Saturday, November 20, 2010

(Septic) Tanks for the Memories

The big story of the week has to be that Bonnie Thomson Carter will not run for President of the Lake County Forest Preserve District Board. According to the Daily Herald ...
"There are other people who should have the opportunity like I have (had)," Carter said. She had no further comment.
Carter won't return as Lake Co. forest board president
Carter has been President and has presided over the FPD like a fiefdom since 2002. Why is she unexpectedly stepping down? Some think Carter's ineptly handled attempt in 2008 to unilaterally hand over the Lakewood Forest Preserve to the US Olympics Committee was her undoing. She made more enemies than friends as a result of that fiasco. (And probably contributed to Chicago's losing the 2016 Olympics bid.)

The NewsSun, in a seemingly unrelated story, gives a clue ...
A dispute that has simmered for years between a former County Board member and the Lake County Forest Preserve District over the location of a half-acre septic system has been resolved in a settlement. Allegations of political maneuvering still surround the case. The conflict involved the 1993 installation of a septic system — which serves former County Board member Randy Whitmore's service station at the northeast corner of Delany and York House roads in Waukegan — on Waukegan Savanna property.
Waukegan Savanna septic settlement OK’d
It may be her friends, and not her enemies, who are responsible for ending Carter's eight-year reign of error. That friend being Randy Whitmore, who sat on the Forest Preserve District Board during Carter's tenure as President.

Not mentioned in the NewsSun, Whitmore's service station also offers automatic car-wash services. Carter, who knew where the car-wash was discharging its runoff waste, must've also known that it is illegal to maintain a septic field for private/commercial use on Forest Preserve property. Also, this septic field is located within the Des Plaines River Watershed. One would have expected Carter to have intervened in some way, especially when Whitmore was a colleague sitting next to her on the Board from 2002 to 2008. It's not like Whitmore could have been ducking subpoenas, or even sharply-worded notes.

Carter announced her decision not to run for President following the Nov 16 Forest Preserve District Board of Commissioners meeting where the settlement with Whitmore was finalized. We surmise a deal had been brokered. Whitmore was retroactively assessed $1000 per year for use of FPD property. And Bonnie Thomson Carter agreed not to run for FPD President in 2010. In exchange, civil/criminal investigations would not be pursued.

The big winner in this deal is Whitmore, who gets 18 years of what amounts to nearly free commercial-waste disposal. The big losers are the environment and the Lake County taxpayer. And in Waukegan there is a septic field that's gotten stopped up. Could it be from Bonnie Thomson Carter's scalp?


Anonymous said...

So the court order called for Carter's resignation? Any good settlement is in writing? Do you have a copy of the settlement agreement? Do you have a copy of anything?

Whitmore pays $1,000 a year for 18 years, cleans up the site with his own money and connects to a new sewer system. All facts you seem to have left out of the "story."

Perhaps the next story out of the County Board would be Ann Bassi dissing the Ft. Sheridan golf course after the election. The golf course the county got for nothing, and then "flushed" it away, probably in the same septic tank you are now writing about.

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

There is a long standing tradition of the Republican States attorney giving R's a pass when it comes shenanigans and letting them go quietly and without "much" shame, Mayor Tom Adams of Green Oaks, Trustee Kohlmeyer of Round Lake come right to mind and now seemingly Bonnie. If true what a shame!

Anonymous said...

Long standing tradition? Proof? Where? Facts?

Tin foil hats are firmly in place around here I see.

Why don't you conspiracy buffs talk about Waukegan Harbor and the way it has been "handled" by Democrat leadership for a while?

That is if this site truly is "bipartisan"!

Louis G. Atsaves

Team America said...

Lou - you can add in the Genesee Theater if we want to talk about mismanagement under local Democratic control.

Anonymous said...

I have been using the Septic-Helper 2000 for 20 years. It says it has the enzymes that work in the tank and out in the drain field. State Law says that even a wet spot in your drain field could require replacement of your entire system.

Barney Baxter said...

Here at the LakeCountyEye, the comedy writes itself!

redtail said...

Well, guys, since the agreement was finalized in Executive Session of the Forest Preserve (it was not a court order), there is no way to know if it included a provision calling for Bonnie's resignation. It's likely it did not.

It wasn't a resignation in any case...Bonnie just didn't run for FP president again. However, the timing strikes us as less than coincidental. It was under her watch, after all, that Whitmore was able to get away with this *as a county board member*! Perhaps she rightly perceives that now that this has come to light, her authority on environmental matters would be compromised, to say the least.

And what kind of punishment is a $18000 fine for 18 years if use? That's less than $3 per day! Do you really think that's enough? How much profit do you think Randy Whitmore made in the same time period, using the forest preserve as a dumping ground for his gas station runoff?

(BTW, bringing up Democratic straw men really doesn't strengthen your arguments. If you have proof of wrongdoing, or fines levied, we'll publish it. Dem and R wrongdoers are all scum. Although you'd never know that by the slaps on the wrist given to Republicans by Waller's office or the R-controlled county board!)

Anonymous said...


You are still leaving out a substantial portion of the story just to spin some wild and crazy baseless Democratic Conspiracy Theory (DCT). He is cleaning it up on his own dime on top of the fines? What an evil monster! :-)

At least you now admit you have no proof. Perhaps you need to rewrite your story and headline?

Puleeze! No more wild DCT fairy tales!

But it was pretty funny watching Ann Bassi DEFEND the budgets, spending practices and business practices of the Lake County Board and Lake County Forest Preserve during the last campaign while other Democratic challengers attacked those very same practices!

Barney! That's real comedy!

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

I love seeing sanctimonious Louis here defending Whitmore's possession and poisoning of public property for a decade. Note the timing. Schmidt forced all discussions of this issue to be in 'executive session' so that none of the members could discuss it in public. Louis, spare us your situational ethics. This is a bad deal for Lake County, but a great deal for the GOP money in Lake County.

What's next? Can you say Rt. 45 bypass thru Lindenhurst neighborhoods because Bonnie and Suzi made a deal with Tim Smith?

Anonymous said...

Situational Ethics?

Can you say Waukegan Harbor? Poisoning water? Thumbing their noses at a Federally funded clean up? The last lake front property in Illinois to sit and languish for how many decades now?

But why allow facts to get in the way of a DCT giggle! Dig into the facts of Waukegan Harbor and that neglected Waukegan Lake Front.

Oh yes! Explain that situational ethics thing to me again! And try to keep a straight face when doing so! :-)

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Louis: You have to raise other issues because you know Whitmore, Carter and Schmidt made a deal. You ask where the written settlement is and yet Whitmore says Depke gave him VERBAL authority to trespass on Forest Preserve property and our boob of a GOP State's Attorney is accepting Whitmore's claim.

Louis, when you point to some other impropriety, you are, in effect, saying, "Yes, but, what about....." Do you understand? You're admitting that Whitmore, Carter, Schmidt and Waller all worked to keep this theft of and damage to public property quiet until after the election. Hence, situational ethics. You claim to be a lawyer, Louis. Really? Then let's add situational awareness to your list. Not the most appealing attribute for a member of the bar.

Atsaves's and TA's presence here in the comments clearly denote that a nerve has been struck. Good job, Eye!

Team America said...

Anon 11:26 -

===Atsaves's and TA's presence here in the comments clearly denote that a nerve has been struck.===

Not really. It's just been a slow week for political news so I figured I'd join the fun over here.

Barney Baxter said...

hi Louis, TA,
Can't say I blame you. The party's just starting!

Anonymous said...

Really TA? You'd think with all Kirk and Dold and Walsh's made-up town halls you'd have a lot to spout about. But the fact remains that you and Louis, both members of the bar, I understand, clearly side with someone who has illegally entered on public land, illegally received both federally and state tax benefits for the illegal septic system installed, and was permitted to do so by both the GOP States Attorney and the Chairman of the County Board. So much for avoiding the appearance of impropriety.

Forget Cook County, we've got our own little pay-to-play culture right here and you're up to your forth point of contact in it.

Anonymous said...

Deals? Made up Town Hall Meetings?

As a lawyer, I ask: "DO YOU HAVE PROOF? DO YOU HAVE EVIDENCE?" Court order? Meeting minutes? Settlement agreement? Something? Anything? Buehler?

No? Of course you don't. If you had such proof it would have been splashed all over this site. It wasn't. Because such proof does not exist.

You pay a fine but that isn't considered punishment. You clean up the land on your own dime and you are portrayed as an evil doer.

Only Democrats think this way. DCT Democrats I should say, because there are some sane Democrats out there who have laughed this "story" off.

I didn't see a revolution on the County Board election front with Republicans being defeated by Democrats through angry Lake County Voters. I even saw the preposterous: Democrat Ann Bassi DEFENDING the policies and finances of the Lake County Board, even DEFENDING the property taxes we pay, run by a majority group of Republicans.

Those are FACTS. The DCT stuff is just wild charges that are not backed up by evidence.

Have a nice Thanksgiving!

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Louis, you keep avoiding the issue. Whitmore illegally entered on the land. The proof? He's there, isn't he? Was it illegal? Well, Whitmore says he received "verbal" authorization from Depke. You demand written proof here, yet seem to except Whitmore's lack of it. Make up your mind.

Try this on for your DCT: by allowing Whitmore to settle this matter for, let's just call it next to nothing, the Lake County Board and the Forest Preserve District prevent Whitmore from being prosecuted for tax evasion. His illegal septic system was deducted from his federal and state tax returns. He was never entitled to it in the first place.

Your endorsement of Whitmore's conduct is the best evidence that your GOP is NOT for the citizens and taxpayers of Lake County. You and your friends are the reason why we pay the 16th highest property taxes in the United States, and while we have a smaller population than DuPage County we still have a significantly larger budget. Whitmore, Carter and Schmidt deserve further investigation for this fraud.

IllinoisJim said...

1. I’m impressed by the savvy of the participants in this. 2. My take is that the county GOPs have low tolerance for these shenanigans. That’s good. 3. Is the local press investigating? 4. Likely that Ms Carter was never a true GOP. A true WingNut would have privatized the LCFPD, rove’d all the trails and impalin’d the land with oil wells or other commercial uses. Less govt, lower taxes, nothing nice for the second handers.

Anonymous said...

Low tolerance, Jim? The 'fine' is less than some parking permits cost. The GOP controlled county board has essentially endorsed the illegal activities of one of it's own. this isn't government for the people, it's government for 'them,' paid for by 'us.' And Louis and TA are all for it.

IllinoisJim said...

Dear Anon. 26Nov: Thanks for the feedback. It does seem serious and out of control. My halo effect desire to see GOPs as upright may come from my background. I grew up GOP. Voted GOP for years. (Politically, my extended family incorporates a broad range of Confederates, conservative plutocrats, through to, and including aging hippies.) But it looks like this one is over. Hey, here’s an idea! Since the LCFPD land in question enjoys a year round moist state, why not name it the Carter Whitmore Wetland? Future residents will think Carter Whitmore was an 1840’s pioneer. Carter Whitmore. Sounds like some high-end horsy luggage line.

Anonymous said...

What more proof would anyone need?
There is effluent being dumped on public land that is cleaner than the dimwit garbage coming out of the mouths of those that deny a crime was committed.
Just ask yourselves if it was worth it, it will come out eventually and then the Republican Party will be irreparably damaged for a generation or more, it’s just stupid.
Anyway where is the party’s conservatism anymore, it feels like we’ve given the whole party over to crooks and birther loonies, are there any real republicans left???
And may I ask those of you who insist on embarrassing the party to shut the hell up already! You are making us all look like criminal scumbags.
As for me I hope all involved go to prison, that is how we treat crime in our party not by covering it up! These animals are no more Republicans than I am a leprechaun.

Anonymous said...

Jim, it ain't over.

Anonymous said...

Redtail keeps leaving out the cost of the cleanup, which Whitmore by all accounts is paying for. I am assuming such costs will be more than $1,000 a year for 18 years.

Or did this all pale by comparison to the Waukegan lakefront and harbor pollution and related costs that Democrats have turned a repeated blind eye to?

Again? Proof? The Court Order memorializing the settlement? The Settlement Agreement? Minutes of meetings? Anything to back up your DCT conspiracy?

Other than just making stuff up there Redtail and getting your feathers all ruffled what exactly do you have here in the form of proof? Again, please no DCT stuff.

Ann Bassi sees nothing wrong in how the County Board and Forest Preserve district operates. Her campaign literature, statements and debate are of record.

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Income tax evasion?


Still no proof. A lot of conspiracy yarns being spun but no proof.

What's next? Whitmore was hiding men from Mars on that site?

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Louis here defending the theft of County property. Glad to see him demanding proof of .... what, Louis? Is Whitmore not in possession of the property? Did he not take possession without any WRITTEN authorization from your buddy Depke or any member of the County Board at the time of first possession until now? Did he not use that property to his benefit? Are you not laughing at an elected official taking advantage of his position to the detriment of the people of Lake County? And could you not care less because he just happens to be a Republican?

Louis, you're a parasite; profiting from those who leech off the taxpayers of Lake County. You endorse the sneak-thieves and the shill-artists. You carry a stain.

Anonymous said...

I'm a GOP'er, and this issue is not political. It was illegal no matter what the political leanings of the folks involved. Everyone on that LC board new what was going on here, D and R's, so where was the whistle blowing?

This is just a political hack posing as a public servant and serving himself instead. All those who stood by and allowed this to happen for 18 years are all posers, period.

He should be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law. If this was any other schmoe who touched Carters pristine land she would have him hung by the heels.

And Louis does not speak for this GOP'er.

Anonymous said...

Just another example of the good ol boy network around here covering up for crooked politicians. Got some crime that needs covering up, don't worry the GOP has got your back... for a price of course.
Now we'll have to wait and see what the price was, Bonnie stepping down of course but what else?
We'll soon see, keep your eyes on the reorganizing of the board that should tell us the final details of the deal.
I hope they got something really good for their dignity and self-respect. one would hate to see them sell their respectability for anything less than a chairmanship, I mean if they sold out for less how will they look their fellow commissioners in the eye? Won't the rest of the commissioners laugh at them?

Anonymous said...

Parasite? Profiting from leeches? I collect no public pay checks of any kind. Never have collected one.

The conspiracy DCT theories are getting more shrill and wilder by the second. Soon you will drag the North Koreans into it! Or perhaps those from Pleasant Prairie, WI! :-)

My, my, my! You would think such a *massive* *scandal* of epic proportions would have been plastered all over the News-Sun and Daily Herald.

The only shrieks of outrage are from the DCT'ers who claim this blog site is bipartisan.

Take a breath. Show me some proof. Because you have nothing that a kangeroo court or prosecutor can even use right now other than a cute headline and some preposterous musings.

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

My my. Here is Louis, a lawyer. He claims he was a close personal friend of Adeline Geo-Karis. And yet he seems perfectly willing to accept, even endorse, Whitmore's theft of county property. Read back over his comments. Never once does he say Whitmore was wrong. I guess with Geo gone, Louis is happy to accept injustice, large or small, so long as it benefits the correct people.

Proof! He demands Proof! Why were all the discussions of this matter in executive session, Louis? Why wasn't this matter open to the public before a settlement was reached? Was it a good settlement for the county, Louis? You're the lawyer. Would you accept $1000 a year over an 18 period on behalf of your client? Would this deal have been struck if Whitmore hadn't been a Republican County Board member?

You are a parasite, Louis.

Anonymous said...

Theft? Yup! Now you are one step closer to accusing the North Koreans!

The settlement lead to Carter's resignation? LOL!

A big coverup announced to the world by the (for a lack of a better word) coveruppers? I always thought you keep quiet over a coverup. So I guess it didn't fit the definition?

What we have here is conspiracy DCT stuff now hitting the speed of light.

Desperate attacks (even on me) are just that. Desperate attacks.

Give it up. Show some proof. Day 11 since this "article" or "expose" or "screech" DCT stuff hit this blog and still no proof.

What is really funny is "show some proof" is exactly what Geo would demand of anyone who wandered into her office with a crazy, half baked conspiracy theory. If you gave her the proof, she would take it and raise hell. If you didn't, she would make you regret it by putting you through one of her famous character building sessions.

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Louis, if Whitmore's use of the land was with permission, why is he being fined? If the installation of the septic system was with permission, why is he required to remove it? If the Forest Preserve District, Whitmore, and the County Board were convinced that all of their actions were appropriate, why were the discussions concerning this settlement limited to executive session and cloaked in confidentiality? And most importantly, why do you continue to defend Whitmore?

I too knew Senator Geo-Karis, and I firmly believe she did NOT carry the same cynicism you seem to relish. Small, cheap injustices drove her crazy. In this exchange you've become the purveyor of small, cheap injustice. But please, continue.


Anonymous said...

Jezz, it's almost like the guy who wrote that news-sun article is a republican or something. Oh that's right he is.

Anonymous said...

Anon, if you knew Geo as well as you claim you did, you would have to agree how much she hated anonymous letters, phone calls etc. etc. etc.

She insisted that everyone stand up for what they believed in. She is the reason why I sign my name to all postings, letters and leave my name and phone number when I call.

What's your excuse?

Other than desperately rehashing things, give me some proof other than name calling, and DCT conspiracies.

And now the News Sun reporter was a Republican? Proof? Amazing how this non-story remains exactly that . . . a non-story.

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Louis, not only to you continue to demand proof of what is already public record - Whitmore illegally entered the property, illegally installed a septic system, and repeated ignored requests to remove it - but you also belittle those who believe that the reason he is getting off with such a minor penalty is his status as one of the "inside crowd" in the Lake County GOP. Now you attempt to use Geo's good name to belittle the anonymous posts in this blog. You really are a parasite. You defend Whitmore by attacking those that question. You defend the misuse of County resources by pointing to other misuse. Then you wait a few days in hopes of getting the last word. Parasite.

Anonymous said...

now we here the real bribe that was paid was for the cover-up story in the New-Sun by Jim Newton and guess who gets the appointment to Suzi's spot on the board -that's right you guessed it! it's Jim (scumbag) Newton