Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Its only 150 jobs, but they're probably decent paying jobs, and its a billion dollar company. Bernie Goldstein is from the area, and they have 2 growing casino operations within 5 miles. The optional second phase of the Mississippi Plaza office building would make an ideal home for IOC's head honchos. The Iowa Values Fund seems like the perfect source for an incentive to move here, and surely they'd fork over something for 150 white collar jobs. Plus it sounds like St. Louis county isn't all that thrilled about them coming anyway.
Come on Clayton, give Bernie a call.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
The bid process that just expired today is for snow removal of various downtown items such as the parking garages. I never knew that the city hired this out to private contractors, or maybe this is the first year for it. Included in the same bid request is clearing sidewalks along parts of River Drive and the various bus shelters around town, among other things. Fans of privatization will surely be pleased that the city is utilizing private industry for some things that could be done by city employees, but it also begs the question of whether there are idle cty workers during the winter who could do some shoveling.
Many of the more juicy construction projects on the bidder page require that contractors either spend some money to get the project specifications or register for an architectural design website in the case of the police station. I suppose this makes sense so every Tom, Dick, or Blogger can't go constantly request pricy blueprints and such for every city project, but it seems like it could all be put online for free. I'm considering registering for the site to view the PD plans, but I'm not sure if non-contractors can even register.
Update on JLCS article: The pictures are stuck on my non-functioning computer, but I'll probably just post an image-less article in the next few days.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Last Wednesday was the final day that the Annie Wittenmyer branch of the Davenport Public Library was open. There was an open house during normal hours, and at 7 they had a farewell ceremony which was sort of a loving roast of the building's deficiencies. Some of the employees even got a little choked up as they each talked about their memories in the old building. It was touching, but I felt somewhat out of place. Ten years ago I would have known most of the people there, but I've slowly become more of a downtown library user than the biweekly branch visitor I was growing up. I have good memories of being careful not to let Dewey the library cat escape when entering the library, or checking out Boxcar Children or Hardy Boys books as a kid. I also thought about the fact that I've never gone into the library via the front door, as I grew up to the west of Annie Wittenmyer.
The staff was quick to point out that the new branch is opening on January 14th with many of the same people working there who worked at Annie Wittenmyer. While it seems like its way over there, its still within 6 miles of the current library. A 15 minute drive isn't too bad, at least for the 2 or 3 years until the new East side branch gets built. I'm curious to see what the city is going to do with the soon-vacant building that has housed the branch for so many years. I also wondered what happened to the aerial view of the neighborhood that they used to have hanging over the Xerox machine. Maybe it will reappear when the new branch is built. I'm thankful to all of the folks who've worked there over the years to provide us with a cozy neighborhood library.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Thursday, November 24, 2005
I doubt any of my pending posts will be ready today. Maybe tonight, but more likely later. Family ranks somewhat higher than blogs for me.
Have a great holiday.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Update: "tomorrow" is here, and no JLCS post. Holiday real life things intervened. If I don't get some stuff posted by morning, it won't be happening for a couple days. Sorry.
Gilmour and Boom want recounts
Apparent agreement reached on new role for levee panel
Commission and council find future for riverfront
RDA Grants total $1.4 mil
Or, just talk about whatever, since its an Open Thread.
Monday, November 21, 2005
I'm unable to find the thread, or remember if it was on DDP or SoLo, but a few months back some people were jumping all over the Crescent Macaroni building for using enormous undivided windows. I believe the pieces that divide windows into individual panes are called muntins. I posted then that the Lofts were still planning on adding "decorative" muntins to maintain the factory look of the building. A month or two ago they started putting these on, but ran out of the faux-muntin material before they got to my apartment. My river view remained unobstructed! But alas, I got up today and my giant view had been divided into many smaller river views. Oh well, it does look more factory-like now. Plus now the againsters have one less thing to complain about regarding the lofts.
Look at the article quick, since it'll be unavailable to non-subscribers soon. That's why I don't generally link to QCOnline.
Edit at 16:04: Yep, the article's down already. Apparently that should make you go buy a newspaper instead of reading it online. Seems more like it sends people to QCTimes.com.
Essentially the article states that the city of Rock Island will give Habitat slightly less than a block of park land to develop into 7 Habitat for Humanity houses. The article does not mention the neigbors' reactions, but if it were Davenport they'd be sharpening their pitchforks and lighting their torches. Don't any neighborhood folks use the park? I don't know the area, so maybe there's an obvious reason why its no big deal. Any RI natives want to explain this?
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Hopefully I'll make it down there anyway.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Now we have this...
Rich Moroney said...
I was involved in the 2003 recount of the Hean v Lynn aldermanic result. And I'm one of the few people that have actually been around to participate in the pre-election testing of the voting machines.
None of these results will change by more than a vote or two. I understand Gilmour's desire for a "voter verification count" but basically this is a case of "been there & done that". The Scott County machines work very well. Given the closest election is 7-votes, a change in winner just isn't going to happen.
The Inside Dope said...
Thanks Rich. And welcome to the blog.
Several people at the Rule #3 party believed that Mr. Moroney is the Fly, and I'm starting to come around to that point of view. It just seems strange that he suddenly appears on a site that Fly frequents within days of Fly calling it quits. One thing that's strange to me is that Lynn was against the casino hotel proposal, and Fly was semi-for it. I guess campaign managers don't always agree with their candidate. It would also be admirable for him to hate the QCRPA so much, considering they helped get Lynn his seat in the first place.
I wish the Council Updates could at least be posted in a timely manner.
Also, how would the reporters in attendence at the Rule #3 Party have known if someone was Fly? Both the the reporters I talked to didn't seem to have a way of identifying the true Fly. If I had claimed to be him, how would they have known otherwise? They should have emailed him in advance and asked for a special password or coded message that only Fly would know about. He said something pretty random to me in one of our last emails that I suspect was for this purpose. And of course, I always say "he," but Fly could still be a female. But I don't think so.
We may never know.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
I'm apologizing for spelling your name wrong every time I used it ever since you announced. I was hunting around for your blog site, which I've added to the link bar, and I couldn't figure out why my search for "Hammerlinck" wasn't coming up with results. When I finally found your blog, I saw that its Hamerlinck, and I'm sorry for never noticing that.
Unlike Mr. Saul reported, Jen Olsen did attend, she was just a bit late. There was never a set time anyway. Both the reporters present had to leave to file their stories, so they didn't stay the whole time.
I didn't see Alderman-Elect Dumas there, but I believe he was.
Alderman Ambrose was the ONLY current alderman to not attend.
Neither Alderman-Elect VanFossen or his opponent Mr. Gibbs attended. I didn't see Mr. Franken, but I suspect he was there also.
Keith Meyer did show up, although him and his opponent didn't get together to buy each other drinks. I was told that Alderwoman Bushek and soon-to-be Alderman Hammerlinck did chat.
Craig Malin attended. I didn't see Ed Winborn. Some of the LOLs attended. Clayton and Dee did not.
In the name of full disclusure, I had drinks bought for me by Alderman Barnhill and Candidate Boom's campaign manager, Bruce Kenady. I don't plan to go any easier on either Barnhill or Boom, but I did appreciate the drinks. They clearly understand Rule #3.
However, since several people do not understand civility among political opponents, or do not agree with it, Fly was entirely within his right to not out himself. A comment from supposedly-Fly was posted over at SoLo, saying that he was there. I'm not sure if its really him that posted the comment though. I'm not sure if he was really there or not. There was a pretty good turnout altogether, and I'm sure Mac's appreciated it. Thanks to all who attended.
P.S. Maybe Fly WAS there?
Candidate Boom and QCI (and Fly) show off some yard signs that fortunately aren't still in yards.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Now this doesn't mean literally, is this person Fly. For example, Alderman Lynn was opposed to the casino hotel whereas Fly somewhat supported it, but not the way the public input and presentation were done. Therefore Lynn probably isn't Fly, but the point is I believe he's intelligent, well spoken, and fair enough that he could be. There are current and future aldermen who I don't believe are capable of the entries Fly posts. Originally I had planned to post a list of local folks who I thought were capable of being Fly, but in the spirit of his Rule #3, and tonight's party, I will just keep that to myself.
I just use Lynn because he's the perfect example of someone who I disagree with about many, many things in regards to how I'd like to see Davenport operate, but he's a smart and decent guy. He supports and explains his opinions. He's a good alderman. I felt Mr. Boom would be similar, in that even if he disagreed with you, you didn't come out of the disagreement wanting to strangle him. It was just something you had differing opinions on. If we could all say that about people who we agree to disagree with, Rule #3 could be a lot more possible.
I think if we all used the Fly-rule we'd have some good politicians representing us.
P.S. To those that think Fly couldn't be an alderman, just think about the facts that he was gone on both Primary and Election night, and that it seemed important to quit after the election.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
The way the article puts it, much of the outrage over this has to do with the fact that we don't currently own the building. This seems silly to me, as we've signed an agreement with Isle of Capri that gives Davenport the option to buy the building for, I believe, $1. The building's not ours, but it will be.
What people SHOULD be complaining about is the high price for these consultants. $112,000 is 2240 hours of $50 an hour pay. That's 56 weeks of full time, 40 hour a week, $50 an hour work to figure out what we should do with the Blackhawk. Ten grand I can see, just to have a hotel expert fish around and see who's willing to give us the best deal on buying and fixing up the building. That's still a lot of money. But $112,000?
Let me save them the trouble. Here's what to do with the Blackhawk:
Make an agreement with a private hotel company to sell it to them for $2 (double our money!) if they agree to do X amount of renovations and keep it open for a minimum of X years. Make sure it'll be on par or at least close to as good as the Radisson, so we can get bigger conventions downtown. When we have more conventions, people can stop complaining about the RiverCenter. If a company was willing to pay us money for the Mississippi Hotel building, someone will take that deal for the Blackhawk.
Common sense. I'll give them a discount, since I don't have a degree in Hotel-ology, and only charge them $20,000 for my recommendation. It will be interesting to see how similar it is to the $112,000 one.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Thursday, November 10, 2005
He didn't even try.
He didn't attend the forums, and he sent a controversial figure in his stead, which I don't think gained him any votes over not showing up at all. He didn't have a website, he didn't have all that many yard signs, and he just didn't seem too put much effort into it. I could be wrong, as I don't live in that ward, but I just didn't hear much from his campaign. It was probably just assumed he would be able to slide right into McGivern's spot without much effort. This is what many would call typical Brooke arrogance, but he was (barely) right.
Also, the 6th ward is one where I would guess more people like where the city is headed then some other wards. As the QCTimes' informal poll showed, people in the east end are more likely to visit the downtown attractions that have been developed in the last few years. I would say the Figge probably has more members from the 6th ward than the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd combined. This could explain why Gilmour also seemed very supportive of the downtown progress, which is part of why I endorsed him. If he had the loyalty to downtown of Charlie with better, ah... people skills, he would be a great alderman. Maybe next time.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
124 more people voted in the 3rd ward in 2005 than in 2003. However, Meyer only got 18 more votes than he did in 2003. Apparently a lot more of the people who voted for someone other than Keith in the primary switched their vote back to the incumbent than I predicted. Whether some of this is due to some voters outdated views of Mr. Boom's lifestyle will never be known. I would also be curious to know how many of the new voters were new downtown residents such as myself, or the other 100+ residents of the Lofts.
I haven't heard yet if there's going to be a recount in the 3rd, or any other races. Those 16 under-votes in the 3rd ward could really come into play if there is a recount. Also, Bill's 475 votes would have defeated Keith's 466 in 2003. If it wasn't for those 18 new Meyer voters, Keith would have lost. Maybe Alderman Meyer will borrow an idea from Bill and form a 3rd ward council with representatives from various neighborhoods and neighborhood groups. He could appoint Bill to the 3rd ward council in homage to Fly's Rule #3.
One thing I find most interesting. Only the 2nd, 3rd, and 7th wards had more votes cast for their ward's alderman than in 2003. The 7th ward isn't even a fair comparison, consodering Alderman Barnhill was unopposed in the 2003 election. Out of these 3 though, the 3rd ward had the highest increase in voter turnout in the city. I'm proud to be 1/961 of that.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Frink with 7016 votes
Howard with 6569, defeating Vance by 41 votes
Hammerlinck by 698 votes
Meyer by 9 votes
Ambrose by 418 votes
Lynn by 458 votes
Moose by 4 votes
Barnhill by 253 votes
Dumas by 903
Obviously I was wrong on almost half of them, and many of them were extremely close. Frink is a big surprise, but so his Howard's lack of a landslide. Will Boom, Vance, Gibbs, and Gilmour request their allowed recounts? Discuss.
I think there's 2 sides to Boom vs Meyer. Out of only the people who voted in the primary, I believe Bill Boom will win a clear majority of the votes. The fact that 2/3rds of the primary participants voted against the incumbent means a lot to me. I think when you go in to vote in a primary, you first ask yourself if you want to reelect the person who's already there. If the answer to that is no, then you pick one of the challengers. If most people follow that logic when they vote (a BIG if) then Boom should get somewhere like 60% of the primary voters. That's allowing that 8 of the 68% who didn't vote Meyer were willing to vote for someone other than Keith, but not Bill, and therefore switch their vote back to pro-incumbent in the general.
However, the primary is not the election. Common belief is that voters who didn't vote in the primary will tend to split more for the incumbent. I agree with this, as if you plan to vote for the person already in office, in most cases you can assume they will make it past the primary and into the general, so why bother? So in that case the 68% who voted against Keith in the primary shouldn't matter.
But wait, this is the 3rd ward. In the 2005 primary, 674 people cast votes. In the 2003 general election, the number appears to have been a measly 837. Unless a large number of new voters have decided to participate this year, most of the 3rd ward voters participated in the primary. (This seems like a good thing to me, since primaries have historically had low turnout) If 60% of this year's primary voters split towards Boom, that would be 404 people. So if the same number of people vote today that voted in 2003's general election, Bill would only need to pick up 17 of the people who didn't vote in the primary. I think he can do this. My prediction is that Alderman Boom will be elected 55%-45%. We'll find out tonight.
P.S. The more I look at the stats here, it appears that over half the number of the 2003 general election participants voted in the 2005 primary in several of the wards. Is Davenport increasing voter turnout in a big way? Guess we'll find that out tonight too.
P. P. S. Sorry of this is more rambling than even my normal rambling. I just got home from work and I should be going to bed, not analyzing the 3rd ward.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
I believe this is how it will really turn out.
At-Large: Howard and Vance
1st Ward: Gibbs
2nd Ward: Hammerlinck
3rd Ward: Boom
4th Ward: Olsen
5th Ward: Lynn
6th Ward: Moose
7th Ward: Swanson
8th Ward: Dumas
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
On one hand, its a slap in the face to those who had planned to develop the houses, because it was a good plan. However, it was a costly plan for the county, and they have valid points about the jail being landlocked. I suspect that the block will be paved soon after demolition, so it can be used for parking during the Police Station/Jail renovations.
I would have understood if the County had gone either way with this decision. Hopefully the group with the propsal can find another block for their project.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
A race where I wish we had a 3rd candidate (but not Niky). Alderman Ahrens has done nothing in particular to displease me, although I can't name anything in particular he's done that was extremely pleasing either. Winborn is somewhat of an unknown to me, as I've never particularly followed county politics. Many people in my parents' generation seem to know and respect him for his sporting goods store and political service. This is almost a coin-toss, especially since Ahrens speaks entirely in "politician" sometimes. I wish Winborn had spent a term as alderman first...
My Pick: Ahrens by a nose.
One of my picks is easy. Alderman Howard. She's been the lone sane person on the council on several occasions. I went to school with several of her kids, and I just feel that she is a good person. She had the courage to stand by her vote on the stormwater fee, even though it probably cost her some votes. Out of the other 3, none jump out at me as being the clear choice. Cunningham seems like he'd be a fighter on the council, which has its up and down sides. Vance and Frink seem like they have a lot of similar views.
My Picks: Howard and, oh... lets say... Frink
VanFossen all but made a fool of himself at the first Police/Fire forum. He somehow inserted his opposition to fixing the River Drive retaining wall into his answer to a question about improving police services. He (wisely?) stayed home from the next forum. Gibbs had clear, logical answers for all the questions, even though I felt like his fix for the budget was overly simplified. He represented the city well as Mayor, and hopefully he will support continued downtown and riverfront development.
My Pick: Gibbs. I wish he had run for Mayor
I can't fault Hammerlinck for being young, but I can blame him for only telling people what they want to hear. Bushek has been bold in standing up for her vote on what I believe was a necessary fee. She has served the city in different forms for a long time, and hopefully would take a leadership role in the next council. Plus she provides an endless target of short jokes.
My Pick: Bushek, although I don't think she'll win
From the minute he chose to read "Black Christmas" at a city council meeting, Alderman Meyer was not going to be taken seriously. This is truly a shame, because I admire him as a person, even though I hold differing opinions than him on most topics. Whether or not the poem was offensive is immaterial; what Keith should have known is that it wasn't appropriate for a council session. He has improved greatly over his time, but he's still not taken seriously. Bill Boom has good ideas and works well with others. I believe he can compromise, which is a much-needed trait at City Hall. His only downside is his recent wishy-washy-ness about the stormwater fee. His idea for a 3rd Ward Council representing different neighborhoods makes sense, and I would very much like to see Alderman Meyer on THAT council. I would like to believe that the two of them could work together on 3rd ward issues.
My Pick: Boom. I consider myself a Boom supporter.
This is an interesting one. I've been accused of being Anti-Jen and Anti-Ray, which in some ways is true. I believe Mrs. Olsen served a valuable purpose in fighting for her beliefs against JLCS. If she hadn't stood up against Cobblestone, instead of nice (but small) houses, there would be a 20+ unit building on the site. However, I think she's been a little too rabid in blaming all the city's problems on low income housing and JLCS. Attracting homeless people may cause an increase in vandalism or public urination, but its not causing shootouts at Northwood Village. Alderman Ambrose seems to have outdated opinions on a number of issues, and his anti-dog and anti-sex offender initiatives were clearly just feel-good political moves. His supporters are another large (and bigoted) strike against him.
My Pick: Olsen (Didn't see that coming, did you?)
This is another tough one for me. I personally disagree with Lynn's "basic services only" agenda, but he is a good alderman. His website actually provides reasoning and justification for his votes, and he is very well-spoken. I think he would make a good at-large Alderman. Mr. Franken just moved into town, and has some controversy in his past, so it should be an easy choice. After all, I've lived here over 23 times longer than him. However, I was quite impressed with his answers at the first forum. He also seemed more in line with my pro-downtown, pro-riverfront feelings. If he isn't elected, I hope he will stay involved in Davenport politics and run again.
My Pick: Lynn (I wish I could vote for both)
The next three are toss-ups for me. I have never liked the Mayor's attitude towards the public (including Niky) at council meetings. He also doesn't seem to be a big fan of Fly's famed "transparency." That said, he supports things that I generally support. Gilmour, however, might also support much of the downtown and new urbanist ideas being debated currently. He hardly comes across as the opposite of Charlie. The anti-Brooke, Pro-Niky crowd has already had their big defeat, so....
My Pick: Gilmour
When I first read Swanson's candidate statement on Fly's blog, I didn't see a single thing in there that wasn't the easy way out. He told people what they want to hear. He'll improve services and lower taxes/fees! Too bad that's a lot harder than people seem to think. Also his past issues as a police officer pointed out by the QCTimes don't help him. Barnhill doesn't come across as the best or most well-spoken alderman on the council either, but he tends to vote (along with a crowd?) for things that I approve of.
My Pick: Barnhill (Can I vote neither?)
I cannot think of anything of note that Alderman Engleman has done. However, I cannot vote for Dumas. I think its clear he is planning a career as a politician and "Alderman" is just the first box that needs to be checked. I can't picture him running for a second term, because someone that can get a possible presidential candidate to speak at their fundraisers is going to be on to bigger things as fast as possible. In a supposedly non-partisan election, he has gone out of his way to be Mr. Republican. Plus I like where the city has been going, so I should endorse a few more status quo guys.
My Pick: Engelman (Franken should move to the 8th)
The main question I have to ask myself is this: Do I like where
The few people who read my posts instead of just assuming I love/hate things may have noticed I have rarely said anything in support of any particular alderman ever since joining the blog world. I have never really counted myself as a "McGivern supporter" or a "
Oh yeah... anyone that uses the phrase "bridge to nowhere" is not getting my vote.