Friday, January 18, 2008

City Councilman Files For Bankruptcy

The SN-L reports that City Councilman Doug Burlison filed for bankruptcy protection on December 18, 2007 in Federal Bankruptcy Court. There are several pages of comments about the article on the SN-L link. Commentators have strong opinions about the Councilman's actions. It is certainly worthwhile to read all the comments to the article. Here are some highlights:

First, Opinionated said, "It's none of our business"

Then, Leevan said, "It is our buissness,"

Then, MO_Joe said, "Everyone should be DEMANDING to know why..."

Then, JCW said: "I know the reason..." Editors note: JCW's full quote is "I know the reason and if people come out bashing Doug they will discover they're going to look like fools when the reason is made public."

Then Lonewolf said, "for a city councilman to file bankruptcy, certainly raises a lot of questions."

Then The Smurf said, "He doesn't have to explain jack crap to anyone."

Then Lonewolf said, "he must explain his actions to the voters who elected him."

Then Painted Pine said, "Leave this alone until the man speaks publicly."

Then DairyQueen said, " This bankruptcy, after he staked his claims on fiscal responsbility, is his iceberg, no matter what the reasons."

It is news because he is on the Springfield City Council, specifically on the Finance and Administration Committee. I want to know the reason not because of schaedenfreud, but because he is an overseer of our money and decides how to spend it. If this bankruptcy was the result of preventable actions, that might change views. But as of now, based on the limited knowledge we have, his seat is safe.

But it is not fair to us to announce the bankruptcy and then tell us you'll tell us why you did it at a press conference to be held next week (that hasn't been scheduled yet at the time of this posting 3:18 pm Friday). The reasons next week should be the same reasons this week, Should we just wait for "the spin"?

JCW, in the SN-L comments on this article, implies that the Councilman told him the reason for filing. If the Councilman did indeed tell him the reason, why can't we be told also? Bad news is best dealt with quickly, succinctly and in a straightforward manner. If the Councilman told JCW and also told him he would release the information at a later date, in effect, embargoing the information until that time, then JCW, however well intentioned, should not have posted the comment.

But, I don't know that that happened, so, JCW...don't tease us like this, tell us the reason!

NOTE: I just surfed over to Life Of Jason's post on the Councilman to see if there is any elaboration on the comment in the SN-L and if he gives the reason in his blogpost. Life of Jason says,

I just finished speaking with Springfield City Councilman Doug Burlison who confirmed to me that he has filed for bankruptcy. He said that he wasn’t releasing details of the filing until after his court date which is scheduled for Tuesday. After that, he will be releasing a statement and holding a press conference about the situation... Until Tuesday, we should just wait and see what develops.


Jason said...

Jim, I'm surprised by you.

The full quote was: "I know the reason and if people come out bashing Doug they will discover they're going to look like fools when the reason is made public."

Your blog entry makes it appear that I just posted "I know the reason" and nothing else.

If you look at the full quote I'm giving the implication that this situation is not what you would expect it to be. I know you said you were posting highlights but that segment really takes what I said out of its context.

And when the reason comes out you'll see why I don't feel it's my place to reveal the reason without the OK of the Councilman first.

Doug didn't release it that he had filed for it. I was tipped off to it last night and called Doug about it to confirm. The information was apparently already published in the Springfield Business Journal. (I haven't been able to confirm that yet.)

The reason behind the filing was revealed to me today by someone other than Doug Burlison. I've just chosen to keep the reason secret out of respect for the situation. If I say more it might give away information that the Councilman does not want yet released.

Yeah, I could post it. I'd probably get a ton of traffic on my blog site for it too. It wouldn't be worth the damage that would be caused.

Busplunge said...

Jason, I was just posting highlights. I did go and add your complete quote to the posting.

Jason said...

Thanks Jim.

I wish I could say more but I just know I can't. When it all comes out, I hope most of you will understand.

admin said...

What is the harm in waiting? Is the public better served if we know NOW, over knowing next week? Looks like the mainstream media are not the only ones who are tempted by the scoop.

Busplunge said...

Jack, good commentary.

When bad news surfaces about a public figure, and the Councilman is a very public figure, especially in light of the recent city audit releases, most PR experts recommend dealing with the news immediately to head off conjecture and supposition.

Jason said...

I agree with you, Jim.

Anonymous said...

The people piling on Burlison should be ashamed of themselves. This good man is in a tight spot, and doesn't deserve being treated like the second coming of Spiro Agnew.

Jason said...

The main reason has been posted in my blog. More details will come out at the press conference Tuesday.