This started with the end: Round Lake reversed an ordinance to regulate Wooster Lake. What was frustrating was the leadership of an elected official in the misguided effort to extend a municipalities authority beyond it’s boundary. The first part, along with the second part, showed that this should never have gone as far as it did. There were a select few who wanted to impose their will (enforcing no-wake rules for Wooster lake) on the rest, circumventing process, contracts and misinterpreting law.
While the law has been taken off the books at Round Lake, the repercussions of the effort continue to this day. The local leaders of this effort have convinced a few, even violent individuals, that rules are being broken, when in fact the rules never truly existed. Below, there are excerpts from communication which strongly indicate that these “leaders” knew all along that there were no such rules. Their behavior is a shame and should be an embarrassment to the people the represent.
This will be my final word on this, and probably not a satisfying one to many. This seems to be a problem where the cause is continued by inertia rather than rational thinking.
There is a non-associations call Wooster Lake Conservation and Control Association (WLCCA) (the “non” portion will be explained in a bit.) Ostensibly, the “association” represents the owners of the lake bottom property. The Board of a lake adjacent development, Tanneron Bay uses the covenants of WLCCA in it’s marketing material, linking to them from their own web sited (http://www.tanneronbay.com/government.html => “adheres to http://www.tanneronbay.com/WLCCAcov.pdf).
If you are looking for a no-wake lake, reading the Tanneron Bay site might make you believe that you have found what you are looking for.
Listed as leaders at Tanneron Bay are:
- President – Peter Dziadus
- Vice-President – Penny Cummings
- Secretary – Bonnie Collins
- Treasurer – Norm Brunner
- Director – Bob Koziol
- Director – Marty Klein
I have a pretty consistent theme in my posts about those who represent us in government, at any level. I expect integrity, leadership and honesty. This is, I have been told, naive, which may be the case. But, at whatever level of government, school board, hoa, village, county, state or federal, those who want to count themselves as leaders must be be held to some level of acceptably higher standard.
This is where there is a big problem at Tanneron Bay(TB). The residents of TB have been convinced by their board that the lake is a no-wake lake. The website points to the WLCCA covenants to support that claim.
This has lead to a level of tension that creates dangerous situations. Unreasonable people are compelled (wrongly) by the belief that the lake is being miss-used by those who ride jet skis and water ski. These misguided people reportedly ram boats on which there are children and drive recklessly while children are in the water. This is not the result real leaders should accept.
However, the leaders at TB seem to be willing to take actions which continues to fan the problem, while knowing full well that the lake is not a no wake lake.
The attached string of emails were between Thaddeus Kuchanny, then on the Board of the WLCAA and Penny Cummings on the TB Board.
First (full text):
From: “Thaddeus J. Kochanny”
To: “Bonnie Carter” ; “Joe Nakanishi” ; “Mayor Bill Gentes” ; “Rob & Sue Rosenlof” ; “TB-Brunner” ; “TB-Cogar” ; “TB-Cummings”; “TB-Dziadus” ; “TB-Wenzel” ; “Tim Triggs”
Cc: “Jill Mager” ; “Gale Pitasch” ; “Carol F. Brown”
Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2005 2:27 PM
Subject: Richard J. Nakon, Esq.
Of special interest on this email are comments regarding WLCAA and the Covenants:
“ All the argument now, about its meanings, is worthless because the document has no legal standing. WLCCA doesn’t legally exits.”
“Furthermore, Mr. Nakon said that under present Illinois law every lake bottom owner must agree to adopt covenants/by-laws BEFORE they are recorded with the Secretary of State. We know this was never done.”
“…because the Wooster Lake Conservation and Control Association has no legal basis to exist, baring 100% agreement to adopt a new covenant and by-laws, nothing the association does has any legal effect.”
“ I hate to write this but Kirk Denz was correct all along.”
Most disturbing of all comments:
“ Without such agreement, keep the law enforcement phone numbers handy, get confirmation of liability insurance coverage and hope nobody shoots the wave runners! The survivors can sue each one of us.”
Thaddeus understood that violence could result. It is just unfortunate that rather than suggesting that they find ways to mitigate the violence, he was more concerned with financial liability in the aftermath.
What is even more telling is Penny’s response (full text).
From: “Patrick & Penny Cummings”
To: “Thaddeus J. Kochanny” ; “Bonnie Carter”; “Joe Nakanishi” ; “Rob & Sue Rosenlof” ;TB-Brunner” ;”TB-Cogar” ; “TB-Dziadus” ;”TB-Wenzel” ; “Tim Triggs”
Cc: “Jill Mager” ; “Gale Pitasch”; “Carol F. Brown”
Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2005 3:40 PM
Subject: Re: Richard J. Nakon, Esq.
“I think many of us knew that the covenants were never filed with any governing body.”
Regarding agreement to adhere to the WLCCA Covenents by surrounding HOAs,
“…some similar agreement can be worked out with Round Lake.That would then leave the remaining Wooster Lake residents to decide whether to adhere to them or not.”
While she states that there is a gentleman’s agreement to a no wake lake, that only Kirk Denz is breaking, she throws in this remark, acknowledging that even WLCCA board members are operating boats at faster speeds:
“The bottom line is that I have no idea why some members of the WLCCA board are so wrapped up in changing covenants that aren’t binding anyway. Is it just to ease their consciences as they go about operating full wake watercraft on the lake??? If so, going to confession weekly would be a better use of all of our energies.”
So, though the public claim has been that only one vocal person wants to operate faster boats, she knows that even the WLCCA board members are operating fast boats. Further, she opening acknowledges that the WLCCA and the covenants are worthless, though they continue to this day to use them on the TB web site to (falsely) promote Wooster as a no-wake lake.
When they talk about conservation, they are referring to (among other things) the conservation of their shore front. If there is erosion, TB does not want to have to pay the cost of maintaining it..
Again, it is about the money.
…Not property owners’ rights. Those who purchased property did so with no legal restrictions on their use of the lake.
…Not about safety. If safety were the concern, they would tell their residents that no one else on the lake has to adhere to TB rules, and openly admit that WLCCA has no standing.
Instead, they perpetuate this problem, creating a hostile environment, and ultimately lured Lake County and surrounding politicians into their fabrications.
For the safety of those who use the lake, the leaders of TB, the surrounding developments of Wooster Lake, and residents need to:
1) make it clear to the residents that the homeowners around the lake are not restricted to 5mph to prevent misunderstandings.
2) work together to develop a commonsense approach to safety – hour restrictions on water skiing or jets skis (10am – 6pm) is a common time frame.
3) Actively campaign against the violence.
4) Stop provoking each other with rhetoric and vitriol.
There are children on the lake. It is a shame that there are those who would resort to violence for any reason, but this affects the kids and it is time to stop.
You’ll note, that Bonnie Thomson Carter was on the email strings. Instead of looking for a peaceful resolution, she pursued ordinances to enforce what others on the lake did not want. As frustrating as it is to have an elected official involved in this kind of mess, I still come to my fifth point…
5) Leave the past in the past.
This episode should inform our (voters) decisions going forward. But, for now, the focus of Wooster Lake residents needs to be on making the lake safe again.