Burlington Derailed — The Continuing Story

31 October

Outside Opinion Needed Of Railroad Lawsuit


The recent articles in the Hawkeye about the lawsuit lead one to believe no one on the council really knows what’s going on, or what's going to happen around the bend.

Just how far is the council willing to go in this costly litigation? They made a decision to go ahead with the lawsuit without all the facts.

Does the city really have a case? If not, let's cut our losses now.

Wouldn't it be in the best interest of the city to get a second opinion on the suit? Advice from some higher-powered law firm located outside the state would be a good idea.

We're already in this to the tune of $100,000 plus, just on the advice of Mr. Power. I'd love to see the city come out a winner on this, if there is a legitimate case to be made.

It just seems like we're putting up a bic lighter to fight a bonfire and lining Scott Power's pockets in the mean time.


We've hammered at this idea for months. A $5,000 legal opinion from a real law firm would go a long way to legitimize the railroad lawsuit. Or, show Scott Power the street where he belongs.

We know that Edwards, Ell and King didn't do their homework about the lawsuit or they would have known about the 1985 agreement with the railroad. And I wonder why Power hid the 1985 agreement from the council. It is a very significant document.

I have little doubt that outside counsel would see the lawsuit as anything but a boondoggle. What really might be a more worthwhile result from obtaining an outside opinion is setting the stage to recover the legal fees the city has already paid to Power.

Witness lists and motions are coming due anytime. I'm sure that once we get to see the City's expert witnesses, the bonfire will be lit.

From what I've heard, I don't think the city can find expert witnesses willing to look foolish at trial testifying over the 1985 agreement. Even for money, expert witnesses don't want to jeopardize their reputation.

The downside to all of this is that the legal fees are going to escalate beyond our original estimates. The costs now until trial are going to jump exponentially beyond comprehension. And don't forget, the City might still be liable for the railroad's legal fees.

Coupled with Power not having to account for the billing until after the fact, the citizens are screwed.

I am very confident the city is on extremely thin ice. It's slowly cracking. And like thin ice, the further you venture out on the ice, sooner or later, you drown.

I may be wrong. But I doubt it.


01:13:00 - SPIKE - No comments

29 October

Candidates Miss Shot

I didn't see one city council candidate working the drive through flu shot expo at Summer Street Fire Station today.

Lots of people and a chance for loads of exposure.

12:21:25 - SPIKE - No comments

28 October

KCPS’s Huge Halloween Auction Today

Visit KCPS Early and Shop Late

Go to the Auction Now

I think I might bid on the oil socks for Cry Baby King’s trail of election tears.

01:07:00 - SPIKE - No comments

KCPS Pops A Continuous Sports Broadcast Record

"My God, There’s Never Been A Run Like This In Broadcast History In Any Market"

Since the White Sox won the World Series we need to look at another sports record for one radio station.

In 20 years KCPS 1150 AM has broadcast:

1. Every World Series
2. Every Superbowl
3. Every Bears game
4. Most all Nascar races

01:03:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Thoughts On Regionalism & Brian Tapp


I’m glad to you’ve drawn a bead on Southeast Iowa Regional Planning director Brian Tapp and his ‘catch-phrase crowd’ cronies. The readers need to be aware that a lot of what’s discussed here is due to Tapp’s scheming and orchestrating, things that The Blind Eye refuses to cover.

What Tapp wants is regional government by consolidating all the cities and counties into one unit and have regional planning run the whole thing out of Burlington. And I mean everything. We are not just talking about a consolidated governmental unit; it would go much farther than that.

Tapp’s vision is a central bureaucracy that would tax, permit, zone, and regulate everything it could legally get away with. All the money sucked in would be redistributed in endless programs and pork projects justified as ‘economic development’ or ‘income assistance.’ Basically a rehashed central planning scheme from hell.

Of course Tapp and his supporters sugarcoat all this to make it sound so wonderful. As anybody who has dealt with Tapp is aware, he’ll doublespeak you into thinking one thing when he means another. The catch phrases that Tapp uses to make regionalism sound good are consolidation and economic development.

Yes, regional consolidation would create savings in certain areas. Namely those services where the citizens foot the bill for transportation to get that service, and those that are not used enough to justify an office in each city or county, or can be done by electronic means.

However, those services that require government to travel to a site, such as sheriff, mental health, roads, human services, or assessor are not good candidates for consolidation. Fuel, mileage reimbursement, maintenance, and travel time on the clock eat up any savings.

Tapp knows that if we consolidated everything it wouldn’t save much money. In some cases it’s actually more expensive to consolidate. That’s just the smokescreen for the masses, it’s really about consolidating power and control into a few hands, preferably appointed and not elected. So is his big mantra of regional economic development.

Regional economic development is economic bunk. How do you define an economic region? To see the stupidity of the idea, you could put us in a region with Hannibal, MO, or Galesburg, IL or Fairfield, IA though none of those would be in the same region together.

They in turn would be parts of other regions that we wouldn’t be in. Where would you draw the lines? The only way you can define an economic area is by jurisdictional boundaries. In the U.S., that’s city, county, state, and national. That’s because tax rates, regulations, and fiscal spending are the foundation of an economy’s business climate and competitiveness.

Which is why you don’t hear of a township or precinct economy - they have little or no independent power to do those things. Real regional economic development would require a regional government, and that’s what Tapp is really means when he says it.

Tapp needs that kind of authority because his version of economic development includes a fat chunk of money for Regional Planning to dole out the money from somewhere else. When they get to dole it out they retain a large fee to see that the checks are written to the funding source. Which isn’t wrong, but when it is abused, it becomes very wrong.

It’s nothing but a Ponzi scheme and he knows it. It’s not about economic development; it’s about having a cash cow to pay off whomever he needs to keep power and control in his elite little group.

That’s why all of us need to fight him tooth and nail when he spouts his regionalism garbage.


The most important issue you raised here is Tapp speaks with forked tongue. I heard that there is a situation brewing in Donnellson where Regional Planning tried to pull a fast one to include a 2-mile zone over above what Regional Planning had proposed to the citizens and landowners.

I think the paper said something about they “just added that to have that in place.” With friends like that why would you want enemies?

01:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

27 October

BurlingtonDerailed Readers Versus Voters


You mentioned 2,000+ visitors to this site in a week.

Have you been able to cross reference those who visit you to registered voters in Burlington and Des Moines County who vote in local elections? Registered voter lists are out there. I imagine you would find the correlation of local registered, faithful voters far above the general population average.

Those seeking public office in Des Moines County who ignore and berate you do so at their own peril. This is especially so in municipal elections where turnout is low.

Just having the Hawk Eye praise you no longer carries the weight it once did.

No, we have enough excitement cross referencing internet addresses now that the newspaper has all cloaked up.

It would be interesting. But time is an element for voter analysis. I think your premise is probably valid.

We do archive everything that happens on here. Maybe when King and Edwards are retired, I can look at that.

03:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

"Counsel Hadn't Been Briefed By Counsel" Not Misspelled

KCPS Big Show Crew Misses Spike's Humor

Yesterday, we posted a paragraph about Senator King answering Jim Quirk's questions.

Quirk very specifically asked Senator King if he knew about the 1985 agreement the city had with the BNSF prior to filing the lawsuit. King said. “I was fully aware of the things that I needed to be aware of and I was briefed by legal counsel and outside of that can’t comment about ongoing litigation.”

When Quirk asked King, Edwards and Ell months ago about the agreement, none of them knew about it and hadn’t been briefed on it. In fact, I think King was “upset.”

Now, King admits he knew about it and had been briefed by counsel. Counsel hadn’t even been briefed by counsel.

I'm not so sure Power was fully briefed about filing lawsuits before he filed the railroad lawsuit since the lawsuit has no basis. I suppose the next thing after King claims we caused his loss at the polls is for Power and Slagle to claim we caused the city to lose the railroad lawsuit.

01:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Siege Method Of Cost Control

Hi Spike

You know, the one question the council candidates did not do very well in my mind was, how could they save the city money? And to me that was a no-brainer.

First get rid of the city manager position. Second, eliminate the deputy manager position. And third. eliminate the stupid and unnecessary lawsuits-mainly the BNSF and fireman suits. And fourth, the first two should eliminate unnecessary RAISES and WILD SPENDING in city hall.

I don't think any of them even considered the thought, what are they thinking? I don't think any of them know which direction to take the city next; they just wait for the chamber to tell them which way to go. I don't think any of them except one have any fortitude or direction and that is EDWARDS and that is where I agree to disagree with you. Sorry SPIKE!



01:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

26 October

Observations From The Forum

Another city council candidate forum took place last night. I wish we had a few more candidates.

KCPS 1150 AM sent their ace cub reporter 7 to question the candidates. I could sense that 7 wanted to lower the boom on a few candidates but he maintained his calm, Clark Kent demeanor.

After an hour and a half of ho hum candidate drivel, Jim Quirk from the Hawk Eye lit a fire under the candidates with some hard questions. My TV screen was damp from their perspiration.

Senator King

Quirk very specifically asked Senator King if he knew about the 1985 agreement the city had with the BNSF prior to filing the lawsuit. King said. “I was fully aware of the things that I needed to be aware of and I was briefed by legal counsel and outside of that can’t comment about ongoing litigation.”

When Quirk asked King, Edwards and Ell months ago about the agreement, none of them knew about it and hadn’t been briefed on it. In fact, I think King was “upset.”

Now, King admits he knew about it and had been briefed by counsel. Counsel hadn’t even been briefed by counsel.

Shortly after that, King said he had never been caught in a lie on the front page of the Hawk Eye. How many lies have you told that you haven’t been caught in? Have you lied on pages 3, 5 or 7? Or here, on BurlingtonDerailed.com?

Later King related ethics, morality and integrity to pulling Mary Baker’s chair out for her at council meetings over the last 4 years. That’s manners, communications major and doesn’t have anything to do with ethics, morality and integrity. And there was your post on your website questioning Baker’s abilities to run for office.

Lastly, King apologized for not campaigning because of his haunted house. Then drop out. We don’t need any more excuses from you. Especially since I am up at 2:30 in the morning writing this. If I can work late, you can too.

Tim Scott

Scott got a Quirk punch with a question whether or not Scott trusted City Manager Bruce Slagle. Scott’s pause said it all. Don’t worry Tim, you are not alone in your feelings about Loose Goose Slagle. He isn’t worthy of trust.

Garry Thomas

The consummate campaigner. He will win a seat. He wants our vote. No excuses like King.

Chuck Griffin

Quirk asked Griffin what the chances were that he might move again before his council term was up. Griffin, replied with an enemic, “probably nil.” After stumbling around on that for a long time, Griffin changed his answer to “I’m committed, so we’re (Griffin and his wife) committed.” Not a ringing commitment for a council seat. Maybe we might consider a vote for Griffin if we are in town that day and not doing lunch or the laundry or raking leaves or washing the car.

And knock off this shtick about your hands are all over Burlington. You didn’t do it by yourself. And I don’t like people touching my stuff.

Dick Eckhardt

Eckhardt was asked about the railroad lawsuit and what he would do to after getting in office to get up to speed on the lawsuit issues. Eckhardt said, “I would hate to have to be brought up to speed on the lawsuit…it would be burdensome” to do that. Well Dick, if you can rubberstamp another $100,000 for legal fees without knowing the reasons, drop out. We can’t afford you.


He thinks his big dog routine will win the votes. I think he better keep the poodle in the house.

03:33:34 - SPIKE - No comments

Scott Steps Up To Challenge & Locks Voter


Good site for the public. Tim Scott deserves credit for answering your readers. I intend to vote for Tim Scott.

He deserves credit for removing himself from the contractors list when he becomes a council member. This would eliminate all suspicion if he were to get the job.

Council members read this site. Maybe they can answer this question?

When tax dollars or grants are used, such as the Capitol Theatre project. Is the Capitol Theatre board held accountable to making sure they use the bidding process?

Just because certain people are on the board, it isn't right for them to automatically get the construction work. Maybe if their heart is in the right place, they should remove themselves from the bidding process, just like Tim Scott is doing.

Did they bid the $27,000 sign? If they want private donations and tax dollars they should follow the bidding process and make certain that there are no favorites. The City has a responsibility to see that the laws are followed.


And no cronyism that permeates Downtown.


02:43:00 - SPIKE - No comments

City Council Candidates Miss Chance To Reach Voters

All of the council candidates other than Tim Scott have ignored BurlingtonDerailed.com for their election campaign.

Maybe you need a quick marketing lesson. Last week we had over 2000+ visitors to this website from Monday through Friday.

You might find a few voters here. Send it in. We’ll post it.

And we have a whole slug of new anonymous visitors that look like writers on Main Street. They vote, too.

01:40:00 - SPIKE - No comments

25 October

Sewers and Insurance


As always; keep up the good work. Burlington has to read the truth somewhere and it's certainly not in the "Hawk Eye".

If you didn't read Tim Scott's post, do it now. If you own property in B-town, you will most likely be replacing your sewer connection, (I did 4 years ago), to the tune of $5000.00 +.

Tim told me then about his plan for the dollar fee to repair these lines and I think it's a great idea. The sewer in my area was installed in 1923. I'm sure all over town these lines will slowly be failing. (I think Tim told me 12-15 a year get repaired.) Talk about throwing money down a hole!!

I know Tim hasn't been perfect. No one is. (remember him having snow cleared at his business with city employees?) But I think he's one of the most viable candidates due to the fact he is experienced, has common sense, and is willing to take on the thugs at city hall.

Now, Tim, since I know you look at this site, let's address the issue of city employee health insurance. I wish we all could have the insurance city employees get. I'd love to get on their plan and I'd happily PAY for HALF of my own premiums! We simply cannot afford to keep providing this free service in this economic crunch!!

Like I said, I wish we could all have good insurance (and in a lot of cases, ANY insurance), but let's be realistic. Mosy everyone has to pay at least some of their own insurance. I fail to see why city employees should get this gift. They are well paid, now they can start paying their own way like the rest of us!!


13:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Tim Scott Clearly Addresses Readers Concerns

Tim Scott Isn’t Afraid of Spike – Why Is Everyone Else?

In response to a post yesterday, October 24. Tim Scott took the initiative to march into the lion’s den armed only with a plunger and answers to our reader’s concerns. That tells me a lot. Tells me a lot about what the current mayor lacks when it comes to leadership.

Thanks for answering our reader's concerns.


Dear Spike,

In the email titled "Thoughts about Tim Scott", ST asks if I would continue to do business with the city if I am elected to the Burlington City Council. The quick answer is no.

I was awarded the sale for the point repair kits through a competitive sealed bid process. I will withdraw my bid if elected, as well I will ask that my name be removed from the contractors list that do work for the city.

On the topic of the special sewer fund I have talked about for 10 years. When we purchased our home in the early 90's, we were having sewer backups on a regular basis. After having the rooter company out 4 or 5 times it was discovered that our house lateral was broken.

As it turned out it was so bad that it had to be replaced from the house to the city main. When we asked the rooter person what we had to do next he said call the city. We contacted Dudley Spooner and he told us that it was our problem.

He said that the home owner was responsible for the house lateral from the home to the main and was also responsible for the main section that the private lateral connected to if it were damaged by the private lateral.

In the early 90's it cost over $4,000.00 to replace the lateral. This was with my brother and me doing much of the work. My neighbor had the same problem this summer and it cost him $9,000.00.

My idea was to add one dollar a month to the sewer bill and have those funds placed in a lateral sewer line repair fund. These funds could be used as grant dollars or set up in a low interest loan fund for individual homeowners who have similar problems with their lateral sewer lines.

This fund would be available to those that have problems in the city right of way portion of there lateral line. It is when contractors get into the right of way that the cost soars for repairs. This is because of the cost of replacing streets and the requirement remove all contaminated soil and to back fill with k-crete.

The other part of the writers question was would I benefit from such a fund. No, I would not, though I do repairs to lateral lines, I am not bonded for work in the city right of way, nor do I have the equipment or expertise for that type of work.

If there are other questions that your readers and contributors would like answered they are welcome to email me at Scotty291@a*o*l.com(delete the asterisks), or they can call me at 753-9883 work or 753-5022 home. If any would prefer that I respond through your site that is not a problem.

Tim Scott
Burlington City Council Candidate

00:27:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Hoschek Still Incompetent

If the Des Moines County Supervisors vote to join the regional airport authority, their contribution of $21,560 per year could return an additional $431,200 in federal funding that could be used to improve the airport.

What is absolutely disgraceful is Hoschek said we would get the money anyway. I guess all those trips to Washington are paying off. The voters are getting a real good look at Hoschek's level of incompetence.

Hoschek sits on the NACO Transportation Steering Committee with 90+ other people that paid their dues. I wonder how he can do that when he is so anti-transportation?

Tell us Tim, how much money have you brought back to Burlington for airport improvements? Yes, Tim, when you don't hold up any fingers it means no money.

00:22:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Griffin Is Stepping On A Precarious Branch

Burlington City Council candidate Chuck Griffin browned his nose all the way to his ears today when asked about Burlington City Attorney Scott Power. The most troubling words out of Griffin's mouth to describe Power were, "very skilled, very qualified, great guy."

What the hell have you been smoking Chuck? If this is the type of good old boy rubber stamp you're going to wield in office, we don't need you. Drop out. You don't have what we need.

Have you read the 1985 agreement with the railroad? Do you understand what is being litigated? Do you understand that we are going to get slapped silly when this thing goes to court? Are you ready to tender your seat for this incompetence?

If you think for one minute there isn't going to be serious political fallout from this lawsuit you're crazy.Your glowing endorsement of this mess is a serious indicator that you don't belong in the seat.

Let me ask you.

Do you want to be part of the solution? Or, are you part of the problem?

00:21:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Time For An Update On Power’s Legal Bills

Over a month has passed and it’s time for another update on the lawsuit legal bills. Somebody rattle the box of snakes and see how much we owe them now.

00:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Business Solutions For Economic Development

Not Bureaucratic Solutions


I feel like you do that we can get good paying manufacturing jobs here, and that is where we need to concentrate on instead of low paying service jobs. We just have to know how to get them.

One way, hire professionals. Economic development is a business problem. You tackle a business problem with a business solution, not a bureaucratic one.

Building a healthy local economy requires 1) knowing your assets and liabilities, 2) identifying those companies that will thrive in your existing situation, and 3) getting them to locate here, from a new technology startup to a mature company.

Doing that means first properly structuring your economic development effort with the right package of professional skills. Those are:

1. Research. You have to find it to recruit it. A good research effort should be on top of everything from the newest technological innovations to the expansion plans of the largest blue chip companies. It should always be trying to find opportunities and prospects with needs that we can meet at an advantage over somewhere else.

2. Data processing. A good economic development effort requires having a good computer database. This is important not only for keeping portfolios on prospective companies, but inventorying your infrastructure and keeping detailed specs and floor plans so businesses can find the right site and design their operations to take the most advantage of that infrastructure. All of that kind of data should be maintained in a GIS mapping system.

3. Marketing. Once you know what you got, you have to let them know you got it. Good marketing encompasses everything from a trade show to personal contact with a particular business. It also means presenting a competitive package that a prospect will sign on to.

4. Financial. A competitive marketing effort requires having someone who can run numbers. For a startup business, this is critical, for a mature one it may be little more than looking at which is the most viable site. If you can’t quantify the bottom line, you won’t really have anything to offer that business. Also, you run the risk of any business locating here not being profitable and failing because the numbers didn’t add up.

5. Engineering. This is more critical for startup businesses than mature ones. But having a stable of engineering and construction talent for hire can help design, build, and fix any kinks that come up at a site project to avoid delays and overruns. It can also look over proposed projects to point out problems in the process that need to be redesigned.

Having all these skills requires a number of professionals. They all don’t need to be on staff, some can be on a contract basis. There is usually a wealth of retired talent with financial, marketing and engineering skills that could assist in those areas.

The absolute main thing is that whoever is hired as the Economic Development Director, that person needs to be an experienced professional with a track record of landing good paying companies to an area. Because this area is such a hard luck case, any local government shouldn’t even think of hiring anyone without extensive professional credentials.

Once all that is in place, you can then develop a solid strategy for building a healthy local economy. The starting point is attracting good paying local jobs. We know we have a world-class transportation infrastructure and manufacturing-trained workforce. Together they give us a unique advantage over most of the rest of the country, if not the world.

For SE Iowa then, good paying jobs should be jobs that move, produce, or process goods. With around a third of the nations GDP flowing through SE Iowa, we need to look into how we can tap into that flow and add value by targeting companies that process or manufacture goods from those commodities.

From startups with new technologies to mature industries, there are all sorts of competitive companies that process the goods that come through our rail, highway, and river systems. We have the workforce and infrastructure to meet their needs. Many of these companies offer good paying jobs. We just need to get our local economic development efforts correctly set up to find them, screen them, market to them, and bring them here.

That should be the foundation of our economic development effort. Once we have that, then we can add services like retail, tourism, recreation, restaurants, hotels, etc.

But we need to build the foundation first. If the local governments will stop looking at bureaucratic solutions and starting finding business solutions, we can rebuild our local economies.

Question is, will they ever get their head out of their butts long enough to actually do the right things to make that happen?


00:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

24 October

Catfish Bend Sale Reported In Ft Madison Democrat

The Fort Madison Democrat reported last Thursday the possible sale of the Catfish Bend Casino. Since we simply read this story and a confidentiality agreement was cited by officials from Catfish Bend as the reason for no comment, we reported the story as a rumor.

Much the same way we reported Senator Gene Fraise's pending retirement.

Sources appear accurate in both cases.

Stay tuned.

15:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Iowa's Oldest News on Paper

Newspaper Business Has Changed

The Hawk-Eye is watching Spike because they are scared.

Read the newspaper trade publications. Newspaper readership is declining nation wide. Add in the demographics, younger age groups lead the defection, and the picture comes into sharper focus. The newspaper as known in previous centuries is going the way of the Studebaker.

Large metropolitan daily papers have been involved in circulation fraud trying to hide the decline. Advertisers are taking their dollars elsewhere. What has caused the once high and mighty to tremble so?

You are looking at it.

The computer and its' networks have returned to all the ability to propagate information. It does not take millions of dollars to buy a rotary press and staff to support it.

The extra capital investment and risk is no longer an aid to maintaining a monoply on information. The power of capital to control the flow of information, including the truth, is rapidly receding.

Spike is the first chink in the position of Burlington's leading, by virtue of being one of one, newspaper.

Spike has gotten a following by not serving to filter and squelch independent voices, something the Hawk-Eye has been very good at. Spike trusts his readers to think and search for truth among the voices.

The Hawk-Eye and those who it support often do not want you to think. By omission and card stacking they often want to tell you what to think.

Attempting to out Spike and subject him to ordeals the local powers that be can met out is proof of the Hawk-Eye's panic. Their ability to control local debate has been successfully breached.

The Hawk-Eye's days of being Burlington's Ministry of Truth are coming to a close.


You're right. Readership is down, advertising revenues are down and blogs are chewing up the newspaper world.

In larger markets, blogs don't seem to be so reviled as Burlington. Larger cities can't dwell on a story for 2 or 3 weeks at a crack. And now blogs seem to provide needed scrutiny of the mainstream media.

What should we as citizens expect from The Press? Well worth the reading time.

1. Citizens should expect truthfulness.
2. Citizens should expect proof that journalists’ first loyalty is the citizen.
3. Citizens should expect journalists to maintain independence from those they cover.
4. Citizens should expect journalists will monitor power & give voice to the voiceless.
5. Citizens have a right to a forum for public criticism & problem solving
6. Citizens have a right to expect news that is proportional and relevant.

The State of The News Media 2005 is heavy reading about the media. A worthwhile section is about declining trust in newspapers.

A website about journalism and its pitfalls.

The State of The News Media 2005


00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Thoughts About Tim Scott


I'm wondering when Tim Scott is elected to city council, if he will continue to do business with the city to the tune of several thousand dollars a year through his personal business, Drain Tainer.

He's been selling a sewer connection repair product for manhole locations. Is the city getting the lowest bid or is it even taking bids? Tim also suggested in the Hawk Eye a while back the idea of raising taxes to create a sewer repair fund.

Wouldn't Tim possibly see monetary gain from this? When is James Quirk of the Hawk Eye going to report on these issues? Will he wait until after the election?

The Hawk Eye didn't hesitate to print past personal matters on Garry Thomas. Could it be the "good ole boys" club is in the works?

A Local Taxpayer


I think we would like to hear about this.


00:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Regional Planning’s Largest Customer

Brian Tapp runs Southeast Iowa Regional Planning. Regional Planning provides services to over 30 Southeast Iowa entities.

These services are supposed to be equally provided to all members without bias. But are they?

The largest customer is the City of Burlington.

Regional Planning is represented by Scott Power’s law firm. The same law firm that represents the City of Burlington, Grow Greater Burlington and the Burlington/West Burlington Chamber of Commerce.

Does anyone else see a conflict of interest here? Do the other 30+ communities in Southeast Iowa know of this conflict?

00:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

23 October

The Future Generation of Iowa Speaks

Bruce Slagle, Mike Edwards, Scott Power, Chris King are complete and utterly responsible for their demise. They suck!

I'm a junior at BHS, I keep my tabs on the situation thats' a brewing! Is this really how the city government of Burlington acts?

After school I am out of here, THEY have brought this on, there will be nothing for us to stay around here for!

Thanks Spike, for your hard work!



We missed this email several weeks ago. This should be a real wake up call to the people that believe I have time to write emails to BurlingtonDerailed.com. How many more students think the same way?

09:19:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Other Priorities

They need not waste time to find out who you are, instead look inside themselves to know why people need look elsewhere to get the truth.

People considering moving someplace often get copies of local newspaper, when they find nonconstructive reporting, people look elsewhere (first impresions).

Let's work on pushing for support to get jobs, make favorable impressions, let's get Highway 34 to land to attract safe transportation. Investigate why I74 went to Quadcities instead of following 34-218 back when DOD paid for the Interstate system to connect bases and supply depots (IAAP). Investigate why fuel and energy costs are so high, lowering these along with quality of life will get work.


09:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

22 October

Bounty For Spike Upped?

Newspaper Readership Is Up

When the rumor broke Friday that the Hawk Eye had offered their writers a reward to uncover who Spike is, word traveled fast within the Main Street nest.

Hawk Eye traffic on BurlingtonDerailed.Com for the day was over 440 minutes. Add lunch and a break, all of a sudden you have one employee doing nothing but watching BurlingtonDerailed.Com.

When there is more important news to be had, why are they so interested in Spike? Vindictiveness comes to mind. Because we sure aren't a news story.

So we have a short test for the Hawk Eye.

Do you really subscribe to the spirit of the 1st Amendment?

Would the words be less accurate if you knew who spoke them?

Would the words be less meaningful if you knew who wrote them?

Would the facts be less truthful if you knew who confronted you with them?

Would you be less inclined to evoke your vindictiveness towards our readers if you knew who they are?

Is your recent behavior professional and proper as the major representative of Burlington?

The consequences of your answers to these, and a lot more, questions are the reasons you’re hot on Spike's trail. You’ve helped foster voter apathy. You're part of the problem, not the solution.

It's time to change.

You need to become part of the solution instead of being part of the problem.

15:57:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Timely & Accurate News


I don't understand why people are so concerned about who you are. The Hawkeye should concentrate on their own business. I have heard several people say in the last year that the Hawkeye is going down hill.

There was a story on TV the other night that mentioned how most cities have only one newspaper and therefore a monopoly. It was stated on this show, this is what causes the newspapers to be sloppy and lazy. That is probably what is wrong with the Hawkeye. No competition.

Spike, you do research and report better than the Hawkeye. More people are going to your site. The Hawkeye appears to turn their head on some things and just don't report it. They have very selective reporting.

Delaney is really the one who is responsible. Maybe your right. Maybe all they care about is filling the newspaper with adv.

And be careful Spike, you gave them a hint on your age by mentioning a Donburger and Chili from Van's. Now that does sound good. I miss that too! Let me guess, Spike must be at least 45 and it took a man to eat Van's Chili, but it was gooooooooooooooooood.

Keep up the good work Spike, we love ya in B-Town

14:52:39 - SPIKE - No comments

Truth Killers

People that are afraid of the truth want to know who the people are that are telling the truth. It has been like that through out history. Hitler had the truthtellers killed. So did Stalin. So did Mao. So did Amin. So did Pot. So did Mussolini.

The bottom line is, who cares who Spike is? Isnt he intitled to his own opinion?? Someone gets mad because it's the truth.

If these monkeys and thugs don't like their lies exposed, KEEP YOUR TRAPS SHUT!


14:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

21 October

Big Surprise Coming Soon

I can't tell you now. But a big surprise is coming soon. Only it won't be a surprise to a lot of people that regularly advocate the idea.

Stay tuned.

16:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Catfish Bend Casino Sold?

Rumor is Catfish Bend Casino might be sold to a Burlington man. No, Spike isn't involved. Maybe KCPS is. It would make a great Halloween Auction item.

15:54:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Note To Keith

Hey Keith,

I guess you’ve been out in the flowerbed.

All the Campaign and Ethics Board had to do was email us from our website link. Just like you used to do when you were vying for the Golden Goose Award.

I’ll place my money on GoDaddy.com and various supreme court decisions to guide the rational decision makers. And don’t forget the 1st Amendent.

We will pursue every legal remedy from anyone that has obtained information in an improper or illegal manner. I don’t care who they are.

And tell me Keith, are you part of the current problems or do you want to be part of the solution? Can’t be both.

There’s a line out there.

Which side are you on?

15:52:23 - SPIKE - No comments

Hawk-Eye Watching Spike

Bounty Offered For Uncovering Spike

As everyone knows, websites have the ability to track who visits their site.

Yesterday, an all-time high was reached by the folks at the advertiser. Over 353.09 minutes of their business day was spent watching this website.

Rumors are circulating editors at the advertiser have placed a bounty on Spike. Whomever uncovers Spike is going to get dinner at Martini's.

Is that all we're worth? Dinner at Martini's? I'd rather have a Don Cheese Tomato Burger from Van's with a side of chili.

What is so unique about what we do? Why are so many people in a wad? I really don't get it. Blogs are here to stay. There are thousands of little Spikes ready to assume their duties.

You'd be better off helping fix the problems. And we're not the problem except to those we expose.

15:28:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Which Way Is Oz?

How nice that S. E. Iowa's economic development group has announced it will travel to the Emerald City, Des Moines, to meet the Wizard, the Governor. What tragic farce that they have no idea what they wish to ask of the Wizard, let alone who should make the trip.

It makes you wonder if such antics are by default, or design.

Who picks these strawmen who have no brain? Whoever picked them found a group that does not even have the sense to ask the Wizard for a brain. Are there no Dorothys left in the gray despair of S. E. Iowa?

Those pulling the levers behind the curtain must be pleased. As long as they can pass off strawmen as leaders, their position remains secure.

The bright, Kodachrome colors of a better future will never come to pass with strawmen blazing the path.


If there's a plan it's in code.


12:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Memo: Facts Don’t Change

To: Cry Baby King
From: Spike

Would you be less inclined to evoke your verbal vindictiveness towards our readers if you knew who they are?

Would the words be less meaningful if you knew who said them?

Would the facts be less truthful if you knew who confronted you with them?

Even though you tell us your website doesn’t violate campaign laws, should you be investigated anyway?

Does the sworn oath you took allow selective adherence to the laws of the land?

Is your recent behavior professional and proper for a representative of Burlington?

The consequences of your answers to these, and a lot more, questions are the reasons you’re about to lose the general election. You’ve helped foster voter apathy. You're part of the problem, not the solution.

04:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Instead Of A Big Picture Plan We’re Wondering Who’s Invited?

Economic Development Summit Crawling Forward

In Sunday’s advertiser, Ron Fields wrote about the Southeast Iowa Economic Development Consortium’s plans for the economic development summit with Governor Vilsack.

Apparently, our Southeast Iowa Let’s Form a Group and Do Lunch and Not Much More can’t decide who should attend the meeting with the Governor and what they’re going to discuss. Even though they’ve had more than a year to prepare.

Part of the summit preparation is an economic development report Southeast Iowa Regional Planning helped coordinate. The study was performed by Iowa State University.

I’ve read the 91 page Targeting Industrial Growth Opportunities in Southeast Iowa study two times. Correlations are made, data tabulated, charts charted and numbers counted.

The report is disappointing. It makes you wonder about who defined the study guidelines. Tim Hoschek? And the study was dated in March but didn’t surface until about 2 months ago. How come?

Other than the misspelled words and mislabeled (or wrong region) charts, I found the report based on dated information and discussing industries not found in Southeast Iowa. The report seems more like a guidebook to the Southeast Iowa mantra for provincial thinking.

I believe the premise of the report is to look at exporting manufactured goods within a 75-mile radius of Southeast Iowa. What happened to the other 197,271,705 square miles of this planet?

We need a global perspective. Regional marketing is nice. But we need to export nationally and more importantly, globally. Where’s that data?

Find a market where a manufacturer can sell something worldwide. Hire professionals to find them. Then hire professionals to recruit them.

If the Southeast Iowa Let’s Form a Group and Do Lunch and Not Much More can’t decide whom to invite to a meeting, they have no business trying to recruit companies to Southeast Iowa.

03:37:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Edwards Still Crying About Unfunded Mandates

Can’t Edwards and Courtney get off this broken record? Quit your bitching about unfunded mandates and do something about the solution instead of whining like Cry Baby King's brothers.

Do you two really think we're the only community that has to deal with the problem?

03:28:00 - SPIKE - No comments

20 October

Smart Enough?


You know, I personally don't think senator king is smart enough to have come up with the idea to turn you into the ethics comm. I will bet you he had some bad legal advice from someone who thinks they know about legal matters or lawsuits. Do you know anyone like that? Anyway some food for thought.

Thanks Spike

We suspicion that you are right and there is a short list of suspects that might urge King to sacrifice himself.

Scott Power - known for legal boondoggles
Bruce Slagle - town bully
Mike Edwards - go ahead Chris, we're all behind you
Bill Ell - Spike lost the keys
Tom Courtney - sue 'em
Tim Hoschek - I pay taxes now, I want your vote
Randy Miller - nobody writes anonymous editorials like me
Dale Allison - handle it, Miller
Jim Quirk - King said, "I have a professional relationship with Jim Quirk"
Steve Delaney - it sells papers, what do I care?

They all have an obsession with who Spike is. They are all public figures and are offended that someone might criticize them. That's too bad.

Spike can be anybody, anywhere that is not happy with any of these people's behavior.

If you don't want to see your name on this website, straighten your act out. Spike isn't the problem. We didn't make the messes. We only brought the lying, deceit and cover-ups to the public's attention.

If I was the mayor I would have brokered a summit meeting with Spike to air the problems and then fix the ones I had control of. Wouldn't that show the citizens I was responsive to their needs and not enamored with my own political well-being? Unless, of course, I hadn't been truthful with everyone.

And really, would knowing who Spike is change anything? The messes are still there. Why not fix the problems and never deal with them again?

Seems like a much simpler solution. Simple isn't always so simple to people without much, if any, common sense.


14:44:32 - SPIKE - No comments

Griffin Appoints Lost Keys Ell Police Chief

During the recent Burlington City Council candidate forum, candidate Chuck Griffin stated he was very pleased that he helped appoint Bill Ell as Police Chief.

Now I know why Ell hid the $55,000 lost keys from the city council and the citizens.

Ell showed up at the Fire Station and he was supposed to be over at the Police Station.

00:18:00 - SPIKE - No comments

19 October

Mary Baker Has Street Named In Her Honor

After listening to Fred and 7 on KCPS’ Big Show 1150AM struggle to interview Mary Baker this morning, I can only surmise the real problem raised in Monday night’s council meeting was maybe Mary wanted a street named after her.

So here you go Mary. This is your street.

We just don't know how to get there...............

18:04:41 - SPIKE - No comments

Kin of the Kingfish & He Who Would be King

Burlington City Council member Chris King's attack against your web site is an example of desperation in the face of political disintegration. It brings to mind Huey Long's brother Earl's classic performance before a committee of the Lousiana Legislature.

Earl Long was trying to dance around the issue of integration. Earl had obviously been fortifying his courage for sometime before entering the chamber. There were reports fortification was in the cup of cola he kept sipping through out his performance.

Earl Long slurred as he rambled, hemmed, hawed, quoted scripture, referred to interacial sex, and in general made an ass of himself. What the newsreel cameras recorded has been described by many pundits as the best documented act of political self destruction in American political history.

If Chris King does already have the capability, he should install a web cam and annouce to the world a time he will appear to answer his "persecutors." With enough self pity and "fortification", Mr. King may make history as the first American politican to self destruct on the internet.

Yes, what Earl Long did before a bank of Bell & Howell 35mm cameras he who would be King may do for our home DVD recorders.


00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Skin Breaks Out On Thin Skin Cry Baby King

Big Zit Pops Without Cry Baby Looking In The Mirror

Thin Skin Cry Baby Chris King now claims he has the Iowa Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board Executive Director wrapped around his little finger.

Cry Baby King also believes that Spike is headed to a hangin’ at noon on a Hawk-Eye parking lot light pole. Unlike Cry Baby, I got my legal advice before I jumped in this arena.

You’re the one that has had to retract several postings from your website. Your blog posted about Edwards drunk in a strip bar. What with all of your rules, regulation and registration to post at your site, how did these big security breaches occur?

And speaking of breaking the law, didn’t you participate in at least 2 illegal closed session city council meetings? Where did you get your legal advice for that screw-up? Scott Power or Bruce Slagle?

You really should learn the rules if you want to play with the adults, Cry Baby.

After the dust settles, we’ll see you voted out of office and I will get to chronicle the event. I think the headline will read, “Big Zit Gone Off City’s Butt.”

So take your best shot. I started this website to wake people up to the thugs, bums and monkeys running this town. The voters are awake and they gave you a wakeup call.

Two more things, nimrod.

Next time, read the WHOLE SECTION of applicable law. Especially the exceptions part. That’s kind of important stuff. Something a communications major should understand.

Then go look in the mirror. That will be the face of defeat. A product of your own hand.

00:21:00 - SPIKE - No comments

King Needs To Go


I can't believe CHRIS KING would turn your web site into the ETHICS COMMITTEE. It just shows you what the backstabbing SCUMBAG will do to get back at someone.

After this everyone should know he can't be trusted, I hope he is gone come election day, This arrogant, immature, son of a bitch has to go!



Or, what a loser will do at any costs to retain his council seat. Do your part to get everyone to vote regardless of whether they are Democrat or Republican. These people are experts at stacking the absentee ballots.


00:19:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Don Quixote

I made a mistake. I compared Cry Baby King, Leaderless Edwards and Lost Keys Ell to Don Quixote chasing windmills. That was wrong. My apologies to our readers in Spain.

Don Quixote chased windmills righting wrongs while trying to do good things for mankind.

This bunch doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as Don Quixote. Even though they all chased windmills, Don Quixote was the only one with the righteous heart.

00:17:01 - SPIKE - No comments

Good Old Boys Club

I just wonder if anyone saw the two good-old-boys standing around the tapper at any Steamboat Days function? I am talking about Mr. Ell and Mr. Slagle.

I mean who is the Boss!!!!!

I don't know about anyone else but I will vote to keep Edwards in office just so Mr. Ell does not get the chance to become Mayor. If Mr. Ell was to get the Mayor position Mr. Slagle would really have the Mayor and the City Council in his back pocket, so to speak.

The citizens of Burlington had better wake up and see what is happening here or it will be too late and the City will die!!!!


Or, maybe Ell and Slagle could explain why they got thrown out of a liquor store in Mississippi while they were on vacation together.


00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

18 October

Cry Baby King’s Plan Backfires – Political Future Uncertain

Spike Asks For State Investigation of King’s Website

Thin skin Cry Baby Chris King, an almost has-been after the primary city council election, sealed his political fate today when a complaint surfaced that Cry Baby King had filed with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board against BurlingtonDerailed.com.

Cry Baby’s complaint alleges that BurlingtonDerailed.com didn’t properly attribute campaign information on the posting made October 10, 2005 Thoughts For a Dying Town - Election 2005. Something BurlingtonDerailed.com apparently is not obligated to do under Iowa law.

According to the email received today from Charles Smithson the Executive Director & Legal Counsel for the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, Mr. Smithson was asked to investigate BurlingtonDerailed.com by Cry Baby King.

We have reviewed Mr. Smithson’s email below and respond herewith.

To: Mr. W. Charles Smithson
Executive Director & Legal Counsel
Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board

Dear Mr. Smithson:

Thank-you for your letter regarding Chris King’s attempt to win at-all-costs reelection bid to the Burlington City Council.

With all due respect for your opinion regarding BurlingtonDerailed.com’s mention of Cry Baby King’s nefarious activities and misdeeds on our website, I believe we stand on firm legal ground for our postings as outlined under Iowa code 68A.405 (1.) a. (3).

Iowa code 68A.405 (1.) a. (3). does not apply for several reasons.

a. In a recent Delaware Supreme Court ruling, Chief Justice Steele noted in his opinion that blogs and chatrooms tend to be vehicles for people to express opinions, not necessarily facts. "Given the context, no reasonable person could have interpreted these statements as being anything other than opinion.

b. Several state superior courts have ruled that blogs are to be afforded the same rights as newspapers and magazines. Blogs can post news, opinions (including political opinions) and enjoy reporter’s privilege regarding sources.

c. It is obvious that BurlingtonDerailed.com is not a political website for anyone. This website can freely endorse any candidate(s), if it so chooses, under the 1st Amendment.

d. This website does not sell advertising to anyone, especially politicians.

e. BurlingtonDerailed.com is not located in Iowa. It is only available for viewing in Iowa on the World Wide Web. There is no method to exclude web content to Iowa residents.

f. The referenced article is my opinion as to how I could vote on election day without endorsing any specific candidate.

g. The legal basis for our postings are outlined under Iowa code 68A.405 (2.) e.

“The requirement to include an attribution statement does not apply to any of the following:
e. Any material published by an individual, acting independently, who spends one hundred dollars or less of the individual's own money to advocate the passage or defeat of a ballot issue.”

h. I have spent no more than 39¢ expressing my opinions regarding King’s reelection. And I feel that was $10.00 more than it should have been.

In further response to Mr. King’s complaint I would urge you to review King’s own website BurlingtonOntrack.com and consider the following regarding campaign violations:

1. King states on his “non-political website” questions posed to his few readers whether fellow council member Mary Baker was incapable of retaining her council seat, whether or not she exhibited leadership traits and the understanding to perform her job and whether or not Baker should be retained as a council member.

2. King’s criticism of Baker leaves no opportunity for Baker to respond.

3. In another post on King’s site, King makes comment about Baker’s ability to make “split second” decisions.

4. In still another instance, King suggests to voters that voted for Councilman Campbell to rethink the principles upon which they voted for Campbell because Campbell did not agree with King's position.

5. King posted an endorsement for the current mayor that is up for reelection.

6. King’s website has been nothing but an attempt to garner votes for his reelection and answer criticism of his irrational behavior made by others.

7. King, as many others including the local newspaper, are more worried about who "Spike" is. Posted on King's site on October 16 at 7:45 pm in response to the question from a reader, " Who is spike?" King said, "Well, that is the $1,000 question. However, I have a feeling we all might know who it is very, very soon! Stay tuned!

8. King probably made that post after he had filed his complaint with you. It doesn't seem like King is as interested in potential violations of Iowa law as he is interested in knowing who "Spike is." Prudent people don't publicly boast of some expected result from alleged information.

9. King has endorsed and participated in 2 illegal closed session meetings of the Burlington City Council.

If, in the future, BurlingtonDerailed.com somehow becomes affected by another section of Iowa Code 68A.405, BurlingtonDerailed.com will gladly comply with those provisions.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your inquiry. I will consider this matter closed unless I receive further emails or questions.



10/17/05 Email from Mr. Smithson -

Dear Sir or Madame:

Chris King as asked the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board to investigate your Web site. It is being alleged that the site does not contain a "paid for by" attribution statement under Iowa Code section 68A.405. That law requires, in part, an attribution on an "internet web site" (see section 68A.405(1)"a"(3)). Here is a link to the relevant law: http://www.state.ia.us/ethics/legal/68acontent.htm#68a405

In reviewing your site, there seems to be content that does expressly advocate for or against clearly identified candidates by urging citizens to vote yes or no (specifically the "Thoughts For a Dying Town - Election 2005).

If after reading the law you have questions or concerns about the type of attribution that should appear on your Web site, please let me know.

W. Charles Smithson
Executive Director & Legal Counsel
Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board

00:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

17 October

Expansion Solves Name Issue

If a city is healthy and growing, the problem is too many streets and not enough deserving names. There you will find residential streets named after developers' children, the finish carpentry foreman, etc.

If Burlington were growing and healthy, they were be no shortage of arterial ways to name after a prodigal son. That an old establish street name is offered in sacrifice shows how serious the deterioration has become.

Mr. Kelly serves as a reminder that many of Burlington's brightest and best have left. The future is elsewhere.

Any street named after Jim Kelly should be the quickest way out of town. Why not rename the freeway in Mr. Kelly's honor?


We were saving the freeway to run the thugs, bums and monkeys out of town.


18:23:09 - SPIKE - No comments

Mary Baker Shows Why She Lost Primary

In tonight’s city council meeting, during a discussion regarding the bid to rename Mason Road with the honorary name Jim Kelly Way, council member Mary Baker displayed her inability to follow the procedural rules of the meeting and total ignorance of what was going on.

I have been very guarded in my opinion of Baker’s missteps over the last several years since I hadn’t actually witnessed most of them. Tonight Baker crossed far too many lines of incompetence. It was so crazy it doesn't merit any further discussion.

The voters spoke correctly. She has no business in her council chair. None.

17:36:30 - SPIKE - No comments

Street Names


The practice of the City is to let the developer of a sub-division name the streets that are created in the sub-division. Outside of that instance, all other naming of streets are accomplished in the political process.

During my eight years on the Council, we named three streets: Lowell Bauer Dr. in honor of the former mayor who served the City for 25 years on the Planning Commission and City Council; Jimmie Howard Dr. in honor of the Medal of Honor Winner who grew up in Burlington; Martin Luther King Blvd. in honor of Dr. King's contributions to better race relations.

Jim Kelly grew up here and was educated here. Like so many other young people, he left here to follow a dream. The fact that he got his 15 minutes of fame doesn't qualify him to be placed on a scale with those that have dedicated their lives to others as have so many who have their name on a street in not only Burlington, but in cities and towns across this nation.

John Sandell

12:43:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Senator Courtney's Pay

Sometimes County supervisors are criticized for being over paid for a part-time job. They probably put in more time, are publicly criticized and held accountable more than our State Senators.

As reported recently in the Des Moines Register, our State Senators including Burlington's Tom Courtney, earn $22,928.00 plus another $13,492.0 for travel and room expense. How much do they really do other than their 4 months when they are in session? That is almost $3400.00 per month for expenses. They also are allowed to hire a secretary while they are in session. The state pays $5,839.00 for this service. Courtney's wife receives this compensation. The total the Courtney's receive is $42,259.00 from the state taxpayers.

The city council members and county supervisors are much more responsive and in the public's eye than the state senator that can go hide in Des Moines. Are we really getting our money's worth? It is a great 4 month job for a retired person.


At that rate, it amounts to over $127,000 per year. I'm sure there will be some competition next election. Especially after the railroad lawsuit fiasco.


00:12:00 - SPIKE - No comments

16 October

Street Names

Due to the fact that I will be at work and unable to attend the council meeting, I would like to state here my opposition to the naming of Mason road as Jim Kelly Way. Although I agree that there are times when someone outstanding deserves recognition, simply piloting the shuttle is not something that is worthy of a street.

It is something that has been done before, and will continue to be done. A great honor, yes, and it is in itself an accomplishment, but the greatness is not there. It should take more than just one action to perform an action like this. Lifelong achievements that affect the outcome of lives in the city should take priority.

If you are going to name a street after Jim Kelly, do you then name one after all the men and women who have served in war? Aren’t their accomplishments much more worthy that simply piloting a shuttle? What about a cancer survivor, who beat all the odds? In my opinion, the city is trying to capitalize on his “fame”. Unfortunately the fame and fortune they seek is found only around here.

If they were to go to another state, even a different part of this state, I bet they wouldn’t be able to tell you who Jim Kelly was. Or if you asked them, they would say something like ” the quarterback for the Buffalo Bills right”? It is a great idea, much like naming the schools after influential people that shaped the city of Burlington. But the question is, beyond their own minds, how did Jim Kelly help to shape this community?


The street name is an honorary designation. I'm sure not everyone is in favor of the action. But if it makes everyone stop and think about Kelly's achievements or inspires some child to do something with their life, it won't matter much that anyone else thinks it's Jim Kelly from the Bills.

It's sure a lot better than Bill Ell Drive or Lost Keys Way. That would be a travesty.


17:42:06 - SPIKE - No comments

Astronaut Jim Kelly Visit Postponed


I know your readers will be interested to know that Astronaut Jim Kelly's proposed visit to southeast Iowa this month has been postponed. Many in the area were excited at the prospect of visiting with Jim and listening to his presentations scheduled at area schools. The Burlington City Council was hoping to have Jim at a dedication ceremony when we honorarily named Mason Road as Honorary Jim Kelly Way.

All this will have to wait as Jim has been reassigned to support a special work group at NASA HQ and will be working in Washington, DC for the next five or six months. Due to this development, Jim will have to push back his visit to Iowa until the Spring.

I am told that Jim is very much looking forward to his next visit. As are many in Burlington and southeast Iowa.

Mike Campbell
Burlington City Council

16:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

15 October

Selective Journalism And Greyhound Football

Once again Spike, you hit it right on the head.

On your Oct 14 posting you write about the Hawk- eye, or should that be the Black- eye, practicing selective journalism. The Hawk-eye just plain sucks. There, I said it.

One more thing. If the Grayhounds want to win a football game, they need to try some different kids in there. I"m in a bad mood right now, so I will let you know more about the nepotism at the high school level, because believe me, it is there.

Look at the baseball program.

Nuff said.


We haven't researched this footballgate at the high school. I know there are some people really upset about this.

Send us your thoughts when you get back to 98.6º.


10:23:59 - SPIKE - No comments

Hawk-Eye Story


What the Hawkeye reporter Miller was attempting to do was show how our City hall responds to the public. The mistake that he made, was indeed saying it was not for a story, but a request by him personally. If they wanted to check the City's responsiveness, they should have gone about it differently.

If, what you say is true, about the coverage from the Hawkeye being reported differently because Miller's wife works for a County dept. in question, then The Hawkeye's credibility and integrity is in question. The Hawkeye management should have real concern here, regardless if it did come out on BurlingtonDerailed.com.

If it was reported in the same fashion as any other citizen that violates the law, then I don't think the Hawkeye is wrong.

The Hawkeye editor should make sure that Miller does not write or cover anything to do with the County's contracts. This would be a conflict of interest if Miller and his family are on the free plan, taxpayer funded health insurance.

I would bet the other employees at the Hawkeye pay for some of their health insurance, but I don't know. Maybe somebody can let you know. My husband's insurance just went up 15% and we pay $200.00 per month. What a deal the City and County have.


It is a problem to determine what's newsworthy. The advertiser blurs the line so often, no one could easily define it. Nor, does it appear they want to.

Another instance where the information flow from the clerk's office to the advertiser is a little too open was brought to our attention. When a Danville individual appeared and was charged with his/her misdeeds, Randy Miller seemed to conveniently appear from nowhere to cover the story. Could we prove the source of the phone call? Not without lot of work. Did it happen? Absolutely.

It's not illegal. News outlets uses court house snitches to gain all sorts of information.

Everyone has the right to a fair trial. But when the advertiser saturates us with their opinion disguised as a news item, that diminishes that right.

And you have an excellent point about coverage of the County's contract negotiation. Miller needs to recuse himself from supervising Quirk's coverage of the negotitations.

10:17:29 - SPIKE - No comments

14 October

The Hawk-Eye Fails Newspaper Test

City Editor Lies To Council Members - Sleazy Tabloid Journalism Now Prevails

BurlingtonDerailed.com Performs Experiment in News Nepotism

In Thursday’s local advertiser, city editor Randy Miller wrote a story on the editorial page. Miller unveiled his usual deceptive methods to obtain a story at any cost by claiming it a “little experiment.” Something he has a long history of doing and directing his writers to do.

Miller wrote an email to the 5 Burlington city council members with a disclaimer stating that he was writing as a private citizen, and not as an employee of the advertiser for a story. Miller blatantly lied. He used that information to write his stunning crosswalk expose and berate the council members.

We believe the Hawk-Eye is no longer a newspaper. To be a newspaper you have to report the news. So we conducted a news experiment on the advertiser to validate the premise of our theory.

In August, both children of the Des Moines County Clerk of Court were arrested for DUI. Something barely reported by the advertiser. Smothered and buried in the paper (where it belongs).

Any other time there has been an indiscretion by the children of a county official, the advertiser beats the story until no one can stand to hear about it any longer. The writers' usual response is, “I have to write about it. My editor is making me do it.”

Have you seen anything in the advertiser about this story? No, and you won’t.

So why didn’t Miller’s writers go pick this story up and beat the daylights out of it ‘til we puke? Simple, selective journalism.

Randy Miller’s wife works in the Des Moines County Clerk of Court office. Can’t make the boss mad.

The advertiser goes out of its way to ignore the real story to write repetitive stories mostly devoid of fact or news. Miller gets so focused in his crystal ball that he loses all perspective of right side up.

One of the biggest detriments to this city is the Hawk-Eye. And one of the biggest detriments to the advertiser is its editors. And all of this belongs in Steve Delaney’s lap. He’s the boss and lets it happen because it’s all about the money and not about the news.

The current advertiser started with the merger of The Wisconsin Territorial Gazette and The Burlington Advertiser.

Funny how the newspaper has denigrated back into an advertiser.

00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

13 October

State Senator Fraise To Retire – Larkin to Replace Fraise?

Matt Mohrfeld to Replace Larkin?

Rumors are flying tonight that State Senator Gene Fraise will soon retire due to health reasons and be replaced by Lee County Supervisor Chairman Rick Larkin.

Set to take Rick Larkin's spot is Matt Mohrfeld, a former supervisor candidate that was defeated by Bob Woodruff in the primary election a few years back.

Since quite a few Lee County “elected” officials have been appointed rather than elected, I hope there is a special election for Fraise’s position.

Talk about Good Old Boys Club. This stinks. Why did Fraise run last year if he knew health issues were going to prevent him from going the full term? Word has it that these aren't new health issues forcing Fraise's retirement.

15:41:21 - SPIKE - No comments

Proven Blueprint For Economic Development Success


Will you please post the Blueprint For Economic Development Success post from the other day. I can’t get the text to download as a copy and paste?


Here you go.

Over the last 6 years Darryl Gosnell led the Greater Des Moines Partnership to several large business expansion projects in the Des Moines Metro area. A position he was hand picked for by Michael Blouin, the former Iowa Department of Economic Development Director. Gosnell is leaving for Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Before Gosnell left Des Moines he offered a blueprint for economic development groups to use.

1. Take a regional approach to economic development.
2. Get everyone on the same page and avoid others that aren’t.
3. Put a talented staff in place quickly and demand results.
4. Develop a vision and find someone to implement it with no strategic attachments to local geography or groups.
5. Hire the right public relations firm to tell your story to the national media.
6. Target site-selection consulting firms that handle national company site searches.
7. Thoroughly research, then get out and recruit prospects regularly.
8. Market to target business sectors of interest before leaving on recruitment trip.
9. Visit local companies with corporate headquarters.
10. The build-it-and-they-will-come theory doesn’t work without telling them what you built.
11. Keep your name in front of the site-selection search firms.
12. Focus on small-business growth.
13. Develop a comprehensive, online data to market your area without direct contact from a prospect. Businesses no longer announce expansion projects 2 years in advance.

And I’ll add two more.

14. Answer the phone when the Governor calls.
15. Be proactive with leads. Instead of relying on economic development leads from the state to chase your tail, why not develop your own program to the point that we send the state our leftovers?

00:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

12 October

Missing Emails

We recently received 2 emails. Both were well written and clearly expressed the writers' feelings.

These letters will be held until a later date before posting them. There are reasons.

Sit tight. It will all make sense.

23:27:43 - SPIKE - No comments

Is Jeff Heland Senator King's Campaign Manager?

Is Jeff Heland Senator King's campaign manager now? It sounded like it on the radio this morning.

If you're going to take off a day to work on Edwards, I hope you take off a few more to work on Scott and Griffin. People forget what a bunch of meatheads they were when they were on the council the first time. That's probably why they were voted off then.

Spike you are a breath of fresh air, keep up the good work.

I hope Heland has more sense than that. Before Heland jumps in the quicksand, he better get up to date on the 1985 agreement with the railroad that he admitted he knows nothing about.

Even meatheads might be better than the mess Edwards and King have gotten us in. We just need to make sure everyone votes. Edwards, Courtney and Hoschek are experts at stacking the absentee voters in their favor. Fortunately, it didn't help King.

13:38:51 - SPIKE - No comments

Fun City Looks Great!!

Hi Spike!

I was out to Pzazz Tuesday night with my son; he spent the night there. Anyway we took a peek through the plastic to see part of FUN CITY and let me tell you it is so neat! I honestly believe that the Pzazz complex is going to be the hottest spot in Burlington when it’s completed.

There is so much entertainment for everyone to have fun. I think this is just what Burlington has needed for a very long time. This will be a great partnership with Mr. Winegard and the city of Burlington. And who knows, there could be more projects with Mr. Winegard and Burlington or other people or corporations. I think this is a very positive thing that has started.


09:29:06 - SPIKE - No comments

Day Off

We're taking a day off since we will be very busy between now and the general election. Our message was heard about Senator King. Now we need to get to work on Edwards.

00:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Regional Planning Board

Spike -

Is Ray Bradley, Jr. still a member of the SEIRPC Board? If not, did he resign because he moved out of state?


That would be interesting if its true.


00:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

11 October

Baker, Collins, Niemann Out

Primary Election Results In

Thomas, King, Eckhardt 4th, 5th, 6th place with about 500 votes each.

Edwards, Scott, Griffin 1, 2, 3.

Order will change as time goes on.

20:04:58 - SPIKE - No comments

Vote Today

Vote today. It's your duty.

00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

10 October

Do We Reach An Audience?

Does Radio Advertising Work?

We track things. Lots of things. Then we enter that data into a big old spreadsheet. Then we very unscientifically summarize those facts and look at the trends.

Over the last 6 months we found:

When Fred & 7 on KCPS’s Big Show 1150 AM make mention of BurlingtonDerailed.com in some minor way (1 minute or less), our website traffic goes up 9-26% for that specific weekday normal average of unique visitors.

When Fred & 7 talk about a BurlingtonDerailed.com story in more depth (1-4 minutes), our site traffic goes up 29-41% for that specific weekday normal average of unique visitors.

If Fred & 7 dissect one of our stories and expound on its merits (2- 4 minutes), we see site traffic climb 40-400% for that specific weekday normal average of unique visitors.

In the last 30 days we had over 3 times the number of visitors as any other blog in Burlington. Not hits, not clicks, but daily visitors. Days we don't post stories are slow. And weekends average less than 100 visitors per day so you can see where people are reading BurlingtonDerailed.com.

And just so someone doesn’t have a cow; we are not affiliated in anyway with KCPS. I don't know Fred, 7, Tommy or Chrissy. Some days they don’t even agree with us. Some days we don’t agree with them. We don’t buy them coffee, lunch, donuts or BBQ ribs for Tommy. But we might think about it.

So does radio advertising work? You betcha. Even when we have nothing to sell except information.

00:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Thoughts For a Dying Town - Election 2005

Return On Political Investment

Tomorrow a few people will go to the polls to vote. We offer ideas.

In the next 4 years, major changes will have to be made to avoid the wall we're headed for and about an inch away from. Most of those changes will not be pleasant.

Burlington is a fiscal mess. The new council will have to demand a lot from Slagle and Worden or make staff changes. But council members can’t solely rely on staff to establish the direction.

There will be huge political fallout when the railroad lawsuit goes belly up. I would not like to be any of the council members that voted to pursue Power and Slagle’s ridiculous, ill-conceived notion that they could beat the railroad.

The city cannot continue on this road of lunacy. Voters will have to choose the people that will most likely produce results for the betterment of the community. If those changes aren't made in the next 4 years, things will be 10 times worse than they are now.

It's sad that the time, energy and taxpayer money that has been squandered to cover the misdeeds of elected officials wasn't used for the benefit of this community. Burlington would have been better off than having us hammer away everyday about wrongdoing.

And if any candidate thinks they will get in office and become a rubber stamper for Slagle and Power and not hear from us, they're wrong. No one is exempt. There must be change. Or, this city will continue its death spiral.

Candidates In Alphabetical Order

Mary Baker – a No vote. Mary is a product of trying to catch up too late in every process. All anyone ever says is, “Mary is a nice person,” And she is.

But she is not able to deal with the complex issues facing this city or the gang of thugs in City Hall. Mary can do volunteer work and be very successful. But she is too trusting of the people that have turned this town upside down. We don’t need that.

Mark Collins – a Yes vote. Mark has told us the truth about what he knows and how he feels. Unlike King, when he doesn’t know, Collins has offered to learn and will. And he has the common sense to realize that when he doesn’t know, he’ll demand answers. Collins should know when to call a halt on lawsuit spending.

Collins has held management jobs and I think when he overcomes being nervous, Collins will shake the rat traps at City Hall on a regular basis.

Dick Eckhardt – a Yes vote. Dick has been there before. He can read a budget and will ask the tough questions since he seems fiscally responsible. I wish he would have shared his ideas for economic development. In a city hall full of lies, more lies and broken promises, a cry of wolf is more likely heard.

Mike Edwards – No vote. A sitting mayor should have the routine down pretty well by now. Edwards doesn’t. His heart may be in the right place, but his lawsuit motivations, unprofessional behavior, poor public image and inability to tell the truth are not what this City needs.

Edwards comes across cocky, arrogant and condescending. He hasn’t been an effective leader on numerous occasions when he could have grabbed the reins and brought cohesiveness to the council. Instead, he has berated his fellow councilman for taking a stand contrary to his. And then threatening him if he didn’t tow the line. I don’t like people that have a permit to carry a concealed weapon threatening anyone regardless of the situation. That is cause for concern. It shows dangerous immaturity.

In 2 candidate forums Edwards has never mentioned Vision Iowa, his rubber stamp and lying about the railroad lawsuit.

Chuck Griffin – a Yes vote. Contrary to Griffin’s boisterous claims of building the 1st paved city streets and helping shape westward expansion, Griffin seems to realize there are problems in city hall. Like Scott, Griffin should know when to call a halt on lawsuit spending.

I don’t know the details of Griffin quitting an earlier council to move out of town for a job. If it was legitimate, that’s the way the real world works. If he wants to serve, give him a look.

Chris King – a No vote. We’ve taken this guy to the mat more times than anyone should ever have to go. His verbal outbursts are well known. He doesn’t get it. As with Edwards, his heart may be in the right place, but his lawsuit motivations, outspoken demeaning attitude, unprofessional behavior, poor public image and inability to tell the truth are not what this City needs. I don’t like people that have a permit to carry a concealed weapon making analogies using firearms regardless of the situation. It shows dangerous immaturity.

King is far too immature to guide this city out of the quagmire it’s in. And contrary to what he claims, King may have a business card but he doesn’t have anyone’s ear because they tuned him out 2 minutes after they met him. And King possesses the biggest rubber stamp of anyone on council. After all, Slagle recruited King.

Phil Niemann – a No vote. Phil has good intentions and wants to contribute to the community. But like Baker, nice people with good intentions have no business in this election. I believe in separation of church and state along with the separation of power. Niemann has blurred those lines.

Tim Scott – a Yes vote. I think Tim can do battle with the City staff and do what’s right for the citizens. Even though Scott was misguided about the railroad lawsuit, he can determine when enough money has been spent playing Don Quixote and chasing windmills.

Scott needs to realize that although he has spent considerable time on the council before, he has not been privy to the behind-the-scenes-nonsense in the last 2 years. And Scott should never forget who beat him and should show some respect for Campbell. And don’t forget that “Lost Keys” Ell should never be mayor. Real leaders admit mistakes and fix the problem. Not conceal it for 7 months.

Garry Thomas – a maybe vote. Garry seems to have an idea of what he needs to do even though he holds Slagle to a higher pedestal than what Slagle deserves. He seems to want to help bring cohesiveness to the council, which is admirable.

I only question whether Thomas will find a hard line, fiscally conservative position that is needed to demand more from Slagle and Worden.

So there you go.

Now, go Vote!

00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

When Are They Going To Des Moines?

Ron Fields, in Sunday’s local advertiser, wrote a good article on what challenges the new Burlington City Council will face. The railroad lawsuit, retread candidates and state government were well articulated.

I don’t think we can fault the state this time around.

Southeast Iowa Fiasco Planning, a splinter group of the Southeast Iowa Regional Economic Development Consortium aka the Southeast Iowa Let’s Form a Group and Do Lunch and Not Much More has ignored funding and the Governor’s offer to meet and help shape economic development in Southeast Iowa. Something every elected official in Iowa dreams of and something Southeast Iowa officials have ignored.

Right now Dennis Hinkle is headed to Italy in November in time to shop for Christmas. Since no one gets much done in December and the 1st half of January, the soonest the Southeast Iowa Regional Economic Development Consortium can make it to Des Moines is late January. Just about the time the legislature comes to town and drain the Governor’s time.

Since Burlington helps fund Grow Greater Burlington, I would suggest the new council demand that anytime in the future when the governor calls, they answer the phone with how soon? Not, what do you want? That, and get Hinkle on the short leash.

00:02:00 - SPIKE - No comments

09 October

Who's Involved In Regional Planning Money Giveaway


Was the Louisa County person that worked with Brian Tap to give away the road money a county official? Or was it private individual?


We heard it was Forrest Bartenhagen, a member of Tapp’s Regional Planning board and Louisa County Supervisor.


11:27:22 - SPIKE - No comments

Lure And Keep Jobs

Hello Spike,

Your site as always is a credit to the1st Amendment. Now if I were running for city council, the first job would be to lure jobs to Des Moines County.

The tax base needs to be expanded, and that would be getting jobs, and good paying jobs for our people. Not an easy job, but it can be done. I have seen many large companies looking to expand around our nation.

More jobs mean more taxes being paid, which in turn would lower taxes for all. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure that on out. Shipping jobs out of the country DESTROYS a solid tax base. Don't ask Federal Mogul about that one. They have a bunch of monkeys running that company.


What this infill development, catch-phrase crowd forgets is that people have to work somewhere in order to buy their goods in the community. This new job growth can't be all service and retail commercial growth.

Manufacturing is not dead in the U.S. We can still compete in many areas. But we need to capitalize on it now and not wait a year or more to go meet with the Governor when he calls.

Given the number of people from Burlington I saw yesterday shopping in Davenport, I would say there are other problems to be addressed before we just adopt another boutique economic development philosophy.

11:14:01 - SPIKE - No comments

08 October

Mississippi Queen Due Saturday Until 1:00PM

Last Stop of The Year In Burlington

The Mississippi Queen steamboat is scheduled to be here today until 1 PM. The planned October 22 and November 5 Burlington stops will now be in Fort Madison due to the gambling boat vacuuming up the locals' money.

Since the boat isn't stopping I suppose Scott Power will sue for lost revenue since Burlington owns the port building.

Which made me think. Why does the gambling boat have a bank president on the '"save the boat committee?" Seems to me like any business, well most businesses, would like to have a bank president sitting on their board to peddle what little influence they have left. To everyone else, seems like a conflict of interest when you publicly endorse such a controversial business.

00:02:00 - SPIKE - No comments

07 October

King To Washington?


Chris King said that we should ask ourselves this question before we vote.

Would we feel secure sending Chris King to Washington or Des Moines to represent our community? Excellent question Chris!

The answer is NO!

King has proven in his 4 years that he is too immature and doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut. He would probably do us more harm than good if we sent him to Washington or Des Moines to lobby for us. He is not a good listener and believes everybody should shut up and listen to his nonsense.


You summed it up all too well. King will never represent me ANYWHERE he goes. Many others and I are ashamed of him and his totally unprofessional behavior.

09:21:13 - SPIKE - No comments

Lowell Junkins


When I read King's site and saw someone was blocking progress in Southeast Iowa economic growth, I immediately, thought that person was from Lee County. But not in a million years would I have thought it would be Lowell Junkins. There are many others that it could have been in Lee County, but not Lowell Junkins.

Yes, Lowell Junkins does have the ear of the governor, as well he should. He has earned that ear, not demanded it. Lowell Junkins is not afraid to go to Des Moines and ask the governor for help. He has done it many times.

I don't know Mr. Hinkle or anything about him, but I do know Lowell Junkins. If Mr. King thinks he his an equal to Lowell Junkins, then good for Des Moines County, they have got a keeper.

When Lowell Junkins first took the reigns of Lee County Economic Development, all I read or heard on Keokuk.com was, why do we need his leadership? Why can't we follow the examples of Burlington and Mt Pleasant? This was three plus years ago and the economy of both have gone south. So was Lee County taking the lead in new direction? You bet ya.

There are many issues on your site that I disagree with, but you are dead on on the lawsuit with Burlington-Santa Fe. There is absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose in the lawsuit.


I don't think Lowell Junkins is the problem. If you look at who has commented on the Consortium and who has been present (and photographed) when the Governor has spoken about the Consortium, you only find Lowell Junkins. We've written about it. No one else has had the guts to show up.

If you look for a convenient scapegoat for King, Hinkle and the rest of the Consortium's poor performers, who better than Lowell Junkins?

Junkins announces retirement a week after denying his bully naysayers the priviledge to the contents of a confidentiality agreement. As we have begun to see, there are elected scoundrels in Lee County that have gone to the same school of stupid thoughts as here in Des Moines County.

And Junkins can't defend himself without the local advertiser spinning it in Burlington's most favorable light. So who could make a better target?

I would guess that this direction is going to be very costly for King, Hinkle and the Consortium. Like you said, Junkins has the Governor's ear.

You don't have to agree with everything we say. We want people to think and form their own opinions. Eventually, there will be many things that we have proposed will come true. The BNSF lawsuit is one of them. Write anytime. This mess is far from over.


09:14:37 - SPIKE - No comments

BurlingtonDerailed.com Naysayers Better Suck It Up

Delaware Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Anonymous Blogger

Dear Spike,

I imagine more than one elected official in Des Moines County and those they truly represent will not like this.

A tyrant has no greater fear than a people free to speak and armed to protect their rights.


On Wednesday the Delaware Supreme Court ruled bloggers have the right to privacy and more importantly to post their messages anonymously without the threat of retaliation or retribution. Something that happens with too much frequency here.

Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Myron Steele wrote, "We are concerned that setting the standard too low will chill potential posters from exercising their First Amendment right to speak anonymously.”

Steel continued, "The possibility of losing anonymity in a future lawsuit could intimidate anonymous posters into self-censoring their comments or simply not commenting at all."

"Given the context, no reasonable person could have interpreted these statements as being anything other than opinion. ... The statements are, therefore, incapable of a defamatory meaning," Steel wrote.

David Finger, the attorney representing the blogger in this case said, "The decision of the Supreme Court helps provide protection for anonymous bloggers and anonymous speakers in general from lawsuits which have little or no merit and are filed solely to intimidate the speaker or suppress the speech."

We haven't had to resort to the level of personal attack blogging found in this court case. When BurlingotnDerailed started it was a few voices. It is now many voices.

Those voices will be heard.

00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Tapp Arranges Discretionary Funds Giveaway


I heard that a group of people including some people from Louisa County and Brian Tapp from Regional Planning offered the Iowa DOT almost 2 million dollars in discretionary money from the counties to entice the DOT to fund the bypass money in Fort Madison.

Do you know anything about it?


A little. Brian Tapp and a Louisa County official hatched a plan to use discretionary road funds that each county normally has for their own projects to influence the Iowa Department of Transportation into funding the Fort Madison Highway 61 bypass.

The consequences of this action would set up a monumental ripple effect throughout Iowa.

What is interesting is Louisa County had no funds in jeopardy for this ill-conceived plan. Fortunately, the scheme was uncovered before it did any real damage.

Sounds like Tapp got caught with his hand in someone else's pocket. So much for regionalism.


00:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

King Slaps Lowell Junkins In Candidate Forum

Proves Burlington Can’t Play Well With Others

During Wednesday’s candidate forum, right after Senator King deified Dennis Hinkle with, “I’d put Dennis up against any economic development professional in Iowa,” King went on to say “especially the one down south in Lee County” an obvious referral to Lowell Junkins, Lee County’s Economic Development Director.

If you take just the column inches of comments, whether right, wrong or indifferent, where Junkins has said something about the Southeast Iowa Regional Economic Development Consortium aka the Southeast Iowa Let’s Form a Group and Do Lunch and Not Much More, he is a leader at about 10:1 to anyone else.

And I don’t care if the Senator doesn’t like Junkins. I don’t even know if I do. King says he doesn’t because of what he’s been told. And how will King sit in a room with Junkins after taking a cheap shot? King hasn't learned the lesson of who he might have to deal with down the road. He might find out.

King was elected to represent Burlington, not be a pompous, self-appointed, self-righteous expert of everything, master of none, including economic development.

The real substance of this argument is my earlier comment. If Hinkle can’t find a map (or the time) to get to Des Moines in over a year, how can he lead a trade mission to Italy?

And this rabid, defensive behavior on King’s part tells me something else; Burlington doesn’t play well with others. If not, we would have had 2 meetings with the Governor by now. Or maybe some new jobs in town.

00:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

06 October

Steamboat A Comin'

Mississippi Queen Due Saturday Until 1:00PM

Thank you for posting the photos from the last time the Delta Queen steamboat was here, August 25. I know it was unfortunately a rainy day.

The Mississippi Queen steamboat is scheduled to be here this Saturday until 1 PM. As the casino boat is returning to Burlington next week, this may be the last steamboat visit to Burlington this year. There is plenty of space on the riverfront for two boats, but the steamboats have not been stopping in recent years when the casino is here.

All 3 Delta Queen steamboats are soon going out of passenger service for the winter as their home port in New Orleans is damaged.


Delta Queen Steamboat Company

Steamboats.org message board

Follow the river traffic through the locks at the Army Corps of Engineers web site lock reports:


10:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Biggest Disappointment of Forum

Hinkle Headed to Italy

Where’s Hinkle’s Commitment to Regionalism?

After listening to the candidates' abject brown-nosing of the Chamber, the low point of the forum came when Senator King announced Grow Greater Burlington exec Dennis Hinkle was headed back to Italy for another vacation.

I say vacation because I cannot find any conceivable reason this trip is necessary. While 3 Italian companies have chosen to make Burlington their home, I think there is less chance of enticing a 4th company. A case of more probable diminishing returns.

But what is most troubling with this trip is that we haven’t heard ONE WORD from Hinkle about the Southeast Iowa Regional Economic Development Consortium, aka the Southeast Iowa Let’s Form a Group and Do Lunch and Not Much More. Hinkle hasn’t uttered a clue why he hasn’t help shape the summit meeting with the Governor. Something more important than capuccino and a biscotti.

If he can’t find a map to get to Des Moines, how can he lead a trade mission to Italy?

And I don’t care that King said, “I’d put Dennis up against any economic development professional in Iowa.”

I wouldn’t. It's time people woke up.

00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

05 October

Senator King After Spike


King says you have resorted to "deceptive interpretation" to attack him. Seems like King just keeps answering what you say. I though his website was about making Burlington better.


Deceptive Interpretation? The Senator is the alleged communications major. He is the one having problems articulating his thoughts.

I appreciate your thoughts. I don't really care what he has to say about me, so please, just stop sending his paranoid website ramblings.


23:49:26 - SPIKE - No comments

Gadzooks, To The Weather Cave Senator

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?


The earpiece in the royal kings ear was his weather radio. You know he is a spotter. ya know if he had sunglasses on he would have looked like a real life secret service agent.

this guy is so far out in left field you can hardly see him.


Gadzooks, what would he have done if weather approached? Stripped off his suit to show his Weather Watcher #1 t-shirt and yelled, 'the lawsuit is about jobs?"

I can't wait to hear his explanation for all of this zaniness.


19:43:26 - SPIKE - No comments

What Does Chris King Have In His Ear?

Senator King is in the council candidate forum right now with an earpiece stuck in his right ear. It seems like something is interfering with his microphone signal.

Does anyone know what it's for? I'll bet it's hooked to a cell phone and is open to his brain trust of monkeys.

Sure looks like an extremely unfair advantage to the remainder of the candidates.

16:43:19 - SPIKE - No comments

Another Italy Trip On Tap

But Hinkle Can't Get to Des Moines To See Governor Vilsack

Senator King just announced that Dennis Hinkle is headed back to Italy. Soon.

It surely didn't take a year to plan for that trip.

Could someone just arrange to meet with Governor Vilsack?

16:37:31 - SPIKE - No comments

King ASSumes What Spike Reads

King’s Tax Remarks Show Total Lack of Knowledge About Taxes & Economic Development

How Do We Attract Companies When They Know We Tax & Sue?

Hey Spike,

King says on his reelection website that you have again misled us and blames this on your reading skills and that you distort and mislead people on your website.

What do you have to say about that Spikerreno?


Just like Senator King to ASSume. And we all know what the first 3 letter of ASSume spell.

And it wouldn’t be the first time Senator King ASSumed something and wanted to put words in everyone’s mouth. King told us the lawsuit was about jobs when he knew it wasn’t. That’s lying.

Senator King, please don’t ASSume anything about what we read or hear.

I heard what you SAID on the candidate’s forum. Then you said on the KCPS Big Show 1150 AM you took this stance because “commercial property pays 100% of their assessment.” You have wrongly ASSumed. Or were you deflecting? Or rewriting the subject matter?

So for our readers, let this sound file fully download and then you be the judge of what you hear, not what Senator King says I read. Is it a deficiency in reader comprehension, hearing comprehension or Senator King’s paranoia?

And 1000 readers a day can’t be wrong about what they hear.


00:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments


Day 18-

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


And I don't want to hear one word about this at tonight's candidate forum. Wake up!
00:02:00 - SPIKE - No comments

04 October


Hawk Eye Playing Favorites?


I just read Tim Yoder's letter to Steve Delaney. Hawkeye readers like myself, wonder why Delaney chose not to print this letter. Maybe it was too long.

The Hawkeye should have at least provided a story for their readers. The Hawkeye or Delaney should not show any favoritism to DMC landfill.

They should report it fairly. Hal Morton seems to be a little headstrong. I read in one Hawkeye article, Morton stated that "all" DMC trash stays in DMC.

The mixed loads issue came up in defense of Floyds. In another article, some Mt. Pleasant trash haulers that were supposed to take their trash to Lee County, admitted that they were hauling mixed loads into DMC, therefore, Morton receiving some of Lee County's revenue.

Then Morton said, mixed loads are OK. Does he make the rules or decide which rules will be followed?

I believe the landfill commission members should be a little careful about jumping into a lawsuit. It sounds like they are attempting to hide some future plans from the public. That's bad practice.

Should we be surprised with some of the antics that we see coming from Burlington City Hall?


10:47:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Junkins Sets Schedule To Retire

Hopefully Southeast Iowa Summit Will Take Place Before Retirement

Lee County Economic Development Director Lowell Junkins announced today that he will retire when his contract runs out in about 15 months.

All we can hope for is that the summit meeting with Governor Vilsack takes place before that happens because I don’t see anyone else out here willing to even talk to the Governor, let alone meet with him.

09:51:22 - SPIKE - No comments

Local Economic Development "Professionals" Out For Golf

While the Governor was busy working on economic development issues Friday, the locals were playing golf.

As stated last week on KCPS Big Show 1150 AM, Fred and 7 in the AM, "Governor Vilsack is the busiest economic development specialist we have in Southeast Iowa."

Gosh, another week and it will be another month since Governor Vilsack called for the economic development summit with Southeast Iowa. Time sure flies when you're having golf.

00:32:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Trashgate Secrets Exposed

Serious Questions About Sordid Garbage War - Where's The Money For 2007?

Where Are Slagle and Power When You Need Them?

Dear Mailhook

Attached is a letter that was written to the Hawkeye regarding the recent Trashgate between DMC and GRRWA. This letter did not get published.

I have also put together some thoughts of what may be happening as to what has spurred the recent confrontation between both entities.

As a resident of Mt. Pleasant and one who has some reservations about the economic growth of Southeast Iowa, another Subtitle D landfill could bring additional per capita costs upwards to $50 per capita per month and the possiblity of gate fees nearing $100 per ton.

There is nothing that the public can do at that point once the majority of the Commission goes along with Hal Morton's proposals.

Please give some consideration to getting this message out in front of the public.

Tim Yoder

00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Des Moines County Landfill Is Smelling Like Most Other Issues

Mixed Loads of Garbage Can Go Anywhere

Costly Plans For New Dump Rules and Building By 2007

Where’s Jane Wood To Hose Us On The Garbage Cans?

Hal Morton needs to let the public know the facts on the issues that he has raised over the past few weeks concerning waste not being disposed of at the Des Moines County Regional Solid Waste Commission landfill. He has made the issue of waste leaving his planning area sound as if Tim Yoder, GRRWA Director, has not complied with his information requests and simply has ignored him.

At a workshop meeting that was held in Des Moines on June 1, 2005, jointly hosted by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Waste Management Bureau and the Iowa Society of Solid Waste Operations, Hal Morton made a bee line across a crowded conference room to inform me that there was a problem with Floyd’s EZ Way taking waste to the GRRWA landfill.

I was surrounded by other Landfill Attendees and personnel from the IDNR, politely asked Hal to contact him once he got back to his office. The next day, I received a phone call from Hal.

Hal told me that on two occasions, Monday May 16th and Monday May 23rd, Floyds disposed of two additional compactor loads of waste at the GRRWA landfill that should have been disposed of at Des Moines County. I communicated to Hal that I would check into those specific dates and follow up with him.

I took the two daily ticket files and compared the number of loads that were hauled to GRRWA by Floyd’s. I compared them to Monday’s from prior weeks and from the previous Year-to-Date.

On June 29 I confronted Mr. Ken Floyd concerning the possible additional loads of waste that were hauled to GRRWA. On June 30th I talked to Hal in Hal’s office concerning his findings with Floyd’s.

I told Hal that the loads of waste were mixed loads according to Ken. Hal immediately got a chuckle and said “that old bastard knows how to play the game”.

I questioned what game he was referring to and Hal responded that as long as the hauler admits to a mixed load of waste, he can take it anywhere.

I was then questioned by Des Moines County staff as to why Laveine Sanitation was turned into the IDNR for not disposing waste at GRRWA’s landfill.

I politely stated that it is easy to know when a hauler who has containers within the GRRWA planning area is violating the rules especially when the hauler has never paid for waste disposal at the GRRWA landfill.

Des Moines County staff then accused me of being in bed together with Ken Floyd. I then politely left the Area Recyclers Office.

Hal Morton seems to be very fixated on making the IDNR Rules black and white. Brian Tormey, IDNR Waste Management Bureau Chief and John Tack, IDNR Waste Management Bureau Legal Counsel, have repeatedly agreed that mixed loads of waste are gray areas.

The DNR would rather see the mixed waste from planning areas be disposed of in a landfill versus a partial load disposed of in a landfill and the other portion dumped in a ditch.

Hal Morton has repeatedly requested from the Bureau to make this gray area black and white rules. Hal has not been happy with the response that the Bureau gave him and took their advice of filing a lawsuit against GRRWA.

This should tell the public that Hal Morton has spearheaded a lawsuit that will be difficult to win. How much money of the Des Moines County Solid Waste Commission is Hal willing to spend on a battle that has been tried several times in the State of Iowa?

One battle was GRRWA accusing Des Moines County of the same issue and GRRWA lost. The only way that Hal can have a positive outcome is for the Department to find that GRRWA knowingly accepted waste that was not mixed from Des Moines County Planning Area.

One must ask Hal Morton what the real issue is. Is it a conflict between him and Floyd’s EZ Way?

Is Hal trying to manipulate business away from Floyd’s so that other Des Moines County haulers can pick up more business? Has Hal taken the time to confront Floyd’s face to face in a non-confrontational manner to discuss any issues that may be keeping Floyd’s from conducting business with Des Moines County?

I believe in one of the last articles that was written by The Hawkeye Hal Morton commented that Ken Floyd has not come to me with any issues.

Hal, did you ever think that as the Director of the Landfill that it is your job to go to Ken? It’s like owning your own business…well that may be a hard concept for you.

Have you ever worked for anyone other than a public agency? This is not Texas Hal. In Iowa we have such a thing as two way communication without going through the media or a middle person.
The issue may not even be that Hal Morton has a problem with Floyd’s EZ Way. It may be that Hal is trying to justify paying for a new Subtitle D Landfill.

How many of the residents in the Des Moines County Planning Area know that within the next couple of years, Hal has a plan to construct a new landfill, a new shop building, and a new Haz Chem Facility?

Now that the plan is at the point where the COSTS are being summed up, is the flow of waste enough to keep the tipping fee at $30 per ton? Or is it $35 per ton (which begins July 1, 2006)?

In a presentation given by Shaw Environmental at the workshop that was jointly hosted by IDNR and ISOSWO in Des Moines on May 17, 2005, a cost model shows that tipping fees should be increased by $10.39 to $14.35 per ton to what Des Moines County is currently charging to sustain a Subtitle D landfill.

The suggested increase in tipping fees is due to permit, construction, operation and final cover costs for a Subtitle D compliant cell.

Does DMC Landfill have to build a Subtitle D cell? Yes, if they want to keep the landfill open.

In a letter received by the IDNR Director on April 29, 2005 from the USEPA, the proposed timeline for Iowa landfills to comply with the RCRA Subtitle D liner requirements is stated, “The original proposal was that all landfills would be in compliance by the summer of 2006. Your compromise position with the affected facilities would postpone that date until October 1, 2007, or approximately 15 months.”

“Given that the facilities have been subject to the requirements of the Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Criteria since 1991, this would be a reasonable compromise and allow the affected facilities ample time to either move to a new lined cell or make alternative arrangements.”

As a side note, Iowa is the last State in EPA Region 7 to comply with this requirements.
(Isn’t Iowa always priding themselves as leader’s in the U.S.?)

One must ask, is it the Department’s fault or the fault of Landfill Directors in the State to disregard the EPA criteria that was to be put into place since 1991. GRRWA complied and constructed a RCRA Subtitle D landfill in 1992. This was the very first one in the State.

Are there other options that the DMC Landfill Commission can look at? Yes.

Hal Morton as Director of the Agency should have put out on the table the options of a transfer station and the option of closing the operation all together. The transfer station option would allow the DMCRWC to keep their Comprehensive Planning Area under the House File 399, “the Rathbun Bill”.

The House File allows planning areas that close landfills and replace them with a permitted transfer station, the ability to retain their planning area autonomy if they desire.

Planning areas that close landfills will still receive retained fees.

The impact of House File 399 will reduce barriers for planning areas to work together, thus allowing connected planning areas a better way to track the generation of waste.

For those landfill’s in Iowa that currently do not meet RCRA Subtitle D standards, it is advised by the Department that each of the landfill’s look at all of their available options and choose the best economic and feasible option for the residents of their respective planning areas.

According to Brent Schliesman, DMC Commissioner from the City of Mount Pleasant, this has not been done. As residents who live in the Des Moines County Planning Area, we must not be railroaded into a decision by one person that will have long term economic impacts for Southeast Iowa.


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Day 17-

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


And I don't want to hear one word about this at Wednesday's candidate forum. Wake up!

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03 October

Chinese Lawnmower Maker Moves To Galesburg

Sutech Walk-Behind Commercial Mowers Moves Into OMC BLDG

65-70 semi loads of equipment, material, stock and furniture from Sutech’s Aurora, Illinois location have been moved to a new location in the former Outboard Marine Corporation building in Galesburg. Move-in will be complete in 2 months.

This move was brought about because someone took the initative to do something other than go to a golf outing. And not having an economic development policy shaped by inept politicans taxing commercial taxpayers to make up for inefficient management.

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Tax Man King Cometh

Anti-Economic Development King Plans To Hammer Commercial Taxpayers


King says he wants to tax businesses amd commercial property to fix the budget deficit.

What do you think?


I don't think the Senator has to worry much about sitting on Grow Greater Burlington's board next year. Looking for more commercial property taxpayers to pay "their 100%" tax rate has zero chance of attracting any real job providers.

The first place I would move my company is anyplace but Burlington if I heard something like that. It just amazes me that King doesn't have any more grasp of how tax revenue is generated. Obviously, he wasn't paying any attention at the Grow Greater Burlington board meetings.

Coupled with his anti-economic development stance with the railroad lawsuit, King doesn't offer anything to Burlington voters and taxpayers. And with anti-growth policy like this running rampant, Burlington doesn't stand a chance.

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Split Lawsuit Proceeds

I like KL's idea to split the lawsuit winnnings with the workers. Then that way no one could ever say it was anything but about jobs.


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Day 16-

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


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