What we need is not more Federal government, but better local government. – Calvin Coolidge
Though we’re about to cover a series of Geneva, Illinois, stories, given the herd nature of human beings, and particularly municipal government, the topics we’re about to tackle could easily be applied to any other Collar County Illinois city.
Home Rule rears its ugly head – again!
A source called to warn me that Home Rule was back on Monday evening’s committee of the whole agenda, which, as long as Kevin Burns is mayor, didn’t surprise me one bit. “What’s wrong with Home Rule,” you ask?
Should Geneva somehow manage to convince a reasonable number of its newer progressive Cook County escapees to vote “yes” and the measure passed, Home Rule would grant the city council the power to levy new taxes without going to referendum first, as is currently required. And anyone who’s lived in my adopted hometown for five years knows the mayor never met a tax he didn’t like.
That means, the only thing standing between him and this unbridled addiction to other peoples’ money is our 21,247 population, which won’t likely cross the magic 25,000 mark, an eventuality which would automatically give Geneva Home Rule powers. So, his only option is a ballot question by which the majority of Geneva voters would answer “yes.”
Considering Batavia’s consecutive school bond referenda failures, I’d like to think Genevan’s are smart enough not to vote against their own fiscal interest, but progressives are the kind of strange and wondrous creatures who harbor an instinctual drive to make everything worse.
Though I firmly believe it was just a sneaky way of seeing what might fly, as it turns out, the Home Rule topic arose in regard to some statutory issues with the Cultural Arts Commission which will have to be resolved going forward. And trust me, the newer city council members were salivating over the taxation possibilities until one of ’em mentioned that Home Rule would never fly here. Again, I’d like to think that assessment is correct, but…
The bottom line is, t+he plurality of Genevans who actually exist in a palpable reality must maintain a constant vigilance so that Burns and his lapdog, Alderman Craig Maladra, don’t try to pull some sort of referendum fast one during a sleepy odd-year election.
Our electric rates are going up!
Which begs the question, wouldn’t it be prudent to figure out a way to keep the power on before you start charging more for it?
I’m not trying to be a bleep here because, if you recall, I semi-recently lauded our local public works utility folks for ostensibly addressing and fixing the issues that lead to eight to ten power outages a summer. But after two years of vast improvement, we’re heading right back to the bad old days when a single gray cloud on the horizon was enough to send the whole system into hibernation.
We’ve already had at least five outages on the West Side this summer, with the majority of them being the worst kind of electronics destroying power flicking on and off in a somewhat rapid progression. I thought those new substations, the proximate cause for the impending set of three rate hikes, were supposed to mitigate these issues, but they clearly have not.
And let’s not forget that the reason our electric rates are higher than they should be is, back in 2012, mayor Burns and his aldermanic lackeys decided to play commodity trader by buying into the clean coal con known as the Prairie State Energy Campus. Of course, it’s turned into a really bad deal because if a city councilmen could beat the market they wouldn’t be a city councilmen.
As an aside, you really oughtta take a gander at the propaganda the City’s put on their web site extolling the “virtue” of this terrible 30-year contract. The mayor just loves it when I remind you of his blatant blunder, too.
I really think our electric utility is making a real effort to resolve these resurgent power problems because the last thing they want to have to do is endure is a litany of phone calls from angry “customers.” But until they do resolve them, raising rates is a really bad idea.
Not that it takes much, but another new Geneva city council proclivity that’s driving me nuts is their suddenly skewed progressive priorities.
While the electric utility needs to be addressed, the City’s applying band aid cures to our crumbling water and sewer system, and our subdivision streets are starting to look a lot like something you might find in Beirut, the council progressives are perpetually preoccupied with personal pronouns, pride fire hydrants, insipid diversity and inclusion committees, and public housing projects.
But the worst example has got to be this one. Those progressive are currently concerned about a proposed business development at Fabyan and Kirk Road because it means trees would have to be cut down. Never mind that Geneva hasn’t even annexed the land yet and we have an ordinance forcing developers to plant a slew of new trees for each one they cut down.
So, I’d like to remind vapid aldercreatures Becky Hruby, Martha Pachke and their ilk that they represent THE PEOPLE, and not just their own stilted viewpoints. Wasn’t there just another water main break on the East Side?
Oh! And the mayor loves it when his co-progressives run wild with this stuff because it distracts us from the real issues like the electric utility, the sewers, and the rotting streets.
Delnor destroys their aesthetic
I get why Geneva wants to keep our quaint downtown quaint and the historic district historic, but they do tend to go a little overboard in that regard.
The story that immediately comes to mind is the one about the early aughties Historic District homeowner who wanted to replace his windows with modern replicas of the originals. But despite his very reasonable intention, Mayor Burns and the then city council fought this gentleman tooth and nail, forcing him to spend 70 grand (if I recall correctly) to finally prevail against the city in court.
I’m sure I could muster all manner of other examples, but that scenario really says it all.
Meanwhile, in the rankest form of hypocrisy, the City lets Delnor Hospital run wild with development to the point where that campus has become a cluttered mess. And it used to be so beautiful, too, with the formerly large pond complete with swans, amazing architecture, and amazing sight lines.
Now the pond is one-third of its former size and the swans will likely become a distant memory.
I don’t get why Delnor is the consistent exception. Anyone who’s a bit more attentive, like local politicians, attorneys, and journalists, will tell you they wouldn’t go near that hospital unless they were on the verge of bleeding out. But despite their terrible reputation, the City of Geneva lets Delnor get away with the kind of land-use murder that the average resident couldn’t begin to dream of.
Shame on you mayor Burns and city council.