Last night I attended a public meeting and input session sponsored by Alderman Frink at the Roosevelt Community Center. In typical QCI-style I was a couple minutes late, which was not helped by the fact that 2 of the 3 doors into the former school were locked. Alderman Meyer (also late) was having a similar problem, but fortunately I was there to let him in. Alderman Barnhill also attended, and so did Clayton Lloyd and some additional city employees. I'd say there were about 20 or 25 community members present also. This is slightly more than Alderman Hamerlinck got at his first meeting, and now he gets over 100, so hopefully attendance will continue to grow at these as well.
When I arrived, Alderman Frink was showing some information about tonight's test/demonstration of the potential lighting on Lock and Dam 15. (Article about the test in the QCTimes) People were generally asking why we were considering doing such a thing, and Ian talked about the importance of first impressions on visitors, and how we tend to take the river and its surroundings for granted. It may have been discussed before I got there, but I hope someone asked whether the installation and maintenance costs would be shared with Rock Island and/or the Corps of Engineers. This downtown topic sparked a discussion of whether we should be spending money on projects downtown, but it wasn't nearly as confrontational and accusatory as I expected the meeting to be.
The other main topics of the meeting were the automated garbage collection, and the NEO changes. It was pointed out that the NEO will be going away at the exact same time that they are most needed when all the kinks are being experienced with the new garbage system. Very few people at the meeting seemed in favor of the changes to the NEO, with a possible exception of Alderman Meyer, who defended it as "not a final plan." Its clear that with less than 2 months to go before the changes take place, that many things are still up in the air. I felt bad for Frink because he was somewhat on the defense about the inspection changes, despite the fact that it was Alderman Lynn's idea.
There was also quite a bit of discussion of what we can do to attract more businesses here, and some talk about the reasons that Triumph isn't an option for northwest Davenport. (Not big enough sewers) During the talk of Triumph I didn't hear anyone say that they wouldn't have wanted them here anyway, so I suspect that they would have faced less opposition in Davenport. Silvis wouldn't have been the wrench in the gears at least. There were lots more smaller issues discussed, and any of you that were there feel free to post them or your general reactions to the meeting in the comments. I may make another post as I remember more, but generally I thought it was a pretty good meeting.