Monday, February 22, 2010

Italian government slams Fiat for halting production : Cars General

Rome - Italy's Industry Minister Claudio Scajola joined labour unions Wednesday in criticizing car maker Fiat's decision to stop production at plant for two weeks next month due to poor sales figures. The stoppage will effect some 30,000 Italian work...Fiat's temporary shutdown, announced on Tuesday, and set to take effect on February 22, is "not appropriate," Scajola said, stressing that the move came as unemployment is a key issue in Italy.

The company's move comes "during these very days that we are dealing with the delicate issue of Termini Imerese," Scajola, said in an interview with news television channel SkyTG24.

Fiat Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne, recently announced that the Turin-based company intends to permanently close its plant in Termini Imerese, Sicily by the end of 2011.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's conservative government has repeatedly urged Fiat to reconsider the move which - if implemented - could render some 1,600 workers jobless.

Fiat's decision on the country-wide temporary stop, "could be interpreted by some as blackmail," said the CISL labour union's General Secretary Raffaele Bonanni, referring to ongoing negotiations with the carmaker over the fate of Termini Imerese.
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Click on the following for more details:  Italian government slams Fiat for halting production : Cars General

Will Boone County Taxpayers have to pay for Poplar Grove’s special protection?

image As reported by the Rockford Register Star on 2-16-2010, Poplar Grove has yet to determine whether they will receive reduced protection from the Sherriff’s Department. See: 

But it appears that the Sheriff continues to provide the services and payments are in the rears.  The following is taken from the Boone County Finance Committee Subcommittee minutes 2-9-2010:

“ He [Ken Terrinoni, County Administrator] has not heard from the Village of Poplar Grove whether they plan to continue paying the current amount for police protection.  They are behind a few months on paying for this service”  [See the minutes below]

It appears that Poplar Grove is three months behind in payments.  The  list below was prepared based upon the monthly Sheriff’s Department Revenue Summaries that the Sherriff is required to submit to the County Board. 

Will the entire county end up paying for Poplar Grove’s special protection from the Sherriff’s Department?  Will the county be properly reimbursed for the extra  services granted by the Sherriff to Poplar Grove?  Oh yes, Poplar Grove’s old contract promised to eventually purchase a new police car for the Sheriff—will there be any settlement on this matter?


County Fin Feb 2

Click on the minutes to enlarge.

Sherriff--Pol Dr pay Fed

Boone County Considers Refinancing –Paying the Bondsman again.

As noted by the minutes of Finance Sub-committee shown below,  the Boone County Board is considering refinancing several million dollars of bonds. [Series 2008 A & B, see paragraph 2]   The 2008 Bonds had $205,000 in underwriting cost.  Now the Board  is considering refinancing and incurring a like amount of underwriting cost?   Does this make sense?  Is the county doing this only because it cannot afford to pay the current debt schedule out of the General Fund? These projects were going to be paid out of savings and operating income, why the change?  Does refinancing really make economic sense?

Back in January 2009 I posted a length analysis regarding the high “hidden” cost” of Boone County’s borrowings for the  Administrative Center on Logan and the remodeling at the Courthouse.  See:  To review those findings:  the county borrowed $5.2 million, only received $4,995,000 because of $205,000 in various underwriting cost, primarily insurance on the bonds.  Because the net proceeds to the county were  lower than the face amount of the loan the effective interest rate of the $4,995,000 borrowing was approximately 5.12%.  That rate equaled the rate for conventional home mortgage loans to a good credit.

Now the county is proposing to spend  more money to a  bond broker to find out  how much it will cost to refinance the bond?   Will the county board really consider all of the cost of refinancing? 

Click on photocopy to enlarge

County Fin Feb 2



Fiat/Chrysler: Damaged When Delivered? New Report Documents Shocking Auto Delivery Practices | Car Buyers Beware

The following is from the Teamsters’ website and describes various publications endorsed by the  International Brotherhood of Teamsters and available on the web.  The various colored words are web links.


CarBuyersBeware has released a new report with photographic evidence of the shoddy practices being used by alternative carriers to deliver new cars and trucks to auto dealers. The report contains pictures that were taken across the country in just the last few months. These practices endanger your new cars' frames, suspensions, tires, and more.
Consumer groups are understandably appalled. Nonprofit organizations Consumer Action and Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS) have worked to improve protections for new and used car buyers. They say, "one of the most insidious problems American car buyers face is undisclosed damage to new vehicles, which may occur while they are being transported to dealership lots."
In this report, CARS and Consumer Action call on Fiat/Chrysler to "reverse direction and instead of cutting corners on auto shipping, take more steps to ensure that their new vehicles are not damaged en route to dealerships. The car buying public deserves no less."
And what about the auto dealers, who rely on the auto makers to choose the companies that deliver cars to them? They're not happy either. Over 160 dealers across the country have already signed an open letter asking them to reconsider.
If you are also opposed to the changes Fiat/Chrysler is making that endanger your new cars and destroy middle-class jobs with good benefits, please take action here to ask them to reconsider.

Fiat/Chrysler: Damaged When Delivered? New Report Documents Shocking Auto Delivery Practices | Car Buyers Beware

Tentative agreement reached between union, Johnson Controls | Daily Chronicle

by Monday morning a tentative agreement appeared to have been reached between the the company and members of Belvidere-based United Auto Workers Local 1268.

Details are few but click on the following for what there is:  Tentative agreement reached between union, Johnson Controls | Daily Chronicle