Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday Mix

Pioneer98 has a good article over on his blog, Information Swimming, about the signage suggestions from our visiting tourism expert, and the plan that has been sitting on a shelf for several years. Check it out.

I have been thinking about this a lot since the articles about Bill Geist's visit to the area, and his tourism report. Coming across the Arsenal into Iowa, I was thinking... if I was a visitor and started seeing all these signs about entering a military base, and NO signs about entering Iowa, I'd consider turning around right about now. It doesn't seem like it would be too hard to have some sort of "Iowa, this way" signs along that route. Obviously there should be the equivalent, "Illinois, this way" signs facing the other direction.

I don't try to criticize the River City Reader much, because I believe it serves a valuable purpose. That said, I seem to disagree with practically every viewpoint they hold. This past week's "Words from the editor" however, I have to say something about. I tried to state my case in the comments on the site, but for some reason that doesn't seem to be showing up. Here's the 2 paragraphs from their views on the committee meeting changes that got me riled up:
The old adage "Don't confuse me with the facts; my mind is made up" characterizes the modus operandi of four Davenport aldermen - Jamie Howard, Charlie Brooke, Ian Frink, and Brian Dumas - and Davenport Mayor Ed Winborn.

It is especially appropriate relative to their collective refusal to submit to the public's demand (and the majority of the council's vote) to leave Thursday's standing-committee meetings intact.
It seems like it would take a lot of nerve to use that quote in the first paragraph and then totally misstate the facts in the second paragraph. The first vote on changing committee meetings was 5-4 IN FAVOR of changing. However, it requires 6 votes to make such a drastic change to council procedure. Supermajority or not though, I hardly consider 4 to be a "majority of the council." Is it not fair to have the vote when all 10 aldermen are there? Apparently retrying the vote when the entire elected body is present is somehow undemocratic. Also, did they take a poll to know that the "public's demand" is for the meetings to stay the same? If they're judging what the public wants by who shows up to the meetings, I have to disagree. If the people who speak at city council meetings were representative of Davenport as a whole, we'd have Niky as mayor and a whole council of Keith Meyer-types. The fact that the Reader seems to be "against" nearly every single decision made by the city of Davenport is how they get their "againster" label, not because of their attitude towards business.

And finally, unrelated from Davenport, here's a damn good article about how my beloved Los Angeles Dodgers are abandoning "Dodgertown," their spring training camp in Vero Beach, Florida. Phoenix's version of Bettendorf, Glendale, has lured them out of Florida with promise of a 15,000 seat modern stadium. The Dodgers' horrible, money-grubbing owner, Frank McCourt, jumped at the chance to make more money, even off of spring training. Who cares about 50 years of tradition, there's money to be made! I know one thing: I'll be taking a trip down to Florida next spring for the last ride of Dodgertown.

But right now, I'm heading out (without a coat) to take some pictures.


cruiser said...

Could it be that the folks at River City Reader are privy to some information that you don't have? I know I have heard rumors along the same lines for a while.

QuadCityImages said...

All I'm saying is that when 4 council members vote against the change, that's not a majority. In this case the minority ruled, and that's the way the law is. Whether that's good or bad is up to debate, but don't call 4/10 a majority.

Anonymous said...

The decision to delete the meeting change resolution was a perfect demonstration of "squeaky wheel gets the grease" syndrome.

The same 4 or 5 people made the same arguments over and over and over at meetings (actually demonstrating the ridiculousness of repetition made possible by the archaic meeting structure) and the aldermen who were in favor caved.

I hardly think that those five - several of whom have also demonstrated that they are against every single thing the city decides to do - are representtive of the nearly 100,000 residents of Davenport.

But they bitched and complained and threatened over and over until those in favor of the meeting changes decided it wasn't worth hearing the very small vocal minority and moved to delete it.

And that's why Davenport remains mired in a non-progressive rut. The "keep-everything-the-way-it's-been for 100 years" crowd wields disproportionate power in this city, which will relegate it to it's current nearly has-been status.

Anonymous said...

to Annonymous 9:22
Did you speak before the council in favor of changing the meetings?
If you did - good for you - if you didn't - then you should not be critizing everyone who did. Was it repeatings of previous meetings - yes. However, sometimes that is what it takes to get the attention of the council. Also keep in mind that the viewing public may not have seen a previous meeting and this is the first exposure to an issue.

The opportunity is there for anyone to speak for or against, and I encourage people to do so. The freedom of speach is so important.

QuadCityImages said...

History is made by those that show up.