OK. I’m not terribly thrilled with the recent turn of events regarding the , either. While it’s gratifying to see the building will survive, one can’t escape the fact that, after property owner Joe Stanton insistently told each and every alderman it —or any other use—it’s going to be converted to a bank drive-through.
That little paradox might just redefine the term “disingenuous.”
Not only that, but until St. Charles Bank agreed to go along with this non-destructive re-adaptation plan, Stanton had the paperwork to sue the city all initialed and ready to go. Talk about someone who won’t take no for an answer.
Though I’m certain the city administration would not have made any effort to defend the lawsuit, considering Stanton’s City Council meeting assertion that he could’ve sold the building for $600,000, it would’ve been an interesting case.
All I can say is, I’m getting really tired of bailing other people out of bad business decisions. Mr. Stanton must be in some sort of serious financial straits to so casually cast his well-earned reputation aside. Perhaps the specter of bankruptcy can do strange things to people.
And it’s not just the sudden re-usability that bothers me. If it were anyone other than Joe Stanton—even Kent Shodeen or Mike Simon—the mayor and city manager might not have given them the time of day. They do enjoy playing favorites.
Not only that, but the local folks who lament the displacement of two sales-tax-paying businesses for yet another bank certainly have a point.
Considering this predominantly digital age, we might want to ask the question as to whether anyone will bother using a bank drive-through in five short years. That U.S. Bank building still stands empty. And who in their right minds would want to exit onto Route 38 or Fifth Street? I certainly wouldn’t plan on making any left turns.
But rather than resort to just a Patch comment or two, it pays to remember that the citizens of any municipality always have recourse above and beyond City Hall whenever they believe an administration fails to adequately represent their interests. And this Geneva group certainly tends toward politically connected friends and municipal employees. (Remember, we’re not talking the City Council here; They stood their ground.).
Before considering those options, one must carefully consider whether this drive-through compromise is the best possible outcome. For example, my experts tell me this re-adaptation doesn’t necessarily mean the Pure Oil building is doomed if and when the bank goes out.
The question we need to ask is, if pressed further, will a man who’s willing to file a very unpopular lawsuit board up the building and let it deteriorate out of spite despite the Pure Gardener’s recent business boom?
Ah! But if you do believe your voice hasn’t been counted and the sacred Pure Oil building should not have to endure any major tampering, then you can take it to the higher court of public opinion.
For example, to expand on a previous Patch comment, we, the people have the right to peacefully picket the St. Charles Bank’s main Route 64 location.
Some folks might say there’s no such thing as bad press, but trust me, there is. Let’s just say the general public isn’t feeling terribly enamored of financial institutions right now and that kind of interloping bank story would not help their bottom line.
If public displays of disaffection aren’t your thing, you also have the inalienable right to call for and organize a boycott. All it takes is an erstwhile online effort, a few signatures, and a little press, and you can have ‘em shaking in their shoes.
The key to success is to deploy these constitutional weapons wisely and to discharge them without all the rancor and emotion that so often accompany these thorny issues. State your case, stick to the facts, be consistent, and stick to your guns.
Don’t tell me it’ll never work, either. Cesar Chavez forever changed the plight of migrant workers with a simple boycott of grapes.
Though I’ve made my opinion abundantly clear, I’m not advocating for any particular course of action here. Call me a rabble rouser if you must, but my only objective is to get you to answer a few questions, consider all of the possibilities, and move in the direction that you believe will bring about the desired outcome.