Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

We are just under 7 hours away from ushering in 2012 and a handful more hours away from the first Republican Primary vote in Iowa. Many of us will venture out this evening to embark in celebrating 2011 while introducing oneself to 2012. If you are one that will be venturing out of the home this evening be safe and responsible for your actions. Tradition of New Year will have many of us professing resolutions that will go largely unfilled. My goal is to make resolutions that will be achieved. Here is the short list:

1. I resolve to lose 15 pounds by exercising vigorously three times a week.
2. I resolve to dig deeper into the issues of the day.
3. I resolve to vet all candidates that will be running for office.
4. I resolve to help educate children.

I wish all that read/follow this blog a Happy New Year! May all your wishes come true.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Politics of the Payroll Tax Cut

Before going on vacation the Senate passed a temporary bill that would extend the payroll tax relief, passed previously under the Bush tax cut plan, for the first two months in 2012. The bill passed with bi-partisan support while ignoring the House passed version that called for a yearlong payroll tax relief. Originally, President Obama wanted a yearlong payroll tax relief and is now pushing House Speaker Boehner to pass the Senate bill. Instead of complying with President Obama's request, the House never entertained the bill instead they put forth a resolution that the Senate identify members of their chamber for a conference committee to iron out the difference between the two bills. That being said, much is being blown out of portion on the payroll tax relief. President Obama and Democrats are saying that without passing the Senate Bill the average America will see their payrolls slashed by $1000.

Now, this $1000 does not come out in the first or second check one will receive in 2012; rather it is spread out over the entire year. What are being missed in this conversation are two things: that the payroll tax is actually what fuels SSN and Democrats railed against the extension of Bush tax cuts last year. The payroll tax is that line item known as FICA that adds money to SSN. During the past debt ceiling discussion the Democrats said that Republicans were looking to take away SSN benefits to seniors. By extending the payroll tax relief it is projected to underfund SSN by $250M. SSN is already set to be paying out more than it takes in with then next decade. Democrats are now arguing that the extra 2% reduction in payroll tax will help stimulate the economy but when the lame duck Congress was in place in 2010 Democrats voice opposition to extending the Bush tax cuts because it didn't result in stimulus of the economy.

If Congress is serious about ensuring more people have money in the pocket to spend and stimulate the economy they why not pass real tax reform. While I know that scrapping our tax format all together for a flat tax is not likely to take place why not alter all the tax brackets downward by the 2% and leave FICA alone. Even companies that deal with payroll acknowledge that instituting a two-month temporary fix will make a logistical nightmare and increase payroll expenses. How does that help or encourage a business owner to hire a new employee? I hope the Speaker Boehner sticks to his guns and demands that Congress agree to a permanent fix or at the minimum a one-year extension; something the President Obama wants anyway.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Paul rips Romney, Gingrich as 'from the same mold'

Paul rips Romney, Gingrich as 'from the same mold'

I know Ron Paul has been the castoff in the Republican party because of his small government ideals but does this man make sense? Can he have the answers that we need to make our country strong again? I know he wants to cut $1T today. Doesn't that make more sense then cutting it over then next 10 years? I mean, why do we allow taxes now and cuts to spending over a period of time?

Hamburg City Council Agenda – December 13, 2011

  • Call City Council Meeting to Order at 7:00 PM
    • Pledge of Allegiance


  • 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.)


  • Agenda Review (Added Items) and Adoption


  • 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 Resolution Number 2011-17
    • Approve Resolution Number 2011-18
    • Approve Contract for Policing Services for 2012 with Carver County
    • Approve Cigarette License for Parkside Tavern (2012)
    • Approve Minutes for September 27, 2011, October 11, 2011, October 25, 2011
    • Adopt Fund Balance Policy (GASB 54)
    • Cancel December 27th City Council Meeting
      • Next City Council Meeting January 10, 2012
    • Potential Refunding of Existing Debt (Memo from Ehlers)
    • MAOSC December News Update (Traffic Sign Replacement)
    • Water Usage Report for 2011
    • Nuisance Letter(s) Report
    • Delinquent Utility Bills Report
    • Project Lists (City Employees)
    • City Offices Closed December 23rd & 26th for Christmas Holiday


  • Fire Department Report – Chief Brad Droege
    • FEMA Grant
    • HFD Officers for 2012
    • FD Accident on December 2, 2011
    • Memorial for Public Servants (Protective Services) Update
    • HFDRA Lucky 10 Gun Raffle – December 10, 2011
    • Toy Drive Breakfast – December 11, 2010
      • Holiday Toy Drive
    • Fire Department Banquet/Dance (January 7, 2012)
    • HFDRA Retirement Account




  • City Engineers – S.E.H. Inc.
    • Justin Black & John Rodeberg
      • Local Water Management Plan Update (June 2012)
      • Water Tower Maintenance Program
      • Phosphorus Management Plan (2014)


  • 2012 Final Tax Levy and Final Budget (Set & Adopt)
    • Utility Rate Study (Abdo, Eick & Meyers)
    • City Fee Schedule for 2012
      • Set Public Hearing to Adopt City Fee Schedule
        • January 10, 2012 @ 6:45 PM
    • 2011 General Fund Transfers (Approve)
    • Public Comments on 2012 Final Budget & Tax Levy
      • Adopt/Approve 2012 Final Tax Levy Certification to Carver County
      • Adopt/Approve 2012 Final Budget


  • Sanitary Sewer & Storm Sewer Improvements Project
    • PFA Loan Disbursement


  • Old City Business (Memo)
    • City Clean Up Day (Spring 2012)
    • 2010 Census Count/Met Council Population Estimates (June 1, 2013)


  • Public Works & Utilities Department Report
    • Utility Locater/Camera
    • Purchase Tables for Community Hall


  • City Clerk/Treasurer Report
    • City Employee Reviews
      • 2012 Wages and Benefits
    • Equipment Sharing Agreement (Carver County Cities)


  • Approve Payment of December 2011 Claims


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


  • Adjourn City Council Meeting









NOVEMBER                 14-15 – Fahey Inc. Auction

18 – Hamburg Lions Fall Bingo



DECEMBER                 3 – Wedding Reception (Kraemer)

                    10 – Hamburg Lions Club Lunch with Santa










NOVEMBER                 7 – Hamburg Lions Club

                      8 – Hamburg City Council Meeting – 7:00 PM

                      8 – Young America Township Meeting

                    11 – Veterans Day Holiday – City Offices Closed

                    13 – Washington Lakers 4-H Club

20 – Community Center Rental (Biermann)

21 – Hamburg Lions Club

                    22 – Hamburg City Council Meeting – 7:00 PM

                    24 – Community Center Rental (Sprengeler)

                    24 – Thanksgiving Holiday – City Offices Closed

                    25 – Thanksgiving Holiday – City Offices Closed

                    26 – Community Center Rental (Wroge)

                    28 – Budget Workshop Meeting – 6:00 PM

                    28 – Hamburg Fire Dept. (Relief Association) – 7:00 PM



DECEMBER                 2 – Hamburg Lions Christmas Party

                      5 – Hamburg Lions Club

    11 – Washington Lakers 4-H Club

13 – Hamburg City Council Meeting – 7:00 PM

16 – Community Center Rental (Wolter)

17 – Community Center Rental (Kroells)

                    18 – Community Center Rental (Tiggelaar)

                    19 – Hamburg Lions Club

                    23 – Christmas Eve Holiday Observed – City Offices Closed

25 – Community Center Rental – John Kuenzel

                    26 – Christmas Day Holiday Observed – City Offices Closed

                    26 – Hamburg Fire Dept. (Relief Association) – 7:00 PM