Yes, the City of O'Fallon wins this round.
A metaphorical knockout blow to those who suffer the abuses of the City of O'Fallon.
Let me clarify-we who live on the borders of O'Day Park are suffering from bad, perhaps even criminal decisions.
The Tax-Payers of O'Fallon, are the actual victims of the City of O'Fallon. However, those sheep do not even bleat, as is their right to be cowardly victims.
The Flooding O'Day Creek caused by the city park when they stripped a slope of trees and installed asphalt parking for 300 vehicles.
(I snipped the picture from one of our videos, so the photo quality is poor. As is the water quality)
2020 photo of petroleum product rising to the surface of the O'Day creek near the Highway DD bridge.
Brief evil history of the park.
An ancient pipeline leaked thousand of gallons of death into the O'Day Park and the land speculator dumped the contaminated 57 acres to the City of O'Fallon.
After years of fish kills, the oil company returned and removed 40 dump truck loads of gooey contaminated gravel from the pipeline area and adjoining property, but not one drop of petroleum contamination was ever collected from the area upstream of the Highway DD bridge.
The black death is still there in the O'Day Creek as demonstrated in the photos I took in both 2019 and 2020. (This is park property and anyone can view the contamination)
In fact the massive erosion caused by the O'Day Park is only exposing more of the gooey poison.
Hello darkness my old freind.
Astonishing erosion caused by the park laying down parking for 300 vehicles.
Returning to the failed lawsuit:
The second blow to the plaintiffs, metaphorically speaking, was a kick 'below the belt' when our Lawyer, who for three years was our cynosure---just quit.
"You have no case."
"You have no case."
"You have no case," says he of law school, his final words.
Then why did you take the case? I would ask.
To be fair, I did not sit in on the negotiations between our lawyer and the City of O'Fallon.
I was only able to read with stunned disbelief and conjecture what our lawyer handed us from the City of O'Fallon. An agreement in which the plaintiffs signed away all rights and City was to be allowed to make vague promises, dump some rocks and logs and install a partial fence.
(In the real world, crime does pay)
To be fair
I had read too much and had great expectations. My reading material?
Lawyer's Skills in Negotiations: Justice in Unseen Hands
Law Journals at University of Missouri School of Law
Law Journal Quote: "Generally, successful negotiation requires three fundamental prerequisites: (1) the issue is negotiable-subject to compromise or solution; (2) the negotiators are interested in giving as well as taking, so meaningful exchange can occur, and (3) the negotiating parties trust one another to some extent, even if only on the basic issue: compromise or the accommodation of interests may be beneficial to both parties."
Law Journal Quote "Settlement requires satisfying both parties' needs and interests." (What I had hoped for)
Law Journal Quote "An
appraisal of the balance of power is often carefully unstated in
negotiations. Parties and their representatives often operate under
the fiction of equal bargaining power, but they understand implicitly
the power realities of the contest. While the legal acceptability of
the facts, norms, and precedents elaborated in the negotiations are
key elements in the balance of power, other power issues often
surface." (What may have occurred. We are the peasants and they the syndicated crime family)
Our lawyer and the City of O'Fallon did negotiate a fantastic agreement (for the City)
To be fair, our lawyer was enthusiastic that we (plaintiffs should take the O'Fallon offer!)
A brief list of offers from the City to correct the abuses caused by the park is as follows.
The City of O'Fallon offers are in bold:
*Street light pollution complaint: No change
That offer, as I read it is "Too bad for you"
*Salt house noise
Heavy equipment such as dump trucks and front end loaders working all night at the salt house. The loud Beep-beep and rumbling is heard from inside the nearby house.
The City offer: Four Juniper trees to be installed as noise blockers (Hold on. My mistake) I apologize; the City will plant Six Junipers with a possible addition of two more)
The above photo is the City's photo from the obscene settlement agreement to place six trees.
And their agreement wording is: "If the trees are available"
Awesome job Mr. Lawyer.
Salt house noise. The City placed their salt house next to the residential home with no concern about noise pollution to the owner of the property.
My demand and our lawyer's demand should have been: The City cease night operations or cease any salt operations. The building can be used for storage.
Final comments. In the settlement offer, the City promises to attempt to be quieter and limit or not use the back up "beeping warning noise."
However the City agreement also states OSHA regulations are the final law. (Which is exactly what I said when reading the offer)
This is dishonest double speak by the City.
They are offering to turn off the noise, however once the lawsuit was settled, they would just say "OSHA regulations. Too Bad. You signed the contract."
All night noise in the winter
And our lawyer was enthusiastic that we (plaintiffs should take the O'Fallon offer!)
The Party Zone!
The City of O'Fallon constructed their reception center with parking for 200 vehicles next to a residential home.
What could go wrong?
Drunks, fights, peeing in the bushes, yelling, police called, swimming in the neighbors lake, tail-gating parties, doors slamming and even horseback riding other peoples horses. Litter blowing in from the park.
In short, it sounds fun as hell.
The result is the complete and utter destruction of a quiet rural neighborhood lifestyle.
The City had 58 free acres to work with, and they arrogantly chose to place the parking next to an existing house.
The City's own photo from the agreement & titled "Exhibit A"
WHY IN THE HELL DID THE CITY TAKE THE PHOTO AT 1:54 AM?
I'm just guessing, my opinion only, and of course common sense, the CITY did not want the glaring obvious location of the their parking lot next to the residential house.
Why that could be a problem!
Offer by the City O'Fallon.
The affected residents can call the police.
The City workers in the reception center will attempt to keep the patrons quiet, will attempt to reduce tail-gating parties. The City workers will call the police if needed.
They will shut down at 11 pm.
And the affected residents can call the police.
And this jewel: "The City makes no guarantee that they can stop all noise or tail-gaiting parties. And the affected residents can call the police. (I paraphrased the "Makes no guarantee" statement to shorten the legal speak)
This is the City's photo titled Exhibit B.
An offer of a fence and a noble attempt to keep swimmers out of the private lake.
I was baffled.
If a nearby resident have to call the police, then their lifestyle is already disrupted.
The City should have been lowing the noise, the fights and peeing without having a neighbor resort to filing a law suit.
When the City closes the reception hall at 11, the noise only gets louder as patrons leave. They are happy and boisterous and then drive on Highway DD after O'Fallon has fed them liquor. What could go wrong?
The settlement allowed O'Fallon to walk away with only vague promises, while the residents signed away all rights. What a GREAT deal for the empire of O'Fallon!
The settlement also stated the City might not close the park because of "Special Circumstances"
What does that mean? All night concerts? Our lawyer did not request an explanation.
Our lawyer enthusiastically encouraged us to sign our rights away!
*Flooding and erosion
O'Day, a nice park....
O'Day, a nice park....
Designed incorrectly. The entire foreground in the above photo is a man made hill that radically changed the slope and sheet flow of any water.
The water flows to the two south neighbors, creating a cattail bog in the horse pasture and huge erosion/silt problems.
For seven million taxpayer dollars, O'Fallon could not get it right?
There should have been a retention pond on the south end.
A wild guess: After paying off all their "buddies" with lucrative contracts they just ran out of other peoples money. (Just my humble opinion) However my "Terminus page" explains the cost of just one pavilion on top of the man made hill.
Talk about abuse.
The O'Day Creek flooding over the road after a small rain storm.
There are two flooding issue addressed in the lawsuit.
The O'Day Creek proper, and the southern feeder creek.
The City of O'Fallon basically created a 57 acre raincoat on a slope where the water rushes downhill in increased speeds and amounts.
The City countered their 'raincoat' effect by installing a few ponds and ignoring or attempting to ignore the vast change in the watershed. Blind even to the extensive flooding destruction on their own park property.
As to the Lawsuit:
The City refused to acknowledge any responsibility for the massive erosion and flooding in the O'Day Creek.
(Or as I might say: It's good to be king)
We certainly wish to thank our lawyer for his efforts. He agreed with the City.
It is a complete mystery what could be causing all the flooding damage in the O'Day!
The City offer for the O'Day Creek
The City of O'Fallon graciously offered to dump two truckloads of broken cement debris in our driveway, for us to move, into the O'Day for the erosion problems that were not caused by anything the City might have done.
And of course, "Please sign here."
Our new bog! (not blog, but bog)
The new bog-rice paddy in our horse pasture from O'Day park changing the watershed to drain onto our property.
Our lawyer said "You have no case"
The City offer for the south park feeder and flooded horse pasture.
The City's O'Day Park photo titled Exhibit 'D'
The south end of the park and their offer to correct.
The arrogance of the City. (But of course they won)
I say arrogance, because in their photo above, they aptly demonstrate the Man-made hill that changed the watershed on this south area. (Everything in that photo sits on a hill that did not exist in 2015)
The City's photo also show the impervious Astroturf like material that sheds water. Sheds water to the southwest.
The City of O'Fallon's settlement offer
As their photo demonstrates:
The City would place rock in the south drainage to control the erosion.
The City would place logs as indicated.
This where I have to stop at the utter stupidity of the offer. Did I mention arrogance?
First, the offer of rocks in the south creek makes no effort at water control. A Retention pond is needed.
Second the offer of logs.
LOGS? to do what? The horse pasture is a bog that can now grow rice. The hundred year old oaks living in this new rice paddy have died.
A retention pond is required and should have installed when the park contract was bid.
I highlighted in white where a retention pond should have been constructed to prevent the bog and flooding.
I guess the City did not even review their own typography.
The water does not flow where they have offered to place the logs.
I made the black arrow where the water to the horse pasture-rice-bog enters the property. It is a low cleared field perfect guiding water to new rice paddy or create a retention pond.
The City of O'Fallon's settlement offer:
Install a two strand wire fence around parts of the park
(Where hiking get to close to a residene)
Why does it take a lawsuit threat for the City to put up a fence?
2. Covenants to release:
The copy below would release the city from ANY responsibility for twenty years.
I can only consider our lawyer did an excellent job before he quit.
2. Covenants to release.
Plaintiffs do hereby release, remise and forever discharge City from
any and all claims, demands, or causes of action that arise out of or
relate to the Lawsuit, and all types of actions, causes of action,
suits, trespasses, nuisances, takings, inverse condemnation,
contracts, controversies, agreements, promises, damages, judgments,
awards, executions, claims and demands whatsoever in law or in
equity, whether known or unknown, and any and all claims for damages
and/or attorneys’ fees or costs based upon an asserted violation
of any federal, state or other statute, regulation or law or arising
out of any conduct, act, omission, event or circumstance that
occurred at any time up to and including the date of the execution of
this Agreement, excepting only obligations created by this Agreement."
I want to clarify.
I think our lawyer officially quit because we, the plantiffs would not sign this agreement with the City.
But I'm not really sure why he quit. The City out-barristered him? -Do not know.
Return Home from O'Day Park Lawsuit ends
My fictional series/stories on Florida history:
Freedoms Quest (book one)
Struggle for the northern frontier and other lost tales of old Florida.
Available on Amazon