Idiot-proof trash cans and the Cedar Rapids City Council

In my previous post

, I wrote about the Cedar Rapids City Council wanting to spend half a million dollars to idiot-proof, the city’s Yardy carts. I think I may have called the Cedar Rapids City Council crooked. I definitely called them stupid. But crooked is such a strong term, perhaps bordering on slander or libel. If you look at the comments on the Gazette article on the issue you will see that I am not alone.

In the article Councilman Shey said of his relationship to Brokaw:

I guess it gets back to, do relationships cause a person a conflict of interest? … If you know somebody who is appearing in front of the council, is that a conflict of interest?”

Gulick and Corbett also downplayed the influence of their relationships with Brokaw. As I said in my previous post. these relationships are not necessarily illegal or even unethical. In a town this size, especially with a buy local policy, the council will know many of the vendors it deals with.

[[ warning, what follows is a run-on sentence 😉 ]]

On the other hand, in an environment where we are concerned about paying for existing services, spending half a million dollars on a no-bid contract, for a product that nobody wants, to solve a problem that most Cedar Rapids residents say does not exist, with a vendor who cannot sell it to any other customers, after the fiasco regarding bidding on the Sinclair demolition — that seems the height of stupidity.

So, in retrospect, I meant to call the city council stupid and I am not apologizing for calling the city council crooked.

Thanks for nothing Kathy Potts!

There I was, following the story of the Cedar Rapids City Council's $500,000 yardy fix. While I admire the entrepreneurial spirit of the Brokaws I could not believe that the council would even consider spending this kind of money in this budgetary climate. At least Chuck Wieneke opposed the move, but he was the only one.

Of course I remember the Vernon Research Group (as in council member Monica Vernon) study on yardy injuries.That seemed a bit fishy but I just figured that the council was stupid!

So, how does Kathy Potts fit in? Kathy is a past chair of the Linn County Republican Central Committee and ran unsuccessfully for Iowa House and CR Council. Of late, Kathy has stepped back from politics and is blogging at Essential Estrogen. Well today, Kathy posted about an apparent conflict of interest. Apparently there are more connections between the Brokaws and the council. Potts remembered seeing a photo of council members Pat Shey and Kris Gulick hunting with Brokaw. Potts also pointed out that Brokaw was a contributor to Ron Corbett's mayoral campaign.

Now none of these relationships are necessarily illegal or unethical. But Kathy, if you are reading this — I just thought that my city council was stupid — thanks to you I now have to wonder if they are crooked too. Thanks for nothing Kathy Potts 😉

Fallen Hero

Captain Daniel P. Whitten of Grimes Iowa was killed along with another US Soldier in Afghanistan this week. Whitten, a West Point graduate leaves behind a wife, parents and a sister who is also deployed to Afghanistan.

Captain Whitten wears the All-American patch indicating his service in the 82nd Airborne Division. He was deployed with the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team based at Fort Bragg, NC.

My son is currently deployed to Afghanistan with the 1st Battalion, 508th PIR, 4th BCT. I am sure that he knew these men.

While this is a political blog — no politics today. Regardless of your view on the war. Pray for our troops and their loved ones here at home.