Sunday, March 19, 2006

March 2nd Ward Meeting

Yesterday I attended Alderman Hamerlinck's ward meeting out at the new library on Fairmount. I missed his previous meeting because I didn't notice the announcement of it until too late. Yesterday's meeting was a far cry from his first 2nd ward meeting that I attended in January. Around 20 people showed up for that one, while I would say over 50 were at yesterday's meeting. We had to move out of the room originally scheduled for the meeting and basically take over the children's section of the main library room. I don't know much about Lawanda Roudebush, but she has been at both of the Saturday morning meetings I've been to, and doesn't seem to mind physical labor. That gives her an extra point in my book.
Once again, my pro-downtown, pro-Malin views were extremely unpopular at the meeting, but once again I kept quiet since its not my ward. However, I suspect at least a third of the people at the meeting were from wards other than two. I did pipe up when Shawn mentioned that there were no full buildings downtown, saying that the Davenport Lofts are full, but then he added the qualifier that he meant commercial buildings. On that charge he is quite correct. The meeting was pretty much a series of Shawn relaying the last month's happenings with a consistent reaction of outrage from the people at the meeting. It sort of became a refrain to hear "but it was 5-5 and the Mayor broke the tie." People seemed quite angry at this, forgetting that the city had democratically elected all 11 people involved in those votes. Apparently they only like representative democracy if their side wins.

There was a lot of talk about how the city is spending money on things downtown when they can't really afford it, and about the Freight House project being included in the bond issue along with things the citizens have been waiting years for, such as Northwest Boulevard street repairs. One of the interesting parts of the meeting came when Shawn asked what he should do in an upcoming bond vote for renovating the Annie Wittenmyer complex. The issue was basically that he feels its a good project, but hates to do something that could raise taxes yet again. I was impressed to note that most people supported the project. My usual issue with "againsters" is that they aren't for anything, but these people didn't have that problem. Growing up a few blocks from there, I of course would like to see Annie Wittenmyer in good shape, but I'm for most things anyway...

The one thing that bothered me at the meeting was the constant disapproval of anything being done downtown. I was at most, if not all, of the RiverVision meetings, and these people must not have been. RiverVision did not cause a consensus on the hotel or casino, but the one thing people agreed on at the meetings is that we should start on the project right away. I remember one guy standing up and saying something along the lines of "let's get started" to overwhelming applause. All 10 Aldermen on the previous council voted to add the RiverVision plan to the comprehensive plan. If people in the 2nd ward are so against RiverVision, why weren't they at the meetings?

Alderman Hamerlinck definitely has the support of the anti-Malin, anti-downtown crowd, and seems to be one of the leaders of the 5 againster-types on the council. The other leader, Alderman Lynn, was also at the meeting yesterday. Many of Lynn and Hamerlinck's ideas make good sense, especially for using St. Ambrose students to do the work we often pay $50+ an hour consultants to do. The only issue there is making sure they aren't all just Lynn loyalists. George Nickolas was also at the meeting, but everything he said sounded like he was running a campaign for best alderman Davenport ever had. I would say some of Niky's supporters have switched to being Shawn supporters, so it was interesting to see him at the meeting. There were a lot more important things talked about at the meeting, but this post is already getting way too long. Maybe I'll put up a Part 2 later, or else anybody feel free to put in their observations from the meeting in the comments.

36 Comments:

At 3/19/2006 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that you criticize people who have a different view as you for having a different vies then you. You are not better.

"Againsters" are against irresponsible spending and waste of tax dollars. That isn't a bad thing. We don't like what we see and how the decisions are being made. So we talk about it and we verbalize it.

I am going to start calling you "BrookeJr."

 
At 3/19/2006 3:55 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I like healthy debate, and I respect the opinion of people who argue against various things. I just have a problem with people who are against literally everything the city tries to do outside of basic services.

Fortunately, River Renaissance showed that those people are the minority in Scott County.

 
At 3/19/2006 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brookie Jr would be better.

 
At 3/19/2006 4:08 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

The funny thing is I really don't like how he acts in council meetings, despite agreeing with much of his positions. I really don't agree with him trying to force Hamerlinck out. He is certainly one of the many causes of our circus council.

 
At 3/20/2006 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hamerlinck for Mayor in 07!!!

 
At 3/20/2006 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Tom his manager should think about that, cause he would make a Good Mayor...

 
At 3/20/2006 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is Tom?

 
At 3/20/2006 10:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shawn would be the most kick ass Mayor this town has ever seen. Go Shawn, Go!!

 
At 3/21/2006 12:28 AM, Blogger sensible sally said...

omfg

 
At 3/21/2006 6:11 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Kind of like "everyone" on the blogs thought Niky would be our next Mayor...

 
At 3/21/2006 8:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never thought there could be a worst candidate for Mayor than Niky...until you start talking about Hammerlink. God help us!!

 
At 3/21/2006 8:44 AM, Blogger Liberal Lion said...

People, at one point, were urgin Wayne Hean to run for mayor. Look how that turned out.

 
At 3/21/2006 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hamerlinck is different. He is a man of principle, with the backbone for leadership. Go Shawn, Go!

 
At 3/21/2006 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if Hamerlinck has a backbone or not but he definitely has been trained in the political school of knowing the right thing to say, but since most of what he says seems to come from prepared statements I also sometimes wonder if it's his thoughts or he is merely the mouthpiece.

As far as being mayoral material I would think he is many years away from that office, his theory is fine but he needs a good dose of experience in the real world.

 
At 3/21/2006 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Ed Winborn for mayor? Wait...that nightmare is already happening.

 
At 3/21/2006 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hamerlinck is too smart to run for mayor. He knows he can accomplish the most as alderman or maybe even alderman-at-large. People from all wards recognize his ability and courage to ask those tough questions that the others are afraid to ask.

"I wear my sunglasses at night" Tom, his supposed manager is a sham. Shawn does his own talking and no one controls him or buys him off.

 
At 3/21/2006 3:02 PM, Blogger Liberal Lion said...

Query: Where are the people who brow beat QCI about being young, inexperienced and naive to the real world when, Alderman Hammerlinck is as young, naive, inexperienced, etc ?

Maybe Hammerlick isn't young and inexperienced because he offers rhetorical opiates without any substance.

 
At 3/21/2006 3:49 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Apparently those 2 years he has on me make all the difference...

 
At 3/21/2006 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

**I don't know if Hamerlinck .........but since most of what he says seems to come from prepared statements I also sometimes wonder if it's his thoughts or he is merely the mouthpiece.**

Have you ever noticed that everything Frink says is being read and most likely from D1 letterhead.

 
At 3/21/2006 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The congregation of the Church of St Shawn has certainly dominated these 19 posts.

 
At 3/22/2006 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever stopped to think that perhaps Hamerlinck dominates the discussion because he is the one council member with the balls to really take on the system? I cannot think of a more refreshing change for Mayor of our fair city. He could put us right back on the right track with the skillful use of his veto pen.

 
At 3/24/2006 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think even those people that don't necessarily agree with Shawn on everything probably agree with him on most things. And, it is pretty obvious that he is not afraid to say what he really thinks. I had not even considered this possibility before, but I think Hamerlinck for Mayor is a darn good idea!

 
At 3/24/2006 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shawn understands the difference between waseful spending and making cuts that make things efficient.

 
At 3/24/2006 10:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hamerlinck for Mayor would be the best thing that could ever happen to this City!

 
At 3/25/2006 1:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shawn is without a doubt the most amazing 25 year old kid this town has ever seen. He knows more about business than Charlie ever will, and Charlie is three times his age.

 
At 3/25/2006 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, Please! Take the guy off his pedestal. I don't think improvisation is one of Shawn’s stronger points. It is as if he is reading everything he says. Let's not get carried away now.

 
At 3/25/2006 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to build Shawn up to be more than he is, because he really is an amazing kid without all the accolades, but I am not so sure that public speaking is a downfall for him. I recall Howard being extremely critical of the concept of forming a study committee to look into public works. Without batting an eye, Hamerlinck was able to defuse her by asking her, very graciously, to be a frontrunner in setting up such a committee. No prepared statements involved. Now, don't get me wrong, I have not agreed with him on every issue, but I cannot imagine that he would not be the best Mayor this town has ever seen.

 
At 3/25/2006 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I read this stuff and my natural inclination is to want to disagree, because I don't see how anybody could be doing THAT good of a job. But, the bottom line is that Hamerlinck seems to be getting it done. I wish I had that much on the ball when I was 25 years old. Hell, to be honest, I wish I had that much on the ball now, and I am 62.

 
At 3/25/2006 3:23 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I like the guy, (just not his politics) but jeez... you guys are making him sound like he'll be walking on water and turning water into wine at the next council meeting. Where does the suggestion that he's the ultimate business expert come from? As far as I know he's never even run a business. Just because the new leading againster is more with it than Niky or Keith doesn't make him the second coming.

I definitely like the fact that he's so involved in Davenport's well-being at a young age though.

 
At 3/25/2006 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe his business acumen comes from the simple philosophy of getting government out of our wallets. In that respect, he is a lot like Reagan, who said in his first inaugural address that "government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem".

 
At 3/26/2006 12:08 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Yeah... too bad he then spent more than 1000 Davenport city councils.

 
At 3/26/2006 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

QCI, if you are agreeing that Hamerlinck is indeed the same caliber of person that Reagan is, then you also agree that Shawn might even be better. Reagan got our economy rolling again after the dismal Carter years, and business was able to get the tax breaks it needed to succeed. Shawn is even better. He believes in free enterprise, and he actually wants to cut spending as well. Hamerlinck for Mayor in 07!

 
At 3/26/2006 10:12 AM, Blogger Liberal Lion said...

Shawn Hammerlinck may be "amazing" now...but Thom Hart and Steve Ahrens were all 25 or younger when they first held office and there were a lot of people claiming they were amazing too.

 
At 3/26/2006 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liberal lion, thanks for admiting that Shawn is in fact amazing now. Not supporting somebody because they "might" go bad in the future dosen't make a lot of sense now, does it? All we have to go on is Shawn's wonderful record so far, and it is indeed wonderful, is it not?

 
At 3/26/2006 11:41 AM, Blogger Liberal Lion said...

Ummm no, Shawn Hammerlinck is not "amazing". I was quoting the absurd statement by Anon at 1:20 AM.

Shawn Hammerlinck is about as amazing as Wayne Hean was and we saw how that turned out. Its more amazing that Davenport nearly elected a gay alderman and has re-elected an African-American woman for one of its At-Large positions. Its more amazing that Davenport was one of the first cities to elect a woman as mayor (and never since).

Nonetheless, Shawn like Keith is blessed by a screwy ward that will probably keep him in office for as long as he wants. Being able to win in the 2nd hardly means he has broad, city wide appeal. George Nicholas, the 2nd Ward fixture for so many years, was beloved by his ward but not the city as was demonstrated by his early failure to become Davenport's mayor.

 
At 3/26/2006 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see, so now Hamerlinck's popularity is attributed to his "screwy ward". Well, you might want to check out his ward meeting attendance. It was the largest ward meeting ever in the history of Davenport politics, and I understand that there was even a lot of attendance from outside of the 2nd ward.
It is entirely unfair of you to compare him to Wayne Hean. Hean was a blowhard that was also a hypocrite. Hamerlinck, by comparison, practices what he preaches. He also knows his facts, something that Hean never did. L.L., I hope you will show proper respect and refer to Shawn as "your honor" when he becomes "Mayor Hamerlinck".

 

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