What has happened to the Trees in Lake Geneva? Walk down Broad Street between Main Street and Geneva Street and look up at the trees on both sides of the road. The majority of the trees are sickly, diseased and dying. Something is wrong. Not even Charley Brown’s Christmas tree looked more pathetic than some of these trees. Many questions came to mind, especially since the majority of the trees are the same kind. Have they fallen to a particular disease or is there some other cause? Did converting to 100% salt have a baring or is run off of the fertilized daily water of the hanging flowers adversely effecting these trees? We have no answers, only questions, but we are looking into it.
Accusations, Investigations and a Trial.
The accusations and the investigations against Lake Geneva’s city officials continue on several different fronts, not just those being reported. What will these investigations, seemingly never to come to any conclusions, accomplish? Has Illinois ended corruption in government by sending multiple governors to prison or has it just rearranged how corruption is done and who does it? Does making a scapegoat and giving him or her a severe punishment set an example that ends that activity or does it just force the activity to take a different path? Severe punishment may make those with revenge feel good, but it does little to stop crime or for that matter to stop a civil movement. Did crucifying Christ end Christianity? Did imprisoning Nelson Mandela end the anti-apartheid movement? Has capital punishment ended murders? There is a relationship between punishment and crime, but it has more to do with those in authority, who are inflicting the punishment than the activity for which the accused is being punished. The city, state and county need to drop the Carstensen Investigation that is never going to end and let Ron Carstensen have his life back. Nobody is going to allow the quite deserving former city administrator of Lake Geneva (Dennis Jordan) to be punished. He retired to sit atop the police and fire commission because the cabal running Lake Geneva decided that that was the way his sins would be punished.
Crime is nothing more or less than breaking the laws that have been created, amended and applied. An accepted legal activity can become a crime with a change to the law, and vice versa. Laws change all the time and certainly with each new generation taking over, but once learned and ingrained in society, obedience to these laws becomes part of the social habit pattern of our culture.
When a city official’s accused crime is doing what was considered to be the acceptable way of doing business by his pals, and that activity did no measurable harm to the city or others (because the records all got burned!), then what is the appropriate corrective action to take? Sometimes society simply has to move on. They got away with it. President Kennedy got shot by one whacko with a near non-functioning cheap rifle in Kennedy hating Texas on a sunny morning. That’s just the way it was. Dennis Jordan walks. That’s just the way it is. Carstensen was left holding a bag of salt, and then the music stopped. Everyone else is getting a free pass. Dennis retired with honor and Dan Winkler is tap-dancing across the top of his doghouse every day.
Let Carstensen go.
Real Small Gems