Davenport sure lost out on a great opportunity with the special election for the Promise.
Whether you were for it or against it is irrelevant for this discussion. I won’t even give my thoughts on that aspect since there have been more than enough people telling you what an idiot you would be to vote for or against it. And this is how we lost our golden opportunity.
For as long as I can remember, politics in Davenport has been contentious. There have always been two sides pitted in a battle to the death against each other. Rather than grow out of this adolescent stage of development, our city has stagnated and spent entirely too much energy on arguing amongst ourselves. This energy is needed to energize the renovation and progress our city is so wanting.
I love Davenport. I think it’s a beautiful place. I think most of the problems we have stem from a negative attitude which is firmly rooted in the past. It’s true, many of our neighborhoods saw decline in the past. It’s true, we’ve had crime problems. Instead of giving up on areas, on people and on the city itself we should be looking at all of the solid positive areas we have and expand on them. Just look at the interest in downtown. It’s not the desolate Sin City some would have you believe. It’s doing pretty darn well.
And so I come to my disappointment with the Promise election.
Let’s start with the mayor, who I adore. I think he’s done a terrific job in leading the council toward behaving in a positive way without all the embarrassing public tantrums. He’s kept disputes behind closed doors while allowing for discussion of issues. Good job. Bad job on his role in the spin on the Promise. When the opposition is faced with a coalition of D-One, City Council, QCTimes, Firefighters union and more, basically the entire power structure of the city, is it really necessary to participate in so called news stories which put out the most ridiculous spin on the issue? The only thing that accomplishes is enraging the other side and further driving a wedge down the center of our city.
Next, let’s talk about the opposition. Where exactly were you when this was being discussed prior to making it onto the ballot? Were you a part of the discussion when the decisions were being made on how to fund this proposal, or whether or not it was viable at all? I don’t want to imply every person has to be involved in every issue, but we need some serious ideas on economic development in Davenport. Some very good people spent their time and energy developing this. Where were your critiques during the planning stages? And what are your alternative plans for bringing people to our city? To attracting jobs?
On to Ken Croken. Those opposing his ideas are against progress? Need I say any more? This guy was not the right spokesperson, obviously. Again, he did nothing to bring anyone over to his side by saying this. He would have been much more effective had he acknowledged the opposition’s fears and points and found a way to counteract them.
QCTimes. What can I say. They need to get their reporters back to a Journalism 101 course and learn the difference between opinion and news pieces. They also need to start properly labeling opinion pieces as such. This would account for say, 90% of what is written. They have really lost respect from their readers. The fact their stock is trading at $.29 is of no real surprise. Print journalism is suffering and I suppose making things controversial sells. It also turns of past and potential customers. And again, it does nothing but drive a further wedge.
Liberals/libertarians; spenders/againsters; We can keep labeling until our fingers fall off. What we need to do is put the label on ourselves of Proud Davenporter and start acting as a unit. Sure, we have different ideas on what is needed and how get there. We have different ideas on what improvement means, and what priority we should have in our future. But we all share the common goal of the desire to make the city the best it can be. So why not get off our collective asses and start looking for solutions which can benefit everyone. Until both sides are willing to come to the table and treat the other with respect, Davenport continues to lose.
You never know what you’re going to get.
We have many wonderful candidates for council this term. Congratulations to all who ran a good, positive campaign. Whether or not you win tomorrow, thank you for becoming involved in our community and for trying to make positive changes.
Candidates, if you want to invite voters to join you for election night parties feel free to post your information here. All other posts on this thread will be deleted. The mudslinging and half-truths go on the other threads.
I started off with the mayoral race in the primaries and am ending there for the election. I think Walnut will approve 😉
Gluba’s issues are to End the Bickering, Economic Growth, Infrastructure Needs, Public Safety, Gaming Industry in Davenport, and Improving our Neighborhoods. Bill’s current job is as a real estate agent. He has had some success in politics in the past and is familiar with the political environment.
Strengths – Bill’s past political experience tells me he is likely to know what is expected of him, of how to reach a cooperative agreement and of how to conduct himself. Two important attributes for a mayor. The current mayor has dealt with many tie votes and has consistently sided with one side. Wouldn’t it have been better to try to reach a consensus?
Weaknesses – He is a realtor. With all of the conspiracy theories of corruption with city deals and real esate/development, unless he is able to stay at arms length I could see some conflicts of interest arising. And he really didn’t need to bring up Phil’s firing from the DPD at the last debate, although with as low as Phil’s supporters have gone, reaching as far as Bill’s sons myspace page, at least Phil’s firing could be relevant.
Phil’s issues are Strengthen Public Safety, Citizen Input on Spending, Stop TIF’s for Development, Accurate Home Assesments, Rein in the City Administrator, Lead the Search for New Jobs, etc. There is more, you can go to his web page for more information.
Strengths – Phil isn’t afraid to take the tough and unpopular view on issues. He knows the issues in the police department andhas experience as mayor.
Weaknesses – Phil has a tumultuous past with the city. From taking on the nation pushing us for a flood wall to being fired from the DPD for faxgate (which was, actually, quite ridiculous). But all of his past seems to add up to a prediction of 2 more years of circus like antics at city hall. He has NOT helped this by taking contributions from the landlords. In fact, besides his family, he hasn’t had much financial support besides the landlords.
I was really disappointed to see Phil take from a group with such a negative history in our city politics. And the actions of Phil’s supporters have lived up to expectations. I like Phil, but I think voters will be afraid he will contribute to the circus atmosphere downtown and people have expressed they are sick of the landlords campaigning in our city. Add to that Bill received 45% of the vote in the primary, I think it’s easy to say Bill is the winner. I’ll point out I was wrong about Phil in the primary though. He beat out Jamie Howard in spite of my prediction. **shrug** – you can’t win them all! 😉
Of course, we start with the incumbent. Ian Frink has represented us as alderman at-large for the past two years. Ian’s issues are City Services, Davenport Infrastructure, Public/Private Partnership, Low Taxes & Fees, Communication & Efficiency, and Solid & Professional Representation. He has a few more, go to his website for the whole list.
Strengths– In his time on council he has been one of the most pro-active members of the council and has also managed to get along fairly well with all members, even those whose views he tends to disagree with. He seems to understand the neighborhoods SOLO need revitalizing and is willing to look for different ways to bolster them.
Weaknesses – I don’t recall him ever taking a tough stance on crime and I think the entire council could have done more to make the police chief concentrate efforts better.
Jennifer Olsen is a familiar name around town for those who follow politics. She has been a strong neighborhood advocate for years. Jenn’s issues are Common Sense Approach to Policy, Basic Services, Adopting and Enforcing Policy that Works, Restoring Trust in Staff and Allowing Staff to do thier Jobs, Working Together, and Community Input.
Strengths – Jenn seems to also have a strong understanding of what the neighborhoods of our city need. She has accurately predicted the failure of past policies and, unlike others, has put out suggestions for improvements. And, unlike Ian, Jenn actually lives in one of the areas of town which has experienced the trouble from bad landlords, crime, and lack of investment. She knows what hurdles to overcome. Jenn seems to have a good, common sense approach to issues.
Weaknesses – Jenn’s advocacy for neighborhoods in the past has won her some enemies in those who have nothing to gain by changing their ways. I look to her, and any other neighborhood advocate, to be the target of negative campaigning. What I wrote for the primary is in italics. Hmmmm, can I call it or what! What I didn’t predict however, is how irrelevant the items they came up with for their last minute mailer would be. Her weakness turns to a positive as it has inspired many to vote when they otherwise wouldn’t have cared.
Gene Meeker at one point worked with D-One. He has put together a website since the primary. His issues page is just a regurgitation of his QCTimes Q&A.
Strengths – Gene has worked with D-One and likely has powerful allies. He doesn’t support the casino moving into the Rivercenter. He seems to have a very rosy view of Davenport.
Weaknesses – He seems to be out of touch with Davenport today. He leads his website with his D-One experience in spite of a large number of people feeling D-One has not been doing their job effectively or listening to citizens. He thinks we have been successful at providing amenities and basic services in Davenport. While I appreciate his positive view, we can’t begin to fix problems if we intentionally overlook them. I would realy like to know more about these neighborhood revitalization projects he says he’s worked on.
Tina says her issues are crime, housing and infrastructure. She has chosen to not have a website this time around but does have an e-mail address.
Strengths – Her QCTimes Q&A shows at least a superficial understanding of some of the problems facing Davenport, including the west side sewer tunnel, crime and housing.
Weaknesses – Tina’s lack of a website along with voter’s inability to recognise her name will weigh her down in spite of whether her ideas were viable or not. I have, to this point, not received any mailers from Tina, and have not visited with her. I do know she’s held some meet the candidate events (I didn’t get around to those as I would have liked to).
I predict the winners will be Ian Frink and Jenn Olsen. Jenn garnered the most votes for at-large in the primary. Ian was almost tied with her. And I do think they’d make a good balanced pair.
Sorry I didn’t get this out last night like I wanted. Here you go.
The first ward has, to put it lightly, had some difficulties in the past 2 years. With an alderman in jail, facing a harassment lawsuit, with a restraining order – this ward needs some class in its representation. There are needs in the first which have not been addressed.
Nathan Brown Issues are Building Neighborhood Groups, Listening to Voters, Crime, Fees and Taxes, and Frivolous Spending.
Strengths – He has a good grasp of what it means to be alderman, to listen, to involve the public. I also enjoyed his statement that he wants to make Davenport better for his children, meaning he is looking to the long term. So many aldermen are shortsighted. He also has a *TON* of signs in yards around his ward. I see he’s quickly made up for the gap in name recognition.
Weaknesses – No time for that, voters, fill it in yourselves!
I think everyone knows Pat as our former mayor. Pat’s issues are Crime, Excessive Fees, The City being a Support not a Developer, Streets, Sewers, Infrastructure.
Strengths – He has strong name recognition in a crowded field. He has a history which brings him supporters.
Weaknesses – No time for that, voters, fill it in yourselves!
So now it comes to my predictions. Nathan edged out Pat Gibbs by a couple percentage points in the primary and I think, from what I’ve heard from residents of the ward and seen from the number of signs in different neighborhoods, that Nathan will make it through onto the council.
There have been many good people working hard in our community hoping to serve on our council to make our city better. There has been a few incidents of dirty politics already, and my expectation is that they will explode over the weekend.
We have had posters show us the anonymous mailers against Lynn. There was a newspaper article alleging the same thing is happening against Bill Boom in the third ward (I would love to see this one as well). These are illegal by the way. You are not allowed to distribute political literature without saying who you are.
I have tried to provide a forum here where people can look at facts and exchange ideas so they will be informed for the election. Unfortunately, even that will be abused in the next few days as desperate lobbyists attempt to subvert the democratic process by vague allegations and unprovable innuendos. I hope the average voter will take these attacks for what they are and not allow themselves to be swayed because some jerk thinking of his/her own benefit tries to cloud the real issues.
There are some great candidates out there. I am saddened that some may have knowledge of these tactics and allow them to happen anyway.
The next two years we can accomplish a lot if we can put aside our history of negativity and move forward together. This starts by ignoring those who want to distract you from the real issues. We have crime problems. We need better jobs for our area. We need the west side sewer tunnel and the Promise could be a great tool. We have inflated property taxes, slum landlords who are sucking the equity out of neighborhoods, and a flat growth rate. Pick an issue, any issue, but PLEASE, don’t fall for the smears which are coming on full steam.
The most recent disclosures can be found appearing here http://iecdb.iowa.gov/reports/browse.php?mode=county&next=SCOTT/City_Candidate
I’m always troubled by fishbowl donations totaling over a hundred dollars or so. To me it seems people are afraid to show who is giving to them. Or maybe I’m just a conspiracy nut 😉
Post any unusual donations or expenditures you find here.
The eighth ward is what I refer to as the forgotten ward. It is currently represented by Brian Dumas who is not running for re-election.
Mike Matson believe Davenport is a great place to live. I think that is the best statement you could use to start out a website. He wants to help make it even better. His issues are Responsible and Responsive Leadership, Public Safety, Strong Voice for 8th Ward, Better Roads and Parks, Quality of Life for All.
Strengths -His military experience implies a professionalism needed on the council. While the current alderman is professional, he hasn’t exactly been a voice for his ward so Mike’s concern about being responsible and responsive seems fitting for his ward.
Weaknesses -Nothing jumped out at me but I’m sure the posters will help. Sorry guys, I’ve gone through a lot of candidates lately.
Becky has put together a website at http://www.becky4alderman.com/. Becky’s issues are Ending the Bickering, Re-evaluating Property Tax Assessments, Trash System Problems, and Your Issues are My Issues.
Strengths -Becky talks about some of the major issues for the city. She has some good ideas. My favorite quality of Becky is her ability to disagree politely. When I posted during the primary that I didn’t think crime was an issue for her ward, she politely corrected me, and I do think she was/is correct.
Weaknesses -I’ll let other posters fill in weaknesses today.
Both candidates sound like they will be a positive voice for their ward. I was right in my primary prediction that Mike Matson would make it, but I underestimated Becky. She was behind Mike by 15% in the primary but there were also many candidates. This ward could go either way.
The Seventh Ward is currently represented by Barney Barnhill.
As stated above, Barney is the incumbent. He has been a fixture on the council for many years. His issues are Economic Development – bringing in new jobs and businesses, Public Safety – new officers and expand Nets, Save Taxpayer Dollars, Attract Businesses to gateway corridors through tax incentives.
Strengths – Barney has been around for years and has a large following from the older voters, the type who like to pick a candidate once and leave them. His issues are some of the main ones for Davenport and he lists some of the same ideas as many other candidates to address them.
Weaknesses– He’s been in office for a long time and has survived in spite a
call to “Clean the Slate” many times. He is a very likeable guy but doesn’t seem to have any new or original ideas. He isn’t putting forth new and thoughtful programs. He also only garnered 50% of the vote in the primary, not a huge amount for an incumbent.
Unfortunately, Marcia has chosen not to have a website so the informatin I have about her is limited. Maybe her supporters can fill some of this in . I haven’t seen an e-mail address for her either. My analysis is based on her QCT Q&A.
Strengths – Marcia has some interesting ideas. I like that she talks about making people keep up their properties to minimum standards and no other candidate I’ve come across is talking about that. She also talks about standing up for our existing businesses to retain them. Again, a good idea.
Weaknesses– I hate to continue beating the drum for websites and e-mails but so many people look to the web these days for their information. In talking with people of the 7th ward I still find many haven’t heard of Marcia. She is hopefully out knocking on doors daily to get her word out. She only received just over 20% of the vote in the primary.
I was slightly wrong in my primary prediction in that I thought Jim Davis would edge out Marcia (he received the lowest amount of votes in the ward). But I still think that if anything, I underestimated the 7th ward’s resistance to change. I think Barney will once again make it through.