IFA Publishes First Edition of The Concerned Citizen

The Concerned Citizen Vol 1 Issue 1

Video: SECC911 April 14th Board Meeting

SECC911 Board Amplifies Racoms Signal Before Coverage Area is Fully Tested

And Calls for Amplifying Its Demand to be Recognized by Mediacom as a new Governmental Body for Special Cable Pricing

DAVENPORT, IOWA | On April 7th the SECC911 Board had a regularly scheduled monthly board meeting. Only Sunderbruch and O'Boyle showed up - Freemire, Claudy and Gluba were not in attendance. http://www.secc911.org/secc/secc_board.php

Members of IFA presented the questions below to the two board members, SECC911 Director Brian Johnson and Scott County Administrator Dee Bruemmer. Since they had no quorum there was no meeting.

Here is the link to the agenda and board packet for the April 7th meeting.
The primary item on the agenda (and outlined in the Packet) was a "dead spot" in a portion of Davenport known as Hillendale on the new proprietary radio system implemented by Racom for the public safety departments of Davenport, Bettendorf and Scott County.

Due to the high volume of public safety calls in Hillendale this dead spot in the system needs fixed right away, explains the memo from Brian Johnson to the board seeking $17K in expenses approved.

There were approximately eight tax payers in attendance on April 7th hoping to get answers to questions like these below. The meeting was re-scheduled for a week later, April 14th at 12pm noon and announced the Monday prior.
April 14, 2011 SECC Packet (464.8 KB)
April 14, 2011 SECC Minutes (94.6 KB)
April 14, 2011 SECC Agenda (10.1 KB)
Below is the 20 min video of the meeting where Frank Claudy (from MEDIC), Mike Freemire (Bettendorf Mayor), Tom Sunderbruch (County Supervisor), Bill Gluba (Davenport Mayor) were in attendance and Martin O'Boyle (Eldridge Mayor) was absent. Brian Hitchcock (SECC911 Director) is in the foreground, Dee Breummer along with Bettendorf Administrator are heard off camera to the right.

Problems with Sustainability Plan DRAFT - Please Pause on Rubber Stamping

April 11, 2011

Dear Scott County Board of Supervisors: 

Please find below, instances where the term "require" is used in the Sustainability Plan DRAFT, the plan proposed by the county staff to be adopted by this Board by the end of April:

Page 3
For others, the awareness and understanding, as well as the actions that may be required to embrace sustainability, may occur much slower.

Page 34
Action: Review Iowa Department of Natural Resources lake and beach monitoring
programs ....for program requirements and opportunities for funding.

Page 36
Incorporate low-emission requirements into bid specifications, both purchasing and contracting.

Video: Bi-State's Sustainability Plan Presentation to Scott County Board

Scott County Board Does Not Understand It Can Take Action When and How It Wishes 
Rubber Stamping Averted - For Now

[APRIL 8 UPDATE: On April 5th County Administrator Dee Bruemmer provided a written response to the series of questions IFA delivered to the Board at the March 29 meeting. Those questions & staff's answers are at the end of this blog posting below. Contact phone & email info for Scott County Board of Supervisors available HERE.]

DAVENPORT, IOWA - March 29, 2011 |  It is painful to watch the slow creep of another layer of top down unelected policy decision making -- another layer of unaccountable government - being born right before your very eyes. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAOaobwQ9IE ]

At the Committee of the Whole meeting of the Scott County Board of Supervisors meeting, Bi-State Regional Commission's Gena McCollough makes the first public presentation to the Board of the proposed Sustainability Plan for Scott County. County staff was authorized to contract the development of this plan with Bi-State (known to some on the county board as "our regional council of governments") a year ago. It was funded by a $50,000 federal department of energy grant.

Some of the advisory committee meetings from last fall were attended by IFA members and videos from those meetings are available here. The presentation in the first ten minutes covers the makeup and membership of that advisory committee and what it contributed. 

What is at risk if this plan is adopted, is the slow creep of another top down bureaucracy, laden with draconian land and personal property management/control enforcement by fiat - aka policy or regulation -- in other words "soft law." 


The four 10 min videos, recording the presentation and subsequent refreshingly atypical Q&A between the board, McCollough and county staff, are now on the IFA youtube channel and embedded below.

There had been no public announcement of the availability of the DRAFT Sustainability Plan until this March 29, 2011 meeting. It had been online for about two weeks prior to this meeting. Staff recommends to the board that 4 weeks of publicly available commenting online is sufficient before a board action to officially adopt this Plan is voted on. There is no discussion as to whether that public comment will be taken into consideration, if so, how and when. (Note: the county has posted 3 responses at this pdf as of this April 5 blog posting: Received Comments (22.7 KB)

SECC911 Dead Spot in High Crime Area Costs Taxpayers $17K More to NoBid Racom

Despite millions being invested in our consolidated dispatching equipment and a new uncapped taxing authority... it looks like the coverage of Racom's communication equipment is lacking and we have a dead spot that happens to be in a high crime area in Davenport, Iowa.  

So what's the remedy? Spend more tax payer money of course. 

Video: IFA Tours the SECC911 Open House

March 20, 2011 - Davenport, Iowa | Members of the Iowans For Accountability were joined by other Scott County taxpayers at the open house for the $28M, 28,000+ square foot Consolidated Dispatching Center, aka SECC911 building.  Below is the copy from the handbill that was handed out to dozens of attendees.  The video of the tour is also embedded below for review.

From the flyer handed out and embedded/linked below.

Did You Know These SECC911 Facts?

Unelected SECC Board with Unlimited Taxing Authority

The question is NOT if it was a good idea to consolidate the 3 dispatch services for cost and safety reasons. We were told it would save taxpayers $4.6 million over 20 years. That figure came from a $103,000 Consolidation Study that outlined how that savings could be achieved through a 6,000 square foot building, costing $2.3 million, and $2.1 million to equip the building.

Instead, SECC911 is now a $26 million project carrying $28 million of debt for 20 years, and is the 2nd largest expenditure of the County budget at $8 million dollars a year.

How did an expenditure of this magnitude never come before the people as a referendum?