Thursday, August 23, 2007

A few things

Mayor blames Meyer for leak- QCTimes

He really stepped in it this time- Barb Ickes (QCT)

Although I'd prefer this whole thread didn't revolve around it, considering at least 3 other blogs already have posts about it, I'd be remiss in not mentioning this article. As I do every 1 out of every 10 columns are so, I agree with Barb on this one. It seems like Keith has been going downhill recently. I have previously discussed how he had improved so much during his time on the council, but lately he's kind of worrying me.

Q-C Airport sets boarding record -QCTimes
The QCI Airport continues to do better and better every year. There is nothing but good news here. Someday they'll get that non-stop to Phoenix...

Nomination papers filed so far -City of Davenport website
The city doing this kind of makes Gluba's decision to announce his intentions in September a little pointless. By then we'll already know if he's filed or not. Also... who are some of these people?

Parking department looking for downtown signage plan -City RFP
If you're a signage/wayfinding company reading this, you've already missed your chance. According to Tom Flaherty, they want signs to let people know that there's parking downtown, where it is, and how to get to it. This seems like a good idea, and many other cities, including Des Moines, are doing similar things to show visitors and citizens where parking is available. The parking signage is supposed to work together with the hopefully upcoming Corbin wayfinding signs, although not really be part of the Corbin system.

And I'm still working on the rest of those posts I said I was planning.


Anonymous said...

Illinois side economic developement officials have know of Meyer's involvement with the Dispatch article for some time. Once it was clear eserv's needs could not be met on the Illinois side, they encouraged Davenport's efforts and continued the confidentiality of the nrgotiations.

To think one Alderman traded his vote for sabotage is unconscionable

pioneer98 said...

If Meyer's opinion of Davenport is so low that he thinks none of the new eServ employees will choose to live here, why does he choose to continue to live here?

Anonymous said...

What I wonder, is what role did the DPD have in this investigation? Video shots, e-mail reviews, investigations with Bi-State and Rock Island??
What does this say to any existing alderman or candidate. Agree with me, or else???

sensible sally said...

Meyer's objections to the eserv project show his skewed thinking process. Even if the employees of eserv lived in bettendorf their company would still be located in davenport paying taxes (although much reduced) and its employees would still use dport businesses.

Outside Looking In said...


This was posted on Snarky's site as well.

If you prefer to avoid the duplication, go ahead and delete.

The City Of Rock Island negotiated with erserv for 6 months or more trying to keep them in Rock Island. As said before, the City could not meet eserv’s requirement for an office campus setting. The State of Illinois had no active voice as Governor Blagojevich had fired the economic development official serving Rock Island County and had not hired a replacement. State incentives were not in play. The negotiations were conducted with confidentiality, regarding the specifics incentives and proprietary business information supplied by eserv.

Once it was it became clear that Rock Island and the Illinois side could not meet eserv’s needs, development officials’ encouraged Davenport’s officials to develop a proposal to keep eserv in the Quad Cities. At This point Iowa City was also pitching eserv as well as interests in Chicago, where eserv had offices as well. I assume there were other communities that eserv had discussions with.

Davenport and the State of Iowa ultimately were able to place a package of incentives that allowed eserv to continue a serious site search in Davenport. The site offered by Jim Russell to eserv and the discussions between eserv and Russell should be considered as proprietary business information and such, confidential. I suspect that a legal confidentiality exists with regard to Russell and eserv. I assume that legal confidentiality between eserv and Russell extends to the City Of Davenport, to the extent of the proprietary business information and any negotiations supported by that proprietary information.

If the negotiations reach a conclusion between the City of Davenport and eserv, the agreement would be presented to the City Council for approval. The Aldermen then can express their support or disapproval of the proposal through public discussion and their vote. Alderman Keith Meyer usurped the elected rights of the other Alderman by his supplying the details of the negotiations to the Dispatch. His continued public comments and actions expressing his disapproval of the incentives is inappropriate at the least and quite possibly illegal and libel.

Anonymous said...

Sensible Sally, how about the return on investment? Davenport wants to give eServ taxpayers money to move to the developmentally blighted 53rd? All so we can watch them build new houses in Bettendorf?

Anonymous said...


Return on investment goes beyond where an employee lives.

The business it's self provides a return on investment. Previous discussions have pointed out the tangible and intangible benefits.

Anonymous said...

I agree - Meyer is correct on this one. Why on earth do we waste our TIFS when we have some much blight. Duh. Plus, the witchhunt continues.

Anonymous said...

Davenport's giving up $800,000 in property taxes to get eserv there. The state is giving $500,000 of taxpayer money and another $500,000 in interest-free loans. Does anyone really think that prime area on 53rd would have remained an empty field?

I don't argue there's a benefit to having eServ, my arguement remains if it is worth doing at this cost -- is it worth the return on investment. Right or wrong, it's an arguement we didn't get much time to have before the deal was done and what time the public did have to discuss was because there was a "leak" of public documents.

To call what happened "sabotage" is hyperbole.

The public's business should be done in the public eye.

Functioning democracy isn't based on the trust your government will do the right thing, it's based on checks and balances. There can be no checks and balances if the public is in the dark until it is too late.

Anonymous said...

aaawwww, poor Keith. Everyone is just out to get him. Just more "conspiricy" on his door step. He is his own "political hack".

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else see a little sour grapes in the Times reporting, especially Ickes' "no you di'nt" finger-wagging?

pioneer98 said...

The article said there is a state of Iowa code that regulates these type of negotiations. Feel free to disregard laws and codes at your own risk, but don't act surprised when there are consequences.

Anonymous said...

if you are as tired of this stuff as I am, and want a refreshing read, go to;
read, learn & vote!

Anonymous said...

Please remember, this is not a done deal! Also, Part of this discussion is public when it comes before the council. The State of Iowa incentitives and the City of Davenport incentives will be part of those discussions before the couincil. Part is private, proprietary information and is a discussion between the business and developer.

Anonymous said...

What "private, proprietary information" was released? The reporter said on 8 last night that the story was built on the IDED application that clearly says the document is public, right where the mayor signed it.

Anonymous said...

My my my. Where to begin?

Dispatch reporters don't need Barb's help to tell them how to report and write stories. Or Bill Wundram's.

The Times got its butt kicked on the story and then comes out sounding like it is carrying water for Malin and the developer. It's like their yahoo story on DavenportOne's "study" finding a smaller RiverCenter casino will generate big bucks. Who do these people think they're kidding?

eServ can move wherever it wants. This is a free nation. (Well, unless you're a Davenport alderman, in which case they watch you with security cameras and read your e-mail. Somebody explain the difference between being in city hall and being in jail to me.)

The issue isn't where eServ is moving. It's the fact the city and state roll over and bark like a dog at the chance to attract some jobs. Most of those people ALREADY work in Rock Island. If they're going to live in Davenport -- and face it, they're not -- they already do. Anybody new who shows up and is making that kind of money is more likely to buy in Bettendorf or Eldridge.

If this were just a case of another HyVee opening, nobody would give a hoot. What it is about is a highly successful company, already existing in one of the Illinois QCs, needing to expand and realizing they can turn this into a game of seeing who is going to give them the most. Bettendorf woudn't play the game. Davenport did.

So, please explain, also, you Meyer baiters, why this is a big secret deal if it isn't something the administration was trying to slide under the radar until it could trumpet, in the QCT, official cheerleader of DavenportOne, "VICTORY! 240 NEW JOBS FOR DAVENPORT!!!"

I hope the jobs stay in the QC. I hope some new ones actually show up to go along with the tax abatements to help develop highly sought property on 53rd. That would all be good news.

On the other hand, nearly $2 million in corporate welfare for a company started by Ross Perot which will do nothing to reduce the tax burden on homeowners, redevelop the downtown or provide the means to prop up crumbing inner-city neighborhoods does not make me nearly so joyful.

And -- parting shot -- is the city being secretive about this because it's a secret to any of the involved parties (Rock Island, eServ, the state of Iowa, the city council) or because they're trying to slide it all through without people asking harder questions than Barb or the rest of the Dav1 cheereleaders at the Times are willing to ask?

Anonymous said...

My, my my.

A few questions.

If the Dispatch/Argus is such a bastion of reporting, why are there no actual live sources quoted in their follow up story on the reprimand?

Why were they unable to reach officials from IDED when the Times reporter was?

Why were they unable to reach any other aldermen, the mayor, or the city administrator when the Times reporter was able to?

Why did they base their entire story on nothing more than the investigation documents themselves written by Malin and not interviewing any other sources?

Why didn't they contact folks from Bi-State and the city of Rock Island (whom they presumbably cover quite frequently considering they are the Illinois paper) to determine if Meyer indeed provided information that was understood to be kept confidential?

Which paper is actually covering its ass?

My. My.

QuadCityImages said...

There is a valid debate here about corporate incentives. That's really not what this is about.

Can anyone actually say that what Meyer did was the correct way of handling things? Are you folks saying that the city should never keep things confidential during negotiations with businesses? Do you not see the damage this does when other businesses are considering opening negotiations with the city?

If he realizes that the other Aldermen are for this, and starts meeting with people in an effort to kill the project, is that democracy? When in the minority, try to go around the normal process in an effort to stop something you disapprove of?

Anonymous said...

To My My My at 8/23/2007 3:27 PM

Tory, you should put up or shut up. What was the "illegal" confidential information the D/A published?

The Times was able to get sources on the follow up because the players recognized they were carrying water for the Winborn and Malin and not asking the hard questions, like how did Malin get access to an alderman's email account -- why isn't Russell or DavenportOne facing any recrimination after they outed the plan? Are the pom-poms getting in the way?

Anonymous said...

Yay! You said "non-stop" instead of "direct!"

The Pedant

QuadCityImages said...

All the city employees and Aldermen's emails are kept track of, and can be FOI requested, as we all know.

Anonymous said...

There is a public side and a private side to the negotiations between the city, eServ and the developer, in this case Russell. Keith Meyer violated the confidentiality of both side of the negotiation.

On the city and state side Meyer released confidential materials that were not intended to be public until the process progressed to the point where the council could receive a complete packet of information for review and comment. This process would have allowed for public input and a vote of the elected representatives of the people.

The private side of the negotiations was between eServ and the developer. The city economic staff played a role as facilitator and would have been bound not to reveal any proprietary information.

Keith made public the details of the City/State incentives to the Dispatch and that eServ and Russell were negotiating a real estate transaction. The Dispatch reported the public and private side participants; there were no press releases from eServ, Russell or the city.

Keith went on to make public statements to the Quad City Times demeaning the developer, Jim Russell, DavenportOne, and the need for incentives. As it stands, Alderman Meyer has violated the confidentiality of both sides of the public/private negotiations. And, in the process, he has stepped on the rights of the voters to be represented by their elected Alderman.

Anonymous said...

TO ANON. 3:27

Here are some more questions for you, whomever you are:

How did The Times get Winborn’s letter and Malin’s report? Are they the only local media source the administration is spoon feeding?

How is it Malin (and maybe Winborn, if I remember) were available to talk to The Times about Meyer, but didn’t return the D/A’s calls, their article sez?

Why is it that The Times is making an impassioned defense of a project that became public record as of July 20, when the city and eServ signed the grant ap? Are they miffed that some alderman supposedly blabbed, or that they got beat, or that this job grab/corporate welfare gig got criticized?

Why is everybody giving a pass to a DavOne honcho working hand in glove with the city to direct this new development to his own property? Pretty sweet the way this public spiritedness manages to combine city incentives (thanks, taxpayers), chamber volunteers and personal benefits to the same group of people again and again and again.

Since Meyer’s emails are up for grabs, when do we get to read Winborn’s and Malin’s?

Will anybody on the council or in the public ever be stupid enough to send e-mail about anything whatsoever via accounts on the city’s mailserver?

How long is Malin going to last if Yerington gets elected? How long will surveilance cameras stay in city hall once Malin and Winborn vacate the premises?

When is The Times going to spend as much time representing taxpayers (and subscribers) as it does covering up for developers and spanking aldermen for departing from their prepared remarks?

While some people are irritated by Meyer’s demands for information, how many of the other aldermen are bothering to read the contracts and proposals and get a handle on what something is going to indirectly cost somebody in the west end whose property taxes keep going up even though they couldn’t sell the place for as much as it’s valued?

If the D/A knew about eServ, why didn’t The Times’ reporters? Or don’t people bother talking to them about anything critical to the casino/development/chamber ra ra project de jour? Or did the reporter know about the story and sit on it?

QuadCityImages said...

We have gotten to read Malin's emails before, such as with the Malin/Dolan/Webb controversy.

I'll let Outside Looking In respond to the rest of your stuff.

Anonymous said...

Bill Boom is not our answer that is for certain. He is conceited and a know it all. He will be hand in hand with whomever gives him money. Yep - go check out is web site.He apparently LOVES himself.

Anonymous said...

If we could recoup all the tax dollars wasted when city staff can't do their real jobs and must waste time answering idiotic questions that Keith Meyer poses, we would have enough money to pay for all the police he thinks are needed for his neighborhood.

Come to think of it, can we incent him to move across the river?

sensible sally said...

I find Meyer's actions here way more troubling than VanFossen's. At least VanFossen's actions were contained within city hall and his personal life to some extent. Something that QCI pointed out that the rest of the pro Meyer bloggers have failed to comment on is the fact that this would/will come before the council if it is to go through. Usually wouldnt this take three votes to pass? How is that secretive?
For those who think that Meyer was acting out of a desire to keep the public informed and involved, consider that his actions had the serious 'side'effect of threatening the deal itself.
What Meyer did was try to kill the eserv agreement before it came under scrutiny from the public as well as the council. As a citizen I would at least like to have the option of voicing my own opinion before I am sidestepped by my elected officials.

QuadCityImages said...

I think its funny that his supporters accuse people of only attacking Meyer, when it seems like in their eyes he can do no wrong.

What will it take for you to admit he's made a mistake or screwed up on something?

Anonymous said...

Sensible Sally,

Van Fossen's OWI didn't happen at city hall and I would bet Ms. Van Fossen would disagree with your assessment!

Outside Looking In said...


There isn't much left to be said that hasn't been said. Not many willing to read with an open mind. Opinions are pretty well set.

What I have said is based on public record and on accepted business practices, supported by business law. What is left unsaid honors confidentiality.

The debate will continue and the reality will play out. By the time we know the conclusion, we will have given away the opportunity to redefine the outcome through continued negotiations as a result of Meyer poisoning the trust of the parties.

Outside Looking In

Anonymous said...


Domestic abuse and drun driving vs. getting already public informantion. You are crazy.

Anonymous said...

to 8:59 Don't worry. Money with trump trust and the Iowa million is already in eServe's bag.

Romkey said...

From today's D/A:

"The Iowa Department of Economic Development confirmed Thursday that information released to The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus about a Rock Island firm's possible move to Davenport was not confidential."

No hard feelings -- hey, this is only politics -- but anybody care to revise their comments?

Anonymous said...

Yeah Mike, keep promoting your limited story and puny sources. Can you possibly imagine that a deal that started in fall of last year, might have had a file and history that inlcuded confidential information that Meyer has been flashing around for some months! Meyer has a history of lying and stealing to hurt people that don't kiss his ass. He doesn't care about anyone in Davenport except his dogs and himself.

sensible sally said...

does it matter that the information was not confidential? Meyer was told it was confidential multiple times and probably had no reason to believe it wasnt so. He still acted the way he did believing the info was confidential which means that he cant be trusted to respect truly confidential information in the future.

Romkey said...

Sheesh. It's there in black and white, my friend. You have some contrary facts, state them and put your name to them.

Romkey said...

Oops. You beat me to the post, Sally...

I sat through some of the public meetings and I can tell you that Keith asked about what was and was not public information. Seems to me, with what we now know, that he and others were trying to resolve conflicting information. We now know the state ap says it's public information. Since that's the case, what obligates Keith or whoever talked about this to keep their lips zipped?

And assuming staff counted council votes BEFORE submitting the state ap, the filing of which rendered the matter public, why the anxiety and effort to figure out who told the public what they have every right to know? Why not just say, "Yippee, great news for Davenport!" and get on with it?

Anonymous said...

It should be pointed out that the IDED document is only one document and is only the application to the state. Releasing the content of a single document is only one piece of the deal and announcing the details of ongoing discussions and negotiations of other elements of the deal was self serving.

Meyer released information he felt supported his view that no incentives should be provided. The IDED document was only a portion of his campaign to derail the project. His announcements forced the private negotiations between eServ and the potential developer into the public arena. Additional disparaging remarks to the press regarding the developer only add to the sum of his campaign. It isn’t only the article in the Dispatch that is the issue; as stated previously, Meyer’s actions amount to nothing more than his attempt to kill a deal before it comes before the council where it belongs.

Romkey said...

I promise I'm bailing from this debate after this, but, anon 1:57, please provide information to back up these allegations about Meyer. Has he said anything in the press? How do you know what he thinks about the project? Is there some meeting where all this came out? His statements to whom?

Maybe Keith irked people by being a maverick, but this is beginning to look like an organized effort to get him politically. And that's all part of the game, he's a big boy and can take the shots, but people ought to lay out the proof if they're going to make the charges.

QuadCityImages said...

As I've said before, whether or not what he's done is illegal or not, going behind the backs of the city he WORKS FOR to another city to try and kill the deal is not right.

There's a process for this. At some point it gets on the agenda, then Keith has a chance to give his spiel, and then the elected officials, representing us the voters, decide on the project.

Instead, realizing he was on the losing side, he just did his own thing to try and spoil the negotiations.

Anonymous said...

Kind of a long read, but interesting.

pioneer98 said...

That is about the 3rd time you've made that point QCI, and I still have yet to hear a rebuttal to it.

When the "other" side of the council has done anything that could be construed as being outside the normal process, the Meyer-backers scream. When Meyer does it himself, he gets an atta-boy.

Anonymous said...

I for one appreciate Meyer and the way he researches and uncovers stuff that the Brookettes just pass on by. We have a HUGE problem with city staff and Malin and noone but Meyer gives a crap. I tell you that Howard will be the worst thing to happen to this city as Mayor and so will Bill Boom. Can you say yes master?!? Howard is stupid and Boom is an arrogant ass who sucks up to Dan Lubell and gee everyone who will give him money and power. Bill has done nothing for the past say - forever. Howard has done damage.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, QCI your post at 3:25 PM has revealed your hand. The council doesn't work for the city, the aldermen work for the people in their wards or at least they are supposed to.

Davenport will give up more than $800,000 in property taxes to lure this business to the economically blighted 53rd. I would love to think Davenport has the same residential draw to land these employees, but you are being delusional if you think that's going to happen.

Anonymous said...

If Davenport doesn't give up the $800,000 in potential taxes some other city certainly will. A TIF isn't forever and then that business will begin to pay its share of taxes.

Some people just don't realize how hard it is to attract a business with good paying jobs to a city.

Outside Looking In said...

The following excerpt is a direct quote from the City Of Davenport Memo detailing the investigation into Alderman Meyer’s actions.

“The eServ application was delivered electronically to IDED on July 23, with hard copies mailed July 24. In an August 17 phone call with Mike Farley, he indicated that while IDED had acted on the application, certain aspects of application remain confidential under Section 22.7 of Iowa Code. Mr. Farley also indicated IDED was awaiting an original signature of the business representative and final action by the City of Davenport.”

for the entire document.

For those of you who give Meyer a pass based on the IDED document not being confidential you are in error. Portions of the document remain confidential pursuant to Section 22.7 of the Iowa Code. The memo is fairly long, but please take the time to read it. I believe it makes a strong argument for the allegations against Alderman Meyer.

Forget for a moment whether you have been a supporter or critic of Meyer in the past, look at this one by it’s self. Meyer released the entire document, not just the public record portion. He did violate the intent of the confidentiality, as well as the provisions of 22.7 of the Iowa Code.

Anonymous said...

Iowa Code 22.7

Until the business representative signs the original copy and final action by the council has taken place, it seems the document is not public information.

Iowa Code 22.7 says "8. Iowa department of economic development information on an industrial prospect with which the department is currently negotiating." Maybe 18. b. is applicable as well. I have not seen the application (after all it is confidential), however, if it included financial information, that would be protected as well. The information released named eServ, the City of Davenport, the developer and development location, some of this seems to fall under one or more sections of of Iowa Code 22.7.

Chances are there will be a legal opinion at some point to see if there has been a violation of law.

Meyer could clear this all up by stating publicly whether he did or did not provide the documents and whether he did or did not edit the sensitive information.

Alderman Meyer where are you? Speak up!

Anonymous said...

For once on these blogs...."where oh where" are you Meyer? Cat got your tongue? (this is a first)

Anonymous said...

I have been with family, away from telephone and email connections, trying to decide if I should run again for City Council and having computer problems and, I only release public documents.

Satisfied? Of course you are not.

Cat doesn't have my tongue.
Now ask your question to each every other Council member please.


And before you break into my house and steal my laptop, again, be sure and dismantle the security cameras, make sure my youngest son or my temporary house guest isn't there or that I haven't already returned or....

Sheeze II


Anonymous said...

Resign all ready! Sheeze III

Anonymous said...


One question:

Did you release the documents to the Dispatch?

You tell us you are straight forward and honest. How about a straight yes or no answer?

Anonymous said...


Sorry to hear about the break-in at your house. Crime in this city is horrible!

Hope you filed a police report so your insurance pays for the computer. What else did they steal? Once in, they usually take as much as they can carry. At least you still have your city issued laptop computer or was that the one stolen?

Anonymous said...

Given Bladel’s campaign to discredit you, I would think it would be tough to file a police report.

QuadCityImages said...

The break-in was months ago, unless there's been another one.

Anonymous said...

So why is Meyer talking about his stolen computer?

What are we supposed to ask the other aldermen?

Anonymous said...

Quad Sheeze, what does your stupid computer have to do with anything we are discussing here Mr. Meyer? Your politics has ran it's course. You need to spend more time on your NOVEL. I just wonder what the next "fluff" peice will be in the Dispatch/Argus? I am curious what your connection is to the Dispatch??? hmmmm. The Illinois media is a tight group. Print, and broadcast. Maybe you need to comment Mr. Meyer.

Anonymous said...

Alderman Meyer:

I know you are opposed to the eServ deal but can you fill us in on the status of the project before the council?

Has it been presented at committee? Has it been discussed at committee of the whole? Has there been an informational packet distributed to the alderman?

I checked committte minutes and agendas and can't find anything. Maybe I missed it. Can you tell me where to look?