Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Open Thread

Tomorrow I'm off to Des Moines for another get-together with the folks from AbsoluteDSM. One thing Des Moines doesn't seem to have is the highly negative vocal minority like we have around here. Its kind of nice.

Here's a business opportunity for those of you $11,042,460 laying around under your mattress. That only comes to a little over a quarter million an acre for what are probably the hottest 39 acres in the Iowa Quad Cities. You can be the next Steve Schalk.

42 Comments:

At 1/26/2007 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh I don't know QCI, go and talk to the people in the area the city is proposing to move the homeless shelter to and you will hear an ear full. Similar stuff happens there when it comes to development of low income stuff in historic neighborhoods. The money wins.

 
At 1/26/2007 9:37 AM, Blogger pioneer98 said...

No one likes a homeless shelter moving next door. I think QCI was referring to the negativity on seemingly positive developments. For example, look at the comments on QCTimes.com regarding the Evolution expansion in the industrial park. People were even negative about 36 new jobs coming to Davenport! Their snap judgement was that the city gave them too many incentives, even though the article made no mention of incentives. At least wait to find out if there were any before complaining! And even if there were some, how do you define "too many"?

 
At 1/26/2007 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a classic example.

 
At 1/26/2007 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly there are some great things going on in Davenport.

How does saying, we have a small community here with a lowsy attitude, lead to people unhappy about a homeless shelter moving?

Why would anyone feel the need to complain about a company moving 500 jobs to our city or expanding a company that already is here?

 
At 1/26/2007 10:00 AM, Blogger Dave said...

I've been in Davenport for just four years. It is amazing to me the negative sentiments about the positive developments in the city and surrounding area. I'm from Cedar Rapids originally and, after moving around several times in the Midwest, Davenport has a LOT going for it. It seems like people don't really understand what they have here and the city and civic leaders are much underappreciated. Not without their human shortcomings, but they are all trying to make a positive difference.

Is the crime rate the reason? Is this where we should focus our efforts to improve morale and public support for community development? Is there another underlying reason the voices of the naysayers outnumber the voices of the supporters of economic development?

I'm sure these are questions that have been pondered before. Your thoughts?

 
At 1/26/2007 11:06 AM, Blogger cruiser said...

Dave,
I have nothing against the project you spoke of. I can't say the same about others, but that's another subject. Do you live in Davenport, or just work here? We've quoted the crime rates, the poverty rates, and all the pro-build-anything group can say is that is worse somewhere else. I don't live somewhere else. If this is such a fantastic place to live, how come we're losing population while small towns all around us are booming?

 
At 1/26/2007 11:31 AM, Blogger Dave said...

I do live in Davenport. I realize there are some negative influences in the QCA that are more prevalent than other towns. I am suprised at the ratio of negative to positive comments when it comes to what we have here and what may be developed in the future.

All development is not good development, I agree. But there are more positive aspects to the QCA than negative and you don't often hear people talk about the positive things that are currently here or may be developed for the future.

It seems like a one way argument most of the time in the blogs and comments posted on the Times or when voices are heard at the council meetings.

 
At 1/26/2007 2:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Move what homeless shelter? I must have been a sleep for a few days.

 
At 1/26/2007 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Des Moines - the DM shelter is proposing moving one shleter from the downtown area to a residential area. Behind closed doors kind of thing. Actually, JLCS has something to do with it, they have attended meetings there and promoted it against the wishes of the homeowners there. Sound familiar from that agency?

 
At 1/26/2007 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Attendance in Davenport Schools went up this year for the first time in 5 years.

$47 million contract to John Deere - Davenport Works from the DOT in December

500 jobs and $15 million in tax base, albeit future tax base, from AT&T Mobility. Yes $9-$10 per hour, but with benefits. Will put the pressure on APAC.

New conventions business - National Trail Symposium, Midwest Birding Society, Midwest Billiards Tournament, International Jugglers, Midwest Rotary coming in '08; new comedy club and new life at the Freight House, new baseball owners.

Expansion and consolidation of an existing tool manufacturing business at the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center with 30+ new jobs.

Yeah, bad things are happening, too. But many good things are going on. I think the problem is that the positive people gave up on the blogs because they are too busy trying to get good things to happen.

Keep it up Dave. I'll support you.

 
At 1/26/2007 3:35 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

That QCTimes article about Evolution is the perfect example Pioneer98.

I don't think most people in Davenport are negative, just most people who post on blogs and QCTimes.comments. Plenty of positive people showed up for the RiverVision meetings, and as always, look at the River Renaissance vote.

There aren't more negative people than positive people here, the negative folks are just louder.

 
At 1/26/2007 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alderman Meyers: On Marquette, right across the street on the east side from where they just tore the house down, the bangers have tagged that commercial building. It maybe a plumbing or electrical business. Looks bad driving down Marquette. Thanks.

 
At 1/26/2007 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't there another AND more efficent way to contact your alderman than to post on a non-city blog?

 
At 1/26/2007 5:30 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Hey, I'd rather have that kind of thing here than spam. At least its constructive.

 
At 1/26/2007 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Keith,



This was sent to Crime Prevention and Patrol for their attention. Mike

 
At 1/26/2007 6:32 PM, Blogger pioneer98 said...

I do think QCI is right that most of the people who like living here are generally quiet most of the time. They need to get louder.

I found it interesting that cruiser asked if Dave lived in Davenport. Would Dave lack credibility if he didn't? What if, heaven forbid, Dave enjoyed living in Bettendorf? Isn't that still "The Quad Cities"? Other areas don't have this division between cities like we do. A guy from Sioux City on the AbsoluteDSM forums was excited that a large factory might be moving to that area....even though it was 20 miles away and in South Dakota. I'm not sure people in Davenport would have the same reaction if a factory were opening in, say, Geneseo.

 
At 1/26/2007 8:32 PM, Blogger cruiser said...

I asked Dave if he lived here because I was curious. He's one of the few who use a name. Both QCI and myself mention we live SoLo often and nobody takes offense. It's also easier for me to remember Davenport Dave as opposed to Port Byron Dave.

 
At 1/27/2007 8:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live solo and I am not afraid here. My house is big and inexpensive, my neighbors are awesome and we look out for each other. We pick up trash and we shovel each others wlaks when we are out there anyway. We sometimes even mow each others lawns when we get the notion. We attend each others kids b-day parties (even the neighbors who don't have kids come) and once in a while we find each other sitting on our front porch having a nice cool one on a Saturday afternoon. So, I tell you that is is great living solo and I wouldn't change that. But, I would like a little cooperation from the landlords and the city to fix up some of these poorly run and maintained properties. Frankly, I am tired of the transientness of the rental tenants. I have nothing against tenants, but why don't they stay longer if they are good ones. And the bad ones --- why does it take an act of God to get them evicted?

 
At 1/27/2007 9:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All hail to the all powerful entity you call Keith. I will follow. I will do what you say. I want to be part or the family. C. M. was right.

 
At 1/27/2007 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy - people are I guess upset that Keith is popular.

 
At 1/27/2007 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keith was headed down the right track at the council meeting when he started to ask what AT&T (Singular) was going to do with the old abandoned building that they have downtown at 6th and Harrison. But, not surprisingly, the tag team of Howard and Frink derailed Keith from getting these important answers. So you can bet that like every other business or developer that comes down the pike, in a few years they will come before council with a 'public-private' partnership deal for their abandoned building. (TIF or a million dollars of taxpayer money so it can be more low income apartments.)

 
At 1/27/2007 11:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

During Council Meetings, Howard should just sit quietly, drink her kool-aid, and munch on animal crackers, while the alderman who have spent hours preparing for the meeting, to do the taxpayer's business.

 
At 1/28/2007 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howard and Barney are pushing the council to release Whitty from his long term contract and lease for the Freight House. Seems like it was Barney and Howard that caused the building to go empty on two occassions, even though the young owners attempted to do everything those two asked of them. Finally, they gave up and closed their businesses. Now the city is taking will be receiving far less revenue from the new tenant, who will be opening a commedy club downstairs, and a bar upstairs. Finially, a qustion for alderman Meyer: If Whitty hasn't been making lease payments for some time now, after all is said and done, will Mary Thee file an action against this wealthy tenant to collect the money due the taxpayers? Supposidly we are going after Lee Nelson for money due the city, and it's only fair that the Legal Department goes after Whitty for every nickle he owes us.

 
At 1/28/2007 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Alderman Meyer for getting Alan Guard's budget presentation on the city channel. As more comes along on the budget, please keep pushing for every meeting to be televised. The whole thing was very interesting, but the one thing that really drew attention was the topic of the NEO. If I understood correctly what Alan was saying, when the old NEO was disolved, the fire dept hired 4 persons. Now in this budget, they are asking to increase it to 9, and public works had 0 origionally, and are requesting 2. That makes a total of 11 inspectors. Isn't that about what the old NEO had before, and isn't that the reason for disolving it was to save on payroll? Secondly, what are the salaries and benefits for these firemen compared to if they were public works employees. If the police and fire are the highest paid and employees with the most benefits, wouldn't it be prudent to have them work in Public Works doing the same task, but at minimum wage and lower benefits? I'm all for all these inspectors, but lets put them back to work at the right pay for the job. I'm struggling to understand this Alderman Meyer, and i'm sure there are others very interested if you could shed some light on this, or have someone make a presentation of facts and figures at the next cycle. Thanks for all you do.

 
At 1/28/2007 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

GOOD points. I am confident Meyer will get this moving.

I also am wondering about the NEO move. At least I want an explanation from the council as to why this move was made. I do not want to be led to believe it is monetary. It is obvioulsy not. We need to demand answers here. I want to know the amount we paid for the NEO services (all of the them) and then what we will be spending on all of the new ones.

I like that the fire dept is taking them over, but I am a little concerned about the duties being spread all around the city. We need communication between the dept, not disconnection.

 
At 1/29/2007 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whittey should not be let out of his lease. We don't need charity for rich people!

 
At 1/29/2007 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The old NEO was not doing its job, which was well documented. But, I have concerns that the fire department may not be doing its job either. Already there are demands for more inspectors, and the fire department is disregarding the current ordinance and asking for properties that are in good condition to be inspected every four years instead of every six years. That will cost money, and I don't think the taxpayers want that exactly. They want the bad properies cracked down on. It seems to me that the slumlords from the qcrapers were always complaining about bad properties too, and even though the bad properties may be some of their own, they still need to get inspected. And, I agree with those SOBs that the good properties do not need to have more inspectors hired to inspect the really good ones. So, save the taxpayers some money, start inspecting the bad ones and lets move on!

 
At 1/29/2007 3:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Dan. Guess you guys weren't ready to for the Fire Department take over and show you the door. I'd like to know what documentation you have that says the old NEO wasn't doing their job. I think I can come up with any evidence you want to show the 1000's of notices sent out each year. Maybe if you would have left them alone they could have gotten alot more done. Oh well, you sometimes bite off more than you can chew.

 
At 1/29/2007 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It won't cost taxpayers a dime if the council raises up fees to match the real cost of inspecting. Landlording is a business - a business for profit. No longer should homeowners subsidize these profit making rentals.

 
At 1/30/2007 7:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The post at 3:54 was my post, but I am not Dan. In any event, the old NEO did indeed send out many notices, but most were for relatively small infractions on properties that nobody was complaining about (i.e a missing smoke detector battery or a small tear in a screen). What was well documented was their consistent pattern of ignoring the very worst properties in town.

 
At 1/30/2007 8:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're pathetic with your whinning about torn screens and batteries. From what I know of the ordinances, these are violations whether you (Dan) like it or not. The NEO did tackle the larger problems. They were able to get a notoriuos junk collector in Larry Bell to clean up his massive mess without it costing the tax payers anything but the time the inspectors spent hounding him. They were able to keep the biggest scumlord (LaHood) in check, however I do feel they should have run him out of town with his record of non-compliance. They tore down countless eyesores throughout the city, but thanks to special interest in trying to save these gems, the process took longer and longer each time. Your problem is that you see the whole picture through your narrow-minded self-serving eyes. This crybaby attitude of how you're being picked on is pathetic. Poor Danny and the rest of his pack of slumlords now have the Fire Department taking their candy away. When you scream and hollar people pay attention to you. Maybe you should have kept your mouth shut.

 
At 1/30/2007 3:03 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Its indescribable how sick I am of this topic.

 
At 1/30/2007 4:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second the feelings of quadcityimages. This topic is beat to death by somebody that hinks everybody that disagrees with him is named Dan.

 
At 1/30/2007 5:56 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

There are clearly people from both sides that post on here, and neither can apparently just move on.

I'm tempted to create a blog entirely devoted to this argument, and tell them to argue it up over there.

 
At 1/30/2007 6:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You maybe sick of the topic QCI, but the Solo Homeowners are sick of tennants and landlords who are ruining property values, and have seriously affected living conditions in the neighborhood.

 
At 1/30/2007 7:17 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Right, but what good does 2 groups arguing the same argument over the same personal attacks and accusations on every thread on every local blog do towards solving that?

 
At 1/31/2007 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blogs won't solve anything QCI, but it is interesting to watch Dan try to convince us it's not him. Dan even agreed with you that "it's time to move on."

 
At 2/01/2007 8:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all Walter\Pat\Barb\Wayne, what is frustrating is that you insist everybody that disagrees with you is named Dan. I am not Dan, but I do agree it is time to move on. You are wrong, and we can all accept that. Can you?

 
At 2/01/2007 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really a ridiculous thread! I have lived south of locust for years, and it is obvious to me that the old NEO was not worth a shit. I am also not thrilled with the fire department.

 
At 2/01/2007 10:22 PM, Anonymous Joe American said...

I believe this is a valuable blog and it will also be an issue come this next November. This is not just about rental housing, but about the special interest groups that is leading this city to ruins. If you really and truely love your city, then you will learn from this blog and form your own opinion. Hopefully., we all will make a better and more informed decision when sellecting our next city council.

 
At 2/01/2007 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walter Skrovonski for Fifth Ward!!!

 
At 2/05/2007 1:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walter nominating himself. At least somebody likes Walter.

 

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