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Burlington Derailed — The Continuing Story
The Hawkeye reported on some nice City/County year end cash bonuses. They started this years ago when the City and the County employees were lower paid compared to many in the private sector. They really were back then.
The City and the County rewarded them with year end bonuses and excellent insurance and other benefits. Over the years, the government employees not only caught up to the private sector in pay, but in many areas passed the private sector in pay. The cash bonuses and the excellent benefits continued.
Can we afford to continue to hand out this money? Taking from the needy. These employees are not going to leave these jobs. Where would they go in the private work force and do as well?
Not Enough Casino Votes – Where Were Slagle & Nosbisch?
As evidenced by the local news story Saturday, the City Planning Commission failed to approve the plans for Winegard’s Fun City Casino expansion. They failed because they didn’t have the required 4-vote majority of members. Since 2 members were absent the vote needed to be 4-1 to approve the plan.
Chuck Griffin and Jeff Jennison voted against the casino plans for reasons other than mandated by their agreement to serve on the Planning Commission. Griffin voted against it because he doesn’t like gambling. Jennison doesn’t know why he voted against it.
The better question is why did Quirk from the newspaper have to figure this out? Where were City Manager Slagle and City Planner Nosbisch?
Don’t these city guys do this type of deal everyday? Aren’t they the high paid professionals we employ to prevent such problems? Makes you wonder.
What was different about this deal from the last plans the commission approved? Did the Planning Commission improperly approve other plans that came before them for consideration?
Good thing Quirk was on this. Now if he'd just go demand the detailed railroad lawsuit billings we'd have another thing to be outraged over.
One of our readers pointed out that I had misspelled Lloyd Maffit's name. I have corrected all of the misspellings and apologize to Mr. Maffitt for the mistake.
Thanks to our reader.
Lloyd Maffitt - A Link to When They Knew What to Do
Here is something for your Advertiser file. I hope the economic development report exposes their sorry asses.
I have seen nice comments of late about Mr. Maffitt. Mr. Maffitt is not simply an article of nostalgia. He is a living link to a lost asset.
If the clueless who have followed him could use a clue, they should go to the library and pull out the Hawk-Eye on microfilm from 40 or 50 years ago. While the old letter press made a photos a mess and type sometimes hard on the eyes, it is the content that counts.
The stories were to the point and understandable. Objectivity was striven for and comment was kept on the editorial page. When something major happened locally, there was follow up.
The police blotter was there every day. It was a morning ritual that a reporter went to the cop shop and got it.
The man at the desk knew the person who penned the stories and often pointed them in the direction to learn more. Less was swept under the rug.
Reporters knew as much, if not more, than any lawyer about public records and how to access them. Access them they did in pursuit of news. Who owned property and might profit from a decision, prior arrests, etc. was researched. Public records are no more secret now than then. Most local public informaton is not on the net. You still must get off your ass to get the details.
One big difference was training. Journalism majors were rare. Maffitt himself says he is a liberal arts major.
Those reporting may not have been "university trained journalists." Most were trained on the job. The result was better than the vast majority stumbling out of Journalism programs today.
By degree, or self-educated, reporters then were expected to have a broad understanding of the world. English, History, Science, etc. gave them sufficient knowledge to know what to ask, understand interrelationships and a basis from which to make sense of it for readers.
Years ago, reporters did not see themselves as a superior class who alone should determine what is best for the community. It was not the reporter's job to tell the community what to think and ignore facts counter to their agenda. How things have changed.
The Hawk-Eye today mirrors a dangerous, elitist trend coming from Academia of which Journalism Schools are a part.
Back in the '60s, Business Schools taught you did not need to know anything about a particular business, just how to manage a business. The result was conglomerates buying and ruining many smaller firms.
Not knowing your community and trying to report on it fits this pattern of arrogance.
"Just the facts, ma'am," was how Joe Friday on Dragnet used to put it. Back then, the Hawk-Eye won many awards for discovering and reporting the facts.
It was a valuable service that allowed the community to make informed decisions. It is a valuable service this community needs to be provided again.
According to the first reports from the retreat in Mercy Hospital, there was a lot of hand holding, cluster meetings and dodgeball.
No one quite had the nerve yet to address the subject of the local newspaper's role in this morass even though everyone has complained about the newspaper privately. Nothing like the fear of ostracism to squelch progress.
Maybe tomorrow will be better. But don't hold your breath. The final report isn't due for weeks. Plenty of time to rework the outcome to the local's liking.
Taxes and The Chief
I remember back when gambling was put to a vote that the property tax relief was a selling point to get it to pass, I might be wrong on that.
Also, ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. Chief Zaiser was laid to rest this week after serving his country, state and city.
If more people would have his morals and try to be like him, I do believe this city would be in better shape. God bless him and his family.
His successor never did fill Mark's shoes. His brother George was standup guy, too.
128 Law Enforcement Officers in Des Moines County?
There are 128 law enforcement officers in Des Moines County?? Can that be right?
I would have thought it was less than half that many. Burlington used to have about 30 police officers. The
sheriff cannot have that many deputies.
According to Thursday's article
, "As it stands, there are 77 private citizens, including Edwards, Jackson and Campbell, who have permits to carry concealed weapons, and 128 law enforcement officers who have permits, Johnstone said."
I think you're right. I would guess there are 128 total permits in Des Moines County and it was misquoted by the writer.
Keep in mind there are more law enforcement officers than you think when you factor in DCI agents, conservation officers, state patrol and jailers. But 128 of them?
Relationships - It's Not About The News
Wednesday a little soiree was held for Lloyd Maffitt at Diggers Rest Coffehouse. During Wednesday's Big Show on KCPS 1150 AM Fred dialed up Phillip at Diggers Rest Coffehouse to talk with Phillip.
During the conversation Fred spoke of Lloyd Maffitt interviewing and then writing a story about Fred and Mrs. Fred moving to Burlington and commandeering the local airwaves 20 years ago.
After Lloyd wrote the story he called Fred to tell him that he wanted Fred to read the story and correct any mistakes he might have made in the story.
Listening to this story unfold it became very clear why Lloyd Maffitt was successful and the present editorial goombas fail miserably at their job, other than the fact the newspaper used to have 3 proofreaders and now have none.
The newspaper fails because they don't develop relationships with the people, or the community they write about. They write in a accusatory tone that is solely designed to sensationalize the story to draw the reader to the ads.
The newspaper fails because they don't check their facts or they choose to withhold the important details for some unknown reason.
Lloyd could connect with people. Something Delaney and his underlings at the advertiser need to learn how to do. It's all about the money. It's not about the news.
Krissie Returns To KCPS Big Show
Wednesday morning brought the return of Krissie to the Big Show on KCPS 1150 AM. Most listeners were flabbergasted to find 7 not only missing, but barely mentioned. It’s as if 7 was never there and a reminder that the life span of radio DJ’s sidekick is only as long as a 2 legged toad.
It is rumored that Krissie just ended a long season with the Ringling Brothers Circus and will appear on the Big Show during the winter vacation period before returning to the circus in the spring.
I hope that when she leaves that Fred somehow talks 7 into coming back. Krissie’s sultry voice can’t replace 7’s rapier wit.
Retreat At Chamber Starts Today
This morning local officials will learn the results of the economic development survey done by Lockwood Greene, a wholly owned subsidiary of CH2MHill, a world wide engineering company on ways to improve the Burlington economy.
The retreat is scheduled to run all day Thursday and Friday morning in the Winegard Room at the Chamber offices.
I guess we'll see whether or not our information that the local newspaper was mentioned as a detrimental factor by all, or most all of the respondents to the survey was true.
Attitudes need to change and the newspaper would be a good start to start. Maybe an outsider will carry more weight. Doubtful, but maybe.
There have been recent articles in the Des Moines Register concerning gambling. The controversy over the State of Iowa's Touch Play machines that are all over Iowa in convenience stores. The gambler anonymous group and counselors are concerned. The problem gamblers in treatment that are staying away from casinos are having trouble fighting off the temptation of these machines in the convenience stores.
State lottery officials have said that they expect less gambling problems with their Touch Play machines, than they would have from casinos. The State is expected to rake in $45M this year from the machines.
Dr. Donald Black, a psychiatrist from the University of Iowa who has conducted studies on the issues concerning gambling, disagrees. Black said the State arguments are naive. The children are becoming more exposed to gambling when we surround them with gambling machines.
Iowa ranks 10th nationally in slot machines per capita.
I think there is good reason to be concerned. The state lottery officials' remarks about the Touch Play machines were real weak and lacked any believability. After watching 2 kids play a machine the other day it's not going to get any better until these things are banned from Iowa.
Man The Towers And a Little Tinsel
I've heard all this talk about the Governor thinks that Iowa needs a new maximum security prison because of the recent escape at Fort Madison. All I see is a job loss in this area if this happens.
One, if they build elsewhere in the state all the people that work their are without jobs and if the do build in Ft. Madison then it will be higher tech with a reduction of staff. Loss of jobs doesn't just hurt Ft. Madison it hurts everyone in Southeast Iowa.
Those prisoners wouldn't of escaped if all the towers were manned like they should of been from the start.
All we need is to man those towers, electrify that top perimeter wire and buy a truckload of Christmas tinsel and occasionally have the guards throw a handful of tinsel on the wire. That is all the deterrent needed.
And it saves $80 million dollars and the jobs in Fort Madison.
Gambling is Not Economic Development
Gambling in Iowa is not tourism. Gambling in Iowa is money out of the community being reshuffled to casino investors and government.
When gambling was sold to people 25 years ago, it was supposed to bring tourists. Gambling was not the end, but the means to an end. The $5.00 bet limit and $500.00 per day loss limit were advanced as a safeguard against taking advantage of the weak. Now, the truth is there for all to see.
Drive through the Auditorium parking lots. Look at the license plates and dealer stickers. Look at the make and models that predominate. Most come from within a 50 mile radius; roughly the same as for retail trade. Caddies, Lincolns, Mercedes are not parked in disproportionate numbers. The crowd exiting the parking lot is not dressed in tuxedos and furs.
Go aboard the gambling barge and size up the patrons. Old women on social security sit dazed by fruit dancing on cathode ray tubes. Some of the younger set disappear towards the end of the month having spent their public assistance money. The money being lost is not imported from somewhere else. A large number of those loosing money are those who can least afford to.
Gambling is not economic development. Where are the spin offs? Nothing has been transformed and the value thereof increased. When metal is bent into an object in demand, paint is bought, steel must be produced and there is transportation all around. Those are spin offs.
Gambling is addictive. The biggest addict is government. Government will tell people gambling is economic development just to get its next revenue fix off the operation.
Southeast Iowa is a perfect example of gambling as development folly. What else has expanded in Southeast Iowa over the last 25 years other than gambling? What are the results?
The economic situation is desperate in Southeast Iowa. Desperation in the extreme can turn hope into delusion. If Southeast Iowa deludes itself into thinking more gambling is the cure, the patient is terminal.
Remember at the Economic Development Summit we were told there were 9 projects in the hopper? If you count the biodiesel plant and Fun City there are still 7 more economic development projects.
I hope the other 7 have more meat on their bones than the first 2. Otherwise, haircuts will be $1.00.
Dream Big – Need More Than Minimum Wage
Burlington keeps bringing minimum wage jobs to town and that's great for teenagers, But for people who have family's and want a decent living their needs to be different kinds of jobs with decent wages offered. I see how an entertainment complex and casino can get Burlington on the map.
I see a vision and I guess its always been a dream of mine. But could you see Ford Motor Co. coming to Burlington? They say they are closing plants because they are outdated. Well I see an opportunity for The Chamber Of Commerce, Grow Greater Burlington, the city council and the Governor to get together and have a meeting with Ford Motor Co.
I know it is a dream and their is a lot of obstacles like Mexico or overseas like CHINA. But IF Burlington wants to make an investment that could payoff for decades to centuries I think their is a great opportunity right now to try to get involved with a corp. like that right now!
The investment would be enormous like the B word Billion or more, But why not? They say if your going to dream big. And I admit I am a hard head and I don't like change but if you want to progress you have to first see a vision and then start from the bottom and work up until your at the top and you have success!
I guess what comes to mind is the Burlington library. I admit I was against it from the beginning but who ever had the vision in the beginning was very wise, because when I see it coming from the Illinois side it makes me proud to live in Burlington. And to the library board and all of the people who supported it, I’m sorry I did not see the vision or I would have supported it.
AND now the Fun City Casino, Recplex, Spirit Hollow, Burlington Bees, Hopefully the highway 34 & 61 project. Yes, there has always been great vision in Burlington and a few problems, but they always seem to work out for the better for the city. So what I say is now is the time to invest BIG in Burlington!
What Did They Know & When Did They Know It?
Do you think the Burlington City Council knew about the casino plans before the advertiser leaked the story to the public?
Just check the planning department records to see when the plans were first presented. The Planning Commission voted last night to accept the plan. They had to have their agenda set before last Thursday.
On October 21 we posted a short note about the potential sale of Catfish Bend to a Burlington man.
On November 3 we posted comments made during a council candidate forum when speaking about economic development projects on the horizon, we all heard SL King say, “…. the possibility with keeping a riverboat in town 12 months of the year.” Several candidates including Michelob Mike, talked about the change in the law that allows boats to be landlocked. We raised the question then – boat or beached?
Over on the former SL King website, King told us about something “big” in the works. Of course we don’t know if this is what he was talking about since the theory of relativity plays an important role for him.
We had hard details in November and sat on the story. Regardless of my feelings about the casino expansion, it was not our position to announce a project like this if our announcement could impact the negotiations.
But did the Council know? I think it would be a very safe bet.
Need More Than A Casino
I'm getting tired of this Burlington tourist destination bull. While I think we all agree that there will be a little trickle down commerce from a casino, I don't expect too many "living wage" jobs from it.
All the tourism in the world won't bring good paying jobs to Burlington. Just more of the low paying jobs we allready have! How many people make a good living working at McDonalds or the Super 8?
Don't get me wrong; we're in S.E. Iowa. We'd better take anything we can get.
It's just that the tourism B.S. only makes the business OWNERS more money; not the working class!! We need GOOD paying jobs, not more "I'll be your server today" jobs!!
Just as we can't win the lawsuit, Burlington will NEVER be a tourist draw like some would have us believe. Sorry, the truth hurts sometimes!! Tourism IS NOT the answer!!
You say you'd like to order a whopper? Aren't you too drunk to be going through the drive thru?!
It seems the circular flow of dollars here might be a bit obtuse. If you take money from the locals through gambling revenues and distribute it first to the casino investors and then to the City as a tax/head count revenue stream, how long can the local market support 2 gambling boats? This panacea that gambling will be our saviour is crap.
We need to focus this community's economic development efforts on something other than service jobs. If we don't do something more tangible than betting on another casino, we all need to go to barber school so we can give each other haircuts for a $1.00.
That's all that will be left.
Two For One Money
While they are burying King's web site, they may as well throw in his political career.
Does Prugh's offer special rates on two fors?
Funeral Services Not Yet Announced
When are the funeral services being held for SL King's poor dead website? Just curious.
Funeral Services - TBA
Heland - In Context
What gives Heland the right to make those trailer or mobile home comments? I have friends that have a mobile home and they are super nice people.
The house we live in or the car we drive doesn't make us a better person. I am not impressed by a person that drives a Cadillac. Heland probably regrets making those comments.
Heland's shack isn't anything to brag about!
The only regret Heland has about making these statements is his inability to spin his remarks into context. You know we will hear that we took his comments out of context.
Me? I've heard enough.
Chuck H. Slagle Upset With Supervisors
According to this morning’s partial story in the advertiser, Chuck H. Slagle is upset with the County Supervisors for not negotiating a current County labor contract the way Chuck H. Slagle thinks it should be. Has Slagle been made King now that Sore Loser is gone?
Sources at City Hall say Slagle asked the Supervisors, prior to negotiations, if they were going to change their health care program and was told by the Supervisors they would change health insurance in two years.
Slagle claims this will impact the City’s insurance rate when he knows in reality that it won’t.
What’s wrong with this guy?
Councilmen Scott and Thomas endorse the County’s thinking. Ell suckled the Slagle mandate without any apparent free thinking. Campbell wants lower taxes for all. Edwards had no comment.
It’s amazing to me that the County is in very sound financial condition being run by Blow. And if rumors are true, taxes will be lowered this year.
Blow and Beck just renegotiated insurance coverage for their employees saving everyone money.
The City is being run by a so-called professional, is up to their butts in debt and, if rumors are true, taxes will jump this year to keep the status quo.
The City just negotiated City contracts and gave their employees additional pay raises to get the changes we’ve all read about.
So, if anyone should be upset it is the citizens of Burlington for Chuck H.(ole) Slagle’s mismanagement of the City.
Heland for Supervisor?
Fair & Business Like – Ed Blow, Not Heland!
Who in the local party of Ted Kennedy dreamed this up? Would the local party Chair and Chair Pro Blotto be responsible?
Blow has done a commendable job as Supervisor. Is Blow to be replaced because he has not been on the leading edge of establishing a workers' paradise in Des Moines County?
Blow has been fair and business like when transacting the County's business. The tough decisions Blow makes are based on what he perceives as best for all citizens of Des Moines County. Head crackers and finger flippers alone do not hold Blow's ear. Blow is the kind of elected official who impresses those who may wish to do business in Des Moines County.
Heland is not exactly Mayor Edwards. Heland has a better command of the English language. Heland retired his Roy Rogers wardrobe upon entering grammar school. Heland may know when to call a cab.
Ask yourself how Heland would have voted on the BNSF lawsuit at the time the decision to sue was made. Any answer Heland would give now is pure Monday morning quarterbacking. Is Heland capable of providing Hoschek with the adult supervision he so desperately needs? Can the County afford a Hoschek Heland majority on the Board?
Given that the Advertiser's objectivity on political parties rivals that of the old Daily Worker, it will be interesting to see whom they choose in this family feud.
If you love Edwards, you'll like Heland.
I would imagine that it is retaliation against Blow for not kissing Courtney and Edwards’ ass. I don’t think Blow sees much need to. Blow does the right thing and they don’t like that because they have yet to figure out what “right” is.
What has Courtney done since he has been in office? And with taxes headed down at the County level, what can Edwards show us at the city level except a tax increase?
BTW, Heland cannot supervise Hoschek. After Heland’s “white trash” remark, it’s apparent Heland cannot supervise Heland.
Think, Then Speak
I live in a Mobile Home not a trailer (pulled behind a car). I didn't like the comment Mr. Heland made about trailers and white trash!!
I work hard, pay taxes and live in a nice Mobile Home and am proud of it. Mr. Heland should think before he opens his mouth.
You are exactly right. All I can say from what I heard was KCPS’ Fred was hammering Heland hard. But not hard enough.
I think it is enough of a comment to just cross his name right off the candidate’s list. We don't need anyone in public office that utters words like this.
Heland Off With a Bang
Stumps Audience Wednesday With “Trailers” & White Trash”
During Tuesday’s Big Show on KCPS 1150 AM Fred asked supervisor candidate Jeff Heland if he had announced his candidacy anywhere else before announcing it to the Big Show audience. Heland said, “No, nowhere else, this is the first time I have announced.”
According to the caucus article in Wednesday’s advertiser, Heland had announced his candidacy Monday night at the Democratic caucus.
Which is it, Jeff? Did you announce Monday night? If so, did you forget that you had? Our readers would like to know.
Then during Wednesday’s Big Show on KCPS 1150 AM something went awry. I missed the actual comment but did catch the essence of Fred right smack dab in the middle of Heland’s face over a comment Heland made about “white trash” living in “trailers.”
This all doesn’t seem too good to me.
Railroad Stumps Spike – Railroad Lawsuit Headed To STB
Ante Up $500,000
I could write a lot about the railroad’s brief filed on Tuesday, but there is little need. It can be summed up in one paragraph found at the end of the brief.
“BNSF wishes to reiterate that it believes that as a matter of state law and clear federal law, summary judgment should be awarded in its favor now on the City’s claims. However, if the Court is not prepared to grant summary judgment, then as a matter of judicial economy and primary jurisdiction, it should refer the federal statutory preemption issues to the STB and hold the remainder of the case in abeyance pending the STB’s decision.”
The railroad makes its argument that if the judge will not render a Summary Judgment in favor of the railroad, the court should refer the case to the Surface Transportation Board for their expert rulings on the arguments that the City lawsuit has no basis. That is a very valid point. One of many that has merit.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you want to bring a case to the STB just fill out your check for $500,000. That’s what it costs to just get to the hearing. Then fire Power because he is not qualified to appear in that venue. You need real Washington lawyers competent in railroad commerce issues.
And we will still lose.
Not because the railroad is big, because the City has no case.
Selected Captions From Tuesday’s Railroad Brief
Even a layman can read the writing on these walls.
“BNSF has presented six different, independent state law reasons why the City’s claims for breach of contract and requests for equitable relief are legally without merit: (a) BNSF and its predecessors substantially complied as a matter of law with the 1858 and 1880 Agreements, (b) the City’s claims for equitable relief rely upon a “public trust” argument that has no legal relevance to this case, (c) the City cannot as a matter of law be allowed to unilaterally modify the 1858 Agreement or the 1985 Articles of Agreement to assess rent, (d) the 1985 Articles of Agreement supersede, terminate, and replace the 1858 and 1880 Agreements, (e) the City long ago waived any claims it might have had with respect to the 1858 and 1880 Agreements, and (f) the City’s claims have been barred many times over by the statute of limitations. There is no factual issue that requires resolution in order for the Court to rule on these issues.”
“The City has attempted to generate a factual issue as to the 1985 Articles of Agreement. Significantly, there is no dispute as to the express terms of the 1985 Articles of Agreement. The 3 Case 3:04-cv-80040-CRW-CFB Document 52 Filed 01/17/2006 Page 6 of 16 City has unsuccessfully attempted to generate a factual issue by submitting the Affidavit of Daniel Cahill, which essentially purports to state that the agreement does not mean what the agreement says.”
“This Court need only consider whether the City’s attempt to block the railroad’s consolidation of its shops has a nexus to the multiple, federally-approved mergers that created BNSF (for purposes of § 11321(a)); whether the City’s effort to require dictate to BNSF where it maintains its shops constitutes “regulation of rail carriers” (for purposes of § 10501(b)); and whether the City’s retaliation against BNSF for moving work to other cities or states, where the work can be performed more efficiently, unduly burdens or discriminates against interstate commerce (for purposes of the Commerce Clause).”
“Nor does the City come to grips with the fact that since the Supreme Court’s Train Dispatchers decision, the courts and the STB have made clear that § 11321(a) preemption is triggered whenever there is a “nexus” between the purposes of an ICC- or STB-approved merger and the subsequent railroad activities that are being subjected to adverse state or municipal law.”
“Finally, the City invokes its “public trust” argument to assert that Congress intended the City to be a “sovereign,” with the implied unlimited power to set whatever terms it wishes, whenever it wishes, for the use of the Accretions. City’s Resistance Br. at 33. As BNSF demonstrated in its Combined Brief, however, the “public trust” doctrine has nothing to do with this case, since the Accretions are not “submerged lands” and the City is no sovereign. The City’s continued fallback to this legally bankrupt “public trust” assertion only underscores its inability to support its position with relevant authority.”
Better Odds At The Kentucky Derby
I give Tim Scott some credit for asking for an update on the railroad lawsuit. I understand the City does not want to show their hand. Any public information that is already available is no secret.
We should hope that the billing from Power's office is not so high that our services will be cut at this budget session, or our property taxes raised, to pay for this nonsense.
The railroad has deep pockets and they will take this to a higher court. We do not have deep pockets and we will lose this case at some point. We may win the first battle but lose the war. We cannot afford to do that.
If we lose, all we have accomplished, is filling up the lawyers pockets with the citizens hard earned money. I think our chances would be better to purchase a pony and enter it into the Kentucky Derby.
And SL King; no, I am not Spike writing this, but I agree with him.
Just wait until you see the bill. I hope the council demands an itemization for his work. Anything less would be catastrophic. Just think, Power hasn't been paid in 9 months. How would you be able to question the billing. And that is just what Power is counting on.
Heland & Diewold Make Move For Supervisor Seat
They’ve Been Beat Before And Will Be Soundly Beat Again
On KCPS’s Big Show 1150 AM Tuesday Former councilman Jeff Heland announced he will try to unseat sitting Des Moines County Supervisor Chairman Ed Blow. Heland filled our ears for 45 minutes of chest beating pomposity.
When Fred asked Heland whether he could beat Blow at arm wrestling, Heland said he wasn’t sure who would win.
I’ll take that a step further. I think Heland should challenge Blow to an arm wrestling match instead of the taxpayers having to pay for the extra ink on the ballot. Best 2-out-of-3, winner-take-all. That makes more sense than listening to Heland’s crap for the next 5 months.
Fred forgot to ask his favorite question – "If you were in Western Iowa (or Des Moines) would anybody know who you are?" Not only do they know who Ed Blow is, they respect him.
No need to talk about Diewold. He isn’t going anywhere. And no one should let him think he is. And neither is Heland.
Blow has built a countywide power base that Courtney, Edwards, Heland and Diewold are not even aware of, let alone blow over.
Gibberish Is Still $5000 Day For Power
Lawsuit Legal Bills Mount In Redundant Filings
I have never read a legal filing with word definitions included in written arguments. In reading the City’s filings we should feel very uncomfortable that our drill team has to include Black’s Law Dictionary word definitions in its filings. Apparently, Federal Judges missed English class.
The problem goes deeper. Scott Power doesn’t know the difference between principal machine shops and principal locomotive machine shops.
Power uses the phrases interchangeably and can’t distinguish the difference between the two even though the railroad has explained it to him several times. And the terms are not interchangeable.
All of the agreements executed by the city and railroad use the term principal machine shops. Nowhere in any agreement is the term principal locomotive machine shops used.
All of the shop facilities the railroad described in detail in prior filings were machine shops, not locomotive machine shops.
You can’t work on any railroad equipment without machine shops. The railroad had many machine shops. The railroad had few locomotive machine shops.
The Havelock Shop facility in Nebraska was a huge facility in the early to mid-1900’s dwarfing the West Burlington shops in size, workers and budget. Havelock worked on locomotives and thousands of freight cars.
The railroad owns far more freight cars and equipment than it does locomotives. Something the City’s unknowing lawyers can’t seem to grasp even though they have been told many times.
The railroad clearly explained this in prior court filings. It makes you wonder if Power and his crew read the railroad filings and then did any real research on railroad history.
Power claims the railroad’s principal machine shop was located in Burlington until 2003. That is not true and anyone familiar with CB&Q railroad history would know that. I'm sure the railroad's expert witness knows it.
It makes you wonder how a part-time employee of the city could get something so wrong and get away with it writing gibberish for $115 an hour.
Fools Rushed In
It is a tragic statement of this community to let Scott Power pervert the system of checks and balances, accountability and then flaunt it in the faces of the citizens by withholding his bills for nine months.
In April, it will be one year since Power’s legal fees were paid. The advertiser, supposed watchdog of this community, let Power pull their beer hats down over their collective heads and just do whatever the hell Power wants with their tacit approval.
And the city council just let it happen based on assertions backed with little or no fact.
Secrecy surrounding the expert witness lists will not make any difference in this case. How can it when there is no strategy, no basis, misread case law and the preponderance of the evidence tips the scale to the railroad.?
You mark my words; the people in this town are going to throw up when they hear the bill Power has rung up. Rung up without any accountability from the city council that doesn’t have a clue what he is doing to this City.
Part Time City Attorney No Match For The Crusher
Bouncing Body Slam Coming
Power believes the city is the sovereign successor to the United States when in fact the State was the sovereign successor when Iowa became a state. So the battle is on.
The railroad will be pouring forth its all against the county seat will-writer and his socialist patrons. The railroad cannot afford to lose and the railroad will pay all the way to the Supreme Court and beyond.
Is the City of Burlington prepared to pay all the way? Will Mayor Edwards be in the gallery wearing his Porter Wagoner get up as Powers is made into mince meat by the black-robed Gods of American law?
How blind these provincials be, not to see the sleeping giants they have stirred. Burlington taxpayers better be prepared to pay for such folly.
After reading the City’s filings two things are going to happen. The dog is going to bite and it is going hurt like hell.
Did you know this? When spacecraft visit other planets, why can't they take color photos?
In order to send pictures back, they are typically digital images transmitted by radio waves. It is my understanding that digital black&white cameras consume less power, are simpler, more reliable, and higher resolution than digital color cameras.
Instead of having two visible-light cameras on a mission, they send one good b&w and a series of filters that can be used to take three filtered pictures and assemble the three component colors back here on earth to create the true-color image. So, in a very real sense, they do take "color photos," they just do it one color at a time. For many space related tasks and research, knowing the colors is not a very important thing - but they are good for impressing the public.
Also, keep in mind that the pictures that we are getting today are coming from spacecraft that may have been launched 25 to 30 years ago or more. It's easy to sit here in the 21st century and think that it shouldn't be that much trouble to send out a 2.1 megapixel digital camera with 2 AA batteries and make the spacecraft send back 50 or more photos. But in the late 60's and early 70's you would be hard pressed to make an unmanned space craft send back some sort of communication let alone a high res color photo. Check out the links in our Astronomy
category for more.
Thanks for sending that information along. Lots of great astronomy links on that page.
What's Left 10?
Two monkeys walk into a bar and order a drink. The first monkey says, "What's left when we lose the railroad lawsuit?
Second monkey says, "I don't know, what?
First monkey, "Scott Power still gets paid."
Today Is Filing Deadline For Railroad Lawsuit Summary Judgment
All filings are due today so the trial Judge can consider the various motions for Summary Judgment in the railroad lawsuit. As mentioned last week there are just a few possibilities that could occur.
1. If the judge has good law clerks and they are up to speed on the issues raised by the railroad and he grants the railroad's motion, we’re screwed.
2. If the railroad raises the issue of the city paying the railroad’s legal fees and the Judge agrees, we’re screwed.
3. If the Judge is busy and gets upset with the City’s bringing these claims, we’re screwed.
4. If the Judge needs something to do and this case appeals to him and wants to have a trial, we’re screwed.
5. If we have a trial and the railroad somehow loses, we’re screwed.
6. If the railroad loses, it will appeal and we’re screwed.
7. If the railroad loses the appeal it will transfer the case to the Surface Transportation Board under the commerce law. We’re really screwed.
So, no matter how this boondoggle lawsuit pans out, we’re screwed. We’re screwed because the taxpayers have to pay for it and we can’t afford it. Something no one seems to understand.
So how do we we win?
City Financial Statement Problems?
I downloaded the Burlington 2004 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
and have some concerns about it. Apparently, there were some non-compliance and omissions in it without any real explanation from the City staff.
1. The RecPlex had a net operating loss including depreciation of $181,227. Flint Hills Golf Course had a net operating loss including depreciation of $113,035. I think it is time to do a real cost benefit analysis to see what collateral revenues are generated from these facilities and how a plan could be implemented to increase revenues other than Slagle and Ell playing golf everyday.
2. A glaring omission in this report can be found on page 75 – 76 regarding section XVI. COMMITTMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES.
Under this section you would find mention of claims and lawsuits against the City and any lawsuits that might impact the City’s financial position. The railroad lawsuit is conspicuously absent.
What is found is this statement. “The City is a defendant in several claims and lawsuits. In the opinion of the City Attorney and management, the resolution of these matters will not have a material effect on the financial statements of the City.”
How could the “City Attorney and management” decide that a lawsuit with a huge corporation had such minimal risk that it would not materially change or affect the City’s financial position nor have an impact on the City’s financial statement?
2. According to PART III: Findings and Questioned Costs For Federal Awards on page 111, item III-A-04 Reporting.
Apparently, the City has failed to file the required Environmental Protection Report Form 269A, which must be filed annually, for 3 years. The report was last filed in 2001.
If these reports are not filed it can be the basis for any grant funding to be pulled. All the City said they would so is contact the EPA.
3. In section IV-G-04 Council Minutes, page 112 it was suggested the City take the steps necessary to publish the council minutes within the 2 week period as required by Iowa Code 372.13(6).
Looks like the City has a similar position to closed session meetings and does what it wants. The City takes the position the minutes are not official until approved and that normally takes place 2 weeks after the meeting occurs.
It would be interesting to see what the other cities in Iowa do to comply with the law. I can’t believe everyone in Iowa can’t handle this requirement or why we do our own thing.
Maybe the City should publish the council minutes on their website and save the costs of running those legal notices in the paper. Or, maybe run the legal notices in Shoppers Spree. After all, they hit every porch in town.
King Climbing Flag Pole
Why does King write emails every time he is taken down for being such an ass?
He complains to everybody, the campaign board about the Chamber of Commerce and Spike causing his last place election loss, campaign rules and now he writes careerbuilders.com about advertising their website on yours?
What’s the matter with this paranoid twit? Doesn’t he realize that he would burn bridges slower with matches and gas?
Only consider the source. King doesn’t appear to ever accept responsibility for his actions, places blame on others and sees nothing wrong with his erratic behavior. It’s amazing that after his loss so many people want to share their stories of King’s proclivity for strange behavior.
About leaving town? He’ll run out of jobs. His bosses probably read this website and sooner or later, they will have their fill.
Jerry Lewis said, “ The higher you climb the flag pole the more ass you show.”
What's Left 9?
Two monkeys walk into a bar and order a drink. The first monkey says, "What numbers less than 10?
Second monkey says, "I don't know, what?
First monkey, "The remaining number of Chris King supporters
Sticks & Stones Readers Escape Him
It cracks me up that S.L. King claims to get gigantic boatloads of e-mails from all his "readers", yet I see hardly ANY responses to his so-called articles on his dying website.
His loyal and vast community of "readers" are calling for your head Spike! Are you trembling yet?
I guess I should be trembling since in one day I was named the plagiaristic Duke of Hell by the Paint Ball Wizard King.
If you read the emails for writing style it seems there may be fewer readers over there than one may want you to believe.
I was listening to the Country station Saturday morning. Former councilman King was attempting to fill in for KC.
He sounds like a big dumb kid. He was telling his listeners that he would be out at Jokers Paintball on Sunday. He was all excited.
King said the owner of the paintball place told King to announce to his listeners that if they come they can get some sort of discount. Is King giving them free advertisement so he can play free?
He was plugging the paintball business really good. Others are paying for that kind advertisement!
Self serving advertising? That should please the radio station owner. About like the ice cream man handing out samples all day.
Hawk Eye Speaks On Abuse of Power - Yet Condones It
Check out the Advertiser's editorial page for Jan. 14th.
"What counts Two traffic law violations show who has the power also has the upper hand
." The Hawkeye is upset. Injustice is rife.
It seems Beefcake in Chief Arnold had no motor cycle endorsement on his license. Governor Schwarzebegger of California was not ticketed after a motorcycle wreck. A seven year old Tennessee boy was ticketed for leading police on low speed chase.
Both injustices the Hawkeye editorial stumbled upon, happened within the last week.
All the little Jimmy Olsons along the rail yard had to do was read the press service wire, nowadays computer, to discover this abuse of power. It is a different story if they must actually get of their collective ass and do local investigative work.
What about Burlington's drunk Mayor? He has power.
It was nearly 3 weeks before the citizens of Metropolis were informed by the Advertiser of their drunk Mayor's election eve antics.
Once the outrage was registered, Charles Foster Kane on S. Main, a.k.a. Delaney, pronounced the Mayor was still pure. Mayor Edwards was treated no different than any other of the ever decreasing denizens of Burlington. Citizen Kane believes the people will believe whatever he tells them.
Injustice predicated upon power and privilege is terrible in Tennessee and California. When it happens in Burlington, it never really happened. So sayeth the Hawkeye.
Sorry Charlie, technology has brought alternative sources of information to town.
Even if he did not write the Jan. 14th editorial, Editor Publisher De Laney is still responsible for the content. The hypocrisy at the Hawkeye is becoming deafening.
For those of you at Harris Enterprises
reading this in Kansas, send the Hawkeye a boss who knows what they should be doing. Say hello to Dorothy and Toto.
I guess I might have to lighten up on Allison and Miller since their leader condones abuse of power, laziness and apathy while telling us how to think about their endorsed candidate and everything else. Any good Jimmy Olson would have been all over the Edwards story regardless of the effort to stifle the story.
As I have said before, it is all about the money. The news is only the teaser to get us to the ads.
Imagine what kind of story will they run when Edwards repeat offends?
What's Left 8?
Two monkeys walk into a bar and order a drink. The first monkey says, "With Chris King locked out of City Hall what do you have left?
Second monkey says, "I don't know, what?
First monkey, "A chance for the City."
No laugh track again today.
King Wants Spike’s Hide
King At Peak of Reckless Frustration
Sore Loser King, still bright red from the spanking he received from a dismal last place finish in the local city council election, wants to duke it out with Spike in a courtroom.
I’m not going to waste much more time with this. This, hopefully, will be one of our last posts regarding lawsuits from the mouth that roared.
Our readers can email us anything they want to. When we republish that material we have no culpability for their writings, feelings or opinions beyond reasonableness. The referenced email was from one of KING'S regular readers, hot shot. People are totally pissed with your dumb ass behavior. Don’t you remember your last place finish in the council election?
When you find your first $5,000, go get a lot more because you’re going to need it to litigate against BurlingtonDerailed.com in federal court. That’s where this fight will go.
A person contemplating litigation of this type will need to answer questions from their attorney before any reputable attorney will even file a case like this. This goes to the basis of the claim.
Some of the questions the attorney will ask:
1. Is anything that has been written about you true? Can you prove it is false? What is your proof? Show it to me.
2. Can you prove that your purported reputation has been damaged if the statements made by BurlingtonDerailed.com are false? Have you ever lied and been caught publicly? What is the damage you think you have incurred?
3. Can you prove intent? Do you think the questionable statements are subject to 1st Amendment Freedom Of Speech?
4. Are you prepared to bare your personal life to the most intense scrutiny ever when you are deposed in written and verbal discovery? Keep in mind the discovery process in civil litigation is a shotgun approach to every indiscretion you have ever made. You are claiming damage to your personal reputation so your personal life is fair game.
5. If your accusations are proven wrong can you sustain a counterclaim by the defendant for a frivolous lawsuit? Can you pay damages to the party that allegedly maligned you?
6. Who are you going to sue? Can you prove who Spike is? Is Spike more than one person?
You can sue anyone for anything. The truth is one of several defenses in a defamation case. And the proof needed to bring a wrongful defamation claim against the plaintiff and win.
You should go get a bigger mirror to look at yourself. And throw away that Funhouse mirror that over-inflates the size of your head.
When the dust settles in this saga, we’ll see whose words are still standing. I’ll bet on me. So knock this lawsuit talk off.
Your reckless desperation only diminishes your shrinking reputation. It doesn’t intimidate me and it sure as hell doesn’t scare me. I’ve scraped bottom feeding trough monkeys from the gutters before.
And I’m in the process of doing it again. And I’m not done.
Jay Leno said something last night to the effect if people aren't pissed off, you aren't doing your job. Apparently, we are.
King Maligns Spike
Spike Now Accused of Plagiarism
King's Reckless Desperation Mounting
Over on the almost-dead and gasping King website “apparently” one of his three readers accused Spike of plagiarism. Those guys should go look for a 4th and play monopoly.
I will direct everyone to the NASA website for the exact word-for-word reproduction of our posting Friday regarding the Spitzer Space Telescope. It was a simple cut and paste from the NASA website. Click Here
or go to this link:
Then for those of you that care you can go to this link to read NASA’s Image Use Policy. Click Here
or go to this link:
So another breaking news story created by Sore Loser King has hit the crapper. I wonder if he has the same trouble getting the facts right over at Pritchard using his research sidekick Keith.
I really wonder if he knows what a news story actually is. Or, how desperate he looks to the average citizen with his reckless accusations purportedly from a "reader."
King Claims Spike Is Ashtaroth
According to the Sore Loser King’s head research authority Richard Johnson, King’s reference to Spike and Ashtaroth as one-in-the-same, is in question. Johnson quoted from wikipedia.com (that stellar research authority) regarding Ashtaroth:
“To some demonologists of the 16th century, August is the month during which this demon's attacks against humans are stronger.”
I guess someone knocking down houses of cards laden with deceit could be perceived by the wrongdoers as the Grand Duke Of Hell.
But wasn’t August the month King opened his reelection campaign website?
What the hell do these clowns smoke over there? Seems like their eggs are frying.
What's Left 7?
Two monkeys walk into a bar and order a drink. The first monkey says, "If you fire Bruce Slagle what do you have left?
Second monkey says, "I don't know, what?
First monkey, " accountability
The Spitzer Space Telescope
is a space-borne, cryogenically-cooled infrared observatory capable of studying objects ranging from our Solar System to the distant reaches of the Universe. Spitzer is the final element in NASA's Great Observatories Program, and an important scientific and technical cornerstone of the Astronomical Search for Origins Program. Spitzer was launched on August 25, 2003
This "tornado," designated Herbig-Haro 49/50, is shaped by a cosmic jet packing a powerful punch as it plows through clouds of interstellar gas and dust.
The tornado-like feature is actually a shock front created by a jet of material flowing downward through the field of view. A still-forming star located off the upper edge of the image generates this outflow. The jet slams into neighboring dust clouds at a speed of more than 100 miles per second, heating the dust to incandescence and causing it to glow with infrared light detectable by Spitzer. The triangular shape results from the wake created by the jet's motion, similar to the wake behind a speeding boat.
The scientists could only speculate about the source of the spiral appearance. Magnetic fields throughout the region might have shaped the object. Alternatively, the shock might have developed instabilities as it plowed into surrounding material, creating eddies that give the "tornado" its distinctive appearance.
Astronomers believe that the blue color at the tornado's tip results from high molecular excitation at the head of the shock. Those high excitation levels generate more short-wavelength emission, shown as blue in this color-coded image. Molecular excitation levels decrease away from the head of the bow shock; therefore the emission is at longer wavelengths, colored red here.
The star at the tip of the tornado, which appears to be surrounded by a faint halo, might be a chance superposition along our line of sight. However, the star instead might be physically associated with the tornado. In that case, the halo likely is due to the outflow running into circumstellar material.
HH 49/50 is located in the Chamaeleon I star-forming complex, a region containing more than 100 young stars. Most of the new stars are smaller than the sun, although some are more massive. Visible-light observations have found a number of outflows in the region, however most of those outflows have no infrared counterpart.
Preparations For Discovery's Return Trip to Kennedy Space Center
Looking around at the NASA Site I found a Quicktime movie of the preparations to return Discovery to the Kennedy Space Center from California.
Choose the movie in parts 1 through 6
or click here
for the complete QuickTime movie
NASA's modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft with the Space Shuttle Discovery on top lifts off from Edwards Air Force Base to begin its ferry flight back to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The cross-country journey will take two days, with stops at several intermediate points for refueling. (NASA photo by Carla Thomas)
Tuthill Murray Plant Future In Question?
According to multiple reports (1
) published in a Wellsville, New York newspaper and elsewhere, Dresser-Rand, the new owners of the Tuthill Murray plant located in Burlington may be in trouble.
Dresser-Rand just purchased Murray last year from Tuthill. Dresser-Rand has a large plant in Wellsville that makes similar products to those made in Burlington. Dresser has asked the union representing the workers to enter contract negotiations 8 months early.
Wall Street reports indicate Dresser is reviewing its world wide manufacturing capacity. Review of capacity usually means plant closings.
I hope that since the Southeast Iowa Economic Development Consortium just hired Angelou Economics
to whip up a business plan for Southeast Iowa that we could entice them to assist in retaining this Burlington landmark company. We need their kind of horsepower and expertise.
What's Left 6?
Two monkeys walk into a bar and order a drink. The first monkey says, "I got fired today for computer abuse at work?
Second monkey says, "What’s computer abuse?
First monkey, "The Boss finding porn on my work computer."
No laugh track today.
What's Left 5?
Two monkeys walk into a bar and order a drink. The first monkey says, "If you fire Bruce Slagle what do you have left?
Second monkey says, "I don't know, what?
First monkey, " A threesome
For more monkey mayhem see careerbuilders.com
Edwards’ Burger King Story
Did Newspaper Sit On Story? Did Spike Sit On Story?
What’s the deal, Spike? After reading the story today about Edwards it looks like the newspaper hid the story until after the election. I know the Hawk Eye doesn’t tell us everything, but do you think they would hide his story from the voters until after the election?
Since you broke the story about the same time, did you hold the story?
I don't like stories like this that deal with serious allegations, possible cover up and supposed city involvement for a lot of reasons. We don’t have the resources to go demand the video, audio and cell phone records at the police department like any citizen can.
ANYONE can demand this information. It is not privileged information; it’s public record. The advertiser is too cheap (or lazy) to go get this info and research the corroborating data. Something Edwards should have welcomed if there wasn't anything to hide.
I think the advertiser heard about the BK story about the same time we did. There was a swirl of information and emails.
I doubt if the advertiser would sit on the story and let the election go down. I think Delaney would pay his writer that broke the story a $10 bonus to have the story election day. Plus, they don't work hard enough at the advertiser to get a story like this when it happens.
Even though Miller did get involved in the Ann Pederson issue in Lee County awhile back, I think he would run the story on election day. What is troubling is that they held the story until Thanksgiving Day and then did such a lame follow up to it. And then Grand Potentate Delaney’s wimpy, “ I’ve seen enough” is suspect. And the lack of any real hard editorial line is suspect.
We sat on the story until we got more information. Then we waited. It was one time I was happy to let them be the bad guy and suit up on Thanksgiving Day.
Sore Loser King Just Can’t Leave Spike Alone
New Amendment To 1934 Communications Act Doesn’t Affect Spike
All I can say about King’s latest motor mouth nonsense is I do know more about the law, communications and marketing. In fact, I even know where to find spell check on both my computer and his.
Only King would think the new amendment somehow affects Spike. King’s twisted, subjective and irresponsible rhetoric coupled with his new mantra of renewed self-importance has once again reared its ugly head.
Just for the record King, is the railroad lawsuit about jobs or money? Which is it? You’ve told us so many things that were less than truthful it’s so hard to tell when you’re not lying to us.
And could you explain your twisted, subjective and irresponsible rhetoric regarding the new credit card laws that you so incorrectly expounded upon last week?
Get your act together. Despite your high level of self-flatulence, you’re giving blogs a bad name for accuracy. And as for common sense, you don’t seem to have much or you wouldn’t continually pick on Spike.
It was surprising to see the Mayor accept the Mayor position again. He has had a few past drunk driving arrests. He said the last time he wouldn't do that again.
Everybody knows he got a huge break by not having to take a sobriety test. Edwards jumped on the choice to call his wife.
Let's say he did sober up after sleeping in his car. He admitted going from bar to bar drinking all night and that he made a mistake and stayed out too long. I believe that we have several good police officers that don't believe all of this either. He had to drive to the BK parking lot. He had no respect for the law. If BK was closed, why didn't he just drive home if he was sober?
He does not belong representing this community as the Mayor and he certainly does not belong on the Vision Iowa Board with his past drinking problems. He is not qualified in the first place. This is arrogance on his part.
I was disappointed in Bill Ell with the reasons he gave to vote for Edwards as Mayor. The community needed a change and this was throwing the BK incident right in the citizens' face.
I think he would have lost in the election had the citizens known about the BK incident before the election. That we will never know, but you certainly do not reward him with the Mayor of Burlington position.
Edwards stop drinking? Not by a long shot. Edwards told us again last week he wouldn't do it again. He even told us the railroad lawsuit was about jobs. Don't believe it.
We're not good citizens, we're enablers.
Edwards will be in the right chair when the railroad lawsuit drops in is lap. It was Courtney and Edwards' idea. They will have to live with the repercussions.
What's Left 4?
Two monkeys walk into a bar and the first monkey says, "You know I have a gun permit??
Second monkey says, "Where is it?
First monkey, " I think I left it at Burger King
For more monkey mayhem see careerbuilders.com
for their whole series of TV ads.
I was reading an article a few weeks ago about citizens and firearms and safety involving firearms. The article suggested that individuals with either an alcohol or drug problems should not have access or carry guns. Families should be aware of this for fear and concern that the person could harm themselves or others. That sounds like common sense and wise advice.
Are we safe going into our own City Hall? They should be careful who they give gun permits to. The public deserves to be safe too.
We're going to be safe as long as we demand the Sheriff take Edwards' and King's gun permits from them.
Edwards And His Demons
What were Mike Campbell and Bill Ell smoking when they voted to retain the alcoholic Mike Edwards as Burlington mayor.
Edwards should have been run out of the city council chambers by his peers last year when he made the decision that being a "labor thug" for his union and making obscene hand gestures to workers legitimately employed in Burlington was more important than providing the leadership and intellectual capacity to be the leader of our community. I, for one, was disgusted with Mayor Edwards behavior during this episode.
It's sad and pathetic that "Burlingtons finest" decided that when drunkard Mike Edwards, passed out in the Burger King parking lot for several hours, should be allowed to go home without taking a breath test. Even worse than that was the behavior of the police chief and city manager who both helped to cover-up and hide the details of Mayor Edwards drunken binge for several days until the city council election was over.
It's pretty obvious that some of the hacks who are on the staff at the Hawk Eye (City Editor Randy Miller comes to mind) knew about the Mayor's incident at Burger King and yet they chose not to publish anything or even seriously pursue the story until the election was conducted and the votes were counted.
I imagine that City Editor Miller, who has publicly taken sides in various political debates and squabbles, was an Edwards backer and helped to squash the story at the paper until after the election.
One side note about Mayor Edwards. I know his daughter, who lived in a broken home when her parents split up when she was very young. Several years ago, she told me about the heartbreaking relationship she has with her father.
She told me that on countless ocassions when she was growing up, she would be waiting for her father to pick her up for scheduled visitations and she was excited about the prospect of spending time with him. But her excitement turned to sadness and neglect when "Mayor Mike" would fail to show up to pick her up as scheduled...because she said he was out drinking and doing illicit drugs with his friends or co-workers.
She said that this behavior by our mayor happened numerous times over a number of years. This young lady had NOTHING positive to tell me about her relationship with her father. Very sad indeed!
Thanks Spike for this informative and useful website!
Blame and Blurred Vision at Vision Iowa
Vision Iowa is a perfect example of what happens when politicians get a hold of too much of other people's money. This scam has the Governor's finger prints all over it. Check Senator Courntey's voting record.
Return it? Hell no. Too much is never enough when it comes to taxation. Besides, the taxpayers are too stupid to decide for themselves how the fruits of their labor should be used. Set up a board of your buddies to pass the pork and tell those from whom it was confiscated you are giving them a present. Put the Mayor of Burlington on the Board.
When the taxpayers slowly wise up and ask embarrassing questions run for cover. Shift the blame. Lie if cornered.
Remember the executive trial balloon to let anybody in the world wonder into Iowa with no questions asked to replace those fleeing stagnation and excessive taxation? After this breach of national security to develop Iowa went down in flames with the World Trade Center, the Governor ran from the plan.
The Governor and other elected officials have been taking heat about Vision Iowa. Building amusement parks next to casinos and other diversions with other people's money under the guise of development is being called into question.
When berated about Vision Iowa there is no longer any need to squirm, pervert logic, or just plain lie. Thanks to the Mayor Burlington, those accused of perpetuating waste may with credibility say that decisions of the Vision Iowa Board may have been influenced by impaired judgment. It is an excuse waiting to happen.
When you run with the big dogs at the back of the pack, you best not drown your wits. If you do, you are liable to take a disproportionate share of blame for a collective mess.
The Mayor of Burlington's idiotic antics could well make him a useful idiot for others who share his philosophy that government alone knows best.
Hate To Disappoint
King boy's website says Spike is headed for trouble "annoying" him. You're going to have to unmask according to his reader.
King needs better research as always. The newly enacted law that revises the telecommunications act has nothing to do with blogs. And see no reason to ever send him an email. He knows nothing I could ever need to know.
I will admit, it is nice and quiet without his nonsense everyday. And it confirms everyone's suspicions that his website was nothing more than a feeble tool for reelection.
What's Left 3?
Two monkeys walk into a bar and order a drink. The first monkey says, "I think I lost my keys."
Second monkey says, "When did you lose them?"
First monkey, " About 7 months ago
For more monkey mayhem see careerbuilders.com
for their whole series of TV ads.
Backbone Men, We Need Backbone!
Low Pay, Poor Working Conditions, Rewards Slim
All during the election, Mr. Scott and Mr. Thomas wouldn't comment on the suit with the railroad for lack of information. They now should be "privy" to this information and I'm wondering if either will come forward with an opinion now, or will they buckle to the knees of Powerless Powers and Finagle 'em Slagle and go along obediently?
We need a leader, not a load of followers!!! I challenge these men to stand up and make a difference. C'mon, shock us! You can either sit around like the last council, or you can do something about it!!
I'd title it, but I like your titles better! Go Spike!!
I can hear the arguments from Power, "We have a good case...we're almost ready for trial....I have the same law license........you can't fire me, I'm not done hosing the City yet."
The outcome we should fear is the railroad's lawyers don't show up in court or the judge has a meltdown and somehow the City wins the case. If you think this has been expensive, just wait until this goes to appellate court and the Surface Transportation Board.
Power is not a good enough lawyer to try this case, let alone defend an appeal or appear before the STB. Both of these efforts will cost $750,000 if you expect to win.
After all of that commotion it will come down to the railroad making a claim to the STB that the City has interferred in the railroad conducting business and this thing will be gone in a blink. In reality, the city has interferred with the railroad conducting business. This isn't like a City bus has broken down and somebody has to give people a ride home.
As much as the talking heads, Edwards, Courtney, Power, Slagle, Ell and Sore Loser King want you to believe they are going to "teach" the railroad a lesson, they aren't. They're all hat and no cattle!!
This railroad was fighting desperados like this Edwards Gang over 100 years ago and hanging 'em from the nearest tree.
After reading these last filings, the railroad has the tree picked out.
Consortium Hires Heavy Hitter At Spike’s Suggestion
Apparently the Southeast Iowa Regional Economic Development Consortium aka as the Let’s Do Lunch and Not Much More
has taken Spike’s advice. In one of my missives regarding economic development, I explained the importance of hiring and partnering with a marketing/consulting firm that has the business contacts to assist in economic development.
I guess they listened. The Consortium hired Angelou Economics
of Austin, Texas to be its consultant to help develop a regional economic recovery/marketing plan for Southeast Iowa.
The CEO of Angelou is Angelos Angelou and credited with making Austin, Texas a world-class high tech manufacturing center. The firm has an impressive pedigree of clients
and identifies itself as the largest independent economic development firm in the U.S. specializing in “creating strategies for communities seeking high impact investment and targeted, managed growth solutions.”
The Angelou group will prepare a report due June 30. Funding will come from grants the Consortium has obtained.
The taxpayers have already paid for two reports, one of which is still due. LG Consulting did a report but only Bruce Slagle has a draft copy and he didn’t pay for it! In that report, The Hawk Eye was mentioned by everyone as a leading detrimental factor in economic development. It will be interesting to see if the new guys feel differently.
This is a really big deal even though Angelou specializes in high tech. Their contacts should be extremely benefical to any plan they develop.
This is the first positive step the Consortium has taken in over a year.
Now comes the hard part. Implementing the plan with the provincial thinkers here in Southeast Iowa.
Evolution or Creation?
If you believe in evolution, even if just to the point our small toes are getting smaller and less hairy, and the way things are going so far in the New Year here in Burlington, I would expect by Summer we will all be crawling back in the river as fish. Maybe in time for Steamboat Days. At least the water should be warm.
BNSF Lawsuit Needs To End
Mike's No Pull - It's Just Bull!
Time For Honest Lawsuit Assessment With Outside Council
$5000 Spent Is $100,000 Saved!!!
If our city council was not aware of the 1985 agreement, and along with other recklessness within this BNSF lawsuit, our city attorney and the city manager should be replaced.
They are spending our money. They get their money from our citizens and they are dragging the whole community into this lawsuit.
Citizens need their money for their own bills and cannot afford this foolishness. That's what it is, foolishness.
Would they spend their own money this foolishly? It will only take three council votes to remove these people. Ell and Edwards are too good of friends with Slagle/Power to make the right decisions.
If our Mayor has so much influence with the Governor, where was the Governor when all the politicians met to try and save the jobs at BNSF? He wasn't there was he? It was not a priority for the Governor and the Mayor had no "PULL" - just bull!
By the time he got involved, Topeka was way out in front in this race. I guess the Mayor doesn't have quite as much influence as he wants everybody to believe. Edwards is baggage for Vilsack and a total embarrassment to Burlington. And that's the truth.
Edwards is unwanted baggage for the Governor. And any other Democratic candidate for Governor. Who wants to wade into this mess of snakes dressed in their short pants?
Edwards is not smart enough to know when this city is being screwed. Edwards is deploying desperation litigation with hack lawyers. Spend $5,000 to get an impartial, outside opinion. It will save us $100,000 in the long run.
Mike's No Pull - It's Just Bull!
What's Left 2?
Due to popular demand
we continue in the new series, What's Left.
Two monkeys walk into a bar and order a drink. The first monkey says, "If you fire Scott Power what do you have left?
Second monkey says, "I don't know, what?
First monkey, " A lawsuit we can win against the railroad
"The City’s Argument Is Circular"
Stop The Scott Power Retirement Fund
Railroad Lawsuit Filings Thursday Cast Gloom On Outcome
The Bleeding May Stop At Today's Hearing
During Thursday’s Big Show on KCPS 1150 AM Fred asked Councilman Campbell where the City was going to get the $80,000 next year budget shortfall (deficit and this is just the tip of the iceberg). Campbell didn’t know.
I have the solution. Stop the City's runaway law firm of Dewey, Screwem and Howe before the citizens of this community are bankrupt over the railroad lawsuit.
I skimmed the railroad and City’s filings. We are screwed. We are so screwed! I see a $250,000 railroad legal bill that is about to be dumped in the city's lap.
If the City was a private company trying to maintain a budget, everyone would be fired that endorsed it and the company would be teetering on bankruptcy.
If I had lawyers like Power and his group, their ass would have been sued by now. If the City pays Powers bills its because Slagle and the council don’t know any better!!!!!
You want to know why I’m pissed, here are some of the highlights from the railroad’s filings.
Power cited references that "do not support the statements in whole or in part" 5 times.
Power selectively misquoted the 1858 Agreement. In 6 instances the railroad claimed that to understand the spirit of the agreement the 1858 Agreement must be read in its entirety. Power just uses his fact eraser.
The railroad cited these items in their argument:
29 court cases referenced
6 rules from the Iowa code
references from the “Bible” of Public Trust Doctrine - Origins of the Public Trust Doctrine: What Really Happened in Illinois Central? Maybe the council could get Power a copy at www.Half.com to use.
The railroad goes on:
“when a government enters a contract, it binds itself just like a private party. A government’s “promise . . ., with a reserved right to deny or change the effect of the promise, is an absurdity.” Murray v. Charleston, 96 U.S. 432, 445 (1877). Nevertheless, the City essentially claims that its contractual bond to BNSF was really nothing more than this sort of fake promise. It is now demanding rent from BNSF, even though the long-standing contract between the City and BNSF contains no provision for rent, and even though the railroad has upheld its side of the contract.”
“To support its extraordinary position, the City of Burlington tangles together two entirely separate legal precepts.”
“And whatever illusion the City has of the “public trust” doctrine, it simply does not apply. For starters, the United States Supreme Court and the Iowa Supreme Court have both expressly stated that only sovereign states can invoke it. The City has ignored this crucial requirement—in two places it hopefully places the word “city” in brackets after the word “state” when quoting from a United States Supreme Court decision, as if they meant the same thing.”
“Unless the City has recently seceded from Iowa to form the 51st “state [city],” it has no authority to invoke the public trust doctrine. As final proof that the City’s argument is nonsense, it is worth asking, if “the City . . . always retains the right to control and condition the use of the accretions” (City’s Brief at 10, emphasis added) and “has never given up its absolute right to control the property” (City’s Brief at 11, emphasis added), why does it matter whether or not the railroad has breached the contract, as the City claims? If the City really has “always” kept “absolute” power over the Accretions, the contract would be irrelevant. The City could have demanded rent from the railroad at any time over the last 150 years. But somehow the City has managed to restrain itself; presumably because it knows full well that so long as the railroad continues to perform under the contract, the City must do the same."
"In its Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, the City essentially asks this Court to step into a fantasy."
"It requires this Court to believe that dry accretions rising above a river have sunk below the water line. And the City fancies itself a sovereign—a modern Roman city-state with “absolute” power."
"The City’s argument is circular and fails as a matter of law."
"The City’s argument is circular" I think really think illustrates the basis for my position. And the Council just lets this happen with Lost Keys Ell leading the rubberstampers in signing Power's checks.
Don’t look to Mayor Edwards’for answers, he’s out at the bar celebrating being elected mayor. I suppose Edwards will tell us about unfunded mandates. Well, here's one you pompous, arrogant ass!!
Drunkie Von BarHopper
Beer Goggle Vision?
Drunkie Von BarHopper on the Iowa Vision Board? The hell?
What sort of vision would that be? Beer goggle vision? Ogling strippers vision? Alcoholic haze vision? Rousted by the cops bleary eyed Burger King parking lot vision? Cut the audio, hide from the dashcam and get preferential treatment from the cops cuz you're the mayor/union thug vision? Beat the OWIvy cuz the police let you call the wifey cuz you're too dunk to drivey vision?
That definitely sounds like Southeast Iowa Vision.
Oh, Drunkie Von BarHopper will you ever sober up? Burlington is indeed fortunate to have a shepherd like you.
Drunkie Von BarHoppers' goggles keep him from bleeding to death when recovering from a bender. There's no vision in them goggles so he has the bars programmed in his GPS to compensate.
I read both The Hawkeye and Burlingtonderailed. I have read articles by the Hawkeye editors or reporters that have made comments about this website. They said this site is critical of local elected officials.
We all have read unsigned editorials in the Hawkeye that have criticized elected officials. Their own Internet website, the chatterbox, has had the same negative comments about the Mayor incident.
More people will write to this website because they can remain anonymous. Does the Hawkeye need to know who is posting?
They should be interested in what the citizens have to say and the truth. It looks like citizens feel more comfortable here.
Could someone from the Hawkeye explain why it is OK to express our opinions to their Internet website, but they have a problem with burlingtonderailed?
This website will probably expose some things that the Hawkeye would never otherwise get tipped off on. They shouldn't fight it, they should embrace it.
Never forget the advertiser's laziness. That figures into their news gathering and editorials. If you don't have to type your name on an editorial that saves all that finger effort used to pick your nose.
Will Edwards Pull a Full Kennedy?
If all I read were the Advertiser, I would never have learned about Burlington's Mayor having an appreciation for the performing arts. It is understandable that vast quanities of alcohol enhance the experience of the dance Burlington's Mayor drives to Ft. Madison to enjoy. Seeing that young, performing artists are insured a place to sleep makes Mayor Mike a true renissance man and political patron of the arts, much like Lorenzo de Medici
I just hope the Mayor does not take any of these artists any distance in his car.
While most performers with experience become expert at sizing up a john....er arts patron, it is the innocents just taking to the stage we should worry about. Purveyors of the performing arts so enjoyed by Mayor Mike should warn any rookie of the danger involved in getting into a car operated by Burlington's Mayor.
It would be tragic if some here to fore unknown seep ditch in Green Bay Bottoms becomes Southeast Iowa's version of Teddy Kennedy's Chappaquiddick
. To have a young performer who could have been the next Gypsy Rose Lee lost at far too early an age would be devestating to the arts community.
Mayor Edwards may think Ted Kennedy is the person upon whom to model his politcal career. Arguably the Mayor's political career so far is a case of life imitating farce. It should not advance to Mayor Edwards wearing a neck brace for no other reason than to elicit sympathy.
If Mayor Edwards' actions turn what has been a comedy into tragedy, the people of Burlington must share in the blame for letting the show go on for too long.
I did notice Edwards' haircut looks similar to Medici's. Edwards' real appreciation of the arts can be found in his fondness for strippers' tattoo art.
Raise A Toast
The picture in today’s Advertiser of Otis being sworn in is awesome! It looks like he is already loaded – must have been celebrating in anticipation of his victory!
Question – does Burger King sponsor the meals at City Hall??
I don't know about sponsoring meals but I hear he might become the late night parking lot attendant.
Investors To Build Biodiesel Plant In Keokuk
According to a report in the Des Moines Register, a group of local investors will announce today that a biodiesel plant will be built in Keokuk to turn soybean oil into biodiesel fuel.
The bean crushing plant and the biodiesel plant will be built in three phases. The $60 million project is expected to be operational in 2007. The plant will produce 27 million to 30 million gallons of biodiesel fuel annually and employ up to 60 people.
Good job Keokuk.
Two monkeys walk into a bar and the first monkey says, "If you fire Power and Slagel what do you have left?
Second monkey says, "I don't know, what?
First monkey, " A drunk for a mayor."
Well, we get to keep Mikey for Mayor! What is wrong with this picture?? ONLY IN BURLINGTON!!
We are PAYING this guy, right??? How could this happen??
I have checked with quite a few lawyers, etc. on this incident and they all say that nothing can be done. It is at the police officers' discretion. Any ideas, anyone? I am out of them. It is just ridiculous!
So, in other words, when they run your plates and find out that you are a nobody, you are going to JAIL! Or, in his case, it would have been a long vacation in prison.
This means that even though he had been driving to bars all night and couldn't remember how many drinks that he had, the officer can actually say that he felt he was sober!! Why do we pay for these breathalizers? What is the use? Just trust the police officers' noses! How ridiculous!
I just truly hope that all who were involved in standing up for Mike are going to feel ok with that when something really bad happens- someone hit head on, someone shot with his protective gun he carries- or just someone ran over by this idiot!
This could only happen in Burlington, Iowa. These are the people that better remember why he was let off and voted back in like nothing ever happened.
Pray it's not some innocent kid!
Speaking from a potential liability standpoint, when Edwards reoffends (and he will) and if he causes death, injury or damage, I will absolutely uncategorically guarantee you that some skilled lawyer is going to sue the living shi* out of Burlington, the City Council personally and anyone else that tacitly endorsed this bone head move to make Edwards mayor.
I don't care what Scott Power tells the council, they are going to get hammered. Mark my words, hammered. And the taxpayers will pay the bill because it will be settled out of court.
It will be like a T-Rex eating sheep.
Hoschek And The "Chamber Monkey"
Des Moines County Supervisor Tim Hoschek has long called those that were Burlington/West Burlington Chamber of Commerce members and officials, "Chamber Monkeys."
It seems that Hoschek's significant other has been appointed to the Chamber Board of Directors.
Which brings us to the question, does Hoschek come through the door and yell, Chamber Monkey, I'm home?
Burlington's Reign of Ignorance & Tyranny
Drink a toast to Burlington's Mayor. His cup runneth over. The holder of the symbolic office is representative of what Burlington has become. Drunkards, fools and others incapable of abstract thought are running the asylum.
Mike Edwards was the top vote getter. When only 16% of the eligible voters bother to do so, you are rewarded with the lowest common denominator. Edwards is proof positive that in Burlington, the lower you go, the greater the level of organization.
Fools of a feather flock together. Edwards, Courtney and Hoschek are the logical result of the organizational power void of intelligence achieving political power. Their low voltage vision speaks for itself.
"If you just wait, some major multi-national will put up a major facility and pay over 10 times the world rate for semi skilled labor," whisper the pink elephants. Drawing business to your community by suing business in your community with no case makes sense only to fellow travelers of command economies. "Commercial aviation ain't for nobody but them rich people," is the conclusion of those who hear voices and have a hard time deciphering their "big words."
The results of the triumph of the ignorant are plain to see. If people in Burlington want things to change for the better, there must be an overthrow of the ignorant.
The enlightened realize they must organize to change things. It is not easy. It will require a realignment of long held political affiliations. Compromise uncomfortable, but necessary for the common good must be accepted. The ignorant have learned as much and the price of their limited education has been ruinous.
The road to recovery will be long. Progress will be slow. The fruits of rebuilding may come long after those who have labored are dust. The time of waiting and hoping things will improve should be history.
Of the 6,000 plus who have fled since 1970, the brightest and the best of the young are the majority of those who have left. If something is not done soon, the tyranny of the ignorant will reign until they inevitably destroy themselves and any others who remain.
It is only a matter of time until Edwards show kids the true meaning of being a drunk. If you do the crime, you do the time.
Edwards, Hoschek and Courtney? Between the 3 of them they couldn't strike match to light a bottle rocket. Unless they had King to hold the rocket.
It's Good To Be King
So Edwards has become the mayor of Burlington again. I say we should refer to him as the king, as in Burger King!!! Long live the King!!
A king can do anything he wants to in his kingdom. Mel Brooks was right, "its good to be the king!"
Burlington gets derailed, once again.
I feel terrible about Mike Edwards being named mayor. I think that I would just like to give up. I feel that Burlington has been kicked in the teeth. We really are a joke!
After all that has happened to date with this fellow I thought for sure he would be long gone. Don't worry though, I will not give up. I hope everyone will keep their eyes on this council and take them to task on every bad move. At least we can be assured of a scandal a week with Mr. Edwards. So it will be interesting.
You can't be any more bummed out than me and this is my website - do I sound like King? Just be patient. The humiliation of being forced from office after a drunk driving conviction will bring a sober mood to the tent the night before reporting to Fort Madison for an extended sleepover.
Power By Assimilation
City Insurance Premiums Are Still Free
I agree with you that we could have done better with a new Mayor. Edwards doesn't help the image of Burlington as a City. A position on the Vision Iowa Board alone, is not enough reason to be the Mayor of Burlington. I thought we already had the Vision Iowa funds.
Ell, Edwards and Scott made a big deal again last night at the meeting about how the city employees sacrificed so much with the insurance concessions. It was sickening.
All they did was agree to a higher deductible and their monthly premium is still free. Their current deductible is what most of us have and we pay a lot every month.
What are they sacrificing? We would all love to have this free benefit at others expense. They claim it will save the City $200,000 by going to a higher deductible. That's great. It's still free, so if the smart people managing our city would have done this 5 years ago we would have saved $1M.
All this new construction that the city manager brags about should keep our taxes level at some point. I voted for Scott and Thomas and I hope they don't join the clique at City Hall.
The city manager and his staff are good at sucking up and getting close to the council members. I think they are already working on Thomas. It is a clique down there and they cover for each other. Go against them and they make it hard on ya, like they did Scott.
That is no government to be proud of. It will only change if someday we clean house at City Hall.
Des Moines County Supervisors and their staff did keep the tax level down last year. Good for them and I hope they do it again. It seems like the more professional management (City and School District) the worse it gets.
Glad you pointed that out about free premiums for the coverage. It is an important point left out of the advertiser's take on this.
Edwards and Vision Iowa is such a joke excuse along with Edwards' "political pull." The "pull" is respect for whomever is in the Burlington mayor's position. It is not from Edwards, he's impotent because no one respects a drunk when handing out taxpayer money. And from the looks of our website visitors, there has been more than casual interest from Des Moines in the Edwards pages that are downloaded.
Slagle and Power are good at "sucking up and getting close to the council members." Just like the Borg Cube, "resistance is futile, you will be assimilated." Or, is that get close and suck your brain dry?
Either way, the taxpayers are left high and dry.
Already a Wide Gap
The very first meeting and we have another city council split like a Dole banana at the Dairy Queen. Only this split is a very bad split. One that can't be cemented back together.
King Still An Idiot
Conventional thinking is King's new gig will last less than a month.
Edwards could get help and become sober. King will still be an idiot.
Burlington Loses With Edwards
One Of Burlington's Darkest Days
Campbell Stunning Disappointment
I have never been more shocked, perplexed or dismayed by the vote to reelect Edwards as mayor. And I have never been more disappointed in any politician since Herbert Hoover than I am in Mike Campbell for endorsing Mike Edwards.
I believed Campbell would do the right thing and he has let the community and me down beyond my comprehension. The one person I thought would take a rightful stand against what these thugs, bums and monkeys in city hall have done to this community failed to perform for some unknown reason.
They trashed Campbell and made him the scapegoat for everything they did wrong. Mike Edwards threatened Campbell. We defended Campbell when King launched his any number of reckless and bizarre tirades.
I'm shocked, perplexed and terribly disappointed to have spent the time I did to try to effect a change.
It is incomprehensible that people with any common sense would put Edwards back in as Mayor. I guess that’s the reason he was reelected.
By the way, if you're a drunk, move to Burlington we'll make you Mayor. Hell, we’ll get you a seat on the Vision Iowa Board. And a free ride home if you’re caught drinking.
Town Drunk Opie Edwards Is Still Mayor
We have spent months outlining the case against Mike Edwards, Bill Ell, Scott Power, Bruce Slagle and Chris King. We’ve spent hours researching rumors about the trio’s misdeeds.
We skirted the issue of Edwards drunk at the Ridgewood and spending the night with a stripper to let people know that Edwards had problems. We have skirted other issues with Edwards that are far more serious in nature. Those issues will eventually surface. It won't be pretty.
Mike Edwards cannot lead a turn around. Under his so-called leadership this city sunk to a new low. Under Edwards' leaderless era the council became ineffective.
The possibility for change doesn’t exist. It evaporated Tuesday night.
One thing we all still know, Edwards is still a drunk. That won’t wash off no matter how much Lost Keys Ell tries to tell us otherwise. Edwards is a drunk that doesn't deserve a fourth chance. He promised he do better last time. He failed then. He'll fail now.
All the time this festers, Burlington will suffer the brunt of ridicule.
Edwards Announces Slagle Is Here To Stay
Edwards told everyone that Slagle is here to stay because he was voted to be president of some city manager group.
There is little hope. We are so screwed by incompetence.
Ell Sanctifies Edwards Reelection As Mayor
Gas bag Lost Keys Ell defends Edwards’ reelection due to Edwards’ Vision Iowa Board seat. Edwards can’t vote on a Burlington project and as a qualified drunk has no stature with anybody except other drunks.
Even if we got more Vision Iowa money, we wouldn’t know about it for 7 months. I didn’t know Edwards was a golfer. He must have something in common with Ell.
Privilege of the Local Fourth Estate?
Why is Iowa's Oldest News on Paper so anxious to defend Burlington's drunk driving Mayor?
The Hawk-Eye's year in review spoke of Mayor Edwards' "apology" for his actions. Any child knows how to say I'm sorry. Accepting responsibility is the mark of maturity.
Why no outrage and worse yet continuing support for an immature Mayor from Burlington's fourth estate?
Forty years ago, Burlington police cruisers were laughingly known as yellow cabs for intoxicated politicians. It was less embarrassing than dropping charges due to "clutch trouble" when some Dudley Do Right actually practiced enforcement based on the public relations only premise that all are equal before the law in Burlington.
The rides home back then were not just for elected officials. Newspaper editorial staff, especially the Editor/Publisher, receiving the same privilege was a poorly kept secret.
Is the Hawk-Eye's defense of Edwards' based on the "merits" of his case, or protection of privilege for the local elite as ordained in the decades old status quo?
Edwards Elected Mayor
To add insult to injury, Mike Edwards, the town drunk was reelected mayor tonight.
It's a sad day in Burlington.
Winegard Approved For Gambling License
The new year has brought movement on Catfish Bend Casino. According to sources, Randy Winegard has been approved by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission to proceed with negotiations for acquisition of the casino.
While I'm not a fan of the social impact of gambling, this will have huge impact on Southeast Iowa financially. Anytime you can keep the profits locally is far better than seeing it evaporate out-of-state.
Maybe if this goes through, Catfish Bend will open their pocketbooks further to be more proportionally inline with charitable funding. Under current ownership, community funding has been very low compared to the profits fed to investors and retained by the owners.
If you foster social ills, you need to grease the wheels to make it more palatable. And remove any bankers off the Catfish board or committees. That is a conflict of interest in my book.
End Of A Long Tradition
Looking at the calendar this morning I realized that there will be no Dehner's calendar this year. I've had one hanging on my wall over 40+ years.
The Dehner family sold out a few years back and the new owner didn't pay the Iowa Department of Revenue the required taxes. Rumor is the Dehner family has tried to obtain the animal mounts on the wall but the tax men are not budging.
The long tradition of great people serving the community is gone.
Farewell King & Good Riddance
Be Proud Of 6th Place Finish
Chris King's farewell article in this past weekend's Hawkeye was probably the most immature and sore loser comments that we have ever seen from an outgoing elected official. His childish attempt to criticize Mike Campbell in the fashion that he did, only shows that the voters were correct in the November election.
There were 6 candidates in the general election. King finished in 6th or last place. Was that Campbell's fault too?
King continues to say that the community fought for 40 years over building a new library. I remember the last 10 years maybe, but not 40 years. That's an exaggeration.
King acts like he got it done and that is why he lost. Baker wasn't really in support of the new library and she lost.
I do not know Mike Campbell or who Spike is. I will say that I voted for Mike Campbell. I do not agree with everything he may say or do, but I feel he represents the best interest of the citizens.
I will probably vote for him again if he runs, just because he is not a rubber stamper yes man for the city manager or staff. He represents the citizens and that is what a good council member should do.
Too many times people get in office and forget who put them there. The city manager and the staff work for the council and the council members need to remember that. Golfing and drinking buddies do not make good council members.
Advertiser Misses Several Lee County Scandals
Year End Recap Noticeably Void of Scandal
I see the newspaper's article Sunday didn't mention a thing about the Lee County Democratic Central Committe accounting scandal. If I remember right, Supervisor Chairman Rick Larkin is in big trouble with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Board over this. Three financial statements and none of them are accurate?
Then what about Lee County Auditor Ann Pederson's problems with the Ombudsman's office over closed session meetings?
Isn't that editor at the newspaper close friends with Pederson? I remember the Miller guy wrote something that was fiction about how bad things are down here.
The newspaper only sends Democratic writers to cover the Lee County Good Old Boys Club. Too bad they can't find someone that reports the news instead of becoming friends with Pederson and protecting her and the rest of the good old boys.
I'm sure these Lee County issues were just somehow overlooked. The advertiser would never suppress a story. Unless it's one we might never find out about.
Lee Couty Spike
Blogs Are Here To Stay
Brokaw and Koppel See Reality
On Meet the Press this past weekend, Tim Russert interviewed the well respected newsmen Ted Koppel and Tom Brokaw.
Russert asked them what we should expect to see different in the media in the coming year. Brokaw said that the Internet blogs are becoming a more popular way for the citizens to express their opinions and viewpoints on a number of issues.
Brokaw said that elected officials and the media should be aware and understand this. The Blogs are here and citizens are using them, Brokaw said. Smart man he is.
Everybody else worldwide understands other than the folks in Burlington. We have our provincial hats and mandatory blinders handed to us each day.
We invite you to use BurlingtonDerailed.com. It's a voice that Power, Slagle, Edwards, Ell and King never thought they needed to be concerned about.
King’s First News Day A Bust
Not Checking Facts Bodes Poorly for Pritchard Broadcasting Newby
Will you straighten out King’s credit card article I’ve sent you? He has it all wrong from what I heard on channel 6 tonight.
Former Burlington councilman Chris King’s first day as a news gatherer turned into a bust according to a report posted on his almost-defunct website.
King ran a story about the new credit cards rules facing some credit card holders that went into effect on January 1. King stated that the minimum REQUIRED credit card payment was going to double from 2% to 4% each month.
That is not true. Maybe King’s personal credit card account situation is problematic, but that isn’t what the law says for everyone else. The new law does not say what King reported.
The new credit card law says that those customers that only make the minimum payment each month may see their minimum monthly payment increase. These minimum payment cardholders must now meet a threshold payment of 1% of the outstanding principal balance in addition to monthly fees. Customers that pay more than their minimum payment, or pay the balance each month, probably will not be affected by the new rules.
The new Fed guidelines were enacted to ensure consumer accounts were being paid enough principal each month to truly lower the customer’s debt. Predatory lenders (aren’t they all) were jacking up fees on customers making the minimum payment towards the principal so low that the debt would never be paid.
You might be able to combat this increase in your own situation by just paying a few dollars more than the minimum payment due. It only has to be a couple of dollars. The computer only records that you paid more. That should kick your account into a minimal payment increase mode.
Maybe King’s 2nd day as a news gatherer will be more productive. Maybe, but highly improbable.
Lies Are Lies For Edwards
The Truth Is So Much Cheaper Than A Recall Election
Originally Posted on November 5, 2005. Should this man be mayor?
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.
Conflict Of Interest
If King really does become a "reporter" for Pritchard Broadcasting does he have to close down his website? Seems like it is a conflict of interest if he reports the news for Pritchard and then uses the info for his website. I've read about blogs and there seems to always be some problems with news people having blogs.
King can't compartmentalize issues and I can see bigger problems than conflict of interest with King. King has shown so much ass lately I expect all kinds of mayhem and a very short news career for King.
Speaking Of Keys
Where's King's Key?
I want you to stay on this deal with King and the keys. I want you to find out when King turns in his keys to city hall. I don't want this loser having a key to what we voted him out of.
I just hope he didn't make a copy of the key. Maybe we should have the locks changed and hide it from the taxpayers for 7 months.
We're going to stay on the key issue and King's concealed weapons permit.
Double Dipping Wrong
It is entirely wrong for the city to give those not wanting benefits taxpayer money to sock away for the future. This is money that could be used for services or something else rather than into the pockets of someone who refused the benefit package, And by the way, the county does the same double dipping.
I moved to Burlington in 1991 and since that time my bill to the waterworks has increased 58% while the service had decreased considerably. The water pressure is probably half to three quarters of what it should be and rain water doesn't even drain down the sewers.
The city government is only interested in lining their pockets and trying to act like they’re a class act. City management is horrible and no one is held accountable, which is why the management is always hiring consultants to do the thinking for them.
The Recplex has been a loser since day one and is bailed out by the taxpayer every year to the tune of 75 to 100 thousand dollars. The swimming pool has also been a loser for the past several years, yet the city saw nothing wrong with starting another business adventure even though their record of success is miserable to say the least. Why should they care because it's the taxpayer bailing them out every year?
Citizens of Burlington have the privilege of living in a very poorly managed city where poor management leads to constant tax increases to cover the constant losses. One thing about Burlington City government is no one is ever responsible for the lack of leadership or decision-making. The entire management team here in Burlington is over paid and living high on the hog, at taxpayer expense.
State government is not much better because they give away our taxes to business without any consideration to the impact on the people that live in the state. Here's what the state does for business:
1. A single-factor corporate income tax that applies only to profits on sales
within the state, a dead beat loser program as proven by many other states.
2. Manufacturing machinery equipment and computers exempt from property
tax and sales and use tax.
3. No State sales tax on electricity and natural gas used in the manufacturing
4. No State sales tax on interstate and international communications services
for those companies with worldwide operations.
5. No personal property (inventory) tax.
6. Property tax exemptions for the construction of manufacturing and
7. A State corporate income tax credit of up to 10 percent of capital investment.
8. Refund of sales or use taxes paid during contract.
9. Doubling the state's refundable R & D tax credit.
Iowa is one of three states that afford companies negative income taxes.
My question is this, "Why are the hard pressed citizens of Iowa required to pay taxes on utilities while corporations are continually overpaying management, earning record profits while paying no utility taxes and many other taxes that the underpaid citizens of Iowa are forced to pay."
These corporations are no better than dead-beat dads when it comes to paying taxes for the benefit of the Iowa school children.
When it comes to taxes, the poorest 20% of Iowans pay 11.5% of their earnings, the middle class pay about 8.6% and those in the upper 1% income bracket pay less than 6.8%.
The state is breaking the backs of the poor and middle class for the benefit of the rich and this is a Democratically run state.
Focus On Much Needed Change
We must try to focus on the Ambiguously Dynamic Duo - BK Edwards & Lost Keys Ell. They still represent a real threat to this City's future. When the new mayor is selected the imbalance of Power will begin to recede. Probably right after Slagle leaves the building.
Rumors say Slagle has a contract clause that says if his contract is not renewed he gets to work with the new city manager for 6 months before he is out the door. That's a good one. Slagle could teach the new guy all his dirty tricks.
All contracts can be broken. I'd test this one. Fire Slagle and Power. Email their new employers a link to BurlingtonDerailed. That will resolve issues real fast.
Wait, I missed the point. You don't have to email anyone! BurlingtonDerailed.com will be here after they've been fired for anyone to read the sordid details.
Then march in with the police and escort Slagle from the building. That's the way it's done in the real world.
By now all Slagle has in his desk drawer is the altered audio and videotapes verifying the various coverups. Everything else is missing, destroyed or unavailable.
Campbell Next Mayor?
I would just like to say that MIKE CAMPBELL is the only councilman I would give a key to my house. And you can tell him who I am and tell him to come over anytime and get a key to my house.
Now as for mayor, I think it is clear the rest of the council has too many skeletons in their closets. And none of them can be trusted. And believe me I'm only being honest in my opinion about the rest of the council.
So with that said the only clear choice for mayor to represent BURLINGTON would be MIKE CAMPBELL. He is the only councilman you can trust to make the right decisions for the city, Chamber of Commerce, Grow Greater Burlington, Downtown Partners and any other organization that is for the PROGRESS and PROSPERITY of BURLINGTON and surrounding area. You should get behind MIKE CAMPBELL and give him your support.
Because of the road the other people have taken for the city you have nothing to lose but everything to gain in Supporting Mike CAMPBELL for Mayor of Burlington. He would represent the city very well in all circumstances.
Campbell is very respectable in appearance, Honest, and very knowledgeable about almost everything. And he thinks things through. He does not let anyone intimidate him on any subject.
Yes, there is only one clear vote for Mayor. And that is Mike CAMPBELL. No matter what the devious Mr. KING says. All I can say to him is good riddance. What a bad experiance that was.
Anyway, you know how I feel about Mike CAMPBELL now!
Thank you Spike for this web site. Burlington needs it very much to progress. The thugs can't win all of the time! And remember the RR Law suit is not going to bring back any JOBS!
I’ll bet King would love to have just one citizen write a letter of support like this that didn’t come from a King family member.
Campbell would make a good mayor. Thomas and Scott can do the job. Any of the 3 can do it well because their hearts are in the right place.
Lost Keys Ell would not make a good mayor under any circumstances. And Edwards? He's done as mayor.
Who You Gonna Call?
No citizen should approach Mayor Edwards in a suspected drunk driving situation. The man is abusive, armed and alcoholic. Who knows what he may do to avoid a one way ride to Ft. Madison.
If Burlington's Mayor is spotted driving drunk again, to what law enforcement agency should it be reported?
The Mayor has made public threats against those who cross him on the City Council. It makes one wonder what oaths have been issued privately. The local police are a creation of the City. Could the County Sheriff find unexpected primary opposition with strong union support?
Somebody was thinking when an Alderman-elect in Davenport was caught under suspicion of driving drunk
. The State Patrol was called into the investigation.
Would City and/or County law enforcement do the same should they find Mayor Edwards driving around cracks in the sidewalk?
If local law enforcement would make policy what was done recently in Davenport, this policy would help restore public trust. Until then, the logical call of last recourse is the State Police.
One distinct difference in the Davenport situation, the retired cop/alderman-elect said he would do the right thing. Far cry from that with Edwards.
The Iowa State Patrol is an excellent option. For years the Iowa State Patrol was respected by more Iowans than anyone else as the go-to-guys. Use them for Edwards' "next time."
Local Banker Answers Beeper
Friday night during a heated round of drinking at The Drake, a prominent Burlington Banker heard his beeper and grabbed it from his belt, holding it to his ear thinking it was his cellphone was reported to say, “Hello…..Hello……Hello.”
And then hung up without a clue.
Any doctor, lawyer or professional can develop an alcohol problem. The decisions they make while influenced by alcohol or drugs can affect people’s lives forever. Fortunes, children and lives can be lost because they don’t think they have a problem or acknowledge it.
What’s the difference with a banker? Glad I don’t have my money in his bank.
Drunk Mayors Nothing New
All Sounds Similar To BK Edwards
Even though Burlington Mayor Edwards is 24 hours away from retirement as mayor, here are the reasons we should demand his ouster as a councilman. These are a few selected cases of mayors and drinking.
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick In Trouble drunking, strippers, wife, wife assaults stripper, all the mix of a nice evening in Burlington gathering votes.
Folly Beach, SC Mayor Vernon Knox
drove his station wagon into a utility pole while drunk a few months after a local musician was killed by a drunk driver in the resort community earning his 2nd OWI. Knox explained his actions to the citizens of the once-bohemian island with “Blew out my flip-flops / Got caught by the cops / Even drunk drivers can be mayors in Margaritaville.”
Hazel Park, MI Mayor Ben Colley
was arrested for second-offense drunken driving.after being found with a blood-alcohol level was 0.28 percent, or more than three times the state's legal limit.
On December 9th Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson
knocked down 4 1/2 drinks before heading out in bad weather to Eau Claire, WI a 3-1/2 hour drive. Bergson was arrested Friday after his car hit a bridge near Spooner, WI producing a concussion, about a dozen stitches, some headaches and some bumps and bruises.
Bergson said, “I have no desire to drink alcohol. I've decided that I'll never drink again." Boy have we heard that line before! To the citizens of Duluth, we heard that years ago and we still have a drunk mayor.
The mayor of Minneola, FL
was taken home by a police officer after being stopped for allegedly driving drunk and the whole incident was kept quiet for more than six months. The Mayor doesn’t remember, his wife said he would never drink and drive and put the public at risk. And the policeman was in county jurisdiction making the stop illegal. Oh yeah, they lost the report.
Dominique Thornton the mayor of Middletown, CT
was arrested for drunken driving by her own police department while driving a city owned vehicle.
The mayor declared, “…my absolute innocence. And it will be proven to be a wrongful arrest” even though Thornton was observed driving in an erratic manner, weaving from side to side, crossing the center line, failing to stop at a stop sign, failing a field sobriety test, smelling of alcohol and testing over two times the legal limit.
Do any of these stories ring a bell the size of Bill Ell’s van? If so, add your vote to the growing voice for Edwards to resign from office.
Let Tim Scott, Mike Campbell and Garry Thomas know this. Email and/or call them. But let them know your feelings. The City's future is riding on your feedback.
Mike Campbell Contact Info: home number is 752-0390, cell phone is 750-0544 and email me at campbellm (at) burlingtoniowa (dot) com
Tim Scott Contact Info: home number is 753-5022, 753-9883 work number, email me at Scotty291(at)aol (dot) com
Gary Thomas Contact Info: 754-8336, cell #750-9503, email address gthomas (at) mchsi (dot) com
"Uh, Chris I lost Your House Key"
I loved the analogy King Dipshit used in today's paper about "trust".
To quote: "This is how I judge people. If I would give them a key to my home and feel safe in that, they're OK. I'd give Tim Scott a key to my home. I'd give Garry Thomas a key to my house. I'd give Mike Edwards a key to my house and I'd give Bill Ell a key to my house. I don't think I'd ever give Mike Campbell a key to my house. That's the benchmark."
I can see the future article in The Advertiser now..... ".....yes, it's true. I gave Bill Ell a key to my house, because I trusted him so much. But, um, well.... he lost it. And didn't tell me for 6 months. And he took $50,000 of my money in the meantime. But, I still love & trust him."
Sheesh, stick a fork in me, I am DONE with King.
But Bill Ell told me he was a good guy. I just have this simmering feeling that as much as we try, we aren't done with King. His blame game will continue until he leaves town.
Ell Not The Choice
How in the world does King think Ell would make a good Mayor? Bill Ell lost those fire dept. keys to the schools and then it cost the taxpayers over $50,000 for new keys and legal fees for Scott Power. Ell hid the lost keys incident for more than 6 months from city council.
I hear that Ell and Slagle spend a lot of time together golfing and drinking. How long would the citizens go without knowing what was going on?
Just keep in mind those Mayor Ell thoughts came from King's mindless wanderings. I still want to know how Ell got on City Council to begin with. He should have been fired for concealing the lost keys from the Council. Golf and drinking with Slagle figures into it.
They Just Fade Away
Councilman King was a perfect example of mouth over mind.
Being on the City Council gave him a forum in which to be heard. His brilliance obviously observed only in his own mind, the public was overwhelmingly in favor of his removal. What will become of him?
King is incapable of shutting up. His website is of less importance than the school lunch menu posting. Howl all he wants, now that King has fallen in the forest and there is nobody around to listen, does he still make noise?
Spike, once reality sets in he who would be King may become a prolific contributor to your site. It is the only place King will be able to find an audience.
We could hope King fades away. I'm afraid he's not bright enough. Until he gets fired from the radio station for talking out of school and his day job blows up over computer usage, he is headed down the road of stupid moves.
Would someone please send King a very large mirror.
They Are Sore Losers!
You're right, they are the sore losers you have told us they were. Jim Quirk from the paper is more pathetic for writing a story like this. Delaney is worse because he printed it.
Mike Edwards needs to resign since King thinks so highly of him. Two peas in a pod.
Keep up the good work. I will send some information that I want you to investigate about Edwards.
I'm Old AND Anonymous
Send your information. I have been working on 3 major stories that will take the roof off the lemonade stand. Edwards is right in the middle of 2 of them.
Sorry Losers Expound On Their Losses
Reasons For King and Baker Election Losses Much More Clear
The biggest sorry ass losers I've ever seen cried like babies in today's advertiser article about the end of their city council term. Good riddance. You both were tagged with the right decision from the voters.
Cry Baby King was absolutely the most pathetic figure ousted from office I have seen. King might not give Campbell his house keys but King has no keys to City Hall and that is something we should all be very happy about.
What was the most pathetic was the advertiser devoting space to something like this. I can't wait for the results of the what's-wrong-with-Burlington study to exemplify the newspaper's blind, misguided, tabloid journalistic arrrogance.
Stay tuned. King and the rest of the rat pack are going to steal a few more electrons from this website in the next few days. And now that King has left office we might pick on him less. Until King screws up and then we are going to remind everyone what a smug, blow hard jackass he is.
Sunday's article proves all the voters were right in putting King at the bottom of the barrel. The very bottom next to the whale crap.