Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Frank Beach's pipe dream, Ted Biondo's next legal nightmare, midtown meltdown

Okie dokie, let's get right to it. Lots of ground to cover in little time. The fellas are all here, lingering drunkenly after tonight's city council meeting and I've got some bets to make with these slobs before morning. Tomorrow a judge will decide whether to step in and keep a doomed fire station open, and I've got tall money riding on my prediction that the court will not intervene here. Then, Larry will put the hernia squeeze on the union's balls to accept one less man on every truck. The crowd here at the compound bets with their hearts, not their heads, and I'm going to rape their wallets. Enough about that for now, though.

Frank Beach, who can be identified by the layman as some sort of Al Pacino/Penguin (think Batman) hybrid, is a man who wishes the world was a perfect place. If Rockford had a shore, "Beach Beach" would be free of sex, drugs, swearing, alcohol, Rap/Hip-Hop, gambling, cigarettes, nudity and all other things the Bible specifically rejects. Hell, sand would probably be outlawed, too. He's completely unrealistic, but I still can't bring myself to dislike him.

Tonight, he suggested that everyone on the city's payroll voluntarily take a 5% pay cut so that no fire station would have to close and no jobs would be lost. What a fucking fantasy. Sorry, Frank. I don't think Jesus believes in Santa Clause and I highly doubt many would voluntarily take a cut when their own jobs aren't even in jeopardy.

All things considered, it would be more than just 5% for those non-union folks who've already accepted decreases/furloughs the last couple years. I doubt these people feel particularly inclined to take another hit for fire fighters who did nothing when unrepresented employees were losing their jobs.

No, my prediction is the union will have a hard day tomorrow, and the mayor will at least act like he's proceeding with closing two stations, but he's really just after one less man per truck. That's not to say I think it's right, because there are plenty of other places to find savings. This one is just a personal vendetta that Larry's not gonna give up on.

As a child, I think, he must have been picked on by guys who grew up to be cops and firemen, but I'm no psychologist.

If you want your fire department to be spared, then don't believe the hype that Larry can close the stations without the consent of aldermen. That's only half true. There's PLENTY aldermen can do, but they're all too happy to do nothing and let others take the heat. Put pressure on them to do their homework to find other cuts that can be made. This has EVERYTHING to do with serving the citizens, which is what they were elected to do. Don't leave it up to Larry and EJ playing Rock-em-Sock-em-Robots. Make the rest of the bastards earn their keep by involving the voters!

Beyond the station closure loophole Larry's clasping tightly in his limp hand, the fire fighters' contract ensures there's no danger of smaller crew sizes. That is, unless the union agrees to it, which I don't foresee.

On a related note, Ted Biondo has once again shown his true Morrissey rainbow colors, threatening that the city will levy a new utility tax if a judge forces the stations to remain open in what Ted perceives to be a sort of unfunded mandate. Biondo, by way of Larry and rrstar, has pitted the fire fighters against the tax payers who love them.

BTW, isn't Ted running for county board? What the hell is he doing writing for a newspaper? Am I the only one who finds that just a little shady? Many moons ago, when I lived in another state, there was a TV newscaster who had to take a leave of absence from his station because he was running for office. It just seemed like the right thing to do, and I'm willing to bet the Democratic lawyers are gonna call Ted on it as November approaches. Ted is a magnet for poor legal advice and, through his column at the paper, he's setting himself up for more trouble, I suspect. Ted, join us real Patriot bloggers, not the pathetic Morrissey rag, if you want to get your ideas out there. Rrstar is not going to help your credibility. Ah well, maybe I'm just pissed no one is offering me a column.

Although the union is certainly looking out for its own interests, it's foolish to say the existing contract should be ignored. If I recall correctly, a new contract will be negotiated next year, so why doesn't Larry put his energy into working with the union for savings then? The way I see it, it's not right to close the fire stations, and it's not right to tell the union to throw out a contract that an arbitrator ordered.

But Larry insists on having his way, and he'll spare no taxpayer expense to get it.

Case in point: Tonight, the council threw midtown a bone by providing $30k from the 7th St. TIF, where the group has typically been funded from and has done a lot with very little. But I suspect the $30k is just because the mayor wanted to butter up the midtown folks to be OK with letting Larry's "Element" group rape the TIF next week to the tune of $75k, which basically boils down to more money going to the Metrocentre.

Essentially, Larry refuses to accept the failures of his beloved TIF program, particularly downtown, so he's gonna punish those with proven track records by looting the coffers they've worked so hard for during a long, tough stretch. Downtown, uber alles. After reading about the so-called "bar wars," I'm beginning to think that downtown is encumbered by too many uppity douchebags who deserve to go out of business for their Aryan vision of the city's core. As SRV once said, "I may be white, but I'm not stupid." This town needs a black mayor again. My guess is that Vic Bell has his eyes on that prize.

It will be interesting to see whether Ald. Elyea will make a stand for her ward's 7th St. TIF next week, or if she'll just continue to be a seat-warmer. Boy, the "bubble law" debacle really must have knocked her down a couple notches. But Larry's weak right now and it's time to strike, baby! Believe me, if you stand up to Larry now, it's gonna be much better received by both parties than the abortion misstep you took a few months ago. It may have earned you a minute of poorly timed press coverage, but this is a real opportunity to act in the interest of regular folks.

OK, I better get back to the War Room to get some wagers in writing before these fools suffer from tequila-induced memory loss. See you on the other side.


  1. Just a small tidbit of informational clarification...those'furloughs' touted bt LarryBoy...ACTUALLY, the non-union took a 3% wage cut BUT also received ADDITIONAL PAID VACATION DAYS.....nice sacrifice,huh? AND they ended those last Jan.1

  2. "You see, we are here, as far as I can tell, to help each other; our brothers, our sisters, our friends, our enemies. That is to help each other and not hurt each other."

    Stevie Ray Vaughan

    Of course that requires true blue altruism and a sense of communitas, doesn't it?

  3. http://blogs.e-rockford.com/sweenyreport/2010/07/25/city-council-should-approve-request-from-the-element/#comment-4627

    Chuck, the real question is how does expropriating $700,000 from the 7th Street TIF District fiscal year 2009 and expropriating the remaining money within fiscal 2010 remove blight in the 7th Street TIF District?

    Secondly, how do you justify that to the property owners in that TIF District that pay the Increment and don't get the lion share of the benefit? They were the ones that had the money bonded in the first place for projects uncompleted showing fiscal responsibility to use the money or in this case not use the money. That is why there is approximately 1.4 Million Dollars in the fund to move.

    Thirdly, why is it that the Star has not covered this controversy? Seems to me to be a major story worth writing, doesn't it?

    As a member of the “Creative Class” I’m not opposed to using the money in this district for an Art Gallery or live-in work in space for artist, architects, technicians/engineers and ALL members of the Creative Class.

    The Creative Class also includes small business entrepreneurs like me according to Richard Florida. Why are we getting the short shrift with our money? We are the ones that invested taking the enormous risk and are making Rockford a better place, too.

    Where is the ROI for our investment?

    We pay the property taxes by having successful endeavors that create the ability to use the statute to create the TIF District. We also pay licenses, sales taxes and other transfer payments to the municipality that allows it to have funds to operate.

    Where is the same metric for ROI for The Element?

  4. Just a reminder - the contract was not "a contract that an arbitrator ordered" - The city AGREED to it before the arbitrator ruled.