Video: Rep. Thede States Removing Collective Bargaining Could Cost Taxpayers More

DAVENPORT, IOWA - - Friday February 25, 2011
Phyllis Thede Iowa District 81 State Representative, discusses what the worst case scenarios could be if Collective Bargaining is removed from the public sector worker's employment. 

Thede, who has "been a union steward for a long time," is interviewed after the Quad City Chamber of Commerce Legislative Luncheon. 

During the Legislative Luncheon, Thede had stood up and addressed the fifty to sixty people in attendance and asked them to have a dialog regarding the happenings in Wisconsin and specifically the "middle ground" regarding Collective Bargaining.  ( See this video clip for her statements to the chamber luncheon attendees: )

When asked what the worst case scenario is for a public worker without collective bargaining, Thede responded: Where will public workers go to have "that conversation, who do they talk to?" 

Q: How does it hurt the public worker if they have to go the same remedies that the private sector has to go to with regards to resolving a problem? 

A: It's not so much hurting, it's the cost, the potential cost. If had no other recourse, as a public worker, I will now seek an attorney. I will go to an attorney thereby costing the place of my employment high dollars of money to solve a case that I could probably solve in a short amount of time. Doe that make sense? 

Video: Regional Leadership Cited as Impetus for County Checkbook Going Online
Beginning Feb 1st, 2011 the expenses of Scott County will be published approximately every two weeks online in searchable PDF format, sorted by Vendor and by Department.
After the news conference (video and news release below), Auditor Moritz stated that having an aggregate report in the future, documenting quarterly, bi-annual and annual expenses by Vendor and Department, was something they had not thought of, but she would work on making that happen.

News Release Submitted to the Media:

Scott County to Post "County Checkbook" On-Line
Cites Regional Leadership Goal as Impetus for Transparency

Tuesday, February 22, 2011
10:00 a.m.
Scott County Administrative Center - 600 West 4th Street
Davenport, Iowa - First Floor Board Room

Contact: Roxanna Moritz, Scott County Auditor 326-8631 (office) 370-3915 (cell)

Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz will announce the posting of the "County Checkbook" on-line at a news conference scheduled for Tuesday, February 22, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. at the Scott County Administrative Center, 600 West 4th Street, Davenport, Iowa. She and other county officials will demonstrate how to access this new function from the county website.

Video: The Councils of Governments Amongst Us – Scott County Adopts Ten Smart Planning Principles Resolution, 5-0

It needs to be noted that in individual conversations with board members, the primary reason given for adopting this non-binding measure was to ensure that Scott County was eligible for future potential state and federal grants, related to Sustainable Development and Smart Planning incentives.
While the financial impetus for rubber stamping this measure was brought up by staff in public on January 20th, on February 3rd, Supervisors Cusak and Minard, in their public remarks, did not include grant eligibility as a reason they were voting yes on the staff recommended measure.

Rather, the reasoning leaned towards whether an additional layer of government was needed in the county so cities and counties could "accommodate themselves" in determining the "quality of life we think they should have."

Supervisor Bill Cusack felt assured from staff that these were only guidelines, while supervisor Larry Minard extolled the virtues of layers of regional councils of governments such as Bi-State Regional Commission.  Further, Minard asserts that not only is Scott County powerless to refuse any new taxes to support such a new entities that may emerge as a result of adopting these Smart Planning Principles, but Scott County would be an active participant.

William Cusack on Subjecting County to Outside Pressures:
“I just want to say I’ve done a lot of checking on this, and thinking, and based upon staff’s assurance that this is a guide and will not subject us to any outside pressures or influence, I plan to vote for it.”

Larry Minard on Regional Councils of Governments:
“I don’t think there’s ever been a time in the Bi-State Regional Commission where we haven’t held one of the four major offices. I mean it’s just the way things work. I think this layering is necessary.

The state government, has allowed these structures to develop, they’re not perfect, but they’ve allowed them to develop to meet all those needs, and if such an organization does develop that relates to planning and other issues that might come before it, Smart Planning Principles, the state will decide that and they will decide whether it’s a taxable organization or it doesn’t tax.
They will decide what’s going to happen, we won’t. But I can guarantee you that if we have that organization that Scott County will be a participant and play an active role.
And we always have and we will continue to do that and we will do what best reflects well of the citizens of Scott County and allows our people to have that quality of life that we think they should have.”

Full transcript of the Supervisors' comments are found below.
Video here:

February 3, 2011 | Davenport, Iowa – The Scott County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to adopt the state's Smart Planning Principles for the County Comprehensive Plan.
This resolution, first proffered by staff via the Planning and Zoning division of the county structure for a recommendation, came before the supervisors for a single public hearing as required, two weeks prior.

Video: Holst Goes on Record at the EMA Hearing - SECC Misleading the Public

"Nothing that has happened so far gives me faith that you are watching over our tax dollars. When you have a uncapped levy, nothing will control it. There will always be enough money. You'll never be afraid to pass the budget, because there will always be the money. What's happened to date, makes me realize, the taxpayers have to watch over this. And that's why I am here today." - Diane Holst, Eldridge, Iowa

Davenport, Iowa - Feb 1, 2011 | Scott County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Board Meeting and Public Hearing
Scott County Iowa EMA Board Meeting and Public Hearing 1 of 3 (11 mins)
Scott County Iowa EMA Board Meeting and Public Hearing 2 of 3 (11 mins)
Scott County Iowa EMA Board Meeting and Public Hearing 3 of 3 (3 mins)
Only two tax payers were present for nearly an $8M budget approval public hearing.
The man on the right, Ross Bergen, is the single employee of the Emergency Management Agency, and it is within and underneath this agency functionary that the SECC911 operational budget must finally and formally be approved today.

Ross' one man show operational budget is $126,500 and he has been around for 18 years and is a liaison with the nuclear plants and maintains a 40' mobil command unit purchased with a federal grant (and  is driven by two volunteers, one a former fire chief and the other a OTR driver).

Ross has been operating in loaned space in Bettendorf for four years and is now moving into the new SECC911 building as well.

Today's proceedings, chaired by Bettendorf Fire Chief Gerald Voelliger, included a presentation, public hearing on a $8.85M FY 11 budget amendment for SECC operations.

In addition to this "re-do" that cost tax payers an additional $1M , today's proceedings also included presentation and public hearing on the FY 12 EMA Budget. This EMA budget, typically $125K, is now nearly $8M, because of the requirement that SECC fall under EMA on paper, even though SECC911 is really operating under the purview and control of the County Administration.

This meeting is clearly treated as a formality of little consequence, as the SECC911 Board has already met and approved its $7M annual operating budget. It just NOW needs to ALSO be approved at the EMA's board process, with a public hearing as well.

Since February 2010, Diane Holst has been following the SECC911 saga very closely.

Video: McGreevy Addresses Scott County Board Feb 1, 2011

At the Tuesday, February 1, 2011 Scott County Board of Supervisors Committee of the Whole (COW), Bettendorf resident Todd McGreevy addresses the board and shares with them a proposed resolution to update the county's website policy to make documents generated and posted by staff searchable and more transparent.

In addition, the concerns of ceding authority to a Council of Governments via the Smart Planning Principles outlined in the state code 18B Land Use language, that is being proposed to be adopted this Thursday by the County into its Comprehensive Plan, is presented.