miracle, it is statistically impossible to make up that kind of deficit, especially against someone like Lauzen, who still maintains a reasonable army of unquestioning supporters.

Perhaps Burns thinks his lopsided defeat of challenger Tom Simonian was that miracle, and to a degree it was. But the truth is, only the utterly underwhelming Joe Stanton could botch a campaign this badly, and Chris Lauzen ain’t no Joe Stanton – he knows how to win elections.

This is the point at which I’d generally advise Mayor Burns not to run. But just as it is with car crashes, it would be fascinating to watch him lose by an even greater margin.


And speaking of lost causes

That very same Tom Simonian is suddenly attending city council meetings as a non-alderman in an effort to rehabilitate his image for a run against Fifth Ward Alderman Craig Maladra.


Tom Simonian

Normally, this kind of news would make me quite giddy because, though I have no problem with Craig as a person (and he has great musical taste), he would, without question, make my list of the top 10 worst aldermen of all time.

But this is another one of those rare political cases where, like Lauzen, Alderman Maladra has nothing to worry about, because that debacle known as the 2017 Simonian mayoral campaign included, but was not nearly limited to:

  • The worst mailers I’ve ever seen
  • The worst message I’ve ever seen
  • The worst sign strategy I’ve ever seen
  • An ongoing pointless ethics lawsuit filed against a Geneva fire official
  • Scurrilous attacks against Delnor Hospital, City employees and the Library

So now, Tom Simonian couldn’t get elected to his homeowner’s association board, much less the Geneva city council. And for him to believe otherwise belies the kind of unbounded ego that makes Donald Trump look rational by comparison.

Please don’t construe this as any threat to work against the former alderman. With his particular brand of self-destructive proclivities, I won’t have to lift a finger.


Geneva can’t stop it part 2

Continuing with our doomed to repeat history gestalt, Geneva city councilmen are receiving a slew of emails demanding that they vote against the plan to turn the Campana Building into affordable apartments.

You’d a thunk these misguided folks would’ve learned something from the impending St. Charles Prairie Winds apartments being built behind the Randall Road Lowes. And that “something” is, no matter how hard they try, the Geneva City Council can’t vote on a Batavia development project.

Campana Building

Unlike Prairie Winds, where Mayor Burns expediently ignored the opportunity to have some serious say over the project, our intergovernmental agreement with Batavia offers no such leverage.

So, while I’d never discourage anyone from emailing their aldermen on any issue, Genevans should keep their powder dry, because there isn’t a damn thing the Geneva City Council can do about this one. If the Batavia City Council moves forward with the Campana project, it’s a done deal!

8 thoughts on “The Geneva Report – June 9, 2017

  1. So I know that Batavia residents in the Highland neighborhood go to 304 schools, and I know that re-zoning is a constant concern for some elementary school parents on borderlines, at least it is for me as my kids love their school. If something like the Campana development was built, looking at current boundaries, they would probably go to Geneva schools and possibly cause an elementary school re-zoning issue. Because of this special circumstance, shouldn’t Geneva residents via their Council Members, have some say in this?

    • Adam,

      Philosophically, perhaps! But though “politically” and “philosophically” both begin with “P,” they have no bearing on each other. Think about it! Can you imagine the morass that’d be created by letting adjoining cities chime in on internal developments?

      Give the current intergovernmental agreement, Batavia has complete control over what happens in the Campana Building case and there’s nothing Geneva can do about it. Nothing!

      Please remember that I don’t make the rules, I just report them! And I do a really good job, too!


      • I 100% agree with you – I know that bending the rules like that would be a slippery slope, and is just not feasible. More of just thinking out loud that if the residents would go to 304 schools and potentially cause 304 school rezoning… it would only make sense for district 304 parents to get a say on the matter, which, of course, would be via City Council. Obviously not going to happen, but just a thought 🙂

  2. Way, too, many, commas.

    • Stop making me laugh out loud! I’d like to call it the “William Shatner school of punctuation,” but the truth is, I suck at commas, hyphens, and dashes. And some people have the nerve to call me a writer!

  3. Checking maps of Batavia’s and Geneva’s city boundaries against the maps of their respective school districts, the weird anomaly that is the Campana property is prominent.
    If the school district boundary line had stayed along Fabyan Parkway, instead of wandering odd distances to either side of it, this would not be a problem.

    In short, this proves the point that nothing is more carved in stone than death, taxes, and out-of-date school district boundaries.

  4. Due to higher up political pressure, I don’t think this proposal will be stopped. Right now, both cities and the Geneva School Board should be working together to insist that all additional costs for police, fire, library & education are paid by the developer on a yearly basis by his property tax payments. If not, we all will be subsidizing something that is already subsidized.

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