Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tuesday Morning Brooke Quote

Here's a somewhat blurry (not a lot of room for my tripod in the stairwell) early morning image of a towboat locking through.

I'm not usually a big fan of Alderman Brooke, even though he votes the way I prefer. The same could be said for Dumas, but at least Brooke does anything... Anyway, like him or not, he's not subtle. Today's QCTimes article about last night's meeting had a quote from him that caused me to burst out laughing when I read it.
“It needs a professional, a CEO, to run it, not 10 politicians elected every two years,” he [Brooke] said. “Nine of the 10 aldermen of Davenport have no experience running a business. Eight of the 10 have no real job at all. One is in jail. No other city in Iowa runs without an administrator.”
Of course, his math is a little wrong, unless he doesn't count teaching as a job. Lynn and Hamerlinck teach, Dumas has his Victory thing, and Frink has a full time job as well. There may be others. I'm also curious which one he feels has experience running a business, but all that is beside the point. The gist of what he said is correct, even if the specifics aren't. We elect random people to represent us, but they will almost never be people with the years of experience and education to run something as complex as Davenport on a daily basis.

I have always respected Alderman Hamerlinck for his accessibility, web-friendliness, and representing his ward well even though I disagree with him on most issues. However, by suggesting we get rid of the CA position, he has lost a lot of that respect from me. Saying it has nothing to do with the current occupant that we all know he so dislikes sounds eerily close to a lie. Maybe Alderman Lynn's style is rubbing off on him.

40 Comments:

At 4/17/2007 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure a night watchmen working for minimum wage is in a position to be calling a public official a lier. Yours is just an opinion. And we have all seen how reliable your thought process is lately.

 
At 4/17/2007 7:50 AM, Anonymous MikeK said...

Speaking of typical style, isn't it typical Brooke to get the details wrong. Not the sort of thing you'd expect from a lawyer, is it? Easy to see why Charlie, at least, needs an administrator.

What actually bothers me most about what comes out of Charlie's mouth is the consistency with which he makes it clear what he thinks of democracy. His model for running the city is to pick a manager, cede as much power as possible to that manager, and make it as difficult as possible to remove that manager. Makes you wonder who he'd want to see appointed as "federal manager" by Congress just before they pack their bags and abandon Washington.

 
At 4/17/2007 8:06 AM, Anonymous MikeK said...

One other thing. What a joke our open meetings laws are!

Probably this whole Nahra/city attorney scheme got hatched without violating the open meeting law. Now Winborn wants a series of meetings designed to avoid a quorum in order to skirt the open meetings law.

All perfectly in keeping with the "Brooke theory of democracy".

 
At 4/17/2007 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our cities leaders have let this sink so low I think there is but one solution. Come November every last one needs to be replaced, and once the new council is in place the first order of business needs to be the replacement of the city administrator and all department heads. It is time for a fresh start and a new direction!

 
At 4/17/2007 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

QCI, I have to agree with you on the point that Brooke makes. Boy, that had to hurt some major egos exspecialy Lynn's, him being the self proclaimed "business expert" Every once in a while Brooke comes out with a zinger that sizzles. I thought Hamerlinck lost his job at Blackhawk when Moline failed to pass a 1 cent tax referendum. Like it or not, I vote to keep Malin until the end of his contract, just need to tighten the reins up abit

 
At 4/17/2007 10:51 AM, Blogger Snarky Chick said...

I agree with you QCI. Calling for an end to the administrator position was pretty ridiculous.

 
At 4/17/2007 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After the Malin latest stunt (Nahra) eliminating the CA is an idea. The GA's are an idea. Good or bad they diffinently have people talking and wondering what would be best for the city. There are no easy answers, but at least someone is pitching ideas besides cleaning house in November I wonder what ideas other blog writter might have to help improve our city. It is OUR city and it is easy to critize the faults of the council, mayor, Malin and staff. Any ideas?

 
At 4/17/2007 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:16 is another case of people spouting off about things they don't know what they are talking about. Hamerlinck is still at Blackhawk College plus two other jobs while working hard each day for the citizens of Davenport as our 2nd ward alderman. Talk about a super work ethic! Go Shawn Go!!!

 
At 4/17/2007 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I saw him as a Wal-mart Greeter on West Kimberly. What's his third job?

 
At 4/17/2007 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Winborn, MBA, I believe, and retired form business
Brooke, Lawyer, retired from practice
Frink, MBA, actively involved in the management of a local business
Dumas, Management at Victory Enterprises

These are well-educated individuals with business management experience. None of them support the elimination of the City Administrators position. They understand what is required to run a business and understand the city cannot be managed part time

Most of the other members of the council are well educated as well. They bring diverse viewpoints to the discussion. Some support and some don’t. For those that don’t, do you understand the complexity of the job you have suggested be left to part-timers and short-timers?

 
At 4/17/2007 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Education does not necessary provide good practices. Brooke apparently had serious financial problems a few years back and he is chair of the finance committee. He could not handle his own money and he is in charge of an entire city. When Dumas does not get his way he pouts and/or makes nasty comments. Malin seems to be busy working outside of the system - unless caught. These are college educated people and look what they have been up to. The blue collar workers have more credibility then these three.

 
At 4/17/2007 2:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is insulting QCI. You have just called Alderman Lynn a liar, and of all things, he is not that! He has been one of the most truthful, and best members of the Council. What I think is obnoxious is when armchair quarterbacks try and make points at other's expense while hosting a supposedly fair discussion on a blog.

 
At 4/17/2007 3:57 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

He IS a liar. He claimed the reasons for eliminating NEO was to "fix" the budget, even though it ended up costing MORE!

 
At 4/17/2007 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, whether or not it costs more remains to be seen. The FD will be following a schedule that does less inspections of unnecessary properties, with a stronger focus on bad housing. It may cost less. The reason that it was cut was a last minute attempt to save a fire company, which is what Alderman Lynn said. And, the budget for the old, innefective NEO hand ballooned to over a million dollars as per the information given from Allan Guard. I think you need to get your facts straight before you attack a good alderman, QCI.

 
At 4/17/2007 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more thing. Alderman Lynn did not focus on the cost of the old NEO at the time of this vote, by the way. Yes, he was critical of the cost of the old NEO, and rightly so. But that vote was to save the old NEO or save a fire company. The fire company won. Lets not re-write history.

 
At 4/17/2007 8:20 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Its you folks that are rewriting history. There was no need at all to cut either the NEO or the fire company, except that certain members of the council, Lynn included, were bound and determined to cut or eliminate the stormwater fee.

Cutting the NEO was sold as a money saver, which it was not. Now that everyone knows that it made no fiscal sense, the Lynn cronies like to pretend that the reason for it was poor performance by the NEO, even though that wasn't cited during the budget meeting. It was "rammed through" just like they complain Malin does things. Lynn and his landlord friends need to go, but I don't know if anyone is willing to run and subject themselves to the smear tactics, autodialers, and purely negative campaigning that it entails.

 
At 4/17/2007 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The suggestion to cut the CA position is coming from the same place that spawned the GA's. We're all frustrated to the point of doing ANYTHING to get the council's attention to fix what needs fixin' which is oversight and accountability of the CA and uphold the lawson our books. The new city slogan is "Sick of it sick of it sick of it".

 
At 4/17/2007 10:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lynn was told by legal to get a dollar savings amount for his NEO proposal from the city finance director. If the dollars were bad, there is your problem. Of course Malin's editorial blamed it on legal but Malin obviously doesn't listen to what his staff tell him, or ignores it when it suits his purposes.

 
At 4/17/2007 10:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

QCI, I do not believe that the cutting of NEO was sold as a money saver. It was sold as an alternative to an over bloated department. The budget had been rammed through by Brooke and company, and at the last minute -after the budget was closed and a fire company was about to be cut, this decision was made and Keith Meyer was the vote that made it all work. Yes, the new budget is less then the million plus dollars allocated to NEO, but that is beside the point. Davenport has a good fire company and an ineffective bloated department is gone. Bravo to all of the aldermen that helped that occur.

 
At 4/17/2007 10:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah Frink is employed and when you call him as a constiuent he says being an alderman takes too much time so he doesn't have time to review issues & he just listens to other alderman. I swear this is exactly what he told me when I spoke with him last fall on an issue. At least he gets points for calling me back, but that's where it ended.

 
At 4/18/2007 6:20 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

So since ol' Bill is so full of honesty, its just a HUGE coincidence that out of all 10 alderman he was the one to suggest that, out of all the city departments, we get rid of the one that is tasked with monitoring the landlords, the very group who got him elected in the first place?

Just a great big coinkydink. Thanks for explaining that one for me. Some of you accuse me of being naive, but I'm not that naive.

Fortunately it was at least done with plenty of public input and discussion... oh wait, it wasn't. I guess some last minute ramrodding is ok, but not if its done by Craig Malin.

 
At 4/18/2007 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

QCI - Craig Malin is not elected, but is responsibly to look out for the taypayers of this community, and he is paid very well to do this. He is to be working with the mayor and all of the alderman. As we have seen over the past year this has not happen. Not just one or two over sights - many times which are not necessary to name. You are the one who on several occassion ask bloggers not to resort to name calling and damaging remarks. Yet, it appears to me that you have slide down that exact path. Your blog is a good place for people to offer other points of view & many have great passion for their view. This does not mean you have to agree with them.

 
At 4/18/2007 8:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong again, QCI, but at least you are consistent in what you are wrong about...LOL.

1. Lynn was critical of the inspection department when he was campaigning. It is no surprise he did not value them. They brought that on themselves though, with a track record of ignoring problems.

2. The other aldermen agreed that this department was problematic, and there was plenty of discussion before the vote that day of Fire vs. NEO. Fire won, and justifiably so. This stuff about saving money was not the issue. The issue was limited dollars in the budget because people did not want to be overtaxed by the stormwater fee. It came down to NEO vs firemen. The final vote: Firemen stayed, less of a stormwater fee then otherwise might be the case, and no NEO. Great outcome, and appreciated by many neighbors too, not just landlords.

 
At 4/18/2007 9:02 AM, Anonymous joe american said...

QCI, You are my hero!, Thank you for speaking the truth! I was feeling as if I had been talking to the wall about this issue of the disbanded NEO. Now, I find that good folks are truely listening and are aware of the dirty politics led by the "Prof" that had gone on.
You are right, this clown needs to go and it can't be soon enough!

 
At 4/18/2007 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:34,
So your neighbors and fellow slumlords are happy that the NEO was disbanded? Maybe so, now that codes aren't being enforced as readily as before. The NEO did have a operating budget of $1 Million, but with the deep pockets of the slumlords and dirty folk we have here in the city, the NEO took in $700,000 in fees and fines. Simple math will tell that the NEO actual operating budget was $3000,000. The proposed fee increase proposed by Mike Loos would have made the NEO self supportive starting with 2006. QCI is right in saying that it was never about saving a fire company or ridding the city of a bloated department, it was circuming the the likes of a scummy rental association. And by the way, how was the NEO revenue replaced when the fire department took over? I'm sure that fire doesn't charge for service calls, or maybe they should.

 
At 4/18/2007 5:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:02 and 9:22 (actually the same person), we all realize that you apparently have it in for landlords, referring to them as slumlords whether they are or not. I am not a landlord, but I appreciate what they have gone through. QCI is usually a reasonable person, and I am sure if he saw the track record of things that the old NEO had repeatedly ignored, he would agree that they were a problem. And, the old NEO operated on a million dollar budget, had solved nothing, and needed even more money! Compared to where the old NEO would be by now on dollars, and where the current fire department is on revenue, it is no surprise that the fire department is more efficient. Also, the old NEO had more inspectors on the street then there were policeman, and they still could not clean up the town after 20 years of trying to do so. No, their time had come, and QCI can be forgiven for not having the facts.
As for Dr. Lynn, I think his greatest achievement was bringing the guardian angels to town. Breaking news: A GA just stopped a man from beating a woman on the street, did a citizen's arrest, and she is here to talk about it now. This happened just because the GA happened to be in Moline. Maybe Bill's GAs can spread to other areas of the QC? How about Bill Lynn for U.S. Senate? What a great guy!

 
At 4/18/2007 6:29 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I like how most of the things I point out aren't addressed. Bill's folks now just redirect people's attention to the Guardian Angels. Jeremy Boots has been writing to Curtis Sliwa for years, and I believe is the local coordinator, but somehow this is all thanks to Alderman Lynn. Something tells me he needed something to point to when people start asking about the "big coincidence."

Speaking of that, no one addressed the fact that it looks suspect to have an Alderman backed by landlords propose eliminating the people who monitor landlords. Whether NEO had problems or not, eliminating it and dispersing its responsibilities around the city can only lead to less efficiency. If the NEO was so broken, fix it! Appearances matter when it comes to Malin and the appearance of corruption, so why not with Aldermen and the appearance of corruption?

We also have people claiming that the NEO elimination wasn't about money, it was about saving a fire company! How does that make any sense? Are they saying it was a choice of eliminating NEO for no cost savings or eliminating a fire company for obvious cost savings? How does that make any sense? If the NEO thing was supposed to be revenue-neutral they would have had to go ahead and cut the FD company as well.

According to the previous poster, Bill Lynn should run for Senate. Why stop there? He might as well just run for President, or Pope. He's an economic genius after all, just ask him. Apparently a key part of economics is comparing public structures in the flood plain with large amounts of mechanicals and utilities to a residential home with gold fixtures.

I hope a stronger opponent than Wally shows up before November.

 
At 4/18/2007 9:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Mr. Boots has been talking to the GAs for some time, but it took an alderman to bring them to twon. Bill Lynn was the man got the GAs to come to town, and he put Mr. Boots in touch with the hierarchy that made it happen, once he finally had the logistics worked out. Mr. Boots will verify this, I am sure.

The choice was to eliminate NEO or a fire company. Yes QCI, there was a cost savings of well over a million dollars per year by integrating the fire department’s resources into the mix, but that was not the primary reason for the cuts. The budget was already closed, and the stormwater savings was going to stay. So, it was the NEO or a fire company. It really was that simple.
Opponents at the time claimed that this would backfire because the FD would constantly be leaving landlords hanging during inspections because they would be at fire calls. That hasn’t happened much, has it? Why isn’t anybody talking about the sky not having fallen?
Fix the old NEO? Not likely. A subsequent chain of event makes It appear as though there may have been corruption in the department. The old NEO showed time and again that they would ignore neighbor’s complaints about bad properties.
For the record, the landlord’s have never supported getting rid of oversight. The contrary is the case. They have demanded that slumlords be hit hard, and that is now happening. In addition, they have demanded that really bad owner occupied be attacked. That is happening now too.
Finally, about Bill Lynn being associated with the appearance of corruption??? Come on QCI, you pride yourself on at least being somewhat balanced and not getting into personal attacks. Perhaps you have been a bit harsh in your verbiage here?

 
At 4/18/2007 9:34 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Yeah, slumlords sure are getting hit hard. Look at all the difficulties Lee Nelson is having.

He's one of the worst, and his properties are still in business.

 
At 4/18/2007 10:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lee Nelson was in business for years during the old NEO, and never had his properties raided the way they are now. But QCI, it would be unfair for me to credit that to the fire department, (or even hold it against the old NEO), because that is a matter of holding criminals accountable. First, credit where credit is due, which in this case goes to Bladel. Unlike you, QCI, I am willing to give credit to somebody even if it goes against my argument. I have never understood people that are either black or white, like you seem to be on this issue.

Now, if you are going to be fair about it, wouldn't you say that Bladel finally cracked down on that area because of the fact that the GAs made it ground zero and hit it with a spotlight? And, if that is the case, wouldn't it also be fair to give credit to Lynn, who promoted them in the first place? Bladel has buckled to the political pressure. At one point he allegedly said "it will be easy to spot the GAs, they will be the ones in the red caps lying in the streets".

Now, Bladel has gone so far as to appoint a police point man especially to help the GAs as well as to open the lines of communication, but he only did that after lots of political pressure from Bill Lynn. Lynn is a man that uses his position to do good things for the community. Not a typical politician, but a man who truly cares. On behalf of the neighbors in my community, I think we should all thank him. He is helping to bring crime under control in our City.

 
At 4/19/2007 6:19 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Here's what some mistaken person said in November of '05:

"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."

What person who deals only in absolutes said that? Why, it was me, QuadCityImages, when I endorsed Lynn in the '05 election. Here's the link. You accuse me of thinking only in black or white about Lynn, but that's far from the truth. The fact is that I haven't seen many positives from him since the last election, and I call things like I see them. While you're accusing me, your posts sound like you're writing his nomination for Person of the Year. Where are the negatives in your post? That seems pretty black or white to me.

I tolerate a lot of crap directed at me, but being accused of only considering one side is not something I'm ok with. I've bitched at length on this blog, and back on Fly's blog how if I say something positive about something or someone I'm instantly branded as loving that person or project. In reality I rarely post about anything without some negatives and some positives. Occasionally though, a purely negative or positive post has to be done.

Needless to say, I've changed my mind since 2005 about Alderman Lynn. That doesn't mean I couldn't say anything positive about him.

 
At 4/19/2007 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

QCI you have fallen subject to Dan Lubell's lair of B.S. He states that he is not a landlord, but what he really means is that he is not a landlord living in Davenport. Stick to your guns, QCI. Lubell will hound you like he has everyone else when he has an agenda, and he'll twist the truth while he's at it.he'll talk about how the ole NEO did'nt go after bad properties and how the F.D. is, but give you no examples. Come on Dan, speak up. Gives us some examples.

 
At 4/19/2007 9:04 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

The problem is I don't really have personal experience with this. I'm a renter, but its basically a brand new building with perfect management. I hear a lot of things, but talk is cheap. A lot of things get said on blogs, but anonymous talk is even cheaper.

I know my parents are starting to have trouble with a nearby tenant, so I may become more involved in this as the summer heats up.

I just refuse to believe that splitting up the functions of a department into widely spread departments who lack training in said functions is ever a good idea. Its just common sense.

 
At 4/19/2007 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, to QCI, point well taken. You usually are not one to jump to name calling, and in fact in this case you insinuated that Bill Lynn was guilty of the appearance of corruption, but did not say so directly. Still that seemed a bit out of character for you. I apologize if I jumped the gun

Now to the poster at 8:39 am, as usual, Wally is accusing everybody that does not agree with him of being Dan. Frankly, it does not matter who delivers the message, if the message is correct.

I will give a great example of the old NEO refusing to do things, and there are plenty more such examples. These properties were given to the NEO, and also made public in discussions in front of the council. They were tough properties to deal with, and the old NEO did not want to deal with them so they ignored them. Instead, they wanted to fill their days finding minor infractions on good properties. Here are two examples:

901 Farnam. Rental property where a
fugitive had lived. There was a door leading out to the roof, with no railing where a child could easily fall to their death. Initial excuse offered by the NEO:
It didn't violate code. When they were proven wrong they changed their story to the door was well secured.

926 W 6th St. Man operating a full fledged junkyard in his backyard in a residential property not zoned as a junkyard. He even had a junkyard dog. NEO refused to take action because they said it was the way the guy made a living. After four years of being pushed, they finally cleaned it up.

 
At 4/19/2007 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that shut Wally down, didn't it? He hates to hear details.

 
At 4/19/2007 6:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the former NEO had done such a poor job with ten inspectors, what makes the fire department better with only four inspectors and being nine months behind on inspections? Mind you using the same inspectors as the old NEO. How has the office gotten better with less?

 
At 4/19/2007 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The inspectors are marching to a different tune now, being held to the fire of fairness by the FD management. No more vendettas and they are on schedule. Less frequent inspections of good landlords and hammering of the bad ones will mean more efficiency and better results with less inspectors.

 
At 4/20/2007 6:29 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

A. There was more to NEO than rental inspections, and I still believe it was more logical to have all that stuff in one department.

B. I'll start believing in the FD-led inspections when the Shricker Apartments are changed to the Shricker Parking Lot.

 
At 4/20/2007 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing has changed with the NEO/CSD, soon to be to full strength and still defending themselves from the likes of the QCRAPres. I think that it will even ran by the most senior inspector Glenn Hobart. Same great group of folks that can't get a break, maybe this November this city can rid itself of some special interest group. Some tax savings, huh! Thanks QCI for your support!

 
At 4/20/2007 10:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

QCI, thanks for having an open mind and agreeing to give the FD a chance. Of course it would be illegal to tear down the schricker, but their license could be pulled for cause. I suspect the FD might end up doing that, but that is just a guess. The old NEO did nothing about it for years. Also, I doubt there will be a lot of disfunctional inspectors under the FD, since the FD won't put up with bad behavior or vendettas.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home