Saturday, August 16, 2008

Biggest local government bankruptcy in history?

Alabama county is on the brink of bankruptcy | | The Tennessean: "BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Alabama's largest county appears headed for the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, a $3.2 billion mess created by the nation's credit crunch and a colossal, corruption-riddled sewer project.

Politicians in Jefferson County — which has 658,000 residents and includes the state's biggest city, Birmingham — are struggling to find a way out of the jam, but they have mostly abandoned talk of raising taxes and fees after running into fierce opposition at raucous public meetings."

They are going to put the bankruptcy question to the voters in a referendum. Orange County, CA, has the record at $1.7 billion back in 1994, caused by county treasurer Robert Citron gambling on derivatives with public funds. In the Jefferson County situation there is a massive public works project that has (surprise!) led to massive corruption. Read the article for the details, but this is disgraceful.

Here is some advice. If you are going to use public works projects as the basis for large-scale corruption, at least come to Chicago and see how the experts do it, before you screw it up.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Congratulations, Kylie!

Lindenhurst crowns new royalty at pageant :: News :: PIONEER PRESS :: Lake Villa Review: "After competing the past three years for the title of Miss Lindenhurst, 19-year-old Kylie Hartness took home the crown at the Aug. 7 pageant, which kicked-off the annual Lindenfest.

The fourth year was the charm for Hartness, whose experience in the pageant circuit helped boost her confidence, leading her to 'sashay' to victory."

Lindenhurst adopts trail system :: News Sun :: News

Lindenhurst adopts trail system: "A resolution adopting the Lindenhurst Community Pedestrian and Bicycle Comprehensive plan was approved this week by the village and park district boards.

The next step is to implement the plan that outlines eight trail segments at a proposed cost of about $4 million."

I think this is great and I hope it gets built.