Friday, August 23, 2019

The Law of Remunerative Returns

Your Lake County Eye remembers the good old days when the air was safe to breathe and the only outfit to be stinkin' up the place was the Lake County Fielders.

Haha, the Fielders came to an end with owner Richard Ehrenreich suing the City of Zion and Mayor Lane Harrison for breach of contract:
Another odd connection in this case concerns a lawyer named Scott Puma. He is paid as Zion's city attorney. But he has also been hired to defend the city and the mayor in the lawsuit filed by Ehrenreich. And according to disclosures filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections, Puma is also treasurer for Mayor Harrison's campaign committee.
Abandoned Stadium Project Costs Taxpayers Millions
The Fielders may be gone but the attorney Scott Puma is not. Puma is legal counsel to the Crystal Lake Park District:

Crystal Lake Park District Board of Commissioners
Regular Meeting Minutes
July 18, 2019
Last month, the Crystal Lake Park District voted on an ordinance limiting access to the lake:
only members of the homeowners' associations who have lakefront property and residents who live on the 230-acre lake – with property that includes a portion of the lake bed owned by the park district – have permission to place piers, moorings, swim rafts and boat lifts into the lake.
Crystal Lake Park District approves new lakebed ordinance with 6-1 vote
The ordinance was approved in spite of the Park District's questionable legal authority to do so. At least according to some of the comments made at the board meeting:
  • Crystal Lake is a private lake, as Shoreline Property Owners Association of Crystal Lake has been asserting all along. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources definitively confirmed that Crystal Lake is not a public lake.

  • Crystal Lake Park District has no authority to control or regulate the use of the water. Crystal Lake Park District has acknowledged and admitted that, although the first draft of this ordinance contained provisions that tried to exert some control over the use of the water/lake.

  • The Crystal Lake Park District ordinance does not pertain to the lakebed to which it does not have title. So it cannot be enforced on the entire lake.

  • The shoreline property owners that own property up to the shoreline, even where the park district property owns the lakebed, still have riparian rights. The ordinance, while stating that it respects riparian rights of those people, is in direct contradiction to that statement by seeking to direct how the shoreline owners can use their water adjacent to their property. Crystal Lake Park District is not the governmental body to determine whether those property owners' use of the lake access to the lake is "reasonable."

  • The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is not sure you have this authority, questions whether you really understand what you are trying to accomplish and more importantly it is outside their jurisdiction to decide that issue.

  • Questionable enforcement powers.

  • Likely lead to litigation. Suggested the Crystal Lake Park District keep all emails and correspondence.
Crystal Lake Park District Board of Commissioners
Regular Meeting Minutes
July 18, 2019
If a suit is filed against the ordinance, Scott Puma presumably will be hired to defend the Crystal Lake Park District.

Note to Ops: Passing legislation is like getting a divorce. No one wins except the attorneys.


Anonymous said...

Captain Puma amazingly continues to lower the bar where not even his own hometown of Crystal Lake is off limits from @$$hole $tink’s plundering. Time for a promotion to Fleet Commander.

Flawed advice wrapped up as bait from @$$hole $tink aka Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe has reeled in a bucket-full of sucker fish throughout the suburbs over the years. And not just in Lake and McHenry counties. The Crystal Lake Park District yahoos are just the latest suckers to swallow hook, line, and sinker. It’s another glorious catch for the Pirates of Northeastern Illinois.

Anonymous said...

How anyone takes this guy seriously is amazing.

Read attorney Puma’s ordinance against the Crystal Lake riparian owners. On the last page of his own now-adopted ordinance he admits in a “Note” the Village of Lakewood - a municipality whose borders include riparian properties of Crystal Lake and also out into the middle of the lake- already has in effect an act of zoning and an existing pier ordinance on the lake. Nonetheless this self appointed Poseidon orchestrates the adoption of a new, additional pier ordinance - also an act of zoning- from the Park District (not a municipality) against the same riparian owners whose properties are located within the boundaries of the Village of Lakewood.

Anyone can FOIA the Village of Round Lake Beach for the opinion written by attorney Puma on 11/29/2005 and the Clausen Miller response 12/3/2005 to see for themselves this a**hat has a history of fabricating Grade A bull**** when it comes to local government jurisdiction on lakes. So wrong that it spurred state legislation enacted in 2008 designed specifically to stop bogus legal opinions from attorneys like him and the brain dead politicians he opines for.

This is a repeat offender whose opinions on lakes are known to be fatally flawed. Maybe worse, his opinions seem to conflict with each other! Just compare his own words. In 2005 he argued municipalities bordering lakes had extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction beyond municipal borders, this in addition to powers to do so within municipal borders. In 2019 he’s now arguing the properties inside the 2 municipalities Incorporating all of private Crystal Lake are somehow at the zoning mercy of another local governmental entity: a Park District that he represents.

No way this snake oil salesman believes what he is peddling because his own opinions are inconsistent with each other.

Also read County of Will v. City of Naperville, 1992. The municipality owned the land that it tried to zone. However the land was unincorporated and not within the corporate boundaries of the municipality. Ownership was ruled irrelevant. It was ruled the unit of local government had no authority to zone restrictions simply because the land was not within the borders and territorial jurisdiction was therefore not established. It simply had to be incorporated into the municipality for the municipality to be able to zone it. That ruling should be intimately known by attorney Puma because that firm which lost that case is attorney Puma’s own firm!

Truly amazing.

Anonymous said...

Crystal Lake Park District Director Herbster claims in the Meeting Minutes the IDNR changed its opinion from writing the park district’s ordinance is “unconstitutional” to verbally opining it is “constitutional”.

VERBALLY changed its opinion? This is how the park district operates? Off of verbals? How about these liars at the park district produce a signed IDNR letter articulating the park district’s zoning powers supersede the village’s and/or the city’s zoning powers of private Crystal Lake and its private lakefront owners? Such a letter cannot be produced because it does not exist. For it too would be a lie and the IDNR does not believe what Director Herbster purports. The Illinois Municipal Code - state statute - written vastly by Puma’s firm is crystal clear: municipalities have the controlling zoning power of properties inside its corporate borders. Not park districts. The borders of the city and village combined encompass 100% of the private body of water and the lakefront owners. That is why the 1996 intergovernmental agreement was lawful and worked.

When it comes to ethics in the exercise of local government powers, Puma should practice what he lectures. If Director Herbster cannot produce an IDNR letter supporting his verbal claims to get this ordinance adopted, he should be fired and given Puma’s bill covering the cost of adopting and repealing the unlawful ordinance.

History repeats itself said...

Any unethical lawyer using local government as his personal ATM needs to be brought before the Illinois Bar. History will repeat itself until personal accountability is enforced.

Anonymous said...

It’s interesting the Park District Director has hung his hat on the alleged advice from Paul Mauer of the IDNR. Who cares if was written or verbal? Mauer is not an attorney. Mauer is Dam Safety Engineer.

Why is an engineer from the IDNR providing any legal advice to anyone in government?

Anonymous said...

Why is this lawyer whose firm represents the interests of municipalities throughout Chicagoland writing ordinances opining his other clients who aren’t municipal officials can restrict rights of properties located inside municipalities? A conflict of interests that appears designed to cause widespread problems and litigation.

Anonymous said...

Shame on the CL Park District and its litigious legal firm for instigating yet another costly war. In the 1990’s an intergovernmental agreement (peace) had finally been reached between the C. of CL and V. of Lakewood. These war mongers representing the park district are now unilaterally asserting control and dismantling that peace many had worked so hard to reach. No different than a weapons and munitions conglomerate intentionally instigating a war, poised to handsomely profit from what it caused.

Eye on Lake County should put on display Lakewood’s opposition referenced in the park district’s meeting minutes and a map showing municipal borders around Crystal Lake.

Anonymous said...

The ordinance is a boondoggle pushed by morons and thieves. Nowhere in Illinois state statutes including the Park District Code does the State grant to park districts the power to regulate the bottomlands of non-navigable private lakes. Nor do statutes grant power to park districts to regulate upland riparian properties of non-navigable private lakes.

Anonymous said...

Director Herbster spoke on behalf of what the IDNR allegedly said to get the ordinance. Where is that IDNR’s official opinion? The park district can not produce it because the IDNR to date has yet to issue it.

This Paul Mauer person that Director Herbster alluded to in the meeting is only an engineer and does not have the credentials or authority to opine on behalf of the IDNR.

Anonymous said...

“”Constitutional”? Says a liar quoting a flip-flopping idiot to benefit a hypocritical thief.

You can’t push sh!t back into a horse.

Translation: Mauer’s massive crump expressed by Herbster will pollute the lake until a judge rules it to be the steaming heap of crap it is and orders it dredged from the lake bed. Tax payers of course billed by Puma.

We can’t be expected to believe Herbster up and decided on his own to chase this unqualified, unsanctioned-by-the-IDNR “legal” opinion of Paul Mauer and present it as the IDNR’s.

Only a lawyer would have had Herbie pinch this timely, legal turd to intentionally taint the vote.