Friday, September 11, 2009

The Comcast Tax and Congrats, you own Church School!

In committee this week, aldermen started the ball rolling on a back-door tax increase that Comcast will collect on their behalf.

It seems our former cable provider, Insight Communications, fell somewhere in the neighborhood of $440,000 below the mark in its franchise agreement with the city over the years, before being muscled out of town by Comcast.

Good thing we caught that mistake, right? Wrong.

It's clear now that our civic mothers and fathers have number-crunchers working around the clock to find ways to fuck the taxpayers into solving their budget problem.

Comcast isn't gonna pay it. They're technically not the ones who owe it, but they're on the hook, so it'll be passed on directly to cable subscribers. That is, unless you hold your council accountable and demand they go after the ones who owe the money to all of us.

Your elected leaders think you're too stupid to realize it's you, not Comcast, who's being squeezed here. Pisses you off, doesn't it?

Let 'em know what you think. We'll be watching for you Monday night.

Now, if council members want to be heroes, they oughta sue Insight for the money owed. The city has quite a few lawyers on staff. In the best interest of Rockford and its taxpayers, why not put one or two of them on the case?

Oh, that's right. Their dockets are already full of other ham-handed failures, like the Church School debacle.

Church School, believe it or not, is an amazing structure, but one that has been neglected to near ruin. I, for one, think it can be salvaged, but let's keep its ownership and liabilities private.

Rev. Earl Dotson, Sr. and crew managed to pick the place up at a bargain rate many years ago, but nothing has been done with it, and it's become an eyesore, many say.

By the way, Rev. Dotson's kid, Earl Dotson, Jr., is one of Scott Christiansen's right-hand men, probably just so the chairman can say he has a black friend.

Anyway, Rev. Dotson's group claim they want to turn the place into some sort of community center, but it seems they can't even mow the lawn, and fines levied by the city have turned into liens.

It probably wouldn't have been a big deal on either end, except that an Indiana developer said he wanted to turn Church School into senior housing. That would have made the property produce taxes, and would have made the mayor and aldermen look like they're not ignoring the west side.

But Dotson didn't want to sell, at least not for what they were offering.

So, to loosen the gears, the Patrick Hayes legal team began foreclosing on the property. Since then, though, the city was passed over for a stimulus grant it was counting on to close the deal for the old-folks apartments.

This is just another example of the administration's best-case planning approach that led to optimistic projections for revenues, ignoring economic indicators that things were headed for the shitter.

Now you and I are gonna be stuck with Church School, and the cost of leveling it, which the Morrissey bunch seem hell-bent on. Jeez, couldn't Larry be a little more imaginative and perhaps consider -ahem- lofts?

Wow, that was hard to type with a straight face.

Anyone else pissed off about the inept legal beagles who can't seem to get a single thing right in this administration? They constantly choose the wrong battles, and they simply don't know how to treat people with respect and dignity. In short, they're a bunch of bullies who will try to win at any cost to you and I.

And they hardly ever win.

Just to be a complete dick, I think Rev. Dotson should look into securing historic protection for the building, which was erected in the 1800s.

And while Rockford's got Jesse Jackson's attention, Dotson might as well lump that onto Jackson's local agenda. Whether intentional or not, my black brothers and sisters have a legitimate case building against Morrissey.

Most of us remember how Jackson said he wanted to tear Obama's balls off for, in his opinion, talking down to blacks. I can only wonder what Jackson would do to Larry. As part of the franchise agreement, Comcast should carry that as a pay-per-view event. Remind me to call my bookie about this.

Holy cow. Speaking of Jackson, did anyone else think he sounded either drunk and/or heavily medicated as he gave his remarks to the council Tuesday night?

Jesse is a gifted speaker, but he must be saving the good stuff for bigger cities, 'cause what he said at council was shallow prattle at best. Nevertheless, everyone adored him.

It's fun that Jesse's here, albeit a little surreal. He's gonna lose interest soon enough, though, and Rockford will left alone in an awkward silence again. Jesse's not gonna deliver us. We're gonna have to do that ourselves.


  1. Amen, brotha… I’ve been echoing that sentiment for years about Rockford.

    Rockfordians have to fix Rockford’s problems; Rockfordians created them in the first place.

    An old instructor of mine once said, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”

    In this case, it’s up to Rockfordians to pickup the pieces and move on dot org…

  2. I've heard Jackson speaking on TV and noticed the slur in his speech as you mentioned. He sounds like he's had a small stroke.. Speech centers in the brain are frequently impacted.
    I used to work for Insight. Part of the company was sold to Comcast including the franchise for various communities like Rockford. Insight is still operating but in a smaller capacity. There is such mismanagement in these companies, it is unreal and it starts right at the top with the big guys in NYC. I questioned their business practices since day one of walking into the company. Middle management can't do anything except cope with various decisions. I've heard Comcast is even worse!! Insight was constantly changing direction seemingly without purpose.. I don't feel there is enough accountability to the community for the service as there is for COMED which is also a franchised company. I could tell some stories, believe me! I liked my bosses alot but their hands were tied in many cases..

  3. PS--Regarding Church School. Here in the Midweat, we treat our historical buildings like crap for the most part. I lived near a territorial prison building that was torn down in 1980 because it was in a bad neighborhood and had junkies living in it. It dated back to 1820 or so..
    I went for a drive thru the Church Sch. neighborhood with an 85 yr old family friend. She lived there in her childhood and told me all about the stores that were there and an amusement park etc. It sounded glorious. Look at it now. Absentee landlords have contributed to the problem and the police used to give up on neighborhoods after they declined past a certain point,ambitious politicians who are for the most part, interested in their own careers and use their positions as starting points to get elsewhere.. On and on.. Then we can blame the people who live there who make their own area into a sewer, selling drugs to and demeaning their own people.. Gangs.. (same thing..) violence,etc. ,people who make a living sitting around waiting for checks and/or who participate in the "underground economy"..
    Who would live in a loft there?? Seriously...

  4. Nice... hell o' a party, Duke...

  5. i think Dotson has had way too long to do something with church school and done jack shit. i actually agree with the city in trying to take it over, but you are absolutely right, they're being very dumb in the ways they're going about it.

    speaking of dotson, i'm kinda interested in knowing what you think of his and other pastors' involvement with the future of the rock valley college football program. it's gotten some coverage in the rrstar as a sort of race issue with a fair amount of outcry from the african-american community.