Burlington Derailed — The Continuing Story

30 December

Spike Has Mail

Spike Isn't Alone

1:53 pm
charli k writes:

Spike -

Interesting tidbit. The Rock Island Argus has weekly a page of commentary submited anonymously.

Freedom of Speech, my friend. It's a cornerstone of our society. And I would fear any politician(s) who want to deprive ANYBODY of that freedom, excercising anonymously or not.

Keep calling them like you see them.

(not the one you keep talking about)


Who would want to challenge the Rock Island Argus. They must have figured out this freedom of speech thing an contribute to problem resolution, albeit anonymously. I wonder what would happen if the City and County had an anonymous comment email address? I mean really anonymous. Not just lots of email addresses.
14:33:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike Has Mail

JF Gets It - Understands City and Newspaper Scorched Earth Policy

10:39 am
JF writes:
Spike's true identity? Who cares?

Who cares? Only those who cannot speak their minds openly for fear of ridicule. Anyone who must stroke public opinion. Generally, anyone who holds political correctness higher than strong personal principles.

The only reason these elitists in our city government and local newspaper want to reveal the identity of "Spike" is so they can quickly apply politics of personal destruction rather than debate the issues. I can hear them now: "Who is this bastard, how dare he be relevant, and how can we destroy him?"

I think it's great what you're doing.
Burlington area small business owner

It is refreshing to see that we aren't the Maytag repairman.
14:28:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike Has Mail

Has Everyone Gone Mad At Year's End?

Who's In Charge Here - Al Haig?

Oracleez The Orcish Oracle wrote (and we missed it):

Dec 23 Des Moines County News under legal notices for Oct 26,2004 (took forever to get these typed I guess)

I quote "During other business, Hoschek mentioned that the Iowa State Association of Counties was proposing a tax reform package for the next legislative session.
Miller asked if Hoscheck had done the reports from his NACo trips, accounting for what he learned. Hoschek told him to listen to the tapes of the Board meetings when he gave his reports. Miller replied that he questioned the value of these long distance trips."

"During Public Input Session #2, Randy Danniel of Burlington, asked Hoschek for a report on his NACo trips. Danniel said that he had given an accounting of what the County had paid him for and now he and other taxpayers wanted to know what the County had paid Hoschek for. Danniel asked for 3 things that Hoschek's NACo trips had brought back to the County. Hoschek had no comment."

The following quotes are from here http://www.thehawkeye.com/daily/stories/ln17_1214.html

What I find interesting is that if Mr. Danniel is running this site as our beloved newspaper believes along with Mr.Marzeck again a quote " "He (Danniel) was the one who actually posted it on the Web site," Marzeck said. "He told me about the Web site ... My understanding was it was just something he set up to let people know his point of view, how Burlington ended up with basically nothing out of the whole deal ... Obviously, he's got some control over it." Then why not post this bit of info before as a jab,since they get along so well, at Mr. Hoschek since he had access to the meeting ,Oh I know Mr. Danniel counted on this being published 2 months later after the confrontation in the meeting about Mr. Hoschek possibly being a little lax in his duties.

Here's one more thing, this from Mr. King, "Obviously, this person is unhappy with the fact that they got stuck in Burlington, Iowa, but they're obviously not interested in contributing to a solution," Councilman Chris King said. "They'd rather just sit behind a keyboard in a dark corner and spew rhetoric ... Following my comments being published in the paper, I fully expect to see some inflammatory language used against me at BurlingtonDerailed.com."

I wouldn’t say inflammatory language but I WOULD say that the offer to help in any way possible, including brainstorming some solutions, is a horrendous projectile vomiting of rhetoric and in NO WAY a desire to be part of the solution.(Yup, you got it, that’s sarcasm.) This goes for you also Mr. Ell with your "It's just completely negative," Councilman Bill Ell said about the site. "I didn't see any positive comments in there any place. I can't see how it's going to be beneficial to the city of Burlington." Definitely not taking a different view of a problem could NOT POSSIBLY be taken as a positive idea that could help Burlington.

And lastly Mr. King makes a bit of a stretch here but hey,

King said another telling sign that Danniel is behind the Web site is at the Web site itself.

He discovered that, by opening the hypertext address of the logo in the top left corner of the BurlingtonDerailed.com Web site, the name "Randy" appears in the file description.

"This says to me the site was either done for Randy Danniel or that the logo was designed by someone who made it for Randy for use on the site knowing full well what it was to be used for," King said.

Naming a part of a website Randy doesn’t mean anything to me, but possibly this Spike believes that Randy helped Derail Burlington, or maybe he's British and proud of being a Randy fellow.I could be wrong, but then so could you Mr. King. Hmmm I sure wouldn’t be so convinced without proof to allow a "reputable" newspaper to quote me on it though.

Last point here is that the same DAY that the meeting minutes were approved by Mr.Dave Miller the Chairman, just happens to be the same day Mr. Hoschek shows that he has personal notes from Mr. Dave Miller desk. Now that doesn’t look good to me. So Miller questions Hoschek about doing his job, Hoschek takes personal notes from Millers desk.......I'd be hiding my doodles Dave, they could show up in the Hawkeye.

Oracleez The Orcish Oracle
14:26:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike Has Mail

Sherlock Turrill Hits A Blooper to Left Field

Guess Again Keith Pops a Fly

Editor's Note:
We have used our editing skills on Keith's email. If it isn't factual or could malign a private party, we try not to open that can of worms. Keith made some assumptions. We have done our own research on his assumptions. His assumptions don't appear to be accurate. But he'll scream he is right.

12:56 pm
Keith Turrill writes:
Thank you Spike, you disproved my "Inside Theory" concerning the Hawkeye. Ability and opportunity do not equal motive, and you proved that.

There seems to be a commonality in Burlingtonderailed, the BNSF lawsuit and the Hawkeye. Who would be most disgruntled over those details? Probably, Mr. Danniel who lost $17,500 dollars because of a front page ruckus with the City of Burlington.

The motive behind the anonymous Burlingtonderailed website may be fascinating. It would be a vengeful opportunity to slam the mayor, the city, and a newspaper. And as a sideshow, local politicians blame each other.

Concerning the original issue of ability, opportunity, and motive; it would appear that Randy and friends fit the criteria quite well.



Well, Keith you disappoint me. We had high hopes for your sleuthing skills. We didn't know that you have "Inside Theory" skills. We should have asked.

But now you want to charge off in another direction. And you want to go after someone else based on a GoDaddy.com website registration. Go Daddy.com is the largest website registrar. That's conclusive proof. But that fact adds little to your conclusions.

But for some reason you want to keep the can open. One of Spike's nerds thought you wrote The Hawk Eye that you were tired of hearing about Randy Danniel. Did you? If so, why the interest now? We asked before, you didn't answer. So we'll ask again. Were you deputized by The Hawk Eye? Or did Bob Saar tell you where the Billy Goat eats the Buckwheat?

I guess we haven't conveyed the message too well. Are you part of the problem? Do you want to be part of the solution? Or did you notice there are problems? Do you care about the problems?
13:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

29 December

Spike Revealed Again - Chris King That You, Again?

Another Vote Comes In

5:53 pm

and all the rest of your email accounts

Okay, Smart ass. Post THIS:

1. Mike Campbell designed the site for Randy Danniel. (Mike also spoon feeds Spike confidential memoranda from City Council meetings)

2. Randy Danniel is "Spike"

3. Both think it is great fun to try to pin this on innocent people who have nothing to do with this site. Campbell's recent remarks about King in the Hawkeye, and "Spike's" editorializing here are smokescreens designed to cover up their identities.

4. Both have HUGE chips on their shoulders, find fault with everything, and generally offer NO solutions - Just useless, verbose rhetoric.

That about covers it.

Gosh, must have been a slow day fishing. Even so, I hope fishing was better than your test skills. Because your test skills are getting worse as time goes by. You flunked the test.

Keith Turrill got more questions right than you.

I can't imagine why anyone would write things like this unless their own political aspirations supersede anything else. And to accuse a City Council member of leaking "confidential memoranda." I'm appalled. I think the City Council has done a lot of leaking. Trying to cover up their nonsense.

I remember more clearly a quote from King. Something like "They'd rather just sit behind a keyboard in a dark corner and spew rhetoric ." And then his remarks about Campbell's daughter and GoDaddy and all the other nonsense beat to death by the Hawk Eye. Seems like the inner self talking.

All we've seen for the last several weeks is a series of emails from more email accounts than I can imagine. How do you keep all your multiple identities straight? You aren't clogging the web are you? Are you denying someone band width?

As far as a huge chip on my shoulder - no, but I do have something on the bottom of my shoe that smells like fish. But it looks like a puppet wire. Hmmmmmm.................
18:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike Unmasked?

Sherlock Turrill Uncovers the Ever Elusive Spike's True Identity

Millions Plan To Visit BurlingtonDerailed.com to See Who Spike Is

Turrill's 2004 Christmas Goose Award Goes To Bob Saar

1:18 pm
Keith Turrill writes:

My suspicions about the identity of Spike and Burlingtonderailed are outlined below. It took a few days and I needed to look at the legal issues. A legitimate suspicion is neither slander or libel and falls within the realm of protected speech.

In any case, my vote for the real Spike goes to one Robert F. Saar of Burlington. And not to except an award without giving one, Spike wins my "2004 Christmas Goose Award" for having more S*** than one.


1. Spike is very computer literate with experience in web design and internet technology issues.

2. Spike has a strong interest (negative) in internal issues at the Hawkeye newspaper that probably are beyond the knowledge of the general public.

3. My initial impression of Spike's writing style was that Spike probably had a college degree in Engish or Jounalism.

4. It would appear that Spike has the time to actively manage a website on a daily basis and is probably self-employed.

5. Strictly as a guess, Spike is probably about the same age as Randy Danniel. In retrospect, Randy probably does not have Spike's knowledge basis.

6. Mike Campbell is busy with a day job, city council, and a family. He would not have time to be Spike.

7. Without knowing Chris King's educational or technical background, it does not seem plausible that he would have an inside interest in the Hawkeye. Hence, he could not be Spike.

Be sure of your vote, Keith. Senator King is a trained weather observer and works in an advertising/web design company. Hence, he could be Spike. But we tabbed your vote for Bob Saar. Thank-you for voting.

I'm sure Bob Saar will be very pleased with the 2004 Christmas Goose Award
14:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

28 December

Spike Has Mail

Anonymous Visitor Returns - Is that You Senator King?

1:51 pm

Would it also be unlawful for a Councilman to lie about a possible conflict of interest? What about an elected City Councilman pointing the finger of suspicion at a fellow councilman in regard to a website he himself created? Would that help your credibility? You're all for full disclosure, aren't you, Spike? How about the REAL story?

Let's see. KCPS listeners heard it first from Senator King that this website is owned by Mike Campbell's daughter in Phoenix (named godaddy.com a multi million dollar company) and that Campbell's nickname in high school was "Spike" because he had a wild tooth. For you newbies to BurlingtonDerailed.com, this is a true story as far fetched as it can seem to be.

So what is the story now? This sounds like a fishing story gone crazy. Gosh, it even sounds like the Hawk Eye. Were you deputized by the Hawk Eye?

I have a better read of the law for you. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §2701 et seq., prohibits an electronic communications service provider from producing the contents of electronic communications, even pursuant to subpoena or court order, except in limited circumstances. Sorry, you aren't a limited circumstance.

So, who do you want have violate Federal Law? How does that affect your credibility?

This sounds like a rehash of the Hawk Eye story from 12/17 that they didn't post online until yesterday. And we all wonder why that was.

We're still digging on the REAL stories. And it isn't a Senate race.

By the way - How do you keep track of all of these email accounts?

23:37:00 - SPIKE - No comments

2004 Bah Humbug Award Winner Letter to the Editor Printed

The 2004 Bah Humbug Award Winner Turrill Letter Finally Hits Ink

An email sent to BurlingtonDerailed.com and apparently to the Hawk Eye as a letter to the editor, was posted on this site on December 24. See our postings for 12/24 to learn the details on how Turrill won this prestigious award.

The Hawk Eye printed the same letter today - 6 days later. And it wasn't posted on their website.

This isn't timely. What is going on down there?

23:21:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike Has Mail

Spike Urged to Run for Public Office

10:02 pm
I can see by all of the concern that this website has generated that there is a need for some much needed leadership in this town. Hey spike, why dont you throw your hat in the ring and run for some sort of position in the local city government? I has been said that if you arent part of the solution, your part of the problem.

Well, ChaosTemple, I'm flattered. You, of all people to suggest "some much needed leadership changes." If Chris King runs for Senate there will be an opening on the City Council. But I probably wouldn't be too successful. I couldn't stand to have those puppet wires shoved in my head and arms.

22:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike Has Mail

"A question and an offer" - An Offer to Help Fix the Problems

NJ wrote on 12/25
11:38 am

I have a quick question, even I have become preoccupied with getting new businesses to move here,but.... What about those who businesses who have stood by Burlington and could use a hand in growing and creating new jobs? Loyalty should be rewarded. Just a thought.

Something I learned a long time ago is the best way to fix a problem is maybe not the way its always been handled, but we need to look outside the problem and think outside the box. Look at ALL possibilities , and then brainstorm some more. I am confident that those who are making decisions do so to the best of their abilities, however we are all raised to see things a certain way. That can be a liability at times.

I would be more than willing to join anyone in brainstorming some new approaches to the problems we face here, we just can't afford to keep going down the same path if it keeps ending in the same results, lost jobs and low wages.

Burlington has so much to offer those are here and those who might come here, we just need to find a way to show the beauty that is Burlington to the world. We have an amazing workforce, plenty of places to modify old structures to suit new business, and to the south we have some room to build new. And we have an amazing network of transportation. (I.e. rail, barge, highway, and even air) The basics are here, and thank those who came before for getting us this far, but maybe its time to step back and see the problem from the outside, study other communities who have done what we desire and admit we don't know everything. Anyway my point was I'm here to help, not call names, not to play a blame game. By the Way MERRY CHRISTMAS.

My computer crashed when I sent this so I don’t know if you got it or not. I will assume this one gets through.Thanks again for the hard work.

I wish more people had this attitude. It is the only thing that will fix the problems. I think everyone can see the alternative-business as usual-hasn't worked.
14:26:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike Has Mail

BNSF in Galesburg to Spend $25 Million For New Facility

1:51 pm
NJ writes:
Just a little update on the BNSF stuff, rumor has it that BNSF is going to drop about 25 Million into their Galesburg facility and build a new hump yard, and hire a bunch of people with its new 8 yr contract. Hmmm Burlington sure could have used 25 mill dumped into downtown and a bunch of new jobs. But hey wouldn’t a bunch of turned over minivans look better downtown? And yes pointing a laser sight at someone who works law enforcement or armed security very well could get you shot or at least arrested and you would deserve it. Just my 2 cents.

It looks like there will be lots of good things to happen in Galesburg. Lots of good paying railroad jobs and major investment in the community by the BNSF.

I wonder if we could trade one lawsuit for some jobs? Oops, I guess we burned that bridge, didn't we?

13:59:00 - SPIKE - No comments

27 December

Spike Has Mail

Reader Acknowledges "Skew" In Hawk Eye News Style

8:55 pm
DJ writes:

I want to thank you for providing us in Burlington with an alternative "news" source. I have often felt that the Hawkeye has skewed it's reporting. And not really reported what was going on or felt in the community. I have written many "letters to the editor". But they have refused to print any one of them.

I check your site just like I do the Des Moines Register, CNN or Fox News. Thank you again for the service you are doing for this community.

23:31:50 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike Has Mail

5:52 pm
DC writes:

FYI, A Southeast Iowa Expatriate:

I'm certain that the mayor and the other council members know, when it is lawful and not lawful as to when and where they are allowed to carry their weapons. And there is no time that Mayor Edward's has said he carried a weapon on the picket line.

As for giving the finger. that is nothing that a Presidential candidate or a Vice President of the United States has done or even the kind of language that the Secretary of Defense has used on the floor of the United States Congress.

You really don't believe that Edwards would admit to being armed on the picket line, do you? Just because they have the priviledge doesn't mean they have the right. Every law enforcement officer will tell you that anyone that talks about their concealed permit is a potential problem.

The Mayor is the elected example to put forth an image of what a community is all about. Many times this Mayor doesn't meet expectations and has never set a direction.

How far would the community back the Mayor if he hadn't gone to the bar with the intent of confronting a temporary worker about possessing a concealed weapons permit?

Or how far would the community back the Mayor if he had called for calm and peaceful resolution instead of talking about overturning vans and there weren't enough cops to stop 'em. Shining laser pointers at cops (including armed security guards) in some states is a felony. It should be. It isn't funny. It'll get you shot.

Apparently some threshold was crossed because CNH felt it time to get an injunction to squelch the problems. Injunctions are not first step measures.

The real goal is to return to work and protect those workers' rights and pensions.

Not to flex imaginary political muscle in front of the mirror.

18:35:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike Has Mail

On the gun toting union thug mayor of Burlington

10:14 am
aseiaexpat writes:

I would be very concerned if I were the UAW. The UAW has a anti-gun policy so I would doubt that they would approve of one of their officers carrying a weapon on the picket line. Then again union thugs have never been ones to shy away from violence if it suits their purposes.

What an incredible recruiting tool for the city of Burlington. I'm sure businesses will be tripping over each other to set up shop in Burlington where they can be subject to union shakedowns supported by an obviously unbalanced mayor.

Watch him as he flips the bird!

Hear him as he berates your workers for not being in a union!

Watch him ramble incoherently in his letters to the editor as he makes veiled threats about overturning minivans, hurting replacement workers and committing other acts of violence and

Listen to him rant on and on about "scabs"!

Listen to him attempt to pressure the police and sheriff departments to turn a blind eye as he and his cadre of union thugs commit all manner of crimes and mayhem!

Watch as he puckers up and orally services the editors of the hawkeye!

How can Burlington expect to attract businesses if the mayor is a raving labor loon?

Maybe impeachment or recall is in order? At least he should be required to get a mental health evaluation.

And they wonder why young people flee a city such as this?

Props for starting this site and telling it like it is and offering an alternative to the hopelessly biased and downright loony Burlington hawkeye. I'll be checking in on a daily basis to see what is really happening in Burlington. Keep on telling it like it is and exposing the corrupt seamy underbelly of Burlington.

Keep 'em guessing and confused at the whore-eye.

A Southeast Iowa Expatriate.

The writer underscores the problems. When Mayor Edwards decides to take a stance and use his political pulpit he must never forget that he represents ALL of the citizens of Burlington. Convictions aside, you can never sweep Edward's past rhetoric under the rug. And it undermines the local negotiators' position that may have differing views. You will never obtain community support by promoting violence. Everybody loses when you do. And Burlington can't afford to lose these jobs.

What could have happened had Edwards' stance been opposite from the suggestions of violence and rage he took? Economic development is going to be hurt by these events for a long time. Something Burlington can ill afford. And the hard working CNH workers don't deserve.
10:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

25 December

Spike Has Mail

Another Call for Change

2:16 am
Oracleez writes:

A Quick Statement on BNSF and CNH

I just want to make another thought clear, we have done some VERY non-beneficial things here in Burlington as far as employment and growth. That MUST CHANGE IMMEDIATELY or we are doomed. Just because Burlington looks like it's straight out of the last 100 years ago doesn’t mean it should operate that way.

I learned a long time ago, be careful of who's cereal you spit in , they may invite you to breakfast.

10:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike Has Mail

Turrill Challenge Met

Turrill Squashed With Facts

Oracleez writes:
Dear Mr.Keith,

I must admit to you right now, that I am a horrible shivering coward and have absolutely no desire to announce my real name here on a website for some of the crazies out there who ASSUME that I make accusations, to harrass me at home. The only thing I accuse anyone of is not doing things the way I feel they should be done. And I can see how that is an unforgivably cowardly thing to do since that is how these United States came to be, a belief that the people who left Britain thought they might be able to do it better.

Since I have no desire to leave my beloved country, or this amazingly beautiful, peaceful, and friendly home I have come to love in Burlington, IA. My choice is to state MY opinions that some things being done here, like everywhere in the world, could be done better by someone else.

Though I believe that Burlington is about as close to heaven on earth in many ways, not helping it move into the 21st century will kill it. And by not doing EVERYTHING in their power to help Burlington grow, we are ALL killing her.

Now if trying to point out some of what I see as errors so as to help those same errors to not be repeated, or if not standing by and watching some people flush Burlington down the Mississippi, makes me a coward. Paint me yeller, feller.

Have a nice day.
10:35:00 - SPIKE - No comments

24 December

Spike Has Mail

BurlingtonDerailed.com Critic Spouts Off

10:57 am
Keith Turrill writes:
Other than the targets of Burlingtonderailed's accusations, it appears that most commentary on the website appears to be by initials or nicknames only.

To make anonymous accusations is an act of profound weakness. And please make no mistake. With expressed intent, I am acusing the authors of Burlingtonderailed of being cowards.

Likewise, I do not believe that anyone from Burlingtonderailed has the courage to acknowledge my statement face-to-face.

Best holiday wishes,
Keith Turrill


Regarding: "I do not believe that anyone from Burlingtonderailed has the courage to acknowledge my statement face-to-face."

That sounds like a challenge to a public duel at daylight or something. What, my words hurt more than your words?

Most items are signed with our contributors' initials and nicknames and I hope you haven't hurt their feelings because they have taken the time to write something substantive or want to see things improve.

Next time you write one of your missives to the Hawk Eye you might want to look above your own name in print and see that they don't sign their editorials. You gladly provide name, rank, serial number to them to gain credibility. Names signed to an editorial masthead or byline doesn't grant credibility here.

And are you accusing the Hawk Eye editors of being cowards? Randy Miller the City Editor also suggested cowardice in one of his emails to BurlingtonDerailed.com. You don't know him do you? Sounds like a similar vein of thought.

Maybe if you had substantive comments you could share those thoughts with our bloggers. Sounds more like part of the problem and not the solution. And expand your vision to include the thought that maybe what is written is more than to "make anonymous accusations." Maybe what we write could be frightfully true. I would think that you would be more concerned with the truth and what is good for the community than possible social alliances or an inflated ego.

We'll edit our contributors' identities to benefit them. Not to fulfill your silly need to see their name in print. And not to fulfill your outrageous ego.

The 2004 Bah Humbug Award is awarded to Keith.
11:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

23 December

Spike Has Mail

Statement from the BurlingtonDerailed.com Think Tank

Today we got three emails that were very thoughtfully written about several subjects. We agree with most of what was written. However, we think that some points raised might antagonize already contentious issues.

The BurlingtonDerailed.com Think Tank has discussed these viewpoints and where those viewpoints might lead the direction of this website.

We want everyone that has an opinion to email us. But until we can decide how some issues should be equally addressed for all viewpoints and the time that it takes to confirm facts, we do need to utilize editorial control. And we don't feel that we should edit your comments to fit our perceived viewpoint.

Spike and his Nerds

17:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Burlington Differs on Job Retention Efforts

Looks Like The Wind Blows a Different Direction for CNH Workers

12:26 am
kr writes:

Burlington's lawsuit with the railroad is about returning 150+ jobs to the town. Then what about the striking CNH workers being forced off City land?

The City is very committed to the lawsuit with the railroad. Lots of money has been spent for lawyers.

Now CNH workers cannot occupy City land on Cash Street. The City doesn't have to spend any money to let them be there. No lawyers fees.

If the City is spending lots of money to battle the railroad for lost jobs, shouldn't the city be ready to help the 200+ locked out workers try to get their jobs back and prevent frostbite in this weather?

I don't think CNH could ask for this injunction if they didn't have the City's OK. Somebody had to agree to the CNH request. The City didn't ask for the injunction. How can an injunction be issued for City property when the City didn't ask for the injunction?

It looks like there is something really wrong here. Everybody knows the railroad jobs are gone. CNH says they want their workers to return. Why won't the City show greater support for the workers? It won't cost anybody $30,000. Let us move the tent to some other place. What does the City think the value of our jobs are to the community? Are our jobs worth less than the railroad jobs?

00:35:00 - SPIKE - No comments

22 December

Spike Has Mail

Senator wanna be Chris King HAS Returned to The Realm of Talk Radio

1:41 pm
DC writes:
Yes, it has been Chris King on KCPS's, Big Show Inc., in the mornings. This morning he came into the studio to be able to chat with Father Pat. Fred called him by name when he entered the studio.

I guess the banishment from KCPS didn't last long.
14:11:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike Has Mail

Resident Upset to Have Missed Hoschek Outburst

10:16 am
Oracleez writes:
Maybe I should show up for the next meeting with Hoschek, sounds better than pro-wrestling.

Don't tell him you're coming. He'll need to listen to the tapes or maybe prepare a written report.
10:24:37 - SPIKE - No comments

Hoschek Loses It - Again

Screaming, Yelling and Multiple Use of THE Four Letter Word

Quirk on Vacation - Misses Another Hoschek Outburst

There were major rumblings from the Des Moines County Court House Tuesday morning. Tim Hoschek lost complete control and was reportedly screaming obscenities for everyone in the Court House to hear.

Eyewitnesses confirm Hoschek repeatedly used THE four letter word (and I don't mean FAMILY) several times. So much for the Holiday spirit.

Hoschek, can you send us a written report? We want to see some more examples of your buffoonery.
00:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike Has Mail

Unconfirmed Report Chris King HAS Returned To Talk Radio

In answer to our question yesterday -

00:15 am
SG writes:
It sure sounded like Chris King to me.

We need conclusive proof.

00:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

21 December

Spike Has Mail

More Questions About TIF Districts

4:34 am
MW writes:

My understanding of the tif agreement with Borghi was the company was to pay a living wage in the area of $10.50 per hour but low and behold Borghi has hired a considerable number of temps effectively circumventing the tif agreement and robbing the taxpayer, which is the rule of thumb here in Des Moines County.

Great site.

Spike's reply:
TIF employment contract requirements can vary. Usually, the employment requirements are met over a period of years. So, the practice of hiring temps to circumvent TIF employment requirements may not be a contract violation. This work could be argued as seasonal. But if this hiring practice would continue or not be seasonal, it might circumvent the spirit in which the TIF agreement was written.

Either way, it sure doesn't look good. The taxpayers are paying for this benefit. We want Borghi. But everyone needs to play fair. Otherwise, the taxpayers are paying twice.

Who monitors this TIF agreement?

22:19:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Was That Chris King's Voice On KCPS?

Was that Chris King's voice of reason criticizing Mayor Mike Edwards' "Socialist Letter" on KCPS this morning?

Has Chris King's Banishment from The Realm of Talk Radio Ended?

Although not entirely sure, it sounded like Councilman Chris King criticizing Mayor Mike Edwards' Socialist Letter, a letter that Spike would like to read and share with everyone.

Nerds quick, voice analysis.

Was that Chris King?

09:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Statement from Management

In the last few days BurlingtonDerailed.com has had 2 attempts at denial of service attacks. In both cases web content was not available to those of you trying to get the latest news.

This is fair warning. If you screw with this website or try to hack this website again and Spike's Nerds catch you (and they are pretty good at it since they all have the 99 piece Craftsman screwdriver kit), we will file a denial of service complaint with the FBI with all of the pertinent details as to your whereabouts on this tiny old world wide web. You can't hide behind those mutiple email addresses.

A one eyed hunting dog without a sense of direction can find you with the tracks you're putting down.

I guess Spike must be raising the hackles on the chickens to be the receipient of such scurrilous behavior.
00:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

20 December

Spike Has Mail

Ethanol Plant Tax Break Too Much

DN writes:

As far as the break to the ethanol plant was a good
idea, it was just carried WAY too far. No one should get
a tax break for 20 years, by then they may be the only
business left in the area and still won't be paying

I should have made that a bit more clear when I
mailed you the first time, there is just SOO much
wrong around here that sometimes you only have time to
scrape the surface of the issues.

Thanx again.

Btw I'm sure I'll be trying to participate more often in this

West Burlington Resident Acknowledges TIF Abuse

PYOW writes

I second your remarks about W. Burlington and their TIF district. It is nothing but a payoff {BRIBE] to a Co. to came here and use our facilities with no risk to their bottom line. It is also outright theft of the tax money that is rightfully the property of the schools and the county.

wb resident
21:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike Has Mail

Economic Development Incentives Gone Mad

Reader Acknowledges TIF Abuse in West Burlington

t4u writes:

"The huge break to the ethanol plant was a good idea"...sure i suppose so in that it will bring jobs and money into the economy. However...it will be a long time before the county realizes any of the benefits of the ethanol plan in the form of taxes.

What also shocks me, and perhaps no one else, is the break Shottenkirk got when building his dealership. TIF money was designed to revive areas of "urban blight"...it was a wide open lot. It also amazed me that shortly there after the city of west burlington took out a loan for a bridge (repairs i believe). So while they aren't paying any taxes everyone else can just try and get by because ONE DAY it will surely pay off...

Spike reply:
Our readers may not know that West Burlington LEADS the State of Iowa in the abuse of TIF districts. TIF districts are set up as an incentive for economic development. West Burlington has abused the application of this economic development tool to the point that Des Moines County residents have to pickup the financial slack. The bridge loan is just a start of the loans West Burlington is going to need.

Way to go West Burlington, another shining example of BooBoo Economics.
08:12:00 - SPIKE - No comments

19 December

Spike Has Mail

"Burlington is stagnant; and in business, if it isn’t growing, it’s dying."

Resident Eyes Demise

Calls for Needed Changes

12:40 am

DN writes:
I just wanted to say, wtg for stirring the pot.

My family has been here for 4 years now and though the economy is very slow right now, when we moved here I noticed that it seemed not much was being done to save the city of Burlington from the inevitable demise I foresee coming in the future.

After the many plant closings that occurred right after we moved here and then the business I came here to run, closed.

I was forced to take a job out of management for about 1/2 the pay I was used to just to survive and yet not much was being done about the decline here.

The huge tax break that was given to the ethanol plant was a good start because eventually that money will be there for all of us.

West B and Burlington need to work together to make this place grow just like davenport and bettendorf did back in the days when they weren’t much better.

But lots of things seem to get talked about and little gets done it seems, at least at first it was that way. I can see some people trying I guess, but I’m not sure of the support from Burlington government. Really I would know more if I looked deeper.

What I DO see is A LOT of people worried more about who Spike is and him-hawing around not wanting to make a decision or stick their necks out.

Burlington is stagnant; and in business, if it isn’t growing, it’s dying.

Things need to change. Someone needs to attract the money, jobs, or whatever to give the people here some self-respect, keep them busy, and then they will put the effort into making it grow.

If I am off course here please do not hesitate to reply, I am always open to discussion.
00:42:00 - SPIKE - No comments

18 December

Spike Has Mail

The Hawk Eye is Defended

11:49 am
jat writes:

I looked at the Hawk Eye today and saw in the Sports on Radio that KCPS had listings in the schedule. I see them in there every time there's a sporting event on KCPS. I thought the Hawk Eye didn't acknowledge the radio station.
11:52:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike Has Mail

11:23 am

To DC:

We got your mail. Will look forward to later discussion.
11:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

17 December

Spike Has Mail

DC Wrote:
11:56 am
DC Will you please verify the FIRST name of the party you mentioned in your second email.

Keith Turril burliowa3@yahoo wrote:
This "derailed" thing still smells like Randy Danniel.

I thought The Hawk Eye Covered This Old News
Two riveting days of coverage has determined:
It's Not King
It's Not Campbell
It's Not Danniel
You need to get you news here first.
The Ever Elusive Spike

BurlingtonDerailed.com Voted Water Cooler Topic of the Century

DC Wrote:

Congratulations, on becoming the Water Cooler Topic of the Century at the Burlington City Hall and the Des Moines County Courthouse.

The best is Mr. Delany, Editor of the Black Eye for assigning the investigation of your identity to all his top crack reporters-none of whom are investigative reporters; well, maybe Lloyd Maffit. All I can see he is doing is increasing your readership daily. That's pretty good when you can get free advertising from your competition.

All I ask of you, is please keep up the good work so the people of Burlington will get the other side of the story.

I also love to listen to Fred, Seven and Mike "Red" Campbell, talk about the mystery on the "Big Show Inc.," 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM on KCPS 1150am.

KCPS is the only station that the Black Eye refuses to acknowledge.

Thanks for all your efforts,

12:35:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike Has Mail

Spike Not Alone in Thoughts About Railroad Lawsuit

Experience Speaks

at 10:36 am
RDB emailed:

In regard to the city and their lawsuit against the BNSF for breach of a 146 year old contract they might look into the federal case when BN Resources came to be.
Resources wanted the land that was granted to the Railroads when they were building them (the CB&Q was not a land grant RR) the railroads had to haul troops and military equipment for the government. The government took them to court and the decision was that contract's are not infinite and that the railroad had fulfilled their contractural agreement and therefore could take control of the land and resources thereby forming BN Resources.
It may not have any bearing on this lawsuit but it is on the same line.
And if this city thinks that the court is going to make the railroad pay a large amount to them and make them bring back jobs to this community they better not hold their breath. This railroad might just abandon this line in favor of a better route because this railroad does not care what it costs to do something once the decision has been made.
This comes from 40+ years of railroad experience.
Just a different view of this fiasco.
10:08:00 - SPIKE - No comments

The Hawk Eye Calls In MSNBC Web Busters

Expert Also Looking Into Global Warming

The Hawkeye couldn't stand it any longer and brought in Web Buster Jonathan Dube, MSNBC.com's managing producer to uncover the mystery of BurlingtonDerailed.com.

Unable to find anything concrete other than "whoever it is is net savvy and went to great lengths to keep it private," Dube was also asked by the Hawkeye to determine whether or not Spike had anything to do with global warming.

Spike denies any involvement in causing global warming.

Shouldn't some charitable group that needs to raise money at Christmas be the focus of a front page, top center article?
06:21:00 - SPIKE - No comments

16 December

Spike Has Mail

Hawkeye City Editor Randy Miller Wants to Know Who Spike Is

3:59 pm

A message sent to you by an anonymous visitor
(Posted from a Nucleus weblog at http://www.burlingtonderailed.com/)


Who are you? Tell me a little about yourself. Such as your real name,
occupation, etc. You know, spouting off anonymously on a Web site is
really a cowardly thing to do.

We're shocked that someone that writes editorials anonymously everyday would feel threatened by a little old website. I'm sure you don't consider yourself to be a coward. Why would you make an accusation like that about Spike?

Does my name, occupation, etc. really have much to do with the veracity of this site's content? We'd guess that our factual batting average is as good as, if not better, than the Hawkeye's. We are not driven by a business model or political alignment.

Besides, everybody loves a mystery. And the Real Story.
16:39:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Power Optimistic About Railroad Lawsuit

City Attorney in the Eggnog?

Power, "believes the lawsuit will be favorable to the City"

Does he have a good case?

With all of the resources The Hawk-Eye (happy, Fred?) has, shouldn't they send an Ace Reporter (maybe even Jim Quirk) to uncover any new filings at the Federal Court House? There has to be something going on. It's been too quiet.

The taxpayers want to know how the City is going to cover up their payments to the railroad for land the City purchased along the river. Especially since the early 1980's.

Why would the City pay for land they own? Not once, but 3 times!

Does that mean those real estate payments were made in error?

Will the railroad have to return that money?

Power maintains that he "believes the lawsuit will be favorable to the City." He has to promote that diatribe. He gets paid to promote that diatribe. Whether he has a good case or not.

Maybe the City should spend $5,000 to get a second, unbiased legal opinion from a lawyer outside of Burlington skilled in railroad matters before they commit to the one way road city management led us down like sheep to slaughter.

I'll bet there will be No Eggnog for Power Next Year.

Rail and City Limits come to mind.

Fred Q&A
Railroad Pays Taxes on West Burlington Shops

Taxes are paid on all property railroads occupy in Iowa. But it is paid to the State and reimbursed back to the County prorated on the number of miles of track in a particular county.

06:53:22 - SPIKE - No comments

15 December

Drug Issues and Grant Questions

Des Moines County Attorney Cutting Edge Grant Writer

Grant Money Used to Fight Drug War

SF raised questions yesterday about the meth problem in Southeast Iowa. One issue raised was the use of grant money to help the fight the meth war.

SF, Spike is glad to report that things are being done.

Spike has learned Des Moines County Attorney Pat Jackson has been a pioneer in the creative use of grant money to aid all of law enforcement in Des Moines County. Jackson has written grants to obtain funding for several local law enforcement needs including the war on drugs. Jackson's efforts have been recognized on a state and national level.

Jackson developed the voluntary merchant reporting program. This voluntary program allows merchants to report to local law enforcement larger than normal purchases of meth precursors such as cold medicine containing ephedrine, ether based starting fluids and lithium batteries among other things. The program has enjoyed success since it started.

Most local retailers adopted the program. Target Stores have not adopted this voluntary program.

Why haven't you implemented this program, Target?
18:28:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike Has Mail

Did State Senator Tom Courtney Push for Railroad Lawsuit?

CE writes:

I heard that State Senator Tom Courtney was very involved in the decision to sue the BNSF. Supposedly Courtney asked elected officials to meet at City Hall last December to voice his rabid enthusiasm to sue. Why did he push for a lawsuit? Shouldn't this meeting have been an open meeting under the "sunshine laws"? Investigate this.

Keep up with the good work.
11:08:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Grow Greater Burlington Report Card

The Hawkeye Needs to Improve Their Attitude to a More Positive View

State, County and City Business Attitude is Not Good

Even the City Inspectors' Attitudes Need Fixing

A Blazing Report? No, Just a Whimpering Mollycoddling Summary

Grow Greater Burlington released the Annual Exisiting Business and Industry Report on October 1 without much fanfare. Only 32 companies out of 60 existing businesses and industries responded. A dismal response. How do non-responders think changes can be made if they don't complete the survey.

Of course, one major problem that makes it difficult for those castigated 28 non-responding companies to report. There isn't much guarantee or protection of privacy.

Burlington has always been a cauldron of inordinately snoopy people. And snoopy people have loose lips. And lots of those same loose lip, snoopy people profess to have an infinite knowledge of everything. And at least one of those loose lip, snoopy people helped oversee the report. Makes me want to tell all my business secrets to a bunch of loose lip, snoopy, know-it-alls.

State, County and City Government factors were problem issues this year and lowered the ratings from 2003. What no one ever says is how poorly Iowa really ranks on the "best places to do business" lists that many groups put out. Try 47th, 48th, 49th and even 50th depending on whose list you believe and whether or not we've had a good year.

But the one striking issue that really comes home to roost is the need to promote a pro-business attitude in the community and the newspaper. Although stated as "the newspaper," we all know how The Hawkeye thrives on negative reporting.

1. How many positive view articles have you read this week?
2. How many this month?
3. How many articles reek of tabloid journalism? Not bad tabloid journalism, just tabloid journalism.

Lastly, the poor Burlington City Building Inspectors got a jab. Apparently, the rental lords of Burlington are upset because they have to meet the building code when they remodel.

We have heard rumors that there might have been problems with possible financial benefits in exchange for looking the other way on some inspections. But as we all know, it is doubtful that something like that would ever happen here.

I think it is probably just a rumor started from that bunch of loose lip, snoopy, know-it-alls.
10:59:00 - SPIKE - No comments

SPIKE Has Mail

DY writes:

Let's all hope that we can find a professional person to be our Mayor in the future. There has to be one out there! I believe this man is an embarrassment to our City! Not just his unprofessionalism now but way before he was in the spotlight!
10:43:11 - SPIKE - No comments

WalMart China's 8th Largest Trading Partner

Trade Deficit Reaches $18 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR

How would United States Senator Chris King deal with this?

06:54:00 - SPIKE - No comments

14 December

224th Engineers Support Group Raises Over $6500

The Hawkeye Wouldn't Cover It - No Reporters - Golf Day

Sponsors Ask for Coverage -Twice - Refused, No One Available

A benefit for the 224th Engineers Support Group was held on Saturday at Doris' Tavern. The Hawkeye was called twice to request coverage of the event. Sponsors were told no reporter was available.

The benefit to help family members left behind by the Iraq deployment raised over $6500. The support group helps with those unexpected expenses while the 224th is deployed.

WELL DONE Everybody. And thanks to everyone that contributed. And thank-you to the men and women of our Armed Services that will be gone this Holiday Season.

I wonder how much money could have been raised if the sponsors had as much coverage for that as has been given to BurlingtonDerailed.com and whomever is behind it? Seems like a lot of wasted energy that could have been more constructively used.

20:22:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike Has Mail

Score: Spike 2 Positive - 1 Negative - 1 Florida Vote

What exactly is the purpose of this website?

To Enlighten Oneself Mentally and Spiritually and form priorities that are truly meaningful. See the story above.

20:18:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Spike Has Mail

Score: Spike 2 Positive - 1 Negative

Spike Spots Trend - Positives Sign Their Emails

Malcontents Don't, but I like Their Comments Anyway.

We do edit profanity, just like the alternative news source on Main Street.

11:30 am
A message sent to you by an anonymous visitor
(Posted from a Nucleus weblog at http://www.burlingtonderailed.com/)
Moral of Story:
If you piss Spike off he gets even with you by posting something humiliating about you here...What a guy.
- Rail

11:52 am
FS writes:
Great Site!!!!!!!!!!

SF Writes:
Why has it taken the City of Burlington and Des Moines County until now to address the huge Meth problem in SE Iowa? Know wonder we lead in the production and probably the use of Meth in the Midwest if not the country.

Get busted using, selling, or making meth, you get a slap on the wrist and a small fine and your back on the street. We need a zero tolerance policy. Get busted - go to jail, or to rehab (at your expense) your choice.

I am sure this change won't happen over night, but on the other hand, these labs did not pop up over night either.

I would not be suprised when it is time for Pat Jacksons and Tim Hoscheks re-election campaign to start they will tout their hard work for Des Moines Co residents.

Do we have term limits for Supervisors? Or can and individual make a full time career( with full benefits and a salary around 26,000 per year) out of a part time job? Tim apparently is going to do this, why not, you only put in 10-15 hours a week, get all expense paid trips across the country.
He has campaigned during his re-elections that he still has work to do, after 8 years he hasn't worked yet. If he is truely that committed to Des Moines County why doesn't he run for the Iowa Senate, or for Congress.

I think Ed Blow made the comment when he ran for office, that I am doing this once, it is not something I am going to make a career out of (County Supervisor).

If you haven't thrown out your re-elect Hoschek signs, please keep them - he'll need them when he runs again!

Why won't Tim provide a written report of his all expense paid trips to his conferences??
He indicated he learns about programs and grants available at these conferences and shares them at the supervisors meetings, but why hasn't he applied what he has learned?? Put these programs into action, apply for grant money. That is what he should be doing with this information to help the County residents.

Thanks Spike

To: SF Something is Going to Be Done

County Rallys Behind Meth Problem - Read it Wednesday in The Hawkeye

Along With Hoschek Throws Another Fit - Wednesday's Hawkeye

12:36:40 - SPIKE - No comments

Burlington Councilman Bill Ell Confused

Low Grades Confuses Councilman

Normally Amazingly Quiet, Ell Speaks about Area's Bad Grades

When interviewed about BurlingtonDerailed.com Burlington City Councilman Bill Ell said "I didn't see any positive comments in there any place. I can't see how it's going to be beneficial to the city of Burlington."

Nobody ever likes Bad Grades. When you get bad grades Bill, you have to study harder.

08:21:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Chris King Challenges Spike to Feature Him

King at a Loss for Words?

KCPS's Seven Says of King's Chance for Senate Bid -

"King has Same Chance as Flappin' his Arms and Flyin' to the Moon"

News Breakin' KCPS has saluted Spike with his news breaking feature on Burlington City Councilman Chris King's announcement for U.S. Senate. Not taking the opportunity to expand on the subject, King opined that others might be involved.

Thanks, KCPS.

Chris, email us your King for Senate Press Release.

Spike - I like Burlington, I just have problems with the direction some elected officials have forged for this community.
07:16:00 - SPIKE - No comments

12 December

Spike Has Mail

Spike Has Been Challenged by Anonymous Visitor

Spike Loves Challenges

Just in From:

A message sent to you by an anonymous visitor
(Posted from a Nucleus weblog at http://www.burlingtonderailed.com/)


"Spike needs to see proof" Why? What's the point? If you are so worried about the "image" of Burlington why would you post photos here that everyone knokws exist? How vindictive. I challenge you to post this email and respond to it.

- Curious

Dear Curious,

Maybe you know the photo exists because you have seen it. Well, I haven't and I want to. I think a lot of other people would like to see how an elected official conducts themselves in a truly unprofessional manner.

The Image of Burlington? More like Too Many Tarnished Stains!


For what?

An election mistake?

The voters won't need much more to remember.

14:00:44 - SPIKE - No comments

11 December

Spike has Mail

Spike received the following message today.

3:16 pm

"A message sent to you by an anonymous visitor
(Posted from a Nucleus weblog at http://www.burlingtonderailed.com/)


How about a photo of YOU kissing my ass?"

15:47:52 - SPIKE - No comments

10 December


Spike Needs To See Proof

If you have the photo of Mike Edwards flipping the replacement workers the bird at CNH, Spike WANTS YOU so we can post it here for all to see.

If you have this photo, please email it to us.

The first person to email this photo will win a free, One Year Subscription to BurlingtonDerailed.com


20:59:59 - SPIKE - No comments

Railroad Lawsuit Costs Spiral Upward

Burlington City Attorney Submits Another $18,000 Bill

Where is the Money Coming From?

Just 9 months into the lawsuit with BNSF the Burlington City Attorney has submitted another $18,000 bill. I suppose not all of this bill could be attributed to the BNSF lawsuit.

But how much?

When will the next shoe drop for more money?

Lots of questions. So little time.

Where are the funds to cover these legal expenses coming from?

20:43:43 - SPIKE - No comments

The Hawkeye Wants to Meet Spike

Hawkeye Tries to Make Contact with Spike

Spike received the following email from Jim Quirk today.

Interesting Web site. Was wondering who is behind it because we would like to write a story about it in The Hawk Eye.
Jim Quirk
The Hawk Eye

Now what could they want?

I'm sure it will be a favorable article.

Here Spike,

Come on Spike,

Arf arf arf arf arf

Good Boy Spike
16:24:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Senator Chris King??

State Senator??? No, United States Senator!!!

Chris King Lays Out Senate Platform on Talk Radio

Would He Have to Resign Before Local Run For Re-Election?

Can King Beat Harkin?

Spike heard a few minutes ago that Burlington City Councilman Chris King laid out his U.S. Senate platform this morning on talk radio KCPS, the voice of downtown Burlington.

Can it be true?

Could You Send Us a Press Release?

09:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

08 December

Edwards Still Shining Image of Burlington - Flips Bird to Temp Workers

Gets Caught Flipping the Bird to Temporary Workers - ON FILM

Burlington Mayor Mike Edwards Still A Loose Cannon

Radical Actions Demand His Ouster Before Someone Gets Hurt

Burlington Mayor Mike Edwards has continued in his out of control rampage as Mayor. Now he got caught flipping the universal symbol of solidarity with his middle finger to the temporary workers at the CNH plant in Burlington.

Yesterday I refrained from using the word thug. Not today.

Somebody, ANYBODY tell this immature, unprofessional, gun-toting thug that he needs to get out of town.

So much for economic development.
11:32:33 - SPIKE - No comments

Where's The Sheriff?

Burlington Mayor Edwards Still Has Gun Permit

Police Chief sees Possibility of Violence

Why Doesn't the Sheriff?

Will somebody tell me why the Sheriff has allowed Burlington Mayor Mike Edwards to keep his concealed firearms permit? Promotion of violence, anger, rage, perceived bar room threats, known alcohol problem, arrogance, all the right ingredients for disaster.

If the Mayor has on his boots he's packing iron. It's time to take that priviledge away from him.

Burlington has a home grown Mayor they should be proud of.

Where is the Sheriff?

08:43:00 - SPIKE - No comments

07 December


Burlington Mayor Mike Edwards Uses Position to Breed Violence

It's time for Edwards' Gun Permit and Job as Mayor To Go

Edwards Sandbags Union Cause with Radical Behavior

Burlington Mayor Mike Edwards said he understands the rage and possible use of violence in today's article in the Hawkeye.

Spike thinks it's time for this guy to be reined in and fired.

Where's the Sheriff? He needs to pull Edward's gun permit. All the elements are there for denial - alcohol, temper, lack of control.

Is this guy remotely rational?

Edwards' said:

"No one trashed any mini–vans. We could have turned every one of them over, let's face it, and believe me there were many thoughts of just that type of thing..."

"You feel the rage."

" You feel the outright hatred."

"Had not the police been present — granted, there were only four of them there that day — they wouldn't have stood a chance."

Edwards said he was glad for the police presence because if not, angry union members may have resorted to violence and "there would have been a lot of us fired."

11:21:00 - SPIKE - No comments

04 December

BooBoo Economics

VooDoo Economic Development Turns Into BooBoo Economics

Huge, Long Term Economic Impact on County Residents

Ben Diewold wants you to believe Ed Blow needs to shift the focus from Diewold’s ethanol plant mistakes to some perceived problem with the last ditch attempt to save the jobs at the West Burlington Shops. Nice deflection, but this finger pointing comes from a curved finger that is self pointing. Diewold was the lead for this project.

Hoschek and Diewold obligated the taxpayers with a bluesky agreement. It shouldn’t have happened that way. Diewold and Hoschek had a clean slate to start with. Seldom used, 20-year tax abatements are, on extremely rare instances, given to auto plants and other huge employers.

All normal tax abatements are usually 5-10 years long and based on a sliding scale. Tax incentives decrease to zero while tax revenues increase as time passes. Year one no tax is paid. Year 10, 90% tax is paid.

Incentives are usually capped on the number of jobs created. A normal incentive can be $50,000 per job for high paying jobs. The Diewold/Hoschek rate is over $400,000 per job, 8 times larger than normal.

And most sound development agreements always carry a clause to pay local school, library and fire district taxes for simple reasons. It is a small payment to pay for the impact on the local community. It helps pay to educate it's children and future workers and places no hardship on the community's fire departments by the development.

These are minor issues for prudent economic development agreements that are easily overcome.

The problem with this project was and is, real simple.
1. Ben Diewold and Tim Hoschek are impossible to deal with.
2. Neither knew what to do.
3. Neither wanted to be told they are accountable to the taxpayers and they were inept at protecting the taxpayers.

Taxpayers attempting to call for accountability are told to “listen to the tapes.” This is nothing more than deflection from accountability.

Anyone with genuine knowledge can spew forth all facts, figures and details about their life or project they are involved with. These 2 guys can't cite 10 facts about the deal they did. Taxpayers must, "listen to the tapes." And their photo opportunities don’t represent knowledge, skills or accountability for lack of performance.

At the Big River Resources annual meeting various BRR officers clearly stated their desire to expand the plant even though the plant had not distilled one ounce of ethanol.

They can expand their operation and we need them to be very successful. And I don’t think there is one person involved in that project, if successful, would object to paying their fair share of taxes. When a tax incentive plan works the tax revenue naturally follows. It is prudent to protect the taxpayer from the sale and acquisition of BRR.

BRR stated they have spent $53,000,000 to build their plant. It is common knowledge that Cargill is already trying to acquire BRR. Now BRR officials don't want to invest $16,000 to buy and refit a West Burlington fire truck for foam operations. A $16,000 investment to protect a $53,000,000 facility. What are they thinking?

Investors won't have to worry about acquisition if their insurance carrier finds out what their fire protection plan includes barrels of foam additive on a shelf. BRR's insurance rates will force them out of business into Cargill's waiting arms.

That fuels Cargill's need to scare local investors into unneeded worry about profitability. "Sell us your stock now, you're going to fail anyway." Don't let Cargill get a foot hold.

Even though misguided by Grow Greater Burlington and Dennis Hinkle's opinion that it would only be a "$6-8,000,000 investment" Diewold and Hoschek should have asked more questions about the tax incentives. They would have found out how ludicrous a 20 year abatement was for 35 jobs and all successful ethanol plants are target for acquisition.

GRR should sign the Development Agreement and pony up for the fire truck and get to making money. You don't need Cargill. You're going to be successful.

Without a development agreement, the taxpayers are going to be stuck with a huge tax revenue loss. Sound economic development provides the incentives for a company to start and be successful. But don't give away the farm. GRR said, they didn't "want a freeload."

Instead of their normal VooDoo economics Diewold and Hoschek’s mess is a textbook example of BooBoo economics.

And it smells terribly like inept enthusiasm, and diversionary accountability to please voters. It surely wasn’t good economic development.

15:24:00 - SPIKE - No comments