For years, the residents that live in the neighborhoods surrounding downtown Davenport, along with 3rd Ward Alderman Keith Meyer, have complained that downtown gets all the resources, and the rest of the ward is left out. Their point is valid, and the "fringe" around downtown should receive that attention that it deserves.
Today though, I, as a downtown resident, would like my Alderman to realize that while the Third Ward may not consist solely of downtown, his ward DOES INCLUDE IT. However, everything Alderman Meyer does seems to be against a successful downtown. There are numerous examples of this, but the one that inspires this rant is his maneuver to defeat the Downtown Design Guidelines. Here's a link to today's QCTimes article which mentions it; the design standards story is past the parking story.
Alderman Meyer proposed an amendment to the ordinance that makes the design guidelines voluntary. Can someone explain how that would make any sense? Would the East Village be satisfied with design guidelines (yes, they already have them) that have no teeth? If Walmart decides they want to build a 1 story suburban-style store downtown, apparently that's just fantastic. Does Keith even believe we need a downtown? Should it be different than any other commercial district? These guidelines are approved of by downtown businesses, but apparently Meyer knows better than they what's good for them.
With hundreds of new residents moving into downtown, I don't know that Alderman Meyer can continue down this route and expect to continue being elected. In the last election Bill Boom missed a chance to speak to the 80+ residents of the Crescent Lofts, and he lost by 9 votes. Now there are even more downtown newcomers in the 4th Street Lofts, CityView apartments, and Mississippi Lofts. Does anyone think that many people who recently made the choice to live downtown are going to vote for someone that consistently votes against downtown projects and amenities? These are the very reasons many of us moved down here, and the Crescent, 4th, and Mississippi Lofts would not even exist without River Renaissance. Meyer already lost the D-33 precinct 96-70 in 2005, and with over 200 apartments added downtown in the last few years, that 9-vote lead from 2005 is making the 2007 election look like it'll be pretty interesting.
And yes, I tend to rant on Tuesday mornings.