The Journal Standard reported on June 29 that the city was notified on May 16 by Standard & Poor’s that it had downgraded the city’s bond rating from A+ to A. This means it will cost the city more to borrow money. Since the city was notified of the bond rating change, there have been three council meetings. The big question is why was this was not discussed at one of these meetings? The Freeport Council must have known of this rating change, and did not feel the citizens of this community were entitled to this information. Obviously, the council must not understand the full ramifications of this rating change. Otherwise, it would have been discussed at council meetings. Alderman Tom Klemm was quoted in the Journal Standard article when describing the condition of Freeport – “We’re still in good shape.” What city is this man living in? This simplistic attitude is part of Freeport’s problem. The present leadership on the city council is totally incapable of comprehending the serious issues facing Freeport. If you don’t understand the issues, how in the world will you be able to address them?
A Mexican military helicopter crossed the U.S. border today, and fired at a marked U.S. Border Patrol vehicle. Fortunately, no one was injured. After the shooting, the helicopter returned to Mexico. See http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2014/06/27/mexican-military-helicopter-flies-into-us-shoots-at-border-patrol-agents-flies-back-n1856443
Why is this happening? Weakness encourages aggression whether it is Iraqi, Ukraine, and now on our own border with Mexico. This Administration treats our veterans like second class citizens while Mexicans illegally entering the U.S. get first rate medical care. See New York Times Article at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/10/us/va-audit-finds-long-waits-for-care-are-widespread.html?_r=0
This is not the first time Mexico has invaded the U.S. and it is becoming a common occurrence. See article at http://www.kvoa.com/news/n4t-investigators-rogue-mexican-army-troops-crossing-the-line/
What will the Obama administration do? Apologize, Apologize, and Apologize – We will apologize for annexing Texas in 1845, and offer to give the state back to Mexico. Obama doesn’t like Texas anyway – it does have a Republican governor and an economy that is booming. Oh, by the way, do you think Mexico will throw in that American soldier who has been held over 60 days in a Mexican prison? So sad but almost true.
Any taxpayer who has had the unfortunate experience of dealing with the IRS can attest to the fact that there is double standard in Washington.
If you work for the IRS, and don’t pay your income taxes – what do you get? A big fat bonus.
See LA Times article at http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-irs-bonuses-20140424-story.html
If you don’t work for the IRS, and don’t pay your income taxes – what do you get? A sentence to a federal prison. See some of the cases the IRS publicizes at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Examples-of-Nonfiler-Investigations-Fiscal-Year-2014
If you work for the IRS, you can refuse to answer questions before a U.S. House Committee about your work and possible criminal activities asserting your right against self-incrimination – what do you get? A big fat retirement check each month. See article at http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/melanie-hunter/lois-lerner-pleads-fifth-again-house-hearing-irs-scandal
If you don’t work for the IRS, and agents ask you about your failure to report income, and you refuse to answer – What do you get? A sentence to federal prison.
If you work for the IRS, and don’t want incriminating emails released when requested by a Congressional Committee, you say your computer crashed! What do you get? A big fat retirement check each month? See article at http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/06/17/lost-irs-emails-get-real-team-obama-were-not-that-gullible/
You’re audited by the IRS, and tell them your computer crashed and you lost all of your records – What do you get? A sentence to federal prison.
And finally, if you’re the IRS Commissioner, and a U.S. House Committee asks you if you owe the American people an apology for the conduct of the IRS – You refuse to apologize since you know that it’s part of the code of conduct of the IRS. You never apologize no matter how much damage you have done to an honest taxpayer. I guess that means if your are the IRS, you can do what every you want – damn Congress and the citizens of this country. So sad, but true.
It’s nice to know that MetLife wants to help us with our retirement. In Freeport it is closing its office forcing hundreds of employees into mandatory retirement. Will, I guess MetLife is an expert on retirement. Just ask those Freeport employees who no longer have jobs. Next time you see an ad for MetLife, think about that empty house next door, or your former friends who were forced to move to find a new job. Freeport will be living proof as to MetLife’s retirement expertise.
In 2000 Ruth Heffron established a traditional IRA and named her daughter the beneficiary of the account. In 2001 Ms. Heffron died, and the account had a value of little over $450,000, and the daughter received the account electing to take monthly distributions. In 2010 the daughter filed a bankruptcy petition listing the inherited IRA as an exempt asset worth about $300,000. The bankruptcy trustee objected to the characterization as an exempt asset on the grounds the funds in the inherited IRA were not “retirement funds.” The case went through the appeal process and now the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled on June 12, 2014 that an inherited IRA is not an exempt asset.
This decision is important to anyone with substantial funds in an IRA. You die, and your child could lose the whole inherited IRA if the child has financial problems. Some states do exempt inherited IRA’s, and more states will probably consider exempting them in light of this decision. In the meantime one should review beneficiary designations on their retirement accounts. Beneficiaries should even consider taking lump sum distributions paying the tax, and investing in exempt assets!
Read the case at
At the June 2 Freeport Council meeting there was the first reading of the new Comcast (cable) franchise agreement. As is usual with this Council, there was little constructive discussion except for Alderman Shawn Boldt who wondered if the 5% franchise fee (basically a tax of 5% on your cable bill) could be increased. He was advised that the FCC set the maximum which is 5%. It’s good to know that Alderman Boldt is looking for ways to increase our taxes. He must be auditioning for a job with Governor Quinn and his tax and spend friends in Springfield.
The meeting will begin at 6:00 pm in the City Council Chambers at 524 West Stephenson Street, 3rd Floor. If you have Comcast Cable, go to channel 17 to watch live.
Some items of interest on the agenda:
Proclamation of Mayor proclaiming June 19 – 22 Juneteenth Day, read it at http://www.cityoffreeport.org/OrdRes/PROCL%20JUNETEENTH_20140616.pdf
Memo on monthly garbage rate increase starting July 1 from $12.02 to $12.25 per month
2nd reading of Ordinance approving Comcast Franchise Agreement
2nd reading of Ordinance amending Residential Rental Property Regulations
Various Resolutions pertaining to county-wide transportation program to be run by Senior Resource Center in Freeport
Appointment of James Brown, Community Development Director, to the Board of Directors of the Jane Addams Trail Commission and the Pecatonica Prairie Path Commission, with Shaun Gallagher, City Engineer, as an alternate Board member for each Commission.
Acceptance of low bid and Contract for Mill and Overly Program to Civil Constructors, Inc. for $292,567.20
To read the complete agenda, go to http://www.ci.freeport.il.us/citygovernment/Agendas/A20140616.pdf