Monday, August 13, 2007

A few early Election '07 thoughts

These are just a few of my early thoughts and opinions of a random assortment of the candidates and potential candidates:

Phil Yerington
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.

Doc Davis
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.

Jen Olsen
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.

Ian Frink
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.

Bill Gluba
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.

Mike Matson
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.

Nathan Brown
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.


Anonymous said...

Frink is a pretty good guy. I just am concerned that he is not realistic about the crime issues. But, he is doing okay and probably will be elected again.

Maybe Olsen simply recognizes the circus will not go way with Malin there. She may be the only one with the foresight to see this and the guts to say it now. I like that. Afterall, she was right about John Lewis... Had we listended to her then, maybe....

Gluba - professional politician.

Doc - odd, but nice and different. Not sure about him yet, will keep watching who enters the race.

Howard is just not electable.

Anonymous said...

QCI, I like your comments about the people running for office. The one I do disagree with though is Jennifer Olsen. I see her as a breathe of fresh air and someone that won't let bullies push her around. I love what she did in getting rid of the thugs that were terrorizing her neighborhood. I wish more people on city council would realize that the people living in the central city have rights too.

I do not live in the central city but I understand their frustrations in wanting to live in a safe enviroment, wanting their children to be able to play outside, wanting to walk down the streets without being harrassed, not to worry about someone breaking into their homes or cars, going to sleep at night and know they won't be the victim of some crime.

The city council needs to address these problems. They will not go away on their own. Davenport is one city, not one that stops at Locust. We have problems all over with the different apartment complexes, the troubles by the new branch library, the mobile home parks, and Goose Creek. Granted some of these places are better then they once were but the troubles are situated all over Davenport and unless they're addressed you won't get new people to move here. They'll go to Moline, Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley, Blue Grass, Eldridge or any of the other small towns around here.

We need to let the state and country know that Davenport is a safe, friendly, wonderful place to live and raise a family. First though we need to address the crime problem and make those who do evil know we won't sit back and take it anymore. The criminals will go to jail and stay there for their entire sentence. The landlords need to stop renting to them also and to be held accountable when something goes wrong at their properties, such as paying for police calls when there has been more then one call.

My final thought is that I have seen Jennifer Olsen and like what she has accomplished. I think she will do a great job for Davenport as a whole and address those problems that the current council can't seem to figure out.

pioneer98 said...

Whether you like or dislike Winborn, I agree he has brought a level of professionalism to the Mayor's office that even Brooke lacked at times, much less Yerington.

I have a hard time imagining the people who despise Malin on the council treating a new CA much differently. In Davenport's current system, the CA has a lot of power, and will never be able to please everyone, all the time. My guess would be a new CA would get along OK for a while, especially as the next election got closer.

Anonymous said...

I voted for Jenn when she ran against Ambrose (I would vote for Charles Manson over Ambrose), but I am concerned about her now after reading the "Meyer's skate park police report" a few weeks ago. When I saw that Meyers "went to a "friends" house (Jennifer Olson) after the incident…” , I began to have second thoughts about her. If this is the kind of company see keeps, I don’t want her on the council, giving more “power” to Meyers.

Anonymous said...

To anon 10:13
I too voted for Jenn in the last election. I felt Ambrose wasn't in touch with what was happening in the 4th ward. That said, I will strongly vote for Jenn in the upcoming election and tell all of my friends to vote for her also. I think her track record speaks for itself. She's someone who has proven she won't let others take advantage of her and won't stop until a task is completed.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 12:04. Who's to say Meyer will even get back in again anyway.
As for Howard...please help the city of Davenport if she gets in. I'm sure if she's not elected she'll play the race card again!
I like Gluba. I think he will bring some much needed class to the circus we call the city council.

Anonymous said...

You would actually base your decision on a report that Olsen knows Meyer? What? Have you ever talked with Olsen? With Meyer? With Bladel? With Malin? I think perhaps you need to actually look into the things Olsen has done and not who she talks to. Hamerlink is friendly with Meyer, do you like him?

If that is how you operate, I think I would be a little more interested in who is friends with Tara Barney and Steve Schalk then Meyer.

Why did you support Olsen before? What has changed that you would support her now? Is she the best candidate for the job? Why or why not?

Anonymous said...

To 10:13
You would vote for Charles Manson over Ambrose? I can't imagine a stranger statement. Ambrose isn't my first choice in any way but I would never compare him to a convicted, sadistic killer. Hopefully, if you ever blog again, you'll think about the content more before you post. By the way go Jenn

QuadCityImages said...

Before you guys go assuming I'm against Olsen just from my annoyance at her early staff attacks, keep in mind that I did "endorse" her for 4th Ward in 2005.

Snarky Chick said...

I can't say I'm a fan of any professional politicians at the city level. It's not a good sign to me. I prefer people who are basically interested neighbors wanting to improve their city in a professional way.

Davis has me interested in his ideas because they are fresh and he has no baggage with the city politics. That's a huge plus.

Yerrington - its really too bad he isn't a police officer anymore. He did ok as a mayor before, if divisiveness and further politicization of the police dept (is that even possible??) is your goal, he's your man.

I am actually very pleased with many of the candidates I'm seeing so far! And so far we don't have any circus-like runnings a la the 3rd ward last year with a kazillion candidates. I'm feeling quite positive about this election.

QuadCityImages said...

We probably will still have plenty of candidates for the 3rd ward. Last time I checked, it took 17 signatures to get on the ballot for the primary. Unless some new big name comes up, it'll still be Boom vs Meyer Round 2 though.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to know that the folks running weren't associated with special interest groups like the slumlords (You know who they are). I believe Jen will do a great job when elected and hopefully she will attack those slumlords as much as Lynn supported them this last go-around.

Anonymous said...

I agree, I am not hearing her be too anti-development. She appears to simply want dsmarter development. She isn't a fanatic in any way. Just firm on what she believes. I like that. I also like that she isn't alligned with the slumlords and the D1 crowd, etc. She seems to just be anti-crime and anti-bad stuff.

Anonymous said...

Olsen will kick some boooootaaaaay!!!

Anonymous said...

And his name is MAAAAALLLLIIIIIN!!

Steve said...

If some of you are so worried about the Davenport Police Depatrtment then I say VOTE YERINGTON.
In the past year alone...Davenport has had to many shottings, stabbings and and just way to much crime. Yerington has been Mayor and on the force and KNOWS where attention is needed and would be damn good as our Mayor again. He's got my vote.

The city of Davenport paying him off just shows us Yerington was RIGHT and Davenport was WRONG (once again )