Sunday, July 31, 2011

Moody's: Neither debt plan protects the nation's AAA rating - The Hill's On The Money

Moody's: Neither debt plan protects the nation's AAA rating - The Hill's On The Money

In scanning the headline of the major outlets online are all pointing toward talks on the debt ceiling getting "closer". It will be interesting to see what comes out of these talks. As the article says, Moody's is not really concerned about the raising of the debt ceiling nor do we really need to raise the debt ceiling to pay our debt. Actually, not raising the debt ceiling actually is a good thing for America and it's credit rating because the focus going forward will be to reduce the debt in order to pay for other programs involved in the budget. Many are blaming the Tea Party faction of the Republican party since they are unwilling to compromise. I wonder if this same conversation took place when President Lincoln drew the line in the sand on slavery! Sometimes standing your ground is in the best interest of the country and right now that is one of them. We cannot sustain the debt we have so how does it makes sense to raise the debt ceiling?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Career Politicians will ruin America not the lack of a debt ceiling increase

"Ordinary folks, who are struggling every day. And they know they're getting a raw deal. They're mad at everybody about it. They're mad at Democrats and they're mad at Republicans because they know that somehow no matter how hard they work, they don't seem to be able to keep up," said President Obama yesterday at the daily White House press briefing. President Obama is correct that Americans (or as he said later in the press briefing "working stiffs") are upset and mad at how government is working. They are mad at the blame game, they are mad at career politicians who are more interested in the next election instead of solving the problems America is facing. The debt limit debate is the ruse of the day meant to scare Americans into thinking that America is headed for financial ruin.

Part of that is correct. We are on a path of fiscal implosion but it is not because the Conservative base of the Republican mantra of not raising taxes nor is it because of the Liberal base of the Democrats mantra of taxing the rich (still yet undefined); rather we are traveling down this road because we are spending 22% of GDP while revenues are at 18% of GDP. One may look at these numbers and say we need more revenue. The trouble with that mentality is, per the CBO, the United States has historically received revenue in the 16-18% of GDP range regardless of the nominal tax rates. That leaves us with the spending of 22% of GDP.

We need to make hard choices this year not next budget cycle or over the next ten years. We need to deal with it now and if that costs some sitting Senator or Representative their seat then so be it. Right now we can service our debt without raising the debt ceiling one penny. No one argues that. The political football instead is the 44% gap in the budget that would exist if we paid off our debt first before following through with the rest of our budget items. There are no sacred cows in the budget. If a company goes belly up it results in loss of jobs, loss to the creditors and possible loss of retirement funding.

The trouble that arises is that Americans have become entitled to certain programs within the government – SSN, Medicare, and Medicaid. No one is arguing, regardless of the spin put on it by the Left, of taking away benefits to those already receiving or just about to receive them. The conversation is about how to keep the programs viable for those of us 10+ years away from enrolling. We need real reform now not spread over the next ten years. Cutting $1T from a $14T budget over the next ten years is like a farmer harvesting an acre of crop out of the 100 acres planted over the next ten years. It just doesn't impact anything. Of course the farmer would have lost his farm during that time frame as the rest of the crops would be worthless.

A lesson should be learned from the state of Minnesota. Our fearless leaders took the bold initiative to kick the can down the road instead of demanding that both sides realize that in order to bridge the gap on the deficit we need real reform today. I am pleased that Speak of the House Boehner is attempted to deal with the budget this year instead of kicking the can down the road. The proposed budget passed in the House this past week was not perfect but it was a step in the right direction. The trouble is that the Senate, led by Sen. Reid, wouldn't even given it the time of day. The hope by Sen. Reid is that it will force Rep. Boehner to cave which has not taken plus thus far. Americans need more Statesmen and less politicians or academics leading this country. WE need people that will stand on principle even if it cost them in the next election. The debt ceiling doesn't need to be raised to keep the United States from defaulting as the revenues are there.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Minnesota Government Shutdown - Deal reached?!?

It is being reported that Gov. Dayton has agreed to Republican June 30th offer but not without conditions. Some of the conditions that Gov. Dayton has put on the agreement are: a construction projects bill totaling $500 million, the removal from the budget bill of all policy changes on social issues, and the elimination of a 15 percent cut for state workers.

Gov. Dayton said, "Despite my serious reservations about your plan, I have concluded that continuing the state government shutdown would be even more destructive for too many Minnesotans,” the governor wrote. “Therefore, I am willing to agree to something I do not agree with – your proposal – in order to spare our citizens and our state from further damage." (

How is Gov. Dayton going to "spare our citizens and our state from further damage"? Granted we are losing revenue from the closing of state parks and the lottery but what Minnesotans are learning is how far the government is needlessly intruding into our lives. One example is all the pubs, resturants, and sellers of adult beverages that were in danger of having their buyer cards expiring. Why do we need to charge $20 for this card? Why is this card needed? If this card is needed then can't local municipalities provide this service?

The other question is that since Gov. Dayton has put stipulations on the June 30th proposal, does that open the door for the Republicans to counter? If that does and the Republicans do, where does that leave Minnesota?

Hamburg City Council Minutes – June 14, 2011

Mayor Malz called the Hamburg City Council meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Councilmember John Barnes, Councilmember Larry Mueller, Councilmember Steve Trebesch, Councilmember Chris Lund, Deputy Clerk Sue Block, Maintenance Worker Dennis Byerly, and Fire Chief Brad Droege were in attendance. Others in attendance were Troy Schuette (Elite Waste Disposal), Matt Maes (Waste Management), and Mike Stuewe (661 Park Ave). City Clerk Jeremy Gruenhagen was absent.


Public Comment

  • Everyone at the meeting is listed on the City Council Agenda. Comments will be received in order as listed on the agenda.

Agenda Review (Added Items) and Adoption

  • Updated Project Lists (Council, City Clerk, Maintenance Worker, Deputy Clerk)
  • Updated Claims List
  • Updated Delinquency List
  • Updated Sanitary Sewer and Storm Sewer Improvement Project Report
  • Councilmember Mueller moved to approve the agenda with the added items, seconded by Councilmember Barnes and motion unanimously carried. All Council members were present.

Approve Consent Agenda

  • Approve Minutes for May 24, 2011
  • Sanitary & Storm Sewer Project Update No. 11
  • Approve Resolution 2011-12
  • Approve Liquor License Renewals
    • Parkside Tavern – On-Sale, Off-Sale, and Special Sunday
    • Hamburg Lions Club – 3.2 On-Sale
    • Hamburg Baseball Club – 3.2 On-Sale
  • Healthy Living Memo – Ticks
  • Letter from Concerned Resident and Ridgeview Medical Center
  • Councilmember Mueller moved to approve the Consent Agenda with the removal of the minutes for May 24, 2011, seconded by Councilmember Trebesch and motion unanimously carried. All Council members were present


Fire Department Report


FEMA Grant

  • Grant was denied. Take off agenda.

US Fish & Wildlife Grant

  • Grant is currently being finalized.

DNR Grant

  • Applied for a New DNR Grant.

Regional Grant (Carver County) for Pagers

  • More information will be available after the Chiefs meeting the third Thursday in July.

Civil Defense Siren Maintenance Program - Ready Watt Electric

  • Council and Fire Chief Droege discussed the three year contract for preventive maintenance service on the civil defense siren. The cost for the three year maintenance program would be $486 per year.
    • Councilmember Mueller and Mayor Malz commented they thought it would be a good idea.
    • Councilmember Trebesch commented that he thought it was a good idea but wanted to review the contract before making a decision.
  • The Siren Maintenance Program contract will be added to the next Council meeting agenda for July 12, 2011. Council will make a decision at that time.

Fire Department Retirement

  • Firefighter Joe Weckman and Firefighter Russ Schneewind have retired from the Hamburg Fire Department. At the next Council meeting they will be presented with a plaque of appreciation.

Fire Convention

  • Fire Chief Droege presented Council with some interesting facts about the states fire departments.

Pension Increase for Hamburg Fire Department Relief Association Pension

  • The Hamburg Fire Department Relief Association requested a $50 per year pension increase.
    • No comments or decision was made by Council.

National Night Out

  • Council and Chief Droege discussed and decided to have Chief Droege contact the Sherriff, State Patrol, and any other organization that may want to attend.
  • Councilmember Barnes and Councilmember Trebesch volunteered to arrange pick up of the sweet corn.
  • Last years list of items purchased for National Night Out will be presented at the next Council meeting on July 12, 2011.
  • A notice of a possible Quorum will be posted three (3) days in advance on July 27th.


Mike Stuewe – Storm Water Drainage

  • Mike Stuewe (661 Park Avenue) presented Council about his concern/problem of water running into his paver parking area from other properties. This is causing frost heaves in the paver brick area during the spring.
  • Council and Mr. Stuewe discuss different ideas of how to prevent water coming from other properties on to his.
    • Council also commented that this is not a City problem but a neighborly/private property dispute.
  • Mike Stuewe will work with his neighbors in trying to solve the drainage problem.


RFP for Contracted Garbage Services for Residential/Commercial

  • Troy Schuette (Elite Waste Disposal) addressed Council with a brief presentation about his company, pricing, and service.
    • Council and Mr. Schuette discussed his proposal.
  • Matt Maes (Waste Management) also addressed Council with a brief presentation about the pricing and service from Waste Management.
    • Council and Mr. Maes discussed Waste Management's proposal.
  • Council requested that, in the contract, the company who is awarded the bid that it states the company will provide the City with five (5) free dumpsters for City and City Club events for each year the contract is in force.
  • Council will make a decision on which company will be awarded the Cities garbage service at the next Council meeting on July 12th.






Sanitary Sewer & Storm Sewer Improvements Project


Storm Water Utility Ordinance (Ordinance Number 141)

  • Councilmember Mueller moved to approve Ordinance Number 141 with City Attorney Mac Willemssen correct wording approval, Councilmember Barnes seconded and motion unanimously carried. All Council members were present.

North Ditch Clean Out

  • Remove from list this will not be done at this time.

Storm Water Utility Revenue Forecast

  • Council discussed what to possible set the Storm Water Utility Fee at for a monthly single family rate. Council decided to think it over and make a decision at the next Council meeting July 12.

Private Property Service Lines (Illegal Connections/Replacement)

  • A letter will be going out to residents informing them that they will need a permit for correcting any illegal connections and/or connecting their sump pumps into the sanitary/storm drain tile.
  • There will be no charge for the permits however Maintenance Worker Byerly will have to take pictures and map the connections.

Update on Construction Meeting held June 7, 2011 at 9:00 A.M.

  • The laying of the sod has been delayed. Any calls from residents as to when their sod will be laid should be directed to Leroy (Chard).
  • The stop signs and light poles that were taken down for the construction will be put back up this week.
  • The birdbath by Robert Avenue and Brad Street will be fixed. This was an engineering goof so the City will end up paying for the repair.
  • There will be no black dirt available for residents when the pond is dug.
  • Park duck fence will be fixed this week.
  • The path at the Park has been rerouted to go around the pine trees instead of under them as it has been.
  • Some residents are requesting draining their rain gutters into the Storm Sewer line.
    • Council requested a copy of the comments made during the Public Hearing held in February 2010 concerning the draining of rain gutters into the storm sewer line.
      • A copy will be presented at the next Council meeting.


Old City Business (Memo)


Handicap Bathroom for Community Hall – Update

  • Building of the Hall handicap bathroom has been completed.

Community Park Sign

  • Councilmember Mueller will order the sign.

City Council Meeting Dates for June, July, and August

  • A notice will be posted at the City Office, Post Office, and Bank informing the public of the City council meetings change from twice a month to once a month. The monthly meeting will be held on the second Tuesday of the month.

Sidewalk Replacements

  • The sidewalk on the east side of the Community Center has been completed.
  • Councilmember Mueller asked Maintenance Worker Byerly to add some rock between the building and the sidewalk.

Dennis' Report (Public Works & Utilities)


Interstate Power Systems Annual Generator Inspection

  • The Water Treatment Plant's generator was inspected and the report suggested a coolant change.
    • Maintenance Worker Byerly will change the coolant.

City Shop Garage Door Repairs

  • Project has been completed, ok to remove from list.

Hall Door Replacement Proposal from Dan Oelfke Construction

  • This was tabled until the next Council meeting in July.

Park Cement Slab Proposal

  • K & K Services submitted a proposal for pouring an 11' x 36' x 4" cement slab at the Community Park.
  • Council discussed that Maintenance Worker Byerly had received a proposal from Chard. Deputy Clerk Block will locate the proposal so Council can make a decision on who to hire at the next meeting.

G&K Contract for Cleaning Supplies

  • Mayor Malz decided to have this item removed from Maintenance Worker Byerly's project list.

Flush Hydrants

  • All hydrants will be flushed after the construction project is completed.

City Alleys (Add Rock/Shape Up)

  • One alley is left to be shaped up.

City Office Floor Repairs

  • Stripping and waxing the Community Center floors is on hold until this fall.

Water Wells Usage/Water Consumption Reports for 2010/2011

  • No report for this meeting.

Park Restroom

  • Mayor Malz requested Maintenance Worker Byerly to install new hand faucets in the public restrooms at the Park. The faucets should be ones that you push to turn on and automatically turn off.

Vacant Lot Lawn Mowing

  • Council requested Maintenance Worker Byerly to mow the vacant lots in town or hire Lano Equipment to do the mowing.
  • Deputy Clerk Block will send out nuisance letters to the owners notifying them that they are in violation of City Ordinance #93.48.

Time-Off Request

  • Maintenance Worker Byerly requested July 29, 2011 to August 1, 2011 off as vacation days.
  • Councilmember Barnes moved to approve Maintenance Worker Byerly's requested time off from July 29, 2011 through August 1, 2011, seconded by Councilmember Trebesch and motion unanimously carried. All Council members were present.


Deputy Clerk Report


Delinquent Utility Bills

  • 350 Louisa Street (Foreclosed Property) - Re/Max was informed by R.V. Holdings (Real Estate Investment Company) to take their name off as owners and pay the final delinquent bill of $142.45
  • Jon Reed (416 Jacob St) – Payment Schedule – will pay $375 on June 30, 2011.
  • Emily Siebold (625 Kim Ave) – Delinquent letter sent. Payment due June 17th.
  • Wells Fargo (419 Railroad St.) - (Nick Nordin) – No information on who to contact.
  • Darrell Grams (410 Sophia Ave) – Delinquent letter sent. Payment due June 17th.
  • Liz Jaunich and Owner (617 Donald Ave) – Delinquent letter sent. Payment due June 17th.

Nuisance Letter

  • Ken Bauer (679 Park Ave) was sent a nuisance letter requesting that the two inoperable motor vehicles behind the Car Wash be removed.

MCFOA Clerks Conference – July 11 – 15, 2011

  • Deputy Clerk Block asked Council if she will be paid 40 hours during this week. The scheduled hours during the conference totals 40 hours for that week. Deputy Clerk Block verified that her mileage and food would also be covered.
  • Councilmember Mueller moved to approve payment of 40 hours during the MCFOA Clerks Conference to Deputy Clerk Block also mileage and food, seconded by Councilmember Trebesch and motion carried with Councilmember Barnes abstaining.

Donation of Park Picnic Table Umbrellas

  • Lavern Graupman (735 Park Ave) would like to donate four picnic table umbrellas. Mrs. Graupman was not in attendance to present her request.

Deputy Clerk's Hours

  • Deputy Clerk Block asked Council if she should work 40 hours during the week(s) that City Clerk Gruenhagens is out on medical leave.
  • Council discussed and decided to have Deputy Clerk Block work her normal 32 hours per week.

Park Rental Contract End Time

  • Deputy Clerk Block asked Council if the Park Rental Contract end time should be changed from 2:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Council agreed to change the time. It is posted at the Park that closing time is 10:00 p.m.

Policy for Renting City Buildings/Park over Holiday Weekends

  • Council discussed and decided it is ok to rent the facilities over holiday weekends but not back to back rentals.


City Clerk/Treasurer Report

(Presented by Deputy Clerk Block)


Garbage Service – Alley Pickup

  • Council discussed and decided to keep garbage service pickup out of the alleys. All garbage and recycling pickup will be at curb stop.

Liquor Liability Insurance Clause for Hall/Park/Community Center Rentals

  • Council discussed and decided that obtaining Liquor Liability Insurance is the responsibility of the renter(s). Deputy Clerk Block was instructed not to discuss policies with the renter's insurance companies as it is up to the renter(s) to obtain the correct information.

Xcel Energy Saver's Switch

  • Xcel Energy has been contacted to install the electric saver switch to the Community Centers air conditioner units. By joining the program the City should save money on its electric bill.

Water Tower Replacement

  • Will be added to the Wish List.

Employee Job Descriptions

  • Was put on hold until City Clerk Gruenhagen is back in the office.


Utility Rate Study/Five Year Budget Plan

  • Will be discussed and decided on at the July 12, 2011 Council meeting.


Approve Payment of May 2011 Claims


Approve Payment of June 2011 Claims

  • Councilmember Mueller moved to approve the four ACH payments, check number 15060 through check number 15096 and check number 15043 to Dale's Plumbing and Heating for the adjusted amount of $642.61 on the May 2011 Claims List, seconded by Councilmember Trebesch and motion unanimously carried. All Council members were present.


City Council Reports


Councilmember Mueller (Sewer & Water) had nothing further to report.


Councilmember Lund (Streets) had nothing further to report.


Councilmember Trebesch (Buildings)

  • Councilmember Trebesch questioned if Kim Avenue would be fixed.
  • City Clerk Gruenhagen is waiting on a reply from Shelly Eldridge (Ehlers) if the City can use the contingency money to fix Kim Avenue.


Councilmember Barnes (Parks) had nothing further to report.


Mayor Malz had
nothing further to report


Councilmember Mueller moved to adjourn the Hamburg City Council meeting at 9:17 p.m., seconded by Councilmember Trebesch and motion unanimously carried. All Council members were present






Submitted by:                                    



Sue Block

                                                                                         Deputy Clerk


Sunday, July 10, 2011

We all need to do our part!

As we near an end of another Minnesota summer weekend big talks continue at the State Capitol and in Washington D.C. over how best to deal with budget shortfalls and increasing deficit spending. Nearly every one of us has had to tighten the belt strap over the past few years for one reason or another. Now it our governments turn. Yes, we need to pay the debts that we have incurred but is it the wisest move to just raise the debt ceiling to do so? Can we not pay our debts owed without raising it? President Obama is looking to strike a deal that is a "balanced approach"; one that increases taxes on the richest of Americans while curtailing spending over the next ten years. Both of these ideas are a joke. First, next year Congress or even in five years can change the plan thus wiping out any spending cuts that are agreed to today. Secondly, a balanced approach may need an increase in taxes but how about looking at everyone.

I get chided a lot on Facebook because my push for a flat tax or for equally out the tax burden as me forgetting my Middle Class roots and wanted to "kiss the butt" of the rich. Nothing can be further from truth. If the number is accurate that 47% of Americans pay no effective taxes on their income then that is where we need to start our focus on. I am not a big government guy nor am I am one to look to raise taxes but our tax code needs reform in a bad way. For far too long we have used tax credits, deductions and nominal interest rate changes to influence society while trying to raise enough revenue to keep the government running. The trouble is that if one has the means to hire the right person they can pay an effective rate that is much lower than the nominal rate. Since that is the case, why not institute a flat tax that has no tax credits or deductions?

This way our government would know, within a degree of error, on what our revenue will be from year to year and in order to increase that revenue we need real growth in the economy. Instead we'd rather kick the can down the road by increasing the debt ceiling every time we near maxing out the credit card. Does that work for your household? I hope the Republicans continue to stick to their no taxes pledge and force President Obama and Governor Dayton to face realities that we cannot spend like we have for the past thirty years.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hamburg City Council Agenda – July 12, 2011

  1. Call City Council Meeting to Order
  • Pledge of Allegiance


  1. Public Comment
    (Individuals may address the City Council about any non-agenda item(s) of concern. Speakers must state their name, address, and limit their remarks to three minutes. The City Council may not take official action on these items and may refer the matter to staff for a future report or direct that the matter be scheduled for a future meeting agenda.)


  1. Agenda Review (Added Items) and Adoption


  1. Consent Agenda
    (NOTICE TO PUBLIC: All those items listed as part of the Consent Agenda will be approved by a single motion, unless a request to discuss one of those items is made prior to that time. Anyone present at the meeting may request an item to be removed from the consent agenda. Please inform the Council when they approve the agenda for this meeting.)
  • Approve Minutes for May 24, 2011 & June 14, 2011
  • Sanitary & Storm Sewer Project Update No. 12, 13 & 14
  • Potential Refunding of Existing Bonds (Ehlers)
  • Water Usage Report for 2011
  • Cash Flow Statement for May
  • MNSPECT Minute (June 2011)


  1. Fire Department Report – Chief Brad Droege
  • Certificates of Recognition (Firefighters)
    • Joe Weckman
    • Russ Schneewind
  • DNR Grant
  • Fire Truck Pump Testing
    • Engine 11 Repairs
  • Donation of Batteries (Duracell)
  • Siren Maintenance Program
  • HFD By-Laws/City Personnel Policy
    • Firefighters Living Outside the Fire District/Work in Town
  • HFD Relief Association 2010 Reporting Year Forms
    • Reporting Form 2010
    • Schedule Form for Lump Sum Pension Plans Reporting Year 2011
  • Pension Increase HFDRA


  1. Sanitary Sewer & Storm Sewer Improvements Project
  • Storm Water Utility Ordinance (Ordinance Number 141)
    • Storm Sewer Utility Fee (Set)
  • Private Property Service Lines (Illegal Connections/Replacement)
    • Letters for Non-Compliance
  • Connection of Rain Gutters to Storm Sewer Line


  • Repairs of Kim Avenue
    • City Street Assessment Basis
  • Punch List


  1. Old City Business (Memo)
  • Community Park Sign
  • RFP for Contracted Garbage Services for Residential/Commercial
    • Elite Waste Disposal and Waste Management
  • Cement Slab Proposals for Community Park
    • K&K Services, Inc.
    • Chard Tiling & Excavating, Inc.
  • National Night Out – August 2, 2011
    • Set up Planning Committee
    • Post Notice for NNO


  1. Public Works & Utilities Department Report
  • Hall Door Replacement Proposal
    • Dan Oelfke Construction, LLC
  • G&K Contract for Cleaning Supplies
  • City Alleys (Add Rock/Shape Up)
  • Cooler for Community Hall
  • Vacation July 29th to August 1st (Rounds)
  • Project List (Added Items)


  1. Deputy/Utility Billing Clerk Report
  • Delinquent Utility Bills Report
  • Nuisance Letter(s) Report
  • MCFOA Clerks Conference - July 11 – 15, 2011
  • Project List (Added Items)


  1. City Clerk/Treasurer Report
  • 2010 Census Count/Met Council Population Estimates
  • Liquor Liability Insurance Clause for Hall/Park/Community Center Rentals
  • Xcel Energy Saver's Switch
  • Utility Rate Study/Five Year Budget Plan
    • Estimates from Ehlers/Abdo, Eick & Meyers
  • Employee Job Descriptions
    • Review Job Descriptions
  • Project List (Added Items)


  1. Approve Payment of June/July 2011 Claims




  1. City Council Reports
  • Councilmember Mueller Report (Sewer & Water)
  • Councilmember Lund Report (Streets)
  • Councilmember Trebesch Report (Buildings)
  • Councilmember Barnes Report (Parks)
  • Mayor Malz Report


  1. Adjourn City Council Meeting




July                     4 – Independence Day - City Offices Closed

13 – Emanuel VBS Day Camp (Park)

16 – Wedding Reception – Rodemacher & Moe

16 – Wedding Reception – Wolter (Park)

                 18–23 – Community Ed Park Program


August                     2 – National Night Out

                    14 – Park Rental (Oelfke)

                    17 – Cub Scouts (Park)

                    20 – Emanuel Ribfest (Park)

                    27 – Wedding Reception (Grams) – Park/Hall            







July                     5 – Hamburg Lions Club Meeting (YA Twp Room)

                     5 – Hamburg Fire Department Training

                    12 – Hamburg City Council Meeting – 7:00 PM

                    12 – Young America Township Meeting

                    16 – Community Center Rental (Kranz)

                    18 – Hamburg Lions Club

                    23 – Community Center Rental (Droege)

                    25 – HFD (Relief Association) – 7:00 PM


August                     1 – Hamburg Lions Club Meeting (YA Twp Room)

                     1 – Hamburg Fire Department Training

                     9 – Hamburg City Council Meeting – 7:00 PM

                     9 – Young America Township Meeting

                    15 – Hamburg Lions Club

                    29 – HFD (Relief Association) – 7:00 PM


Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July!!!

Today as the sun rises in the east we, as citizens of the United States of America, will be celebrating a birth of a nation. Regardless of where your political ideology takes you one unversal truth exists; United States offers the greatest opportunities and freedoms the world has ever known. While it is important to acknowledge those that continue to ensure we have opportunity and freedom, take time today to reflect on the issues that created this nation.

While you reflect on our turbulent start to our nation, recall that one of the goals is to form " a more perfect Union". Strives have been made and many more will come before we obtain that vision our Founding Fathers had. Hats off to those men that put their lives on the line to give us a nation that we all can become President, CEO, dog catcher or fry cook.

Happy Birthday America. Happy 4th of July!!!!