These are just a few of my early thoughts and opinions of a random assortment of the candidates and potential candidates:
A top priority for Davenport should be making city council meetings less entertaining and circus-like, and more professional and businesslike. Yerington has got to be in the top 3 most controversial and scandal-plagued Davenport politician from the last decade. We have enough problems with the politicization of the police department as it is, without bringing him back with his baggage and potential vendettas. The "clean slate" some are calling for shouldn't include figures from the past.
In what I'm sure will be a surprising opinion to most of you, much of what Jim Davis has said sounds pretty good to me. Everything on his website is very common sense-based, and he doesn't appear to automatically oppose everything. Hopefully all Guardian Angels aren't closely tied with Bill Lynn, because that is one thing I don't want in a candidate for any position. The other worrisome thing is his opinion on the skatepark bathroom/picnic pavilion. His website states: "We can have installed around the perimeter, 9 tables (or a few more) with concrete slab for each and a 2-pole V-shaped corrugated roof for the much needed shade at this park for a lot less than the $375, 000.00 that is currently being entertained at City Hall (bids would be accepted). Here's my bid: $25,000.00. We could hook up to the city and have a block and mortar restroom built if need be later."
While I do suspect that these shelters would be cheaper than a quarter million dollars, for him to suggest that any handicapped-accessible structures in the floodplain could be built by the city, with all legal requirements and bidding process seems pretty unrealistic. I just hope he's not one of these politicians who thinks that in 2007 you can throw down a public restroom for $10,000. It cost over $50,000 just to build the handicapped curb ramp near the Adler. Even if these shelters could be installed that cheaply, they don't solve the bathroom/concession issue, or provide utilities for the rest of Centennial Park. In addition, this money has already been approved anyway, so its really a moot point. A mayor needs to have a realistic idea of what things cost in this day and age.
I saw somewhere that Mrs. Olsen wants to remove some of the circus atmosphere around city hall, but then she jumps headfirst into the Malin circus by saying that she'd work to fire him. I don't know that going after certain city staff is a good thing to run on. Aldermen need to work with city staff more than against them. I'm also not sure how much appeal she has in the heavy-voting 6th ward.
Right now, Frink is the only person from the current council that I 100% believe should be reelected. He actually comes up with ideas, and asks a lot of questions, although not always at council meetings. He's stayed out of controversy as best as he can, and was one of the few council members who took steps towards removing Alderman Van Fossen. I was definitely glad to see that he chose to run again.
He would probably would make a good mayor, although its yet to be seen if he could "stand the heat" of the council chamber "kitchen." His comment about not running if Winborn did is encouraging to me, because I feel that Mayor Winborn has done a much better job under difficult (circus-like) circumstances than he's given credit for. Many people hate him because of his tie-breaking votes, but that's the way that our city's democratic system is set up to work folks. If Gluba could maintain or improve on this, he'll probably get my vote.
I'd really like to know more about his positions, and his newly-posted website is very vague so far. However... he doesn't mention "sitting on the council like a bump on a log" as one of his plans, so he's probably ahead of Dumas for me.
I was able to meet Mr. Brown at the Sunderbruch Park opening, and he really seems to have his act together. I think he has the support of some of the folks working hard to make the Garden Addition and Roosevelt Community Center area a success, and he would make a well-spoken addition to the council. Best of all, he didn't drink, crash his car, assault or sexually harass anyone while I talked to him! This election should bring the 1st Ward back from 2 years of shameful representation.