Burlington Derailed — The Continuing Story

28 April

Want To Run for Office?

Burlington Needs You – Ban The Rubber Stampers From City Hall

Be Part of The Solution – Not Part of The Problem

A few weeks ago we had a request from a reader to provide more information about running for local political office. Here are 3 books that cover the basics of what you need to do to run and win in a local political election.

I think KCPS had Ann Beaudry on an interview program. She seemed to have her act together or at least she interviewed well. I haven’t read any of these books and I don’t know whether or not there are more recent editions.

The library can obtain these books, usually at no charge, through the interlibrary loan program if they don’t have them on the shelves. New copies are available at discount from overstock.com at a sizable discount. You can purchase used copies from half.com or amazon.com.

Winning Local and State Elections by Ann Beaudry. Publisher: Free Press (October 1, 1998) ISBN: 0684863774

How to Run for Local Office: A Complete, Step-By-Step Guide that Will Take You Through the Entire Process of Running and Winning a Local Election by Robert J. Thomas, Doug Gowen. Publisher: R & T Enterprises, Incorporated; 1st ed edition (April 1, 1999) ISBN: 0966830407 With a title like this Senator King must have read this one.

Running for Office: The Strategies, Techniques and Messages Modern Political Candidates Need To Win Elections by Ronald A. Faucheux. Publisher: M. Evans and Company, Inc. (September 25, 2002) ISBN: 1590770102

Next week we’ll post the requirements to run for office after the State posts them here.

20:33:00 - SPIKE - No comments

27 April

The Big Show w/Fred & Chrissie Kicks Off KCPS Spring Fun & Travel Auction

Mega Auction Starts Friday April 29th at 7am ending at 5pm

$25,000 in Name Brand Merchandise from local area merchants
to be auctioned in one day. Every bid to start at 50% off retail - or more!

Great items Include: AirTran Airways - (3) pairs of "roundtrip tickets to anywhere." Jet service from the Quad Cities to over 40 cities.

Furniture Food Home & Garden Electronics/Auto & Miscellaneous Travel & Fun

How come we can't bid on "Be a DJ for a Day with Fred and Chrissie?"
22:54:50 - SPIKE - No comments

26 April

Spike Estimates City’s BNSF Lawsuit Expenses Within $800

Rule of Thumb Better Than City Budget Planners

City Still Needs To Account For Power’s $18,000 January Claim

Power Pays Smith Engineering $8,200 for New Survey – Could Have Had Our Maps for $7,500

Due diligence from the local newspaper has paid off. In this morning’s newspaper Mini Me Doug Worden admitted Burlington has spent about $67,000 on the BNSF lawsuit. On April 21 we estimated those costs to be $66,200. No, we didn’t use a divining rod. Just old fashion common sense.

What was missing in the news article was the city’s accounting for the January payment made to Power’s law firm for $18,000. No one seems to remember that payment or how much of it was for the railroad lawsuit. So add some more to the total. And a whole lot more before this mess is over.

When the city goes flying by that $61,000 legal budget I hope they get a good look at it. Because when Power’s Boondoogle Gravy Train Express finally goes in the ditch the only person smiling is going to be Power.

And the voters aren’t going to forget it.
02:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

24 April

1st Senator King – Now Scott Power Wants To Tell Us

Too Much Telling and Not Enough Answering Prevails

Campbell Wants To Meet In Private With Power

According to the newspaper article yesterday, Burlington City Attorney Scott Power is now speaking for Robert Johnson, Councilman Mike Campbell’s attorney.

Power said that Johnson doesn’t “allow” tape recordings of closed session meetings in Fort Madison where Johnson is the city attorney. I find that difficult to believe for several reasons.

1. I don’t think Johnson would tell Power anything like that while representing Campbell.
2. Johnson knows he doesn’t have any authority to limit the tape recording. Just like Scott Power has no authority to limit the tape recording even though Wild Bill Ell says so.
3. Is it irrelevant what happens in Fort Madison if the law says otherwise.
4. Johnson was the attorney that made West Burlington’s goombas back down. Johnson already knows what he can and can’t do. Power appears to be directionally challenged.
5. These guys are paid for advice. They’re not paid to make rules. They don’t have the authority to do that. No matter what Wild Bill Ell thinks. Or, anyone else for that matter.

If I had nothing to hide and if I was in charge of this mess and Mike Campbell is so wrong, I would jam those closed session meeting tapes right down Campbell’s throat. I would play the tapes for the public and news media to hear first hand. Prove to the public he’s wrong once and for all.

And if the closed session meetings were about lawsuit trial strategy, get the media to sign a confidentiality agreement for the “trial strategy” portions of the recordings. Open the door. I’ll bet there is nothing on those tapes that will cause any problems for the railroad lawsuit. I don’t think they even have a case, let alone a strategy. So, no harm, no foul.

I would show everyone that the council, as a whole, was being truthful and that Campbell could not be trusted. I’d even give the media a copy of the 1/26/04 closed session tape so they could clean up the audio and prove to everyone that the council had acted in a lawful manner.

If the facts of this mess were otherwise, I would come clean. “We made errors. We have corrected the problems. We are in charge of the staff and contract labor. We work for the citizens. Personnel issues have been resolved. It is time to move forward“

That is the way a leader accepts the responsibility and “moves on.” Do something. Don’t just talk about it and perpetuate it. As long as these problems exist, we can never move "forward."

And if Campbell goes alone to see Power he better take his tape recorder. If Power had no problem threatening public officials with a “silver bullet with each and everyone of your names on it” who knows what he would say behind closed doors.

Better idea, take your attorney along.
13:17:10 - SPIKE - No comments

21 April

Power’s Legal Bills Like Untethered Box Kite In A Wind Storm

City Hall Won’t Disclose Lawsuit Costs

How much money has been spent on this lawsuit debacle? The taxpayers haven’t seen any of Scott Power’s billings in recent claims paid by the city. According to court filings there are now 3 attorneys from Power’s firm working on the lawsuit. 3 lawyers!

Part of spending big bucks for attorneys is knowing what the trial success rate for your lawyer is. You have to weigh all of the legal issues and feel very comfortable that the attorney fees can be recovered at trial just to break even.

I feel real uncomfortable & I don’t know what Scott Power’s trial success rate is.

Our Updated Lawsuit Cost Estimates:

On August 6, 2004 we posted the railroad lawsuit legal fees were rising at a rate of $3798 per month. When we did that the city had spent $18,992 in legal fees.

In December 2004 the city admitted they had spent a total of about $30,000+ in legal fees. The average rate per month from August to December was about $2752 per month.

In January 2005 the city paid a claim for $18,000+ to Power’s law firm. The city has evaded an explanation what portion of those fees were related to the railroad lawsuit. Let’s conservatively estimate $8,000 since Power was filing corrections and amendments to the lawsuit.

Sub total $38,000+ thru January.

Add 4 months at $3300/ month average for January to April – another $13,200

Plus Smith Engineering’s survey and lawsuit prep even though the city had a comprehensive appraisal from the 1985 agreement. (I guess the ground moved). Estimated $15,000

Total: $66,200+ to date

If you had a solid case with a solid legal basis and merit you could expect to spend:

7 more months at $3300 month - $23,100
Additional Trial Prep & Exhibits (ouija board printout)- $10,000
Expert Witnesses (Moe, Shemp & Curly Joe) - $25,000
Travel - $5,000
Depositions (fortune teller) - $15,000
Actual Trial - $15,000

Grand Total $159,300 (Probably less because we don’t have much of a case.)

If the city budgeted $60,000 for legal fees this year, how are we going to pay for this lawsuit? What accounts are these funds coming from?

00:02:00 - SPIKE - No comments

20 April

Slagle – It’s About Money

Why Would The Railroad Pay Rent For Property It Owns?

Didn’t Slagle and Power Read The 1985 Agreement?

In a news article this morning City Manager Bruce Slagle now says the BNSF lawsuit is about money. Two weeks ago it was about returning the jobs to the city. Will somebody please get the party line out in a memo.

Slagle wouldn’t guess how much money he and Power expect from the railroad when asked by the reporter. Two weeks ago on the KBUR talk show Slagle said the lawsuit was “worth millions.”

Maybe the city staff should read the 1985 agreement. I can tell you according to our visitor statistics, it sure appears the citizens have.

Burlington voters may get fooled once. But I’ll bet they won’t get fooled twice.
02:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

19 April

Slagle’s Contract Up In 2006 – Conflicts Loom With Ell

Golf Vacations Set Up Conflict of Interest For Wild Bill

Ell Needs to Step Aside in Slagle Contract Negotiations

Since Councilman Bill Ell has taken several golf vacations and spends more than a casual amount of time golfing with Bruce Slagle I think he should refrain from any involvement in Slagle’s contract negotiations next year.

I’m sure Wild Bill probably thinks Slagle, “The lawsuit is about jobs,” has done a good job. We don't. It's time to reevaluate Slagle's and Power's employment situation.

This all assumes that Slagle is still employed in 2006 and hasn’t left for another job before the responsibility boomerang lands at his feet.

And we all know about assumptions.
12:39:33 - SPIKE - No comments

Ell’s Tirade Unfounded – Is He Setting Stage For Scapegoat in Lawsuit?

Ell & Edwards Not Ready To Move Forward - Wild Bill’s Threats Explode in 2nd News Article

After listening to Ell’s one-sided tirade about everything that is wrong with the city council except Edwards’ and Ell’s role in this bizarre story, we now understand the motive.

Wild Bill Ell and the rest of the council that voted for the lawsuit are going to need a scapegoat when the railroad sends Scott Power home from federal court with his tail between his legs and a mitt full of taxpayer money in his pocket. Gotta blame someone. Blame Campbell. Or, maybe Mary Baker since she didn't read her email.

But what seems more bizarre was Wild Bill’s outrageous accusation that Campbell could some how, single-handedly reduce the railroad lawsuit to ashes. Wild Bill, we stopped burning witches when we couldn’t find the black magic.

If Burlington loses the lawsuit it will be because the lawsuit has no foundation, no merit, no basis, no case law to support it and years of case law that says the railroads paid their debts for the original land grants. Or, we might lose because the original agreements were superseded with a 1985 agreement.

But the most disturbing things out of Wild Bully Bill’s mouth were the threats.

We don’t like Bullies. And we don’t like threats. Neither do the voters.
00:52:34 - SPIKE - No comments

15 April

1985 Land Grant Agreement - Form Your Own Opinion

The BN Railroad has the “exclusive and permanent right” to so use the upper and lower accretions “unimpeded in any way, for so long as the property is used for railroad purposes.”

This document can be found at the Des Moines County Recorder’s office in miscellaneous Book #22, page 475.

The first 2 pages deal with the City Council resolution dated January 18, 1985. The next 4 pages set forth the terms of the land agreement. The final 2 pages are maps of the property.

Summary of Agreement

1. The City deeded 2 parcels of land to predecessors of the Burlington Northern Railroad. The BN was later merged into the BNSF Railway.

2. The upper accretions parcel (Auditorium and Rutherford map) was deeded to the railroad on 12/5/1866. The lower accretions (South End Boat Club map) parcel was deeded to the railroad on 8/31/1880.

3. The 2 accretions (land parcels) were to be used for “railroad purposes.” If they were no longer being used for railroad purposes, the property revertes back to the city.

4. The city and the BN agreed to clarify and settle certain title questions concerning the upper and lower accretions with this 1985 agreement. Several issues were settled. One was the "exclusive and permanent right” of the railroad to use the upper and lower accretions. Another was to deed 3 parcels no longer used by the railroad back to the city.

5. Contained within the upper and lower accretions were 3 smaller properties no longer used by the railroad for “railroad purposes.”

6. Those properties were the south Auditorium parking lot, the former Rutherford Potato property and the former South End Boat Club.

7. Since these 3 parcels of land were no longer being used for “railroad purposes” the railroad negotiated to Quit Claim Deed the property back to the city as part of the 1985 agreement.

8. The 1985 land agreement was executed by both the city and the railroad.

9. The city and railroad agreed that the BN Railroad had the “exclusive and permanent right” to so use the upper and lower accretions “unimpeded in any way, for so long as the property is used for railroad purposes.”

10. If the railroad ceases to use this property for “railroad purposes” the property reverts back to the City.

11. Leases for the new Rutherford potato building and Tabor Grain (the elevator) were allowed to continue “uninterrupted.”

12. The BN released all wharfage rights to the city.

13. The BN kept access rights to Tabor Grain.

14. The city has access to the riverfront property.

15. Mayor Hogberg signed the agreement on 11/8/1984.

16. The BN signed the agreement on 1/9/1985.

21:52:53 - SPIKE - No comments

13 April

News Flash to Power, Slagle, Edwards, Ell, King, Courtney and News Media

Deflection Attack On Campbell Backfires

Legal Clarification From Our Lawyers and They're Pissed

Mike Campbell does not own, operate or contribute to BurlingtonDerailed.com. Mike Campbell does not own the domain name BurlingtonDerailed.com. He has never writtten anything for this website.

Mike Campbell has never shared any closed session information with BurlingtonDerailed.com. Contrary to the assertions made that Campbell has leaked closed session information to BurlingtonDerailed.com or through any other intermediary, those allegations are false.

The public has been told otherwise. What you have been told is not true.

When the truth is exposed, the problem of 8+ people deflecting those truths will be terribly unsettling to the citizens of Burlington. And the truth will prevail.

14:49:20 - SPIKE - No comments

Great Job Spike

5:02 pm
MW writes:


Keep up the good work by exposing the lackluster elected officials currently holding office in Burlington.

I remember when the fire department lost all the school keys and not one head ever rolled over that $40,000 plus fiasco. I also recall the city hired an out-of-town locksmith to replace the locks.

Also, don't let the RecPlex slip your mind when it comes to further taxpayer losses.

Great service to the community,
14:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

12 April

City Loses Lawsuit - Prelude of Things To Come?

1:32 pm
OJ writes:

Hello Spike,

I was wondering who was going to be representing the city in the railroad lawsuit? SCOTT POWER did an awful job trying to railroad that poor fireman.

I hope that's not the best we got or I don't believe we stand a chance at winning the case. Just my opinion.
11:11:30 - SPIKE - No comments

Fascism - Suppression of The Opposition Through Terror & Censorship

Mayor Threatens Campbell – “I’ve got nothing to lose…. I can make some things happen around this town”

Ell Gases Up His Blow Hard Balloon & Sinks To New Low

Apparently, Mayor Mike (“the lawsuit is about jobs”) Edwards appeared to threaten Councilman Mike Campbell during a Monday afternoon work session.

Edwards was quoted in the Hawk-Eye saying to Campbell, “…you better hope I’m still on this council after the next election…If I’m not, I’ve got nothing to lose…. I can make some things happen around this town when it comes to elective office…”

I would consider these real threats. A bully's threats. Homicidal or suicidal, either way, valid threats. Just like the “I’ve got a concealed weapons permit.”

Leaders don’t need to threaten someone to lead unless they believe in fascism.

Meanwhile, Bill Ell read a prepared statement, probably authored by someone else, outlining everyone’s shortcomings except his own and Mayor Edwards. That was a bit short sighted. I guess his and Edward’s noses didn’t need cutting today.

Ell wants to know why the council “is rapidly losing credibility and any confidence the citizens have in us.”

News Flash, Ell. You have no credibility. That confidence ended long ago when you condoned misrepresenting the railroad “lawsuit is about jobs” to the citizens.

Then you followed it with lies. I did, I didn’t, I did, he did, I didn’t, she did, I didn’t, he did, Spike did it. Hey, how did we get into this? We haven’t told any lies.

And now you’ve been caught lying about it just like Power, Slagle, Edwards and King. That’s how citizens lose credibility and trust in their leaders. You did it. We just pointed it out to the public.

Now Ell wants to humiliate everyone but Edwards and himself. And censor the outflow of news from the council to the citizens. So Bill, I guess we have no right to know anything you say other than what you want us to know as a citizen?

That’s censorship.

Ell, Edwards and King all endorsed a closed session meeting protocol document to be drafted. A document that clearly restricted free speech. That’s censorship.

Fascists support censorship.

Ell’s lowest point came when he chastised Councilwoman Mary Baker for not owning a computer or being computer literate. That is lower than whale crap on the ocean floor. More like something you'd hear from a self-righteous, self-aggrandizing, blow hard, gas bag.

And how did you know that Mary Baker has 600 unchecked emails if you haven’t accessed her email account? What about her privacy? Is that something you fear? Have you been hanging around with Tim Hoschek?

I have never seen such a group of supposed “leaders” that threaten or intimidate everyone if they don’t see things their way. Except, maybe Mussolini, Hitler or Saddam Hussein. And we all know how that played out.

And if fascist is too harsh a description, what is it? Aggravated Bully?

So we don’t have any plans to stifle the flow of information.

That’s censorship and we’re not fascists.

But we sure don’t like bullies.
06:29:00 - SPIKE - No comments

10 April

Mushroom Permit Issued to Burlington Citizens

Citizens Declared Legal Mushrooms

Due to the number of issues hidden from the citizens of Burlington, you should download your Mushroom Permit. Please fill in your name and carry it proudly as a citizen of Burlington. Every voter has a chance in November to overwhelmingly vote 3 rubber stampers out of office.

22:45:16 - SPIKE - No comments

Central Street Overpass Problem - Another Cover Up?

Bridge Columns Too Small for Load - "Surface Cracks" Another Diversion?

City Knowingly Hangs Sign On Mistake - State Might Pull Funding

9:10 am
BF writes:


I just recently found your website. While reading about your disappointment with the Burlington city officials over the railroad issue, it reminded me of another issue in which another branch of city officials failed the City of Burlington recently.

I was working for one of the contractors helping with the Central Avenue bride when the main contractor informed the city of serious problems with that bridge.

Yet, months later, I read in the Hawk Eye where public works director Knoke paraded the bridge engineers around in front of the council and told them the problem was just shrinkage cracks from the concrete shrinking as it cured.

He knew different and I have heard rumors that the state may pull future funding to the city over this fiasco. But, as it always goes in Burlington city government, the less the people know the better.



There are several versions of the same story. None of which the city will admit to.

We heard that when the City engineer signed off on the engineering drawings he didn't double-check the specifications. He just signed the documents without catching the mistake. But the City had FINAL AUTHORITY to see that nothing was wrong. With that came FINAL RESPONSIBILITY for what was built.

Those specifications led to the bridge being built without large enough columns to support the bridge loads it was designed to support. The state contributed money to help build the bridge. So they have to be real unhappy.

Whatever happened, those 20 ton Load Limit signs are probably not on that bridge because of the superficial surface cracks.

Those 20 ton Load Limit signs are there because the bridge can't support heavier loads. The columns weren't built the right size. I wonder if the insurance company knows that?

Maybe everybody in Burlington should get a Mushroom Permit. That way we'll all feel good about sitting in the dark while the city staff drives the bus off the road.

If this wasn't the City's fault, I wonder why Bruce Slagle didn't authorize a lawsuit to rectify the problem?

Or was it the City’s insurance company that will pay the claim?

22:42:28 - SPIKE - No comments

07 April

Mayor Edwards Says It’s All About Trust

Mayor Comes Out of Closet After 6 Months of Silence

On this morning’s KCPS talk show Mayor Mike Edwards told listeners that the issue in these closed sessions is the trust level he has in Mike Campbell.

We haven’t heard Edwards say anything or provide any leadership whatsoever to stop this nonsense since he was caught in a West Burlington bar spouting off about his gun permit to a temporary worker during the CNH strike.

It’s not about trust. It’s how Edwards and the rest of them want Campbell to join in deceiving the public about the railroad lawsuit so they appear to be a unified body to the public.

If that isn't so Mayor Edwards, maybe you’d like to jump in with your usual, “This lawsuit is about jobs.” You expect us to believe that don't you?

Isn’t that about trust?
12:44:48 - SPIKE - No comments

City Conducts Another Illegal Closed Session

Subject of Meeting Questionable – Probably Unlawful

City Attorney Scott Power Mysteriously Unavailable for 3 Days

The closed session meeting held on March 22 is probably illegal under the Iowa code. Seems there wasn’t a super majority of 4 “yes” votes to go into closed session. Councilwoman Mary Baker voted “here” instead of “yes” when the council was polled for moving to the closed session.

There might be bigger problems for Power, Slagle, Edwards, King and Ell. If the meeting is ruled an improper closed session, then the subject of that meeting will be available to the public. Everyone will get to hear what was said.

We suspect it wasn’t about lawsuit strategy. And if there was any subject discussed other than the strategy for the lawsuit, the council can be fined and made to conduct all meetings in the open for a period of years according to the Ombudsman.

This new problem just proves the reliability of the recorded word. Instead of the memory that you take from the closed session that Senator King champions.
04:28:00 - SPIKE - No comments

King Interprets City Code for Newspaper

Senator King Still Practicing Law

Senator Chris King has come forward again to explain. King always feels the need to explain something. Why is that?

King says City Manager Bruce Slagle was empowered to file suit against the railroad without the City Council taking a vote in open session as mandated by Iowa law.

We’ve been through this. City Attorney Scott Power admitted the council took action in the closed session meeting on January 26, 2004.

Chris King is better playing the big puppet for Slagle, Power, Edwards and Ell. It might be more helpful to have outside legal counsel provide you with an unbiased legal opinion on how to file a lawsuit.

04:12:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Hawk Eye Reporter Takes Golden Goose Award From Keith Turrill

Spike’s Identity Still Unknown

BurlingtonDerailed.com Stands Hard on The Facts

Hawk Eye reporter Jim Quirk has now proclaimed Randy Danniel is the owner and operator of BurlingtonDerailed.com. Keith Turrill will have to surrender the Golden Goose Award so that Jim Quirk can take possession of the prestigious award.

Since this apparently is again an issue of national importance, I am going to explain this real slow so Chris King, Mike Edwards, Scott Power, Mike Campbell, Bruce Slagle, Bill Ell and anyone else with the obsessive desire to find out who we are. Randy Danniel is not the owner, nor the operator, of BurlingtonDerailed.com. He never has been. Ever.

For anyone to make that assumption is guessing. Nothing more. And we all know what the first three letters in assumption spell, don’t we?

There’s one more important point. People may sometimes think we are harsh or overly critical of the local miscreants that have deceived the citizens of Burlington regarding the railroad lawsuit.

This isn’t a college debate or comedy show. This is the real world of demanding no bullshit accountability from public officials and their staff. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Burlington has been misled by a group of people that are factually challenged and they will go to any length to cover it up.

We stand behind everything we write. It is factual and on point.

If you don’t like it, read another blog. If you want to challenge us, go ahead.

We are not afraid of the truth. We have the law on our side. And a stack of documents to support what we say.

And how do we know they’re all lying? Their lips are moving.
03:35:00 - SPIKE - No comments

06 April

Slagle - "We Can't Sue For The Jobs"

City Manager Slagle Talks on KBUR Talk Show

Which Story Are We To Believe?

Without having Senator King speak for him, City Manager Bruce Slagle told KBUR's talk show audience that the railroad lawsuit is not about the jobs. Slagle said, "We can't sue for the jobs" when asked about the status of the BNSF lawsuit.

So, Bruce who are we supposed to believe? Edwards, Ell, King, Power, Courtney and you have all said the lawsuit is about the jobs.

Who's lying?

So your other proclamations today should probably be taken with the same veracity. "The land down by the river is clearly ours....the 1985 agreement supports our position(the city owns the land, not the railroad)....reinforces our position that we own it."

Who are you going to blame now?
15:58:05 - SPIKE - No comments

05 April

Lies & More Lies – The Ever Elusive Truth Escapes

No Bobber Is Big Enough

Last Friday Councilman Chris King said City Manager Bruce Slagle authorized the railroad lawsuit. Scott Power used his ouija board to divine a new law to support this new proclamation from the Senator.

Apparently King, Slagle and Power forgot this contradictory gem.

Quoting from the Hawk-Eye article on March 27, 2004:
City Attorney Scott Power said city officials already were discussing a lawsuit against BNSF in December and the council made a final decision to do just that during the Jan. 26 executive session.

So who authorized the lawsuit Senator? Power has given 2 conflicting answers. Slagle has given 2 conflicting answers. King has given 2 conflicting answers.

So are you all lying? Or, are you all telling the truth?

Quoting further from the same Hawk-Eye article:
(Mayor) Edwards said some local unions, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, have offered legal help and backing.

"If we're not truly in this for the jobs ... then why are local unions offering legal services to us?" Edwards said.

That financial aid never materialized. Just like this lawsuit was never about jobs. Smoke and mirrors diverting us away from their deceit.

No wonder Councilman Campbell said Power and Slagle “misled” the council. They’re misleading each other.

No wonder they blame Campbell for everything. He’s the only one not doing anything wrong.

I am running out of words to describe this mess. Somebody please email Spike some words to describe this mess.

23:41:20 - SPIKE - No comments

For Sale - Ouija Board

Heavily used Ouija board must go. Appears to open door to the dark side. $50,000 OBO. Call Burlington City Hall and ask for Power, Slagle, Edwards, King, Ell or Courtney.

20:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Will The Circle of Deceit Ever Be Broken?

Saturday Was King’s Turn – Now It’s Slagle’s Turn to Spin Us Up

Slagle Doesn’t Address the Impact of The 1985 Agreement
Long Term Economic Development Impact of Lawsuit

Today’s article in the Hawk-Eye is more implausible than ever. Slagle says the lawsuit is about jobs. Well, I don’t think it is. If it was, then why didn’t the city attorney seek that remedy in his filing? There is absolutely no mention of returning the lost railroad jobs in the lawsuit. And Slagle and Power know that no federal judge can mandate the return of lost jobs.

And if city officials were so worried about the jobs, wouldn’t it be a prudent idea to sit down and talk to the BNSF and try to negotiate the job retention? Sure it would. Lawsuits are expensive and a last resort for resolution. Maybe they would have given you more than you asked or expected. How would you ever know? It is painfully obvious you never considered the long term effects the lawsuit would have on economic development.

Slagle said in the paper today, "The lawsuit wasn't filed until after they said, See ya." The railroad never said "See ya" as Slagle reported to the newspaper.

Des Moines County Supervisor Ed Blow sent Slagle an offer to meet with the railroad to avoid a lawsuit by letter, fax and email. And after Slagle refused to respond, finally had the letter hand carried to Slagle's office. Slagle refused to meet.

It's disingenuous and deceptive to imply the railroad said "See ya" when, in fact, the railroad was not only willing to meet with Slagle and Edwards, but also negotiate with the city.

Why did Slagle refuse? Because I believe Slagle, Edwards, Power and Ell all knew something that prevented it.

I have talked with the same sources that were in the January 9, 2004 meeting where Senator Courtney completely embarrassed the city of Burlington with his erratic behavior. These sources have confirmed that the BSNF officials emphatically told everyone several times that regardless of the 1858 agreement, the shops were going to be closed.

My sources say the railroad told everyone at the January 9 meeting that the railroad did not want their employees to have any false hopes that a lawsuit would somehow save their jobs. No false hopes. Sources say it was said at least two times and clearly emphasized as a concern of the railroad.

And why haven’t we ever heard that little “no false hope” tidbit from the city talking heads? We’ve never heard the most important idea the railroad wanted to convey to its employees, the city, county and local citizens. No false hopes, lawsuit or not.

Slagle, Power, Edwards, Ell and King knew the railroad was leaving regardless of the 1858 agreement. So there was no reason to negotiate. Negotiation wouldn't fit their greedy agenda. That is disingenuous to the citizens.

The railroad lawsuit is about money and nothing more. I believe the city council knew full well that no court is going to return those railroad jobs to Burlington before they voted for the lawsuit. This is just another smoke screen. After all, Slagle knew the city was facing a $1,000,000 budget deficit.

Look for tomorrow’s newspaper article. Edwards will again babble, “We hope to make it so expensive for the railroad that they will return the jobs.”

How can you look at yourself in the mirror when you know otherwise? I guess when incompetence overcomes common sense and good judgement who cares about the mirror?

From BurlingtonDerailed June 14, 2004

Burlington City Manager Bruce Slagle and Mayor Mike Edwards refused to meet with BNSF officials prior to the City filing their lawsuit. Even though reported in The Hawkeye, no reason has ever been given by Slagle or Edwards for their reluctance to meet with the railroad.

Letter from Supervisor Blow to Burlington City Manager Slagle
00:38:25 - SPIKE - No comments

03 April

Senator King Has Revelation - Says Slagle Okayed Illegal Lawsuit – Tries To Avoid Potential Fine

Power Pulls Ouija Board Out To Divine New Interpretation of Iowa Law

Can Everyone Else Be Wrong? - Blame Game Heats Up

What’s Next? Spike Causes The City To Lose Railroad Lawsuit?

In Saturday’s Hawk-Eye Councilman Chris King now says that City Manager Bruce Slagle authorized the lawsuit to be filed against the BNSF. City Attorney Scott Power said that Slagle can do that under Section 372 of the Iowa Code.

Well folks, everyone on Spike’s staff has read that section of the Iowa code. Section 372 only says that the City manager can “direct, attend, administer, appoint, discharge, supervise or manage.” In cases where the City Manager can enforce a contract it specifically says it must be, “construction contracts.” Section 372 follows for you to read.

Section 372 doesn’t empower or allow a city manager the authority to direct a lawsuit to be filed. In fact, if it did it would be in direct conflict to Section 21.5 3. that says, “All final action must be taken in open session.” Portions of Section 21.5 follow for you to read.

Senator King, we know you didn't read Section 21.5 of the Iowa code before voting to file the lawsuit. Why would we believe you now?

Did you actually read Section 372 before you bought into Slagle and Power’s nonsense? You always feel the need to explain to us how you haven’t made a mistake. Or admit that the council was factually challenged before they “directed” Power to file the lawsuit? Or that you are shirking responsibility by not trying to correct this debacle?

Senator King, you let Power pull his Ouija board out to divine new interpretation of Iowa Law as a diversionary tactic to steer everyone away from the law.

Did the Iowa Attorney General, The Iowa Freedom of Information Council, 3 city attorneys and the Ombusdman’s office all err when they said the city council must vote in open session to file a lawsuit?

Is everybody wrong except Scott Power and Bruce Slagle? Give me a break. I’m beginning to think you need to stop inhaling the ozone from the copier.

If Burlington loses the lawsuit it won’t be all of the articles written about it. The case will be lost because it has no basis, is without merit and is legally weak. The only persons responsible for this mess are the ones that initiated it. Don't try to blame everyone else. It's way too late for that.

The city council sat there and let their employees guide them into a huge expensive mess. When the dust settles on this lawsuit, the very people that were responsible for this mess will be casting blame in every direction like an omni directional manure spreader.

Just keep in mind where that manure started. Power, Slagle, Edwards, Ell, King and Courtney.

Iowa Code 21.5
21.5 Closed session.
1.c. To discuss strategy with counsel in matters that are presently in litigation or where litigation is imminent where its disclosure would be likely to prejudice or disadvantage the position of the governmental body in that litigation.
2. The vote of each member on the question of holding the closed session and the reason for holding the closed session by reference to a specific exemption under this section shall be announced publicly at the open session and entered in the minutes. A governmental body shall not discuss any business during a closed session which does not directly relate to the specific reason announced as justification for the closed session.
3. Final action by any governmental body on any matter shall be taken in an open session unless some other provision of the Code expressly permits such actions to be taken in closed session.

Iowa Code
372.8 Council-manager form -- supervision.

When a city adopts a council-manager-at-large or council-manager-ward form of government:

1. The city manager is the chief administrative officer of the city.

2. The city manager shall:

a. Supervise enforcement and execution of the city laws.

b. Attend all meetings of the council.

c. Recommend to the council any measures necessary or expedient for the good government and welfare of the city.

d. Supervise the official conduct of all officers of the city appointed by the manager, and take active control of the police, fire, and engineering departments of the city.

e. Supervise the performance of all contracts for work to be done for the city, make all purchases of material and supplies, and see that such material and supplies are received, and are of the quality and character called for by the contract.

f. Supervise the construction, improvement, repair, maintenance, and management of all city property, capital improvements, and undertakings of the city, including the making and preservation of all surveys, maps, plans, drawings, specifications, and estimates for capital improvements, except property, improvements, and undertakings managed by a utility board of trustees.

g. Co-operate with any administrative agency or utility board of trustees.

h. Be responsible for the cleaning, sprinkling, and lighting of streets, alleys, and public places, and the collection and disposal of waste.

i. Provide for and cause records to be kept of the issuance and revocation of licenses and permits authorized by city law.

j. Keep the council fully advised of the financial and other conditions of the city, and of its future needs.

k. Prepare and submit to the council annually the required budgets.

l. Conduct the business affairs of the city and cause accurate records to be kept by modern and efficient accounting methods.

m. Make to the council not later than the tenth day of each month an itemized financial report in writing, showing the receipts and disbursements for the preceding month. Copies of financial reports must be available at the clerk's office for public distribution.

n. Appoint a treasurer subject to the approval of the council.

o. Perform other duties at the council's direction.

3. The city manager may:

a. Appoint administrative assistants, with the approval of the council.

b. Employ, reclassify, or discharge all employees and fix their compensation, subject to civil service provisions and chapter 35C, except the city clerk, deputy city clerk, and city attorneys.

c. Make all appointments not otherwise provided for.

d. Suspend or discharge summarily any officer, appointee, or employee whom the manager has power to appoint or employ, subject to civil service provisions and chapter 35C.

e. Summarily and without notice investigate the affairs and conduct of any department, agency, officer, or employee under the manager's supervision, and compel the production of evidence and attendance of witnesses.

f. Administer oaths.

4. The city manager shall not take part in any election for council members, other than by casting a vote, and shall not appoint a council member to city office or employment, nor shall a council member accept such appointment.

23:39:33 - SPIKE - No comments