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Burlington Derailed — The Continuing Story
Incompetent Leadership Fails in Minor Crisis
Edwards Goes After Ice to Save Beer
The recent ice storm gave a glittering display of Burlington's incompetent, inept local government. Local residents were lucky the storm was not worse. If this storm had been followed by sub zero temps, things could have been critical.
When the power goes, who can still by pass the stoker and shovel coal directly into their furnace? Power is life with today's technology.
At least other organizations stepped into the void. Great River Medical Center is to be thanked for coming to the forefront and offering shelter to those in need.
Where was the Mayor, City Manager, or any other agent of Burlington's Municipal government? Is there a plan for such contingencies? Is there co-ordination with say the School District to open up shelters and if necessary, bring in a portable power source to maintain heat and minimal lights?
In large part as a result of the economic malaise, Burlington has an increasingly large and ever more elderly population. As the young flee, this means support from younger family members is increasingly unavailable. Future incompetence could be fatal.
I hope the City learns from what happened and readies a plan of action rather than simply delayed, haphazard, reaction. You can bet there is a secret plan of action for Mayor Edwards next drunk driving episode.
You can bet Edwards' secret plan of action only entails caring for his beer.
Mr. Gutman had it right in the local fish wrap when he asked, "Where were Mike Edwards, Bill Ell, Garry Thomas, Mike Campbell and Tim Scott," during the black out?
It appears they all abandoned ship and let KBUR take care of business by informing the public of the situation and answering some 6000 calls for information.
You would think one of the city council would have had the balls to get involved since they are (on paper) elected to represent and work for the voting public.
Here again Burlington leadership is an embarrassment and politics at its worse.
Just when, if ever, will Burlington citizens learn that voting in losers is just what they got, losers.
KBUR took charge of the city by providing the only real time information and did it without any of our elected officials appearing on air and did a commendable job of it.
Lost Keys was looking for the keys to his van trying to get to city hall. Edwards was sighted hauling in bags of ice to save his beer. And Slagle was on another job interview under an assumed name and missed the whole thing.
What could they really do? Just let the people know that they are there to try to help. We didn't even hear from Al Haig on this one.
Spike In The Woodshed
What's up? How come you don't post my E-Mail? are you a chamber monkey or a chamber ASS KISSER? Hope you are not deciding to side with the CHAMBER! They are the ruination of Burlington. I just thought you were trying to change the leadership in Burlington for the better. I still believe you are until I hear different.
Geez, can't a guy take a day off?
HC is half right, but the real Shysters are the Chamber Of Commerce. The council is just puppets on a string.
Now that the shysters have broke the city, they are after the county money. Dennis Hinkle is chairman of Burlington. I think this man has more titles than any person I have ever heard of. Doesn't this seem strange? Or is it just me?
And all of the boards in town revolve around the Chamber of Commerce. I think HC is right about Baghdad. But all of the boards and the Chamber should go, too. Because that's where the brains of the corruption comes from. And I'm sure they could solve the Iraq war in thirty days.
Just ask them; they are legends in their own minds!
Highway 34 Off Ramp Crumbles - Iowa DOT Where Are You?
Here are three pictures of pillars under the Eastbound Central Avenue exit from HWY 34. These are an example of the pillars supporting the off ramp and I would like to know just what organization has jurisdiction for maintaining this taxpayer-funded infrastructure?
In one of the pictures a piece of rebar is sticking out as though it were bent away from the structure for some reason. The cause of the deterioration appears to be from not funneling the runoff water away from the pillars. A real brainteaser for engineers or just plain ignorance or lack of concern since it's only taxpayer money anyway.
I only took pictures of two pillars but there are probably others on the other side in the same condition.
The citizens of Des Moines County elect some of the most noticeable dead heads to public office seen in recent years.
Emailing local officials asking questions about fees charged at the county court house results in no response. I attribute this to ignorance or just plain stupidity coupled with arrogance and a "who the hell are you to ask attitude."
These elected officials are self promoting and show only concern for their own agendas regardless of the taxpayer. Des Moines County is unique because it reelects the same loser's time and time again. These are people who fail at the basic concept of county government. Those who won't report their expenditures are also hiding waste of taxpayer money far above the fees charged for a simple copy of a document.
Any failure to report on trips, seminars or other taxpayer funded expenditures would indicate unnecessary expenditures. By not accounting for their expenditures would also indicates deceit on the part of the official involved in the expenditure.
By not answering questions asked by the taxpayer is another sign of deceit and cover-up typical of Des Moines County politics. What logical reason would an elected official have for denying a response to a simple set of questions about fees charged at the court house? What is it that induces Des Moines County citizens to vote for loser after loser to public office?
A Blossoming Alternative Energy Crop
I tend to agree with your observations on the future of ethanol. Ethanol for fuel is not market driven, rather it is government driven.
Given the energy input to grow corn, transport and process it into ethanol, it is a BTU sink. You put more energy in that you get in return. Like more than a few farmers, if ethanol had to stand on its own without subsidies, it would collapse.
History is full of examples that explain the current ethanol leap beyond reality. How long until tulips become the next answer to renewable energy?
Modern Pharohs Ending Free Speech
Egyptian courts are jailing bloggers
who insult deities both religious and political. Like Des Moines County, Egypt is a single party political system where rulers need not fear elections.
As I recall the great and all powerful Pharaoh of Des Moines County, Senator Courtney, introduced legislation that would restrict Internet freedom of speech in Iowa a while back. This was before Senator Courtney and others of his ilk took control of the Iowa Legislature. Has the time come for the Iowa Senate Majority Whip to re-introduce his pet legislative priority?
If you think the courts will protect you, think again. There has been a disturbing trend for the US Supreme Court to consider "international laws" when making decisions. With others of Senator Courtney's beliefs system approving federal judges, who knows what the future holds.
Spike, will you and we who speak out against the Pharaohs end up dragging heavy stones up Corse Street to construct Senator Courtney's tomb in Aspen Grove Cemetery?
Courtney better pack his lunch.
Ramses II Prepares to Smite His Blogging Critics
Courtney Looking For Solution To Bloggers
Here is a little illustration to go with the persecution of nubian bloggers in Egypt. I hope Counselor Power does not try to sue on the behalf of Ramses estate.
Illustration of Precedent in International Law, Local Legal Scholar Power will argue, renders the 1st Amendment to the Bill of Rights null and void. Courtney witnesses beheading. Edwards drives getaway chariot.
Projected Ethanol Growth? Or Bunker Buster Inbound?
According to the paid ethanol industry growth predictors gathered in Phoenix, the ethanol industry is going to continue to grow.
According to Spike, when this bunker buster industry hits bottom, and it will, there will never be another bust of such magnificence in our lifetime. Or your grandchildren's lifetime.
A Dearth of Dumb to the Power of Numb Lately by City Government
"The Ruts Were Too Deep"
I am worried about Burlington's City Government. Yes, there are the usual day to day idiocies, but nothing really grand since last September. Trampling individual rights by confiscating private property to enrich an acquaintance of Mr. Winegard's with a TIF grant to further screw all was their last major offense.
With the swearing in of dumb to join dumber on the County Board of Supervisors, the epicenter of stupidity has shifted to the Court House. Stupid human tricks in Burlington appears to moving up the governmental ladder.
The lack of stupidity on the part of Burlington's City government is not leading to any new age of enlightenment. It is not that Burlington's City government is doing anything positive on a grand scale. The majority of those involved are incapable of that. There just has been no massive pain inflicted on the people who suffer under the system for nearly six months.
This scares me. Have you heard of any grossly stupid City action(s) upcoming?
Municipal elections take place this November. The incumbents on the line must be planning to run again and are hoping sufficient lag time in their destructive lunacy will destroy the electorate's memory.
Nobody will hire Slagle. He will remain a problem in search of a solution until a new majority on the Council will fire him. Is there anybody competent doing the early work to position themselves to run for Council this Fall?
Well, Slagle said last night, "that would require a lot of water...The ruts were too deep" when it was suggested the ruts in the ice on Lake Starker be filled with water so the providers of Slagle's pay raise could go ice skating.
I guess Slagle has never seen how much water comes out of a fire hydrant. That comes from sitting in that big chair too much and too long as his waistline clearly indicates. If you look well fed and don't look hungry on a job interview, you are passed over by progressive thinkers at job interviews.
As for his firing, as long as Edwards has to repay for his Burger King sleepover there is no hope.
Wanted: Des Moines County News
Is there an actual web page for the Des Moines County News that I'm hearing so much about on your blog and on Falcon's? Or, is it an actual paper type delivery system that I might be able to buy somewhere around town?
Curious B-town resident
Unfortunately, the Des Moines County News does not have a web site.
You can buy your weekly copy on Wednesday afternoon at the Tradin' Post in Beaverdale, the convenience store in downtown West Burlington and Siegel's gas station, also in West Burlington. I'm sure there are other places, I just don't know where. I think the subscription is $24/year delivered in Thursday's mail.
It will the best 50¢ you can spend on a newspaper in Burlington.
I was listening to the giant 50,000 watt blow torch KCPS 1150 AM while trucking Tuesday. Limbaugh was talking about Iraq and violence in Baghdad. About that time I passed a hog farm, when the stench permeated my nostrils it made me think of the Burlington City Council.
I put two and two together and came up with a solution to Burlington's over reaching governing problem and the violence in Baghdad. We should give our Burlington City Council one way tickets to Baghdad. When they get there put them in charge of the place. Our great Council could take over all of Baghdad with eminent domain and Bulldoze the entire town to the ground. Problems solved, we would be rid of these shysters and no more violence in Baghdad.
Fraise's Boys Lack Self Control, Local Businesses Asked To Foot Bill
The Nannyism from Lee County Democrats is running wild. Gene Fraise, one of the corrupt cabal of losers who have been running Southeast Iowa into the ditch for years has been blathering on and on about raising the cigarette tax recently. He was quoted in the fish wrapper saying “I have two sons who smoke heavily,” he said, “and they said, 'If you raise the tax, we're quitting smoking.” In yet another publication he was quoted as “Fraise said he would support whatever cigarette tax increase is agreed on..... Plus, he said, he has two sons who say they will quit smoking if the cigarette tax is raised.”
So. Fraise wants to hurt businesses in Southeast Iowa by giving yet more consumers a reason to hop over to Alexandria, Missouri and other border towns who have economies which specifically exist because of Iowa's high taxes on cigarettes, gasoline, alcohol and in the case of Missouri the prohibition (uh yeah right) of fireworks in Iowa. Seems that the Senator doesn't care about those businesses in his district who will lose money and those whose jobs will be affected when their customers who will drive to Missouri or Illinois to buy their smokes and while there fill up with gas (40+ bucks) buy a case or three of pop (20 bucks) without deposit bullshit and maybe a few other things at the ol’ convenience store adding another 10 spot or two and before you know it, an Iowa business lost a great deal of business because of Gene Fraise.
Why on earth would this man, this august elder statesman of Southeast Iowa politics be in favor of this ignorant, asinine plan which would damage the economy of his district and harm businesses and affect people's jobs in the towns he represents?
I'll tell you, Spike. Or, rather Gene already told you.
Because Gene Fraise wants his sons to quit smoking. That's right. Evidently Gene Fraise's sons want to quit smoking but they just can't seem to do it.
However, if their rich and powerful daddy will just raise taxes on the entire state of Iowa and make businesses in Southeast Iowa lose money, make people all over the entire state of Iowa pay extra for their cigarettes; some way, some how, daddy's boys will miraculously be able to stop buying cigarettes, placing them between their lips, lighting them and smoking them. Glory be. Evidently they are teetering on the edge of poverty or something and that extra tax increase is gonna make them stop.
Evidently because Gene Fraise's adult children have no self-control he wants to raise taxes on the entire state of Iowa. I just don't know how that is going to work exactly but I guess any excuse is a good excuse when it comes to raising taxes and sticking it to the taxpayer in Iowa. It's pitiful to see that daddy's adult boys have no self control, blaming other people for it and then go running to daddy and ask him to tax the entire state to make them stop, but then for their daddy to drag his sniveling man children into the public arena as poster children for raising taxes that, Spike, that is just pathetic and is simply slopping over with Nannyism and “we know what's best for you ” government behavior modification through taxation.
You would think that maybe in one of these sessions with reporters from one of these newspapers one of these crack reporters would stand up and call Fraise on such idiocy. Nope. He and that nitwit Phil Wise or Courtney can stand up and spout the most insane nonsense and party talking points and the reporters just sit there and accept it as gospel truth and never -ever - challenge them. As long as the gutless hacks like Robin “I left the car running” Delaney at Democrat and Aloha Quirk and Dale Alison run things in the local legacy media nothing is going to change.
Legacy media, your bias is showing and now that you no longer have a stranglehold on information your days are numbered.
Sic 'em Spike.
Unlike a newspaper, people will always find the money for cigarettes and booze before anything else, so your premise seems valid. Even our thrifty mayor seems to find prices at the Beverage Mart more to his liking than local merchants. And what he saves on the can deposit almost pays for another 12 pack, too.
The only other piece of legislation that is dumber than this one is the attempt to revamp the right to work law.
Both of these efforts are good indicators of why children should not play with matches.
Shocked Again should realize the Burlington School Board does, as they like regardless of the economic impact it has on the Burlington taxpayer. These people consider nothing but their dreams of grandeur when spending taxpayer money.
The board has no conscience when it comes to informing the taxpayer of all the under the counter back alley deals they make when hiring a superintendent. We only know his salary is about $150,000 but what accounts for the other $25 thousand under the counter amount. His salary is probably based on someone else's salary in Dubuque or Des Moines, similar to what the city and county do when comparing salaries of similar jobs in non-similar locations.
What exactly does the assistant superintendent earn, by this I mean any under the counter side deals the taxpayers are totally unaware of?
Whatever else happens in this school district you can be sure the taxpayer will be the last to know, provided by chance someone finds out through the grapevine because it most likely wouldn't be published in the local rag?
You forget, the school board knows more than we do. They are elected officials and they always know what's best for the taxpayers. And they know how to do it behind closed doors while manipulating the Ad Vertiser.
School Superintendent Extended Benefits
Retiring Burlington school district superintendent Mike Book is receiving paid health insurance until age 65 by the Burlington taxpayers. He is taking a job with Iowa State University, so I don't see why we should pay for his health insurance. Iowa State has health insurance.
Isn't this double dipping on taxpayers? What is wrong with this school board? The average citizen doesn't have health insurance or they pay for their own. Raise the taxes so the privileged can have these benefits that nobody else receives.
I would guess we would be shocked again if we had a look at their latest contract for Book's replacement. Don't expect any fiscal responsibility.
More City Property Purchases for Eminent Domain Mall
Robert Staub to City (lot 37 Flint Hills Manor) $80,000.00
Ebrahim Eslami to City (lot 48) $45,000.00
Leonard Lilla to City (lot 4) $106,000.00
Still no agreement signed with developer?????
Spanish Wind Generator Plant Headed to West Branch
Looks like a Spanish wind generator company will invest $95 million to build and operate a wind turbine assembly plant in West Branch.
The Iowa Economic Development Board awarded Acciona Energy North America $2.85 million in loans and forgivable loans on Thursday. Acciona Energy will also seek $2.3 million in tax breaks.
Acciona plans to create 110 jobs paying an average of $15.14 an hour. The company plans to locate in the former Sauer Danfoss factory after a 95,000 sq ft expansion.
Comrade Courtney Wiser Than Ignorant Masses
Comrade Senator Courtney knows we are too stupid to decide for ourselves on what has been an option tax. The good comrade wants to mandate forever a 20% sales tax increase for school districts.
Many school districts in Iowa are using the optional tax to fund capital projects that should outlast the term of taxation. Heaven forbid that after the new building is done, the taxpayers may say no more.
Of course school bureaucrats will never have enough money. They too know we are stupid and are cheering Comrade Courtney on in his efforts to mandate what our minds are just too feeble to comprehend. Remember, it all about the children.
Comrade Courtney gets a big red star on his paper from the powerful teacher's union as well. They can show an arbitrator all that money at contract time and tell them the school district can too afford to give teachers another raise above what the local private sector is getting.
If you need further proof of collective ignorance, just look at how many times Comrade Courtney and his collectivist fellow travelers get elected around here. Until people wise up at election time, ignorance will continue to let us be bled dry.
Taxpayer Funded Trips
DMC resident should demand a trip report from both of these phony supervisors, namely Hoschek and Heland.
Actually they owe the taxpayer a trip report detailing why they went, how it aids the taxpayer, who OK’d the trips, what was spent on food, booze, lodging, miles, entertainment. What meetings they attended, who they purchased meals for and so on.
I’ve attached an expense report to this email that can be used by all trough feeders to show the public what their money is being spent on and eliminate the many questions left unanswered when these public officials make costly trips on whims of their own.
Hoschek Spending Spree
Where did Hoschek go recently? The expense report in The Hawkeye shows Hoschek being reimbursed for over $800. What benefit did we get. Does he have a report?
What is Heland's Washington trip costing? Is he there representing the College and/or the County?
The County and the City need to cut down on some of this annual travel and seminars. There is way too much of this going on. Businesses have cut way back on this, but then again, the businesses have to pay the bill. How many of these training seminars really help them or is it a golf outing and a party?
If it was their money, you wouldn't see this abuse happening.
That's just the problem, they feel it is their money to do whatever they want, however they want to do it without explanation or accountability.
Hoschek files expense reports for every mile he drives from his residence to the court house and return. And every other mile he can bilk from the taxpayers. Why? Because he can.
Only The Truth Has Been Obliterated to Protect The Guilty
Fee'd to Death should not dare to ask for public records. The public has no right to know what local government is up to.
The 50¢ per copy fee is good way to discourage too much digging. When it gets serious, the information is simply not available.
Remember the police department's denial of information related to the Drunk Mayor's waiting for the BK breakfast drive through to open? Slagle Bar Sinister's destruction of secret meeting records that never should have been secret is another classic.
Who voted for the railroad lawsuit train wreck? You will never know.
Do not expect the self-appointed local defenders of your right to know to lodge more than a complaint and then only when the heat is on. The Advertiser is in bed with the whole mess. Cross reference their editorial endorsements and glaring omissions related to local office holders.
Remember, what the public does not know prevents public prosecutors from being pressured to know. Arbitrary, corrupt government maintains itself on the premise of public ignorance.
You only have to read the Des Moines County News to learn of the Ad Vertiser's overt bias and complicity in repressing the truth and endorsement of the status quo. When advertising inches exceeds news inches by a large margin, you have a shopper.
The end result is a status quo shopper.
Mac or PC?
The big Microsoft lawsuit has been settled in Des Moines. All Iowa buyers who purchased Microsoft Windows, Office, Excel or Word software between May 18, 1994, and June 30, 2006 will be eligible for a piece of the settlement.
Answer to that age old question - Mac or PC? - was summed up in one email entered into evidence by the Plaintiffs.
"One e-mail, written in 2004 by Windows chief Jim Allchin to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, complained, "We have lost our way," and "I would buy a Mac today if I was not working for Microsoft."
Copy Price Gouging Extends Further
It's been a few years back but I had to go to the police station to get a single page copy of a accident report and they charged me $5.00. I ask why I had to pay for the first copy as the officer never gave me a copy at the scene and they told me it was standard practice to charge $5.00. I am not sure if they still charge that but I think it is very unnecessary to gouge the public like this.
Heland On Secret Trip?
On the KCPS Big Show 1150 AM this morning Largemouth Heland proclaimed he was in Washington, D.C and going to breakfast. And then he abruptly hung up.
What should we fear most, Heland on a secret mission to the nation's capitol on taxpayers' money or Heland missing the breakfast buffet?
Burlington Snow Plows Hard At Work
Now the storm is over city snowplows
are hard at work.
Court House Robbery
Have you ever gone down to the court house and wanted to copy any kind of a record?
Well, if you have you are well aware of the price gouging going on by the county, charging $0.50 per page copied.
This fee reeks lower than whale crap in my book and is about as low down and dirty a trick as can be expected by trough feeders to get free coffee or whatever else they spend the stolen money on.
A sheet of paper may run about $0.006 each and the ink may cost and equal amount and the maintenance should be on contract for the machine; so why the excessive fees?
Even at a dime a copy the county would be making money on the transaction.
Just who’s the Einstein that dreamed up these fees for a simple copy? Just what is the real reason for such exorbitant fees?
The taxpayer has already paid for the equipment, paper, ink, electricity, building and any labor involved in printing the copy yet we are held up at the copy machine by nothing more than thieves or greedy governmental bodies.
Why doesn’t one of these trough feeders stand up and explain to the public just why the exorbitant copy fees or is this too much to ask of a public official here in Burlington?
Maybe we should outsource all the current positions at the court house so we can lower the copy fee to the $0.05 or $0.10 that it should be.
I wonder how the library gets by charging only $0.15 for use of its copy machines.
Fee’d to death
I would like to know how they do the accounting for this. If the taxpayers pay for the machine and the county makes a profit, how is that booked on the county's financial statement?
This might account for the high cost. It takes 11 people to account for your 2¢ copy so to cover the cost of labor the county charges 50¢.
It all makes sense to me. Any way you look at it, the taxpayer is getting hosed.
Another thing to check on. Most court house law libraries have a copy machine in the law library. The machines are most generally on the honor system for payment of the copies made by library users. I've walked in when an attorney walks out with a big armload of copies and never found a single penny in the "honor" box. Who pays for that?
Right to Work In Peril
Now that the unions have the Democrats in office through their "donations" they're now demanding payback in the form of set fees for those not in the union where they work but enjoy union benefits.
This is just plain crap and shouldn't be allowed to even be mentioned let alone voted on by the Iowa legislature. Iowa legislative bodies are always
stumbling around dreaming up ways to discourage business from setting up shop in Iowa.
The choice to be in a union is just what it is "a choice" and no one should be forced to shell out his or her pay in order to support high living union
officials and subsidize the Democratic party, which are both prime benefactor's of union fees.
This legislative debate over changing the right to work law is the single biggest mistake these boneheads can make. Retrograde economic development. Reminds me of Hinkle, Tapp and Junkins ignoring the Governor's call to do something in Southeast Iowa before he left office.
If this bill passes, you might as well pack your bags. It's over. Trust me.
For The Smokers Out There
I would suggest that everybody that smokes show up at SCC at 9:00 A.M. Saturday , Feb. 17 to voice your opinion to our state reps. about the tax on cigs.
Eminent Domain Under a Different Vein
and barge lines as privately owned transportation providers have a much better case than shopping centers when it comes to claiming public necessity of their operations permits eminent domain. Perhaps this could be changed to the reason for confiscating homes in the Manor.
Slagle could say the Manor property is needed to stack cord wood for fueling steam powered river vessels and railroad locomotives. Yes, this will result in an increase traffic of ox carts on nearby streets, but should create few traffic problems.
Creating a public necessity related to interstate commerce should over rule any reluctant property owners. The City could then move forward and level structures within their new wood lot.
This wood lot is as believable as Slagle claiming to have a developer's contract nearly in hand.
Where's The Eminent Domain Mall Letter of Intent?
It's been 2 months since Slagle told us the city would have a letter from the developers for the Manor. If Slagle can't tell time any better than that then he shouldn't have any problem waiting for his pay raise until next year after the taxpayers have some tangible proof that this mall isn't something other than Slagle's dream of diversions.
Correcting Burlington's Elected Boobs
Medical science is making fantastic progress in stem cell research. Physical enhancements
of a cosmetic nature are already coming on line. We are just scratching the surface of possiblity.
When a technique is found offering intellectual enhancement, local elected officials want to be first in line for this elective procedure.
I just hope the genetic markers are accurate. I can't imagine Hoschek with boobs.
You're right. You said Heland would raise our taxes. Now he is because he doesn't have any suggestions to keep spending under control. And he is supposed to be a financial planner or something like that.
Just because you pass a test doesn't make you qualified for the job. Incompetence breeds contempt and failure as a leader.
Sounds like the recipe cooking at the court house.
Re: WB Council Meeting Tapes
The story is that the last two council meetings have been successfully taped (the tape was viewed by the city administrator) and sent to Burlington, where it goes to be broadcast. What happened to it there is a mystery.
It went into Slagle's desk drawer for safe keeping.
And contrary to DWE's thoughts on the matter of popping flashbulbs during the West Burlington City Council meetings, a couple of Sylvania Blue Dots going off every few minutes might make a better impression on the council for enlightenment. Even an old 4 bulb movie camera light bar might do it.
Let 'em know they are in the headlights.
9.2% pay raises! What accountability standards are the county employees held to? Are these pay raises based on performance? If so, what magical things have they done to deserve 9.2 %?
You don't see 9.2% pay raises in the private sector, and speaking from experience, your raise is based on performance. Who in Burlington can't make a go of it on 68,689.00 a year? Why are we handing out large annual pay raises every year? Maybe if the grass is greener in other places around Iowa, they should attempt to relocate - like Slagle.
Signed - would love to make $68k a year with benefits and a ton of holidays.
I believe the pay raises reflect the agreement to raise wages after a certain period of time. If the assessor has saved the county $300,000 over a few years then you can justify the raise.
The pay raises for the riff-raff like Slagle grate me like a rake on burned skin. Largemouth Ass says we are going to get taxed, so we might as well spend it, huh?
I bet all the people having to work for local firms wish they had someone giving them raises year after year based on what someone in a more economically sound county was earning.
I would imagine someone working for a local firm for $7.00 an hour would appreciate a wage comparable to someone in Dubuque earning $15.00 per hour while performing the same job skills.
I wonder how many local firms base their pay scales on what someone in Cedar County is earning. Provided they aren't disposable workers predominate here in Des Moines County.
This is just plain crap and a low down sick excuse for overpaying public servants who through no fault of their own are milking the taxpayer to death in Des Moines County.
Give me one reason why a county such as Des Moines ranks in the top ten out of 99 counties in Iowa for taxes?
If our assessor wants more money let him move on and this goes for all the over paid public servants here in Des Moines County. I'm sure there would be someone from a local firm willing to fill his shoes and be happy with his
meager salary and top heavy benefits.
I would think part of the assessor's job would be to save the county money; so why would that have anything to do with giving the assessor a raise based on someone who doesn't even live, work or pay taxes in Des Moines County.
Maybe all city and county employees should have their pay cut to bring them in line with the non-governmental employee's in Des Moines County, who are taxed to death in order to pay high wages and benefits to public servants.
Public employees should be paid the prevailing wage received by those living and working in the county they live in and not some far off non-related county.
Does CNH Corporation pay its employees based on what some other firm located in Dubuque pays its employees for producing similar products?
Maybe the city, county and state should start outsourcing jobs in order to save on pay and benefits that verge on the grossly obscene. I can think of several positions that could be outsourced and save the taxpayer considerable monies.
Does anyone believe a maintenance supervisor on the gambling boat earns equal pay and benefits to a trough feeder maintenance supervisor for the city or county? Here we have a job comparison just a couple of blocks from
the court house, city hall and in Des Moines County. Does one have any more responsibility than the other?
West Burlington Council Solution
Here are 2 more solutions for the missing West Burlington council meeting tapes.
Free Video Camera and Computer
I have a Sony Betacam video camera in like new condition and a Commodore 64 with all the accessories that I am sure will resolve the video problems at the West Burlington Council Meetings.
Call me. Be sure to pull the string really tight so the peach can has the best sound.
One final thought. You haven't seen Slagle or our Drunk Mayor across the street at the bar, have you? This is their favorite party stunt.
So Goes the Times, So Goes the Industry
The official journal of effete eastern elitists is looking to drop paper. The New York Times predicts it will be strictly online
in the not too distant future. Many claim the New York Times sets the standard.
What of the Advertiser? The paper version makes an excellent medium upon which to clean catfish. Electrons can not contain the viscera from wild fish and game. Will anybody have need for the Advertiser?
Falcon is doing an excellent job of melding photos and stories. Derailed beats any newspaper opinion page in Iowa hands down. They are attracting readers in search of new sources of information.
The New York Times thinks it will get away with a subscription fee online. The trend on the net is advertising supported instead of subscription. So far, the Advertiser online has been free after the catch of the day is frying for lunch. If the Advertiser tries pay to play online, who would read it?
No matter how many pounds you can bench press, or the size of your printing press, the new dance of electron guns will blow it to shreds. As was said in the old west, God did not make all men equal. Samuel Colt did.
If the Advertiser does not get its act together and start running more honest news stories instead of opinionated corrections and retractions, their future maybe selling conveniently cut, blank newsprint to hunters and fishermen.
Providing some entreprenuer isn't selling newsprint by the roll.
Actually, it will take half a generation to make the local transition. These are truly dyed-in-the-wool Mindless Lemming Sheep.
Ad Vertiser Has New Labor Saving Device
I see the fish wrap has annointed Heland as their new favorite son/labor saving device after reading the morning missive today. Now the paper has to expend less money to sit in their chairs on South Main while doing their job. The Kansas crowd should be pleased, lower overhead.
Do you think their stories will get any better?
No, but citizens will suffer more with the Ad Vertiser better able to tell us how to think.
Des Moines County to Increase Revenues (Taxes)
What Mr. Hot Air (HELAND) meant to say was - RAISE TAXES. Right now, people are wondering why they voted for him.
Just how long has he been in office? And already raising taxes.
Hot Air has about 37 days in office and is already headed snout-down for a full trough feeding.
"It's inevitable," just like Largemouth Ass was quoted.
I would like to know just what social services does to get people off the taxpayer backs and onto to the employment rolls?
Or does keeping people on welfare provide the social services group with job security?
In my opinion anyone that doesn’t live in Iowa for a year first should not get any Iowa taxpayer supported entitlements. Their entitlement money should come from their previous state and when the Iowa entitlements kick in should be no more than what the previous state paid them to sit on the asses and do nothing but take up space.
I’ve heard from people on welfare where social services has encouraged them to get their teeth fixed, glasses and many other taxpayer supported entitlements prior to possibly getting a job and off the welfare rolls.
I’m sure if one were to ask social services here in Des Moines County how many people are on entitlement programs there would be no response because this is a county secret as is how many employees work for social services here in the county. Just what does this government organization of trough feeders cost the taxpayer?
Just who watches over this entitlement industry here in Des Moines County? Where does one find out about this secret society?
Does anyone who works for a living know of anyone on entitlement that shouldn’t be on entitlement programs? I venture just about everyone knows of someone getting entitlements that doesn’t deserve entitlements with the exception of social services personnel.
I do realize some people are naturally dependent on entitlements for one reason or another but all in all this is a program that is out of control and excessive in its recipients and costs.
Thanks for your supportive voice. I wonder how long some of these deadbeat welfare recipients would continue their irresponsible lifestyle if the government were to come out with a new policy - If you're unmarried and pregnant, be aware that you will receive $500 per month to assist with the raising of that child. Every subsequent child will reduce your payment by 25%".
I would have to agree with you that many of these attitudes were fostered during the "Great Society" era, when receiving welfare became a profession.
Schools and Genuine Lack of Parent Performance
I agree with WP on the parent problems that have caused the schools educational failures.
Many of today's parents have no clue on how to raise children and basically shouldn't have children. These parents have just ruined the next generation through their lack of giving a damn about their children.
Look around and you'll see kids that are basically wards of the taxpayer, as are their parents, running around blowing on the cell phone and continually goofing off without a care or thought of ever doing anything with their lives. This same attitude, of course, is brought into the classroom where the poor teacher must fill in for the parents who have failed in every aspect of child rearing.
Burlington is overrun with these deadbeat parents whose offspring have basically ruined the once high standards of the Burlington School District. When these give-a-damn parents send their offspring into the school system they lower the standards forcing the teacher to lower his or her standards to try and teach them to read and write when well into their teens. Of course the parents are firm in their desire for the taxpayer to pick up the tab for their failures by feeding, clothing, transporting, providing healthcare, teaching basic life skills and every other parental obligation.
We can trace much of today's school problems back to President Johnson's "Great Society" offering, which has made lazy government dependent people out of just millions of our citizens. These people have made a career out of earning entitlement for their entire lives. Just go into any local store and it doesn't take but a few seconds to recognize just who these people are regardless of race. This career program of entitlement knows no bounds and crosses every aspect of life here in Burlington.
Of course the state in its wisdom feels throwing more money into the mix will fix something but until the state makes parents our of the deadbeat entitlement crowd nothing will improve and the schools will just waste this money as they have the previous monies.
On top of all this our social welfare system has failed to alleviate the problems and appears to have contributed to the ruination of our society by offering and guiding these people to seek more public aid and benefits, rather than looking for honest work and getting off of the taxpayer backs.
A Kindered Sister City for Burlington?
"Central Asians drink as much or more than Russians, and alcoholism is rampant. I attended a luncheon that began at 11:30 a.m. and lasted until 9:30 p.m.--10 hours and no less than 22 toasts," he recalls
. "You're expected to down straight vodka every time. One member of our party, a city manager from Michigan, was air-lifted out with alcohol poisoning. I collapsed at the end; the natives went on partying into the night."
It sounds like Burlington's elected leaders should search North Central Asia for a partner in a sister city program. I am certain reciprocal visits would give all involved a common ground for mutual, multi-national understanding.
Burlington's Mayor and Supervisor Heland are undoubtably qualified to travel east. When the natives there come here, I am certain Burlington's Mayor and Heland can organize a trip to Burlington's exotic east, Gulfport for a night of frivolity and art appreciation.
Ah yes, a night filled with the arts and entertainment.
Open Meeting Avoidance
According to the county association lawyer everybody in Des Moines County has failed the open meetings law. One opinion. Everybody else is at fault.
The funniest part of the that story is Burlington's boy star lawyer Scott Power. He says he doesn't do anything other than what he is directed to do.
Why should he? If he does nothing he gets into a lawsuit. If he does something he gets into a lawsuit. Either way, he picks the taxpayers' pockets.
Or course, all of this is true if you believe Power. And we all know about the railroad lawsuit being about jobs and the 1985 Agreement not being important enough to tell the city council about it, don't we?
What a crock!
tired of excuses
School Superintendent Salary Neglects Power's Fee
What "disgusted" didn't mention about the superintendent's salary was the $100,000 paid to the lawyer to cover his butt on every decision he made.
They could hire me for superintendent at $70,000 and that lawyer's phone number and come out ahead.
tired of this crap
You're too reasonable. We don't do reasonable. Especially the school board. It's amazing how far the slimey tentacles of legal incompetence extend their reach in this town.
Maybe the new superintendent won't have his brains sucked out.
To Disgusted - We Also Need To Fix Society Ills
Parents Need to Step Up
In response to the comments about public education in Iowa being a failed venture, I would tag on to something Disgusted said about the "main concern for Iowa government schools being baby-sitting, feeding, healthcare, transportation and social work". Unfortunately much of what you say is true, but that is not a fault of the school system.
I taught for 30+ years, and what I discovered over that period of time was that it was necessary for us to do more and more of those things all the time because the lazy, self-centered, uncaring, stupid parents weren't doing their jobs. I can't begin to tell you the things I had to teach my students (who by the way were in 9th-12th grade) because no one at home took the time to do it. These were things my parents taught me.
When today's parents begin to do their jobs, the schools can focus on teaching what they were designed to teach. In other words, fix the ills of society and the school problems will fix themselves to a large degree.
Sounds like an easy task, right.
Sad Tale of Burlington Property Values
This weekend I came across two real estate listing info sheets that I had picked up at open houses some time ago. I'm not sure how old they are, but comments on the sheets lead me to believe that they're at least 6-8 years old. In this case they were for condos (located on the west side of the drive) in Orchard Meadows off Mt. Pleasant Street. Those were built in the mid to late 90's.
Anyway, the two I had were for 2 bedroom, 2 bath, living room, dining room, kitchen, den, laundry room and attached two car garage units. At that time they were priced at $156,500. There's always something on the market there, so I checked current listings and found one of the same size today listed at $129,900. So much for real estate appreciation in Burlington, IA. The only thing I'm not sure about is whether I'm comparing first floor units with first floor units, but everything else appeared to be the same though they're a few years older now. It's almost the same calculations I came up with on the house we built 19 years ago. But for the additions and improvements we've made, it's hardly worth anything more than we spent on it.
Sad as it may be I believe Burlington is no longer dying, but instead is actually dead (at least for those middle-class and below residents) but no one has had the nerve to pull the sheet up over its face. The saddest thing is that the leaders and investors try to make everyone think it will get better because of things like increasing the minimum wage, Fun City and foreign factories that come here.
That simply keeps us peons around so we can work for all the guys with money, doing jobs they wouldn't stoop to consider. It would be better if no expansion occurred here, then the young people who could prosper elsewhere would be forced to leave, which in turn might make give them a better future.
It's too late for me. I'm retired, so I've made my bed and can now lie in it, but I pity the young people who stay around here with little or no hope of bettering themselves. In case anyone is trying to figure out why they stay, it certainly couldn't be the wonderful weather.
Perkins School For Sale
I understand through the grapevine that the privately owned Perkins school is up for sale again. Do any of you readers know anything about this? I understand it’s listed on the Internet but I couldn’t find it. The asking price is apparently three times the $49,000 the school board sold it for just a couple of years ago.
A Benchmark for Slagle's Pay?
Somewhere Over The Rainbow!
Slagle claims it was a photo finish for the Marion City Managers job. To his buddy the Drunk Mayor, that means Slagle is worth more money.
Seeing how the new City Manager in Marion is starting out at $110,025, do you think the Drunk Mayor will propose Slagle be paid twice as much?
From the Cedar Rapids Gazette -
"The City Council last night set the annual salary for new City Manager Lon Pluckhahn at $110,025. Pluckhahn, who will begin his duties March 5, is the city manager of Platteville, Wis. Pluckhahn also will receive $4,000 to cover the costs of relocation."
From what we hear it was no photo finish unless you use a movie camera.
Edwards has several more years to repay Slagle for his Burger King sleepover. With "Lost Keys" somewhere over the rainbow they only need one more vote.
All that crap about a sidewalk and demolition program is lunacy. To get that $60,000 "Lost Keys" will promote a fire department layoff.
Those bozos have no idea what financial management is. If you shorted them a dollar on their paycheck they'd sue. And they are all bad tippers like most Mindless Lemming Leeches are.
County Pay Raises Again 2
I 100% agree with disgusted. I do know of one local company that pays its workers to not take their insurance and that would be Federal-Mogul. This company has their own self-funded insurance program, and if Im not mistaken, that means they are in the insurance business on the side to make a little cash for themselves.
It's only a matter of time before the city declares bankruptcy on itself.
More Taxes For Education- Is There A Performance Clause?
I see in the Advertiser that the Democrats plan to boost school funding $108 million or 4% thus increasing the per-pupil total by $213 bringing a new level of $5,564 per student.
The governor wants to increase education spending by $190 million, which will probably be exceeded. All of this is expected to force a $28.8 million increase in property taxes.
Well, here we go again throwing more money at a system that is broken and provides little value added for the buck. As an example last spring education students at Iowa and Northern were given reading comprehension tests and guess what? Not one student at Iowa passed the tests while only 20% at Northern passed the tests.
Here in Burlington the education money is wasted on management and the teachers are rewarded for just showing up because performance, achievement and quality are non-existent in our government run schools.
The Iowa Education System is a classic example of a broken down management orientated entity incapable of achieving results other than those of a dismal nature. This department can disperse statistics and fancy reports but what about the students? The main concern for Iowa government schools is babysitting, feeding, healthcare, transportation, and social work and as an option maybe some basic education.
The state could achieve more by spending what money it does have on the student’s actual education and reduce the bureaucracy at the top by about 40%. These top dwellers are not needed and just a further waste of taxpayer money.
The true full cost of government schools here in Burlington runs closer to $11,000 per student than it does $5,000 a fact little know by the public. School officials have a knack for hiding the real cost of government education with the exception of our superintendent whose first year salary and under the counter perks will amount to more than $173,000. We have a school system that’s on the decline and soon may fall to under 4000 students if it hasn’t already.
One thing about living in Des Moines County you can bet your bottom dollar sooner or later the city; county and state will eventually get it in order to support the “privileged class” who receive compensation based on time on the job and no other parameter with the exception of showing up for work.
The Advertiser also had a spread titled, “Savings drop across nation.” The Commerce Department should break the data down to private sector and government sector to show just who isn’t saving and who continues to gain year after year.
This is just insanity.
Fewer in Quantity. Fewer in Quality?
It appears the pool of City Managers is shrinking
. Does this mean fewer competent candidates to choose from? If so, that would explain Slagle ever being under serious consideration in Marion.
I hate to think City government maybe forced back to the Commission form. Can you imagine the Drunk Mayor and Lost Keys actually having administrative responsibilities? Given the local talent that seems to get elected lately, Harry Hatt would be a genius by comparison. It makes me shudder.
Many firms are hiring top talent from over seas. America is skimming the cream. Will local government be doing the same soon?
A competent City Manager educated in New Delhi would be an improvement around Burlington. Getting used to the rhythm of a little different accent would be a small price to pay.
Harry Hat was smarter than the whole bunch in city hall combined. Edwards and Ell do well to keep their empties counted.
Largemouth Ass Expounds On Sunshine Law
I got my copy of the Des Moines County News on Thursday. For a newspaper that comes out once a week it has more well-written stories than a week of the fish wrap.
I was surprised to see that Des Moines County Supervisor Jeff Heland says that all the supervisors' work sessions that have occurred over the last couple years are illegal and that he's afraid of going to jail if the meetings continue in their present format.
Largemouth Ass then went on to say that he wasn't going to appear at next week's work session unless it conformed to his interpretations of Iowa’s Sunshine Law.
I say good. The further Heland stays away from County business, the better off we are all going to be. He doesn't have enough sense to realize that if the meetings were in fact illegal, the supervisors would have known that by now.
It looks like Heland and Hoschek are more interested in furthering the agenda of the Advertiser than what is best for the citizens of Des Moines County.
The quickest way to stop his stupidity is just eliminate the sign-up list for the Thursday work sessions. Just show up. And then we will see if Largemouth Ass has the balls to stay away.
Sure seems funny, we don't read about things like this in the Ad Vertiser.
They could always eminent domain the new County home. If there is money to be made, it surely is blighted and not good enough for the area.
It seems that money is the most important thing for some people. Just knock it down and kick'em out so they won't bother anyone. There's drinking and gambling to get done! Family values are deteriorating because there is too much gambling, alcohol and drugs.
Leaders embrace things that are harmful, as long as there is money to be made, including the revenue for local governments. Divorces and broken families are OK because it is economic development.
These are excuses and convincing ourselves that it is right. WWJD? I think he would be disappointed in our so called leaders.
Mike Campbell's Post
Re: Mike Campbell's post, [The] Hawk Eye "AND" investigative reporter... I don't think so !?!?!
Ron Thornton (Spike you can use my name)
Mandate a High Des Moines County Minimum Wage
Disgusted makes an excellent point about over paid public employees. Seeing how government produces nothing and lives off taxing the private sector, the private sector should be ordered to cough up more in the form of a mandated minimum wage.
The Board of Supervisors needs to give everybody a raise by mandating an extremely high minimum wage in Des Moines County. This will put private sector workers close to par with public employees.
Comrade Senator Courtney has already done his part with a state minimum wage bill in Des Moines. A majority of the Comrade Senator's colleagues are now collectivists and have gone along.
Given the economic sophistication of Heland and Hoschek, I am certain they can grasp the logic of this simple solution. If the need help, the Drunk Mayor of Burlington could tutor them.
There is no reason to pay any attention to evil market forces used to exploit the working masses. Government edict alone will insure prosperity for all.
Just look at what 70 years of government directed economic activity accomplished in the old Soviet Union. 40 years of single party rule in Des Moines County are well on the way to the same.
Tell Us The Truth, Brucey
If his ties and friendships in Burlington are so important, why did he apply for the job? Even his connections with Tom Treharne(former city hall employee) in Marion(current employer) couldn't help him.
Tell us the truth BRUCEY.
The truth can't escape his lips.
Who'd Run The Gulag?
Should Slagle have left Burlington who would take charge of running the city council and dictate policy?
The same guy as always, Scott Power.
It Is So - Jim Quirk In a Hula Skirt!
It is true. Hawk Eye reporter Jim Quirk will be leaving for Hawaii. I do not remember the specific assignment he will be taking, but I know he is excited for the opportunity. As much as he has been picked on in your blogs, Jim is probably the newspaper's number one investigative reporter. It will be interesting to see who takes the Burlington city and Des Moines County beat.
- Councilman Mike Campbell
Well, #1 investigative reporter. So, I assume then, the problems must then lie with the editors of the Ad Vertiser and their proselytizing of the news?
However, I do remember one editorial esposing the sanity and merit of the railroad lawsuit among other questionable directions of nonsense Quirk took on as a cause.
And your conclusion the Ad Vertiser is a newspaper is totally without merit.
P.S. There will be no replacing Quirk.
Falcon A Year Old
is a year old. If Falcon's hit count keeps climbing, I might retire. I said, might.
Good job Falcon.
Now stay on their ass until they fix the West Burlington council video.
You guessed right on Slagleite
. With millions of years under the right conditions, it becomes the holy grail of digestive Paleontology.
Jim Quirk In Puka Beads and Speedos
Help! I can't stand the thought of Jim Quirk in Puka beads and a pair of Speedos.
Selling The County Home
It's true. Quirk confirmed his departure at the supervisors' meeting Tuesday.
Did anyone pick up on comments made at the meeting regarding the potential money to be made if the County would consider closing the new care facility and selling the property - I assume to Randy Winegard?
In my opinion such comments made in a public meeting would likely come after someone has approached the County about just such a thing.
If the appraoch to sell the property hadn't been made, Hoschek couldn't have formed an opinion so quick.
After all the effort to give the residents of the county home a place to live without disruption, we now deem the property more valuable to private enterprise.
If that is the case, then Winegard should not only buy the property, but build a new facility for the residents before they are told they have to make move to make room for a slot machine.
What was most obvious was Beck had one idea, Hoschek another and Heland had no clue it was idea time.
County Pay Raises Again
It never ceases to amaze me that our poor city, county and state employees are just constantly scraping the bottom of the barrel, thus requiring raises year after year to keep their privileged heads above water.
Of course here in Des Moines County raises are based on what someone else makes in other counties regardless of the economic indicators in the other counties, which may far exceed, may be equal to or just totally incomparable with Des Moines County.
Unlike the private sector - city, county and state employees are given raises based on nothing but longevity with performance being left out of the equation completely. All they have to actually do is show up for work and their eligible for a raise every year regardless of how they perform their job.
Here in Burlington over the past ten years I know of only one employee that worked for the city getting fired and it was caused by something unrelated to his work. Some others have been fired but collected large sums because city management was inept in those cases and lacked common sense. Of course you can bet this same management team still got their raises even though they failed in basic management techniques.
Here in Burlington and Des Moines County employees who decline their insurance benefits collect the money anyway. For the city this is another $10,300 under the counter money added to their wages and not published in the Hawk Eye. What private sector firm gives its employees the insurance money if they decline insurance benefits?
Des Moines County ranks somewhere in the top ten highest taxed counties in Iowa and nobody questions just what the hell is going on here. Just what does Des Moines County get that other lower taxed counties don’t? Des Moines County and Burlington are both on the bottom of the economic scale in Iowa and the high cost of government here is just appalling and outright disgraceful.
Continuing to give public servants, (I use this term loosely) raise after raise for nothing other than longevity and comparison to other counties is a cheap shot at the taxpayer who in Des Moines County ends up further in the hole because the private sector, other than union shops, doesn’t give raises based on longevity alone and figures in performance and other job related parameters.
As far as I’m concerned these public employees can pack their bags and move on if they can’t live on their already overly compensated salaries. There are probably many taxpayers that would be overjoyed to have these jobs at the current salary levels plus all the added under the counter perks currently provided to our “public servants.”