Burlington Derailed — The Continuing Story

30 November

New Reader Poll Added

Scroll down to yesterday, November 29, (or click here) to cast your vote in our new Edwards Asleep At The Wheel Reader Poll.

09:41:41 - SPIKE - No comments

Edwards Not Asleep At The Wheel?

We have learned contrary to the report published in the advertiser that Edwards was asleep at the wheel, Burlington Police were called to Burger King because of Burlington Mayor Mike Edwards’ erratic behavior.

Edwards reportedly was acting erratically and had gotten in and out of his vehicle 3-4 times arousing suspicion. It appears Edwards had not been asleep the entire time from about 1:00 a.m. until 4:36 a.m. as he originally claimed.

Our sources say it was unclear if Edwards was asleep, or just appeared to be asleep, when the police arrived. If his behavior was erratic as reported that indicates to me Edwards was, or had recently been, awake. It is also unconfirmed that Edwards’ keys were in the ignition at the time of the stop.

How long will it be before someone recently arrested in similar circumstances raises these issues in his/her defense?

04:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Edwards’ Brother Takes Spike To The Woodshed

Mayor Mike Edwards’s brother wrote us an email that can’t be printed here due to his command and use, of sexually explicit four letter words.

The gist of his letter can be derived from my reply. You will have to read into some parts of the email due to my editing of his language.

His desire to protect his brother, Burlington Mayor Mike Edwards, is admirable. But I question whether or not he realizes he needs to help his brother instead of find excuses for him.


Let’s see now, if your Thanksgiving was ruined by anyone, wouldn’t it be your brother’s’ fault? He was the one found at Burger King. Not me, not you, not Campbell. He is the one with a known history of alcohol abuse while driving. Not me, not you, not Campbell. He is the one that placed this community and police department in a bad situation. It was your brother’s alcoholism that you have admitted “zero patience for” that has brought this about. You get to that stage of the facts, then we have something to discuss.

If we all weren’t focused on your brother’s lack of leadership skills, maybe as a community we could capitalize on some of that Amtrak business. How many potential businesses that look at Burlington and see your brother’s shenanigans and walk away? That I care about.

The City has a $54,000 water park bond payment due in a few weeks that they didn’t have the brains to negotiate into their bond agreement. Where is that money coming from?

Do you think that your brother has projected a positive image for the community? After all, this isn’t the first time your brother has appeared on the front page of the newspaper for some stupid act. Why should this be any different? I don’t agree with publishing the story on Thanksgiving, But, I don’t agree with drunk driving or this pattern of behavior from the mayor.

You question my manhood when you haven’t helped your brother solve his alcohol problems. What kind of man doesn’t help his brother first? Or, do you condone his b******* because he is your brother? I have doubts that your brother will ever measure up from what I know about the rest of his story.

Delaney’s crack addicted nephew was brought up to illustrate to DELANEY how his stupid*** way of doing business isn’t right. I hope Kansas cans his a**. But it won’t do any good without firing Alison and Miller along with Delaney.

I have asked many people to notify the police when your brother is out drinking and driving. And from what I can tell, it’s only a matter of time before he is caught and/or hurts/kills someone including himself because of it. Unless you think that it will never happen to your brother. Or you condone his behavior because he is your brother.

Most times, people closest won’t recognize the problem or take the steps to correct it until it is way too late. You said, “Too many innocent people die each year because some stupid ********** puts his/her self-interests above those of the rest of us.” Is your brother the next cause for this type of tragedy?

You keep listening to King and you will be no better, King is the ultimate statement of gasbag ineptness. I’m sure you wouldn’t want your company’s name associated with someone like King. He has been proven to be a liar and a sore loser.

My best advice to you is help your brother and then distance yourself from Chris King. Everybody has King’s number and what they don’t know about King could come out any day. You don’t want to be in the fallout.

You need to rethink your comment, “Too many innocent people die each year because some stupid **********...” before you accuse me of any homosexual tendencies.

You know now about your brother’s drinking problem. You can help him fix it or ignore it. But either way, if he hurts/kills anyone as a result of his alcohol problem, I will see that your letter and my response to you are given to the authorities and the attorneys handling the lawsuits.

You can be part of the problem or part of the solution.

You decide.

We’ll watch what you do to help your brother.

Then you can criticize me.


03:58:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Otis Campbell and Mike Campbell Not Related


When discussing the city council issues, KCPS, KBUR and the rest of us may need you to be more specific when mentioning Campbell's comments. Which Campbell, Mike or Otis?


Any reference to Otis so far in our posts refers to Burlington Mayor Mike Edwards. A reader originally likened Edwards' need for keys to his own jail cell to the behavior of Otis Campbell from the Andy Griffith Show.

Councilman Mike Campbell's comments have always been referred to as Campbell (no relation to Otis). Mike Campbell doesn't wear a hat. Otis Campbell did.

If you're confused, imagine how confused I get. I'll try harder.


03:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

29 November

Cry Baby King Back

Senator King was crying on the KCPS's Big Show 1150 AM this morning. It was absolutely pathetic.

King opined that Councilman Campbell promotes openness in government but somehow Campbell conducts it in a more open nature than King thinks it should be. I guess Campbell is supposed to submit to King's rules for closed session meetings. Along with the rest of Cry Baby's rules.

I wonder how King can do radio reports for Pritchard when he can't report the facts with his slanted biases against anyone who confronts him when he is wrong?

Pritchard is going down a road filled with potholes. And those potholes will bottom out like a Buick with no shocks.

14:27:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Edwards Missing - Support Waning?


Since Edwards missed the council work session last night I wonder if he was out asking his 270 fellow advisors down at Case what he should do next?


If our total lack of Edwards support mail is any indication of public opinion, I would have to say our readers outweigh Edwards 270 advisors' opinions by a factor of 3:1. And if you factor in the advertiser’s letters to the editor, that factor goes to 10:1.

People are mad and scared. Retribution comes in many forms in this town.

12:24:17 - SPIKE - No comments

Council Contract With the Citizens

I think we need to ask the Burlington City Council to sign a contract with the citizens. Especially in light of these recent events.

All the contract needs to say is that Council members agree to random drug testing without advance notice, agree not to take any illegal drug(s), agree to remain morally fit, waive their right to option the field sobriety test and if they screw up, the councilman agrees to resign.

Cuts the fat to the bone. They either live right or go down breaking the contract.

If they can make the NBA do it, it should work here. Just don’t let Scott Power screw with it. It’ll wind up costing $50,000 in unneeded legal fees.

We are paying for this mess. We should have some say in how it is run. And we can't expect an election to fix it.

00:32:38 - SPIKE - No comments

Just the Facts Mam' on Mayor Edwards

Run a Records Check?


Has anybody run one of these on Mayor Edwards? The police department should be able to pull one up free of charge. Click here to check it yourself.

With all the stories floating around concerning His "Honor's" previous transgressions, perhaps the Mayor's rap sheet should be posted on the City of Burlington web site. It would settle a lot of arguments in Burlington's watering holes.


You can also click here to go to Iowa Courts Online to do a record check.


00:21:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Why Do They Write Spike?

Fear Of Retribution Major Factor and Readily Known

The Edwards’ mess should tell all of Spike’s naysayers why BurlingtonDerailed.com works. It works because people can write to us and complain about the way things are and we won’t disclose their name.

The number of emails we’ve posted is far above anything you will ever see at the advertiser. People know that it is at the whim and fancy of the editors what gets printed in the letters column. The only people to post anonymously at the advertiser are the editors. Everyone else is name, rank and serial number.

People are fearful of retribution. They are fearful of being ostracized for taking a stand against the way things have deteriorated with Edwards, King, Ell, Slagle and Power driving the bus.

People know how things work in this town. The years of not having Spike and the internet fell on the shoulders of the local advertiser. And we all know how that turned out.

This behavior from City Hall depresses people. They see no future. They see no change. They are fighting the consequences of a DUI conviction and they aren’t the mayor. The children have no future until they move away.

People want something better and they could care less who Spike is; they only care that something gets done to improve their life. Spike offers just a glimmer of hope that there might be some change.

The governor told everyone the direction to the future had to come from within. No one expected that to happen so soon.

It needs to come from within right now so this city can heal and get on with surviving the 21st century. We can't wait a year to make a decision on who to invite.

00:18:00 - SPIKE - No comments

A Journalist is a Journalist is a High School Student?

The freedom to freely pass on information must not be restricted to "journalists." Unfortunately, that is what some in Congress are up to. Click here.

Just what is a journalist? Is the high school student collecting sports scores for a county seat ink on paper operation a journalist? Does the term journalist apply to a high school student running a tell all blog site where the power structure of said county seat does not like anybody threatening their monopoly of local information? If the issue ends up in court, guess who has the resources to win?

Extending 1st Ammendment rights only to those defined as "journalists" is a trick of troubled media monopolies. The mask of "responsibility" is really a ploy to protect their position. 100 years ago in an era of newspaper competition, the community learned over time whom to trust. Having a choice produced a better product. Consolidation removed choice. Technology is bringing choice back to consumers of information.

Tell your elected Federal reperesentatives the free exchange of information must not be hindered. The dinosaurs are trying to trample the mammals. Technology should not be restricted to promote reverse evolution.


Sounds like the Tom Courtney School of Narrow Minds. For all our new readers, last spring Iowa Senator Tom Courtney was in absolute turmoil (more like a tizz) to find his name on BurlingtonDerailed.com in a somewhat less than positive light for his role in the railroad lawsuit. Something Courtney didn't want anyone to know.

So Courtney tried to add an amendment to pending legislation to make it mandatory that all blogs had to identify themselves on the internet. We all know where that stunning idea went.

I wonder as Des Moines County Democratic Party Chairman what he thinks of Edwards' free pass from jail? Afterall, Edwards is the #2 Democrat in Des Moines County. It can't be good.


00:14:00 - SPIKE - No comments

New Hawkeye Poll

Perhaps the next Hawkeye Poll should be "If you were arrested for DUI in Burlington were you given the option to call someone to pick you up instead of taking a field sobriety test?"

If you were arrested for DUI in Burlington were you given the option to call someone to pick you up instead of taking a field sobriety test?

-- poll results --

Smart Enough To Leave Burlington

00:01:00 - SPIKE - No comments

28 November

Good Reason To Be Nervous

TS, your comments were funny about Otis getting his own cell. Funny but true!

Could you imagine how much fun the late night talk shows would have with this. Just the comments that were made by Slagle, Wunnenberg and Otis Edwards. Our City management, you make us so proud.

Slagle says it's not an issue. Wunnenberg says the mayor got no preferential treatment and it was handled like any other case. Sometimes we get warnings for speeding (true) sometimes we get OWI warnings,(what the hell kind of comment is that?) we are fact finders, and just send the information to the courts, Wunnenberg stated.

Chief, in all do respect, how can you find out the facts when this man was behind the wheel, smelling of achohol, at early morning hours, asleep or passed out behind the wheel, (obviously to everyone in our community) drove there drunk, if this driver gets a choice to take the sobriety test.

Your dept. failed to get the facts, and you publicly support that. That is what is surprising and very disappointing.

The mayor was above the law and everybody knows it. The truth came out and the sad part is, some don't want the truth to get out. That's the corruption and the integrity issue.

Slagle says, we don't know if he was drunk or not. The cop gave the mayor an OPTION, do you want to take a sobriety test or call for a ride?

Do Slagle and Wunnenberg realize what they actually said? The community just lost confidence and respect.

And Edwards quote, "the officer gave me a choice and I chose the responsible thing to do and I called my wife." In the future, everybody should get the Edwards OPTION!

A hint to Sheriff Johnstone, at least Andy didn't let Otis go around town with a concealed weapon. Edwards should lose his gun permit, big dog in the Democratic party or not.

Yes, Leno and Letterman would have a field day with this. And our city management doesn't believe anything is wrong with this picture. The council and incoming council should decide if they are going to be part of the problem or part of the solution. So far, they look like part of the problem. Some are above the law and that is the integrity issue.

When Edwards runs over somebody and kills them, Wunnenberg and Slagle are going to have to take some of the responsibility, because they supported letting a drunk go free and a drunk behind the wheel that had several past drunk driving arrest. We are really setting a good example for the young drivers by allowing this corrupt double standard.

It is wrong to blame the Hawkeye or anyone else. The Hawkeye should continue to research this and the community will be watching to see if the Hawkeye has the integrity to search the truth. They are all nervous as they should be.


12:03:03 - SPIKE - No comments

Edwardsgate and The Cover Up


I've been trying to get the timeline straight concerning Edwardsgate. If all the dates are right, how could this be anything but a cover up? Why on earth would it take everyone so long to find out? If it were me, it'd be in the next days paper under ARRESTS!!

Ok, so the cops sometimes use their descretion (cough cough) and let a drunk off the hook. But no one finds out for 2 weeks?? Give me a break!! Someone has some "splainin" to do.

Go back and reread the first paragraph of the article about our drunk mayor. Now imagine Leno or Letterman reading it for laughs on the air. It'd be funny as hell if it weren't your town, huh?

I'm so proud.


Everybody that knew about it kept their mouths shut to keep Edwards in the race. Somebody leaked the story to 3 sources I know of. The writer of the letter/email is unknown. I had heard a rumor but had no way to check it. Contrary to King's craziness, we have lots of sources that freely contribute information.

I would guess the reason the source came forward is because they either knew, or had heard, about the story and realized there might be a coverup.

Cops should have field discretion. It is something that has uses, but can't be abused. This isn't the first time this has ever happened. If I had to guess, in most incidents like this, you will find mid-level authority made the wrong decision. And the wrong decision doesn't make it a bad decision.

Exposure of a story like this can come from any source. From losers to disgruntled employees to Edwards bashers to Spike haters.

The Blame It On Spike campaign has already started. I give everyone my word, I did not drive Edwards to the Burger King parking lot and leave him there.

The only one responsible is Mike Edwards. Period.


00:52:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Mayberry Iowa

Just Give Otis Edwards Keys To The Jail


I've got an idea. Why don't the police give Mike Edwards a key to his own jail cell?

That way when he's done drinking for the night he can just go and lock himself in. Just like Otis on Mayberry.

The bottom line is Mike made a irresponsible decision to go on a personal pub crawl. Which the outcome for anyone else would have been lockup, if they would have been found in the BK parking lot in his condition.


Odds are real good Edwards drove to Burger King drunk.

Odds are better than that everyone else would have gone to jail to party with the Breathylizer instead of being asked whether or not they wanted to get a ride home.


00:51:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Is King Losing It? - King Continues On Erratic Mood Swings

King To Be Probative Radio Reporter

Well, we all waited for Senator Chris King to tell us. And tell us he did. Everything but his role in the Edwards’ problem or the “facts” of the case from the man in the supposed know.

As usual, King tried his best to deflect us away from the problems at City Hall with this latest Edwards’ debacle. King unsuccessfully tried to justify Edwards’ actions and excuse them because of some elaborate scheme King dreamed up.

What was the saddest spectacle yet from the sore loser is his newfound job as a reporter for Pritchard Broadcasting. What were those people thinking? Their ratings are going to tank.

Pritchard supposedly hired King, a proven liar that has intentionally misled the public on numerous occasions. Now, in his new role as roving nitwit for the radio station, King is going to suddenly be truthful and believable? And he is going to factually report the news? I don’t think so.

King is a disruption in City Hall and wherever he shows up. Imagine what kind of nonsense will spring forth now. And his supposed close ties with the police department beg for a humongous liability lawsuit when he shoots off that mouth of his about something he wasn't to know.

What was the craziest part of King’s erratic mood swing was his mistaken belief that on January 1, 2006 he all of sudden becomes a private figure. Sorry, King you misread that law, too.

There is very significant case law that clearly indicates that King will remain on our radar untouched for 3 or more years, if not forever. Once you’re a public figure you’re a public figure and free game. Especially when you act up and don’t know when to shut your mouth.

It was somewhat alarming to see the authoritative way of King told us the circumstances surrounding Edwards’ police call. It was almost as if he was there. Were you at Burger King, Chris, to witness this?

Maybe we could pull the patrol car video and see if you’re in the picture. I’ll bet there isn't any video of this incident since Edwards’ prior convictions would have probably popped up on the in-car computer when the cops ran the plate. If you weren't there, how can you possibly comment about what happened?

And tell me King, would you have gotten the same treatment as Edwards or would you have been a belligerent drunk trying to talk your way out of it? And would you have abused your friends on the PD by putting them in the same situation that Edwards did?

Funniest thing King wrote was his accusation blaming Spike for coining the phrase 'sore loser." Hate to disappoint you Senator but your moniker came from 7 at the KCPS Big Show 1150 AM. And it is so appropriate. You are a sore loser.

Best thing for you to do Senator is go home and raise your family and do your volunteer work. You got caught making lots of mistakes and it stings because you got caught and there is no tangible explanation regardless of how lurid a tale you tell.

This floppin' around like a carp is terribly unbecoming for a Senator.

00:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

26 November

Amtrak Ridership Up

What Could We Really Be Doing?

Amtrak ridership in Iowa broke a record this year. Passenger count was up 13%, about 7,000 more pasengers than last fiscal year. Higher gasoline prices spurred travelers to seek options to highway trips even though Bush has tried unsuccessfully to dismantle Amtrak.

Amtrak operates two daily trains that run through Iowa between Chicago and the West Coast. The California Zephyr stops in Burlington, Mount Pleasant, Ottumwa, Osceola and Creston. The Southwest Chief stops in Fort Madison.

I wonder what the traffic count could be if Burlington would take Amtrak seriously and we weren't mired down in the railroad lawsuit and EdwardsGate?

10:10:49 - SPIKE - No comments

EdwardsGate- King Is Such Old News


I was curious enough to see King's reaction to the latest Edward's incident. King has spun it around to blame Mike Cambell.

King approved of the cover-up. No wonder he hates tape recorders, look what they did to Nixon.

King is also slinging mud at Cambell. It is okay when King does it, bad when Spike does it.

Good-ol-boys stick together. Edwards & King both said the law suit was about jobs. Now they say it is about monetary damages and Burlington will win. Liars stick together.

These boys couldn't buy me enough beer to get me to vote for them.


I'd like to know why the sore loser hasn't told us what he knows about Edwards ordeal. King was always so quick to tell us whether he has the facts or not. Why not now?

I'll bet they'd let you buy them beer.


09:49:26 - SPIKE - No comments

25 November

Edwards' Free Pass

Edwards Should Have Called From The Bar


1.) The police chief is a good guy and has been a good chief that has earned respect.

2.) The Mayor Edwards drunkenness embarrasses the City again! He shouldn't have a gun permit!

3.) Chief Wunnenburg's and Slagle's comments were irresponsible and very disappointing.

4.) Drinking and drunk driving are a major public safety concern.

5.) Slagle said it's not an issue and Edwards wasn't proven drunk. He had a choice to call mommy or take the sobriety test. Not everybody that has been charged got that choice. Will they get that choice in the future? Defense lawyers should make sure they do.

6.) Wunnenburg said the mayor got no special treatment. This community is not that naive Dave. You disappointed the community with your comments. The chief said he could not second guess his officers. Does that mean police officers are never wrong? The police dept. was making great strides and this tarnished the dept. That is unfair to the good guys in the dept. that are doing a good job! Edwards should not have been protected.

7.)Edwards drove drunk to the BK lot. He was driving drunk, slumped at the wheel. He had to have had a strong smell of achohol. He should have been requested to take the sobriety test or been arrested. That was wrong and the whole community is talking about it.

8.) Are certain people above the law? It appears that way.

9.)Edwards was given a choice to call mommy, Edwards stated he was responsible and chose to call mommy. He called his wife and said, I'm drunk and the police have me and will give me a break if you come and get me! If Edwards was responsible, he would have left his car at home or called his wife from the tavern.

10.) Dave and Bruce, will it be an issue when Edwards runs over somebody and kills them because he is drunk. You are not helping him with his problem. Edwards is making you both look bad.

11.) Lastly, don't blame the Hawkeye for reporting the story. They would have printed it earlier had it not been covered up. That is the sad part. Where is the integrity?

12.) For all of those that have been arrested for the same thing and paid the price of a lawyer bill, court cost, insurance cost, lost license and public embarrassment, too bad you were not the Mayor. Let the City or the press know that this is wrong! The police dept. should be investigated with an honest investigation from the outside.

13.) This is a very poor example to show the teenagers. We try to convince our kids that the trouble they will face if they drink and drive.

14.) If the police dept. expects moral and financial support from the community and businesses for their programs, they need to do better than this, because it looks like a shady irresponsible cover up. You don't gain respect or trust in this manner. The community doesn't want to hear your lame excuses that were quoted in Thursday's Hawkeye.

15.) Edwards should resign from the Mayor and the council position. The community should demand it.

Tommy is the only person so far that I have heard defend Edwards action. Tommy blamed Spike and the Hawkeye for publishing this.

Tommy said Edwards is not guilty of anything. That is the point Tommy, he got a choice to take a sobriety test to prove he was sober or call his wife. Tommy, you sounded like an idiot on the radio.


I have a real hard time with Wunnenburg endorsing a coverup even at Slagle's direction. I don't think he would jeopardize his reputation. As KCPS's Fred said, "He's an old school head cracker."

I'd hate to be the next elected official anywhere in Des Moines County that is pulled over for suspected DUI. Whether cologne, Mountain Dew or drunk, you are going to jail. Guaranteed!

And the gun thing is really troublesome. I have zero tolerance on that issue. And we will pursue that if the Sheriff doesn't.


12:33:31 - SPIKE - No comments

Good-Ol-Boy Approach To Vote Getting


I'm sure Tommy is a good & very amicable fellow. But I can't agree with his liberal politics.

I will make moral judgements and hold my elected officials accountable.

I question the ethical responsibility of bar-hopping to buy everyone drinks in exchange for their vote. He is not looking for clear & objective, non-impaired discussion of issues.

He is going for the good-ol-boy approach to vote getting. Let me buy you another round and if you hate your big bad employer, I'll file a law suit on your behalf.

Since King is a strident believer in ethical election behavorior, I trust he will follow up on this.


The elected officials must be held accountable. It appears the only vote Edwards wanted could be found in a bar.

We are supporters of KCPS Tommy's insight on most days. His election night court house reporting was as good as it can get.

But his cry yesterday of "No harm, no foul" is way off base for Edwards' continued behavior. Edwards is the Mayor!!

I don't like the fact that Bill Ell polishes off several beers before a council meeting when he is voting away our tax money. But he isn't sitting in front of 90% of the camera shots or representing Burlington on the Vision Iowa Board.

People don't have to like the way we do things here. And they can hit delete on anything we write. That's part of free speech.

As for Senator King, don't expect anything of substance in this matter. King has repeatedly shown he is nothing more than a rubberstamping blow hard.


12:20:06 - SPIKE - No comments

Edwards Has To Go


Edwards has got to go!! We can't let a drunken gun packin' fool run this (or should I say ruin) this town.

This time he parks at Burger King, in "79" he parked on top of a pile of steel at a local metal fabricating shop here in Burlington.

Where will he park next? Hopefully not on top of one of my family members!!!


That's the risk of letting you run when you don't seek treatment for a disease.

11:57:25 - SPIKE - No comments

It's All About The Money


I subscribe to The Hawkeye weekends only. I also live in Illinois and have my paper delivered via "motor route".

Yesterday, Thanksgiving, a paper was delivered to my house. So, I was wondering, because of all the ads in the Thanksgiving paper - does The Hawkeye deliver a paper to everyone?

I wasn't supposed to get one, and I did. And it could hardly be a mistake, as I live in the middle of nowhere. Someone has to drive to my house to deliver my paper.

Just wondering if this could be the reason why the paper ran the big story when they did... so it could be delivered to the most people.

Do you know?


The advertiser wanted the maximum number of eyeballs on this story for several reasons.

1. More eyeballs that see the paper MIGHT produce more results in sales for the advertisers. The advertiser might then sell more ads.

2. The advertiser will generate a story like this for the follow-up articles to attract more eyeballs to more ads.

3. The more times you sensationalize a story with a rehash of the original story more eyeballs MIGHT be attracted to another ad.

4. If you sprinkle a little new information amongst the old, old news you might keep a reader interested enough to see yet another ad.

5. If you are a Sunday only reader and see this story you might want to increase your subscription to a daily subscription. More eyeballs on the ads.

6. And if you bought your paper yesterday from a machine, you might start a subscription. More eyeballs on the ads.

7. And if you tell us how to think you eventually generate a group of droids that will comply to the ads. That was until the internet came along and people can check out store specials in Davenport, Iowa City, Chicago and St. Louis.

8. And if the advertiser told us the entire story in 2-3 articles, the writers would have to work harder to find a controversy to generate the ad revenue. So why not milk the story as long as you can?

The advertiser will tell you that they extended you the courtesy of sending the Sunday-only readers the Thanksgiving edition because it is a newspaper tradition for the Sunday-only subscriptions.

Me, I think it is all about the money. The advertiser's money.


11:51:47 - SPIKE - No comments

Burlington Under Siege – Drinking Problems Abound

Well, well, I am just wondering how hard it is to tell if Burger King is closed, but I guess the more you drink the harder it is to tell? Why did it take our mayor passing out in his car to call home for a ride?

Was he not smart enough to be thinking, hey let’s not take a chance and call anyone before he left that last bar?

Thank God someone came along, and made him realize, he needed to find a way home, or he may have just driven himself, and that would of been just great.

If he took the chance to drive to Burger King, what are the chances he would of just driven home! What a freakin’ idiot we have leading our town as mayor.

There is also another subject, about the same idea, and it been bothering me a great deal, and I may as well open the can of worms now.

On a Friday night in November, it was the typical teen, parents-out-of-town, party-of-the-year as some of the partygoers are saying.

In reading many of the online blogs these kids have written about this party, they have given great detail of the wonderful job our Des Moines County Sheriff department did that night when the party was busted.

The cops were really cool they all say, and funny too! I guess I would say that too, if they let some 30 drunken teens leave, knowing they were drunk.

There were great amounts of beer, vodka and weed according to the blog reports. When the party was busted, the drunken teens were all gathered up, into one place. They took names, but did they check ID's.............NO they did not.

We have kids laughing at the officers, STILL, because the fake names worked. Did they know these teens, (and they were all under the age of 21), were drunk? YES, they knew they were drunk.

Did they call ANY of the parents to come and pick up the child in question that was too drunk to drive? NO, THEY DID NOT!

In one of the online blogs a teen reported he was so drunk, but really thankful that they let him go, and LET HIM DRIVE HOME!

What the hell is this area coming too? I have 2 children at the high school, and the same thing could happen to my kids, and I hope it does not.

One thing that I do know, if either of them was in this kind of position, I hope the cops are smart enough the next time to call the parents, and have them come and get the kids, and provide them a safe ride home.

We may as well put on our welcome signs coming into town, great place to drink and not get caught, cuz we don't care!!


02:49:53 - SPIKE - No comments

Can Edwards Lead This City?

On Thursday’s KCPS Big Show 1150 AM Fred & 7 focused on Edwards being a nice guy and that the community shouldn’t abandon Edwards because he needs help to combat his alcohol problem.

The storyline isn’t about whether Mike Edwards should receive help for his alcoholism. This is about whether or not Edwards should be retained as mayor and councilman. And more importantly, can he lead this City while undergoing treatment?

Is there a cover-up? Might be. Was there preferential treatment given to the mayor? Appears to be.

What we do know is that Slagle and Edwards have lied to us about more than one issue over the last two years. Why should we believe they are now telling us the truth? They have a track record of deceit.

I don’t care how anyone else tries to spin this problem. Edwards smelled of alcohol. Edwards admitted to drinking for hours. Edwards couldn’t remember how many beers he had. Edwards had the option to take a field sobriety test.

Edwards got a pass on a field sobriety test that each one of us would have been subjected to. That IS the responding officers’ prerogative.

We have bankers, lawyers, doctors and accountants in Burlington that are alcoholics. They have the ability to ruin a person’s life forever if they are working under the influence of drugs or alcohol because their abilities are impaired.

Edwards is THE representative of our community in all facets of exposure to the outside world. Regardless of what everyone wants to believe, a drunk with a long history of alcohol problems needs help first before the citizens can be assured that his decisions are based on sound thinking and not impaired by alcohol.

When you drink, you can’t think. If you can’t think, you can’t lead. If you can’t lead then resign. The world does not revolve around politics. Edwards needs to get his life straightened out rather than jeopardize the City’s future with impaired decisions.

Finally, if you want to put to rest all of the issues and stop this story, then provide the newspaper and KCPS with all of the records, audio tapes and cell phone records involved the day it occurred and for 7 days afterwards.

Only then we will be inclined to believe the account offered.

02:09:17 - SPIKE - No comments

What Did We Know & When Did We Know It?

We had a rumor shuffled to us about November 15. We chased the story hard but there were too many versions of the alleged facts.

I held the story 4 days to let the newspaper publish their version. It was my opinion whoever published this story first was going to have a harder road to go in public opinion. After all, the newspaper has huge staff.

And whether Tommy likes it or not, this is my website and I can preach to everybody whenever I want. You want to chastise us, go ahead. This is a very serious situation for this community that needs to be addressed and not overlooked.

This is really a liability issue. Do we want a mayor with an ego influenced by alcohol shaping decisions that could cost this community hundreds of thousands of dollars?

And we will not let this be swept under the rug if the facts warrant otherwise.

01:13:00 - SPIKE - No comments

24 November

At Least it Was Not Clutch Trouble

Mayor Edwards episode with an automobile and possibly alcohol brings to mind another episode involving a Mayor of Burlington roughly 40 years ago.

Mayor Carl Hoschek was stopped by police for erratic driving. There was talk of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. The final story was His Honor was having clutch trouble with the automatic transmission in his new car. There were no charges to answer for.

Brilliant leadership by example is nothing new in Burlington.


Well, I'm glad to see that there is an explanation for Tim Hoschek's inability to accept responsibility and lack of mechanical aptitude.


16:08:58 - SPIKE - No comments

Newspaper's Motives - Edwards' Actions - Cover Up


I really don't like the idea the newspaper printed this story on Thanksgiving. It just shows the lack of editorial direction Delaney is giving.

I am glad Edwards pulled over whether drunk or not. At least they weren't responding to an accident scene.

And I really don't like how it looks like they are covering up the story. There seems to be too many people that didn't learn about for "3 days." I don't believe that all of them learned exactly 3 days later.

Anonymous and none of your business who I am King.

We haven't had time to address the newspaper's role in this. After all, everybody gets this edition of the paper for the ads anyway. And the same number won't care next week to buy a follow-up copy.

But it was well written. Let's see what happens from here.


12:50:24 - SPIKE - No comments

Mayor Mikey and The Cops Need Accountablility


These people (city gov.,BPD) need to start being held accountable. They have been running amok far too long!! Since there is no newspaper in the area, these cronies and phonies have been left unchallenged and unchecked.

Please continue in your quest to expose the truth. I may not always agree with your opinions, but I always respect the facts.

I have to admit, it scares me that this drunk with a bad temper is packing a piece! I hope I don't accidently piss him off!!


Well, your post the other day was more profound that we all thought. I'd hate to be the next elected official in a similar alcohol related position.

A drunk with a gun is a law enforcement nightmare. Especially a drunk with a concealed weapons permit. Think how we feel. We piss Edwards off every week for his embarassing behavior.


12:33:28 - SPIKE - No comments

King Out Breaking His Own Rules - There Are Solutions


Regarding the "other" site, a recent post is from a "listener". According to their rules, "No content will be allowed without a name associated with it. This blog is about taking responsibility for your thoughts and words."

Seems like they don't even follow their own rules.

Regarding the Edwards issue, if the police department was so concerned about how to handle the situation, why didn't they request the assistance from an outside agency such as the State Patrol.

I'm sure they would have assisted concerning the circumstances and would free the city from any possible cover-up.


King is so far out of his tree he needs his concealed weapons permit taken away from him on December 31. I can't wait for for that loud-mouth gas bag to tell us what the real story is. Or, for the sore loser to just go home like sore losers do.

Re: the State Patrol. That wouldn't be a good thing. The State Patrol would have administered a field sobriety test and probably arrested Edwards for DUI. And the police department would not have been placed in a really bad position.


12:28:26 - SPIKE - No comments

Drunks At All Levels


In 1998 there were 82 of our congressional members picked up in and around Washington for drunk driving. Of course all of them were released with no charges pending.

Does this injustice trickle down to Burlington's officials as well? I remember one city official here in town that lost his job because of a similar episode just a few years ago, although he was a city employee and not elected to office.

There are two standards when it comes to DUI's in this country and MADD goes along with this double standard. I sent that organization many E-mails regarding the congressmen and what they were going to do about it, and of course, no reply, ever.

Many in this country have no idea of the crap going on behind their backs when it comes to elected officials. When will America wake up and boot these deadbeats out of office?


It wil be interesting to see how this gets shoveled under the rug. Expecially after Edwards drank from 7 pm to 1 am in multiple bars and doesn't remember how many beers he had.

If I over generalize alcohol's effects, most people that consume 3 drinks or 4 beers in an hour, are border line legally drunk.

A beer or two comment from a drunk means at least a 12 pack. It's the most common phrase heard on Cops.


12:20:09 - SPIKE - No comments

Pathetic Behavior


10 or more years ago, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the interior of a privately owned automobile was to be considered private property.

Your first two points (keys in the ignition, and/or vehicle running) would show intent for a OWI/DUI charge. It was a narrow ruling, dealing with a public intoxication charge against the passenger of the vehicle, which was parked in a store lot, at the time of the arrest.

Regardless, Edwards' personal conduct has been pathetic. When the council elects a mayor, do they lobotomize the individual or take out that part of the brain that rules common sense?

Burlington has a long history of drunken or brawling mayors. Edward's two predecessors come to mind.

If this city is going to attract new businesses, it needs a mayor that doesn't constantly appear on the front page for acts of questionable intelligence.
sign me,

You raise one of the intangible liabilities, what does Edwards' behavior tell a prospective company about the city they consider moving to?

Companies want to be associated with dynamic, forward thinking city before making an investment. But what will tell a prospect more is how the city and community deal with this.


12:12:48 - SPIKE - No comments

Edwards Gets A Pass From Police Department

Edwards Out Drinking “Asleep” At The Wheel – Cover-up Suspected

Citizens Need To Demand Independent Investigation From State

Several days before the election, Burlington Mayor Mike Edwards was found in his vehicle asleep after a night of bar hopping and drinking. Edwards freely admitted to being concerned about his sobriety. I would imagine so; he was probably drunk.

According to the published account of this in today’s paper even though the responding officers smelled alcohol on Edwards’ breath, Edwards was asked if he wanted to submit to field sobriety test.

Edwards was asked? What do you mean he was asked? Do law enforcement officers routinely ask someone if they want to submit to a field sobriety test? Hell no!!

They tell you that you are going to be administered a field sobriety test. And then you are. If you pass, you get to go home. If not, everybody else in this town other than maybe Slagle goes directly to jail.

I have a few questions for everyone involved in this ordeal.

1. Were Edwards’ keys in the ignition of his vehicle? Were Edwards’ keys accessible to him?

2. Was the vehicle running?

3. What was Edwards’ physical condition? Could he walk? Could he stand? Did he weave like a drunk? Was his speech slurred?

4. How many suspected drunk drivers does the police department let go each year? Or better question, how many suspected drunk drivers were let go in the week in question related to this incident? One, 5, 10? I would guess no one other than Edwards.

5. Would Chris King get the same treatment or is this just for the Mayor?

According to rumors we’ve heard regarding yet another Burlington Mayor fiasco, there were phone calls exchanged with the responding officers and the watch commander and city management. Is this is true, then everyone should resign. Except the two patrol officers.

In the newspaper account, Slagle denies any involvement. In fact Slagle said, “Quite frankly, it’s not an issue to me.” Not an issue? Everybody knows Edwards is your drinking buddy Bruce, but don’t treat us like the dumb asses you think we are.

Edwards sits on the Vision Iowa Board of Directors. Edwards is the Mayor. Edwards is to lead the City and shape its direction into the future. Edwards pattern of behavior has been disgraceful and an embarrassment to everyone in this community for more than a year. Everyone just sits here and believes the crap Edwards spews forth.

I think Quirk needs to file a Freedom of Information request for a complete copy of the dispatch tapes for that night including all of the cell phone records. Then Quirk needs to interview the 2 police officers. The community would like to hear from them.

I don’t believe this is all there is to the story. I think two patrol officers were put in a very bad situation. And if Edwards had any respect for the law, he would realize that instead of thinking he deserves a pass.

Edwards once asked his fellow council members if he should resign. Don’t ask the public. If 5 people don’t demand a recall, I’ll be surprised.

Edwards went before the council and swore off drinking while he sat in the council seat. I guess he just meant he wouldn’t drink during the council meetings. Edwards was drinking when he got caught at Burger King and he was drinking when he allegedly threatened the temp worker in the West Burlington bar.

I hope when Edwards is on one of his binges he doesn’t hurt or kill someone. Not only will it be a tragedy, the taxpayers will probably have to pay for it. Because whoever gets hurt, the civil attorneys will chew this town apart. Once you know and condone, you’re a party to the action.

When you drink you can’t think. If you can’t think you can’t lead. If you can’t lead you need to resign. Before you kill someone. Then go get some help to control this disease.

And the Sheriff needs to cancel Edwards’ concealed weapons permit. Now.

03:30:31 - SPIKE - No comments

23 November

Low Water Pressure Prevents Damage

Low Water Pressure Still An Issue Near Horace Mann


Just like to tell Senator King that we had a little excitement in the neighborhood Tuesday. Somebody clipped the fire hydrant at the corner of West Ave & South Garfield.

It was just that...a little excitement. The low water pressure he isn't aware of is actually a good thing. It helped keep the neighborhood dry!


I guess all of us jackasses need to stick together.

Maybe we need to light up the State Fire Marshall since King is too worried about his life after council.

Editor note: For those of you that have joined in recent months Councilman Chris King referred to his constituents as "jackasses" one day on KCPS's The Big Show 1150 AM because he is unwilling to act on anonymous complaints of City services.


13:02:07 - SPIKE - No comments

Roosevelt Avenue


Traditionally, Improvements and maintenance along Roosevelt Ave. are the State's responsibility. I don't recall any City public hearings on those improvements.

Along with the Notre Dame intersection, the intersection of westbound West Ave, and Roosevelt is a mess. So will be the Division intersection. Seems the traffic counters and bean counters took their designs right out of a Chicago play-book. Now we are really big time.

Irritable on West Hill

10:42:36 - SPIKE - No comments

Hoschek Having Identity Issues

Dr. William N. Johnston, the President of Iowa Wesleyan College wrote a very supportive letter to the Des Moines County Supervisors in favor of the County joining the Southeast Iowa Regional Airport Authority.

Johnston wrote how important it is to have a regional airport with scheduled airline service to keep the region viable.

Des Moines County Supervisor Tim Hoschek walked up to Dr. Johnston at the Economic Development Summit last Friday and shook Johnston’s hand and thanked him for writing the letter of support.

Then Tuesday, Hoschek voted against Des Moines County joining the Regional Airport Authority.

Maybe Hoschek could enlighten us to his methods. Seems like a really bonehead move.

Tim, is this what they teach you at the NACO Convention? Do all members of the transportation committee act as irresponsibly as you?

02:27:39 - SPIKE - No comments

Unwanted Council Candidates

We can only hope your efforts open some eyes at the Advertiser.

My fear is that if the misguided reporters and leaders leave the employ of the advertiser, they will run for City council.


Interesting thought, but who would vote for them? The advertisers? King found out that friends and family only make up about 600 votes.


02:13:13 - SPIKE - No comments

Roosevelt Avenue Intersection Dangerous

Seasons Greetings Spike,

God bless your site and the First Amendment.

The intersection at Notre Dame and Roosevelt is an accident waiting to happen. I just saw a truck going West through the intersection and turn right ( which is a no no) and the truck proceeded to travel south.

Who was the idiot in charge of this project? Someone in overpaid city hall no doubt.

When will any common sense surface to the top of the gray matter? I hate to sound so negative 75 percent of the time, but these are common sense issues.

I say city hall should spend more money on coffee and lifting up them windows once in a while. You know the old saying, if it aint broke, dont fix it.

Burlington is Derailed once again.


Monkeys designed Roosevelt Avenue improvements. Which tribe of monkeys is unknown. Could be State Monkeys or City Monkeys.

I've never seen a city have so much trouble making improvements. West Avenue and Garfield, Central Street overpass, Roosevelt and Agency (twice) and now the Notre Dame corner.

I swear, I think they use the short pieces of Chef Boy-ar Dee Spaghetti for the design work. Either that, or they were drunk.


02:11:04 - SPIKE - No comments

Is County Home Progressing or Regressing?

Hi Spike

Just thought I would ask if the County Home Project was ever going to open? Have'nt heard about it for awhile, Last I heard the sewer backed up and did alot of damage inside. Anyway I just thought you might have heard something?



The new County Care Facility only needs one more inspection to open. And it is planned soon.


00:46:00 - SPIKE - No comments

22 November

Prison Problem - Wrong Message Sent


You mentioned the Warden at the Iowa State Prison was sent to Des Moines for a desk job.

It would be interesting to know if he took a pay cut or if we really had an opening for another high paid desk position. Maybe he should either be fired or the guards that were not paying attention be fired.

There is absolutely no excuse for two prisoners to be able to climb a 30' wall and escape and no guard is around to observe, tower employees or not.

State senator Gene Fraise jumped right on the political bandwagon accusing the state budget cuts. Maybe there should be some more guards in the towers, but this should not have happened regardless.

Somebody that was paid to do a job wasn't doing it! Fraise sent the wrong message.

A year or two ago, two inmates from Iowa Sate Prison (Oakdale by Iowa City) escaped because a security fence monitor was turned off for construction and somebody forgot to turn it back on. But whatever the reason, they escaped too.

I believe this is accurate as reported in the Des Moines Register. The warden there, earns over $100,000 per year as reported in the Register, was transferred to the Mt. Pleasant prison. The prisoners were caught down south and fortunately didn't hurt or kill anyone.

Government fixes to everything anymore seems to be throw more money at the problem and it will be fixed. Nothing could be further from the truth!

If they screw up, move them or promote them.


Firing old time state employees is really hard to do. The rationale is even though the warden didn't do it, he is responsible for not having a better handle on it.

These people spend all of their time planning to escape. When opportunity comes calling, carpe diem, seize the day.


14:15:20 - SPIKE - No comments

Prison Warden Removed - 6 Others Disciplined

The warden at the Iowa State Prison in Fort Madison has been removed and transferred to a desk job in Des Moines. Six other employees have been disciplined.

That's the way things happen. Even if you aren't directly responsible and things happen, when you're in charge you bear the torch of responsibility.

Why doesn't anyone in Burlington understand that?

10:57:57 - SPIKE - No comments

Where's Page 2B?

Captain, Caretaker or Neither?

For those of you that didn't notice, page B2 of this morning's newspaper is last Tuesday's page B2.

For all of you that never read last week's page 2 of the Sports section can do so today.

So my question remains. Is Steve Delaney captain, caretaker or neither one?

10:47:12 - SPIKE - No comments

Magic Is Just An Illusion

We have 4 major stories smoldering. Until the facts develop a little more we have to be patient.

So we will give everybody a chance to solve one of the stories before it breaks. We devised a simple coded puzzle. Each letter represents the first letter of the word in the story line. The letters are in order and the lines are in chronological order. Each line is a portion of the entire story.


Good luck.

02:20:59 - SPIKE - No comments

No Word On Lee County Democrats

Last Friday, November 18th, the Campaign and Ethics Board held a meeting in Cedar Rapids to determine whether or not the Lee County Democratic Central Committee violated Iowa campaign laws by submitting 3 false financial disclosure statements.

I would imagine that 3 false reports have to set some sort of accounting record.

I know that it sets some sort of record. I doubt if there will be an opportunity for 5 false reports.

01:12:32 - SPIKE - No comments

21 November

Is Delaney Captain or Caretaker?

Who Runs The Asylum?

I have been thinking about the newspaper over the weekend.

At the extreme risk of being left off Fred & 7’s Christmas list again this year, I want to challenge an idea brought forth several times over the last few months on KCPS’s Big Show 1150 AM.

Fred realizes the problems at the Hawk Eye. Fred believes Steve Delaney is a good guy and is doing something good at the paper.

I can’t agree with that thought process.

As in all business, whether KCPS or the newspaper, there is someone ultimately accountable for the company. At the newspaper that person is Steve Delaney.

When his editors tell us how to think, Delaney is responsible. When his writers can’t find the story or get it wrong, Delaney is responsible. When his newspaper prints days’ old news, Delaney is responsible. When the newspaper doesn’t report the news equitably, Delaney is responsible. When his newspaper prints a story like they did on the ADDS murder, Delaney is responsible.

And they make all of these mistakes without remorse or apology.

I suppose you could be a nice guy and not be an effective publisher of a newspaper. After all, there are lots of bankers, lawyers and doctors that are good people. They just can’t do their job very well. And that doesn’t make them bad people. Just marginal at what they do.

But Fred, I just can’t agree with you that Delaney is a good guy doing a good job. If he was a good guy, he would shape and focus the direction of the newspaper. And he wouldn’t let the trashy, tabloid journalism style rule his editorial desks everyday.

One of KCPS’s callers on Friday put her money where her mouth was. She cancelled her subscription to the newspaper.

If more people do that, there will be changes made because it is all about the money. When the ad revenue fizzles because the ads don’t reach the customers, Kansas will take charge.

If the rats run the ship, there is no Captain of the ship. Only rats. And Steve Delaney is responsible for the rats.

I have seen nothing to indicate that he is the Captain but only the caretaker of the rats.

Besides, the current news is on KCPS 1150 AM.

00:59:09 - SPIKE - No comments

19 November

ADDS Investigation Needed

Still More Disgust With The Newspaper


10 bucks says you'll never hear the truth about the investigation into the alleged murder of the ADDS employee.

In my experience, the police dept. isn't any better than the city government. They're inept. They're corrupt. They're above the law. They do as they see fit, and are left unchecked.

They will decide what happened in this crime, and that will be the story you read in the Black Eye. No questions asked. It's called absolute power, and they've got it. And the paper prints what is spoon fed to them from these sources.

A real paper would investigate how these people (police, fire, and government) do business. The problem is, none of them has ever been called to task. And never will be, the way things are now.

We need a real paper to expose these phonies and cronies for who they are and what they do. Like you're doing on this website. Keep up the good work.


If there is a conflict on this, the only way to get beyond it is to ask for an independent investigation from the Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI). They can take an independent look at the facts.

That would prevent any appearance of a conflict of interest when reporting the facts related to this case.

If you believe, or have any proof that there is corruption in the local police department, please send that information to us. We will confidentially pass that along to the Police Chief without names. I don't think he would be pleased. In fact, I think heads would roll all the way to the river regardless of who it involves.

As far as the paper goes, they will continue to be a threat to the truth because they're too busy selling advertising and it's all about the money.


12:15:18 - SPIKE - No comments

More Disgust With Newspaper


Isn't the HawkEye part of the NIE (Newspapers in Education)? I'm not sure if the kids needed to read how the slain ADDS worker was found.


The Hawk Eye is a member of the NIE. You are absolutely right. Kids don't need to read how the slain ADDS worker was found. And neither do we.

It's a visual image no one benefits from and more harm is done than newspapers sold. I wonder how Delaney would like a sordid, graphic story told on the front page of the paper about his meth addicted nephew?


01:05:12 - SPIKE - No comments

Disgusted With Hawk Eye - So Is Everyone Else

Consultants Say The Hawk Eye Single Biggest Detriment To City & Region

Greetings Spike,

I usually don't write to you twice in a week, however I felt I had to on this one.

I am really disgusted on the way the hawk eye reported how a women lost her life this week at the ADDS place. Moreover, on the graphic detail in which her body was depicted and discovered.

Is that news? Absolutely no respect for the family involved.

The editor should be ashamed of himself. One more reason I don't subscribe to the hawkeye.


You are absolutely right. I have heard from 3 people today about this article. No one is happy about it. It is not necessary to tell the story.

The Hawk Eye, where the ads are fresh and the news grows more stale, is notorious for their sleazy tabloid style when it comes to someone’s personal tragedy. They don’t care how horrible this woman’s final moments were.

And you don’t have to wonder if they would cover their family’s tragedy the same way. They wouldn’t.

I don’t care what supermarket checkout tabloid you pickup, it never quite compares to the Hawk eye’s sordid motives to sell papers at anyone’s expense. You know when you pickup the tabloids they are fictional works. You don’t expect it from your local newspaper.

Only slob writers write crap like this. And only sleazy publishers allow it to be printed.

You’ll hear Delaney tell us the varied reasons for this exploitation. After you’re done with his version, it just comes down to selling newspapers any way he can because he can’t explain their behavior.

Like I said before, I read lots of things everyday. NOTHING compares to the Hawk Eye’s tabloid journalism style. Nothing. Maybe Al-Jazeera does if I could read Arabic.

Something that was more troubling than the article Friday was the overly short mention Thursday that whomever found the ADDS worker couldn’t render aid to her because she was locked in the drug room and they couldn’t get in to help her.

If that is true, I hope the family sues the living daylights out of ADDS. After the investigation to see if someone was criminally negligent.

The Hawk Eye’s time is coming real soon. Rumors on the street indicate that when Lockwood-Greene, the tell-all consultants from Tennessee doing the community study, interviewed community leaders EVERYBODY interviewed said The Hawk Eye was the single biggest detriment to the community and region. Not one single person felt any different.

The report will be a nice addition to the their advertising awards’ wall on Main Street.


00:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

18 November

Economic Development Summit Well Attended

Was There A Big Enough Fire Lit For Afterglow?

Governor Vilsack today told several hundred attendees at the Economic Development Summit that schools needed to develop students that are entrepreneurs, not just produce students that want a job.

Lots of talk about growing economic development with regional participation. Something our region can’t seem to get done. So not much hope there for improvement.

Most of the usuals were there with a few new faces thrown into the mix. The brown nosing was appallingly pathetic. Hoschek was snout down in the trough. Brian Tapp was continually checking to see if his shoes were shined. And Sen. Tom Courtney was conspicuously absent.

I had to leave before lunch but heard I left in time. And I managed to dodge a newspaper reporter from where the ads are fresh and the news is stale.

All in all, a chance for some hope if somebody does something. We had the ball thrown to us. But after a year of doing not much more than lunch, don’t hold your breath that somebody will catch it. Maybe that’s why lunch wasn’t a gourmet feed.

I didn’t hear one person from Southeast Iowa say anything profound except, “where is Hinkle?” Sipping cappuccino and enjoying a biscotti?

The clock is ticking.

19:15:43 - SPIKE - No comments

Second Prison Escapee Caught In Missouri

Robert Joseph Legendre was found at a truck stop about 7:30 a.m. this morning in Steele, Missouri, about 200 miles south of St. Louis.

Legendre is thought to have robbed 2 people and stolen 2 taxicabs before being apprehended.

Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack is in Mt. Pleasant today for the economic development summit. Vilsack said, ‘‘Obviously I appreciate the fact that law enforcement was diligent and able to put these two characters back behind bars where they belong.’’

Vilsack also said the investigation into the escape will continue. ‘‘We are going to continue to work hard to identify every single factor that allowed them to escape,’’ he said.

13:11:13 - SPIKE - No comments

More Lawsuit Thoughts


We should hope that the City doesn't use every avenue to defend this lawsuit against BNSF. It could get real expensive.

There are some extremely scientific advancements in this modern day. Maybe the City council in 1880 didn't really intend to make said agreements!

The bodies could be dug up and some extensive DNA test could be performed to prove their intent. We could hire Choo Chung Lee from the OJ case. It would be expensive, but we should show the railroad that we mean business. National TV coverage?

Seriously, regardless of what Mayor Edwards said, that this will be over in April 2006. If the City does win in the lower courts (not much chance) BNSF will take this to a higher court and on to the Supreme Court, and it will really get expensive then. We have spent peanuts compared to what could come.

The City states that they are doing this in the best interest of the community. Will it be in our best interest when we see property tax increases to pay the legal bills? Will it be in the best interest when we delay funding services, sidewalk programs, neighborhood developments, downtown programs, youth programs, senior programs, employee programs, parks, etc.?

The city manager and the city council should have had much more conversation about the 1985 agreement and they did not do that.

Would they spend their own money the way they are spending ours?


Edwards endorses this lawsuit because of his union activity. His gas bag, gun-totting ego only proves it. We're going to teach the railroad a lesson. When this does end, it will only take 5 people to sign a recall petition to bounce Edwards out of office. And we have more than 5 readers that will sign it.

Edwards is supported in this thinking by Sen. Tom Courtney who first advocated the lawsuit. Shouldn't a state senator promote control and reason to negotiate first rather than impose his long time union thinking on the citizens? The recall option is also available for Courtney. Let him explain to a judge what his role was in this mess.

The council didn't know about the 1985 agreement because Scott Power concealed that fact. Power knew about it and I know he knew about it.

If the council would have known about the agreement I don't think that would have changed much. All Slagle needed was 3 votes and he had them with Edwards, Lost Keys Ell and Cry Baby King. Slagle drove the bus that crashed.

Only one person had a concern about the cost of the lawsuit approach to resolution and everybody else on the council could care less about the taxpayers' money. Maybe that will change with the new council.

Garry Thomas wants to do right for the community and so does Tim Scott. But they both have to learn all of the details and verify every fact before making a decision based on Slagle's endorsement. And I mean research every detail. They cannot rely on Slagle and Mini-me. To do otherwise will be suicide.

I just hope the big ol' rubberstamp crowd lost 2 players for good.

And about Choo Chung Lee aka Dr. Henry Lee noted forensics pathologis, we can't afford him. He starts at $150,000. Maybe we could get CSI Gil Grissom instead. Grissom can solve things in 42 minutes. Think of the savings.


12:30:31 - SPIKE - No comments

Point - Counterpoint Thoughts On Lawsuit


After reading what is in the briefs, if they are accurate, gives me hope that the city may yet indeed win this thing. I understand how you could read what you have into it, however I see it slightly differently.

1. I read where the 1985 agreement says that by building the shops in Burlington, it fulfills the commitment of keeping jobs in Burlington. I don’t know if the shops are in Burlington or West Burlington, but the railroad covered their behinds either way by saying this was how they were going to fulfill this commitment.

2. The term principal shops were meant that that is where the jobs would be in the city. The railroad has changed that for their purpose.

3. I am not sure a judge with common sense would buy into that or not. However because they pulled those jobs, the 1985 agreement was breached because the shops were there to fulfill the 1890 agreement.

4. So both agreements were therefore breached. Does this mean we will win?

5. I don’t hold much hope in Powers accomplishing much of anything, not only on this lawsuit but on things in general. We will see how an expert interprets the law. We can only hope for a liberal judge, who would take the city's side.


I always welcome a reader's insight and opinion, but I think when I clarify some things your opinion might change. This information is taken from the various court filings and reference material.

1. The 1985 agreement was the result of property dispute the City had with the railroad. The Shops were not mentioned or included in that agreement and the only bearing this agreement has is that it specifically states that the 1985 agreement resolves, once and for all, the property argument. And it defines an agreement that if railroad use on the property ever ceases, the railroad surrenders the property.

In the early-to-mid-1800’s if you controlled a riverbank you controlled trade. Congress didn’t want the Scott Power Trade Company to inhibit free trade on the river. If you owned the riverbank you could charge money to allow freight and passengers to access the riverboats. It could depress or stop the free trade and Westward expansion.

So Congress made riverbanks public access areas of land grant property. Then the railroads came along. Congress realized the railroads could move more goods further and faster than any other method know to man. So Congress allowed these public access areas to be included in land grants. And the U.S. Supreme Court has found that not only did the railroads meet these early objectives, the railroads had paid these land grants in full. And those rulings go back as early as 1890 in this case.

2. Principal shops does not mean the physical location of the shop facility in the City. Principal shops means the main (foremost in importance) shop for the railroad. The first B&MR RR shops were located about where 6th Street Bridge is now between 5th and 8th Streets.

These early shops did engine repair, car repair and repair of equipment incidental to railroad operations. That facility became crowded so the railroad looked to the west side of Burlington for expansion.

Fearing the City would void the 1858 agreement because it was moving the shops complex to the west side of Burlington, the railroad and the City agreed in 1880 to let the move occur to the newly annexed area of Burlington, where the shops now sit. The shops are located in Burlington but have always been called the West Burlington Shops.

Then, after the shops were built and the railroad moved to the current location, the City and the railroad entered into an agreement in 1890 to agree that the terms of the original 1858 land grant had been fulfilled.

The railroad grew and in 1904 over 200 railroad companies were merged into the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad. Many had their own maintenance shops. The CB&Q’s car shops at Havelock, Nebraska was far larger than the West Burlington Shops because they built and repaired freight cars. There are more freight cars than lcomotives so you need bigger shops to handle the work.

I think the court will agree that if the City had problems with the Shops clause, it should have been included in the 1985 agreement and is barred from this lawsuit because the statue of limitations has long since expired for this claim.

3. The City has breached the 1985 agreement. The City agreed to acquire property no longer used by the railroad for railroad purposes. That was a clear agreement to the conditions from the earlier land grant.

But that doesn’t have anything to do with the 1890 agreement. In that agreement the city acknowledged the railroad had fulfilled its commitments to the City for the original land grant. The deal was over in 1890.

Keep in mind the land grant was paid for in cash and railroad stock the City held. Just because it is referred to as a land grant doesn’t mean it was free. It wasn’t free and it came with conditions.

Which is why land the City needed along the river was purchased from the railroad. Why would the City purchase land it claims to own for the sewage plant or south boat ramps? Because it didn't own the property.

This frivolous lawsuit impedes the railroad from conducting business. Railroad employees have to devote time to participate in this lawsuit instead of doing the job they were paid to do. How much more business could be done if this lawsuit wasn’t impeding the company? Does this lawsuit somehow devalue the company’s image? The City is in no position to pay for these potential liabilities. But the liablity exists.

4. We aren’t going to win. No way. No how. Scott Power has gotten so desperate that now he is claiming sovereignty arguments. Power claims that the City had no right to convey the property to the railroad in the first place. How lame is that? No federal judge will unwind that clock. Especially when there is so much U.S. Supreme Court railroad land grant case law.

5. You’re right about Power’s lack of skills. This is Federal Court. These judges don’t like unprepared, inept lawyers wasting their time. And that is what is happening.

And when the big dogs of the railroad finally do bark, Power will be looking for his Momma’s skirt when the judge starts chewing his butt. I hope the newspapers there to report it, report it accurately.

And remember this lawsuit started with an illegal vote in a closed session city council meeting. That sets this whole mess for an appeal. The railroad cannot let every little town along its tracks decide to dabble in a power play. I don't know this as fact, but I would guess the BNSF will make this case an example for others to take heed in.

And even if the railroad were to somehow lose, the railroad has the option to take this case to the Surface Transportation Board. That move will cost the City $500,000 in legal fees to get in the door just to be heard. A hearing where Power isn’t qualified to sit in the room let alone represent the City.

Like Trump said last night on the Apprentice, “Look at history to learn.”

Power didn’t know railroad history and doesn’t know much about poking dogs with sticks. He’s going to find out. And the railroad lawsuit will be the major factor in his undoing.

And the jobs? The jobs are long gone.

02:25:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Family Watchdog



Just input your address and take a look at the map (of known registered sex offenders - ed.).


This website will show you where the known, registered sex offenders are for any location in the U.S. I was flabbergasted when I looked up my address and those of my family. People need to be extremely vigilant. Remember, these are only the known, registered sex offenders.


00:22:00 - SPIKE - No comments

17 November

One Killer Caught, One Still At Large

Martin Shane Moon was apprehended South of St. Louis in Chester, Illinois this morning. Moon was found in a stolen car different from the one stolen in Fort Madison on Monday.

Robert Joseph Legendre has not been apprehended and is considered armed and dangerous. Yesterday, it was thought that one, or both of the killers could still be in Fort Madison. The 1995 gold Pontiac Bonneville with Iowa plates 776-NOW has not been found.

Wanted - Still At Large - Robert Joseph Legendre

Anyone with information about this individual should contact the Fort Madison Police Department at (319) 372-2525 or any local law enforcement agency. Do not attempt to apprehend this fugitive.

08:38:00 - SPIKE -

Railroad's Motion For Summary Judgement Includes Damages

I guess I forgot to include an extremely important portion of Tuesday's lawsuit filings in yesterday's posts.

The railroad has asked the court for its legal fees to be paid by the City.

If the court determines the facts the railroad presented are accurate, we could pay dearly for a frivolous lawsuit.

04:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments



The information that you provided on this website was, and is available to all. This lawsuit against BNSF does not look good for the City. Power and Slagle should have been aware of all this information and the past cases against BNSF that you point out. If we remember, the council said that they did not even know about the 1985 agreement. When they found out about it, they still supported the lawsuit. Can't they read?

If the City loses this suit, Slagle and Power should be removed. They haven't lost yet, but I don't possibly see how they can win. I am not sure how much the City has spent, but I believe it was reported that is was $100,000 or more.

This is money from the citizens of this community. Citizens have worked hard for this money and sacrificed things for themselves to pay their property taxes. This is how the money is wasted.

This community has went without some of the services that the citizens paid for, such as the sidewalk program, neighborhood redevelopment's and other services that are needed have been cut or reduced. This is wrong!

Your probably correct, Slagle and Power will probably try and back their way out to save face. They already spent our money and it was a stupid decision.

Power may have his money, but his reputation is on the line in this community, whether he likes it or not.

I hope Edwards, Ell and King are proud of themselves for the way they continued to support this very poor business decision for our citizens.

All this, with a "Professional" city manager! And Edwards and Ell, keep telling us how good Bruce is. You are convincing only yourself.


I'll bet, if you could get a truthful answer from Power (I know, I'm dreaming) you would find the legal bill is upward of $125,000. And we're not half way there.

We are going to bleed buckets of money to Power. I think we should start an immediate effort to recover our legal fees and have him disbarred for misconduct.

If he knew about all of these agreements and filed this lawsuit anyway, it might be criminal. If he didn't know about all of these agreements, he is not competent and we should recover all the legal fees.

There is something really wrong with this picture and it isn't my TV set. Something that people with investigative capacity need to uncover.


03:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Power Pads His Pockets At Taxpayers' Expense

No rocket science here. Power keeps on pushing the railroad lawsuit to pad his pockets.

Maybe he can start buying some of the over 200 houses on the market in Burlington. Investment property.

What the heck, this money is coming out of the taxpayers pocket, what does he care? It's all about the green stuff, isn't it?

Spike, when this is all said and done, don't close down your site. How else are the people of Burlington going to get the truth? Certainly not through the Hawk eye.


I wish we could devote the space to post all of the filings from Tuesday. If the taxpayers read Power's feeble nonsense, they would run him rightfully out of town like a snake oil salesman. Right along wth Slagle, Edwards, King and Ell.

This lawsuit will go down in City history as the biggest boondoggle ever. And you can take that to the bank.

02:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Hawk Eye Writer Takes Spike To Task

"In his article Fields said the local economic development “professionals” were upset because people like BurlingtonDerailed.com were taking shots at them over poor job performance."

I unashamedly attach my name and face to my words, and don't appreciate when they're intentionally taken out of context. If you're ever confused about facts, feel free to give me a call and I'll try to clarify.


Ron Fields
Business Editor
Burlington (Iowa) Hawk Eye
800 S. Main St.
Burlington, Iowa 52601
(319) 758-8145

It’s always good to hear from our readers especially a writer from the paper. It wasn’t my intention to make you feel that your words were somehow taken out of context. It was only a larger echo of the governor’s thoughts chastising the locals. They need a spanking.

We have repeatedly chastised local economic development “professionals” because they haven’t been able to find their way to Des Moines to meet with the Governor in over a year.

BurlingtonDerailed.com and its readers can be just as upset as the governor for this group’s lack of interest. The governor doesn’t hold an exclusive on this thought process.

Now you tell your readers that they should believe the “professionals” are telling you the truth. Things are happening, believe me, it’s really the truth. I swear.

Their conduct is reprehensible. As you said, this criticism should “cut many of the folks….very deeply.” They screwed up. They’re totally ineffective. They don’t like someone bringing their dirty laundry to anyone’s attention.

I know this because I talk to the people that wonder why these “professionals” don’t do something. Why haven’t they?

And I ask you, why haven’t you asked this group of “professionals” point blank what their reasons are for ignoring the governor’s invitation? And then publish that without limiting their responses to one line buried in the middle of repetitive story lines.

You are right about making something happen. This is it. The public announcement Friday of some economic development deals is not what this summit meeting is about. To flash a few projects and a bunch of half-baked ideas in front of the governor is a bigger travesty than letting him sit for 12 months without responding to his invitation.

Let’s face it. Our group of “professionals” couldn’t decide who to invite. How crazy is that unprofessional behavior? The Consortium openly ignore an invitation from the governor. That's suicidal!

About that phone call. I suppose that if I called you, I could assume that it would be off-the-record, your voice recorder off and you wouldn’t conference our call with Miller or Allison would you? Or, are you just trying to collect the reward for Spike’s identity?

And I’m seldom confused about anything. But if I get confused, I’ll let you know first. I've never been ashamed about anything written on this website. And when I do something intentional, you'll read about it here.

Keep after the story. You are one of the last watchdogs for this area's future unlike some of your cohorts.

Unashamedly Spike

02:14:00 - SPIKE - No comments

16 November

No Basis, No Case Law and Preponderance of The Evidence

Tuesday's Massive Legal Filings Demonstrate Futility Of Railroad Lawsuit

Earlier this year I said that we could tell a lot about the direction this lawsuit is going to take after we saw the witness lists. Here’s an indicator. One of the railroad’s expert witnesses has a real resumé 22 pages long.

We have said it many times, in order to win a lawsuit of this magnitude you have to have a basis for your lawsuit, case law to support your case and a preponderance of the evidence to win. Especially in Federal court. In just one filing yesterday the railroad uses 42 cites of case law and cites 7 statutes to support their claims.

It’s not about big dog vs. little dog. It’s about who can win the case. We can’t win and we won’t win.

After skimming 500+ pages all I can say is Scott Power doesn’t have a clue of what he is doing. Power and Slagle need to be fired over this mess. Every city councilman/woman involved in this debacle needs to be recalled if they don’t resign.

The City needs to recover all fees paid to Power and his law firm. Somebody needs to examine whether or not Power could be disbarred for his role in this.

Here are some highlights from the railroad’s filings.

1. The 1880 agreement between the City and the railroad contains specific language that says when the railroad built the (West) Burlington Shops it would fulfill the earlier commitment to build the principal shops in Burlington.

2. The 1890 agreement stated the railroad had fulfilled its requirement regarding the principal shops clause. Even though Power claims he couldn’t find that in the railroad’s filings.

3. The City deeded the property to the railroad. After 125+ years Power says the City couldn’t do that and was wrong to do so. I can’t wait to watch Power try to unring that bell.

4. The railroad claims that the Burlington Shops haven’t been the principal shops for over 100 years. From their explanation, that looks accurate. So the City’s claim is barred by the statute of limitations.

5. All of the City’s claims are preempted by the U.S. Code 49.11321(a). The authority of the (Surface Transportation) Board under this subchapter is exclusive. A rail carrier or corporation participating in or resulting from a transaction approved by or exempted by the Board under this subchapter may carry out the transaction, own and operate property, and exercise control or franchises acquired through the transaction without the approval of a State authority. A rail carrier, corporation, or person participating in that approved or exempted transaction is exempt from the antitrust laws and from all other law, including State and municipal law, as necessary to let that rail carrier, corporation, or person carry out the transaction, hold, maintain, and operate property, and exercise control or franchises acquired through the transaction.

6. When a railroad merges, a merger proposal is drawn up to study the potential financial impact of the merger.

The financial impact of the Burlington Shops was a portion of each merger application. Every time the railroad merged into a new corporation, the City had the opportunity to attend and testify that the merger would change the “principal shops” portion of the agreement Power now says the City has had for all of these years. The City never testified.

But the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and the Iowa Governor testified supporting the mergers.The City sat on all occasions and did nothing.

In one 1967 ICC document the Burlington shops was one of 29 shops operated by the railroad. One in 29 hardly qualifies as principal.

7. The railroad is setting up this lawsuit to not only to win, but to see that anytime in the future when a little town decides to bark about things like this, they only have to tell them to go read the case law, City of Burlington vs. BNSF. Case closed.

8. I'll bet there was $50,000 in legal fees burned in these filings.

In summary, we get to pay for it. Pay for an inept City Manager and an inept City Attorney. And pay for not getting to compete in the economic development arena.

Game, set, match. We lose.

02:22:27 - SPIKE - No comments

Loose Goose Slagle’s Lawsuit Facts Shaky

Case On Point Statement Backfires Circus Style

City Manager Bruce Slagle has always maintained that there is a “case on point” as it relates to the railroad lawsuit. Slagle boasted how his slick willy pal Power had the bases covered with a “case on point” that would reap the rewards of this boondoggle.

There is a case on point. Almost the same exact case that the City is trying to impose on everyone. Only trouble is, the case is on point was a ruling for the railroad.

In Texas Pacific Railway Company vs. City of Marshall 136 U.S. 393, 397 (1890) the City of Marshall, Texas wanted to enforce a similar “principal machine shops” rule on the Texas and Pacific Railway. A move that was made before the railroad totally moved out of the city.

A lower court ruled for Marshall. The railroad disagreed and appealed.

The U.S Supreme Court found that even though agreements are signed there is nothing that makes them permanent. Once the shops and depot were built, the agreement was substantially satisfied.

The Supreme Court ruling was cited in 4 other railroad “principal machine shops” land grant cases.

I guess that’s what Slagle meant when he said “we have a case that is exactly on point.” We will get the point of a summary judgement.

02:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Whistle For The Crossings

In case you haven’t heard, Slagle’s newest deflection from mismanagement is train horns.

Regardless of what you read about costs, we’ll estimate the cost for closed crossings to be $250,000 per crossing to protect the public to the level needed to get a quiet zone established.

You need the railroad to agree to all of this. With the Dewey, Screwem and Howe law firm filing their nonsense motions, don’t count on that or the railroad’s financial participation until the lawsuit is long past.

It amazes me that Slagle would even waste staff resources to chase ghosts when he has other more pressing issues. Like another big budget deficit and a $54,000 bond payment in December for the water park.

00:29:45 - SPIKE - No comments

15 November

Spike Driven In City's Railroad Lawsuit

Lawsuit Costs Horribly Underestimated

A total of over 500 pages of filings were filed by both parties in the railroad lawsuit today.

All I can say is we are so screwed. The council needs to stop this hemorrhaging right now. There is no need to answer another filing. The City has been beat. Now it's just going to cost money. Too bad this all didn't happen 2 weeks ago when the voters had a chance to bounce Edwards out of office.

More to come later tonight.

19:46:44 - SPIKE - No comments

Prison Guard Towers Empty - Killers Escape

2 Murderers Escape Ft Madison Prison Over The Wall

8 of 9 Guard Towers Empty Due to Budget Cuts

Two murderers escaped from the maximum security prison in Ft. Madison Monday using a grappling hook and a rope to climb the west wall. Martin Shane Moon, 34, and Robert Joseh Legendre, 27, were last seen at 7 p.m. Monday at the prison.

A 1995 gold Pontiac Bonneville with Iowa plates 776-NOW was stolen at about the time of the escape. Anyone with information about the two escapees should contact the Fort Madison Police Department at (319) 372-2525.

According to reports at least one of the nine guard towers was occupied due to budget cuts. 1 in 9 towers. Eight empty guard towers.

That's not many cats for the rats.


These 2 are considered dangerous. Anyone with information about the two escapees should contact the Fort Madison Police Department at (319) 372-2525 or any local law enforcement agency.

11:41:14 - SPIKE - No comments



There was a talk show on TV one night this weekend about blog websites. I'm not sure which station or show it was, I came upon it and it was interesting.

They had 3 or 4 journalist on that were discussing blogs. They all agreed that blogs that are operated correctly (like Burlingtonderailed) often have information and facts or opinions that are important.

The journalist said that they often check certain blogs to find out information or tips on things. They said the sites that are operated correctly and don't allow slander, just facts and opinions are very good and it offers a place for these opinions. They stated that sometimes the blogs have the information first because individuals in the know will share it.

These journalists had a different viewpoint about blog websites than what the Hawkeye appears to have. They didn't criticize individuals for sharing their thoughts and ideas, just because they were anonymous. They were interested in the truth and leads that they could get.

It was interesting and educational. Maybe The Hawkeye should change their attitude and have a better understanding of good blogs. They probably are in agreement with much of what is said here anyway.

Thank you for the site and your hard work.


Blogs are here to stay. Something Fred said Monday on the KCPS Big Show 1150 AM is that the old way of the newspaper business isn't working for today's society. They want the news and want it now. Not 2 weeks later.

I would like to see the newspaper's ABC audit info. Delaney claims about 20,000 newspapers are printed a day. I want to know how many newspapers are actually in readers' hands after the returns and leftovers are subtracted from the totals. I'll bet that paints a different picture.

And quoting that 2 people read each newspaper for a total of 40,000 readers is farfetched in today's economy. Real numbers are more like 45-55% read the paper, another 10-20% read most of it and the rest that receive it don't read it all. So those 40,000 readers are more like 11-12,000 readers per day.

If the newspaper really understood blogs and their use, I would have a harder job. After all, it's all of them against Ol' Spike even though there's a little Spike in everybody.

If we did sports, they'd be screwed.


02:22:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Another Lee County Surprise

In the headline article in the Friday, November 11, 2005 Democrat, Looking into a crystal ball one of the bullet points that was listed as a suggestion for future prosperity was to put more effort into the economic development of existing industries for expansion and job creation projects.

A note to the ‘leaders’, it starts from within and grows outwards. Don’t take away from what you already have. Patience can be a virtue.

Well, it happened again. North Lee County leaders have just put another nail in their coffin of Economic Development. The 'leaders' of the County were surely trying to be do-gooders by enticing the IDOT Board with concessions to up the date of the Highway 61 Bypass around Fort Madison.

The IDOT Board agreed to do just that. The concessions included the only on/off ramps into the City of Fort Madison at Highway 61 South, 303rd Avenue/County Road X32 and Highway 61 North.

Originally the IDOT were going to put in stop and go lights and there were to be intersections at Highway 61 South, Chalk Ridge Road, Highway 103, County Road X32, and Highway 61 North.

With this information, the light is getting brighter as to the past 1 ½ years of abuse that has been put on the GRRWA.

Maybe Mr. Yoder was not too far off in his suggestion to the State Fire Marshall that the two landfill fires in November 2004 might have been intentionally set, a statement that was made to Fire Chief Walker of the Fort Madison Fire Department by his boss Mr. Bill Kelly, Fort Madison City Manager, the night of the first fire.

Mr. Kelly requested to Chief Walker that he put this in his press release statement that it was GRRWA that intentionally set the fire.

Could this be true of the Spring Lake Golf Course fire that followed? Makes sense.

A dilapidated house as a club house is not a ‘good look’ for travelers seeing it on their way to and from the bypass as well as attracting industry to the area. This also brings to the discussion of the Iowa Department of Corrections not working with GRRWA for any good reason.

After a relationship of over 15 years between GRRWA and IDOC, political pressure was put on IDOC to no longer have a member sit on the GRRWA Commission.

Senator Gene Fraise asked Mr. Yoder to request a letter of resignation from John Emmett. Mr. John Emmett sat on the GRRWA Commission as a responsibility of his position with IDOC.

Mr. Emmett was a very fair minded Commissioner that looked out for the citizens as well as the industries of Lee County. With the election of Steve Ireland as Mayor of Fort Madison, this group now loses its opportunity to place one of their own on the GRRWA Commission and make yet another attempt to close the landfill down.

The land that sits to the north and east of the GRRWA landfill is owned by the IDOC. A great opportunity for the State and local politicians to make a deal and reel in that industry that will bring to them 1000 new jobs.

Good luck North Lee County politicians and cohorts!


02:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

14 November

Why Worry About Economic Development?

Do you want to know why we should worry about economic development?

The United States is the only country trading with China that has a trade deficit. Everyone else sells more to China than they buy. Why don’t we sell more?

There are 65,000 construction cranes in Shanghai. A city of over 1 billion people.

75% of U.S. plants report cost increases last year vs. 51% in China. China subsidizes petroleum, metal and basic materials.

China’s economic output is $1.6 trillion and will triple over the next 15 years overtaking Japan in 2015 and the U.S. in 2039.

Wal-Mart imported $18 billion worth of goods from China last year. 80% of Wal-Mart’s suppliers are in China.

A Morgan Stanley report says that Wal-Mart saved American consumers $600 billion in the last 10 years.

Chinese banks have $500 billion of bad debts. By Western standards, not one bank is solvent.

Increase in China exports to the U.S. in the last 15 years – 1600%.
Increase in U.S. exports to China over the same period – 415%.

There are 60,000 supermarkets in China only 10 years after the 1st one opened.

China’s defense budget is increasing 10% per year. It has an army of 2.5 million men, the 4th largest in the world.

In 25 years, China has moved 300 million people out of poverty and quadrupled the average person’s income.

Our biggest trading partners:
1. Canada
2. Mexico
3. China
4. Japan
5. Germany
6. UK
7. South Korea
8. Taiwan
9. France
10. Italy

This all may look alarming. Without intervention it will be catastrophic. That’s why you don’t wait a year to go see the governor.

And the reason economic development “professionals” should be working that much harder.

03:11:59 - SPIKE - No comments

Economic Development Summit Set Without Hinkle

Ron Fields wrote another good article about the upcoming Southeast Iowa Economic Development Summit in Mt. Pleasant in Sunday’s Hawk Eye. Fields is right. Something has to happen. Fields said anyone with a vested interest should be at the Summit.

In his article Fields said the local economic development “professionals” were upset because people like BurlingtonDerailed.com were taking shots at them over poor job performance. Not poor job performance, no job performance is a better description.

They would like us to believe that there have been so many deals being done they haven’t had time to go visit with Governor Vilsack for more than a year. There aren’t.

Hinkle is going to be in Italy this week and will miss the Summit meeting. Hinkle’s plans include visits with the 4 companies that moved a plant to Burlington. And lots of cannolis.

Hinkle also plans to visit with just 2 new companies. Hinkle should have 8-10 new companies to visit. We’re not paying for a vacation.

We have waited all year for this summit. Now, instead of rightfully facing the music at the Summit, Hinkle is trying to tell us that there is more pressing business.

Monkey business I suppose.

03:08:46 - SPIKE - No comments

12 November

Mike Campbell Contact Information


I'm going to get on this train too. Any person who has ideas for making Burlington a better place (or to voice any concern) may contact me as well. My home phone is 752-0390, my cell phone is 750-0544 and my email is campbellm (at) burlingtoniowa (dot) com.


Mike Campbell

PS Maybe this contact information can become a permanent feature on your website, maybe listed on the left hand side with other information?

I think that would be a good idea and better security for the Councilmen. I'll talk to our web tech.

11:52:03 - SPIKE - No comments

11 November

Garry Thomas Contact Info


I would follow Tim's request that if anyone would like to contact me my home# is 754-8336, cell# 750-9503, email address gthomas (at) mchsi (dot) com

I am looking forward to discussing the issues and making Burlington a great place to live,work and play.

Garry Thomas
Councilman elect

If you feel there is information that you feel our readers need to be aware of email it. We'll post it.


12:46:56 - SPIKE - No comments

City Employees

Employee Layoffs Like Railroad Lawsuits - A Last Resort


FS is correct when he/she says the government employees are becoming the privilege class of Americans with their annual automatic wage increases, great pensions, and either free or almost free health insurance package. All of this expense is forced on to the citizens and businesses. This needs to change.

It will only change when we have enough people to complain about it. It will also take elected officials that understand what is happening and the will to make changes.

Our city council, county supervisors and elected officials at all levels need to make changes. They are not asking them to work for $6.00 hr., but their benefit package is financially hurting everyone.

Not only do the citizens pick up the tab, they also are seeing their own services cut. It is very difficult for the ordinary family to continue to provide these benefits, when their own benefits are increasing (in cost - ed.).

It is wrong for strong union elected officials to go campaign and make promises to these union groups to gain votes. Promises that must be paid for by the same citizens that may be struggling themselves. That is self-serving politicians.

Our property taxes are too high. We need to look at cutting government employees. That is where the bulk of the expense is and until that is recognized we will be in trouble.

How many people in the private sector are receiving 4 and 5% pay increases and free health insurance? How many people in the private sector have seen their 401 K dip in recent years?

Nobody puts more money in our accounts when this happens. Some of them still say they don't have it as good as the private sector!

Our leaders continue to let us down and take the easy road, just raise taxes, that'll fix it for another year!


It's going to be wild ride. I am in favor of more efficient and capable management. An area no one wants to address.

Employee layoffs are like railroad lawsuits. They are a last resort. Something current management and existing council doesn't understand. But 2 of those problems have been replaced.

There has to be accountablility. And that doesn't come from not cheating at the golf course.


12:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Tim Scott Contact Info


Any citizen that would like to contact me can all me at 753-9883 work number, 753-5022 home number, email me at Scotty291(at)aol (dot) com.

Burlington Councilman elect,

Tim Scott

00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

10 November

Cuts In City Services


In reference to potential cuts in City services, I'll be happy to reiterate the "Firemen First Principle."

Irritable on West Hill

We make it too easy to threaten the taxpayers with cutting the "Firemen First Principle" instead of fixing the problem. That, and unfunded mandates won't fly anymore with taxpayers.

People are tired of not being heard and corruption in government.

A new City Manager at $60,000 a year saves almost 2 firemen. Or 2 policemen. That sounds like a better return on taxpayers $$ to me.


14:04:19 - SPIKE - No comments

Cost Of City Employees


The last city contracts were signed by a bunch of idiots with no concern for the taxpayer whatsoever.

City employees are coddled constantly as though they were placed in the sacred cow category. What happened to the term civil servants? Now their called Iowa's privileged class because of their high pay and benefits that place a huge burden on the private sector that's taxed to death with this cradle to grave system.

City employee's wages and benefits should be brought in line with the private sector, union or no union. I would imagine there are plenty of unemployed citizens in Burlington that would gladly take city jobs at much reduced wages and benefits; so why continue with these unions that only inflate and prop up their own self interest with total disregard for the taxpayer?

People in the private sector are just as dedicated as those that are fed at the trough with one exception; they're not, in most cases, over paid nor over-fringed as are city employee's.

The taxpayer's in Burlington should make their voice heard by voicing their opinion about the city employee pay and benefit program that's absolutely taxing the citizens to death. Just what do these people do that the private sector doesn't do?

Why are they given such great benefits that continually result in higher and higher taxes while the private sector's list of benefits is cut to the bone, while at they same time costing more and more of their disposable income?

It's time city employee's are knocked off their pedestal and brought into the real world, this privileged class system of pay and benefits has got to go.


I would guess that these next contract negotiations are going to be brutal. And I can't wait to hear Lost Keys Ell tell us how it's going to mean cuts at the police and fire department. If that guy even mentions that thought, we will start working on his unelection campaign tomorrow.

What grates me is the lack of negotiation that occurs. The insurance company just strolls through the door with a big-a** premium notice and expects the City to pay it. What is so ludicrous is the City just pays the bill. The insurance company should bring along dunce hats.

The City needs to get quotes and demand that there will be service to match the price. Service is the name of the game.

One thing that will have to be included in the next contract is co-pay on the insurance premiums. Especially with the department heads and other higher salaried workers. Why should we pay for the department heads' gravy train when the lower wage employees struggle just to get by?

There are ways to curb these costs. But Slagle, Mini-Me and the council will have to demand results with no strings attached from the staff and play an active role. Otherwise, Edwards and Ell will get out their big old rubberstamp.

I can hear Lost Keys giving us that sagely warning that public safety jobs will roll. I'll be surprised that Ell and Edwards don't bring up unfunded mandates as the cause of this inability to control costs.


02:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Curious Spike - What's Next? Hoschek?


Great work this fall (pre-election), just curious – how long do you think Chris King’s re-election website will stay up now that he finished 5th in a 5 man race??

Now we just need to work on Tim Hoschek. Is it true he voted against funding the SE Iowa regional airport funding??

I thought he was a chairman of the NACO Transportation committee. If that is the case, why would he vote down funding 21,000 a year for the airport?

In his 13 years as a county supervisor, has he ever taken something/anything from start to finish for the county?? Don’t they make an idiots guide to being a County Supervisor he could purchase (county expense account)?


You are absolutely right about several things.

Senator King's website already has cobwebs growing. Knowing the Senator, I'm sure we will have to take a few more swipes before he retires.

Hoschek did vote against joining the Southeast Iowa Regional Airport Authority. I don't think he can justify that to himself. I'm sure when he tries, all of his rural mail customers get each others mail for a few days.

Hoschek might have weaseled his way into the Supervisor's chair in Des Moines County. But that bonehead was never the chairman of the NACO Transportation committee. They'd never let him near a gavel. He might hurt somebody.

Hoschek's only way onto that committe was because the Des Moines County taxpayers paid the county's dues to NACO. Hoschek doesn't bring a thing to the NACO group and he doesn't bring anything home other than those little bars of soap.

I have no doubts that he is treated like a crazy old uncle at these NACO functions. In the real world of politics, leeches like Hoschek are discovered 5 minutes into a convention. And then avoided like the plague.

And about that Idiot's Guide To Being A County Supervisor And Using Common Sense book. There is no publisher willing to publish a book that would only sell one copy. Everybody else has more common sense.

Hoschek has never taken something/anything from start to finish for the county. He can't. He's too busy campaigning and slopping around in the public trough.

When Hoschek implodes, and I feel the ground quivering, it's going to be like a rotten watermelon hit by a cement truck. And the headline will read, "Rotten Watermelon Hit By Cement Truck."


01:11:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Message For The Winners

Congrats to all the winners in the election. It's a step, however small, in the right direction.

Burlington still has a long way to go. Lost Keys needs his walking papers and the next election could prove that.

A message to the winners, listen to the people of Burlington.


00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

09 November

R.I.P. Louisa County

If you look under "Obituaries" at www.thehawkeye.com - you'll see the Louisa County election results. When did Louisa County pass away? I missed it.


That's just part of regionalism. Eliminate the nonessentials.

13:42:30 - SPIKE - No comments

Southeast Iowa Economic Development Summit Set

After months of brow beating, the Southeast Iowa Regional Economic Development Consortium aka the Southeast Iowa Let’s Form a Group and Do Lunch and Not Much More is finally going to meet with Governor Vilsack. No one mentioned lunch so plan to bring a granola bar and a Mountain Dew.

The meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on November 18 at Ruble Gymnasium on the Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant.

The public is now invited since the group could never decide who to invite. If you have constructive input this is your time to step up.

09:59:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Elections – What Is Learned?

So the voters spoke. And speak they did.

The Hawk Eye will tell you the reasons. Pundits will tell you the reasons.

BurlingtonDerailed.com is one of the reasons. Not for what we wrote or the siege we brought to the steps of city hall and the newspaper, but what we echoed from the voters’ emails and phone calls.

People are tired of getting beaten into the ground and BurlingtonDerailed.com gave people just an ounce of hope that someone would amplify their cry to stop acting so stupid and fix this city's problems.

The people know they can’t rely on the newspaper to help. The paper has become a quasi-effective advertising tool with zero interest in investigative reporting of matters that are of concern to the citizens. Tuesday it was goat cheese.

For every 1 person that complains, anywhere from 10-100 more didn’t. City Hall has never been a place to complain. No one wants to listen, everybody’s an expert and after you complain twice, you’re labeled a complainer.

And with Slagle, Power, Edwards and Lost Keys Ell running amok, people know they’re going to get screwed. It’s only a question of when.

The voters responded. Whether or not they were heard, is what we will learn.

00:29:43 - SPIKE - No comments

Peace in the Valley?

I really don’t need to write much about Senator King’s resounding loss. The dismal 866 votes tell the story. King slapped himself silly and he never looked in the mirror once during the campaign. Not once.

And after hearing King’s boisterous claims Tuesday on KCPS 1150 AM Big Show about how Jeff Heland helped King obtain the Burlington Labor Council support and that Scott didn’t have that support and King did, maybe it will impact King even more in the futility of desperation campaigning.

Hopefully, it will illustrate to Heland that King isn’t the marketing genius Heland said King was. King lost with that labor support. That’s a negative result of a bogus marketing plan.

Most of our readers must think we partied ‘til dawn. I am 2/3 pleased with the election results.

I am very unhappy with the negative energy so in the name of harmonic realignment we post this item.

So we’re no longer one,
The battle is but half won.
Stay tuned for more to be done,
Because we have the smoking gun.

00:25:26 - SPIKE - No comments

KCPS’s Tommy Goes Live and Knocks ‘Em Dead

I guess I was wrong about Fred needing to leash up Tommy.

Last night Ace Radio Reporter Tommy from KCPS Big Show 1150 AM reported live from the Des Moines County Court House with City Council election results. I thought I was listening to Edward R. Murrow knocking down presidential election results for a moment and caught sight of Lloyd Moffit scribbling on his pad.

It makes me think there might be more to this story. Why have Fred and 7 held Tommy back?

Turn that news dog loose.

00:24:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Almost a Clean Sweep

Today starts the transition to a new city council that will be faced with some of the biggest challenges ever. This transition period needs to start today, not in January. Tim Scott and Garry Thomas need to hit the ground in January running like somebody is chasing them.

This is not your fathers’ City Hall. When the Lions Club sells brooms, buy a few and use them judiciously. And turn up the thermostats on the weekend. Let Slagle sweat.

00:23:47 - SPIKE - No comments

08 November

Big Pimple Gone Off City’s Butt

Edwards, Scott and Thomas Winners

KCPS 1150 AM Ace Reporter Tommy reporting live from the Des Moines County Court House just reported that Edwards, Scott and Thomas won the local city council election.

Edwards 2312
Scott 2105
Thomas 1783
Griffin 1442
Eckhardt 1068
King 866

The empire is shrinking.

20:41:51 - SPIKE - No comments

Who Runs Lee County?

Mother Superior Lee County Auditor Pedersen Playing Big Dog

Hey Spike,

Mother Superior (Lee Co. Auditor Pedersen) is at it again. Mother Superior still thinks she is the 6th Supervisor/County C.E.O.

Rather than spend two hundred dollars from her budget to buy a file cabinet, Pedersen is insisting that the supervisors take the money from the self-funded insurance fund. Let’s see if Tricky Rickey and the rest of the supers have the testicular fortitude they were born with, or if they are willing to hand that over to Mother Pedersen along with the $200!

Mother Superior also recently sent the supervisors an e-mail that she was going to block all e-mails to and from her staff and the budget director. Mother is obviously having another of her little tizzies.

This is so childish and unprofessional. When are the supervisors going to ask for her resignation?


Let’s see. The Auditor has blocked emails to and from the budget director. That sounds like a positive step towards open government. Maybe the newspapers could examine the immature and childish behavior that seems to run rampant in the Auditor’s office instead of avoiding the issue time after time.

Why don’t the Supervisors just reduce her budget amount by $200?

Or, they could just ask Pedersen if she has $200 for a chair so she could sit at the Supervisors table. Oops, I forgot, she isn’t entitled to that. Somebody remind her of that.

Who runs Lee County anyway?

Lee County Spike

07:45:00 - SPIKE - No comments

07 November

Alfalfa Edwards Doesn’t Get It and Never Will


In The Hawkeye this weekend, the question was asked to the council candidates about how to handle the pension increases and the burden to the City budget.

Finance director Doug Worden was also quoted in the same article that our 52 cents per thousand, property tax increase is "all" for the pension increases. It looks like a problem facing our citizens. Mayor Edwards don't seem to think so!

Some candidates offered suggestions. Mayor Edwards said he'll deal with it when it is an issue. Edwards doesn't think it is an issue? What is wrong with this guy? He is putting the unions ahead of all of the other citizens and that's wrong. It has increased dramatically over the last 3 years. The citizens can't afford much more.

It is costing the citizens of Burlington over $20,000 per year per employee for health insurance and pensions. The state sets the pension rates, but the City needs to take responsibility for the contracts that they agreed to with little resistance.

In the council forums, Mayor Edwards stated that they have cut out or reduced 43 different programs or services because there was no money. The City continues to cut services for it's citizens, but has plenty of money for employee pay raises, free health insurance and increased pensions. No Mike, it is an issue now, and you better deal with, but you never will because you bring your strong union attitude and beliefs to city hall and everybody pays for it. The unions will support Edwards and if this community votes him back in office, we will get just what we deserve.

The Hawkeye endorsed Edwards for Mayor in 2006 just because he is on the Vision Iowa board. It is good to have a Burlington representative on that board, but that alone should not be the only criteria to represent the City of Burlington and it's citizens. Edwards is not a good leader and his personal appearance sometimes looks more like a biker from the 60's.

Will he represent the unions and his Case workers, yes? He even said in the forum, that sometimes he does a lot of thinking at work and he can bounce his thoughts off of his 230 coworkers. Several of his coworkers don't even live in Burlington and pay our taxes.

Edwards needs to get outside the union circle if he really wants to represent ALL of Burlington. (Heland and Courtney should listen too) they are almost as bad and they are letting down a lot of our citizens with this attitude.

Edwards also recently boasted and rightfully so, about all of the new construction and it's increased property valuations. They brag about this every year. In this weekend article, Edwards stated that he hoped we could deal with this increased cost with new tax dollars. The problem is, we have new construction tax dollars every year and it is never enough to keep up with the spending. It is no different from a family on a budget.

We can't keep spending more than we make. Edwards just don't understand this, because he isn't smart enough and doesn't have the discipline to manage.

We need to take a new direction and manage differently in these local governments and it is wrong for our local public unions to financially strangle the rest of us. What about all of the retired citizens here in Burlington that were not as fortunate to retire from Case Co. or a City/County job? Do we keep pouring it on them?

What about the young couple trying to raise a family and purchase their house in Burlington, but are not as fortunate to work at Case or for the City? Does anyone at City hall really care?

Does Edwards care? As long as they are getting theirs, everything is fine. The council sets policy, but they haven't had much guidance in this area from our City manager either.


I can’t figure out why everyone is so enamored with Edwards. The newspaper, the Chamber and the rest of the media I guess want to support a wanna be thug.

I’m glad I don’t have to bounce my decisions off 230 people. I’d have 240 different answers sometime in the next 6 months.

Instead of leading the Council, Edwards sat back and let it implode. And it imploded from the lack of leadership. When Lost Keys Ell took over with his infinite theories of cover up and deceit Edwards just sat there and let it happen.

Pensions won’t be a problem until Slagle tells Edwards they are a problem. And then Edwards will pop out of his hole with his big old rubberstamp.

What is most disgusting is that Edwards is supposed to represent the citizens and not union special interests.

Hairdo? Give him a couple of wild hairs and he would look like Alfalfa on Little Rascals. Except for the earring and gun.


18:27:51 - SPIKE - No comments

Tommy Misreads Lee County Expenses

On Monday's KCPS Big Show 1150 AM Tommy thought Lee County had spent $117,000 on health club memberships.

They did. Over a 15 year period of time.

Fred, ease Pit Bull Tommy back inside the fence.

17:52:00 - SPIKE - No comments

City Staff Not In Charge

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

Vote to bring that responsibility back to the council.

00:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

King Misses The Benchmark

Memorable Statements & Mistruths From King

King Speaks Mistruths
King said he had never been caught in a lie on the front page of the Hawk Eye. He's been caught in lies on all the other pages of the newspaper and here on BurlingtonDerailed.com what makes him think he didn't lie there?

The Railroad Lawsuit
“The lawsuit is about jobs, it’s not about the money.”

Citizens' Rights
In one forum King tried to show us a pyramid flow chart with the citizens at the top. Only thing is, he had just realized he has been holding it upside down for 4 years.

King Blasts Wal-Mart on Talk Show - Don't Shop at Wal-Mart
On a KBUR talk show King stated that our economic problems are due to shopping at Wal-Mart and that we shouldn’t use economic development incentives to entice companies like Wal-Mart to locate or maintain existing facilities in Burlington.
If Senator King wanted to kill economic development incentives to commercial development why is he now touting incentives for infill commercial development?

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

Economic Development & the Southeast Iowa Regional Economic Development Consortium
King sits on the Grow Greater Burlington Board of Directors but has zero influence over the Board or the Southeast Iowa Regional Economic Development Consortium aka the Southeast Iowa Let’s Form a Group and Do Lunch and Not Much More.

Horace Mann Water Pressure
Former Mayor Jeff Heland brought the low water pressure problem in the vicinity of Horace Mann to former King’s attention. When speaking about our reader’s letter complaining the problem hadn't been fixed, King said to Fred and 7 on KCPS’s 1150 AM Big Show, “I’m not going to get into it right now because he (our reader) didn’t come to me (King) with the problem.”

King Says His Constituents "Aren't Jack"
King said city residents having a problem that don't bring them to him directly, ""aren't Jack".

King’s thoughts on taxable development
King said the city is looking for more commercial property taxpayers to pay "their 100%" tax rate. Trying to get the companies wanting to expand to the pay to relieve tax burden has zero chance of attracting any real job providers.

King examined every one of Power's legal bills
Chris King says he examined every one of Scott Power's bills even though Power didn’t submit the bills, only a summary of charges.

Speed Limit On Central Street Overpass aka Bondo Bridge
King responded to Councilwoman Mary Baker's question about what the speed limit on Central Street at Valley is. King opined, "I guess the answer is always as much as you can get away with."

Rec Plex
King said Rec Plex was a money maker but never provided any meaningful financials to prove it.

Off Topic Closed Session Meetings
King will hopefully get his opportunity to explain Iowa law regarding illegal closed session meetings to the judge.

About the1985 Railroad Agreement
The Minister of Misinformation and Deception told BNSF Shop workers attending a council meeting that he already knew about the 1985 agreement with the BNSF. King said, “At the time I had information about the previous agreements the City of Burlington held with the BNSF Railroad.”

Fortunately for the truth, King admitted months earlier complete ignorance of the 1985 agreement, that he didn’t know anything about the 1985 agreement.

BurlingtonDerailed.com deemed “enlightening and entertaining.”
Even though we are reviled by many, hated by a couple and cheered by all the rest we reached a new plateau with King- "enlightening and entertaining." Strange he acknowleges the "enlightening" part when it challenges his untruthful statements.

Regarding City Attorney Scott Power
King said, "...(Scott Power).... has never, to my knowledge, withheld pertinent information from me, or any member of Council." That is a blatant lie. If the 1985 agreement with the railroad wasn't "pertinent" to voting on entering a lawsuit, there can't be much that ever would be after that mind slip. Other than the lawsuit is about jobs.

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

Bill Mertens’ thoughts on King
Newspaper publisher Bill Mertens wrote King “will be the loudest member.” King is the biggest rubberstamper with his big, old “OK Bruce” rubber stamp.

King still hasn't learned his lesson from Mark Twain.
“I was gratified to be able to answer promptly and I did. I said I didn't know.” from Life on the Mississippi.

King Final Grades:
Heart In Right Place C
Subject Knowledge D
Citizenship Skills F
Ability To Gain Respect F-
Communication Skills D
Able To Work With Others F
Fiduciary Responsibility F
Temper F
Willingness to Resolve Problems F-
Ability to Wield Rubber Stamp A+

Attitude F--

Leadership 0

Public Truthfulness FF---

Ability To Listen F----

Big Mouth A+

00:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments

05 November

Lies Are Lies For Edwards

The Truth Is So Much Cheaper Than A Recall Election

Selected offerings from Mayor Mike Edwards.

(Mayor) Edwards said some local unions, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, have offered legal help and backing. "If we're not truly in this for the jobs ... then why are local unions offering legal services to us?" Edwards said. That financial aid never materialized.

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

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

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

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

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

When Edwards was asked about his best accomplishments while in office, Edwards said the addition of restrooms on the riverfront was the best.

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

11 Reasons Edwards Could Fire City Attorney Power But Hasn’t
Would you still be employed if you lied to your boss 11 times? Why does Edwards condone it? Why are lies necessary?

1. “The lawsuit is about jobs.”
2. “The lawsuit is about forcing the railroad to return the jobs to the shops.”
3. “It’s not about the money.” (With a $1,000,000 budget deficit?)
4. “I have a silver bullet for each and every one of you with your name on it.” Only to follow up with “I never said that” even though several witnesses said otherwise.
5. The basis of the lawsuit is the 1858 land grant agreement.
6. The basis of this lawsuit is the loss of the “principle locomotive shops.” He didn’t bother researching railroad history to gather the facts that show otherwise.
7. Sloppy court filings. Power skipped the Burlington shops history lesson chapter in his haste to file his mistake-filled complaint. 2 filings in this case are nothing but amendments and corrections to the most poorly written legal complaint I have ever read or seen. First year law students write better stuff.
8. The 1985 agreement has no bearing on the lawsuit.
9. All but outright calling one of his employers a liar. When asked about the fact he had had been asked on 2 separate occasions about any subsequent agreements to the 1858 agreement that might impact the lawsuit, Power said there weren’t any. And then said of the councilman’s claim, "Now, that's just not true." If it’s not true, isn’t it a lie? I believe the councilman.
10. Power relies on 2 of his employer’s sudden memory loss to cover his ass.
11. We can't fire him, we'll lose the lawsuit thinking.

Edwards Final Grades:
Heart In Right Place C
Subject Knowledge D
Citizenship Skills F
Ability To Gain Respect F-
Ability To Listen F--
Communication Skills D
Able To Work With Others F
Willingness to Resolve Problems F-
Fiduciary Responsibility F

Attitude F--

Leadership F--

Public Truthfulness FF---

The truth is so much cheaper than a recall election.

01:49:38 - SPIKE - No comments

04 November

When Are We Going To Des Moines?

Governor Vilsack Sends Consortium Group Picture Out For Milk Cartons

Well, almost another month has gone by since we last chastised the Southeast Iowa Regional Economic Development Consortium aka the Southeast Iowa Let’s Form a Group and Do Lunch and Not Much More.

Apparently, rumor is Hinkle can’t find his airline tickets to Italy since the Halloween party. Must have been some wild candy corn. Really, I don’t know whether it’s a candy corn problem or low tide.

Governor Vilsack in his frustration finally resorted to sending a group picture of the Consortium to Anderson Erickson Dairy so the photo could be printed on milk cartons.

The council candidates all stressed how we need to emphasize the positives. That is pretty hard to do when Burlington is the laughing stock of the business world over the railroad lawsuit and the Governor had to place the economic development forum’s picture on a milk carton.

You all better hope for infill development of retail and commercial growth because you sure don’t know anything about business recruitment, respect or civility.

And somebody weigh Hinkle before he leaves. I want to know whether or not he eats his way through Italy.

03:04:00 - SPIKE - No comments

03 November

Council Forum Pretty Dismal

I wish there was something really worthwhile to report from Wednesday’s forum. But there isn’t.

Garry Thomas

We said this last week. Garry is trying the hardest to win his seat and is a consummate campaigner. He will win a seat. He wants our vote. No excuses like King.

Tim Scott

Working on getting his seat back. He will succeed.

Dick Eckhardt

Eckhardt had some better thoughts this week. He definitely understands the lack of leadership from Edwards. And Eckhardt will plow the snow for the house on Lucas Avenue that Slagle ignores. Something the present City Hall monkey cage should be ashamed of. I’ll bet Slagle’s snow is plowed.

Chuck Griffin

Griffin recognized that he is an expert of everything, he wants to knock down the post office to make Chuck Griffin Park, wants to take Bruce Slagle on economic development trips so he can decide if a company is worthy to sue and Griffin wants to build a Midwest Museum of Furniture Manufacturers that will “be a big draw.”

Chuck, you’d better get a grip of reality if you want to win this election. I don’t think he will.

Senator King

I can’t get past King lying about the lawsuit and his big mouth always trying to tell us how important he is. Plus he’s made such an ass of himself trying to find out who Spike is, King has lost all sensibility. King said the old library needed to be in the next Vision Iowa project. Unless I missed something, the old library is in the current Vision Iowa funding.

He needs to grow up and come back in 15 years. But only if he matures. Otherwise, stay home, raise your kids and forget about it.


Edwards will get votes. Edwards doesn’t possess the leadership qualities for the challenges facing Burlington. It is apparent from his bird flipping, gun toting, scab confronting, silence in the face of adversity, I’ll resign juvenile behavior. Edwards hasn’t led the council when it needed it most. Edwards lacks the judgment to understand his shenanigans are everyone’s business when he represents Burlington.

06:43:18 - SPIKE - No comments

King Adds Credibility To Catfish Bend Sale

During Wednesday’s Burlington City Council Candidate Forum Chris King mentioned there was a possibility for the riverboat to remain in Burlington year round. King said, “the possibility with keeping a riverboat in town 12 months of the year.”

So the rumor in the Fort Madison paper must be somewhat accurate.

But what was most interesting was the open discussion by several candidates that there was no longer the requirement for casinos to be located on a boat. Recent changes in Iowa law say the casino only needs a small body of water to relocate to land.

Makes you wonder what’s in store for Catfish Bend.

Boat or beached?

00:54:00 - SPIKE - No comments

02 November

Lee County Head Democrat Answers Charges

No Questions Really Answered

In response to yesterday’s post regarding the Lee County Democratic Central Committee filing at least 2 erroneous campaign disclosure reports, Lee County Democratic Central Committee Chairman Rick Larkin was quoted in today’s Hawk Eye, “We probably weren’t reporting correctly…Maybe there was an error in interpreting how things should have been done.”

The article in today’s paper said the Democrats obtained donations and spent money for steaks, food, a newspaper ad (only one ad?), payments to party workers, Halloween candy and the old granddaddy catchall Christmas Party.

If you take in campaign donations and spend it, surely you realized you had to account for it on a campaign disclosure form? After all, good fiscal responsibility starts with good bookkeeping.

What I want to know is why did you file the first campaign disclosure report and report no income and no expenses? The newspaper didn’t mention that fact to its readers. The writer only mentions the 1st amended campaign disclosure report. Not the 1st campaign disclosure report that stated no income and no expenses. What was that all about?

How did you buy that Halloween candy?

Do your Democratic Party members know they paid for your Christmas party?

But most troubling is the statement Larkin made about a possible error in interpretation of how things should have been reported.

As I stated yesterday, Larkin is the Chairman of the Lee County Central Committee. He is responsible for what the committee does. Right down to signing a correct and truthful financial statement.

And buying steak.

05:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Central Street Overpass aka Bondo Bridge

Hey Spike,

Will the mess on the Central Street overpass ever be fixed? What a waste of taxpayers' money.

Anybody with the checkbook to the city should be completely ashamed of themselves. It is the laughing stock of downtown Burlington.

Just one more reason to avoid shopping down there, because it's not easy for the older or younger residents to drive a car on the always-under-construction mess that some idiots went ahead with.

I am personally disgusted with it. City Council take note.


We'll fix it in 3 weeks. No, we'll fix it in 6 weeks.

Really, we haven't gotten permission from the railroad to fix it. We'll fix it in 3 weeks. It's about half done.

A good bridge design is always measured by the length of the scrape marks from the cars bottoming out on the approaches. You be the judge.

Maybe Santa will fix it?


02:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

01 November

Lee County Democrats To Answer Charges

Democratic Central Committee Files 3 Erroneous Campaign Disclosure Reports

Which Report Is Right? Can't Anybody Count?

According to documents filed in the Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board office in Des Moines, the Lee County Democratic Central Committee and Lee County Supervisor Chairman/Democratic Central Committee Chair Rick Larkin, have been charged with filing erroneous reports with the Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board.

The charges stem from a series of erroneous campaign reports filed for last year’s election. On November 18, 2005 a hearing will held in Cedar Rapids to hear the facts of the complaint.

In the first campaign disclosure report, Lee County Democratic Central Committee Chairman Rick Larkin filed an alleged erroneous report claiming the Democratic Central Committee had taken in no money and had disbursed no money. I say Rick Larkin did because he is the committee chairman and is responsible for what happens on his watch regardless if George Shields, the Central Committee Treasurer, signed the report.

After the Ethics Board was advised the Lee County Central Committee had spent money to place political advertising, the Ethics board received the 2nd erroneous campaign disclosure report from the Lee County Central Committee.

In the 2nd report the Lee County Democrats claimed they had received $1,757.34 in contributions and spent $2,096.42.

Then in January 2005 the Lee County Central Committee filed yet another campaign disclosure report.

The 3rd report claimed the Lee County Democrats had received $2,703.60 in contributions and had expenditures of $3,612.15.

According to the complaint, it appears that the Lee County Central Committee had ample opportunity to correct the various reports but chose not to.

Which brings us to the questions.

1. Who signed these various reports? Chairman Larkin or Democratic Central Committee Treasurer George Shields?
2. Did anyone read the report before they signed it?
3. How do we know the 3rd report is accurate?
4. Who legally represents the Lee County Democratic Committee?
5. Who completed the first report that claimed no money received and no expenditures? Whoever it was, they should be fired for incompetence.
6. Where were the other Central committee members during this debacle? Were the other Lee County Democratic Committee members Roger Bryant, Barbara Haas, William Young, Sandra Chapman and Diane Kearns informed of these problems? Why didn't they act to resolve them in a timely manner?

To file a false financial document seems to me borderline fraud. If a company or municipality filed a false financial statement the person signing it could go to prison. What is the difference here? Are campaign finances any different than other finances?

But some bigger questions remain.

Is the 3rd report accurate? If so, there appears to be $908.55 deficit.

Now, how can you spend more money than you take in? Does the Lee County Democratic Central Committee still owe this money? Are Larkin and Shields going to resign over this mess? If not, how can either one command any respect? What an embarassment for the rank and file Democrats.

I guess of greatest concern to the citizens of Lee County is what is slipping by the Supervisors in a similar manner? How do the Lee County citizens know they are getting the most bang for their buck when the Supervisor Chairman can’t get a campaign financial disclosure document accurately completed, on time, on 3 different occasions?

And why haven’t we read about this in the newspapers? Did I miss this? Or, was it covered up like most things in Southeast Iowa? It just doesn't look bad. It is bad. Why was it allowed to fester?

00:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

MC Global Is Dead

The Iowa Department of Economic Development has declared the MC Global project officially dead. Right where it was to begin with.

Next time you see someone put a sign on a fence and it says “Future Home” don’t believe a word of it until they:
1. Own the fence
2. Move in and hire employees.

Otherwise, it is smoke and mirrors. And this was probably election year smoke and mirrors.

The largest corncob processor is in northern Iowa. Wouldn’t you think it prudent to partner with a known processor to get a new export company off the ground instead of loaning a foreign company millions of dollars to compete with a U.S. company?

This was a bad project. How did it ever almost get so far into our pockets?

00:15:00 - SPIKE - No comments