Monday, December 19, 2005

Busy Week Open Thread

Sorry about the lack of posts, but I had a family Christmas get together here Saturday night, so there was some apartment cleaning to be done. I suspect most of my loyal readers are pretty darn busy themselves preparing for the big day.

Its only going to get worse around New Year's, because I'll be in Phoenix from December 29th-January 7th. I'll hopefully throw up a couple threads during that time, but no promises.

Some of you may want to discuss the impending EM approval of the pork processing plant, which I think is showing Davenport that IL folks know how to rush projects through even better than us.
Update 8:50pm: It appears they've approved it.

I'd also like to know some kind of timeline on the 3 lady lawsuit, as far as when the hearing or dismissal or whatever is supposed to be. I wish it would be settled, because surely there's some other contentious issue everyone could argue about.

26 Comments:

At 12/19/2005 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What sort of timeline is there with McGivern's OWI? Wasn't he due back in court a couple weeks ago? What happened?

 
At 12/20/2005 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There really seems to be a lot of misinformation flying around about what a business in Davenport is going to be paying in storm water utility fees.

One post indicated that each of the Wal-Marts would be paying over $30,000 a year in fees. The assessment records for the West Locust Wal-Mart indicates that they have 784,388 square feet of buildings, parking and roads. Divide that figure by 2,600 sq. Ft. and you come up with the equivalent of 301 residential units times the new rate of $28.08 per unit and you have an annual fee for Wal-Mart of $8,471.17, a far cry from $30,000 per year, I doubt if this is something that will break the budget or would have made them consider building in a different city.

 
At 12/20/2005 2:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take a look at page 6 of the December 2nd council update. Over $5,000 per month from Deere, that's $60,000+ per year. You're welcome to try locate the cost to other commercial propertyowners.

 
At 12/20/2005 3:17 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Deere isn't Walmart, however. I believe 11:36 was just pointing out that once again the againsters are using false statements and repeating them so many times that they are assumed to be true.

Thanks for the research anonymous 11:36, although that link to the council update provided by 2:49 might be more accurate, its still not $30,000 a year for Walmart.

 
At 12/20/2005 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did the LOL's have their hearing today?

 
At 12/20/2005 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The LOLs did indeed have their hearing today. They have, at least for now, triumphed and are heros of the taxpayers. With only $100.00 to fight a lawsuit, they have shown Mary Thee and City staff that the tactics of intimidating people do not work. As expected, the judge did not even dignify Thee's request that the LOLs put up a 45 million dollar bond. Instead, he refused to immediately dismiss the lawsuit and took the matter under advisement. This means the Council cannot sell the bonds or ink the contract for $10,000.00 to little per acre on Prairie Heights. Secondly, Suzie Bell should be annointed as a saint and a statue in her honnor should be placed outside of City Hall. Even if it is eventually dismissed, she has single handidly slowed down the current Council's qwest to stick the next Council with an outragous amount of debt. God willing, she may even be successful in stopping the current police station from being built for 24 million, and a newer building may be re-habbed in place of all out new construction. This alone could easily save us 10 million or more. And, Suzy also has the EPA investigating the propossed sight.

Suzy Bell for Mayor in 07!!!

 
At 12/20/2005 9:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't get it, I always thought that lawsuits were not finalized until the judge or jury made a decision and the judge signed the appropriate paper work. Yet in this case the judge merely takes the matter under advisement and the city is precluded from selling the bonds.

The whole thing really seems to make a mockery of our legislative system, why bother to hold elections when three individuals can file a writ of mandamus and throw a monkey wrench into the whole system and tie the hands of a duly elected legislative body?

 
At 12/21/2005 1:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This can only happen when the elected officials are acting in nefarious ways. What gave the ladies standing is they pointed out the elected officials were ignoring the situation regarding ground contamination at the police station, and those potential costs need to be accounted for. Far from making a mockery of things, this judge has shown his wisdom.

 
At 12/21/2005 1:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suzy Bell also has the DNR and the EPA investigating now too! She is my hero.

 
At 12/21/2005 6:18 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I don't believe they are precluded from selling the bonds. Its just riskier to sell them before the matter is settled.

 
At 12/21/2005 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

QCI,

If you were alderman elect, I would not vote on it if I were you until the judge renders his decision. There is personal liablility involved for the aldermen that ignore this. Regardless of how the judge rules, you risk pissing off the court if you move ahead. If you were getting divorced, and your ex-wife was suing you over $100,000.00, would you go spend it on your new squeeze? Sure, you could if you wanted to, and I suppose you could also shoot yourself in both feet and the head too.

 
At 12/21/2005 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you were getting divorced, and your ex-wife was suing you over $100,000.00,"

Yes I would unless the court issued an injunction prohibiting me from doing so.

 
At 12/21/2005 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're going to spend over $100,000 on me, I might be talked into being your new squeeze. :-)

 
At 12/21/2005 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok guys, don't run to the bank with the 100k yet. There is a big problem here. The mandamus action prohibits future spending, and until the judge rules, any sitting alderman that votes to spend faces personal liability.

 
At 12/21/2005 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's not necessarily true. If the judge did not specifically prohibit the council from spending the money they are not bound. Just because the writ requests it does not mean it is so.

 
At 12/21/2005 2:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The council may not be bound, but there is a huge legal risk in "shocking the conscience of the court" that could be evidenced in this case. Should the council members proceed to spend money that a court is in the process of ruling on, they could be held in contempt, and may incur tremendous personal liability. By not dismissing Mrs. Bell's lawsuit right off the bat, the judge is indicating that there is a possibility that it has some merit. That is even clearer given that she appeared without a lawyer, and typically such cases are tossed out immediately. Unless they want to bring tremendous liability on themselves, my legal advice, after twenty years dealing with this kind of thing, would be to tell the Council to wait for the judge's final consideration before voting to sell the bonds. My best guess is that this suit will eventually be dismissed, but to vote in advance of a sitting judge's ruling shows no respect for the authority of the law, and those are exactly the kind of situations that get people in hot water.

 
At 12/21/2005 3:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the city broke ground for the new police station today I guess they are not too afraid of the writ.

 
At 12/21/2005 3:12 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Cities can't stop everything every time a frivolous lawsuit comes along. I guess I'd like to see the legal code where it says "If Alderman spend money, and then the court later says they shouldn't have spent it that way, even though they were elected... then they are personally liable for that money."

We elected them. They're doing what they were elected to do.

 
At 12/21/2005 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know they did the official "groundbreaking" but that is strictly ceremonial. It is when they start construction or sell the bonds that they risk pissing off a sitting judge.

As for QCI's comment that the law would have to say this: "If Alderman spend money, and then the court later says they shouldn't have spent it that way, even though they were elected... then they are personally liable for that money."

QCI, this shows you are a young pup who has not been around for too many years. The world just does not work that way, little guy.
We are a nation of laws, and we do not elect Kings. Thus, even George Bush can be held up to certain standards in court if he runs afoul of the law. Now, if the judge had dismissed the case, the aldermen would be free to do whatever they wanted to do. But, the minute the judge took the matter under consideration, then the aldermen are risking his wrath if they should choose to sell the bonds and approve certain expenditures anyway. I am not saying they won't do so; some of them are a few cards short of a full deck. But, they do so at their own risk.

 
At 12/21/2005 9:05 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I'll ignore all the bs about me being too young to know how democracy works.

Tell me the law code that says they are risking personal liability.

 
At 12/21/2005 10:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Son, you just need to get a few years under your belt to figure out how the law works. If you want a first hand experience, go into court someday, let the judge start ruling on something, and try and screw with it before he is done. You will get a rude awakening. Hell, people have been tossed in jail for simply being disrespectful to judges, let alone ignoring their procedures. Judges have tremendous discretion, and are certainly more powerful than any City Council.

 
At 12/22/2005 12:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just because the Judge Smith didn't throw out Susie Bell's writ doesn't mean he is on the verge of ruling for the ladies or that the council is in any particular danger. Since a writ of mandamus is an appeal, it is customary for the judge to allow broad review. By allowing the ladies to continue the judge is effectively saying the ladies complaint is not so egregious as to warrant tossing out.

 
At 12/22/2005 1:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are correct, and because it is not so egregious as to warrant tossing it out, the ladies complaint has some merit to it until and unless it is tossed out or it loses in court. In the meantime, it would be a very unwise alderman indeed that would vote as if this situation did not exist. Any alderman that votes to ignore this whole situation does so at his or her own peril.

 
At 12/22/2005 1:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suzy,

You are a saint. We, the taxpaying public appreciate your efforts to save us, but alas, Tom Saul has reported "a judge Wednesday dismissed an action sought by citizen Susie Bell to block the current council from doing any more spending before new aldermen take office on Jan. 3".

It is a shame it turned out this way. I would have loved to have seen the aldermen vote to spend and defy a judge and get the crap sued out of them.

 
At 12/22/2005 6:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a business in Davenport. My storm utility fee is only $792.00. No big deal! But the $6500.00 increase in my taxes was. Add them together and it is a big deal. I don't pay it though, my customers do. Just pass the cost onto the citizens of Davenport.

 
At 12/22/2005 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is exactly what Suzie, was trying to prevent. I think I can speak for most of us when I offer a collective "thank you" to the brave efforts of Suzie Bell on behalf of the mis-treated Davenport public. What a bunch of thieves the current Council are. I will even go so far as to speak for QCI. He is obviously young and still a bit naive in the ways of the world, but he too shall someday thank you Suzie. Suzie, you are a great American!

 

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