What and who is Geneva United, its Vision and Mission Statements, and how you can join a great cause!
Who is Geneva United?
Our Vision - Our vision as a representative local group of Geneva Citizens whose foundation is built on ethics, transparency, and accountability whereby holding the elected city officials to a higher level of ethical behavior demanding our city officials be held accountable to respect their constituency and to act on behalf of the citizens they represent.
Our Mission - To provide the City of Geneva residents with a watchful eye on city council and other city officials at the local level while providing the silent majority of Genevans with an awareness about city management, allocations of city budgets, taxpayer issues, and upholding the current City Charter.
Join Geneva United
Join a group of individuals and Genevans that is part of a movement in helping make the City of Geneva a great place to be from, work, live, shop, or visit!
Please complete the short form below to join.
Did You Know ?
In the fall of 2020 the Geneva City Council drew up a proposal to pass a law, named Local Law 1-2021, which would create a 9-person Police Review Board (PRB) to provide “transparency” regarding the Geneva Police Department.
Local Law 2021 allowed for citizens of Geneva to apply to serve on the Police Review Board, provided they met specific requirements dictated by the City Council.
Among the qualifications for applying to serve on the PRB : “The Board shall have no members who are current or former employees of ANY law enforcement agency, or their immediate family members.” ¹ This requirement guarantees that no one (active or retired) with any law enforcement experience, or their immediate family, (spouse, child, sibling or parent) will serve on the PRB. Can you image having a medical review board where there are no doctors, or the Bar Association not allowing any lawyers to serve on oversight committees?
There are no restrictions concerning applications to the PRB for convicted felons. Applications will also be accepted from prior incarcerated individuals, a well as from parents, wives, siblings, and children of anyone who has been incarcerated or is currently incarcerated.
The Geneva City Council will determine which applicants may be granted an interview and will ultimately choose who is approved to serve on the PRB.
On January 20, 2020, the Geneva City Council held a Town Hearing via zoom wherein the citizens of Geneva were allowed to speak for a maximum of three minutes and express their feelings concerning the proposed Local Law 1-2021. At this hearing a total of 112 people spoke concerning this issue. 44 people spoke in support of the proposed law, while 68 people spoke out AGAINST this law.
On February 3, 2021 the nine members of Geneva’s City Council voted 6 to 3 to adopt Local Law 1-2021.
After the City Council’s approval of Local Law 1-2021, the citizens group, Geneva United was given 5 days to prepare and submit a petition to the City Council asking that all the citizens be allowed to vote on Local Law 1-2021, (also known as a referendum). After a flurry of fund raising, Geneva United was able to hire an attorney to provide the specific, legal wording for the petition. A minimum of 352 signatures were required before the petition could be submitted. In only five days, 574 signatures, (almost 75% more than required!!) were garnered and presented to the City Clerk on March 3, 2021. At that time the City Council had 30 days to respond to the petition, either by allowing a vote, or rejecting the petition.
In the meantime, the City Council decided that the City Attorney was not qualified to advise on the PRB or the petition and acquired the PRO BONO services of a nationally known law firm to contest the petition from the people of Geneva to allow a city-wide vote on Local Law 1-2021.
On April 2, 2021, (day 30 of the 30-day response period), the City Council simply rejected the petition. The citizens group Geneva United was given 5 days to respond. In order to go forward and keep fighting for a vote on Local Law 1-2021, a law suit would have to be initiated requiring legal and filing fees not available to Geneva United at this time.
¹ quoted from the CITY OF GENEVA LOCAL LAW NO. 1-2021 Local Law Amending the Geneva City Charter To Establish a Police Review Board
What WE Know……
Transparency in all aspects of government and law enforcement is essential for the protection of the citizens and officials!
The composition and passing Local Law 1-2021 by the City Council was done without fully informing the citizens of Geneva.
The way the Police Review Board is being set up by 9 members of our City feels very one-sided as to who can apply and who appoints the board members.
Local Law 1-2021 can be amended for any reason by the City Council. As it is written now, the PRB will investigate all complaints and “recommend” disciplinary action. The Police Chef must advise the PRB of his determination of his investigation and await the completion of the Police Review Board prior to imposing any disciplinary action. (effectively giving the PRB the ability to drag out any investigation for an unlimited amount of time.)
The deliberations of the PRB will be confidential, meaning no one on the board can be tasked with defending their finding to the citizens of Geneva. (even the justices on the Supreme Court own and defend their decisions!!)
Geneva United demands transparency from its police department AND its local representatives. The City Council is supposed to represent the citizens of Geneva. The people of Geneva are asking for any proposed law to be presented, in its entirety, to the general public and asking for the council members to listen to the people they claim to represent PRIOR to voting on a law.
If the Council members truly feel that they are representing the will of their constituents, why won’t they allow Local Law 1-2021 to be voted on? Are they so afraid that Local Law 1-2021 will be defeated?? And if Local Law 1-2021 was defeated, then whose itinerary was originally being pushed???
Local Law 1-2021 is only an example of how the City Council is steering the City of Geneva to its own agenda. Geneva United is determined to not only hold the City Council accountable for its decisions, but to insist their actions reflect the will of the majority of Geneva. We will not give the City Council unfettered power to advance their own political programs.
Geneva United holds weekly meetings to inform the public of what is happening in Geneva. We are not “all of one mind” or a singular political party. We are an organization willing to state our concerns and discuss our differences in earnest efforts to achieve mutual compromises. Each City Council member has been invited to appear in person at various venues, (meetings, radio interviews, etc). To date no one has responded to the invitation, much less appeared.
Geneva is YOUR city….we need everyone’s help…please join us in continuing our efforts to insure our City Council is representing the whole city.
For further information………
Please visit our website at www.GenevaUnited.com