Burlington Derailed — The Continuing Story

30 September

City Management Questioned


Concern Over County Funds Being Misdirected

Spike,

I'm still not convinced that the county joining the Airport Authority is a good idea. The airport authority was developed to get other communities to give money to Burlington to help run the airport--just another way for the Burlington boys to get more money to spend.

Ridership is WAY down, they operate in the red, and paying for a airport managaer(or whatever they called that position) just seemed like a huge waste of money.

I realize that everyone uses the old "it's an economic tool" card to justify it, but wouldn't having brothols on main street again be "an economic tool". And I'm not sure that's what we want to see happen.

Sorry, I just have a hard time handing more and more money to the (Burlington) city coffers.

NS

I think your anxiety with the City's usual inept management style is cause for some concern. I would imagine the County has a series of checks and balances in place to make sure that County money is used for the airport. I think the airport manager seems capable of making it all work. Unlike some of the other City departments.

I think the County needs to get 2 seats on the airport board. That balances the power a little bit better and it would give the opportunity for someone outside of city-based interests to serve.

We feel the airport is a huge economic development tool for the region. We're just surrounded with people that don't know how to use the tool. Kinda like, "what do we use a hammer for?"

Spike


PS Hoschek just said on the radio Tuesday, "the airport has been operating in the black and has been operating in the black for years."

But that was Hoschek. We''ll see what we can find out about airport operations and its financial condition.

12:32:41 - SPIKE - No comments

I’m Mad As Hell

Spike

I just read these posts about Hoschek and I’m mad as hell.

This guy has been a leech on the county for years and now he is trying to undermine helping the airport. This sounds so typical of him not paying attention and talking out of both sides of his mouth.

Maybe he should read what he said several months ago in the paper about going to Hawaii. Including the phone call from his buddies that went that called to tell him they missed him.

I am sure since Hoschek doesn’t use the local airport he has no genuine concern about its fate. And it doesn’t look like he understands a good investment.

The government matches these funds with 95% of the project costs. The only place Hoschek can get a better deal is the free handouts he is always looking for. I suppose he thinks we should get it for free.

I think that Beck and Blow need to get him out of this position in Washington and send Beck. Beck seems to know what he’s doing and I will feel better at night knowing Hoschek isn’t messing up a good deal.

I was at a funeral awhile back and Hoschek was there campaigning. Or it sure looked like he was campaigning. Doesn’t this man have any decency?

Thanks for exposing Hoschek for what he is. Keep it up and if you want to know more, just let me know.

GK

We have a quite a file on Hoschek. But we always welcome more. I have no doubts when he falls, there will be lots of pieces.

Hoschek frequents funerals. He’s only there to express remorse over losing a potential vote. Nothing more.

Spike


00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Clarification Needed


Spike

So Do I understand right? MAYOR SANDELL agrees with SLAGLE or is he just telling everyone what SLAGLE said about the RAILROAD owing the city compensation?

Could you please clarify for me? Because I would like to know MAYOR SANDELL'S view of the lawsuit.

THANKS SPIKE

OF

The mayor was only telling us what Slagle said about the lawsuit.

Mayor Sandell thinks the city should have exhausted all reasonable approaches to negotiate a settlement with the railroad instead of suing the railroad without any negotiation.

Spike





00:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

29 September

Perplexed At Hoschek


Spike,

Do I understand that Tim Hoschek is on a transportation committee somewhere but he voted against joining the airport group?

I heard him on the radio yesterday. He said he was bringing money back from Washington. Has he brought any money back to Burlington?

I don’t understand any of this. Isn’t this all federal money?

Perplexed

You’re exactly right in your thoughts. The usual explanation is Tim gets lost along the trail. I think he spends way too much time at taxpayers’ expense slopping through the trough of free rides.

Hoschek said yesterday he is working in Washington to get essential air service funding for Burlington in the recent Tea-21 Reauthorization. Essential air service funding to help continue airline service in Burlington.

But when he travels to Washington he doesn't even use the Burlington airport.

Hoschek is conflicted by ineptitude.

Spike


15:33:06 - SPIKE - No comments

Mayor Sandell Posting OK


Spike,

I intended for you to post my response to your reporting. I view blogging to be an important part of the fourth estate even if it is on the fringe. The fact that most bloggers have a bias only adds credence to their posts, unlike most newspapers who claim to be objective. Thanks for being another watch dog.

John

I'm glad we called it right. Just let us know if you ever want to privately post comments.

It is hard to not become biased in blogging when you have a story to tell that is substantially different than what is portrayed in the newspaper.

I read 3 print newspapers and skim 8 online newspapers a day. Only here in Burlington do I find a media outlet so entrenched in controversial, repetitive, tabloid-style journalism as a way of life when reporting local and regional political stories. There is never any in-depth, objective, investigative reporting. Unless they want to know who Spike is.

I hope that when the dust finally settles in a few of these "misdirections" and some more that will soon see the light of day, what we have reported will be seen as the factual record of events.

The taxpayers have a right to know who, what, where, when and how.

Spike


11:15:12 - SPIKE - No comments

Former Mayor Sandell Has Right Thoughts


Spike,

City Manager Bruce Slagle did essentially say what you reported except that he did not use the term "principal shop". What he did say was that the jobs provided to the area by the operation of the West Burlington Shops was viewed by the City as the principal benefit to the City (Community)in exchange for the use of the land. Since that benefit no longer exists, compensation is due the city for the land use.

I think it is unfortunate that the leadership of the City chose to settle the matter in court rather than negotiating an action plan to attract a new business to the facility. That would be the true win-win result that would benefit our community. That's not going to happen until this lawsuit is settled.

John K. Sandell


I was reluctant to post this message with the mayor's name. I decided to do this because of his first person account as to what Bruce Slagle said. It does change principal "shops" to principal "benefit" as it pertains to Slagle's wiggling.

I don't think it changes my response in that the shops had long ceased being the principal shops for the railroad and the statue of limitations prevents a claim against the railroad. Anyone that did their homework would know that.

More importantly, the mayor is dead-on about the direction and attitude the City has taken regarding the lawsuit. Burlington had their opportunity to negotiate many times with the railroad but refused to. Hopefully, the 3 new councilmen will see things differently.

Until then, we will all suffer from their greed and immaturity trying to teach the railroad a "lesson."


Spike
08:44:31 - SPIKE - No comments

Slagle Admits Lawsuit About Jobs


During KCPS’s Big Show 1150 AM 6-9 am Monday – Friday, former Mayor John Sandell said that Slagle had admitted to him the railroad lawsuit is about money.

Slagle apparently told Sandell that because the railroad moved their principal shops from Burlington, the railroad breached their contract with the City and is now entitled to rent for the rail yards downtown.

Seems plausible except for 2 facts:

1. Burlington ceased being the principal shops for the railroad long ago. Well past the statute of limitations to bring an action.

2. The 1985 Agreement resolved this matter in writing. No amount of golf-course memories will lend any credibility to the contract.


00:25:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Hoschek Finally Becomes Taxpayer


Courthouse hallways are abuzz with news that Tim Hoschek, after 13 years as a supervisor, is finally paying taxes. We don’t know the sordid details, but sources say there was a family property shuffle to make it happen.

So, for less than $200, Hoschek has entered the realm all the rest of us endure.

Now, about those essential air service funds that you were bringing back for the airport. When can the airport start using that money?


00:22:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Hoschek In His Own Words


I Never Wanted To Go To Hawaii

On the KBUR talk show yesterday Supervisor Tim Hoschek tried his best to impress us with his recent reappointment to the NACO transportation steering committee. Something anyone with paid dues can do along with 90+ other members of NACO.

Hoschek told a big ol’ fat lie when speaking of going to Hawaii for the NACO convention blurted out, “I wasn’t planning on going there anyway.”

Hoschek is such a piece of work. I guess his lips were moving so we should have known better.

Fall is coming, Tim.



00:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Rathbun Water Violates Water Guidelines


Did Burlington Violate The Same Standard?

According to the legal notice in today’s newspaper, Rathbun Regional Water Burlington System violated a water quality standard.

Results show that the water sample exceeded a maximum contaminant level for trihalomethane, a known carcinogen from long-term exposure.

If Rathbun violated the water quality standard and they buy their water from Burlington and the remediation is being done by Burlington, haven’t we all been exposed to the same risk?

Why haven’t we heard about this from the waterworks? Or was I asleep at the wheel?

00:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!


Day 12 -

For you council candidates that still don't understand the railroad lawsuit,

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!

00:02:00 - SPIKE - No comments

28 September

Celestica Deal Falls Through With Sparton Corp.


350 Job Loss Planned For End of December

The proposed sale of the Celestica manufacturing facility in Mount Peasant fell through on Tuesday. Without potential defense department contracts, Sparton was unable to proceed with the deal.

Sparton’s press release said, "insufficient time to retain the existing work force and to secure commitments for a sufficient level of new business" led to the decision. Since Governor Vilsack warned local officials in August to expand their options, hopefully there are other prospects for the facility.

Celestica is scheduled to close by year-end and another 350 jobs fade away.

All the more reason the Southeast Iowa Regional Economic Development Consortium better get off their butts this afternoon, meet into the night and all day tomorrow to figure out what they need to do. Their inaction is unacceptable.


Sparton News Release

Timing and Contract Issues Prevent Sparton Corporation From Purchasing a Manufacturing Plant in Mount Pleasant, Iowa

JACKSON, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 27, 2005--Electronics Design and Manufacturing Service (EMS) provider Sparton Corporation (NYSE:SPA) will no longer pursue the acquisition of a manufacturing plant in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. The effort is being halted by Sparton due to insufficient time to retain the existing workforce, and to secure commitments for a sufficient level of new business to assure ongoing success.

From the outset, Sparton's interest in opening operations at the Mount Pleasant, Iowa facility was dependent on securing United States Government, Department of Defense (DOD) contracts.

No further negotiations between Sparton and Mount Pleasant or the State of Iowa economic development leaders have been scheduled.

13:06:54 - SPIKE - No comments

Hoschek Spins Yarns On Talk Show


“I Never Wanted To Go To Hawaii”

Des Moines County Supervisors were on the KBUR talk show this afternoon. The subject of Hoschek voting “no” yesterday to join the Regional Airport Authority came up.

Hoschek said he didn’t want to agree to this because Hoschek brings Essential Air Service money to the community as a result of being a member (along with 90+ other members) of the NACO Transportation Steering Committee.

Show us the money Hoschek!! How much Essential Air Service money have you brought to the regional airport from ANY source? Just tell us how much and where we can verify this.

But the bigger Hoschek lie for the day came when commenting about how Hoschek was reappointed to the NACO steering committee at the meeting in Hawaii, Hoschek said, “I never wanted to go to Hawaii anyway.”

Then why did you make plans to go to Hawaii for 2 years? Because of the upcoming radio show?


12:10:05 - SPIKE - No comments

KCPS's Fred & 7 Solve Missing Audio Conspiracy Theory


7 Tries to Jump Desk, Pulls Groin, Redials E.T.

On KCPS’s Big Show 1150 AM this morning Fred and 7 resolved the missing 2 seconds of audio from yesterday’s Big Show. KCPS conducted an extensive on-air, no-stone-uncovered investigation this morning.

According to 7, speaking from an undisclosed remote location, 7 was practicing desk jumping for next year’s Big Games and pulled a groin muscle when he vaulted the desk to answer the phone. While doing this, 7’s fingers got caught in his donut’s hole and during a period of asthma wheezing, 7 had a flurry of button pushing thereby distracting former Mayor John Sandell from his thoughts.

So listeners of KCPS can rest assured that KCPS is not involved in any Slaglegate cover-up. Even though Slagle was referred to as “Loose Goose” Slagle, KCPS did not participate in denying its listeners the real story. So back to our Tom Clancy novel.

Later today we will bring a recap of “What did Bruce Slagle say about the lawsuit?” It will be most enlightening.


10:37:33 - SPIKE - No comments

Let All The BNSF Workers Split The Proceeds


Spike,
You brought up an interesting point.

At the forum, Chris King and Mike Edwards said they were trying to help the workers that lost their jobs.

If the lawsuit is really about helping those workers and the city wins the lawsuit, will Burlington give their settlement to the workers? Burlington could deduct the legal costs of the lawsuit and then divide the remaining money amongst the workers.

How will Burlington divvy up the settlement to our family & friends since we live in Danville? Or did Danville officials make some deal with Burlington?

How about West Burlington and Mediapolis? Are they part of this lawsuit? We think we already know the answers.

KL

The City will not win this lawsuit. The City will not give anyone a dime.

If I remember right, Scott Power told the other cities to butt out of Burlington’s lawsuit. Sounds pretty one-sided to me.

Spike


00:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

City Employee Insurance


Once again, your website is an asset to this community, where the free exchange of thoughts and ideas can be conveyed without fear of retribution.

Now regarding the current contract talks with the city workers and their health care. A certain amount of common needs to come into play on this one.

The time is now for them to start paying for a portion of their own health insurance. Why do you ask? Simple, because everyone else does. The taxpayer of this town should not be looked at as if there is an blank check to help foot the bill for everything city workers wish for. What is the one good reason that city workers should NOT pay for a portion of their own health insurance? There arent any.
CT
00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!


Day 11 -

For you council candidates that don't understand the railroad lawsuit,

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!

00:02:00 - SPIKE - No comments

27 September

Audio Spot With Former Mayor Goes Missing


Slaglegate Starting? What Was Said During The Missing 2 Seconds of Tape?

When former Burlington Mayor John Sandell was on the KCPS Big Show 1150 AM this morning, Sandell said something about talking to Slagle about the railroad lawsuit. Something along the lines of “that guy over at BurlingtonDerailed says it’s about money…. I’ve talked to Slagle and _________________ hello are you still there?

Missing audio. So we don’t know what the former mayor said.

If he wanted to go down the road of what Slagle said to him, all I ask is that he please keeps in mind that he is a former mayor and councilman. With all due respect to you, Bruce Slagle isn’t going to tell you the truth. In fact, probably just the opposite.

These guys have told so many untruths that they don’t remember what they said.

We have information to contradict any statement made about this lawsuit being about jobs. It was never about the jobs. It’s about money.

And you can take that to the bank.

Meanwhile, find that missing audio at about 44:00:50. Let us know what Slagle said.


14:24:50 - SPIKE - No comments

Forum Shows Changes Needed


Spike

Thanks for allowing our input.

Somebody should explain to the council candidates, that we have these forums so the public and voters can learn about the candidates and how they feel about issues.

We don't want to hear a bunch of nonsense. Answer the questions. We want to know where you stand! DUH!

I read your take on the forum Spike. I agree that the BNSF lawsuit is an important issue. They are making important decisions that impact Burlington and its citizens.

I don't agree with the lawsuit. We are spending too much money that could otherwise be spent on services. It is a big gamble! It is also affecting the reuse of the BNSF shops.

I believe the City jumped into this lawsuit too soon, before they really thought everything through. So far, the lawyers are winning, $100,000 to nothing.

But it is not the only issue. Who do we vote for? We need to vote for somebody.

Tim Scott is a candidate that has proven he will work hard and will be accessible to the people. He has made some mistakes, we all do. Tim Scott isn't lazy and he is the only council member that stood up to Slagle when the flextime was being abused. The only one!

Chuck Griffin seems to be an intelligent guy. I think he will be an honest council member and will give the public at least a chance to be heard.

Mark Collins didn't express himself too well and didn't seem to be well prepared. It may be that he was nervous. I do think Collins will be a listener and can stand up to the City management. He needs to give some more direct answers to the questions and I think he would have a chance. He is somebody new! He will be better with experience.

Garry Thomas has an outside chance.
Mike Edwards has some support, but he comes across sometimes as cocky. That isn't what we want in a council member.
Eckhardt should stay retired.
Nieman should stay retired.
Mary Baker is the sweetest person probably ever to sit on the council. But, she should enjoy her retirement too.
Chris King just continues to be the condescending punk. We are supposed to keep him because he is young? I don't think so.

Everybody Vote!

TK

Spike:
Don't forget we have a real chance of paying the railroad's legal bills if the Judge imposes sanctions against the City. Edwards spoke of a financial settlement. He didn't mention the city paying the railroad.



09:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Stop the Stupidity!


Get Capitol Theater Money From Brian Tapp, Tapp Has "Suitcases of Money"

City Squanders Auditorium Improvement Money


Spike
The advertiser had Worden and Edwards arguing over where they could find money for the theater project. What kind of management are they showing the people they really are?

Everyone knows the city can't come up with any spare money right now without borrowing, and with the RR lawsuit and Power's bills.

I can't believe anyone would even ask for money from the city right now for any project, it takes all kinds. That is what banks are for.

And the depot. Slagle briefly mentioned spending a little money to fix it up for Tapp That would cost the city the city!

These thugs come up with some of the biggest scams imagineable, someone has to stop the stupidity. I am ready to relocate. I love this city but enough is enough I've had it!

Thanks Spike
DJ

Spike,
Speaking of Brian Tapp. Seems like he's a drag on the City funds.

The Capitol Theatre project can go get money from Brian Tapp at Regional Planning's revolving loan fund. I wonder why that hasn't happened? They have the money. That's what it is for, to loan projects money. Even though Tapp is involved in the Capitol project, he could abstain from the vote.

Now, less than 2 years after the City paid for major improvements to the Auditorium so Tapp's group could move in, Tapp wants to move out. Tapp sure must have been paying some big rent to the city to offset the costs for remodeling that space since I think Tapp was on a year-to-year lease. Maybe Mini-me Worden could explain the return on taxpayer investment for that money.

Now Tapp wants the City to pay $25,000 for a feasibility study on the depot? Like the $10,000 for the traction motor study that wasn't worth the paper it was printed on.

Or, the economic development marketing study from Iowa State University that Betts said was deficient. 91 pages of absolutely useless information that somebody else paid for.

Seems like Tapp is always looking for someone else to foot the bill.

Unless the City receives a long-term lease for the depot that recovers the improvements, let Tapp pay for this himself. After all, he's the guy that said he "brings the suitcases of money to the table."



08:55:04 - SPIKE - No comments

First City Council Forum


Some thoughts about the 1st council forum. I hope this isn’t the only one before the primary. So many unanswered questions.

1. Most amazing comment? When Edwards, King and Baker were asked about their best accomplishments while in office, not one of them mentioned the Vision Iowa projects even though Edwards sits on the Vision Iowa Board. Incredible.

2. 2nd most amazing comment. When Edwards, King and Baker were asked about their best accomplishments while in office, Edwards said the addition of restrooms on the riverfront.

3. Scott better cool his nonsense rhetoric about being “betrayed” by the railroad. It shows that he doesn’t understand corporate America and hasn’t learned his lesson about managing his anger. People can distinguish anger from passion and he doesn’t pack enough weight to bully anyone, let alone the railroad. And while we're at it, no one from Burlington contacted the railroad from mid-April 2003 until October 2003. Topeka was calling the railroad every week. That total lack of action hardly qualifies as "doing the best you could possibly do."

4. Chuck Griffin and Mark Collins seemed to speak from their hearts and not hide behind the plethora of “I won’t second guess the sitting council.”

5. No Niemann or Baker. They seem like nice people but are ill suited to battle the gang of thugs in City Hall.

6. Edwards and King. If this is the best you can do about your attitude is, “whether you win or not, vote for me or not,” drop out. You don’t have the right attitude. Winners win and losers snivel. If you don't think anymore of your constituents than you do, get out.

7. Pretty good press questions. King’s smartass remark regarding his lack of knowing what “substantially more” meant made him look like a loud-mouthed communications major buffoon. Deflect and evade comes to mind.

8. Eckhardt better start taking a stand on something. He’s capable, but may not want to rock the boat.

9. Every one of you better read the budget. Do we have a budget deficit forecasted for 2006?

10. Doug Worden should be given 6 months to become a certified city manager or be shown the door. The city should encourage it, pay for it and welcome it. Nothing else is acceptable.

11. Several candidates have bad attitudes including King and Edwards.

12. Too many candidates blew smoke up Slagle’s skirt. Wake-up. Slagle told us that the railroad lawsuit was about jobs.That was a lie. What else is a lie?

13. I wasn’t impressed that the sponsors didn’t dive into the railroad lawsuit questions citing that they “were too complicated.” Maybe for them, not for me or the displaced workers from the shops. That’s a terrible disservice to the citizens to protect candidates that have an obligation to answer those hard questions. The sponsors lost credibility to sponsor this event in the future.

14. Patty Weber, the reporter from KCPS 1150 AM did a better job than the news writers.

00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

The Rest of Yesterday’s Story


Since we hammered out the problems yesterday with the Southeast Iowa Regional Economic Development Consortium, known here as the Southeast Iowa Let’s Form a Group and Do Lunch and Not Much More, we need to tell the rest of the story.

Southeast Iowa is in a unique position to have the sitting governor from Mt. Pleasant help shape the economic development future of Southeast Iowa. That’s an absolutely huge opportunity. But the consortium members can’t get their act together.

Southeast Iowa already has a significant presence in economic development in Des Moines. You would think that someone would light a fire.

Mike Edwards sits on the Vision Iowa Board of Directors.

Senator Tom Courtney, Iowa Senate Democratic Whip and sits as an Ex-Officio Representative of the Iowa Economic Development Board of Directors.

Jerry Courtney, Tom Courtney’s brother, sits on the Iowa Economic Development Board of Directors.

Phil Wise, Iowa Representative Lee County, sits as an Ex-Officio Representative on the Iowa Economic Development Board of Directors.

Wouldn’t you think that just one of these guys could drive the bus carrying the Southeast Iowa Let’s Form a Group and Do Lunch and Not Much More group to Des Moines?

Just one. That’s all we ask.



00:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!


Day 9 -

For you council candidates that don't understand the railroad lawsuit,

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!

This lawsuit will never return jobs to Burlington. No court can mandate that a company return workers to a closed plant. Never.

The lawsuit was never about the jobs. NEVER!!!! Anything to the contrary is a lie.

If you have any doubts, just ask Slagle if he plans to give the money the City could win in the lawsuit to the displaced workers. Of course not. The lawsuit is about money for the general fund for the City to offset their deficit.

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!

00:16:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Unaware and Not Even Halfway There


Spike-

During last night’s forum Edwards said that there were lots of things happening about getting jobs to Burlington but he couldn’t talk about it. Why does he say this? He must think he is a big shot that he knows and no one else does.

And how can Burlington get jobs here when they won’t go meet with the governor? Do you think we're going to win the lawsuit? How much more money is this going to cost?

DL

Spike:
Edwards should have said, “so many good things are going on that I’m unaware of.” It would have made more sense. It’s the old election toothless tease. He doesn’t know anything or he would have used it.

No, we're not going to win the lawsuit. We are going to get slapped so hard our head will wind up behind our rib cage and when Power looks out he will think he is in jail.

We aren't halfway on the money meter. And I think it will be a lot worse than we originally predicted. We can't find one major lawsuit Scott Power said was a winnable case, that he won for the City. I'm sure there must be at least one. But we can't find it.


00:12:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Still Low Water Pressure In Horace Mann Neighborhood

Spike,
why haven't you stirred the pot some more on my water pressure problems. it seems no one wants to address this problem.
KL

Spike:
I think we need to do a survey. Everyone from the neighborhood surrounding Horace Mann email us about your water pressure. We will post the results on BurlingtonDerailed.com.

Then write the Iowa State Fire Marshall, and ask them to validate the low water pressure so that in the case of a fire, the residents will have some recourse against the City and the water department in case of a fire.


00:02:00 - SPIKE - No comments

26 September

I Keep Thinking It Can’t Get Any Worse


A Year Later – What Do You Want?

Inept Locals Don't Realize Opportunity


According to Sunday’s Hawk-Eye, the Southeast Iowa Regional Economic Development Consortium, known here as the Southeast Iowa Let’s Form a Group and Do Lunch and Not Much More, now wants Governor Vilsack to tell them what to do.

Apparently, the Southeast Iowa Let’s Form a Group and Do Lunch and Not Much More wanted to know how many people to invite to lunch. At least parts of the letter sounded like a RSVP lunch attendee request.

The group’s letter also wanted "to discuss the synergy of our plans and your (Governor Vilsack’s) vision of economic development in southeast Iowa."

Synergy demands each party bring something to the table. Since our group doesn’t know what to bring to the table, there is no “synergy” from Southeast Iowa.

It appears the consortium doesn’t know what to do and they now have to ask the governor for help. Why did it take economic development “professionals” a year to realize that they didn’t know what to do or have the guts to admit they needed help?

I suggest that we let the Louisa County economic development group and the Lee County economic development group lead this “consortium.” They are hurting the most for jobs and are hungry.

Everybody else, well, let’s do lunch and talk about it. I ‘d like to hear your sorry excuses for job performance.


00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

No Meeting With Governor Explained


Line of Demarcation to Blame

We just received this self-explanatory diagram to help explain why the Southeast Iowa Economic Development Consortium otherwise known as the Southeast Iowa Let’s Form a Group and Do Lunch and Not Much More hasn't met with the governor. It is the Line of Demarcation.






00:28:00 - SPIKE - No comments

The Real Stink


Spike

I'm surprised that the Hawk Eye hasn't reported on the sewer stink that has permeated downtown Burlington and the southhill area all summer long. One only needs to drive main st. south from town past the sewer treatment plant and around the area west of the plant to notice the smell.

Does it have something to do with the disconnect of storm sewer from the sanitary lines? I live on south hill and I believe that in my case it comes from the sewer plant.

What does a person have to do to get results or even answers, call the EPA in. You certainly won't get anywhere with the local government, take my word for it.

PL

Spike:
EPA rules in Iowa are administered by the Iowa EPA for lack of a better term. And they don't go looking for something to do.

The gas smell might be due to stricter EPA guidelines that mandated sewage plants having to cease burning the methane gas left over from the sewage teratment process. Now they let it 'naturally esacape."

I could suggest you contact councilman "Lost Keys" Bill Ell since his recent speciality is garbage. But it would be a waste of time.

You might file a complaint with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources since they oversee the discharge of water. And since you can file a confidential complaint you could ask then to also inspect the former Rutherford Potato building. Rumor is that it houses hazardous waste. Maybe that is where the smell is coming from.

You could also try the U.S. Coast Guard or U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They're always willing to prevent a spill or leak into a federal waterway. And they won't take any flack from the city.

00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

City Employee Benefits


Spike,

Thanks a million for your highly informitive website. In the "advertiser" there was an article about city employee health insurance. They have excellent coverage at no cost to them.

Seems the least they could do is pay a portion of their own premium like the rest of us non-governmental workers. I get real tired of hearing these people whine.

Most people pay alot more money for a lot less insurance. Pay your own way like the rest of us!! Maybe our deficit will shrinke some!

BB

Spike:
We will have to snoop around a little on this.


00:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!


Day 8 -

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!


00:02:00 - SPIKE - No comments

25 September

Log In and Password?


I checked out your website, and don’t see any link to register to your site to post. How do you do it? What am I missing?

LM

Spike:
Unlike other websites, you do not have to register here to post your messages. Just send your email and we will post it.
Thanks.


09:04:34 - SPIKE - No comments

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!


Day 7 -

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!


00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

24 September

A Voice for the Oppressed


Your site is truly a public service.

Never before have the people of Burlington been heard so clearly. The ruling class must be upset. For years they controlled the flow of information. The Elite's-Eye and dominant local radio were part of an out of state interlocking ownership and easily threatened via their Advertising Departments.

The local ruling class found it very easy to kick ass and take names. I remember the case of a person who spoke out about a grossly incompetent elected darling of the ruling class being without employment in less than 48 hours.

The local media has been to Burlington's ruling class what Radio Havana is to Fidel Castro. Your site is the first chink in their tyranny of information and control.

You report attacks on this web site. It only figures.

If you had the ability, it would be nice to chart the number of attacks against your site on a time line. It would be interesting to see if the discussion of certain topics causes an increase in attacks. Perhaps a correlation would emerge as to what most concerns those in control behind the scenes.

Keep up your noble effort to give a voice to the oppressed being taxed to the point of penniless.

SD

Spike:
It is sad that life in Burlington has denigrated to this level. I guess it's an indicator of how badly people can be beaten down before they respond. And they are responding.

We have been tracking the attacks over the internet, phone and mail. All of this will come out in due time.




00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!


Day 6 -

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!


00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

23 September

Legal Bills Still “None Of Your Damn Business”


Scott Power believes if he submits his bill for legal work done on the railroad lawsuit the railroad will learn the identity of his expert witnesses and somehow jeopardize the City’s case. That might be true.

When the railroad lawyers gets a load of our expert witnesses which no doubt will include former mayors like Rigdon & Hogberg, council people and a few self proclaimed local railroad experts; I would expect them to double over in laughter. They might get a hernia and sue the City for frivolous comedy.

Power went so far to say The Hawk-Eye’s probing was, “…on the wrong track.” It’s not off-track when you’ve spent $100,000 and you aren’t even halfway to the courtroom on a case you said would only cost $60,000. It was only time before Power started looking for a scapegoat.

And then there will be holdback fees that won’t be billed until the trial is over. Maybe the newspaper should review other cases that Power has tried in the local courts to look at the fees his firm has charged in City matters. See if those itemized fees were all warranted. Maybe our concerns are unwarranted. I doubt it.

I don’t think Power really has any “expert witnesses.” And I am confident time will prove me right.

Power will eventually disclose these expert witnesses. When that happens, the folly of this denial period will rear its head. Absurdity will prevail.

Scott Power and his elite legal team will lose this lawsuit for the reasons I predicted long ago- no basis, no supporting case law and the evidence provided from one clearly knowledgeable railroad witness will provide a preponderance of the evidence over a dozen City witnesses with hazy, golf course testimony. And the 1985 signed agreement with definite terms will outweigh opinions or speculation about what the parties intended.

Judges are extremely unwilling to unwrap 50 year-old agreements, let alone 150 year-old agreements. They have no way to know what our forefathers intended when they formed the spirit of the agreement with the railroad. But they can figure out the City more than benefited from the deal.

What I want to know is who authorized Scott Power to withhold his legal bills for this extended period of time? If Slagle knew about it, why didn't he inform the council members?

How will the City account for last year's fees?

How do we keep an accurate accounting of these fees if we only get summaries for the work done?

How can we question possible errors on the bill so long after the fact?



00:31:15 - SPIKE - No comments

King - It Won't Matter In A Few Weeks


We Voted Him In and We Will Vote Him Out

Spike

This Chris King is something else. On his website a few days ago, he had his posting that stated “Contrary to the Hawkeye and other websites, the city is and has been receiving itemized billing for the BNSF lawsuit.”

Now he has changed it to just say "other websites" and he omitted the Hawkeye.

I thought your website and the Hawkeye both stated that the City has not received itemized detailed billing from the city attorney. Did he lose his backbone to disagree with the Hawkeye, even though he was wrong?

When the Hawkeye questioned the Mayor about Power’s comments towards the Hawkeye reporter, the Mayor acted like he didn't know anything about the itemized billing. King says it was there for months. Do they realize how silly they look?

I don't think you have been slanderous at all. If King can't take it, he shouldn't be in politics.

It won't matter in a few weeks, because the citizens of Burlington are going to toss him out of that council seat, not because of what you have said, but because of how he has acted and ran his mouth and has been way too immature for that position.

The citizens have King figured out. We have had enough of him. The public has a right to express their displeasure with elected officials and if he doesn't understand that, maybe he shouldn't live in America!

We voted him in and we will vote him out.

Spike:
I don’t understand the removable postings that are so common over on the Senator’s website. Kinda like a world wide web Post-It© note blog.

We have never removed an item we posted. And we don't intend to start. That should tell you something about the veracity of what we write.

We have a lot more we would like to post if our contributors would just get us a little more information. It’s amazing the things that come in for us to investigate.

00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

RE: Drunkard's Payday


SPIKE

I'd like to reply to the Drunkard’s Payday, first if Burlington wins the suit Slagle will definitely have to have about 30% of the suit money for a bonus so he can feed his family, and then don't forget Power between his bill and a 40% bonus Burlington will have to borrow some money to pay his expenses

And while they’re spending money they might as well spend enough to stop the trains from blowing their horns and get enough for the theater project and see if the library needs another wing and the museum don’t forget that, it probably needs another mil. I wonder. I could go on and on? Oh probably you get my point? Taxes aren’t a problem just raise them. That's the way Burlington's managers manage the city isn’t it?

Anyway I'm trying to be optimistic like city hall wants you to be, but enough of that. If the council, Powers, Slagle, and anyone else thinks they’re going to win the suit they’re not using their brains to full capacity! If you don't think the railroad is ready for POWERS, you are naïve. Or to put it in layman’s terms IGNORANT! I'm sorry to talk this way but that’s the way I see it!

THANKS SPIKE


00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!


Day 5 -

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!




00:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

22 September

A Few Questions For The City Council Candidates


Fred and 7 from the KCPS Big Show on 1150 AM are formulating questions for the first city council candidate forum on Monday September 26. Here are a few.

1. Name 5 leadership qualities needed to run this City. Do you possess these qualities?
2. What is your plan to “bring jobs" to the City?
3. Is there a budget deficit forecasted for next fiscal year?
4. Are you willing to invest substantially more money in the railroad lawsuit?
5. Has Grow Greater Burlington/Chamber of Commerce done their job?
6. Have you ever misrepresented the truth to others?
7. Have you concealed information from others to win your argument or make your point of view?
8. What role do you see the City playing in economic development?
9. How will you manage the budget deficit and cut the red ink?
10. If you think the City is being poorly managed, how will you correct the perceived problems?
11. Who is Spike?

00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

What Kind Of Conclusion?

Hi SPIKE

I am bewilderd, On SENATOR KINGS web site he says don't believe anything you read on web sites even his. What kind of a moron is he anyway? And he calls himself a city leader.

He said you have his word he reviewed a very detailed invoice and he believes they are moving toward a conclusion! First of all, the IDIOT should not call it a conclusion at this point of the game, he should be using words like VICTORY OR ONE FOR THE W COLUMN. It sounds like they are trying to sweep this one under the rug. Or start letting down the people of BURLINGTON little by little!

You know, when I first started seeing Burlington fall apart I went to city hall and just watched the council, SLAGLE and WORDEN operate and let me tell you I'm a pretty good judge of character.

And what I seen was, the council was run by Tim Scott, Rod Kellogg and Chris King, And they basically did what Slagle and Worden told them to do. And as far as Mary Baker and Mike Edwards were concerned, they had no say on any matter!

I tell you, that's why I like them two. Because they endured the arrogance,ignorance,and total mismanagement of the city. And look at what they still have to put up with. I don't even know what words really fit to use.

If you call Slagle a manager of anything, I don't know what it would be. And Worden, well lets just say he's got a well paying job for LIFE! And I got ILL reading how SCOTT,KING and KELLOGG were so great in the HAWKEYE everyday. By the way, BILL MERTAINS was another one

Anyway, my analysis was if Burlington was going to move forward in the 21st century they all had to go. And I still feel that way. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it

Thanks Spike for your web site so decent people can vent keep up the good work!

NF

00:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

A Drunkard's Pay Day is Possible?


Where Will They Spend The Money?

Has anybody considered the terrible consequences that may result if the City of Burlington vs. The Burlington and Missouri River Railroad (the Railroad's attorneys will get the name right for the City Attorney) is won by the City?

I know logic and justice says the Railroad should prevail based on agreements in 1985, but we are talking about our legal system. O. J. Simpson is walking proof of what can happen. Given all this money, what Burlington's Municipal Government do with this mana from Davenport?

Would settlement money be used to pay down debt? Would the streets be fixed? What would happen to all the goodies?

Given prior experience, it would be like pay day for a drunk. Look for a whole raft of projects nobody really wants, nor needs.

As time goes, the old drunks will be replaced by new. The legacy of the settlement will haunt for decades as what nobody wanted will never go away and must always be maintained.

The end result remains the same. Keep raising taxes on the dwindling few who still remain.

GY

Spike:
I wonder what would happen if the City wins and West Burlington decides to sue Burlington because they had more workers working at the shops than Burlington did? Or, Danville sues Burlington for their share.

Afterall, Slagle and Power told all the other entities that Burlington was doing this alone and didn't need anybody's help. Unless, of course, they wanted to contribute to the City's legal fund.

That was right before Scott Power told the assembled elected officials that he had a "silver bullet with each and everyone of your names on it."

Makes me want to bond. I wonder how Power and Slagle played as children?







00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!


Day 4 -

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!



00:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

21 September

King's Conflicting Stories Are Embarassment


Ell A Further Disappointment

Spike

Your reader asked the question about the BNSF lawyer bills. According to councilboy King's website, the city has received itemized and detailed invoices for billing.

This tells me that the city got the bills. King said on his website that he checked this out before and was told that the city in fact has been receiving itemized and detailed bills.

He also said this is contrary to what was reported in The Hawkeye and on other websites. He either doesn't have a clue in what is going on or he has been lied to.

The Hawkeye reporter, recently reported on this and asked why the city attorney bills were not itemized, because the BNSF case isn't the only work that this attorney does for the city. That is what has created the issue of these itemized bills.

Can't these guys even remember what they say? I would be totally embarrassed to be a part of this city hall bunch.

I am really disappointed in Bill Ell, because I thought he was much more professional than this. He must be too close with Slagle to be effective.

I believe reporter Quirk will dig into this. The Hawkeye editor needs to turn Quirk loose inside city hall. They'll need to pass the pitbull ordinance.

TK

Spike:
Well stated. And you have the best advice for the newspaper that they've heard in the last 20 years. Just don't expect much. It is about money.


11:59:58 - SPIKE - No comments

Legal Bills


Spike
I'm confused after reading the paper, King's website and your website. Did Power submit his bills to be paid or not? Or did he just send a summary to the council?

SE

Spike:
You're confused? I'm confused.They're confused.

I think Power submitted a summary of his legal fees. I don't think he submitted the invoices for payment.


10:26:34 - SPIKE - No comments

Federal Court Filing Deadlines


Over the past few days we have all been told that we can’t see Scott Power’s legal bills because it might somehow jeopardize the city’s case against the railroad. I believe this is as far-fetched as it can get.

The road to trial in federal court is a lengthy process of discovery. This process is governed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the local rules for each federal court.

One portion of the Federal Rules require that a party designate expert witnesses and disclose the substance of their testimony and opinions even without a formal discovery request. According to Federal Rule 26(a)(2), a party must designate all expert witnesses at least 90 days prior to trial or as otherwise ordered by the court. That's for expert witnesses.

So the Court may designate a time line when things happen. Like disclosure of the witnesses’ information and what they will testify to in written form.

Normally witness lists are exchanged early in the proceedings to allow for depositions of these witnesses. It takes time for written interrogatories and depositions to be conducted, so deadlines are long in advance of the actual trial date. The discovery deadline is 10/17/05.

After examining court records, it appears that the deadline for disclosure of witnesses by both the railroad and the City, to each other, has passed. If this is true, then disclosure of Power’s legal bills should not be a problem.

We are investigating this and will consult our attorney for his confirmation of our theory.

If we are wrong, it will only be a matter of a few weeks and this material will be posted to the Federal Court website. Either way, we aren’t going to let these legal bills lapse until the trial is over.

No matter the brand of VooDoo doll Power comes up with, he will come up short on substance, case law and expert witnesses.




00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Railroad Lawsuit Legal Bills Not Under Rug


Spike;
You don’t know what you’re talking about. Chris King says he examined every one of Scott Powers bills and they’re OK. Stop criticizing him. All you do is pick on him.
GF

Spike:
King needs picking on. Like picking fleas off a dog, they bother the dog.

Chris King was the guy that told you the lawsuit was about jobs. Or, was it money? I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word that escapes Chris King’s lips.

I guess the question I have is how can the City pay the claim for Power’s legal fees and not make that claim public? Did Power submit his bills for payment? Or, did he just give King and Campbell a summary of expenses?

It’s like asking, “How many apples did you pick last year?”

Only change “apples” to pockets.

00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!


Day 3 -

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!
00:03:00 - SPIKE - No comments

20 September

Slagle and Power Perpetrate Biggest Lie Yet


City Won’t Demand Legal Fees Itemization

Burlington City manager Bruce Slagle, City attorney Scott Power and Senator King have perpetrated the biggest lie yet on the citizens of Burlington.

In Tuesday’s Hawk-Eye, Slagle indicated that an itemization of Power’s bill could somehow help BNSF win the railroad lawsuit or “jeopardize our position.”

This is crap. This is a lie. This is more of your tag-team smoke and deflection routine. And the Hawk-Eye is doing a good job of setting their trap for your lies.

In EVERY lawsuit there is a period of time when BOTH parties have to disclose to each other, EVERY witness they MIGHT call in trial. That information is KNOWN to BOTH PARTIES OF THE LAWSUIT. There are NO SURPRISE WITNESSES.

How stupid do you think we are, Bruce? I know you think your council people are dumb. But don’t perpetrate your lies on the citizens. Even if you get Senator King to spread your lies for you.

I’m so sick of the lies from you people, I could puke. You both should be fired TODAY and run out of town.


04:09:46 - SPIKE - No comments

Do Try to Associate with a Better Class of People


Anywhere Else Is Better

Mr. Power's outburst at a reporter concerning his billing for legal services in the BNSF case is more of the same. It sends a clear message to any outsider who maybe interested in doing business in Burlington that nearly anywhere else is a better place to go.

That Mr. Power's outburst was quoted in Elite's - Eye, all the news the powers behind the throne think you need to know, is perhaps an indication that things maybe shifting. Burlington's largely inbred and inheritance-supported ruling class must be having doubts about those currently in the governing class.

I am not a lawyer, but I have shaken hands with an actor who currently players an attorney on TV. I am literate thanks to the Burlington Independent School District with the help of Dick, Jane and Sally. I am thus able to do a layman's look around.

Cruising the web, it is easier to research classified information about Air Force stealth technology than ethics and attorney billing practices.

http://www.legis.state.ia.us/Rules/Current/court/courtrules.pdf Rule 32:1.5 FEES was interesting. A quick scan showed no requirement of itemized billing. A caveat; I am unqualified to offer a legal opinion and make none.

Mr. Powers appears correct in maintaining his client is the City of Burlington and not any individual citizen, or group thereof. The City of Burlington is responsible for relaying information on what Mr. Powers services are costing the City. The City as the client should be after Mr. Powers for itemized and timely billing of services. The City should report such to those they so poorly represent.

None of this makes excusable Mr. Powers' outburst at a reporter.

The public's perception of those in Mr. Powers' profession is akin to that of used car salesmen. Mr. Powers comment reinforces that perception and certainly does not reflect well on the law firm signing his paycheck. At the very least, a public apology would be in order.

In Mr. Powers' defense, he maybe suffering from his close professional association with Burlington's Municipal government. His public outburst is an expression of arrogance and condescension one would expect from several serving on the City Council.

After the BNSF case is lost, it may behoove Mr. Powers to change clients. He should consider representing legal aid recipients facing felony charges. Preferably, he should work with murderers, baby rapers, and drug dealers.

Representing a higher class of sociopaths may do much to improve Mr. Powers world view and mental equilibrium.

AW

Spike:
At least with a used car salesman I can roll up my window when I cruise through the lot and I won't get my pocket picked.


00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

City Business


Spike

Your correct! You have been saying that the City attorney should submit an itemized bill for all their work including the BNSF lawsuit. The Hawkeye may be late, but let's give them credit and encourage them to stay on this issue. That's their job too!

The City attorney is forgetting who pays the bills. You are correct in asking why Slagle, Edwards and the entire council have not got an itemized bill. They may be surprised when they get this bill and ask how are we going to pay for this? The citizens and taxpayers of Burlington better wake up and start demanding some answers before it's to late. I have never seen this City managed more poorly.

Edwards is always whining about the unfunded state mandates. Unfunded state mandates are a challenge, but they make a lot of decisions locally that reflect our budget. Edwards needs to go. He is the worst Mayor that this City has seen in 50 years. He is way too cocky and not near smart enough to run this City.

The council that got us in this BNSF mess, said they were angry when they made the decision. You don't make important decisions that reflect the lives and pocket books of the citizens when your angry. They jumped the gun entirely too soon.

Give Quirk and the Hawkeye credit for asking about the attorney fees. Isn't it funny, now Edwards and King are going to take action? Where were they 3 months ago?

They all say they are for more services like the sidewalk program, but with all this spending and wasting our tax dollars, that is why the services were cut.

C9

Spike:
You're right. The Hawk-Eye needs to hammer at this until every dime is accounted for.

Unfunded mandates were last year's news. It seems that every Iowa city has to deal with less revenue. And not every one of them had a $1,000,000 budget deficit.

As far as King and Edwards go, they've had plenty of chances to do something over the last 1-1/2 YEARS. Time is up for them and the voters will see to that.


00:12:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Another 30 Days And No Meeting With Governor

Here we are, another 30 days have passed since the Governor asked Southeast Iowa to get off their collectives behinds and meet with him in Des Moines.

When are you going? Next Month? Next year? When?

We’ve had enough studies, enough lunches, enough golf. Do something. Time's up.



00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!! Day 2


Day 2 -

THERE WILL BE NO RAILROAD JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!

00:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

19 September

Scott Power Says "That's none of your damn business”


We Say “Oh, Yes It Is And We’re Going To Get The Answers”

Power’s Belligerence Is Test for Newspaper In-Depth Follow-Up


When The Hawk-Eye Contacted Burlington City Attorney Scott Power for an explanation for the delay in Power not billing the City for over 5 months, Power said, “"That's none of your damn business.”

We say, “Oh, yes it is and we’re going to get the answers whether you like it, or not.” And it isn’t going to be a total you provide the mayor on Monday. It’s going to be a detailed, line item itemization of your billing.

Where was Bruce Slagle? Why didn’t he step up to this problem 4 months ago and demand an itemized accounting for Power’s legal fees?

In fact, why hasn’t Edwards demanded an itemized accounting for Power’s legal fees? Why didn’t Edwards demand that Slagle get the accounting? Who's running this monkey house?

We’ve told our readers for months this not the way you manage city business. If this is the way Power runs his business, fine. But when he works for the taxpayers, we demand a regular accounting for the work performed. Not 5 months after the fact.

Who could question the bill when it is 5 months old? No one! Maybe he counts on that lack of review.

We still have questions about the January claim paid to Power that has not been explained. Were there railroad lawsuit costs in that bill? If so, that contradicts Mini-me Worden's statement.

Lawsuit or not, Power’s recent behavior is grounds for his, and his firm’s, dismissal. This is no way to run any business. And this is definitely not an acceptable business practice for the citizens of Burlington.


00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Some Council Candidates Still Don’t Get It


THERE WILL BE NO JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!

Change Your Thinking Right Now, It Isn't Going To Happen


The Council candidates all responded to their thoughts on the BNSF lawsuit in Sunday’s newspaper. Obviously, some of these still they don’t get it.

Some of these candidates actually believe Burlington has a chance to win the lawsuit. Some of these candidates actually believe they can pressure the railroad into returning the jobs to Burlington. Some of these candidates actually believe the railroad owes these jobs to the City.

Calling a vice president of the railroad a liar is no indicator that anyone has learned a lesson about aggression and professional behavior. Instead of calling Craig Hill a liar, why didn’t you offer some suggestions to the railroad for optional reuses? You don't have enough horsepower for anything else.

Why didn’t Edwards, “Lost Keys” Ell and Slagle listen to the railroad when they told them that “regardless of this lawsuit,” the shops were closing and the jobs were gone? Why didn’t they admit that to the BNSF workers when the workers showed up for a council meeting?

The lawsuit has already affected the reuse of the property.

Senator King didn’t weigh city options but yielded to pressure from the displaced workers. Did Edwards, “Lost Keys” Ell and Slagle tell the Senator about the railroad’s comments about closing the shops, “lawsuit or not?” Obviously not.

Evidence of King’s ineptness really comes home to roost when he suggested if the jobs were to return to the shops he would favor dropping the lawsuit. He will be selling sno-cones in hell before that happens.

They don’t get it. Seems like most never will. They suffer from gross, naive ignorance of the real world.

So, once more for the candidates with second thoughts.

THERE WILL BE NO JOBS RETURNING TO BURLINGTON, LAWSUIT OR NOT!!!!!



00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

17 September

Minerville Railroad Days September 17-18


A Great Family Outing Both Saturday & Sunday

For more information visit their website at www.minermfgco.com/minerville.


BurlingtonDerailed.com Photo
07:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

It's Time For The Airshow


B-2 Flyover At 12:10 PM

Pancakes at 0600 hrs. Ramp opens at 1000 hrs.

See:
A-10 Warthog fly
P-51 Moonbeam McSwine fly
Pitts S-2B fly
Illinois Air National Guard C-130 fly
General Aviation fly
WWII B-25 Bomber
Army OH58 Helicopter
NASA F-18 Hornet

And this bad boy sneak over about 1210 hrs.


US Air Force Photo

01:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

16 September

Friday's Air Show Warm-Up


The kids got their toys out for an afternoon romp. This is the A-10 East Coast Demo Team and the P-51 Moonbeam McSwine.

Pancakes at 0600-1000 Saturday morning.






23:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

IAAP Strike


Spike

The IAAP strike does surprise some of us. You would think during war time that strikes would be illegal at an ammunition plant. The government is closing some of these work places across the country. Do they want to be on the closing list?

TK


20:46:43 - SPIKE - No comments

Burlington....You Never Fail to Amaze


You have got to be kidding me!!!!!! The ammunition plant is on strike.

From a long ago resident of Burlington, unfortunately my parents were unable to escape so I see the news from time to time. Would someone put a billboard up at the edge of town that informs the population that the 1950's are over and you are entitled only what you work for.

Burlington is not Chicago were the Union hammer still has some pull, even though fleeting. The rest of the world knows you go to work and if you work hard you advance and you will enjoy more financial freedom.

Walking off the job is not an entitlement for a raise or additional benefits. YOU ARE OWED NOTHING!!!!!! GO WORK FOR IT. If the company you work for does not have a pay scale or medical insurance you like. Tough. Quit. Find a new job.

Here in the real world, (outside the "twilight zone") if you don't like your situation you move on or shut up. No one is to blame for your circumstances but yourself.

I hate every time I visit my hometown it is obvious that economic prosperity has passed over the area. If you fool yourself to think that it is the same everywhere your only looking in a mirror. The BN shops..........gone. Case............on its way out. Exide........gone. Trust me, all those jobs are elsewhere and it's not Mexico, you just want to believe that.

The economy has had nothing to do with the companies moving. It baffles me that this small area in Iowa keeps voting for the donkey. Having strong union affiliations throughout large business in the area is not a postcard for prosperity for people looking to start or re-locate their business. Don't let the chamber tell you different.

Until the mindset changes Burlington will unfortunately continue to dwindle. I guess I care, it would be nice to retire in my hometown someday. Unfortunately, I am afraid there will not be much of a town left.

ST

13:36:02 - SPIKE - No comments

Tim Scott


Tim Scott is just as bad as all the rest running for city council. Don't forget how he used city snow movers to clean scotty's parking lot and also when he attacked that 80 year old man for having a sign he did not like in his window. these people on city council aren't much for getting things done. however, they are good for alot of laughs!
SF


13:33:26 - SPIKE - No comments

Why Be An Engineer?


Let Loose The Lawyers Of Waste!

People go where the money is.

Why be an Engineer? New Math created a generation of the numerically challenged. New Math is making a come back. Oh what a future we face.

Why design useful items to create a more productive, comfortable society when there is more money to be made elsewhere? Why would you want to do something like design more efficent railroad equipement when you can make more money representing somebody suing a railroad?

Let loose the lawyers of waste!
TM

Spike:
Not surprising, international law is one of the hottest occupations. That should tell us more about our plight.


09:05:48 - SPIKE - No comments

Tim Scott A Good Choice, Ell A Big Disappointment


Spike

I think you're correct on Tim Scott getting elected. He gets things done! He'll take phone calls and he is approachable. He is the only one that stood up to Slagle when the Flex time was being abused for golf outings.

The City manager position is not a 4 day work week. When the City manager or city hall staff abused this flex time, which they shouldn't have had in the first place, what kind of example do they set for the rest of the employees?

Some of these people would never make it in the private sector. Things have changed in the private sector in many areas and government employment shouldn't be so protected.

Bill Ell has been a big disappointment. He forgot who he represents. Not his golfing buddies.

I think Chuck Griffen has shown that he can't think for himself, he is a good listener and he won't be a rubber stamp yes man for the city staff.

We need changes in City Hall! Your web site isn't negative, it is the truth that we hear on the street.

TK

Spike:
I can guarantee you that most of these people would not make it in the private sector and there is proof of that. And just imagine if someone lost $37,000 keys, knew that one of your workers did it and didn't tell the boss about it.

Everywhere else, if you lied about anything, it is grounds for termination. Here, the fatter the lie you tell in City Hall the bigger the joke on the golf course, or you can afford to buy a bigger steak for dinner.



09:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

ISO Quality Standards Show We’re Losing Ground


ISO certification is an international reference for quality management requirements in business-to-business dealings. The ISO quality standard can be applied to any organization, large or small, whatever its product even if a service, in any sector of activity, whether it is a business enterprise, public administration, or a government department.

The decision for a company to subscribe to these standards is a costly commitment. If you think our world competitors lag behind us, you are wrong.

As you review the chart you will see the U.S. is:

6th in Quality Certificates, 28% of China’s total number of quality certificates.

6th in Environmental Certificates, 24% of Japan’s total number of environmental certificates.

Although we lead in the world in automobile standards and medical manufacturing certificates, the numbers are so small they are meaningless.

We are in trouble. We are getting hammered. We need to exercise our best assets, technological excellence. The only way to do that is with better education.

We can’t lead the world any other way.



00:34:29 - SPIKE - No comments

What Does the Future Hold?


Our Kids Are In Trouble, We’re In Trouble

On Thursday’s KCPS Big Show 1150 AM Fred charged off into jobs, education and quality of life. Southeast Iowa is woefully behind the rest of Iowa, the nation and the world. Sell your rose colored glasses on eBay.

Here are some things for every one of us to think about. This country and our children are in trouble.

China graduates about 40 million people a year from college, the United States about 2.2 million. India and China will use this “soft” weapon against the United States. Their not-so-secret weapons are schools, technical colleges and universities.

These armies of college graduates will encircle the U.S. and our children will only have second-rate jobs. Our children will wait the tables of the world.

In 2002, 60,000 engineers graduated from US colleges while China and Japan graduated five times that many.

28% of our PhD graduates in science and engineering are foreign born, and increasingly are returning to their homeland.

Over 90% of the 18,000 students who returned to China in 2002 hold a masters or doctoral degree from abroad.

India, Thailand, Mexico, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Japan send large numbers of students to the U.S. and are reaping the benefits through growth of the high-technology industries whose most important ingredient is the brainpower of trained researchers.

According to the US Chamber of Commerce

In 1950 80% of jobs were classified as unskilled; today about 85% are classified as skilled.

Almost 80% of today's jobs require some postsecondary education and training.

80% of the top 50 fastest-growing occupations will require education beyond high school.

An estimated 25% of America's young people don't even complete high school.

US 8th graders ranked 19th in the world in math, behind top competitors Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan.

By 2000, the number of job applicants that lacked sufficient reading and math skills had almost doubled in about 3 years.

Our kids are in trouble, we’re in trouble. Our only effective defense is to greatly improve the quality and productivity of our own education system.


00:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

15 September

What About Tim Scott?


Hi SPIKE

Got a question for you, what are your thoughts about TIM SCOTT for city council? And what are the odd's that you would vote for him? Just wanted to know your thoughts

THANKS, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

BB

SPIKE:
I think it is interesting that Tim Scott can get both sides of the garbage "crisis" talking when no one from the City will even bother. It shows initiative and concern to try to resolve a situation instead of passing a toothless law and allow Scott Power the opportunity to pick our pockets some more.

Being mayor is about leadership and communication. Right now, our mayor has neither trait.

Tim Scott will probably be one of the newly elected councilmen. Poeple have awakened from the stupor the current regime has lulled them into. I'd like to be in City Hall when Scott walks through the door and kicks the dish pan across the floor and yells, "I'm baaack."

I hope everyone elected does the same thing.



13:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Burlington Air Show September 17


See The F-14 Before It Retires -


Atlantic Ocean (July 19, 2005) - An F-14B Tomcat, assigned to
the "Swordsmen" of Fighter Squadron Three Two (VF-32), launches
off the waist of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman
(CVN 75) for the last time during Carrier Air Wing Three's (CVW-3) fly-off.
U.S. Navy Photo 050719-N-5345W-067 by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Kristopher Wilson.



Mediterranean Sea (Mar. 30, 2005) - An F-14B Tomcat, assigned to
the "Swordsmen" of Fighter Squadron Three Two (VF-32) off the
USS Harry S. Truman, breaks the sound barrier. U.S. Navy Photo
050330-N-0382O-503 by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Justin S. Osborne.




00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Power And Hoschek On Parallel Courses?


I think Power not sending his legal bills to the City looks like the same thing that Hoschek pulled right before the last election.

Hoschek hadn’t submitted any claims for reimbursement before the election so nobody would know what he spent the money on and question him about it before the election. After the election was over, he put 2 or 3 months of claims through to be paid.

If history repeats, we aren’t going to see Powers bills until after the election is over in November. I think he needs to protect his steak dinners with the current council people. All I'm having is a hamburger and I work 2 jobs to pay my taxes.

CC4

Spike:
You’re right. Hoschek did withhold his claims for several months before the election. Hoschek’s past appears to be slowly catching up with him.

I think you are going to see a lot about Hoschek. We have been getting a pile of information from lots of people. And it ain't pretty.

Fall's coming, leaves burning, pumpkin pie and who knows, maybe a political scandal or two. Gosh, I love fall.


00:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

That’s Just The Facts, Ma’am


No Need To Apologize

You have sunk to a new low. Accusing the library director of writing a letter trying to ban our patrons from other libraries is not true and you should apologize. You should be ashamed of yourself. It's totally uncalled for.

Mad @Spike

Spike:

I don’t care whether you, or anyone else, likes what I wrote. It’s the truth. I read the letter in question. It was signed by the library director. I think the letter was wrong, the thought behind it wrong and is a public relations nightmare. Makes me want to close my wallet even though I believe in the project.

Sorry you’re upset. That’s just the facts, Ma’am.


00:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

14 September

How Do They Compete For Money?


Capitol Theater Project And Library Compete for Donors' Money

Spike:

Why are you having a cow over the Capitol Theater project? Don’t you have better things to do? Go dig into the library a little more. They don’t have their act together. I’d rather donate my money to a project where things seem more out in the open and not controlled by people that won’t tell you what the costs are.

I’ve asked to see costs at the library and I’m always told someone will have to come down and answer my questions. I want to see this information in writing. Maybe they could post it on their website.

The Capitol people have shared their information without asking me why I want to know. Big difference.

You need to find out why things are so secretive. I thought a library was about information. Or, maybe I need a Burlington library card. They’ve wanted my money and didn’t care that citizens of my city weren’t able to use the library.

Unhappy

Spike:

You’ve hit several hot spots. You’re willing to donate. Other people are too, if financial disclosures are made. People won’t donate as much money if things are secretive. Or, even appear to be secretive.

Under IRS rules for non-profits, the books are fair game and a copy, including year-to-date info, must be given to anyone that asks, usually within 30 days or less. Every non-profit must provide a copy of their Form 990. Any real non-profit will fork over their complete, audited financials for a possible donation. Just write a letter requesting the information. It is all public record.

I don’t know if the Capitol Theater project is worthwhile to the point that taxpayer money should be invested. If it is a deal like Fun City and the City would share in a portion of the profits of the operation, it might be OK. What’s the return-on-investment for the $2,000,000 price tag?

Right now, the City has no money. They don’t even claim to know what their outstanding obligations are. I’ll bet Slagle and Power know what the legal bills are. That’s why we don’t.

We know the Library card issue has been a problem. We read a letter written by the Library Director, to the library association, asking that member libraries of the library association deny use of their library to all library patrons that had previously honored the Burlington Library card, if the patron’s city hadn’t paid their fees to the Burlington Library.

So, as an example, if you lived in Danville before Danville paid their “dues,” the Burlington Library was asking the New London Library to bar you from the New London Library services using your Burlington Library Card because you lived in Danville and Danville hadn’t paid their “dues” to the Burlington Library.

That’s a pretty bold step to take when you need to solicit more money to cover the construction cost overrun. And it’s pretty bold to believe that people will just hand over money after they have been discriminated against.



13:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Where Are Your Legal Bills Scott Power?


And Why Haven't You Submitted Them To The City For 5 Months?


12:29:22 - SPIKE - No comments

Proposed Garbage Law Might Be Real Garbage


Former Mayor Tim Scott was on the KBUR talk show this afternoon talking with Mike Campbell about the proposed garbage ordinance. Scott indicated there is a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would make the City’s proposed garbage hauler law unenforceable. If that is true, then all Burlington is gearing up for another lawsuit they can’t win.

The City has been quick to fast track this law. “Lost Keys” Ell said it was a crisis in waiting. Campbell said he is going to investigate.

Scott also mentioned the garbage hauler didn't want to try his case in the media. Good move. If the local advertiser doesn't have any controversy, they don't have a story.

Sounds to me like a lawsuit in waiting. And we all know that Scott Power is the only person that ultimately wins the lawsuits Burlington gets involved in.



12:15:11 - SPIKE - No comments

Minerville Railroad Days September 17-18


A Great Family Outing

For more information visit their website at www.minermfgco.com/minerville.


BurlingtonDerailed.com Photo
00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

13 September

Not With Our Money


No Money for Capitol Theatre Project

Spike

There was an article in this morning's Hawkeye about the friends of the Capitol theater wanting financial support. I believe these people trying to renovate the theater are very sincere about this project.


However, we as a city and taxpayers have enough on our plate right now. Our taxes continue to rise and services cut. The city council or the city management has no business entering our money into this project.

The city can't handle the basic services right now. The city council will be lobbied by these people wanting our money. That is just the way it works.

The council should say no. The citizens can't even get their streets fixed and at the last budget hearing this council stated how bad off we were.

TK

Spike:
The wind of change has come to redevelopment. Development has to get out of the government trough and become more creative in how projects are funded. The private sector has to become involved.

The Capitol theater may be a good project. But with unknown outstanding legal bills for the railroad lawsuit, how can the City make any commitments? They don't even know how much money they have spent, let alone how much money they have to invest.

I think the Capitol will become one of the first economic development casualties of the lawsuit.



11:48:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Edwards's More Memorable Comments


We scoured our archives to bring you some of Mike Edwards more memorable comments during his tenure as mayor. Just scroll down the left column to our archives to find the original story.

If this isn’t lies, deceit and lack of leadership, what is it?

March 2004 - Edwards’s lawsuit comments quoted from court filings.
"The reason for the suit is to bring back the jobs," Mayor Mike Edwards said. "It's that simple. The railroad has been a good employer in this community for a number of years and we'd like it to remain so. That's what the essence of this lawsuit is all about." The Hawkeye (March 5, 2004)

“It's not known how much the city could receive as compensation for the breach of contract through the courts, "but I hope it's expensive enough for them to change their minds," Edwards said.” The Hawkeye (March 5, 2004)

“Mayor Mike Edwards, however, reiterated what he stated during a press conference March 4 that laid out the city's intentions: The suit is about jobs.” The Hawkeye (March 25, 2004)

(In response to allegations that the city brought the suit to recover monetary damages.) "Nothing (else) could be further from the truth," he said. The Hawkeye (March 25, 2004)

“Although language in the lawsuit indicates the city is seeking a monetary settlement, city officials hope to win a judgment high enough that the railroad finds it more beneficial to return the jobs to Burlington, Edwards said. "That was the ultimate mission from the get-go," he said. "If we could get these jobs, we'll have done more than anyone in government's done in the last five years." The Hawkeye (March 25, 2004)


7/5/2004 – BNSF Lawsuit Comments
Edwards said. "..Should that" (the lawsuit against BNSF)"fail, sure we're going to talk about money ... I don't want to see them walk out of here scot–free. Their forefathers signed an agreement that's been in effect since 1858 for the use of this property ... No matter what the outcome, I don't believe this should be free to the railroad." This was before Scott Power told him about the 1985 agreement.

12/7/04 – Edwards Totally Unprofessional, Unruly Behavior During CNH Strike
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."

4/5/2005 – It’s About Jobs
From the local newspaper on 3/27/05, posted on 4/5/2005.
"If we're not truly in this for the jobs ... then why are local unions offering legal services to us?" Edwards said.

4/6/2005 A Slagle comment just to tie them all together in one big slippery knot of eels.

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.

And went on to say, "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."

Then why did the City buy property from the railroad? Seems strange you would buy what you already claim to own.


00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

12 September

Fear Of Retribution


Your sight is most enlightening. In fact, I have encouraged local elected officials I am acquainted with to visit your site and learn. Burlington is a text book example of governing failure on a par with the Penn Central when it comes to how not to run a railroad.

What is your posting policy. I see initials. Are any initials permissible?

Have you ever watched the old propaganda movies from WWII? "We know you still have relatives living in Germany. If you do not do as we request, something very unfortunate might happen to them."

While I escaped from Burlington to earn more than a concentration camp wage over a decade ago, I still have relatives living under tyranny. If I comment, I would do so only if safe in the knowledge no retribution would result.

TM

Spike:
As you can see, we ensure your privacy. A recent Supreme Court decision allows us similar disclosure rules to that of newspapers. Who posted is only important to who posted. Many of our visitors are concerned for the same reasons as you. Retribution.

We have been featured on AmericansDeservePrivacy.com. It's good to know that people can speak freely and not worry about retribution from the local thugs and bums that run the city.

Here is another article to read about internet privacy vs. anonymity. Something the local advertiser has skipped in their mission to tell us how to think.

Write anytime.



19:46:30 - SPIKE - No comments

Burlington Air Show This Saturday September 17


Burlington Air Show - This Saturday September 17 - Be There!
Pitts S-2 Aerobatics
Spirit B-2 Fly Over Between 12-4
East Coast A-10 Demo Team
C-130 from Illinois Air National Guard from Peoria, IL.

C130 On The Boom of the 171st ARW PaANG

U.S. Air Force Photo

Serious Business

U.S. Air Force Photo

B-2 Compression

U.S. Air Force Photo


19:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Edwards Dilemma With The Truth & Leadership


Spike

Do you think Edwards burnt enough bridges and lacked the leadership to be reelected? Or, will he have enough labor union support? Will citizens remember all of the things that he did that embarrassed the position?

I think King and Baker are on their way out for different reasons.
TK

Spike:
You've hit the nail on the head with excellent questions.

Edwards is going to have labor support. How much, is the question.

Edwards misrepresented the purpose of the railroad lawsuit to the BNSF workers and the Burlington citizens by telling us the lawsuit was about jobs. It gave those workers a false sense that somehow they were going to get to keep their jobs and stay in Burlington.

It's wrong to do that to people. It's bad enough losing a job and having to move. But to give false hope that somehow a lawsuit is going to change that is just as rotten as rotten gets.

Edwards knew better. Edwards openly stated it was about jobs when he knew that was only a smoke screen. The lawsuit was never about jobs. And Edwards knows that.

He lied to his union brothers by misrepresenting the purpose of the lawsuit. Edwards lied to every business owner that relied on those jobs to keep their doors open. Edwards lied to every taxpayer that relies on those jobs bringing in additional tax revenue to help keep taxes down.

As you've read here several times, BNSF Vice President Craig Hill told Edwards, along with Tom Courtney, Bruce Slagle, "Lost Keys" Ell, Dennis Hinkle, Brian Tapp, Ed Blow and Randy Danniel that regardless of any lawsuit, the West Burlington Shop was going to close. Hill also said that, "if there is anything I want you to come away with here today, lawsuit or not, I don't want our employees to have any false hope that their jobs are somehow going to be saved. West Burlington is going to close."

Edwards ignored that. In fact, he lied to the newspaper about who was at the meeting with the railroad that day.

And how many times since then has Edwards told the public something other than the truth? How many times has Edwards told us that the lawsuit was about jobs and then change his answer to money.

Instead, Edwards chooses to do what Slagle and Power tell him is "what's best." Those two don't have the foggiest clue of "what's best." They are opportunists taking advantage of the citizens.

Real leaders would raise absolute hell until their lawyers sent their legal bills. Especially if they hadn't been sent since March. And what about Slagle? He doesn't have the guts to demand the billing.

Edwards offered his wimpy resignation. He didn't ask the public if he should resign. He asked Senator King and "Lost Keys" Ell. I think the public would have sent him packing right then and there.

The sad part of any firing is that most times, people you have to fire are good people, they just can't do the job. Edwards has had plenty of opportunity to grab these problems and work to resolve them. Senator King is just inept.

Real leaders tell the truth no matter how bad the news. Only the quality of delivery makes it less painful. People want the truth about how their lives and jobs are going to change.

Edwards hasn't told the truth, hasn't shown any leadership for this city when faced with several serious problems. Edwards doesn't respect the citizens to the extent that the image he must put forth as mayor, is a positive one.

Like I said last week, one thing Hurricane Katrina will teach us is that someone has to lead. Mike Edwards is not a leader. And neither is King or Ell.

You have to tell your friends and have them tell their friends. And then everyone vote in the primary and the general election. Send the message to City Hall. Less than mediocre is not good enough. Things are going to change or you're out the door.


00:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

"Poor Leadership In Burlington"


Spike-

Could you refresh my memory on how the chamber, ggb, the library board, bba, slagle, the county, and the city were expected to divvy up the Vision of Iowa money?

And the deficit the projects have because the BRAINS involved didn't ask for more money than they estimated it would cost. Because they were told that they would only receive a certain percentage of what they ask for, (by the way I call that poor leadership). Because if it were done right, the tax payers wouldn’t be on the hook for as much money,

Also is the BBA. all paid up from the city for their deficit? IF they are, that was slippery to have the taxpayers foot the bill for poor leadership.

Also how did the museum go from $500,000 to 1mil? Because Win Boyd said it would come in at $500,000if if I can remember right.

And what about the memorial auditorium, the county project, and any more that I forgot.

And also is there a time limit to have all of these projects completed or not? A lot of things are not going as told by the poor leadership as far as I concerned, and this really troubles me.

Now, one more thing. How much money is the new water park suppose to bring in a year to pay the bills? And how is that project doing?

I would appreciate you explaining this to me, because I feel I can count on the TRUTH from you. It seems like we keep getting different results than I was lead to believe by the poor leadership in BURLINGTON. Raise some HELL for us taxpayers SPIKE!

BB

Spike:

We have some answers and we’ll have to do some checking to get the numbers in the right place on the rest.

The Vision Iowa money is tied to how much we can apply for in qualifying projects. You have to add all the qualifying projects together to get a large enough grant request.

The catch to this is that for every dollar you apply for, you have to have a percentage of the project total in local matching funds. We barely made the minimum local match to get the money we applied for. Before the library popped their over-budget cork.

Then the State has the option of not funding the entire Vision Iowa request primarily because they need to fund as many projects as they can. So, then the locals have to scramble to raise more money. Or borrow. Which is what the city did for the library because the City didn’t have the money to meet the local match requirement.


I have no clue how the museum/historical society funding went up from $500,000 to $1,000,000. That seems pretty strange to have a 100% error in the amount of money required. I know that it deserves an explanation.

There usually is a time limit on these projects. I don’t think we have any problem there except the library spokeswoman said the library would probably have to borrow money to cover their increasing costs and original obligation. When you’re over a $1,000,000 over budget, something is going to bust. They don’t care how much it costs. Only how much it costs to operate.

The city disbursed money to the Bees to cover some of their construction costs because the Vision Iowa contracts were slow coming in preparation.

The Bees seem to be the only group so far that has their act together. We should applaud them. That’s the difference between private business meeting financial goals and everybody else slopping at the government trough right up to their knees.

The water park will work out. It is the same idea as the Bees. Fun City has to hit financial objectives and is run as a business. Contrary to the City.

It may be late in opening but it will be first class when it’s done. The only problem the City has is that it looks like it didn’t plan for the construction delays and a $50,000+ interest-only payment is due in December.

And nothing is going on at the Auditorium. I don't think they have a plan. Which shouldn't surprise any of us.

I don’t know where the County is on the Big Hollow project. I think they have been slowed down by an archeological study.

Tell your friends and have them tell their friends. Then vote in the primary and general election. Send City Hall a message. Less than mediocre is not good enough. Things are going to change or you're out the door.

But you have to vote. We all deserve a better life in Burlington.


00:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

09 September

Senator, You Want The Truth? You Can't Stand The Truth

Senator King had his big mouth come home to roost this morning. He challenged us to fight it out with him. Good.

1. King stated on the Big Show on KCPS 1150 AM that his website would not become a political vehicle for his feeble attempt at reelection. So what is your site, Senator? All you do is run over to our website and try to outdo us with a response just like everyone said you would. You can’t outdo us. You aren’t quick enough and, quite frankly, I don’t think you’re bright enough.

2. You make everyone sign up to use your website. You want to know whether they are worthy of your arrogant attention. You should learn from Hoschek, the entire city is a possible voter. Not just whomever you think is entitled to vote for you. I’ve never seen such an obsession like yours since penis envy.

3. I find it very disconcerting that you would use a handgun analogy to describe anything. That just proves to me that you aren’t mature enough to be carrying concealed weapons. You don’t know enough about handgun mental maturity to even begin to talk to me about it. You are borderline out-of-control with the power trip you’re on.

4. Why do you have to delete so many posts that are possibly litigious? If you don’t like our posts, then straighten your act out. As far as what we post, get your lawyer and let’s have at it. During depositions you can explain lots of things that you haven’t thought through that the voters would love to hear about in detail.

5. You try to attempt to take responsibility for your lack of control over the Edwards’ material on your website. But then you question Alvin about his post? Alvin is welcome to send us material anytime. I won’t post rumors. But if Alvin has pictures, or corroborating evidence, you will see them on our website. City council conduct is an issue for every citizen to consider.

Both Edwards and you have already tarnished this city’s reputation with the railroad lawsuit antics, flipping off the temp workers at CNH, lying about the essence of the lawsuit being about jobs and getting caught, Edwards carrying a handgun in a cowboy boot, you calling voters “jackasses” and a continuing list of nonsense behavior a mile long. Most every time you shoot your mouth off you do it with your foot in it.

6. We stand behind what we write, not because we have 100% control, but facts speak louder than your ranting. And labeling us tyrants is laughable. Do you ever read or listen to what you say? I think your comments went like this, “…I feel like asking them (a citizen complaining about a City problem) if they are a voter…” Label us what you want. We aren’t an elitist, elected “rubber stamper” that has a brown nose that extends past his ears.

7. You have asked for 3 constructive ideas for improving the quality of life around this town. Here are few more than 3. But you won’t like it. And I don’t expect you to do any of it.

a. Vote you out office. You’re inept.

b. Vote Edwards out of office because he is no leader, makes too many bad decisions, is too easily influenced by Slagle and Power and has questionable image problems.

c. Have the new council fire Bruce Slagle and Scott Power because they ran this ship right into the mud. And you let them. Explain to us what is the lawsuit about? Explain why didn’t you know about the 1985 agreement?

d. Demand an accounting and itemization of the legal fees that the city has incurred since April 2005 from Power. Why hasn’t Power submitted a bill? Have you asked Slagle to demand an accounting? Are you ever going to? Do you see anything wrong here? Did you see anything wrong with Slagle not demanding an itemized accounting from Power for this myriad of lawsuits this city seems to be involved in. Some of them over $344.00. Explain how the city benefits from this. Explain how you feel compelled to spend $1700 over $344.

e. Control the costs at the new library. How did they get (in detail) from $9.2 million to over $10 million? Tell us about the cost overruns at the library in detail. Have you recently seen an financial accounting for the library? Why did you disburse $700,000 in one check? Did you know the library was anticipating the need to borrow money? Did you ask if the library was on time and on budget? Did you care? Have you seen an accounting of the library assets sold on Ebay? Why did the remodeling budget for the current library increase to over $1,000,000? How is that going to be funded?

f. Comfort the citizens that you did everything you could to control the taxes. Describe how you had no knowledge of the $1,000,000 budget deficit until Slagle told you. Shouldn’t you ask on behalf of the citizens/taxpayers? Why did you threaten to layoff firemen and policemen? What a cheap shot. Especially when you tout that you have many friends on the PD. They don’t need “friends” like you. They need you to control the budget so you can pay them more money.

g. Explain the budget deficit. Tell us, when did Slagle and Worden know about the budget deficit? If they knew sooner, they should have told the council and the citizens sooner. Your fixed income citizens would have liked to have notice so they could budget for this huge tax increase. Why didn't you consider their plight?

Worden told us the other day that there would be no city borrowing until 2008. He had some prior idea about the need. If they didn’t know about the deficit until the last minute, they should be fired. They’re inept.

h. Do something about economic development. Tell us about the return on the investment in financial support you have blindly given to the Chamber/Grow Greater Burlington, Southeast Iowa Regional Planning and the Southeast Iowa Let’s Form a Group and Do Lunch and Not Much More Association. Then explain to us why they can’t seem to get off their collective asses and go see the Governor to help stimulate economic development in Southeast Iowa.


And lastly, much to your dismay, we don’t look to you for any leadership. You’re no leader, Senator. We don't respect you. You’re an immature, out-of-control, inept, elitist buffoon that won’t be quiet long enough to learn from people that have common sense and know a lot more about making things work than you.

You don’t have the guts to ask the hard questions that demand no bullshit answers of accountability from your employees. The very job you were elected to do. That's what a "coward" does.

"Perhaps you don't understand."


14:57:12 - SPIKE - No comments

County Resolution Should be Good Enough For Library


Spike,
Why would the library need a contract with the county? If the county has agreed to pay for a part of the project they had to do that by resolution. I think the resolution is a binding agreement. The county never does anything without a resolution from the supervisors.

So why do they want a contract? Unless you’re right and they are going to borrow money. And shouldn’t the city know if they are? Can the library borrow money without the city knowing it?

I read the claims the council paid in the paper. The city just forked over all $700,000 to the library. Why would they do that all at once?

I thought you paid for things after they were built or paid as you went along. The city paid all of the money upfront. Does the library have to meet requirements to get that money? Or, are the donors worried about something? Like costs?

Keep up the good work.
KR

Spike:

This whole library thing is very confusing. Why do they want a contract now? If they needed a contract, they should have gotten it months ago. Not after construction is started.

And I wonder if the library has contacted other groups to do the same? I’m surprised, if Vision Iowa didn’t want a contract, why does the City?

Lots of unanswered questions. All of which are not politically prudent to answer. Everyone is chicken to ask the hard questions of these people because they’re afraid they won’t be invited back to the cocktail party or golf.



00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Senator King Not Self-Proclaimed Leader


Senator King opines, on his non-political website, that because he is an elected official of the City, he automatically qualifies as a leader. Did I miss the something?

Senator, you are no leader as I have demonstrated many times for you on this website. For you to believe that you were granted leadership skills when you were elected to office is beyond my comprehension and that of every taxpayer in this town.

Use your own website as a mirror of your leadership skills.

1. You told us your website was not going to be political. But it has been.
2. You made all your website users sign up to more rules than substance. Then broke your own rules.
3. You thought by registering the users you would have control of content. That didn’t work.
4. You have had to delete 3 different posts because of potentially litigious postings.
5. The latest remarks about Mike Edwards posted on your website, whether true, partially true or not true; can’t be explained away after they are posted. You were irresponsible in letting that material post. It’s not about the truth! It’s about you being irresponsible. It's your website.
6. You chastise us on a regular basis and accuse us of being "factually challenged." We stand behind EVERYTHING we post. You may not like that answer. Too bad. Maybe you didn't have the facts before you shot your mouth off. But you still shot your mouth off. That's irresponsible.

With your leadership skills, you should definitely stay away from Louisiana. They don’t need your “leadership skill” set. As a matter of fact, neither do the citizens of Burlington. And I am confident the voters will show you that we don't.


00:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

08 September

Burlington's Legal Budget Over 2x's Lee County's


Lee County budgets about $26,000 per year for legal fees. Burlington tells us they budget about $60,000. The railroad lawsuit vaporized that number in March.

What do we do here in Burlington that is so much worse than Lee County that we have to budget that much money?

14:23:24 - SPIKE - No comments

Follow-up To This Morning's Email


Thanks for the information. We had heard rumors. But we need more information to investigate. But your comments seem to be on track.

We have our crack IT/Nerd Department working everyday to keep the intruders out of our website. Lots of people have tried lots of things to find our who Spike is.

I wish the people that are most concerned with who Spike is, were more concerned about their lackluster job performance with the City. I'm sure the taxpayers would agree that their windmill romps have gone on long enough.

Stay tuned. Their sky may not be falling. But it sure is crumbling.

14:14:40 - SPIKE - No comments

Budget Overruns, Lawsuits & City Silliness


Hi Spike,

I was at city Hall when the council decided to give the Library $700,000. And Win Boyd guaranteed the project would not, I repeat, not go over $9.2 Mil

I new they could talk the talk but they could not walk the walk! Then I don't think it was very long after that Win Boyd decided to spend $250,000 on heating and cooling because he said it would run more efficient, But they don't understand that was a quarter of a million dollars' that doesn't sound like much if you're not paying for it yourself and they know that, they are SLICK!

SPIKE, have you heard anything on the WATER PARK ? I wonder if that"s the same story? And have you seen all of the IDIOTS who are serious about stopping the trains from blowing their horns? And the FIREMAN lawsuit and the RAILROAD lawsuit' The $1 MILLION dollar budget deficit, And I'm sure I could go on and on.

Anyway, I believe in multiple perspectives because they bring AWARNESS AND CHOICES. But I think the council and city manager have made too many BAD choices.

And the BAD thing is no one person is accountable. Because if they were, they would have been down the road a long time a go. Something has to change. Maybe the people are going to have to run the city manager out of town on a rail. I don't know you got any suggestions?

Spike:
The best thing to do is tell everyone you know to read our website for a factual perspective. Then have those friends tell 5 more friends to do the same.

Then vote the bums and thugs out of office and when the new councilmen get to Slagle's contract renewal next year, Slagle will be gone.

Then when Power's contract is up for renewal next year, do the same thing. He'll complain that only he possesses the skills to continue with the railroad lawsuit. We can find another attorney that won't pick the taxpayers' pocket and keep us out of lawsuits instead of right smack dab in the middle of every lawsuit Power can dream up.

With Edwards, King, Slagle, Power and Baker out of City Hall, we have a chance. If they stay, you might as well pack your bags.
00:33:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Minerville Railroad Days September 17-18


Spike:
Good family outing for those who love railroading.

Minerville Railroad Days September 17-18


BurlingtonDerailed.com Photo

Minerville Country Village Announces 2005 Operating Schedule

Donnellson, IA- August 15, 2005- Visitors will be able to ride back in time to the village of Minerville on the Fort Madison, Farmington, & Western Railroad during Railroad Days September 17-18 2005. The two day show will be open from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. both days and will offer a look at life during the 1920’s.

Railroad Days will feature much of the Fort Madison, Farmington, and Western Railroad’s equipment in operation. Railroad equipment operating will include a 1939 steam crane, former CB&Q motorcar “doodlebug”, antique section cars and more. Antique trains will depart frequently for a two-mile train ride through the woods and across a trestle. Unlimited train rides will be included with admission to the show.

Visitors will also be able to stroll through the authentically replicated depot and see the nearly one dozen railroad cars as old as the 1880’s. In addition to the ride, visitors will be able to visit the Minerville Old Time Village, which includes a filling station, general store, print shop, music house, one room schoolhouse, and a fire house. It’s fun for the whole family!

Food vendors will be available on the grounds and camping is available at Wilson Lake Park located adjacent to the show grounds. Visitors will also want to visit the Apple Daze celebration which will be held at the same time in Donnellson, Iowa.

For more information visit their website at www.minermfgco.com/minerville.

00:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

What Are The Library Board's Motives


No Debt Des Moines County Target of Library?

SPIKE
The more I think about it, the more it makes sense, The PARASITES at the library board must have read the Hawk eye when they were showing the Debts of the city and the county. And they seen the county was not in too bad of Debt, so they went right after it to see how much money they could beg from the county.

And I bet the Chamber and GGB and The Downtown Partners and probably SLAGLE are involved too! I only hope I'm just blowing hot air! Because if this is true, they are all PARASITES in my opinion!
BB

Spike:
Time is going to tell the tale. When we get a sniff of the Library's financials, then we'll know.


00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

07 September

Fire Boat To New Orleans?


City Still Denies Water Pressure In Horace Mann Area

Spike:
I read on Councilboy King's website, that he suggested sending our Burlington Police boat to the Hurricane rescue site. Is he that stupid? We should all help and do what we can to help these people with donations to the Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc.

To my knowledge, the police dept. only has one boat, and they may need it for our citizens. They don't have a fleet. The military and FEMA has a fleet of boats to handle this mission.

Some of these politicians just want to attempt to look good and that's all it is. Maybe we should send our big fire truck too, the one that the ladder got stuck and they didn't have any water pressure to put out the fire at Horace Mann school.

The City denies the water pressure issue, but the neighbors say it has been a problem that the City was aware of. Now that is what King and the council should be concerned with, unsafe water pressure, crumbling streets, etc. They always pat themselves on the backs and convince themselves that we do well in these areas, when we all know better.

Does any of these City people ever drive these streets? Most of the streets anymore, are lucky to get a sealcoated gravel street. They are spending too much time and money on the lawsuits and not paying attention to the services that we pay for.

BB

Spike:
I wonder if he asked the Police/Fire Department what they thought of that? Of course not. Something about the first responder rule - Don't become a victim yourself.

As far as the streets go, we have all transformed from driving on paved streets to living on gravel roads.


14:55:08 - SPIKE - No comments

Cost Overruns At New Library?


We have heard from several sources that the new Library construction costs have skyrocketed with change orders and revisions. Two sources say that these costs have risen so far that the library needs to leverage various contracts to finance further construction.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Des Moines County Supervisors a proposed contract with the Library regarding the money pledged by the county for the libray over the next few years was tabled for further discussion without comment. Why is the library asking for a contract from the County? Who else has the library tried to rope into a contract?

The City has not issued any library financial status reports regarding construction costs, change orders or overruns. We need to know how that money is being spent. Especially since the city is at 75% of their debt to borrowing limit.

I’d like that financial status report to include an itemization of the revenue derived from selling off library assets, including those items sold on eBay.


00:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

BNSF Lawsuit Gas Gauge


Leaderless Edwards and Senator King's Reelection Behind Delayed Billings?

Even though Scott Power has not submitted his monthly billings since April, we estimate that the cost of the railroad lawsuit to be slightly less than half of the total that will be spent to litigate this case.

An email suggested Power hasn't submitted his billings because the city repeatedly stated that the lawsuit costs would not exceed the budgeted amount of $60,000 a year. Since they blew by that number in March, it would make the reelection of Edwards and King harder to achieve.

If it isn't that, what could it be? Why hasn't Power submitted his billings?


Gauge as of March 31, 2005



00:16:00 - SPIKE - No comments

City Finance Director Mini-Me Worden Cites Future City Borrowing


What Did They Know and When Did They Know It Question Is Answered

We have repeatedly stated that we believed Slagle and mini-me Worden had prior knowledge that there was going to be a large budget deficit this year. We believe that the citizens were entitled to know that before it is sprung on us 3-4 weeks before the budget has to be approved.

Last week the local advertiser started to uncover the city’s precarious debt position. In that report Mini-me Worden said there would be no need to borrow until 2008.

Unless Mini-me has a crystal ball, he projected 3 years in the future that the city was going to borrow money. How does he know that? How much are we going to have to borrow?

So our question, “What did you know and when did you know it” is finally answered. Slagle and Worden knew long in advance that there was going to be a $1,000,000 budget deficit. They kept it from us.

Just like their need to borrow in 2008. What if the advertiser hadn’t asked the question? And why hasn’t the advertiser asked a lot more questions about the city’s finances? Like where's Scott Power's April-August legal billings?

Sure would have been nice to have a libray contribution from the railroad.



00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

06 September

What Will Hurricane Katrina Teach Us?


After watching hours of Hurricane Katrina coverage and the finger pointing that has followed, one thing has prevailed. A leadership trait that is needed for any crisis management situation at any level.

A person usually has an opportunity to survive a crisis or catastrophe because of their will to survive. For lots of people to survive, real leaders must possess the ability to utilize situational awareness to deploy available assets to overcome the crisis. They have to see the big picture.

So, if Burlington were to suffer a catastrophic event do we have the leadership to manage that crisis? The answer is simply, no.

The City Manager and at least 4 City Council members (Mayor Mike Edwards, Senator Chris King, Bill “Lost Keys” Ell and Mary Baker) don’t have any of the necessary leadership skills and character traits.

You may think that Burlington is probably never going to get hit by a hurricane or catastrophe, so what wild tangent are we headed for?

We need leaders. And right now, we don’t have any that display leadership qualities that the citizens can respect. And the citizens deserve a leader they can respect.

What will Hurricane Katrina teach us?

Ultimately, someone has to lead.


00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Garbage Crisis Averted


“Lost Keys” Ell Garbage Effort To Pay Off

“Lost Keys” Ell deep concern over the landfill garbage crisis in Burlington has reached new heights. Something is being done to protect the citizens from the crazed garbage men running amok in Des Moines County and is truly remarkable legislation.

The Burlington City Council, in its infinite wisdom to regulate everyone to the max, has decided to further regulate garbage haulers. Even though it is already illegal for waster haulers to haul garbage to another landfill, the local regional waste director has convinced Ell this lost garbage is a looming financial crisis and must be dealt with.

Good job, “Lost Keys.” Your single-handed effort to correct this huge mis-carriage of garbage is truly remarkable and something to be proud of.

And the foresight to impose a $750 fine for breaking the new law really shows them who is boss. And the world is a better place for your meddling in regional waste’s business and should be applauded.

Now, if you would show as much interest and concern in protecting the Burlington taxpayers’ fiduciary interests, we might respect your efforts. Otherwise, it’s just garbage.



00:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Not A Fox Spike, But a Rifle


Lee County Corruption No Surprise

Not to nitpick (well, yes to nitpick) but in regards to the pic of the A-10 launching an AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missile. It is labeled "Fox, Fox, Fox" but the brevity call "Fox" indicates the launch of an actual or simulated air-to-air missile. The call "Fox" would be followed by "One", "Two" or "Three" indicating a semi-active radar-guided missile, an infrared-guided missile or an active radar-guided missile respectively.

The (radio) call the A-10 would be giving in this situation would be "Rifle" which would indicate the actual or simulated launch of an AGM-65 Maverick missile.

Now with that out of the way I congratulate you on a outstanding website. Something that has been needed for a long time since the Hawkeye has long since ceased being a newspaper but a radical propaganda rag. You are doing a valuable public service. You are doing the job the newspaper should be doing but refuses to do.

I'm not surprised you are getting more feedback from Lee county. It is more corrupt that Des Moines county by far. Those rascals in control in Lee county make Des Moines county rascals look like amateurs. They could probably show the Chicago rascals a thing or two.

Corruption so deep, so entrenched, that I don't think there is any way to reform it. More and more folks are just giving up and leaving especially the younger people. You will notice that all through the Lee county scandals the same names keep coming up and they all have a common characteristic.
Cap5

Spike:
Cap5 is talking about our A-10 Warthog photo from the other day. I erroneously gave the wrong radio call sign for a missile shot as seen in the photo.

If you have one of these bad boys hammering down on your six, you're about due for molecular reorganization.



U.S. Air Force Photo

The AGM-65 is a highly accurate, 460 pound air-to-ground missile employed by A-10 and F-16 aircraft. The Maverick carries a 125 pound shaped charge warhead optimized against heavy armor or reinforced structures. It uses either TV or Infrared imaging guidance and provides a long range "launch and leave" capability.

The missile shown above (left) uses TV guidance. The infrared Maverick, AGM-65D, (above right) is capable of striking moving targets at night.

A safety cover is in place on the AGM-65D, (right) to prevent accidental arming prior to flight. After the safety cover is removed from the missile before flight, the pilot can see what the missle sees on a cockpit display.


A-10 Warthog "Rifle 1"

U.S. Air Force Photo

00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

04 September

THROW ALL OF THE BUMS OUT!!!


Once again, your website is an asset to this community, being that honest opinions are expressed. City elections are coming up, so here are my picks. THROW ALL OF THE BUMS OUT!!!

Get some new ideas into office. Get some new people into office. Burlington still has a pulse, however, it is faint. There are too many self-serving people in charge right now.
CT

Spike:
Whatever happens in the election there will be at least one member that has served on the council before.We just need to see that it is the right one that won't wallow in the trough to Slagle and Power.

There does have to be a change in the way we do business.
12:44:30 - SPIKE - No comments

02 September

City Lawsuits - More Good Money After Bad


Spike

I was reading in the Hawkeye yesterday that the City is appealing the Civil Service Commission's decision that favored a Burlington firefighter. The firefighter won an appeal and is awarded $344.00 in back pay.

The City should accept this decision and move on. After all, that is what the commission is there for. I could see an appeal by the City if this was something major, but the family of the lady this firefighter treated, said he did a good job. Does the City want to be convinced he did a poor job? Would they rather be sued by the person treated?

The City estimates they (we) will spend about $1700.00 taking this to District court. I would think we would have better things to spend our money on more wisely. With fuel prices at $3.00 per gallon, they may need the money for gas to fill up those big SUV's.

I would rather see my tax dollars go to the victims of the Hurricane than wasted like this. This City council that authorized this should be removed from office at election time.

BB

Spike:
I think the voters are going to clean house.

I want to know how the City can enter an appeal of a Civil Service Commission ruling in District Court without voting on it as required by the Iowa code. The code says all final actions, voting to enter the lawsuit(it appears that this is a lawsuit since it is held in a court room in front of a judge) shall be taken in open session. Semantics of appeal vs. lawsuit is just that, semantics.

But, you have to remember. These are the same people that buy land from the railroad and then claim it as their own. So don't expect much adherance to applicable laws.

00:08:00 - SPIKE - No comments

A Tomcat, A Hornet, A Warthog & A Spirit


Coming This Year To The Burlington Iowa Airshow September 17,2005

Tomcat Arriving On The Angle Deck

An F-14 Tomcat from the Squadron One Zero Three (VF-103), the "Jolly Rogers," approaches the flight deck of USS George Washington (CVN 73) as USS Mahan (DDG 72) steams on station as plane guard. The plane guard stands ready to rescue any flight crew in the event of an emergency. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Rex Nelson. [020927-N-6433N-001] Sept. 27, 2002

Look Ma, No Hands

An F/A-18 Hornet from Strike Fighter Squadron Eight Three (VFA-83) launches from one of four steam-driven catapults on the flight deck of USS George Washington (CVN 73). The Hornet will reach a speed of 152 knots (about 175 mph) in 21⁄2 seconds as it is being launched. The launch is computer controlled with the pilot's hands off the controls. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Jessica Davis. [020812-N-3986D-002] Aug. 12, 2002


Fox, Fox, Fox

Few airplanes unleash the sheer firepower of the close ground aupport A-10 Warthog. In addition to the missles, the Warthog sports an electric gattling gun under the nose. Many helicopter pilots have looked down to see Warthogs below 'em "softening" the LZ. They get that low. U.S. Air Force Photo.


Slidin' In For The Boom

Over the Pacific Ocean a B-2 Spirit bomber prepares to refuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker during a deployment to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The bomber deployed as part of a rotation that has provided U.S. Pacific Command officials a continuous bomber presence in the Asia-Pacific region, enhancing regional security and the U.S. commitment to the Western Pacific. The Spirit is from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Mo. The Stratotanker is assigned to the Illinois Air National Guard's 126th Air Refueling Wing at Scott AFB. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Val Gempis.


00:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

01 September

Train Horns


Horns Blow For Safety - Not to Annoy Slagle

BNSF Employees Still Contribute To Community and Region

It is apparent that the recent talk of silencing the train horns through town has prompted much reaction from the local citizens. Although it would seem that the consensus of the citizens is that they want them banned, I have heard many others express that they feel it is ridiculous.

It's amazing after reading the articles and editorials in the newspaper, a person might think that this is a newly created issue. As if we've never heard train horns before.

Before the city does anything, they need to confront a key issue, that they have ignored for sometime. That being, enforcing laws that are already on the books concerning violations at rail crossings. Each day, people downtown violate crossing laws by not respecting the gates in place and ignoring the warnings of oncoming trains. The railroad police have commented that there definitely is a problem in Burlington, but feel the local police do not issue citations because of the current lawsuit.

Also, the various conspiracy theories that have been floating around making it seem that the train crews are blowing the horns more on purpose is completely ridiculous. Unfortunately many of these crews have had the misfortune of killing a person who was in the wrong, and have to deal with that stress for the rest of their lives.

Horns are there to keep the public safe, and many of us in town enjoy the sound reminding us of our rich history in railroading. And the crews don't make the laws, they are just abiding by what they have been instructed to do. Hopefully the city will stop dealing with such petty issues and start focusing on the real problems this city faces.

I would also like the city to note, that some of these crews do indeed live within Burlington and are tired of being treated like second class citizens. With all the negativity in the local news, I would hate to see some of these good citizens uproot and move somewhere where they felt they were welcome.

They are just trying to make a living. Hopefully we can hear more from some others about their feelings on the horn issue, and hopefully some people out there will let others know that they like hearing them.

P

Spike:
People just don't understand the danger around railroad crossings. If they did, they wouldn't be so stupid. And stupid is the only nice word. If they carried the burden of killing a car load of kids trying to run a crossing, they might wise up.

Maybe Operation Lifesaver could initiate an offender apprehension program with the Iowa Highway Patrol since there could be a conflict with the city over the lawsuit. Or maybe the union would approach the Police Chief.

I just think this new found horn business is Slagle playing problematic Baby Robin. All mouth and full of crap.

Horns and whistles were being blown in this town before everyone alive was born. Don't like it, move.

2 longs, a short and a long. Let 'em hollar. It might be their dumb butt you save.



00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

More of the Lee County GOB Network


Emperor King For Recall? Sorry, Not This time

GOB of Guppies Still Eating Their Young in Lee County

Spike,

Thanks so much for your site, I had a friend back there tell me about it to get the scoop as to what's really going on. I know it's bad and not getting better.

I know you've said you don't want to get involved in Lee county issues, but it's hard not to comment about what's been going on in the old stomping grounds.

There's recently been some interesting letters to the editor from a guy about the goings on in the county offices and the auditor. Apparently there was a mistake made with a mental health tax levy that cost the county a large amount of money. This was one of the things the auditor and several other elected officals earlier in the summer tried to pin on that supervisor from Keokuk, Woodruff, in that group letter they sent.

It looks like there was at least a week or two for CPC (I assume that's the mental health dept) director Posz and auditor Pederson to find the mistake and report it, but somehow it got 'overlooked'. No one ever bothered to tell the supervisors how much they'd lose, around half a million dollars.

The letter also points out that the levy could be calculated from the certification sheet that the auditor signs, and it is pretty easy to calculate. If that's true, then the public has been told a real bald faced lie. Seems to me there should be some legal ramifications for the auditor if she signed something she knew was bogus.

What's really interesting is that all this apparently happened right around the time when the auditor released those tapes of that closed meeting last year. The letter writer says it was right after the supervisors cut her budget. Smells like the 'mistake' was a setup from day one.

There is also a brief mention that the auditor had to defend Posz in the media sometime in the past. I searched the archives of the local papers but couldn't find anything on that. You know anything about it Spike?

I did find an article though that Posz was one of the ones who had his employee file a grievance on that reduction in work hours. There seems to be a cozy relationship there. Another member of the Lee Co GOB club?

Somebody below commented that the woman who was given the large amount of extra vacation time was the wife of a department head. Could this the same one?

That would be very interesting to find out because there was another letter yesterday by this individual that vacation time is also under the jurisdiction of the auditor. It mentioned that no way it would have been a mistake because it was corrected then changed back. I recall reading that somewhere too, I don't think it was the Local Advertiser though.

Somebody needs to do some nosing around. If these two are connected, not only does there seem to be some conspiring and a mutual CYA between the auditor and mental health boss, but a bit of payback involved too. I'd have to believe using public money like that would be highly illegal for her to do. I don't expect the Local Advertiser to get on that anytime soon.

This is the 3rd or 4th thing the auditor has got nailed on just this year. I'd say the state authorities if not the feds need to take a hard look at what's going on in the Lee county auditor's office. That's my take on it anyway.

As far as Emperor King goes, when a public official basically says they're not accountable to the public, it's time for them to go. Does Iowa have a recall law on the books somewhere to get him out? They have these in other states I've lived in and would be a good way to get these jokers gone. You guys need to do something soon before they flush it all down the river.

G

Spike:
We're getting news every day about Lee County. There needs to be a full scale investigation of several offices in Lee County.

It doesn't need to involve the Feds, but it sure would make the Lee County residents feel better about any biases that seem to run rampant.

"Emperor King" is headed to a showdown with the voters this fall. He's history.The more he talks, the fewer voters he retains. And we all know how he talks. And talks. And talks. And talks.



00:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Who's Going To Get Endorsed?


Hi Spike!

Who do you think the Chamber OF Commerce and Grow Greater Burlington are going to endorse this year? Do you think it'll be Tim Scott and Chris King as usual?

JO

Spike:
I hope not.

King is a liability for the Chamber and Grow Greater Burlington and all of the citizens. Edwards won't play in this endorsement because he brought home the railroad lawsuit. That doesn't help economic development.

Scott is better than Edwards or Baker. Scott can keep Slagle under control. But the Chamber/GGB is so brown nosed from Slagle they're blind. And since Power's law firm represents the City, the Chamber/ Grow Greater Burlington and Southeast Regional Planning they will stay away from Scott.

The rest of the former council members have some good people especially Eckhardt. But he might be too close to Slagle and Power to shoot their crap back at 'em.

I would rather see all new people elected to the Council. A fresh slate will prevent a stacked vote deck for Slagle and Power's quagmire hold on this city becoming any deeper.

When you have a city manager that won't demand an itemization of legal fees from a contract worker like Power, then you need people that aren't afraid to wield their elected power. Golf club or not.

All I know for sure, if the citizens vote Edwards and King back in office, they deserve what these two clowns have done to this City.

And I will probably retire because all hope will be gone.

00:07:07 - SPIKE - No comments

Heyland Says School Grades Suffer Because "Soil Is Different"


7.5% Tax Increase For Schools - Ok If We Got Results

Where Are The Parents?

Don't Need County Manager


Spike

I was listening to Fred debate Heland again yesterday on the morning KCPS talk show. They were discussing the low graduation rates and low test scores in the Burlington School District.

Fred was trying to point out that the standards and measurements are the same for all districts. Fred was just pointing out facts. Heland was being defensive and trying to get the discussion off course.

Fred was talking about low graduation rates and for some reason, all Heland talks about is how we are so different here in SE Iowa.

He (Heyland) said our soil is even different. What the hell does that have to do with anything?

Fred unintentionally, made a fool out of Heland. The fact is, they tested poorly compared to other school districts. Period!

I just got my tax statement and the taxes went up again and the school district had the largest tax increase. 7.5% is a large tax increase. The City had the next highest increase at 4.5% which isn't anything to brag about. The County did the best, this year anyway. Maybe we don't need a County manager.

If we are going to get management like they have in the City and School District, we would be better off without it.

SO

Spike:
There is no doubt that our school system might be top heavy with salaries. I wouldn't object to a school tax increase if we weren't on the list of school districts and schools that need assistance under the Leave No Child Behind mandate.

I just wish the citizens were getting a better return for their tax dollars. We don't need to be on any more "lists."

We need our children to succeed, and excel, academically. American children are getting crushed by the rest of the world. If parents don't grab these kids by their scrawny little necks and drag them screaming to their homework, our children will be waiting tables for the rest of the world. And we're only about one generation away.

00:02:00 - SPIKE - No comments