Secret Memo reveals how Lake Geneva Officials caved to the developers demands.

Only after a private citizens group, Care for Lake Geneva, hired the big gun law firm Foley & Lardner LLP  and filed a Writ of Mandamus did City of Lake Geneva officials finally upchuck the long sort after “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU) signed by counsel for the parties during mediation in the federal lawsuit “Geneva Ridge Joint Venture, et. al. v. City of  Lake Geneva, et. al.”, Eastern District Case No. 09-C-964.

In the letter releasing the MOU the City’s attorney states they have long preferred to release a copy. Now “it is the City’s position that because the case has been dismissed and because we have received no response/objection from the plaintiff to the two messages recently sent to counsel for the plaintiff, the City may release the MOU.”

 Section VII Public Discussion of this Memorandum of  Understanding and the Agreement of the Parties.
The Parties agree that the terms and conditions of this MOU have been negotiated,
discussed and bargained for within the context of mediation proceedings conducted before
the Honorable William E. Callahan, Jr., United States Magistrate Judge, in Case No. 09-C-
964, and as such, are to be considered confidential, inadmissible, settlement communications
until further order of the Court or agreement of the Parties.

It is clear from now reading this up to now secret memo why City Officials would be so embarrassed about its release. They basically caved like a bunch of limp dick supplicants. In the MOU the City agreed to:

  1. Amend the City’s “Smart Growth” Comprehensive Master Plan.
  2. Include the Geneva Ridge Properties in City’s Future Urban Services Area.
  3. Pay Geneva Ridge Properties Two Million One-Hundred Thousand Dollars ($2,100,000.00)

“Within seven (7) days after, but only after, a final City vote that amends the “Smart
Growth” Comprehensive Master Plan for the Geneva Ridge Properties, and the completed
inclusion of the Properties in the City’s Future Urban Services area boundaries, all as
contemplated within this MOU, the City’s insurers shall pay to Geneva Ridge a lump sum
cash payment of Two Million One-Hundred Thousand and 001100 Dollars ($2,100,000.00).
This payment is being made by the City’s insurers in consideration for the agreement by
Geneva Ridge to provide appropriate releases to all defendants and to dismiss United States
District Court, Easten District of Wisconsin, Case No. 09-C-965, with prejudice and without costs.”

In litigation is it often a strategy to per-long a case until your opponent is financially exhausted, but when going up against the government this often is not a winnable tactic. A winnable strategy would be to delay until the government, elected officials, are replaced with ones who will “settle” on your terms. This MOU was entered into on June 13, 2011, in May of 2011 financially stressed contractor Alan Kupsik replaced Mary Jo Fesenmaier as Alderman of the 2nd District. Negotiations were conducted in  closed sessions of the City Council.

Download Memorandum of Understanding between Lake GenevaEnhanced by Zemanta and Geneva Ridge
Lake Geneva settles lawsuit with Geneva Ridge Part 1
Lake Geneva settles lawsuit with Geneva Ridge Part 2
Lake Geneva settles lawsuit with Geneva Ridge Part 3