Burlington Derailed — The Continuing Story

31 May

West Burlington Shops Reuse Plan Dead


National Railway Equipment Deal Dies - New Railroad Deal More Than 5 Years Away?

Our sources have reconfirmed that the planned reuse of the West Burlington Shops by National Railway Equipment will not happen. At least for 5 more years.

One major issue was the threat of labor litigation against the BNSF. If a BNSF locomotive were to be serviced by National Railway Equipment, it could be perceived (don't ask me how-the same reason the mayor talks about his gun permit in a bar and lost keys are hidden from the public, I guess) that the business decision to close the West Burlington was a union busting activity.

If we're correct, the shops will be dead for at least 5 years for locomotive repair purposes.

Of course, we all know that Burlington's lawsuit will bring back all of those jobs when the railroad loses in court. Oh, I forgot, the lawsuit is about money. I get confused.

A vision - What if the railroad offered those jobs back to settle the lawsuit? Why, you'd see Power, Slagle, Edwards, "Lost Keys" and the Senator all riding their bicycles backwards down Snake Alley. Kinda like "Clowns Are Us."

Either way, since the last prospective occupant came without Grow Greater Burlington's help, I would imagine the Mayor's pledge to find a new occupant will now be a whole lot harder. If not impossible.
12:14:49 - SPIKE - No comments

28 May

Perkins School Giveaway


Reader Raises More Issues With School Sale - Suggests School Board Bias

CT4 writes:

Hey Spike,

What will the Perkins building be taxed upon?? The sale price? How about what it would be appraised at??

The Burlington School Board should be ashamed of themselves for letting go of a building of that size without letting local people have a say in what should be done with it.

Who on the school board would have any connections with the medical community? Theres a clue! Once again Burlington gets derailed.

CT4
10:25:34 - SPIKE - No comments

Reader Offers Schools Sold At Fair Appraised Value


Questions Still Remain

SF writes:
The school that have sold were all appraised by a State of Iowa certified appraiser who specializes in commercial properties. They sold for the appraised value(s). FYI.
SF


Spike:
I don't doubt the concept of appraised value and certified appraisers. And appraisers are like all other occupations. Some good, more average and a lot substandard.

What I question is the value that appraiser placed on Perkins School. It seems to me that 3 acres of land in Burlington would have a value in excess of $49,000. Or, that Perkins has serious issues that lowered the value to half of the other schools.

I also wonder why this property was not auctioned or listed with a realtor like the other schools. Why not let everyone have an equal chance.
08:11:00 - SPIKE - No comments

26 May

Perkins School Sale Questioned


Thank You to Firefighters - Job Well Done

Spike Could Even Use An Extra 75%

6:26 pm
wmn writes:
I heard that some schools were up for sale but I never thought that the Burlington School District would give away properties.

Come on, you purchased how many properties at how much to build your eight million dollar school which is going to have a traffic problems and parking problems right off the get go, only to have you sell a property which you wouldn't have any of that, PERKINS.

And to do it all up, like only you can, you sell the whole thing for a mere $49,000. How many people in Burlington would of bought the property for $49,000, I think a lot. if they knew about it.

The School Board should of held an auction or something telling the going price of the school. Now Horace Mann school has burned and I hope the insurance was paid up for us tax payers concern, or they might up the taxes again.

Just like to say thank you to our firemen for doing a great job. Thank God that the fire held out till dismissal seeing Horace Mann gets out fifteen minutes earlier than the rest of the middle schools just think what could of happened if they weren't going out the doors home, but in the classroom still.

WMN

Spike:
People want to know what happend in the real estate sale of Perkins school. WMN raises some questions that need in-depth answers. Tommy, from KCPS' The Big Show (6-9 am weekdays), thinks BurlingtonDerailed.com should go look at this transaction a little closer. Ol' Spike can smell trouble just like Horace Mann smoke, Tommy. And this deal smells.

1. How did an out-of-town doctor have an inside track to the sale of this property? Was it an incentive to move to Burlington to practice at GRMC?

2. Why wasn't this property listed for sale by a realtor like all of the other school properties? Who had this insider information? Better yet, who authorized the property to be sold in this manner? All the Board does is rubberstamp the sale. Rubberstampers must be big in this town.

3. Wouldn't it be prudent to auction off the property to receive the maximum return to the school district? I think an auction would have brought in more money.

With program cuts and decreasing income, wouldn't it be more beneficial than selling the property under the table for 25% of its value?

Gosh, that would even pay for 1 or 2 more assistant school superintendents.



12:53:29 - SPIKE - No comments

25 May

Breaking News - West Burlington Shops Reuse Project Dead


Several Issues Prevent Reuse of BNSF Locomotive Shops

Sources revealed that plans for National Railway Equipment to set-up operations in the former BNSF locomotive shops hit a dead end. Environmental remediation liability and labor issues have derailed the planned reuse of the BNSF shops.

I guess we should feel good that our tax money is being spent to play lawyer rather than find a suitable reuse for this facility.
15:37:00 - SPIKE - No comments

24 May

Breaking News - Railroad Lawsuit Continued Until April 2006


Court Grants Extension Until April 10, 2006

City Attorney Fees Are Tripling

This matter came before the Court for a status conference on May 17, 2005. The judge ordered a new trial date in the 3 week period beginning April 10, 2006. The trial will be a three-day bench trial without a jury.

Present at the telephone conference were Power and 2 attorneys for the city. We're paying for 3 guys to talk on the phone. I'll bet the bill for that phone call alone is $400+.

I wonder if all 3 of them talked at once? Or told the same story? And why didn't Power tell the newspaper about the new trial date?
12:08:24 - SPIKE - No comments

City Files Answer To Railroad Counterclaims

The city filed their answer to the railroad's counterclaims. There wasn't much argument in them except what 3 attorneys can generate for legal fees.

What we didn't say last week about the counterclaim; if the judge doesn't rule in favor of adding the counterclaim, the railroad will just file another lawsuit. If that happens, that will not be in the best interests of judicial expediency.

We will bet the Judge rules in favor of judicial expediency. Afterall, he doesn't want to spend any more time on this nonsense than we do.

12:06:00 - SPIKE - No comments

23 May

Horace Mann Burns

Lifetime Memories For Many Students Gone in Fast Burning Blaze

Former Junior High School Loses Roof - Probably Headed for Demolition




Just after 3 pm today a fire broke out on the roof of Horace Mann Middle School. All students and faculty were evacuated without injury. At least one fireman was taken to the hospital suffering from heat exhaustion. Fire departments from West Burlington, Mediapolis and Danville were called to the scene.

Eyewitnesses say that there was a smell of smoke in the air prior to the fire call. Unconfirmed reports say the fire broke out in the middle of the building and spread quickly throughout the rest of the structure even moving upwind into a strong northwest wind. Firefighters were still on the scene as of 10:30 pm.

After watching the fire spread very fast along the building's north wall, it became very apparent that there needs to be a very conscientious inspection of all of our Burlington schools. Tomorrow.

We thought for years our schools were safe and invincible. Fire experts will tell you schools seldom burn. That changed today. This fire burned upwind. And it burned fast.



20:21:22 - SPIKE - No comments

20 May

Railroad Lawsuit A Good Investment?


Garbage Tags Will Pay A Higher Return

"Lost Keys" Ell says the railroad lawsuit is a good investment. It's always a good investment when it isn't your money.

Burlington has $1,000,000+ budget deficit and now the way to combat that is to have our city council investing for us. There are very few competent investment advisors. The city council isn't competent to do anything more than wield a rubberstamp.

I think you better get a handful of garbage tags before the price goes up and stand on a street corner to raise money. The return will be greater than the award from this lawsuit.

But it might take 7 months for the sales proceeds to be accounted for.
09:40:08 - SPIKE - No comments

“Lost Keys” Ell Says “We Have A Good Case….Worth The Investment”


Mayor Thinks Counterclaim Is A Scare Tactic “We’ve Got To See It Through”

Spike, “You Better Be Scared, You Don’t Have A Thing Going In Your Favor”


This morning “Lost Keys” Bill Ell said that he believes the city has a good case against the BNSF railroad. Ell said, “I’m thinking we should be able to win this.” I suppose you based that opinion on the unbiased advice you’re getting from your golf buddy Slagle.

Somebody should direct “Lost Keys” to BurlingtonDerailed.com for some enlightenment. Ell needs to stop reading Power’s memos. Ell needs to READ the 1985 agreement AND the counter claim filed against the city. Then tell us that he believes we have a good case.

Who knows, maybe “Lost Keys” really does believe everything Power says. Or maybe he doesn’t like to admit to a mistake when an old fashioned cover up will do.

Meanwhile, the mayor has been pictorially demoted to below the fold. In the front page article the mayor's picture was placed below "Lost Keys." Edwards is now in 2nd place behind the council’s new spokesman “Lost Keys” right beneath "Lost Keys" photo.

I guess the newspaper feels the way many taxpayers do. With everyone playing charades, nobody is in control.
02:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

19 May

Power Feigns Ignorance – Can’t figure Out Railroad’s Counterclaim


“It’s About the Jobs” Slagle Portrays The Railroad’s Claim As “Typical Stuff”

In a story that broke on BurlingtonDerailed.com yesterday it seemed pretty obvious to me and everyone else that read the BNSF’s counterclaim what the railroad’s claims were all about.

In this morning’s newspaper, Burlington City Attorney Scott Power said, “If they (court) allow a new claim, we’d have to discover what that’s all about.” Power claimed the same issues in the lawsuit as the city wanted resolved in 1984.” Déjà vu? Groundhog Day? I can’t understand why Power is having problems grasping the issues. He’s seen them before. He even had a contract to review.

If Power still can’t grasp the counterclaim, why doesn’t he just go pull the file used in 1985 and review it. It’s all the same nonsense. There is nothing new. There shouldn't be any billable hours of discovery.

We know Power admitted that he didn’t advise the city council of the 1985 agreement. Surely he had to know about the details of the city’s prior claims in 1984/1985. Now he claims this is all a big unknown.

It’s not a big unknown. The railroad is getting ready to go to court. They plan to win. They will win on solid case law. Not on some hair brained REM sleep dream of illusion and self-aggrandization of being an attorney that can win a lawsuit against a railroad. The railroad is going to pack Power’s bags for him and send him home whimpering like a hurt pup.

City Manager Bruce Slagle says the counterclaim is typical. No, it’s not. Not when you have misled the public into thinking that you actually had a basis for the case you endorsed for litigation. Not when you fought over these same issues before and signed a contract to invoke a settlement.

The railroad is demanding accountability for breaking that contract. A contract any city manager worth his pay raise would have known about and shared with the city council prior to filing the lawsuit.

The mayor, “lost keys” Ell, and Senator King should show some real leadership and get an independent 2nd opinion from an attorney outside of Burlington. After they get that nasty wake up call they need to fire Power and Slagle and have the police escort them out of the building.

Then they need to file an insurance claim against Power for withholding material information from the council. Information that could probably get Power disbarred. Information that might get the citizen's money back.

If they get that done without any collateral issues then they need to seriously evaluate whether or not any of them can remain in city hall. I personally don’t know how you could look any citizen in the eye and ask them to vote for you after you endorsed this mess.

Otherwise, get your resumes warmed up. The citizens are going to vote you all out of office if you don’t fix this mess before you needlessly throw an enormous amount of additional taxpayer money at a very bad idea.

02:35:00 - SPIKE - No comments

18 May

Lawsuit Counterclaim Clarification


A point of clarification. Yes, the railroad is suing the City in the legal form as a counterclaim to the lawsuit originally filed by the City.

The city might have to pay damages that the railroad incurs for impeding the railroad's ability to do business and the City's breach of contract for the 1984/1985 agreement made with the railroad.

Taxpayers would foot the bill, not Scott Power. If the City Council had any guts they would demand reimbursement of the legal fees paid to Power for not advising them of the 1985 agreement. It doesn't really matter that the council was not told about the 1985 agreement. Power knew it and he withheld that relevant fact from his clients. Or, we'll probably find that Bruce Slagle knew about the 1985 agreement. So Power would try to skate free.

Burlington voters will tell them. No free skating.
12:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

17 May

Railroad Brings Hammer & Nails


Like Laying Asphalt – Railroad About to Flatten Little Piles

Spike Doubles City’s Legal Cost Estimate - City May Pay BNSF Legal Fees

Power and Slagle’s Smug Arrogance Trampled


The BNSF filed a motion in Federal Court on May 6 to add a counterclaim against the City for not honoring the 1985 agreement. It seems the city is litigating the same issues they did in the early 1980’s. I guess the city considers “A contract is only as good as the paper its printed on.”

The motion states,“There is now existing between the parties hereto an actual justicable controversy over the force and effect of the Articles of Agreement to which the Railroad is entitled to have a declaration of its rights and further relief.”

A basis for a lawsuit. What a novel idea. The prior allegations made by the City had no merit. Now as a result of the City’s stance, the railroad has gained a position in which the railroad now has a basis to collect from the City. I guess that’s the “winnable position” Slagle and Power always talk about.

The railroad claims that the city has interfered with them conducting business and “is impeding the permanent and exclusive right of the Railroad to use the property for railroad purposes.”

The railroad continues:
“Neither the Articles of Agreement nor any agreement upon which the City’s claim is predicated provides for the payment of rent by the Railroad for its use of the Accretions.”

“The Articles of Agreement in 1985 served as an accord and satisfaction of any prior agreements, ordinances, or contracts between the parties.

“The City, through its present lawsuit seeks to and is impeding the permanent and exclusive right of the Railroad to use the property for railroad purposes and is otherwise breaching the Articles of Agreement.”

a. The Articles of Agreement are valid and enforceable;
b. The Articles of Agreement terminated, superceded, or rescinded any prior agreement between the City and Railroad and its predecessors in interest affecting the real property at issue in this action;
c. The Articles of Agreement serve as an accord and satisfaction of any prior ordinances, contracts, conveyances or other agreements between the City and the Railroad or its predecessors in interest pertaining to the real property at issue in this case;
d. The City released or has waived any recourse it had under any prior agreement with the Railroad or its predecessors in interest by and though the Articles of Agreement.
e. The Articles of Agreement preclude the City from bringing lawsuits such as the present action in which it challenges the Railroad’s right to use the property or seeks charge the Railroad rent for its use of the property.
f. There is no written contract providing for rent and the City cannot charge rent to the Railroad for its use of the real property.
g. The City’s attempt to recover rent is barred by the Statute of Frauds.
h. Awarding the Railroad its costs.
i. Awarding the Railroad such other and further relief as the Court deems just and equitable.

What's all the is mean? City legal fees go way up. Power gets rich. Taxpayers lose. Everybody endorsing this mess starts looking for a scapegoat.

The council better start figuring out how they can collect Power's fees from his insurance carrier. Then they need to resign.


15:26:38 - SPIKE - No comments

Federal Court Filing





15:14:58 - SPIKE - No comments

Railroad Lawsuit Breaking News!!!


Update Will Be Posted Later Today - Stay Tuned

08:14:20 - SPIKE - No comments

14 May

What Do You Get For A Million Dollars These Days?


Spec Building Questions

mw writes:
Dear Spike:
A local business person told me he was interested in the "Green" spec. building out at the industrial park but when this person went out to look at the building the following was noticed:

1. No floor in the building, still dirt
2. No parking for employees
3. No method for unloading trucks, as a matter of fact there was no dock to be found.

Is it normal for a spec. building to be just a shell and unuasble prior to selling?

Regards,
mw

Spike:
As crazy as it seems, this is pretty normal for a spec building. The idea behind a spec building is that you leave the building with as many finish options as possible so that the new user can complete it for their specific needs.

The biggest dumb move with spec buildings is inadequate electrical service. The brain trusts can't get it in their heads that you can always put smaller wire in a bigger conduit if a user doesn't need big electrical power. Conduit is cheap. Not the other way around. Most times if you need big electrical power you have to start over. Big electrical service is expensive and a waste of taxpayer money if it isn't planned for upfront.

What spec builders (Grow Greater Burlington) never want to tell you, you can easily spend another $1,000,000 to finish the building. And if you have a user that has an immediate need for space, you're out of luck.
16:29:46 - SPIKE - No comments

11 May

Governor Vilsack Signs New Open Meeting Law


2 Strikes – You’re Out

Last week Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack signed a new law that tightened the open meetings law. Under the old law if you violated the open meetings law 3 times, you were removed from office.

Now, if you violate the open meetings law 2 times, you’re out.

Too bad this law isn’t retroactive. The Burlington voters wouldn’t have to wait until November to clean house.
02:58:00 - SPIKE - No comments

How Many Of These “Good Case” Lawsuits Has Scott Power Won?


Troubled History of “We Have a Good Case, Let’s Sue”

Did the Council Vote in Closed Session to Litigate Against City’s Insurer?


After the fire department lost the master key to Burlington schools, Fire Chief Bill Ell kept that secret from the city council for 7 months. City staff decided to recover its cost to install new locks by filing a claim with the city’s insurance carrier.

When the insurer didn’t pay, as most people with any common sense would expect, the city sued the insurance carrier. When the local District Court ruled against the city, the city appealed the case, ultimately to the Iowa Supreme Court.

After 3 years of legal fees and no close scrutiny of the actual legal costs, the Iowa Supreme court ruled against the city and upheld the District Court ruling. Burlington had to pay for its operational problems.

What is very troubling is that Scott Power’s firm told the city staff and council they had a “good case.” When asked why the city lost the case, Power’s associate believed the Supreme Court injected “new language” into the city’s insurance policy. How absurd.

The Iowa Supreme Court is now to blame for rewriting the contract and this caused us to lose. Deflect the blame for the loss to the Supreme Court. I’ll bet they would be pleased to hear that nonsense from the City’s attorney.

This city loses court cases because they are ill-conceived, lack foundation and have no legal basis other than to fatten Power’s pockets. And the council just lets him continue. Rubberstampers.

I wonder if the council voted in closed session to authorize the lawsuit? I’ll bet they didn’t even vote. Bruce Slagle just “authorized” it.




02:39:00 - SPIKE - No comments

10 May

Why Haven’t We Heard More From The Hawk-Eye Editors and Publisher?


Why Haven’t They Taken Any Stand?

After thinking about Bill Mertens’ insightful look at the future of the Burlington City Council I have to wonder.

Why hasn’t anyone from the newspaper's editorial staff taken the city to task? Shouldn’t they editorialize about the council and city staff's deceit, lies and lack of accountability?

Instead, they’ve been almost mute with an occasional urbane reference to “dust ups.” Some have even suggested that the newpaper uses Scott Power’s law firm for legal advice. Could this be true? If so, that would be the ultimate conflict of interest.

Chicken Little, the sky is falling. And that’s not dust dropping around our feet.
09:11:23 - SPIKE - No comments

09 May

What Happened Here?


Council Members Don’t Live Up to Voter Expectations

Bill Mertens Had Profound Foresight About Last Election - Voters Rule


Councilman “Lost Keys” Bill Ell election chant was that he wanted to be sure that the city could balance their budget and implement measures to make sure the city wouldn’t be in a large budget deficit again. I guess he meant a really large budget deficit. Not just a measly $1,000,000.

Senator Chris King had thoughts of the “power” he gained from election to office he described as "exhilarating." King had “dreams about city council meetings.” King got a ride in a snowplow because he always wanted to. But best of all he said the council job "would take up a lot of my time, but it's better than sitting around the house and gaining weight." That’s a ringing endorsement.

Newspaper publisher Bill Mertens wrote King “will be the loudest member.” “It's doubtful that anyone on the council, new or old, will challenge staff the way Scott has done.” These rubberstampers just get out their big, old “OK Bruce” rubber stamp and blast away.

Mertens wrote, “He (Mayor to be Mike Edwards) and the others also will have to come to an understanding about who's in charge. It's not the staff. By extension it's the voters. But they expect the people they elected to offer ideas for moving the community forward.” They flunked that job requirement.

The voters are far smarter than given credit for. They are going to take charge of this mess and start the repair process. Just in time.


22:54:01 - SPIKE - No comments

08 May

"Lost Key" Bill Ell Has New Reason For BNSF Lawsuit


It's Not About Jobs, It's Not About Money

It's About "Protecting The Citizens' Interests"


According to this morning's newspaper "Lost Key" Bill Ell stated Friday the true reason for the BNSF lawsuit. Ell said, "It's clearly a breach of contract and we do need to defend the citizens' interests."

This comes from the guy that was Fire Chief when the fire department lost the school master key. "Lost Key" Ell then withheld the incident from the city council FOR 7 MONTHS even though the council had paid the bill for replacement locks.

Keys get lost. Although costly, that's a part of doing business.

But not admitting a mistake and then covering it up; that's outright deceit. Something "Lost Key" appears to freely condone.

"Lost Key" clearly didn't defend the citizens' interests then. Why would he so graciously do that now?

08:45:43 - SPIKE - No comments

06 May

Burlington Firemen Feeling Heat – Not Fair Treatment For All From Mayor


Mayor Edwards Lets Fellow Union Brothers Feel The Heat

According to this morning’s newspaper morale has slipped to a new low in the Burlington Fire Department. Understandably so. And since we have no first hand knowledge of the fire department management, we have to believe they are being given advice and directions from Slagle and Power. Our advice, never put all your eggs in 2 baskets.

The tag team of Power and Slagle make their tyrannical stance against anyone that gets in their way. It was reported that firemen are afraid of retribution from Slagle, Power and fire department leaders for their role in the recent civil service hearings.

Those fears of retribution are real. Power and Slagle deal with these problems like Mussolini. Suppress the truth with deflection. Instill personal doctrine regardless of the law or morality. Rule by fear of retribution.

Time for Mayor Mike Edwards to learn a political lesson. Politics and union activity can’t be dispensed on an even basis when you’re the mayor or in any political office. Personal feelings have to be set aside when you are mayor. Spock said, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

Edwards wanted everyone in Burlington to rally with the UAW members against CNH during their recent walkout. Edwards tried to instill his commitments upon all of the community. But not as the mayor.

If Edwards wants to act accordingly, then he needs to jump right on the firefighters’ bandwagon and put a stop to whatever is going on at the fire department. Then tell Power and Slagle they need to get their act together and stopped bleeding taxpayer money. Demand these two clowns understand that they both work for him and the council.

And we will remind all of them that they work for the citizens. That was the lesson most of these leaders missed when they skipped school.
08:19:08 - SPIKE - No comments

05 May

Was I Sleeping? Did The City Council Vote To File Appeal?


Did We Miss The Council’s Open Session Vote? Again?

Taxpayers Get to Pay For Mismanagement


It seems the Bruce Slagle and Scott Power have no regard for the Iowa Code. The Iowa Code, 3 city attorneys, the Iowa Ombudsman’s office and others told us all that an open session vote of the city council is required to file a lawsuit. I would believe that this civil service appeal qualifies as a lawsuit. After all, it happens in District Court.

The neutered city council didn’t vote to enter this lawsuit. I guess they feel there is no need to change the way they conduct business. Wild Bill Ell claims there was no opposition to this action.

Wild Bill, when was it discussed? When did you vote on it? Are you thinking that because Slagle has authority to spend $12,500 he can just do whatever he wants? We heard Slagle’s spending authority was $1,500 without council approval. What about lawsuit approval?

Whatever nonsense Slagle, Ell and Power dream up on this lawsuit we already know the outcome. The taxpayers get to pay the bill and Power doesn’t have to guarantee anything. Great business cycle. You get paid with no performance clause.

Maybe the city should put Power on a contingency based pay structure.

10:37:55 - SPIKE - No comments

04 May

Slagle Happily Lining Scott Power’s Pockets Without Supervision


Power As Unlikely to Win Appeal As He Was Hearing

Bruce Slagle Can’t Get His Cost Analysis Pencil To Work


The city is set to blast a bunch more cash to their favorite golden haired attorney Scott Power. City Manager Bruce Slagle apparently doesn’t care what it costs to appeal a personnel issue in Des Moines County District Court.

We estimate the future costs of this mess to cost a bunch of taxpayer money.

Depositions - 15 hours @ $105.00 per hour $1,575.00
Imaginary Witness Subpoenas - $100.00
“I’m Gonna Teach You a Lesson” Trial Prep - 10 hours @ $105.00 - $1,050.00
Trial Costs – (2 days, 6 hours/day) 12 hours @$210.00 per hour $2,520.00
Double rate for trial. Real trial attorneys charge at least twice their hourly rate for trial, if not more. Not that we consider Power to be a real trial attorney.

Grand Total: $5,245.00

The employee at question has to pay his attorney out of his pocket. Something Bruce Slagle needs to learn how to do. Maybe he would stop his stupid moves.

Factor in lost wages for the witnesses and the court costs you could hit $10,000 without breathing hard.

Next thing Slagle will tell us Power can win the case on appeal. Even though Power couldn’t win it at the Civil Service hearing. But at what cost? I don’t think Slagle can ever justify this expense to the taxpayers even though he got his fat pay raise this year. And we’ll never know since he’ll hide behind “it’s a personnel issue.” Management by hiding. A pretty common occurence.

Like Trump said, “Losers attract losers. And I don’t like losers.” We have a whole bunch of losers. And they are running amok in City Hall.

Burlington needs every voter to remind the elected rubberstampers that enough is enough. If the council can’t make changes, we will.
22:25:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Taxpayer: "Always Enough Money For Bruce Slagle's Pay Raise"


Mismanaged City Budget - Citizens Hammered with Taxes & Fees

Everybody Needs to Vote

5/2
2:34 pm
Joe writes:

As a tax payer here in Burlington, I think you are correct in saying that we citizens continue to see our property taxes increase, but actually our services decrease. This city council as well as our school board, recently voted to raise taxes on all business and resident property owners.

They didn't believe we were paying enough into their mismanagement funds. Not only will we see a property tax increase, but they have been raising our water/sewer bill and now they are charging families more to put out an extra bag of garbage. This is just another tax increase.

They always claim during their budget hearings that they do not have enough money to fix the streets and provide the services that we are actually charged for. Interesting though, after the budgets are finalized and the services are cut, there is money to give the city manager and his staff good pay raises.

Every election we hear the politicians claim that they want to provide services and not raise taxes. I would agree that is not always possible, but they should not raise taxes, cut services, charge more for services that we have always had (garbage) and then give out pay raises and better benefits to their employees.

I don't agree with everything on this website, but it is not all wrong either. This city council does not deserve to be reelected. We should be sure that any new candidates will represent the citizens and not just puppets for Bruce and his staff.

That is not how our government is supposed to work. The citizens are getting tired of this and we all need to turn out and vote this fall.

Joe

07:45:48 - SPIKE - No comments

03 May

Power Set To Take More Money From Taxpayers


Should Be a Banner Sales Year for Power – Probably Fills His Retirement Fund

Burlington City Attorney Scott Power is set to represent the City again in a District Court appeal regarding a personnel case that he recently lost on behalf of the city. Power is going to argue that a ruling from the civil service commission against the city should be overturned.

Power probably was the guy that said he had a winning case in the first place. Power also made allegations but didn’t have any witnesses.

That sounds all too familiar. A crystal clear ball of what's to come when he goes against the railroad. All hat and no cattle. And the lucky citizens are paying for that hat. I guess we should be happy it isn’t a white hat.


02:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

02 May

Senator King Plans Another Go Around On City Council


Will Someone Please Turn On His Flashlight – Please Exit Stage Left Senator

Senator aka Councilman Chris King says he hasn’t been beaten enough. In a Friday news report the Senator announced he is planning to run for reelection. Stunned citizens couldn’t believe the Senator’s comments. Or that he is so mindless of his actions.

King was quoted with memorable diatribe.

"In my opinion, I feel like there is a completely different public perception of the way things are going in this community than there was when I moved here in 2000, ” King said.

The public does have a perception of the way things are going. Poorly. Taxes are way up. What have you done about job loss? Support a poorly concocted daydream of the city manager and the city attorney to file an ill conceived, ridiculous lawsuit against the railroad. Then you and the other lawsuit supporters repeatedly lied to the public about it (it’s about jobs; no it’s about money; no, you said it was about jobs). And you did not have one credible idea or effective solution for the $1,000,000 budget deficit even though you did help dream up the city could sell more garbage tags to offset the deficit.

King then went on to say, "I think we can pound the drum of jobs and things for kids to do and things like that and I think that needs to happen, but at the same time there's so much going on behind the scenes that I've been privileged to be a part of.”


What pounding drum for jobs are you talking about? I think I could get less noise out of a tin pan and wooden spoon for the mess you helped contrive. Behind the scenes? How much of the behind the scenes activities are you willing to share with the public? Do you actually feel privileged to deceive the citizens about your role in the lawsuit cover up?

Finally King blurted out, “Whether I win or not, that's to be decided by the voters and I won't be upset or elated either way," King said.

Then don’t run if it means so much to you. I would get less apathy out of a Siamese cat.

If you think the Burlington voters are so dumb as to believe this crap, you’re crazy. I’d suggest you spend more time reviewing your options regarding your future than trying to tell us more of what we don’t want to hear. Crap.

22:07:00 - SPIKE - No comments