Dead or Alive, Creative Visions Audit and What would you do?

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Good morning,

Thanks again for all the posts. Keep em coming. I’ve read them all and I hear what you’re saying about a rehash of the news. Some of you see Today in Iowa, some don’t get the chance every day.
A guy at my gym uses the blog to get a quick update when he misses the news. We’ll still put up headlines and our thoughts on them, but I’ll try to put up some more unique links. We’ll try in as many cases as possible to leave you to look at the more traditional sources on your own.

OK to the news:

Overnight the story about the new leader of Al-Qaida-in-Iraq changed three times. First we heard there was a raid. Next, Alarabia TV reported that Abu Ayyub al-Masri (Pronounced: ah-BOO’ eye-YOOB’ ahl MAH’-sree), was one of the cascades of the raid. About an hour later the US Military reported, this was “not likely” the body of Al-Masri. It probably seems like sort of a non-story to some of you, but we put the story in more to show how hard the US is going after Al-Masri.

Kerry Kavanaugh has been following the City of Des Moines Audit of Creative Visions. This morning we learned the audit city staff promised would be done a week ago still isn’t finished. They’re trying to confirm all of Creative Visions Clients actually exist. A former staffer says some of the client files are made up. Kerry says city staff reported the audit WAS done more than a week ago. Now they’re saying they need two more weeks. Which is it?

The City of Des Moines has some other, more pressing problems right now. The City manager reported to the council yesterday that they’d be about 5.7 million dollars short on next year’s budget if all the Department Budget Requests are met, and if the amount of revenue the city expects comes in. That’s the rub. The city is still waiting to hear f it can bring in more than 15 million bucks in it’s franchise fee. If the courts say that’s an illegal tax, Des Moines is really up a creek.
This brought up an interesting conversation yesterday when we found this out. I’ve watched the City of Des Moines make cuts in it’s budget almost every year for the eight years I’ve been here. Times have been tough all along, and City Council members pledged a while back they don’t want to raise taxes.
Ok, I get it, Des Moines’ taxes are higher than the suburbs. No one likes having taxes raised, but when does this end. When do we as citizens say…Ok we get that the price of gas, healthcare, supplies and equiptment that keeps us safe, our roads in good order and our government flowing smoothly is going up? It’s so easy to say…Government’s too big. I’m usually the first one to do it, but I’d like to hear what you have to say…When is it OK to raise taxes?
One more thing to interject here. Yes…Taxes are higher in Des Moines, but that’s because we’re the only city in the metro with things like…A full time FIRE DEPARTMENT. We’ve got hundreds of miles more of roads to take care of, and…Oh yeah…We’ve got more people!
On top of that, the city is a gathering spot for more than 60-thousand people daily. Those people need roads, public safety, and services whether they pay taxes here or not.

If you missed the whole thing last night go watch Sonya’s story on the web about the Construction company that’s once again, nowhere to be found. It’s a good reminder. Use companies that have references, talk to people who’ve used them before. Go over and look at the work. It’s all a good idea.

I was over at the Polk County Building yesterday talking about the story in the Register.
Burt Dalmher did a good job laying out the facts of one of the Supervisors living situation. John Mauro doesn’t live in the District he represents. He essentially lives across the street. He kept an apartment for a while inside the district and now claims his sister’s house as an address IN the district. That’s legal. Is it in the spirit of Iowa’s Election law? That’s up for debate.
Mauro points out that his constituents KNOW where he lives…They know it isn’t technically living every day in the district he serves, and they still voted him in. You know what? He’s right!
You have to ask yourself: If the South Side District he represents really wants him as their Supervisor, and he is technically complying with the law by holding a residence there, who are we to say he shouldn’t be in office? Thoughts?
by the way one of the people making an issue out of this is former Supervisor Gene Phillips who’s also Mauro’s opponent in the fall election.

This is a new study showing department of the Interior shows thousands of employees are spending work time shopping, gambling, and looking at porn. OK, I admit, I’ve booked a plkane ticket at work, I’ve even bought birthday or Christmas gifts on a rare occasion, but gambling and watching porn? Where do these people work that no one is walking by the cubicle and noticing the naked people on their screen! And B…..Gross! What you do behind closed doors is…Well whatever, but come on.

We found out who the winners of Iowa’s largest Powerball jackpot are. The Fort Dodge couple seems as normal as can be. They also say they will continue to work. The husband details cars and the wife is a clerk at Wal-Mart. Well, good for them. I think the temptation to stop while detailing someone else’s car and think…I could buy about a thousand of these, or to listen to the next rude customer at Wal-Mart and think….I don’t have to do this anymore, would be overwhelming. I hope they really do love their jobs that much. As much as the money is a blessing, it can be a curse as well. I hope it brings this family and that community good things.

I’m not sure I could do it. I think I would still work, but not in my current position. My wife and I talk about winning that much money and setting up a foundation to give some of it away every year.
I like the idea the Blank Family Foundation here in Iowa came up with. It used some big gifts a year ago to leverage even more money. In other words, if I give you this money, you’ve got to go out and raise money to match the gift.
I think I’d focus on programs that can get College tuition money to students who just miss qualifying. I was one of those kids. Getting through school was a combination of work and generous parents. My college choice was limited by cost. I was lucky my choice was in the right price range, but what if a kid can get into Yale, and can’t afford it? Sometimes even a a little help could go a long way.
Plus, think what a new graduate could do if they didn’t have a lot of debt. They might have money to buy a home, might not run up as much credit card debt. Bottom line the more people that can go on to some sort of advanced degree, the better. That’s just the way I’d do it. What about you?


  • Anonymous

    I have questions!1. When do you guys get up in the a.m.?2. How do you stay awake!?3. Is Jeriann as cool as she seems?4. Jeriann – is Jerry Kluver as craaaazy as he seems?Thanks! :)

  • Anonymous

    I would do much like you would do Patrick, I would keep my job too, as an adult going back to college I would work on doing what it takes to get my degree and take a trip and oh yeah this should have been on the top of the list give to some charities. I don’t know but it would be really really nice to just to have a little bitty chunk. I never win anything I’d feel giddy over 7 bucks. 7 BUCKS! IS 7 BUCKS you didn’t have. LOL Oh another thing I got out of the office much later than usual last night as I was walking out told everybody “I’ll buy the next ticket!” (Guess who forgot) nobody held it againist me though. :) I had this planned you see (wink wink) I knew no one would win, and who ever did win would be in the States of Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois, you see where I’m going with this?-Brenda E.

  • Trisha Shepherd

    To answer a couple of your questions – yes, Jeriann is as cool as she seems! We have the best time when we’re doing our hair and makeup before the show! (Pat and Brad have no idea about all the juicy girl talk that goes on in our dressing room!) She’s sassy, smart, funny, and full of energy – but also really generous and compassionate. I feel lucky to be her co-worker! How do I stay awakd? Lots and lots of good coffee! I like to sing in my car on the way to work too – puts me in a good mood. And – what I do when other people work is mostly take care of my kids. I love that I can be almost as involved with their routines as a stay at home mom on this schedule ( Ijust have to sacrifice sleep, and “alone time.”Thanks for writing in!Trish

  • Patrick Dix

    Ok…thanks for the comments…here’s some answers.We get up around two. We’re in at three… Coffee coffee coffee…that’s how you stay awake. When I need a real kick we upshift to RedBullJeriann…lets see…how would I describe her? Swanky. She’s a rare mix these days. She’s sassy, she’s always that energetic…even when she’s down… For the guys: she’s the girl you’d cross the room to meet…and the girl that would sit and watch the game with you Saturday. Rare combo. She’s great.As for what I do after the show. Depends. In the summer I try to get out and play as much golf as I can. That hasn’t been much this summer. I try to do as much of the phone calls and errands during the day. I’ll work a nap in most afternoons, and then it’s to the gym around five to watch the newscasts…run, and lately…a little workout too. If i can beat Sally home, I’ll generally start dinner, but that’s only because she prepares a lot of what we eat ahead of time. She’s a much better cook than I am. I’m always happy to throw in a speaking event in the afternoon or evening if people ask, but that’s rare. I think people think I’m in bed really early.PWD

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