"We spent like the good times would go on forever"
I see where Stockton, California a city of 300,000 will soon be going bankrupt and one of the big reasons is high salaries and lucrative benefits that were supposed to attract and retain the brightest city workforce to improve the quality of life for its residents. "We spent like the good times would go on forever," said Stockton spokeswoman Connie Cochrane.
I’m sure that’s not the only reason but here in Burlington we can definitely say that we have some of the same problem as Stockton just take a look at the last two or three city managers and a few of the department heads that have lived the good life off taxpayers while screwing the hell out of all of us by squandering our city treasury on dreams of grandeur while letting the infrastructure go to hell and taxes skyrocket.
Voters by limiting voting to only one party have destroyed the possibilities of Burlington ever being run with real checks and balances that would promote honest government. Burlington is becoming the armpit of Iowa where government high pay and benefits has gained us absolutely nothing but misery and a future that looks dim and full of grief.
"Former prominent lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who spent several years in prison convicted of corruption-related crimes, told Breitbart News that Democratic Party mega-donor Dr. Salomon Melgen and New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez have followed the corruption playbook with which he is so familiar.
...Abramoff also charged that, “100 percent,” what Melgen has been accused of doing amounts to “bribery.”
“They [the mainstream media] won’t say it, and by the way the legal standard of bribery in this country is laughable,” he said. “It’s basically that you have to have a quid pro quo that both parties agree and it has to be proven that it’s quid pro quo."
He retorted, "That doesn’t mean that nothing’s being bought. Of course they’re being bribed. If you try to give a public servant something of value and get something back, it’s a bribe."
"There is no question about it that this is bribery in the traditional, common law sense of the word, not in the statutory ‘these guys protecting their own hides’ United States law sense," Abramoff concluded. "Every citizen of the United States outside the Beltway knows this is a bribe.”
I see in the local paper an editorial that was optimistic because Burlington had a net gain of 15 people over the last year. Well that really depends on what the 15 people contribute to the city in my point of view. Over the past few years the replacement people for those leaving for greener pastures haven’t exactly been pillars of society.
For instance I wonder how many of the 15 are drug dealers, thieves, dependent on taxpayers, productive citizens, already have a job, came here to contribute to the tax base and pay their own way. If they came here to live off the few remaining taxpayers it would be better for Burlington had they gone someplace else.
Burlington already has far too many idle people living off the taxpayers with nothing to do but make life miserable for those trying to eke out a living in this basically stagnant town.
I think it’s far too early to count 15 people as a boon to Burlington, it remains to be seen exactly how the 15 fill the void left by past hard working citizens who fled because of economic problems and loss of good paying industrial jobs here in Burlington.
A city that ranks 3rd for crime out of 900+ city and towns in Iowa doesn’t exactly fit the bill as a destination of choice for hard working types but caters to those looking for easy living off the taxpayers.
The bond rating agency, Moody's, downgraded Burlington's bond rating making it harder and more expensive for the city to acquire new debt. The report also highlighted the city sewer fund being used as the city's slush fund to conceal the negative balances from the RecPlex, Flint Hills Golf Course, parking and solid waste from the public.
""Prior management," the report reads, "reportedly had incurred cost overruns on certain capital projects and frequently did not identify adequate funding sources for capital projects, leading to the use of reserves from funds across city government and to the accumulation of numerous deficit fund balances over time."
The sewer fund similarly was downgraded, and unlike the city's overall rating, still has a negative outlook.
The audit for fiscal year 2011-12 showed sewer fund revenues of about $779,000, though Ferneau said now it's closer to $2.1 million. The city is required to keep a portion of the sewer fund's revenues as cash reserve. Instead, what has happened is past city officials used the sewer revenues to offset deficits in other negatively balanced funds.
The respective funds for the RecPlex, the golf course, parking and solid waste have a combined deficit of $1.8 million, negative balances that are effectively absorbing and offsetting most of the sewer fund's revenue.
Moody's said this practice must stop, and while he was not in Burlington when the practices were in place, Ferneau plans to take the bond rating agency's criticism to heart.""
Time For County Employees to Step Away From Trough
Mr. Shotwell is 100% right when he questions why county employees pay nothing for their health insurance in Sunday’s Hack Eye. On top of that if they refuse the insurance they get the cost of the premium dollars to pocket themselves and the county even forces them to take the money if they don’t want the insurance, rather than reduce taxes to the general public or put it back in the general fund.
It’s sickening taxpayers have to nurse public employees here in Des Moines County as though they were something above the private sector taxpayers who get nothing similar to a free ride as do most of the public employees. This is a situation where the tail is wagging the horse so to speak.
Here in Des Moines County we have public employees who are never held to account for their major mistakes as though they are immune from accountability and responsibility. Right now the county is tearing down the County Home because of both responsibility and accountability failures of county employees to protect the taxpayer’s property and yet not one head rolled or was there any discipline dealt out to the person or persons who failed in their duties. I’m sure the raises, bonuses and free benefits kept right on flowing to the employees who let this disgraceful lack of concern occur.
This is the typical Democrat/Union bond that robs the taxpayers through more taxes in order for the unions to funnel their union dues along with their votes back to the Democrats and in return the unions get sweetheart deals during their collective bargaining negotiations. In other words the union is represented on both sides of the table during negotiations a system of graft not common in private sector union negotiations.
Des Moines County isn’t near as bad as the city when it comes to failure of government and it seems as though the citizens just don’t give a damn how messed up it is because they continue to one check Democrats over and over again when voting in spite of the constant incompetence. What’s been going on in this city management for the past 20 years or so is disgusting. Just look at all the money wasted on failures and total mismanagement of elected and hired officials, not to mention the rotting away of the infrastructure through lack of maintenance.
The Burlington newspaper fails to keep the citizens informed of what city hall has been doing until something really bad happens such as the inability to pay the employees and having to borrow money to meet payroll. The failure of city hall to manage our tax dollars is just disgraceful but of course no one is held responsible and the person responsible just walks away leaving the taxpayers with his mess and we get another city manager. Maybe this time we have a good city manager something that has been missing for years.
Every time I see or hear about all the back slapping down at city hall when someone retires it makes me gag because of what they’ve actually done to ruin the City of Burlington through nothing more than political dimwittedness during the election process where one check is a way of life. Voting based on party is just saying one doesn’t care about electing the best person for the job and to hell with the city. Everything about one check voting explains the ignorance of voters in Burlington where failure seems a prerequisite to getting elected. Just take a drive around town and look at the lack of city code enforcement, trash all over the place, bridges shut down or falling apart, streets in decay, bankruptcy just around the corner, failed city business ventures and the list just goes on and on all indicating failed city government.
This process of failure starts at the polls and little will change because Burlington is controlled by unions and the entitlement crowd who through ignorance constantly elect Democrats proven to be incompetent and dimwitted at best and not capable of city management.
"BACK in the 1990s Latin America seemed to have turned the page on military rule and embraced democracy and free-market economics, with the sole, beleaguered exception of communist Cuba. And then along came Hugo Chávez, a bumptious Venezuelan former lieutenant-colonel who, having staged a failed military coup against a democratic government, got himself elected as president in 1998.
"HAVANA TIMES — The Cuban government declared two days of mourning for the death on Tuesday of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, considered “as a true son” to Fidel Castro and “beloved” friend of President Raul Castro, reported dpa news."
“I feel a lot of pain,” said a 55-year Havana woman crying in front of the Venezuelan embassy in Cuba shortly after the announcement.."
Marxists of the Americas are in mourning. The Havana Ad Vertiser expressed the Cuban nation's grief. Do you think any of the Burlington Ad Vertiser's columnists will write a more moving eulogy for the Sunday edition? Will Sweet make brownies for the convocation of the Despot Admiration Society?
Currently our border areas are about as secure as our tax dollars were under the control of Iowa’s worst city accountant “can’t count Doug” who recently retired to live the good life off the taxpayers and totally unaccountable for the damage he and his cronies have done to our city over the years. Burlington has a complete lack of checks and balances of its elected government perpetrated by the voters “one check voting technique”. By the way is there an outside auditing firm that audits the books in Burlington annually, if so is it the same one that audits the books in Dixon, Illinois?
Voters should look around at what party controls most of the failing states and cities in our country and of course Washington D.C. The combination of a democratic government along with government unions is a fatal attraction one that’s been proven fatal to many of our cities and states.
It’s the combination of Iowa democrats and government unions that are stopping our governor from revamping the schools and their quality problems. The teacher unions and senate democrats have blocked all attempts to make teachers accountable along with a host of other school problems; so Iowa continues to produce something less than a quality education for its children. Just follow the teacher union money and one can deduce why nothing ever changes for the better in the Iowa schools with the exception of their rankings that constantly decrease.
How much longer can American stand this fatal attraction between government unions and democrats?
"A key lawmaker is absent from the Iowa Senate indefinitely after undergoing heart bypass surgery last week, leaving Senate Democrats one vote short of the majority required by the Iowa Constitution to approve legislation.
Sen. Tom Courtney, D-Burlington, who is serving his fourth term in the Senate, had surgery last Thursday and the date of his return isn’t known, Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal confirmed Monday."
...As important as these other issues are, however, nothing rivals Benghazi.
During the Chuck Hagel confirmation fight, it was revealed that to this day, neither the public nor the Congress know the names of those who were evacuated out of Benghazi. Nor have we ever seen the transcripts of the interviews which were conducted immediately after the event.
The White House's excuse, that this information cannot be revealed because of an FBI investigation, is eerily and frighteningly similar to Nixon telling H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman to "turn off" the Watergate investigation as it threatened national security.
Sadly, it now appears that Director Mueller and the FBI are willing to serve, once again, as an instrument of cover up for an administration -- this time following a tragedy in which 4 Americans are now dead.
As much as I have always admired Bob Woodward and admire now him in the sequester fight and for his willingness to take on the White House, I cannot refrain from expressing my disappointment that this man, who did such a service for the country 40 years ago, has essentially taken himself off the boards of the Benghazi fiasco. I wish that if Woodward were to get in a fight, he would do it on an issue that really matters to the safety of the United States."
Cedar Rapids Broke Back Casino Plan Mired in Mud of The Flood
"A recent mail piece asked voters how they would rather pay for flood protection. Option “A” was through an increase in local taxes, option “B” was for the proposed casino. The reverse side features a picture of Reagan and the words, “If you answered A, former President Reagan would be disappointed in you.”
What the hell is next, a Ronald Reagan slot machine?
How much state and federal money went into Cedar Rapids after the big flood of 2008? Our taxes are used to clean up the mess and then they want a casino right back where it flooded. This makes less sense than the City of Burlington's involvement with Huck's Hole out at our Morgan Stanley cash call casino. At least Catfish Craps is not on Big Island.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission better not license this lunacy. In the immortal words of Nancy Reagan, "Just say no."
The Corp of Engineers has proposed a $99 million flood prevention system that would only protect the east side of the Cedar River as it flows through the city. While this would protect the downtown and commercial areas of town, city leaders argue that “environmental justice” requires that the “disadvantaged residents” on the west side of the river should also be protected."