I see where the Hawk Eye ran a big spread on the Rec Plex but they failed to mention all the bailouts that taxpayer’s of Burlington have poured into keeping the doors open because it’s failed to break even despite all the bragging the city has done since it opened its doors.
Since opening its doors in 2000 we, the taxpayers have shelled out well over $1 million to keep them open or at least to keep it even although it has never made a penny for the taxpayer who is saddled with its red ink. It may benefit the fast food joints and the motels but it doesn’t really trickle down to the average citizen taxpayer who has shelled out plenty to keep it above water.
The Rec Plex is just another example of a business run by government that cannot turn a profit because government employees are just too damn expensive and incapable of running a business because they have no stake in the business turning a profit as would a private operator. A normal private firm could not afford to pay its employees the lush wages and free benefits handed out with taxpayer money such as is done by the City of Burlington.
The cost of city employees is prohibitive to say the least and Burlington can’t even manage to turn a profit at the pool and now want to shut it down. The Rec Plex has never broke even in ten years, yet they continue to bail it out on the backs of the taxpayer. The golf course is also on shaky ground through constant losses.
Actually, none of the city run business ventures are turning a profit leaving the Winegard complex out of the equation. Government has no concept of how to run a business and should sell off all the local run entities it currently tries to manage because government employees are not the right fit for turning a profit since most of the losses equal out to the costs of the employee’s wages and benefits.
Our city management has shown itself incapable of coming up with a winning plan of any type, regardless of what it is they have their dreams of grandeur never pan out. The Manor stands out as do all the empty buildings and derelict factories scattered around town as a memorial to the kind of government management we have in Burlington.
New Railroad Bridge Benefits Subsidized Barges Far More Than Railroad
I see the Ad Vertiser's unsigned editorial misses the reasoning behind the new railroad bridge. It The anonymous editorial suggests the taxpayers are paying $54 million for a railroad benefit when in fact it is quite the opposite.
The railroad was happy with their bridge. It was the barge lines that can't consistently hit the channel.
Barges are massively subsidized transportation systems. The new bridge is just another example of special interests getting what they want at the expense of the taxpayers.
March 7th is not far off. Not all in the herd of Republican presidents are stampeding to slaughter. Few of the 15 heaven approved have committed to genuflect to Mr. Sheffler in front of his flock. This is breaking Iowa Republican Caucus precedent.
Are prudent potential Presidents avoiding any unnecessary controversy? Will Ralph Reed be there? Is the F. E. C. still watching Mr. Sheffler's employer's money trail?
This can not be good for Mr. Sheffler's business. Mr. Sheffler's conflict of interest can not be good for honest Republican office holders and candidates.
Why do honest conservative Republicans put up with this?
The former president told farmers and Agriculture Department employees on Thursday that while producing biofuels is important for reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil, farmers should also look beyond domestic production and consider the needs of developing countries.
“I think the best thing to say is we have to become energy independent, but we don’t want to do it at the cost of food riots,” Clinton said."
"Former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo was removed on a gurney Wednesday during his preliminary hearing.......
Rizzo the alleged ringleader, is charged with 44 counts of misappropriation of public funds, six counts of falsification of records by an official custodian, three counts of conflict of interest and one count of public officer crime. He also is charged in a separate case with two counts of misappropriation of public funds."
Despots buying love eventually run into a problem; Economics 101. The law of unlimited wants and limited resources may be delayed, but never denied.
"Free" preschools, Vision Iowa Grants, state sweetheart bids for unions, Hollyweird does Des Moines, crummy Senate oversight, etc. etc. all adds up. Burn smokers. Eat the rich. It's a bitch when interest payments close in on tax receipts.
Without all the oil in Arabia, what's a State Senator to do?
For the guilty on the Mississippi, salvation is at hand. Just across the Great River Bridge, there's a place called Illinois.
"Van Jones’s new “American Dream Movement” is a totally spontaneous idea he had after seeing the chaos going on in the Middle East. That’s fantastic..except the idea for this movement was actually developed in 2008 at a conference attended by Jones and multiple union supporters. The big theme of the night’s show, and something that Glenn has been talking about for a few days now, was knowing who you are standing with. Glenn encouraged both President Obama and the protesters to really look at the people they are aligning themselves with."
Our congress is about as smart as a bag full of rocks and if their brains were dynamite they wouldn’t be able to blow their noses. These scum bags are allowing dead beat telemarketers to text people on their cell phones and this morning I got one, which I deleted without reading and it cost me $0.50.
Just how could 535 people be so stupid as to allow this to happen? This happened in the last session and not the new 2011 one recently seated. This is just another stupid brain dead decision by a bunch of losers out in Washington who don’t have enough sense to get out of the rain.
The congress owes me $0.50 and I’ll get it back in one way or another either cash or satisfaction. In my opinion Washington is run by a bunch of imbeciles at best.
"Scores of Fleebagger Democrats are now in hiding in neighboring Illinois, the nation’s sanctuary for political crooks and corruptocrats. Soon, area hotels will be announcing a special discount rate for card-carrying FleePAC winter convention registrants. Question: Will the White House count the economic stimulus from the mass Democratic exodus to Illinois as jobs “saved” or “created”? More important question: How much are taxpayers being charged for these obstructionist vacations?"
AFL-CIO Trumka & HIs Unnatural Relationsip With Obama
"President Obama had not made a public comment on the Middle East in nine days...but he finally broke his silence today..and he just had to do it around 5:00 Eastern. As a result, tonight's show was cut short about five minutes. Egypt was to the Middle East what America is now to the rest of the world. So, if America were to fall to radicals, would we see similar results to the Middle East on a global scale? Then, on to the people who seem to have the most influence over President Obama. Who claims to be speaking with the White House on a daily basis? Union boss Richard Trumka!"
With higher business taxes, “the only thing they’re attracting to Illinois is Democratic legislators from Wisconsin and Indiana.” Iowa Governor Terry Branstad
Damn it. If we still had Governor Chet, Senator Courtney would be welcoming Democrats fleeing from what they have done elsewhere to Burlington and we'd be reaping the rewards of who's that sleeping in our bed.
"Glenn gets fired up as chaos is beginning to break out all over the world, including here at home. From the growing revolutions in the Middle East to the budget cut protests popping up everywhere here in our own backyard, it seems the perfect storm could finally be upon us. Most of the things he predicted would happen are coming true right before our very eyes, yet the media are still calling him a conspiracy theorist. If that wasn't enough- oil hit a 30 month high today. Guests: Fox Business Network's Eric Bolling & Wall Street Strategies CEO Charles Payne."
"If House Republicans have their way, the Obama administration's "czars" will no longer be able to dictate pay at bailed-out mega-firms or negotiate new emissions standards for U.S. vehicles. An amendment attached to the 2011 spending package, which passed the House last week, would strip funding for a select list of the so-called czars.
"Democracy sounds great, but even the Founders knew that it would eventually lead to mob rule and that’s what is happening in the Middle East and what is happening right now in Wisconsin. A Republic is when representatives are elected to act on behalf of the people. In a Republic, Obama campaigned on hope, change and healthcare. Well, he won and he got to pass the legislation he ran on. The result? His approval ratings have dropped 20 points and Democrats lost seats in the midterm elections. That’s what happens in a Republic."
"The old so-called Wisconsin Idea was that government would collaborate with experts drawn from the state’s university system to craft progressive legislation. The new Wisconsin Idea is that the state is broke.
Gov. Scott Walker is bringing austerity to the intellectual breadbasket of American progressivism, and seeks to break the grip of the public-sector unions in a state that had a large hand in empowering them. His effort could become a national model for recalibrating the relationship of state governments to the unions that are bankrupting them."
In Washington, quantitative easing is the escape hatch. Cheapen the currency. Blame the resulting inflation instead of yourself. Rake in more to waste from income tax bracket creep.
Once the credit is maxed closer to home, this is not an option.
Des Moines County is trying to avert a situation as desperate as Wisconsin's. Supervisor Broeker wants to go to the table rather than straight to the mat. You can not keep spending as has been spent in the past.
In the City of Des Moines, the Iowa House has been tackling budget issues. Not so the other party controlled Iowa Senate. Five bills debated in the Senate in five weeks have avoided painful issues. Take comfort in the fact that anybody over .08% blood alcohol floating in an inter-tube in Iowa could face a Senate passed penalty.
How much longer will the Iowa Senate neglect? You can run, but you can not hide.
An Office in New Castle for the Importation of Coal
"Iowa Workforce Development proposes cutting three dozen field offices across the state and about 100 filled and vacant positions to meet Gov. Terry Branstad’s budget recommendation, said Teresa Wahlert, the agency’s director."
The Internet has replaced the jobs available board at the unemployment office of old. When it comes to Southeast Iowa, should you develop a work force where there is no work?
Not all job openings appear on the Internet. Most jobs available period in Southeast Iowa appear on fast food restaurant signs along major highways. Those with in demand job skills will pay such signs no heed as they tow a U-haul of all they have left to a better place.
All those decades of government economic and job development have left Southeast Iowa with so little to show. When you keep electing leaders like Iowa’s least effective State Senator Fraise and get even with business Tom Courtney, go figure.
Would Southeast Iowa be a logical place to close Workforce offices?
"Beck briefly touches on the protests that are now growing in Wisconsin, where the unions are protesting the state government's desperate attempts to avoid financial ruin by limiting the unions’ collective bargaining power. Then, he moved onto the Twelfth Imam with guests Joel Richardson and Zuhdi Jasser. They talk about the stunning similarities between the Islamic Twelfth Imam – a belief held by a small, radical group of Muslims including Ahmadinejad – and the Biblical Antichrist. Richardson is the author of The Islamic Antichrist. Jasser is a Muslim American and friend of Glenn's."
Wisconsin is broke. The current budget is already $137 million in the red. The 2011–2013 biennial budget faces a $3.6 billion hole. So Governor Walker has called the legislature into special session and presented them with an emergency budget. His plan closes the deficit without raising taxes.
Government employees in Wisconsin get amazing benefits. They get a generous defined-benefit pension with minimal contributions on their part. They also only pay 6 percent of the cost of their health-care premiums. Few taxpayers enjoy anything this generous..."
Congress is debating legislation that would permit the federal government to kill the internet. If the feds do it, what is to stop state and local governments from doing the same? What of a selective kill switch?
Is there a chance Senator Courtney's office and Burlington's City Hall have electricians readying a kill switch with your name on it?
"In order to fully appreciate this, please watch the video first and don’t skip ahead. Just pretend you’re sitting at the dinner table or on a nice comfy couch in 2003. There’s no Facebook, no YouTube, no Breitbart.com. Peter Jennings is still with us and you’re watching a trusted news source. Just sit back and take it all in."
Despite the high number of claimants Boyd says there is no fraud in the system as the law contains “anti-fraud provisions.”
“It looks like anything that has to do with blacks in this country there is always double and triple standard, I don’t know the reason for that, but that just seems to be the case,” Boyd said. “You hear people talking about all this fraud. We put anti-fraud provisions.”
"There is news of chaos beginning to spread all throughout the Middle East. Glenn begins the show with more on the coming insurrection in the Middle East. Glenn also warns about Google and how their executives have begun to insert themselves into the global discussion."
Burlington School's Spelling Test from the Ad Vertiser's Writers
I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
Money for new schools but not for spelling lessons.
"...You’re in charge of the nation’s finances. Some of your options have more short-term savings and some have more long-term savings. When you have closed the budget gaps for both 2015 and 2030, you are done. Make your own plan, then share it online."
"President Obama spoke about his proposed federal budget, and in the process made a lot of promises and gave some half truths about not adding to the national debt, but in truth the deficit is and will continue to grow. In order to make real, substantive cuts, Glenn said you have to start tackling entitlements. "
Burlington's 4.4% population drop in the 2010 census was widely noted. Burlington declined most by percentage among Iowa's larger cities. Burlington may well not suffer such humiliation in the future.
Nobody paid any attention to Yarmouth's population figures, nor Roscoe's, nor Jimtown's. On its present trajectory, Burlington will no longer be among Iowa's larger cities. Problem solved.
I wonder if the talking head council factor in losing citizens into Worden's pay raise when they run to tell us what some other city "our size" is used to justify their dumbass decisions to give everyone a big, fat, happy raise.
Iowa's Republican National Committeeman and Committeewoman are hosting a theater party. Are maxed out Presidential donors financing beautiful movies? Will the collection plate be passed?
If Ralph Reed shows up, would a double feature be in order? Some films are simply classic.
"Mr. Obama‘s budget projects that 2011 will see the biggest one-year debt jump in history, or nearly $2 trillion, to reach $15.476 trillion by Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. That would be 102.6 percent of GDP - the first time since World War II that dubious figure has been reached."
On recent evidence, this train is running in reverse. Though the Obama Administration has allocated more than $10 billion for high-speed rail projects the past two years, the new Republican governors of Wisconsin and Ohio, Scott Walker and John Kasich, have rejected the federal money. They don't want to put their taxpayers on the hook for projects destined for Insolvency Junction. Florida Governor Rick Scott is also reconsidering his state's proposed Orlando-Tampa line."
While I too think we need sidewalks along Sunnyside for students, it's wise to remember that if they exist they need to be cleared (by adjacent property owners) so they're usable. As a sometimes Burlington walker I encounter many that haven't been touched, some that are on the property of local governmental officials. Imagine that.
In addition, sidewalks, except on the actual school grounds, are not the responsibility of the school district. Too bad the developers who built all the houses along Sunnyside from Irish Ridge west many years ago weren't required to put those sidewalks in during the actual construction process.
I see the Hawk Eye ran a story about a panel tackling the city’s race relations that mostly concerned why blacks aren’t working for government and/or the police department.
First, I would say there were native citizens here long before the new citizens arrived and they’re the ones with the government jobs.
Secondly, why would new people come to Burlington when the city is on the decline and there aren’t enough jobs for the people that were already living here? City government needs to be decreased and not added to.
Burlington is losing approximately 113 people per year over the past ten years and the population has decreased approximately 1128 citizens or 4.4 percent the past ten years.
There will probably never be enough jobs in Burlington until the population declines to less than 20,000 citizens.
The new people should never have come to a city declining in population and jobs; so what brought people here? Iowa is no shining example of job growth with its low wages and high taxes. To top it off the Southeastern Iowa is known as the third world of Iowa with its one socialist party system along with high joblessness, crime and an over abundance of people dependent on drugs to make it through the day.
The organizations responsible for starting this problem have not been truthful about how depressed Burlington is while at the same time telling the citizens already living in Burlington we needed the workers which was one hell of a lie. SEIRPC is one of the culprits along with the Chamber that enticed people from Chicago to come here when the jobs were fifty miles from Burlington. The citizens were never told crime was going to sky rocket, drug use would run rampart, and drug dealers along with other undesirables would increase.
Let’s face it the new citizens were lied too in order to entice them to a dying jobless town and they are now finding out Burlington isn’t anywhere near the end of the rainbow.
Sunday morning I saw a minority family with children from Summer Street in a U-Haul, closing up the truck doors on my way to the post office and as I left the post office, I saw them heading up the bridge heading east. I thought to myself there’s a guy that’s doing what’s best for his family by getting out of this failing southeastern Iowa hamlet. Burlington with its slave labor wages topped off with a very high cost of living just isn’t the place to look for work and don’t forget the schools have been failing the students for years until the system is one of the worst in Iowa.
So; when people from out of state see the Burlington brochures and fancy fliers they shouldn’t believe them because they’re not being honest about what it’s really like in Burlington.
One time Burlington was a great industrial city, a good clean town with good city government but now that’s nothing more than a dream because the quality of city management has declined dragging down the entire area with it until Burlington is nothing but just a dumpy river town on decline. What our forefathers did has been destroyed with nothing left but a lingering memory.
In case anyone has forgotten, Tom Courtney was asleep at the switch during the film office scandal and the Iowa Association of School Boards scandal. Two major scandals on his watch within one year that have resulted in criminal prosecution and the loss of millions of dollars in taxpayer money.
Not to be outdone solo, Courtney's brother Jerry is a voting member on the Iowa Department of Economic Development. Jerry was oblivious to the film office scandal, too. This cost the state millions of dollars.
One of the most interesting events overlooked by Courtney was the IASB director's $210,000 annual salary being raised to $367,000 per year along with three other association employees unfettered raises. I'd guess those raises were clearly noted on the financial statements. Where was Tom when that went down? Burger King with the former mayor?
Courtney, you're a putz and regardless if the Hawkeye promotes your silliness to top dead center of the front page or not, I use your newsprint features to set the litter box on. As for my financial planning, I don't use Heland and I sure don't use Jerry. Both have clearly shown they cannot accept fiduciary responsibility with the taxpayers' money.
If you can't see the forest for the trees, you'd better get someone new under the glasses.
Tired of Shoveling will never get on the list because he or she obviously does not feed at the county trough or is not a county employee of high enough rank to warrant taxpayer money for personal use under the table.
Anyone living in Des Moines County or Burlington should keep an eye on elected officials or employees of local government living in their neighborhoods to make sure they’re not receiving personal use of taxpayer money from the government. If you see a government employee performing a service or working at the home of a city or county official report it on Spike or through the local media to stop this personal use of taxpayer money by ruthless, over compensated government employees in our city and county.
Our county and city governments are poorly managed and to have them using taxpayer money for personal use is nothing more than stealing from the over taxed public living here.
We are being taxed to death for education and to have it spent on personal use is a crime and that person should be fired and the person who authorized it should also be fired. Of course we all know that will never happen in this third world section of Iowa.
Saying it was paid for by the abuser is not an excuse for using public funded employees for personal use since it cost far more for that public employee and equipment to plow snow than it does for private snow removal. The wages, benefits, equipment and non-removal of public funded snow while doing the personal removal are far more expensive than having a local private firm remove the snow.
Forbes magazine ranked America's most miserable cities. Burlington is not mentioned. Villages were not scrutinized.
Some of the criteria used such as commute time really would not be applicable to a village. Taxes, unemployment and crime are universal indicators. With these, Burlington has nothing to be proud of. Not all is doom and gloom.
The Des Moines County Board of Supervisors is finally free of ignorant union thugs. The man behind importing Chicago's troubles as economic development has fled to Arizona. Burlington's City Council has not bought into another recreation sink hole lately. One member even talks of people supporting themselves rather than living off government.
Government will not create wealth. Wasteful government will encourage wealth to go elsewhere. Burlington has earned a reputation for wasteful government. It will take time on the straight to narrow to change that. Removing Senator Courtney from the Iowa Senate would help.
Cheer up. Things could could always be worse in Stockton.
It really surprises me to hear our government giving advice to Egypt on democracy, something we don’t even practice in our own country. As an example take Obamacare, when this bill was voted on all national polls showed the American people, by a majority didn’t want it, yet our elected officials voted it in anyway; so where does the majority of the Americans fit into this government?
Well, the majority of Americans don’t fit into the picture because our government is run by people who favor special interest groups and those that would buy the elected official in Washington through they’re PAC money and other unscrupulous sources.
Then in order to get the needed votes our president bribed for votes by outright paying for votes through squandering of taxpayer money along with any other back woods political moves just to force Obamacare on people, who in a majority didn’t want it.
I imagine that Egypt already has this form of American government; so why are we telling them how to be a democracy when they seem to be doing fine as is?
On the local level the people voted down the new library at least twice but the local government went ahead and built it anyway through hook or crook or any other means of requiring the necessary funds. Is this just another example of American democracy working for the majority of people? I remember one time it was voted down they brought shrinks into the library to help the poor abused employees get over their disappointment because the majority of voters didn’t want the new library. Just goes to prove the one party system of democracy is a joke and fringes more on communism than democracy. I wonder who paid for their politically corrected use of shrinks, I hope it wasn’t the taxpayer?
So; I don’t think we have the right to tell Egypt how to run they’re government when ours doesn’t even represent the majority of voters anymore than Egypt represents it’s majority. In America democracy is nothing more than the best money can buy and has little to do with the, “we the people statement”, which should be changed to, “we the money and special interest people”.
Immigration is a problem and our federal government doesn’t enforce immigration laws already on the books because the type of democracy here in America isn’t the least bit concerned about what the majority of American want. It’s more concerned with what the special interest and PAC groups want that matters the most to our government.
During the last blizzard, the business director for the Burlington schools had her snow cleared by a school truck. Did she pay for that service? Who else had their drives cleared with taxpayer funded equipment? School board members? Superintendent? Principals? Teacher union heads? How do I get on that list?
Obama has been in bed with GE because GE has been pushing green since their betting big bucks on cashing in on Obama’s global warming campaign. The head man at GE Mr. Immelt is one of Obama’s shady friends who has shipped GE’s entire light bulb manufacturing over to China to cash in on the cheap labor since America is now forced to buy Mercury filled light bulbs at three time the cost of incandescent style bulbs invented by Edison.
"Glenn was attacked by a Daily Beast commentator this morning on 'Fox and Friends', saying he had a “lunatic theory” and attributing the theory to the entire network. Glenn begins the show tonight by addressing that and then once again laying out his theory that there is a connection between the extreme left and the riots in Egypt. Glenn also talks about recent Code Pink protests that showed people making threats towards Glenn, Fox News Executives and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. The left is going to call Glenn crazy no matter what..just remember to do your own research."
"The skin gun is not science fiction—it's a prototype medical device that literally sprays skin cells onto burn victims to re-grow skin. Old methods like skin grafts took weeks to heal; the skin gun needs about an hour.
We've heard about the spray-on skin gun back in 2008 but we didn't think it'd become this real, this useful, this fast. Though it is still technically in an experimental stage, the skin gun has already successfully treated over a dozen burn victims. The way it works is by using stem cells from the patient's healthy skin and mixing it with a solution to come up with the spray paint. And combined with that fancy gun, the rest is easy. Doctors say "skin cell spraying is like paint spraying".
The video has some graphic burn images, so don't watch unless you have the stomach for it. This clip will also air on National Geographic's Explorer: How to Build a Beating Heart. Stem cells have long been a point of controversy but this is really wonderful science at work."
"You've heard a lot about The Muslim Brotherhood lately, but just who are they and what are their plans..specifically for America? Tonight, learn about a document that lays out the Brotherhood’s proposed plans for North America, including expanding the Muslim base and presenting a “civilization alternative”, as well as the support for a global Islamic state. It details a plan to conquer and Islamize the United States- not as an ultimate objective, but as a stepping stone toward the larger goal of creating a global Islamic state. Plus, why caliphates are scary. What is a caliphate? "
"Legislative Republicans unveiled a new effort Monday aimed at eliminating overly burdensome and unnecessary government rules or overzealous state enforcement activities that are impeding job-creation efforts or causing business prospects to look elsewhere to locate in states where the regulatory climate is less onerous."
Judge rules against health law, Cites Obama’s words
“I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that, ‘If a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house,’” Judge Vinson wrote in a footnote toward the end of his 78-page ruling Monday."